Where do we go between births? One can look at this a different way and see birth as a death—a dying to the world of light, a suppression of those memories.
In the same way that we forget our previous births on earth, we forget about that world of light each time we take on a new human body. Which is our true home? Which is the real going out: our visits to earth or our visits to the world of light?
The universe is teeming with life, not only the physical worlds but the astral ones as well, and the even subtler causal worlds are inhabited by beings who no longer return to the Earth, having freed themselves from every Earthly desire and karmic tie.
I had come home to a world I knew well—a world of elevated vibrations, where there was so much love and wholeness. It is this love that sustains universes. Yet I could not shut out the cries of Earth. I was happy to be home, overwhelmed with joy to see my companion and my father, but yet there was something I couldn’t express, something lurking in my mental being.
“Why this terrible war?” I asked. “When the negative forces of greed, arrogance, anger, and fear build up to such an extent, there is a release, which sometimes takes the form of war. In the past, the conflicts were contained, but man’s utilization of technology is developing rapidly and war is becoming too dangerous. The pace of evolution must quicken so man will gain the wisdom needed to use this technology.”
We were communicating through a rapid exchange of images. As I saw the tragedy unfolding on Earth, I thought how little I could do. How little any one soul can do.
“You mustn’t think that way. It is the combined efforts of many, many beings that brings forth evolution.”
“The collective human consciousness must be lifted to a higher level. That is a matter of evolution and takes time. There is a speeding up now of the process. Many are helping. To raise the collective, individuals, one by one, must evolve to a higher understanding. That is the work of Swamiji and many others.”
I saw then how Yogananda was bringing meditation and the teachings from India to America, and that many people were following him. I remembered how as Elisabeth I had yearned for such teachings, and how that yearning had only grown in the heart of Sonya toward the end of her life.
An image of a far distant past came before me, the time when he let me know that he would not be returning to Earth but that we would meet in between my times on Earth. I nodded, remembering that exchange. I said, “It is painful to forget so much. On Earth we have no memory at all. Everything is hidden. That is the hardest part.”
“There will come a time when there is no more forgetting. All knowledge will be present when all parts of your being are awake. But as long as there is karma to fulfill, you must put away distractions and focus only on the opportunities that each life presents."
“The world is changing rapidly. It is going through transition, moving into a higher age. Much work will be required to elevate the collective consciousness to suit this new era. Such is the work of Swamiji. He, as well as others, took birth for this purpose.” He paused. “And for this, the memory of the Mother must awaken on Earth. You have been preparing for this.”
“But I am not prepared!”
“Swamiji will guide you every step of the way. The blueprint is already being laid.”
My mind fell silent, absorbed in the joy of being home, when suddenly the image of Mother came into my mind. “Mother,” I whispered. “I have not yet seen you. I cannot leave before taking your blessing.” Suddenly I felt an urge to be in her presence, to feel her gaze upon me.
My companion smiled. No thought emerged from him. His mind was as still as the lake, unruffled, not disturbed even by the slimmest wave, shining like a freshly polished jewel. I entered that clarity, a oneness where I could not distinguish between his being and mine. The consciousness of separation vanished and the joy that bubbled up was indescribable.
In that state I knew her. I was one with her. He and I and Mother. There was no division. I emerged from her being and saw her in one of her infinite forms. The light from her eyes washed over me and I bathed in her smile, filling myself with her expanse of love.
Words cannot describe what that was. She was the One I had been unknowingly seeking through every birth on Earth. It was the memory of her that propelled me forward—the remembrance that she was not separate from me, that I was not separate from her, except when we needed to be. Such is the nature of the manifest mind. It creates appearances so the world can exist.
Time passed and gradually the pull of Earth began to weaken. I gave closure to the life of Sonya and submerged the last of her mental vibrations into the subconscious field that we carry from birth to birth.
With each passing day, Earth became more and more like a distant dream. Was it real, I sometimes wondered? But every now and then images from what was taking place on Earth would reach me. I saw the end of the war and the devastation it left. I saw the rebuilding and a time of spiritual shift. I saw the work of my Swamiji growing, and somehow I knew the time was coming for my descent.
All that we hold beautiful on Earth is but a reflection of the beauty of that world, a world where color is more vibrant and alive, where one thinks things into being, where one has access to the pleasures of a higher nature.
In the same way as this physical world needs tending, so too does that world. There are those who care for the different aspects of life—those who tend to the flowers and the fruits, and those who purify the land through their mental vibrations by remaining in the consciousness of One, knowing all as an emanation of the divine source.
