by Diane Linsley
spent many years thinking about how our souls develop through
multiple lifetimes on Earth. In this article, I will share some of my
insights and experiences with soul groups.
What is Your Soul Age?
You may have encountered terms like "old soul," "young soul" or "middle-aged soul." I explained what these terms mean in the article, Are Soulmates Real? This may help you identify your soul age.
I was once coaching a client with a long history of narcissistic abuse. She kept asking me why this happened to her. I gave her the best explanations I could, concluding that the only person who could really answer that question was her higher self. I advised her to continue working on developing her relationship with her higher self.
As the coaching call continued, I suddenly got an intuitive download. I saw that she was a member of a relatively young soul group. Many members of her group (including family members) lacked compassion because they had not been human for very long. This could be why Sam Vaknin says that narcissists are not fully human.
Compassion is a soul trait that is developed over many lifetimes of suffering as a human being and striving to overcome the ego. Young souls are like children. All children go through a narcissistic stage, which begins when they first sense their separate self. It continues until they develop compassion for others. For advanced souls, this stage doesn't last long. It may end by age 4. Some people don't get over it until adulthood, and narcissists are usually stuck in it for life.
I told my client that I believed she was one of the more advanced souls in her group, and this might account for why she felt like she was surrounded by narcissistic children. I said to her, "The best measurement of a soul's age is their level of compassion." I don't know how much comfort this thought was to her, but I hope it helped.
The ideas in this article are quite speculative. They are based on my own research, intuitions and experiences. I've been asking these questions since I was 10 years old. Like my client, I wondered why I had different character traits and interests than the people around me. Only a spiritual perspective can answer these questions. I cover the basics in the article on Soul Development.
"We begin as infant souls, just getting used to being in a physical body. Then, like children, we begin to explore and master our physical environment. As young souls - the equivalent of adolescents - we become competitive, amitious, driven to succeed. As mature souls - the equivalent of adults - we make lasting contributions to science, politics, art, and the humanities. As old souls, we seek to expand our consciousness, to develop ourselves as spiritual beings and explore realms beyond the physical."
This is a very helpful map for understanding soul age. I would also like to add that old souls can be recognized by their wisdom and compassion. They often devote their lives to service. They can be found serving others in all sorts of capacities, sometimes with little reward. As Jesus told his disciples, "He that is greatest among you shall be your servant." (Matthew 23:11)
Wisdom and compassion can only be learned through experience. If it was possible to gain these things from reading, I would have achieved them long ago, since I've read over 500 self-help books in my life!
Obviously, reading alone isn't enough. We must have actual experiences. As Michael Newton says, the Earth school is a very difficult curriculum for souls. But we keep coming back because the challenge has great benefits for our soul development.
When my life coach introduced me to the idea of soul groups, I imagined that I belonged to a group of spiritual seekers who would welcome me with open arms - if I could just figure out who they were and get in touch with them. Nine years later, I'm not so sure that's how it works.
I have met some amazing people, and I stay in touch with my like-minded friends, who are scattered around the world. Like me, most of them are so busy teaching and caring for younger souls that they don't have much time for socializing. The Earth school needs teachers. I am grateful to be with my second husband, who is also a spiritual teacher and my loving supporter. I've had some fascinating OBE's, in which I met members of my soul group on the other side. I will share some brief experiences with you. In the book, Invisible Worlds, Annie Besant says that it's okay to share your spiritual experiences with people, as long as you acknowledge that all experiences are open to interpretation and subject to your own map of reality. I appreciate the OBE-ers who have written books about their own experiences, which have greatly encouraged me.
My grandpa died when I was in my mid twenties. Since then, he has appeared to me 3 times in lucid dreams. The first time was one year after his death. The second time was 16 years later. The third time was 10 years after that. Each time, I was allowed a glimpse of what he was working on in the afterlife. He also answered the questions I had at the time.
