The Laws of Return (Reincarnation) and Recurrence
There are many Universal laws that govern the cyclic existence in which we move, within the Wheel of Samsara. It is said that the seven dimensions of this Universe are all of different number of laws: the three-dimensional world has 48 laws, the fourth dimension has 24 laws, the fifth dimension (astral and mental plane) has 12 laws, the sixth dimension (causal and buddhic plane) has 6 laws, and the seventh dimension (Atmic plane) has 3 laws, and in the Absolute there is only 1 law. The fewer laws there are, the higher freedom there is for the soul, as the laws bound us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We can visit some of those planes of existence through an out-of-body experience and temporary enjoy the higher freedom than we have in this world of the 48 laws, but in order to attain the right to stay there permanently, one first needs to go through the transformation so that one’s inner nature matches the nature of those planes of existence.
Some of the most prominent laws to which we are bound during this time that we spend in the physical and the astral worlds, are the laws of return, recurrence, and cause and effect. The latter, also known as the law of karma, is really the central law when it comes to the learning process that takes an individual from being a spiritual baby into adulthood. The spiritual adulthood is when we reach stages of spiritual mastery, and the law of karma matures us enough so that eventually we can take the path to Liberation and self-realization.
For the law of karma to work well, we have to come back to this physical world in order to take a new body and go through the karmic process of learning. This is called the law of return, popularly known as reincarnation. However, the term reincarnation is not a correct one according to the Gnostic doctrine, because this term is reserved only for advanced souls who come back to this physical world voluntarily, who already have their higher self incarnated within them and thus freedom to choose where they will reincarnate and when. The rest of people must come back because of the law of karma, and thus are bound to the law of return.
We keep returning from the higher dimensions of life, primarily the fifth dimension, which we could say is our true home whilst bound to the Wheel of Samsara. The amount of time we spend in the fifth dimension after death varies depending on each individual, but generally we may stay in that higher dimension for the same amount of time as we do here in this world, or longer, though many also stay for a short time. Eventually we need to return to this physical world to take a new body, and continue growing spiritually through the process of karmic learning and the development of virtues.
The Being wants to have a good accumulation of human experiences which it gains through the law of return, the repetition of human lives. The experiences give what is necessary to the Being so that it can learn and grow. When the Being is ready to push its essence to reach self-realization, the latter will start feeling the impulse to awaken.
Samael Aun Weor states that as long as the essence has possibilities of awakening, it has the right to return to this physical world, but when it has degenerated so much that his or her consciousness is so smothered by the ego that there is no longer any conscience left, then it needs to go through the process of devolution/purging (also known as the Second Death) so that much later it can start again as an elemental creature and work its way up through the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms until it again becomes a human.
Another important law that comes into play while we are here in this physical world, is the law of recurrence. In one of his book, Samael Aun Weor states the following about it:
“Time is round, and everything is repeated, at times in higher spirals, at times in lower spirals.
The incessant repetition of the same dramas, the same scenes, the same events in each one of the one hundred and eight lives (that the cosmic law always assigns to every human soul) is interesting and yet simultaneously painful.
Each life is a repetition of the previous life plus its good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant karmic consequences.
When a man dies, the anguishing moments of his agonizing death, his last moments and realizations, his last sensations and his last fears are all found intimately related with the enjoyments of love that originate his new birth.
A new life starts exactly under the same conditions as that of the previous one; clearly, it cannot start in any other way.
According with the law of recurrence, when we are reborn again within this valley of tears, the past is converted into the future.
The intellectual animal (mistakenly called a human being) cannot change his circumstances. He is a victim of circumstance. Everything that happens to him is as mechanical as one season flowing into another. However, he has the illusion of doing things; yet, in reality he does not have the power to do anything. Through him, all things happen.
Only the Being is capable of doing. Only the Being can originate new circumstances. Only the Being can change the order of things. But alas, the intellectual animal has not incarnated the Being.
Within this valley of bitterness there are human-machines with absolute repetition. They are one hundred percent mechanical. These are people who repeat even the most insignificant details from their previous lives.”
~ Samael Aun Weor
As nature is mechanical, everything in it is bound to the law of recurrence, everything repeats in the same way, from the macro level down to the tiniest organisms. In human beings, the egos are the mechanical factor that make us repeat the same circumstances, the same mistakes from lifetime to lifetime, until we become aware of the repetitions are that they are causing us suffering. As it is only the Being that can generate new circumstance, and never the egos, we move towards the former, and it moves towards us. We begin to understand that the egos function within the mechanical laws of repetition and are bound to make mistakes, and that each time we act from the elements of anger, pride, desires, greed, and other selfish elements that are not aligned to the divine law, we create negative karmic causes that reinforce the law of recurrence.
According to the Gnostic teachings, the law of recurrence makes us repeat the same situations, even with the same souls that were around us in our previous lives, and this entire theater of repetitions is based on the egos that seek out the same opportunities and the same souls to repeat their manifestations of anger, greed, lust, pride, ill-will, jealousy, fear etc. To realize one day the entrapment in which one finds themselves in regard to this law of recurrence, must be a startling experience, though at the same time it shows us that the lessons keep repeating until we learn the lesson from them and move pass them.
To step out of this, we need to start acting from the consciousness, from the Being, so to live in harmony with divine law, with nature, with humans and with all living beings. It is incredible that at every moment we can choose whether we want to act from the consciousness or from the egos; to chose whether we want to live in repetitions of events or create new circumstances. Our life begins to move on a higher octave when we work on eliminating the egos (the negative causes) and when we live our life from the consciousness, as this places us above the repetitions, and results in new learnings and a real movement towards spiritual adulthood.
A fully awakened master who has eliminated all their egos and merged fully with their Being would live their life above the laws of return and recurrence, even if they decided to live in a physical body. All of their circumstances would be outside the mechanical repetitions generated by the egos. This is to live life fully from the Being.
HDP, March 2022.