Loehr-Daniels Study Course of Basic Teachings
Edited by Franklin Loehr
The personality has been given an engaging definition by Dr. Franklin Loehr: “The splash created by the entrance of the soul into animal life. The human being is definitely an interaction phenomenon, of spirit and matter.”
You are a personality, conditioned by forces of physical heredity, social and physical environment, your own choices and will, selected past life forces (not all of them), and containing a portion of your soul as well. Do you as an individual person have a contribution to make to that individuated portion of cosmic life called your soul?
Much of the time we think of the soul as being the guide and teacher of the person. And this is legitimate. Usually, there is the soul-portion of your beingness upon which you can at times rest your frail and distraught and disturbed personality. Unless the soul is bent on repudiating its human being, there is that soul-portion, connected with the Creative Source, from which you can draw vitality and refreshment and renewal according to your need on the personality level.
But are you only a receiver from your soul? Or can you give to your own soul as well?
There have been many times in the Loehr-Daniels Life Readings when our spirit Guide, our beloved “Dr. John” (John Christopher Daniels; you’ll hear more of him later) has said to the person getting the reading, “You are the guide and teacher to your own soul in this life. What you do as a personality, what you decide, will determine the growth of your soul.”
At other times Dr. John has said, “We cannot predict a course of action for you. It is not predetermined. It is not imprinted on the akashic records. The on-going pattern of you as a soul is being determined at this point by you, the present personality, and what you do in this lifetime.”
Well! That makes you pretty important, does it not? Important in your own beingness as a person!
The importance of my incarnate personality to my soul-self was emphasized in a psychedelic experience I had in 1963. (This was legal then, in the period when the use of the psychedelic chemicals for research purposes by doctors preceded their widespread public use and abuse.)
I discovered the person-self could do things that I, caught up then in awareness of soul-beingness, could not do. I had come out of the most intensive period of the experience, had had some dinner, and had then gone into the bedroom of the home where I was a guest.
I was alone, seated on the edge of the bed, when I became aware that my body was cold. The sensible thing to do was to get ready for bed. I walked across the room to the stand upon which my suitcase had been placed, leaned over to open it, and discovered that it had been placed upside down on the stand. I could not open it unless I turned it over.
I, in my expanded awareness of soul-beingness that was the result of the psychedelic experience, did not know how to turn that suitcase over! Nor did I in my expanded awareness of being a projected personality—a personality functioning outside the body—know how to turn that suitcase over. I had to concentrate my attention, my thought, on my beingness as an incarnate person.
It didn’t take all of my attention. But I had to call in enough awareness of myself as an Earth person to know how to turn that suitcase over. It was the incarnate personality self that got that cold physical body ready and into bed. I remember the warm gratitude I felt then for the incarnate person’s ability! It knew much better how to take care of a body than I as a soul knew! That is one contribution a personality can make to its own Soul.
Another contribution was pointed out by Dr. John in a reading in which he said, “This soul has made good achievements in past lives. It has learned to take mastery of earth living. That element is to be added in the present life. The present personality expression is very important to the ongoingness of the total soul, for through the makeup and the function of this personality there is being added to the soul the quality of decisiveness, which has been not entirely missing, but has been on the minus side rather than the plus side, in former lives.”
That illustrates, you see, how one function of an incarnate personality may be either to add missing qualities of beingness to the soul, or to increase the quantity of existing qualities. Each person, each incarnation, is specifically designed, “tailor-made,” for purposes it is to accomplish.
In another reading Dr. John brought home to us the importance of a given incarnate personality expression to the soul in quite a different pattern. This reading was given for a young man who was very much disturbed about his sister. She had been diagnosed schizophrenic, and had been in and out of hospitals for several years. At the time he wrote us she was at a very low ebb, depressed and very negative. He wondered if help could be given to avoid another breakdown.
It was a bit startling and somewhat disturbing to hear Dr. John begin the reading with the words, “The prospect of preventing another breakdown on her part is not a very bright prospect.” Since life readings are given to help people, this did not seem to be a very auspicious beginning! But Dr. John always backs up his statements with facts—which is probably why he was assigned to be the chief spokesman for the discarnate Members of the Board of the Religious Research Foundation of America, established to bring scientific facts into the field of knowledge known as religion, and now the research arm of the Frontier Community Church.
