As human beings we put a lot of importance on our physical age. We look forward to birthday parties, family and social gatherings and spoil each other with presents. Similar to our physical bodies having an age, our soul has an age as well. It is necessary for us to shift our focus and explore our “soul age” every once in a while.
Each one of our souls is at a certain level of spiritual development. Some of us are beginner or young souls and a few are older more mature souls. We have chosen unique lessons in our life time to help us learn and grow. We learn through our relationships with family members and friends, challenges in life and karmic choices. Every single experience of our entire life time is needed to help our souls mature.
Enlightened masters, saints and mystics have in their own unique language and expression focused on developing the soul. By living a conscious life, making our day to day decisions with a higher level of awareness, we can transform our souls. One step at a time, our soul starts to evolve to a higher level of awareness and our ultimate goal is to become a part of the universal essence.
“…It is my profound conviction that man must never ignore and leave untended and undeveloped that spark of the divine which is in him. The way to personal fulfillment, to individual reconciliation with the universe that is about us, is comparatively easy for anyone who firmly and sincerely believes, as I do, that divine grace has given man in his own heart the possibilities of illumination and of union with reality.” (1)
(His Highness, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III – The Memoirs of Aga Khan)
A spark of the divine is within all of us. Every human being on earth has a soul that comes from one universal light. We are encouraged to develop that spark into something greater. Eventually that spark will develop into a flame, and then into something greater! The ultimate goal of our souls is to merge with the universal light, our original essence or home, where all of us come from.
Dr. Michael Newton has written a profound, insightful and phenomenal book entitled: “Journey of Souls”. In this book he talks about the different levels of the soul. He defines souls as beginner, intermediate and advance souls.
There are two types of beginner souls. The first is just starting their journey on earth with limited gained exposure to the world. The second seems to have been reincarnating on earth for a long time but does not seem to learn and grow.
The intermediate souls are more independent as they have achieved a higher level of maturity and experience. He explains “People who possess souls who are old and highly advanced are scarce” (2). Advanced souls are not attached to the material world. They come to serve and help others in a very detached manner.
According to Dr. Newton, he states “I believe almost three-quarters of all souls who inhabit human bodies on Earth today are still in the early stages of development. I know this is a grossly discouraging statement because it means most of our human population is operating at the lower end of their training. On the other hand when I consider a world population beset by so much negative cross cultural misunderstanding and violence, I am not inclined to change my opinion about the high percentage of lower level souls on earth. However, I do think each century brings improvement and awareness in all humans.” (3)
The great Sufi poet Jalal al-Din Rumi in his famous writing the “Mathnawi” expresses his philosophy of evolution. “For several epochs I was flying about in space like atoms of dust without a will, after which I entered the inorganic realm of matter. Crossing over to the vegetable kingdom I lost memory of my struggle on the material plane. From there I stepped into the animal kingdom, forgetting all my life as a plant, feeling only an instinctive and unconscious urge towards the growth of plants and flowers…rising in the scale of animality, I became a man pulled up by the creative urge of the creator whom one knows. I continued advancing from realm to realm developing my reason and strengthening the organism. There was a ground for ever getting above the previous types of reason. Even my present rationality is not a culmination of mental evolution. This too has to be transcended, because it is still contaminated with self seeking, egoistic biological urges. A thousand other types of reason and consciousness shall emerge during the further course of my ascent; a wonder of wonders!” (4)
There is much more to life than eating, sleeping, working and procreating. Animals also follow these basic instincts for their worldly day to day survival. Humans are more evolved than the other species like plants, insects and animals and therefore have a greater capacity for intelligence and spiritual consciousness. Humans can behave with animal consciousness and not move forward or go ahead with their higher consciousness towards the universal light. The choice is ours; we get to decide with our free will. The divine always guides us and shows us the way (or the path), to walk on this path or not depends on our choices.
