Loehr-Daniels Study Course of Basic Teachings
Edited by Franklin Loehr
“IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH…DAY AND NIGHT…THE SEAS…PLANT LIFE…THE LIGHTS IN THE FIRMAMENT OF HEAVENS…SWARMS OF LIVING CREATURES IN THE WATERS, AND BIRDS TO FLY ABOVE THE EARTH…BEASTS OF THE EARTH, AND CATTLE, AND EVERYTHING THAT CREEPS UPON THE GROUND…THEN GOD SAID, ‘LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, AFTER OUR LIKENESS’…SO GOD GREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE; IN THE IMAGE OF GOD HE CREATED HIM, MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM.” (Genesis 1:1-27, RSV)
This account of the beginning of man as recorded in Genesis, the first book of the Judeo-Christian Bible, is a good starting point for thinking of that portion of your self which is linked to the Source of life. Your definition of God may be “Cosmic Force” or “Creative Law”—or it may be a “Heavenly Father” concept. But whatever started the process of being—that is called “God.” From God you have emerged as a two-fold being—a soul-being and a person-being.
One of the major discoveries of Religious Research is the difference between you as a soul and you as a person. This is a major discovery because it makes understandable and acceptable many of the spiritual laws that are the scientific facts of the spiritual (non-material) side of us and our world.
You As a Soul
What is included in the fact that you are a soul? What is a soul? What is its origin, its purposes, its destiny? These are big questions.
Dr. Glenn Clark has told of his good friend, Dr. George Washington Carver--that great African-American chemist of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, who discovered 300 new uses for the peanut and 150 uses for the sweet potato and rebuilt the agriculture of the South--of how his discoveries began.
“Years ago,” said Dr. Carver, “I went into my laboratory and said, ‘Dear Mr. Creator, please tell me what the universe was made for?’
“The great Creator answered, ‘You want to know too much for that little mind of yours. Ask for something more your size.’
“Then I asked, ‘Dear Mr. Creator, tell me what man was made for?’ Again the great Creator replied, ‘Little man, you still are asking too much. Cut down the extent of your request and improve the intent.’
“So then I asked, ‘Please, Mr. Creator, will you tell me why the peanut was made?’
“He replied, ‘That’s better, but even then it’s infinite. What do you want to know about the peanut?’
“I asked, ‘Mr. Creator, can I make milk out of the peanut?’
“His response was, ‘What kind of milk do you want, good Jersey milk or just plain boarding-house milk?’
“My answer was, ‘Good Jersey milk.’
“And then the great Creator taught me how to take the peanut apart and put it together again. Out of this process have come forth all these products.” For over an hour Dr. Carver laid out samples of face powder, shampoo, dandruff cure, soaps, printer’s ink, butter, vinegar, instant coffee, dyes, wood stain, and good rich milk. All of these products were the result of one question, “Please, Mr. Creator, will you tell me why the peanut was made?”
In 1950 we in Religious Research began asking questions. Some of our questions were of necessity big—audaciously big! For in Religious Research we had to come to some working definitions of such basic religious subjects as the soul. Taking a deep breath, and remembering the words of Jesus “Seek and Ye shall find,” we plunged in. “Dear God, what is the Soul?”
The soul, we have learned, is an individuated portion of the Creative Being called God. No two souls are alike, for souls are drawn from different portions of God’s beingness, and their individuality is related to the source of their origin. Also, souls are individuated out of God at different times—He did not have His family of soul-children all at once! Thirdly, the different personality expressions of each soul add to its individuation.
Why should the Creative Source individuate Itself into soul-beings? One very major answer lies in the oft-repeated teaching, “God is Love.” Love becomes, in that phrase, a noun. A noun is followed by a verb to denote action. So Love (God) loves. But what follows the verb? We have subject and verb. What is the object? God loves—what? Would it not be hell to be Love and have nothing to love? Here, then we find one answer to why the Creative Source individuates Itself into souls. Souls are begotten as love objects of God.
A great Father of the early church, Saint Augustine, understood this when he wrote: “Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” You as a soul are made in the image and likeness of God, to receive the love He has to give, and to return love to Him, in companionship with Him and His other beloved children.
