Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Yakov Jack Levin.
Originally I am from St. Petersburg, former Leningrad. I have been in this country for over 4 and a half years. This is the first time I have been asked to write about metaphysics, and my experiences in this field. I will do the best I can. For those of you who are not familiar with this term (metaphysics), I will explain that this word is a combination of two: Meta, and Physics. As you probably know 'physics' is the science of the physical objects, physical laws, and their relationship to us and to our 'physical' reality. Meta-Physics is the science of the mind, as well as the relationship between the mind and what we call physical reality. It is somewhat similar to psychology, but not quite the same thing. Psychology is the science of the healing of the mind, metaphysics is more about how can we use and understand our mind better.
I will start by looking into this interesting question, how can we understand our own mind. There are several different ways to look at it. First one is the most commonly accepted in our western culture is that our mind, our consciousness is merely a physical organ that we call brain. Our self awareness is the process of chemical reactions in the brain. That seems to suggest that when our physical bodies will be no longer operational we will loose our consciousness and the term 'death' will occur. In other word, we will be gone forever, into the nothingness.
The other way, is what I can call a dualist view of our conssciousness. The view explores the possibility that our consciousness is not a product of the brain and chemical reactions in it, but a totally different thing, that is not a body, but a resident in the body. And that is the soul or the spirit. Which is non-destructable pure energy, and which exists on the plane beyond time and space (For those of you who studied quantum physics or just plain physics, one of the main laws is that an energy cannot be destroyed but converted into a different form). This is the view which suggest that our physical bodies are merely vehicles for the conscioussness (spirit), when the body is no longer functional, it is separated from the body and we continue to live without our bodies.
It is safe to say that the first view is the one that is very much scientifically oriented, and the second is more religious or what I would call 'esoteric'. It is true the science demands a proof for many different things. One of those things are the questions of life and death. In science we tend to look at immediate evidence, from which we can make a conclusion. But can we really apply or prove anything about our minds or consciousness? After all each of us is very unique individual. What is true for one is not necessery true for the other. In other words, we just cannot apply rigid laws to everyone. Of course it will always work for an apple that is droped from a tenth floor, and we can always measure a time of free flight of this apple, this will never change. But our minds, people in themselves are constantly changing. Certainly we can not draw the same consclusion for a apple as we would draw for a human being. The second view, is the one we can not really prove. It is the view which is based on faith, or a belief. One can beleive in life after death and be very comfortable with it. But ultimately he/she will never really be sure about, because if any theory of life is based on faith or belief, the simple act of questioning this belief will create a feeling of anxiety.
Therefore most of the people tend not to question their beliefs. But it is a part of human nature to be curious, to question things. If we limited ourselves from those attributes, we would miss out on a very important parts of our lifes. This is where metaphysics comes into play. We are entering the age where answers that are given to us from religion are no longer satisfactory. We are entering into the time, where religion and science are being combined into one thing - the science of life. Here, there no beliefs offered, nor the proofs, but suggestions on how to utilize our minds in order to grasp an undestanding of life. This is the time when more and more people are learning to become more conscious of their own minds. More and more people are increasing their self-awareness. It is been suggested from ancient times to "Know Oneself".
There are times when we try to learn about life looking outside from ourselves. Of course this is the most logical thing to do. After all we tend to believe that there is a world out there. But, there comes a time when the outside information is no longer satisfactory. As we grow, we tend to think more and more about our own self, our place in the world. We ask ourselves 'eternal' questions: "Who I am?", "Where am I going?", "What will happen after I die?". Those questions are very important, because they come from within of our own psyche. There are some of us who are avoiding to ask, as well as some who will pursue the quest for knowledge. In both cases, those questions do come, there is no way around it. For the latter category of people I promise an adventure of lifetime, an adventure in one's own mind.
Let us look more closely at our spirit or soul. As I stated above, our spirits exist on a plane beyond time and space, in the same time are quite functional on a physical plane while in a body. Our physical bodies are the only way to be at the physical plane, well at least one of the most comfortable ways to be at the physical plane at all times; we will explore other possibilites later. Our brain is a filter thru which the information of the physical world enters our consiousness. Our brain has many useful functions, like translating symbols into understandable insights. But it is not a source of consiousness, it is in instrument that connects our spirit which is energy to our neural system. Let me give you an example.