I've visited with other soul friends and deceased relatives, but this particular relationship seems to be more significant than the others. I can't explain it in any rational way because I was not close to my grandpa when he was alive. During our last visit, he delivered a message from my soul group about my progress in this lifetime. Maybe he was chosen to be the spokesperson for the group because his appearance in my dreams causes me to become lucid, since I know he is deceased. Also, the fact that he was my grandpa in this lifetime gives his messages a more personal feeling.
A Lucid Dream
I recently had a lucid dream in which I remembered, from my soul's perspective, my arrival on Earth. Even though I knew that coming to Earth would be difficult (since I've done it plenty of times before), I still experienced the shock of entering a physical body with the accompanying emotions of being a helpless infant. I realized that I was being born into a body that was destined for health problems, and my brain was wired for the INFP personality structure, which would be particularly challenging.
I wondered how I was supposed to accomplish my mission with these impediments. But then I remembered my premortal training, and I connected with Source for support. As I did this, the panic subsided, and I rehearsed to myself my life's mission so I wouldn't forget.
Here are more details of the dream: At the beginning of the dream, I was with my soul group, preparing for Earth life. There were many young souls. This would be the first time on Earth for some of them. They were very excited - a little too excited, I thought, because they weren't paying attention to the orientation teacher. They were running around and talking amongst themselves.
Then there were the middle-aged souls, who had done this before. They were listening respectfully to the teacher, while holding hands with their soul friends, knowing they would soon be parted. Finally, there were a few old souls, who were immersed in their own thoughts, probably reviewing their missions. They were calm and peaceful.
When I woke up, I had a very strong sense of my soul's purpose. I also realized that the body and personality that initially seemed like insurmountable obstacles have given me unique abilities to help me accomplish my mission. This dream was profoundly comforting and encouraging. It also added more details to my map of soul development.
Specialized Soul Groups
In another lucid dream (technically, a mental plane experience), I was approached by a group of souls whom I call the Philosopher's Club. They introduced themselves and asked me to join their group on the mental plane (refer to Kurt Leland's books if you're not familiar with this term).
I felt honored that they considered me to be a potential philosopher, and I realized it would require much more study and effort to develop my mind. Interestingly, this experience happened around the time that my husband and I were studying the works of the brilliant psychologist, Carl Jung.
In some of my OBE's, I've attended lectures and concerts at the Astral University. During the sleep state, I often tune in to the Astral Radio. Sometimes I listen to lectures by philosophers, psychologists and scientists. Other times, I listen to music. I'm still trying to learn how to turn the radio off and on at will or change channels. It's annoying when you can't control it, and the lecture keeps droning on :)
Throughout our progression as souls, we make connections with other souls beyond our original soul group. It's like making new friends at school. As we develop our talents, we may join groups of souls with similar interests in order to work together and learn from each other.
Many years ago, I had an OBE in which I met with a deceased soul friend who was a famous musician. The moment I saw him, I remembered that he and I had studied music together at the Astral University before we came to Earth. I was delighted to see him, and we caught up on what each of us was currently doing. I was homeschooling my kids, and he was teaching music at the Astral University.
This experience answered a question about why I've been hearing music playing non-stop in my head all my life. My dreams are also accompanied by music - often original songs that I never heard before in waking life.
So why didn't I become a professional musician in this lifetime? Well, it seems that I have a different mission this time around. I've been busy developing new talents as a mother, teacher and coach. This will have an impact on my future lives. It's opening up more possible avenues for growth and more freedom to choose how I will serve humanity in the future.
If there's one thing I wish people could understand, it's that we are not victims of our past. If only we would focus on developing our talents and preparing for the future, we would be freed from looking backwards and blaming other people for our own karma.
Karma is simply the law of natural consequences. It's created by the choices we make every day. If people in your life are causing you grief, join a group of souls who are working on self-improvement. Earth life presents us with endless opportunities for growth.
As Zen master Genpo Roshi says, "When we take responsibility, there is no fear."
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