“Every individual, every molecule, every atom has its own spiritual relationship with the all powerful Soul of God. But men and women, being more highly developed, are immensely more advanced than the infinite number of other beings known to us.” (5)
We are told by enlightened masters and saints that humans are more advanced than most other beings. There are however, many different individual levels of consciousness within humans. There is a remarkable book written by Dr. David R. Hawkins called “Power vs. Force”. He talks about a “Map of Consciousness” that describes individual levels of human consciousness. His concepts are very intriguing as they are a mixture of science, philosophy and spirituality
His map of consciousness is logarithmic. It spans from 1 to 1000, one being the lowest level of consciousness and one thousand being the highest level of consciousness that can possibly be achieved. He states that “85 percent of the human race calibrates below the critical level of 200, while the overall average level of human consciousness today is approximately 207” (6). “The collective level of consciousness of mankind remained at 190 for many centuries and, curiously, only jumped to its current level of 207 within the last decade”(7). This is encouraging as this represents a big leap for the over all collective consciousness.
There seems to be a shift towards higher consciousness. Slowly but surely, we seem to be getting more conscious of fundamental qualities of love, compassion and mutual respect for others. There is also a growing interest towards a holistic approach to life. Interest in health, nutrition, healing, meditation and spirituality is beginning to increase.
David Hawkins explains “It’s very important to remember that the calibration figures do not represent an arithmetic, but a logarithmic progression. Thus the level 300 is not twice the amplitude of 150; it is 10 to the 300th power. An increase of even a few points represents a major advance in power; the rate of power as we move up the scale is enormous.” (8)
Let’s explain the title “Power vs. Force”. If you are at the bottom of this continuum, or if you choose to regress down the map towards a negative state of consciousness, the more Force (negative energy) you produce/use on a constant basis. The higher you are on this map, or if you increase your spiritual consciousness, the more Power (Natural, Universal Energy) you produce and sustain and can connect to.
“Although only 15 percent of the world’s population is above the critical consciousness level of 200, the collective power of that 15 percent has the weight to counterbalance the negativity of the remaining 85 percent of the world’s people. Because the scale of power advances logarithmically, a single avatar at a consciousness level of 1000 can, in fact totally counterbalance the collective negativity of all mankind.”(9) “Great avatars for whom the title “Lord” is appropriate: Lord Krishna, Lord Buddha, and Lord Jesus Christ.” (10)
Let’s put this into perspective, think of a triangle, with a wide base at the bottom. As you go higher, it becomes narrower. The top most portion of the pyramid represents the highest level of enlightenment. The wide base at the bottom represents the majority of the population on earth on a lower basic level of collective consciousness. When you go higher on the pyramid, the horizontal distance becomes smaller thus representing lesser number of individuals at a higher level of consciousness. As you approach the highest point, very few individuals are at the highest level.
“Hafiz, indeed, has said that men like Jesus Christ, and Muslim mystics like Mansour and Bayezid and others, have possessed that spiritual power of the greater love; that any of us, if the holy spirit ever present grants us that enlightenment, can, being thus blessed, have the power which Christ had, but that to the overwhelming majority of men this greater love is not a practical possibility. We can, however, make up for its absence from our lives by worldly, human love for individual human beings; and this will give us a measure of enlightenment attainable without the intervention of the holy spirit.” (11) (His Highness, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III)
Similar to the concept of young and old souls, there are many different levels of consciousness and enlightenment. An old soul eventually has to evolve into an enlightened soul. This is the ultimate goal of our journey on Earth.
Written by Mohmood Valimohamed – Director, Center For inner Awakening
1) His Highness, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III. The Memoirs of Aga Khan, World Enough and Time. Pg. 334
2) Dr. Michael Newton, PhD, Journey of Souls, page 169
3) ibid, pg 123
4) Kevin Burns, Eastern Philosophy – The Greatest Thinkers and Sages from Ancient to Modern Times. Pg 122
5) His Highness, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III. The Memoirs of Aga Khan, World Enough and Time. pg. 177
6) David R. Hawkins, MD., Ph.D. Power vs. Force, The Hidden Determinants of Human Behaviour. Pg. 95
7) ibid, pg. 85
8) ibid, pg. 75
9) ibid, pg. 282
10) ibid, pg. 94
11) His Highness, Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan III. The Memoirs of Aga Khan, World Enough and Time. pg. 170, 171