I assume that most of you readers, are in United States, and most of you speak Russian and English languages. Of course each one of us remembers how we learned to speak the English language. It did not come instantly, but it took time and effort to become fluent in it. I used to translate each English word to Russian, and then when I would be ready to answer, I would forget what I was going to say because it took so long to translate the words into meaningful insight. Later I learned to identify English words not with Russian words but with a direct meaning of the word. It is the same with everything that we see in our life.
Our brain converts images, sounds, every other sensory perceptions into immediate understanding. But how did this spirit got into this body, did it have a choice? Is it our choice that some of us are bright in everything we do, and some of us bright in only certain tasks from our day of birth? I will state, yes, indeed, we had a choice. Our spirit or consciousness was in existence even before this physical body was created. How long was it in existence? It has been in existence always. There is no time in the spirit world but an ammount of experience that a soul can be measured by. If you look closely at our physical world you can also notice that for example one being learned almost nothing in a month and another learned as much as other would not learn in a year. Who is older? Certainly the one that has learned more. Our bodies, even though they age, the real age is in the mind, that's whats really counts. We can learn many many things, but the real learning happens when we understand things. Because when we do, we will never have to relearn it, we will always remember it, and will be able to use it any time we please. I am saying about the understanding as oppose to memorizing of physics formula for example.
Each one of us has a unique purpose for being here in this world. No matter what it is, it is very important. We have chosen to have this particular body, we have chosen our own parents and of course the situations in our lives that we will learn the most from. The key word is learning, we are here to learn one way or the other. There are different ways to learn, some are quicker, some are longer, but ultimately we are making progress, there is no question about it. Spirits enter this world to learn about emotions like love or hate, some come just to get a feel of how be physical, some come to assist others in their journeys in the physical world. Let me point out, that we are never alone. Each one of us is interconnected with the 'whole'. Each one of us is a part of each other. We are always in control, whether we make our life difficult or easy, but let me assure you that no matter which way it is, it the the most beneficial way for yourself to advance yourself. We can choose how to live our life, it is entirely up to us.
I would like to indroduce a concept that is called reincarnation. Some of you are familiar with it, and some are not. For those who are not I will say, that it is a metaphysical concept that describes the journey of the soul. It states that we have chosen to incarnate into this physical body, in order to learn, to experience, to gain an understanding of our own spirit thru living in this physical body. The body is temporary and allows us to express and be in total contact with physical reality. As we enter this cycle of physical life, most of us choose to reincarnate, or choose to a different physical body (new born), after our old body is no longer operational.
Some of the spirits choose not to become involved with the physical world a lot, it is simply a matter of choice. As we reincarnate from body to body, we learn more and more about our choices. For example, imagine a spirit that never have been physical, emotion is the concept that is totally uncomprehensable to the spirit. Now, we are here in physical reality know how much there is to the emotion. There are different kinds of emotions, some of them are so complex. So this spirit enters a body with a desire to learn to live an emotional life. It learns the full spectrum of emotion, that includes everything... like hate, anger, love, compassion to name a few. Well, each of us know how difficult it is to comprehend and live with emotions like hate or anger. An entity who chose to exprience such emotions to learn and understand about them, usually would block unintentionally emotions like compassion and such. After all, it is extremely difficult to have such opposite emotions at the same time. They are neither bad nor good in the perception of the spirit, but simply are, some of them are of positive quality while others of negative.
For the spirit with such purpose in life, it would be quite difficult to exprience it all in one lifetime. As the first lifetime ends, spirit will have to make a choice whether pursue or abandon its original goal. For those who would choose not to pursue the study of emotion, they would either not incarnate at all or perhaps choose something else from the variety of what a human experience has to offer. Those who would stay on their original goal, will sooner or later understand the nature of emotions and its relationship to humans, this knowledge will add to the pool of conscioussness of this particular entity. Ever wondered how some people have 'inborn' quality to be calm all the time and some are constantly driven by their emotional energy? Well, this quality is not really 'inborn' but has been handed down by the previous knowledge and understanding of the experience from the past life.
To talk about past lifes in general; there is no limit on the amount of lifes you can have, each one of us will reincarnate as much of we feel needed. Of course assistance will be given to those who desire assistance from those that are more knowledgable. Some would ask, if we lived in past lifes, how come we do not remember neither of them? There is a special reason for that. Each one of us who chose to incarnate to the physical plane deliberately chose to forget specific experiences, details of experiences and such.