As the reading progressed, Dr. John brought forth his facts. The portion of soul incarnate in the man’s sister—we will call her Ann, which was not her real name—came from the basic masculine half of the soul. In Ann we were dealing with a basically masculine soul deeply resentful of being in feminine expression. The soul had discovered that in its dislike of this personality life it could withdraw the personality from participation in life, at least for short periods of time, through a mental breakdown.
The soul, said Dr. John, had persuaded the subconscious mind of the personality that a time of turmoil, a time of trouble, a time of difficulty on the personality level, could be escaped by having a breakdown. The subconscious mind had accepted this. The subconscious knowledge was strong enough to break into the conscious mind level with the suggestion that the personality was having a breakdown. The conscious mind agreed, and Ann was on her way to the hospital.
In this reading, Dr. John pointed out how the rebellious portion of the soul was reaching the personality through its subconscious mind. But remember—only a portion of the soul incarnates in any one personality. At times other portions of the soul may be, as it were, hovering close by, both learning by absorption that which the incarnate portion is learning, and also standing by to give encouragement and sustainment. For earth life is the strenuous time of a soul’s learning and growth.
Dr. John pointed out that help for this personality could be secured by reaching and contacting these other portions of the soul—in a specific particular way. How? Not through the subconscious. The rebellious portion of the soul had taken over that area. But through the superconscious.
(In the early years of the readings, Dr. John spoke of the subconscious vs. the superconscious. It is my understanding that the subconscious refers to the soul consciousness contained in the person and the superconscious refers to the soul consciousness of portions of the soul that are not incarnate--Ed)
How is that level of consciousness reached? In this reading Dr. John said, “The soul can reach the personality either through the subconscious or through the super-conscious reaches of the personality mind. When the soul is working in cooperation with the personality, either learning from the personality or guiding the personality, it can work from the superconscious level into the personality level through such open doors as prayer, meditation, the mystical experiences, and the basic acceptance by the personality of spiritual beingness.
“When the soul is in conflict with the purpose and meaningfulness of the personality expression, it will not work through the subconscious to reach the conscious level with its own state of rebellion and resistance.”
He then went on to point out that the Ann personality had been reachable many times in this lifetime through the super-conscious level. She had been, in earlier years, an active church member, had taught Sunday school, and her religious faith had depth and meaningfulness to the personality. She read her bible, she prayed, she worshipped—and in this framework she had been open to the superconscious areas where the non-rebellious portions of the soul were helping her. It was not in these years that any of the breakdowns occurred.
But in time she outgrew the religious framework she was in. Instead of holding to that which was good in it and seeking out other avenues of religious experience to add further good, she closed the doors completely against anything of a religious nature and allowed certain materialistic modern-day writers and philosophers to undo her faith.
It is at this point we can begin to see another way in which the personality can help the soul. Dr. John said at this point, “If Ann’s brother, who has a broadly-based understanding of the life of Spirit gained from investigation into many churches and schools of religious truth, can interest Ann again in matters of the Spirit, this could very well be the saving grace for Ann. She needs to know the spiritual reality of her being. She needs to know this as a personality, in order to counteract this destructive force coming in from a certain portion of her soul-beingness.
“As she knows it on the conscious level, she will once again open to the superconscious level where other portions of her own soul can be brought in to work with her to counteract these portions of the soul which are working against her in the subconscious.” Dr. John concluded that particular portion of the reading by saying, “Opening up within Ann the superconscious areas of beingness may counteract these forces which are now guiding her toward a breakdown. But the personality must open the doors.”
Other readings have brought the learning that a given personality may help increase the soul’s learning by, as it were, living several lives in one. Have you not known a personality whose life ran on one track for years—and then that personality made a complete turn about and channeled his interests and time and talents in an entirely different direction?