Each soul has a uniqueness of beingness. In the billions of individual snowflakes in a storm, we are told that no two are precisely alike. And this unique individuality of every soul is borne out again in the thousands of Loehr-Daniels Life Readings that were one branch of Religious Research—each one fit the person getting it, and no other. Every life reading was different because every soul is different in the combination of qualities and development making up its nature.
We also have learned the soul is not a monolithic structure—homogenized, undifferentiated—but is a complex of energies brought together as are the energies that make up the structure of an atom. This is an understanding of much significance for the student of reincarnation.
One of Dr. Loehr’s early discoveries, during the seven years 1952-59 when his major work was a counseling program with some hundreds of persons involving their own (non-hypnotic) recall of their own past lives, and the integration of the carried-over past forces into their present life and person, was that only a portion of the soul is incarnate at any one time.
His favorite illustration is of a client who recalled in authentic detail a life as a very pious, completely dedicated Italian nun in the late 1400s and early 1500s—and the next session recalled an equally-authenticated life in the last 1500s as a roistering Brittany fisherman, delighting in his strength and battling the sea, seldom going near a church, dying with his boat in a great English Channel storm.
What had happened to the nun and her finely developed qualities? She was not lost. That portion of the soul was developed and completed. Now another soul portion, of strength and fearless courage and perseverance, was developed and added to balance and round out the soul’s development.
Also, “reincarnation” is not a totally accurate term for what actually takes place. The word seems to say that what is incarnate—you, the person—comes back again. This is not so. You as a person do not reincarnate, do not come back to earth after the death of your present body. Dr. Loehr’s marvelous little book, Diary After Death, details how, at the death of its body, the person enters the lower astral place of excarnate (meaning out-of-the-body) existence, and progresses upward as far as it is potentialled and purposed to go, even “from glory to glory” to use St. Paul’s phrase.
The first lesson of this is to make the most of this incarnation, for it is the only one you as a person will ever have. When you die—go out of incarnation into excarnate personhood—you as a soul are free to have another incarnation. But that will be as another person, a different person in a different body, born to different parents in a different place and time, a different personality tailor-made for its own purposes, even as you as a person are tailor-made for the purposes of your present life.
Different portions—different aspects, different facets, different forces—of the soul experience incarnation, earth living, through these different personalities. In and through an incarnate personality specific soul energies are funneled, to be shaped and matured by earth experience and then eventually drawn back into the whole soul.
As an amoebae sends forth a pseudopod to surround, absorb, and bring into the whole an element of nourishment in its surroundings, so the soul sends forth its personhoods, its incarnations. This addition to the whole soul of the earth experiences of a portion of the soul increases the soul’s beingness. This is one of the ways in which the soul grows in the image and likeness of God—and grows from being a young child of God toward becoming an adult companion and Co-Creator with Him.
With the understanding that only a portion of the soul incarnates in a given personality, other interesting questions arise. (1) Why different portions? (2) How much of the soul? (3) What does the rest of the soul do while a portion of it is in incarnation?
(1) Why do only portions of the soul incarnate in a given personality—why not the whole soul?
First of all, because the whole soul is a complex of forces much greater than a personality can hold. A house is wired for electricity, and high power lines are available nearby. But the house is not wired directly to those lines. The voltage of electricity passing through the high power lines is much higher than the house wires can transmit. The high voltage would blow all the fuses and perhaps burn down the house!
So there are step-down transformers between the power lines and the lines of wiring within the house, which reduce the current and deliver it to the house wires in the 110-volt current they are built to handle. Analogously, the “voltage” of soul force coming into a given personality expression is stepped down and metered out according to the capacity and needs of that personality.
Secondly, not all of the qualities of a soul can be used in a given personality life. Perhaps a soul has incarnated many lifetimes in masculine personalities and from them has built up strong masculine qualities of beingness. These qualities, fine in themselves, might be in the way when the soul incarnates in feminine personalities to build up strong feminine qualities of beingness. So different portions of soul force may be drawn upon for feminine lifetimes. Later there is a span of growth experience wherein the portions of the soul developed in masculine lifetimes and the portions of the soul developed in feminine lifetimes must be integrated and balanced within the total soul-beingness.