But we never forget who we truly are. Let me elaborate; a being who had a particular experience, but has not learned much from it, decides to reincarnate and to repeat this experience. The memory of the previos exprience will alter the course of action of this being, it will certainly interfere with choices this being might perform. The ideal thing is that we can test not our memory but our understanding of the past experience, that is we would draw on the understanding of the event and not the memory of the event. Understanding is also memory, but it is the memory that very deep within our soul, it is something we can never lose, it is a part of us. Where the memory of the event which we do not fully comprehend, will not be useful for our development, but instead it will create confusion for choices that we might perform in the future. With each new life, no matter what the purpose is an entity brings its own understanding and utilizes it with the best of its ability.
Have you ever met a person and immidiately felt kinship towards him or her? That is no accident, your are remembering a person that might have had a past life with, and you have met him once again. I want to you to think about those particular incedents. You will notice that the feeling is not as much of a memory but something like an echo in our minds. Even people who would not find a logical reason to feel a certain way towards this person, chances are they will become friends once again.
When we choose a new life, we are not going there alone. We program our experience, whether it is a broken leg or a meeting of a loved one from a past life. We also set an agreements on where and how we would like to meet and recognize each other. We will meet people from our past either to continue working and learning together or to resolve previous problems that we might have had in a past. We also choose our own genetic make up, we choose our gender as well. Some spirits like to alternate between sexes, some choose not to alternate and stay in the same sex for a while. Chances are, our immediate family is a group of souls that choose to incarnate together. But that is not always the case. It is also possible to incarnate with someone who you never met before in your past lifes, and have them to be your parents.
At the end when we come back to the spirit world, our real home - we bring the memories of all the lifetimes we ever had, all the knowledge and all the understanding. Ultimatelly we do not forget anything. After the lifetime is over, we will analyze what we have learned and then decide whether we want to come back or not. An entity who chooses to come back to complete the experience that was incomplete will certainly reap rewards upon completion of this lesson. As an understanding is added to our consciousness, it is expanding and allowing to see and to become aware of a lot more, perhaps something that we never knew existed.
Lesson in the physical world that we choose to learn will take from one to several hundreds of lifetimes. It primarily depends on the lesson and one's approach to a lesson. We can either act and respond with love and compassion or hate and anger. Love of course will bring us closer and a lot faster to a goal then hate. But it is also important to understand that anger and hate are parts of human experience. We will not know love if we can not reflect to the opposite of it which is hate. Also if we would sleep on a soft pillow all our life, we would not recognize it as such, but one who once slept on the rock for the pillow, will clearly see the difference. There is no 'bad' experience, there is only absence of exprience. It is alright to feel anger and hate, it is also ok to express it, but only we can choose a way how to express it. It can be destructive or it can be teaching, only we can choose how we want it to be. There is no reason to deny any feeling whatsoever, because if we do, we will deny a part of ourselves. It is also important to be responsible for our actions. At the end (which is not really the end), we will judge our own performance and see how we did. There will be no one accusing you of being a human. But you may choose to make up for the experience that you feel you have not performed very well.
In order to get a clearer picture of ourselves, there are certain things that have to be performed by the mind. We have to learn to direct the attention within ourself. It is somewhat difficult to do for the various reasons. First of all, there are people who do not like themselfs much and spend as much time in the outside world trying to avoid to look within. We have to accept ourself of who we are and what we are, without putting someone else's standard on us. People are coming and going, but one thing will remain, and that is your soul. We have to learn not just to accept ourselves but also love ourselves, because we will not be able to share love with other people if we do not have love within us. For those who are comfortable with their own selves, I would suggest learning to take control of the random thoughts in our minds. There is no reason to learn to think of nothing, as many meditation practices would suggest, but slowing down the thoughts will be good enough for the beginners. As we do slow down our thoughts at will, we will learn to understand and trace where those thoughts were originated. As you do that, you will automatically begin to have insights first about your own being, later about others... To have an insight about your own being is one step towards of being in control of your life.
Always remember that there will be people who will offer you answers for your questions, but it will be their 'truth' not your 'truth', the answer that will come from your heart, from within the soul is the 'truth' that belongs to you and only you, there is no way to lose it or give it away, the only way is to feel it.
I would like to thank you for your time. It's been a pleasure. I wish luck to each and everyone one of you. Remember, you are never alone.
"To become enlightent is not to become a perfect human, but to become perfectly human."