Babe London of film screen fame is one such person. A number of years ago she played the role of “the fat girl” in the Cristie Comedies, then starred in various Laurel and Hardy movies, played with Bing Crosby, Van Heflin, and other stars, was a featured nightclub entertainer, etc.
When her career in acting finally came to an end, she turned to oil painting as a hobby and discovered a theretofore unknown talent. In the years since her acting career, Babe London painted a number of pictures, earning her the accolade of “Hollywood’s Grandma Moses.” Through her portraits, she has helped preserve for posterity many of the stars of the silent screen era. Here is a person who added to the soul’s experience in this lifetime through two major personality patterns of activity.
Dr. Carmelita Trowbridge is another such case of “two lifetimes in one.” She was a committed Roman Catholic girl, woman, wife, mother, the first 40 years. “Then suddenly that was over, all over,” she told Dr. Loehr, “and a whole new chapter began” in which she became an early and outstanding minister of the then new Church of Religious Science, building the member-ship and the lovely edifice of that metaphysical denomination in Alhambra, California.
This phenomenon has been explained by Dr. John in the readings in this way: “A major leaarning for the soul in this personality expression was completed. The person life could have been cut off at that point of completion, and the soul put through the process of the creation of a new incarnate personality and a new physical vehicle (body) for further learning. But it was seen that the existing personality had the capacity to do even more for the soul than first planned—and so it was shunted onto this new path of growth and development, adding to the soul’s experience in this one earthlife, learnings it might otherwise need two or three lifetimes to accomplish.”
So as a personality it is well if you can keep open and receptive to the challenge of new learnings. You may be advancing your soul a great deal in its earth experience. Particularly as the pace of history quickens in these “latter days,” experiences and relationships can be had and completed more quickly, compressing into one incarnation what formerly required two or three.
Another way you as a person can help your soul is to become an analytical observer. The soul doesn’t have to learn everything there is to learn about earthliving by its own experience! That’s the hard way! There are many sources of learning for the soul.
One source can be the person feeding into the soul the learnings it observes from the experiences of others. To be intellectually curious, open-minded, humble enough to learn from others, is to discover you can learn something from everybody—and to be as a person a good learning-instrument for your soul. You don’t really have to do everything and be everything yourself!
The personality contributes to the soul also by its attitude toward life. Earthliving can be an adventure—or it can be an experience of just hanging on, hoping for the end. Too many times earthliving has been looked upon as a demotion for the soul, as negative karma. No!
Earthliving is the laboratory where the individual soul has an opportunity to experiment with the cosmic laws, see how they work. Laboratory work is as important as lectures in the total learning process—sometimes more important! You can learn about qualities such as patience, long-suffering love, strength, commitment, decisiveness, etc., in other cosmic class-rooms. But when you come into the laboratory of earthliving and “make it work,” you really have those qualities!
One of the most valuable services the person can render the soul lies in what the orthodox church has called redemp-tion—the saving of the soul.
The soul as it associates with the animal self does become stained and soiled. It is inevitable that along with all the good an incarnate soul can absorb from a given personality, there will be absorbed some negative qualities also. These may become to the soul in its on-goingness as barnacles that collect on a ship through many voyages. When the accumulation of barnacles on a ship becomes so great as to seriously impede its progress, the ship is put into dry dock and the barnacles are scraped off, the ship thoroughly cleaned.
And when the soul’s continuing progress becomes slowed or impeded by too many negative accumulations from past-life personalities, then the soul may come into incarnate expression for what Dr. John calls a “housecleaning life.”
There are two major frameworks in which the housecleaning life may take place.
(1) Sometimes it is in the framework of relationships with others. Many of the people who have gotten life readings presented as their greatest problem from childhood right on into adulthood, the problem of relationships with other people, running the gamut from parents through family members, through friends, to the clerk at the corner grocery store. Often the answers given to their questions concerning these disturbed relationships involve negative past-life experiences with these souls, and the need to meet them again in this life and to resolve the conflicts and bring harmony into each relationship.