The most striking aspect of that world is the love that pervades all beings. No deceit, no hostility, no anger. There is full transparency because thoughts or emotions are not hidden. Some have given themselves to the cause of uplifting universes and helping all life awaken to its true nature. There is work to be done and they are there to do it.
On Earth we do not realize how much assistance we receive, how many prayers are answered and blessings bestowed, how many conflicts are eased and natural disasters prevented. On Earth we are blind to what is given from these internal worlds. So many beings are assisting us. The world would not remain intact were this not so.
The day came when I heard Swamiji calling. At first I didn’t pay it much mind, but sitting by the lake with my companion one day, the call came again more strongly. I stood up abruptly and glanced at him.
“It is time,” he said.
I looked around and took in the beauty of the scene around me. Would I forget all of this? Would I lose yet again the memory of this world, my home, the realm of the Mother where her presence permeates everything. “I don’t want to forget her this time,” I murmured. “I don’t want to forget.”
“You know you are always protected,” he said. “There has always been someone to bring you back.”
I sighed, still gazing into the face of my beloved companion, he who was blessed to remain in that world and no longer return to Earth.
“I will be here supporting you,” he said lovingly, “awaiting your return. Try to remember that. In reality, there is no separation. There is only the appearance of separation. You are not leaving our home. You will simply dream it is so.” I kept gazing at him, not wanting to depart.
“I will forget again.”
“To be fully present there, you must put to sleep the memories of here. That is the nature of things, the law of return. But this time, you will retain some memories. This time you will remember, Usha. You will remember who you are.”
That was the last thought of his that I caught as the world of light slowly faded away.
I know there are reasons for forgetting. If we were to remember everything, it would be hard to focus on the task at hand. I have come to realize it is not the specifics of any life that matter; it is the realization of our eternal nature, the knowing that this play of karma is ongoing, at least until we learn to master the game, to remain in it but not of it.
When my memories of my astral home awakened, spatial demarcation also disappeared for me. Space became as much an illusion as time. I know myself to be living there, by the side of my beloved companion, at the same time that I am living in New York City.
From there, we derive so much guidance and assistance. The beings who do not need to return to earth are as active on this plane as we are, trying to assist the earth and all its creatures, as well as the multiplicity of planets, to evolve, to reach their potential.
We limit ourselves by believing in the confines of space and time. In truth there is no limitation, no condensing of our infinite nature. It is as if we put on glasses to limit ourselves to a particular point in time and space, but once the glasses are taken off, our true nature comes forth. If our consciousness is unbounded by time and space, we can be aware of many things happening in different time and spatial zones.
It is the samsaras from the past that bring about our rebirth: unfulfilled desires, even positive ones, commitments, attachments to people and things. One by one they can be neutralized so that we return not by karmic decree but for the purpose of uplifting the collective consciousness of the world. That is the goal to be sought.
I no longer think of a time when I don’t need to return to this world. Would I truly choose to remain in that world of beauty and light when there is so much need here?
We each have a role to play is this awakening. I have come to realize the greatest contribution we can make is to live these truths, to manifest them in our daily lives, to live free of time and space, free of any limitations, to recognize who we truly are.
As more of us awaken into this consciousness, the collective reality of earth will change. We will gain the wisdom, compassion, and discrimination to know how to use new technologies, not for the destruction or manipulation of life, but for its preservation and safekeeping.
My guru once said that as long as there is a single soul lost in the darkness he will keep returning to Earth to bring others to the shores of wakefulness. In this life as Dena, I have pledged myself to my guru and to assisting in his work to the best of my ability.
Excerpted and adapted from My Journey Through Time.
©2018. Reprinted with permission of the author.
My Journey Through Time: A Spiritual Memoir of Life, Death, and Rebirth
by Dena Merriam
My Journey Through Time is a spiritual memoir that sheds light on the workings of karma — the law of cause and effect that creates one’s present circumstances and relationships — as we see it unfold through Dena’s vivid memories of her previous births. We travel back in time as Dena learns of a previous life. With each past life, we can see the way in which it has impacted her present life, how it has stemmed from the end of the previous birth, and how it will influence her next life. She has not used and does not advocate past-life regressions or hypnosis as a way to prompt memories to return. Dena has decided to share her story, despite being a very private person, in hopes that it can provide comfort and awaken the inner knowing of your own ongoing journey through time.
Dena Merriam is the Founder of The Global Peace Initiative of Women, a non-profit that brings spiritual resources to help address critical global issues. She is the author of My Journey through Time: A Spiritual Memoir of Life, Death and Rebirth. A long-time disciplined meditator, Dena’s access to her past lives brings a clearer awareness and purpose to her present life, and also overcomes any fear of death. Learn more at www.gpiw.org