A third answer lies in the fact that the earth school of learning is only one of many cosmic schools in which the soul is trained to grow into the image and likeness of God. Other portions of your soul may be attending other schools, just as in an earth family there may be a college student, a high-schooler, and an elementary-grade child. As a person, your major contact is with that portion of the soul that is learning with you in your particular school of education.
(2) How much of the soul incarnates with each personality?
The specific purpose of a given personality life helps to determine how much of the soul is actively engaged in that incarnation. The great ballet artist Nina Pavlova, we are told, drew a great amount of soul-force into expression. The Pavlova life was the culmination of much artistic effort and endeavor put forth by the soul through many lifetimes of preparation and practice. When the goal was achieved, it was a success experienced not alone by that personality but by a large measure of the soul incarnate with it.
Personalities who make major contributions to mankind in whatever field—creative expression, scientific research, political statesmanship, religious and philosophic thought, social behavior, etc.—frequently are expression points for a gathering together of much soul substance which has been given earth expression in previous personalities.
Sometimes an earth life is used for the meeting of negative forces set in motion in former lives, and much soul force may be drawn in to give support and guidance, strength and patience, courage and persistence. We will go into this more fully later in this lesson.
In what circumstances of earth life is a lesser amount of soul force required? A given lifetime may be one in which a soul already well-rooted and adjusted to earth living is adding quantity of experience. There will be with that personality a fully adequate amount of soul force, but a soul well-seasoned in earth living need not give large attention to that one experience.
A long-trained, skillful chef can keep an eye on three boiling pots on the range, the contents of a baking oven or two, and a broiler, all at one time. It would be inefficient for such an experienced chef to focus all his attention upon just one boiling pot! It would be an inefficient use of energy and ability for a skillful soul to always have to give its full attention to just one framework of earth experience at a time.
Another time in which a lesser amount of soul involvement is needed is when a given earth life represents a “resting life” for a soul before or after several incarnations of strenuous earth learnings. It may choose to spend its recess time in the classroom as an observer of other students, or to pick up a few pointers it might have missed while concentrating on major learnings. Such an incarnation may be more as an observer than as a participant.
Sometimes, however, a soul may not like the particular learnings set before it in a given earth life. It doesn’t quite dare “skip school” entirely, but like a restless, obstreperous student, it may give only a minimum of attention to that grade in school—hopefully enough to “pass.” Here there is less soul involvement than there should be, and the soul usually has to take this lesson over again—and perhaps again.
These are only a few of the research findings concerning the soul’s investment of itself in earth living. Other findings deal with the identity of the soul behind a personality. The soul, androgynous (both masculine and feminine) in its total beingness, is polarized (divided) as it comes into its earth school experiences into a basic masculine half and a basic feminine half. These are the true “soul mates.”
The masculine half builds and emphasizes its masculine beingness in masculine personalities, but likewise experiences feminine lifetimes for the greater relatedness those lifetimes can give that half of the soul to its other half. Likewise the feminine half builds and emphasizes its feminine beingness in feminine personalities, while also experiencing masculine lives which relate it more knowledgeably to the masculine half of its beingness.
Knowing whether a given personality is an incarnation from the basic masculine half of the soul or the basic feminine half is one of the first and most basic keys for understanding the life of that person. Each Loehr-Daniels Life Reading brought this as one of eight basic understandings of the person getting the reading. The span of experience the soul has had both in the earth school and in other cosmic schools of learning (the soul’s “age”) and its native realm of beingness likewise are identity clues.
The growing list of books published from the extensive reincarnation research of the Religious Research Foundation of America go into these and other related matters in more detail.
(3) What does the rest of the soul do while a portion of it is in incarnation?
The non-incarnate portions of the soul have much to learn and much to do elsewhere. We have been focusing attention on the soul in its framework of learning from earth experience. But there are many non-earth frameworks of experience and learning for the soul. Our person-minds are finite tools for understanding. Most of the other cosmic frameworks of soul-experience lie beyond our ability to encompass with specialized person-minds.