Apparently there comes a time in the growth experience of a soul when it must answer the ancient question “Am I my brother’s keeper?” with a firm “Yes”—and then go forth into earthliving and become a source of harmony and strength and positive support to all the brother and sister souls it meets in that lifetime. As this achievement for the soul is gained by the incarnate personality, that personality not only renders real service to those others, but it also cleans away from its own soul the accumulated negative forces from former personality associations.
(2) The second major framework for a housecleaning life for a soul may be a framework of “gathering up the tag-ends.” According to our studies in the readings, a soul has been known to gather up the character defects of many past personalities and literally dump them all into the makeup of one incarnation, one personality. If that personality can grow from weakness to strength in those areas of its character development, it is cleansing its own soul from the staining and soiling accumulated in several or many lifetimes. Sometimes this has been called a “sewer” incarnation lifetime.
You may protest, “But this is not fair!” And within the framework of one life only it is not fair. (This is one reason the framework of many lifetimes must be understood, if you are to understand yourself and your present life.) God is strictly fair and honest and just and loving—it just takes lifting our sights to the framework of many lifetimes to see it!
Then we also see that the “unfairness” we may experience as a person in this lifetime may be truly important service to yourself as a soul. Then our whole perspective changes, for we understand. St. Paul understood, when he said, “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, which is their reasonable service.”
As a personality, you may have no difficulty recognizing certain major character defects that manifest openly as lying, cheating, stealing, lust, alcoholism, drug addiction, and so forth. These you seek to correct through psychiatric or psychological counseling; through the very real experience of religious conversion and commitment; or through the pressures of social disapproval and punishment or rehabilitation. Character must be built.
Then there are certain character weaknesses that you may tend to accept and for which find an excuse in forces of heredity or environment. “I have inherited my father’s temper and my mother’s possessiveness.” Or—“Poor me. Look at the conditions of my early childhood. I never really had a chance.” Nonsense! It’s not what you start with that counts, it’s what you do with it!
There is another “class,” as it were, of character weaknesses—those you cannot or do not see you have, but others close to you may see them and point them out to you. If they are weaknesses you have not recognized yourself, it may be most difficult to accept recognition of them through someone else. You may find yourself making excuses. You may become defensive. You may refuse to face them by rejecting the person calling them to your attention. You may excuse them in the “nobody is perfect” framework, or in the “but look at all the good in me” framework—which can be spiritual pride, and does not excuse from the necessity laid upon us for further growth.
Sometimes insight into one’s own personality defects, recognizing and understanding them, and then making a positive decision concerning them, may be all that is necessary for clearing away the defects. More often, however, the insights have to be translated into the day-by-day-by-day practice of new patterns of beingness and doingness. This can be a most arduous, strenuous, even painful task—or it can be a challenge with a glory to it, the opportunity to help the soul grow toward its perfected beingness that Jesus referred to when He said, “Be ye therefore perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
The choice you have in the way in which you will help your soul in this housecleaning can be related to the process of bringing new physical life to birth. For centuries women have brought forth new life in wracking pain and tears. But in recent years the so-called “natural childbirth” methods have been used increasingly, and a prepared mother in responsiveness and rhythm now brings forth new life in much greater comfort and ease than did her mother or grandmother.
The choice of bringing forth into personality life positive soul qualities of beingness can be according to the old method of childbearing, or in this more recently practiced way. This is your choice.
God demands growth from you the person. The experiences of your life, your relations with other people, the choices you make, will establish that growth. What can you do for the soul as it seeks the birth of its needed qualities of being? You can choose the method of birth.
You can fight, hold back, resist, dig in your heels, be fearful, cry “Unfair!” The growth probably will come anyway, but it will wrack you and leave you exhausted.
Or you can cooperate, relax, accept, be receptive, undemanding. In physical birth one does not hold back new life with the demand to know first whether the baby is blond or brunette, male or female! At the time of birth one does not hold back to discuss just how a baby will affect one’s future! Nor do you need to make any such demands on the new spiritual life coming forth from the process of creating positive character qualities.
You can relax, be responsive, in quietness find strength, and experience the joy of a new way of living which leads you to the knowledge of your beingness and inheritance as God’s Son, God’s Daughter, God’s Co-Partner on Earth.