Evidence not faith
Rational Spirituality, as encapsulated in The Books of the Soul Series, has its roots firmly planted in the fertile soil of modern evidence from fields of research such as near-death and out-of-body experiences, spontaneous past-life memories in both children and adults, and past-life and interlife regression. By contrast traditional religions tend to rely heavily on faith in ancient scripture and modern interpretations of it. It is also dynamic, changing as new evidence is placed on the table or if previous evidence is discredited.
The motto 'evidence not faith' is intended to convey this fundamental difference in approach. But that is not to say that faith, or perhaps better trust, does not have its place. Total trust in the behind-the-scenes dynamics of the universe is fundamental to a Rational Spiritual worldview. Nor does it underestimate the power and majesty of transformative spiritual experiences, or underplay the ultimate spiritual message of universal, unconditional love.
Perhaps most important of all, in contrast to many traditional religions, Rational Spirituality does not attempt to provide a definitive moral code. Instead it merely encourages us to take personal responsibility for applying its framework of understanding to our own lives.
It can be summed up in ten theoretical propositions and ten practical propositions:
TEN THEORETICAL PROPOSITIONS
The soul survives independent of the physical body
Evidence from near-death and out-of-body experiences shows that subjects sometimes bring back verifiable evidence so obscure that it could only have come from their consciousness continuing to operate when the physical brain and other senses were inoperative.
Souls have many lives, not just one
There is evidence from past-life regression, and from children who remember their past lives spontaneously, of verifiable memories that are again so obscure they could not have come from mere guesswork, normal conscious knowledge, or even deliberate fraud.
But do these past-life memories merely arise from tapping into some sort of 'universal memory'? It seems not, because they are often accompanied by strong emotions or unusual behavioural traits. What is more many subjects are also able to recall their time 'between lives', and it seems their consistent reports cannot be simply dismissed as the product of therapist leading, or of prior knowledge or belief. And this 'interlife' regression evidence strongly points towards the continuation of the individual soul from one life to the next, as it follows its own particular path and pattern.
Our many lives are not linked by a karmic law of action and reaction
Various regression evidence strongly suggests that the traditional idea that our successive lives are governed by a 'law of action and reaction' is unhelpful and misleading.
But what about within our current life? Here the more aptly named 'law of cause and effect', or 'law of attraction', ensures that we 'create our own reality' within a framework of free will and personal responsibility. However we do this not just with our conscious thoughts, but even more with our unconscious thoughts, emotions, attitudes and intentions. So we have to make deliberate efforts to uncover these and ensure that, ultimately, everything we do is driven by love.
We reincarnate to gather experience so we can grow
This is by far the most common message from interlife subjects. It means that even when we play out repetitive patterns from one life to the next, these are usually complex and cannot be sensibly analysed by a simplistic karmic model. Above all they will usually represent a further opportunity to work on an emotional lesson we have not yet mastered, and should not be regarded as in any sense backward or abnormal.
So is having a life of financial and emotional comfort a sign of an experienced soul? Not necessarily, because such a life would present us with few real tests. What about disabled people; are they paying a price for past mistakes? Of course not. The more severe the disability, the more likely it is that a relatively experienced soul is giving themselves a difficult test to accelerate their growth.
Meanwhile, when we review our past lives in the interlife...
The only judgment after death comes from ourselves
Despite all this, is there such a thing as hell? It seems that the idea of a fiery place of perpetual punishment was an entirely human embellishment designed to keep the masses under control.
But there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the basic idea may have come from fleeting out-of-body experiences of aspects of the intermediate realm. Although nonphysical, this is the next most 'dense' plane to earth, in which unfulfilled spirits who retain intense emotions of anger, pain, regret, jealousy, fear and so on, and who continue to be attracted to the physical world, can remain trapped. It is apparently not a pleasant place to linger.
We are responsible for all aspects of our lives because we plan and choose them
Interlife evidence suggests that, before we return for our next life, at the very least we will be given some idea of who our parents will be, what their circumstances are like, and where they live. But we may also see detailed previews of major events in that life, or we may even be shown several potential lives and be asked to choose between them.
So when we face difficult circumstances we would do well to accept responsibility for them, because not only did we choose them, but we did so to allow ourselves to grow. And we will not achieve this by attempting to put the blame on other people, a capricious deity, or blind chance.
But does this mean our lives are predetermined?
We always have free will to deviate from our life plan
This is because the previews that we see in the interlife merely represent major probabilities and lesser possibilities. And we have complete free will to stray from our most probable, chosen life path, because a totally predetermined experience would provide no opportunity for growth.
How long does all this go on for? It seems that we continue to reincarnate in the physical plane until we have gained the full balance of experiences it can offer.
So what happens after that? Interlife evidence suggests that there are myriad other ways in which we continue to experience and grow, either in the light realms themselves, or in other less physical realms. So finishing with the 'earthly round' is only the end of the beginning.
We are all One and all God
There is no God in the sense of a separate entity, but there is plenty of evidence that we are all part of one, interconnected whole. So how do we reconcile this with the evidence for individual soul survival?
Soul consciousness is holographic, and represents the part and the whole all at the same time
This does not mean that soul individuality is in itself an illusion, because the principle of the hologram is that the part contains the whole, and yet is clearly distinguishable from it.
So what is the ultimate point of all this? Why does the universe even exist in the first place?
The aim of Source is to experience all that is and can be
That is why it diversifies into all the billions of individualised soul aspects of itself that operate in the various realms throughout the universe. So as individualised aspects of the Source who have chosen to reincarnate on this planet, we are merely fulfilling a small part of that objective by gathering a balance of all the experiences available here.