Were all souls created together, as Paul Brunton theorizes, or were they created at separate stages? Is this difference – the difference in their stages – due to their own choice or is it their destiny? What degree of choice do we have as far as reincarnation is concerned?
Before I can answer this question, two or three things must be understood. One, religious inquiry is basically different from scientific inquiry. In scientific inquiry the question is important, but in religious inquiry it is the questioner – the state of mind in which the question is asked – who is significant. In scientific questioning your mind has to be continuously focused on the question. In religious inquiry the question is just a jumping board into something that is uncharted. So ask the question and then forget it, because the question is concerned with the known, and the answer can only be concerned with the unknown.
When we formulate a question the very formulation, and the presupposition on which the formulation is based, belong to our mind, our memory, our knowledge. But the answer is bound to be in a totally different dimension. For example, this question. We will take it in parts.
“Were all souls created together, as Paul Brunton theorizes, or are they created at separate stages?”
The question seems relevant. Man has always been deeply concerned with the concept of creation: How are things created? When? Why? By whom? Even concerning souls man has many questions: When were souls created? Were they created equal or unequal? And if they were created equal, then why this inequality?
“Is this difference – the difference in their stages – due to their own choice, or is it their destiny?”
To us it seems important to ask about creation. But in existence, nothing is created; it is a continuous and endless beginning. The very concept of creation is childish and irrelevant as far as existence is concerned. Existence has always been: it has never been created and it can never be destroyed. “Creation” means out of nothing – and out of nothing, nothing can come. The world, the creation, is in constant change, but nothing can be created or destroyed.
Change is the reality. By change I mean that only the form changes, never the substance. The basic remains always the same; only the mode of expression, the form, changes. And this change is continuous; it is eternal. So neither things nor souls are created. When not even things are created, the concept of the creation of souls becomes absurd. A created soul cannot be a soul; if a soul could be created then it would become just a thing.
But to the so-called religious mind creation seems significant, because we have conceived of God as the creator, and without creation where will the creator be? God is not the creator, God is existence itself. God is not something separate but the very substance of reality; he is not the creator of reality but the reality itself.