Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Rebirth
Believing Only the Apparent World
To live in the world and to know yourself, you have to take both worlds into consideration: reality and the appearance of reality. When you believe only the apparent world, you create all kinds of ideas about how things should happen. Sickness comes and you push it away; health comes and you hold on to it. Misery comes, you try to push it away; happiness comes and you try to hold on to it, and you increase your suffering even more. When you realize how things actually are, you know that things simply change; appearance changes, but it is not actually death, rebirth, sickness, health. Never has it been different, never since the dawn of consciousness has anything actually changed. We see something coming out of something, we call it birth. We see something that used to move, stops moving, we call it death. We have created these words to describe certain changes of appearance. But if you forget about these words, if you forget everything you have learned, if you see appearance without all these thoughts, if you are mentally alone, you simply see things arising and disappearing. You do not need to call them anything. You do not need to react. You do not need to call yourself by a name. These names are conventions; this is why that reality is called conventional reality. That reality is created through language. But who we are exists without language, prior to language.
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 182
Realization of the Personal Essence is Essential Birth
Rebirth is a recurrent theme in the literature of inner transformation. Inner transformation is primarily a death and rebirth, the death of an old identity and the birth of a new one, on a deeper level of reality. While we can see the realization of each essential aspect as a process of death and rebirth, it is the discovery of the Personal Essence which is actually felt by many students as the birth of who they are. It is the true birth of the Human Being, and is recognized as such by the experiencer himself. If the development of the separate individuality of the ego is the psychological birth of the individual, then the realization of the Personal Essence is his essential birth.
Pearl Beyond Price, pg. 68
Rebirth of the World as an Oversoul
It is true that the world we see every day is not the real world. From the perspective that is more fundamental than our mental constructs, the world we have been seeing is revealed as an empty illusion. Just as our individuality is revealed on the inner path to be an empty illusion—not ultimately real, only a mental construct—so the world that we see is revealed to be a mental construct. We define through the mind not only ourselves but the world. In the course of our realization, as we go beyond ourselves to discover our true essence, we also need to go beyond the image of the world to discover the true nature of the world. Just as the soul is reborn with its essential qualities when the ego dissolves, when the world construct dies, the world, too, is reborn as an oversoul, a universal soul with essential qualities. This is what Christ represents. So what I see in Christ is not the rebirth of an individual but the rebirth of the totality of all existence as reality. This perspective is different from simply looking at reality from beyond the mind and seeing the whole world as an illusion. From this perspective the world is not exactly an illusion. Although the perceived world is not the absolute reality we have naively assumed it to be, it is nevertheless animated by the absolute reality. With the understanding of Christ, the world can be known as the expression of the Father, or the face of the Father, or the heart of the Father, or the manifest part of the Father. The world is the Father appearing as the universe, the ultimate truth manifesting in form.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 293
The Emergence of Essence
This emergence of essence is what is usually referred to in Work literature as a “rebirth.” The essence is born again, having been buried for years. The birth is a completion of a cycle, preceding the beginning of another cycle. The whole process repeats itself; understanding a new constellation or sector of the personality leads to its specific deficient hole (emptiness) and ends with the emergence of the corresponding essential aspect. There is awakening, death, and rebirth for each aspect of the essence—awakening to a certain sector of the personality, the death of this sector in the experience of emptiness, and then the rebirth as the emerging of the aspect of essence. This cycle is repeated as many times as there are holes in the personality. As we see, there is no one death and no one rebirth, unless we take the first emergence of essence as the unitary experience. The personality dies gradually, one sector at a time. We see here the meaning of the cycle of death and rebirth. This sequence of awakening, death, and rebirth is the usual one known from ancient times, but here it is seen with diamond clarity.
The Rebirth that Comes from the Lack of Boundaries
When there is no mind, you are not thinking, not conceptualizing, not remembering. When you are in the now, there is no feeling of a you separate from something else. There is no sense in the first place that there is a me. There is One. That feeling, that sense of boundary and separateness, is the personality itself. The presence of the personality is experienced as a boundary and that boundary is not different from ideas of the past. When the personality is gone, you feel alone, because the boundaries—your ideas and memories—are your father and mother. The separateness is your memories of your mother and father, your relationship with them and all your past experiences which you’re bringing into the present. Your past experience separates you from the now. That separation from the now is a boundary around you like an eggshell. To let the boundaries go means accepting aloneness. When aloneness is accepted, there are no boundaries. What you perceive then is just lack of boundaries. This will be experienced as a newness, a rebirth. You will see that there is an ocean with waves. You are a drop, but that drop does not have boundaries. It is a concentration of consciousness, and that consciousness is not separate from the rest. The whole of existence is a consciousness, and that consciousness is love. This love cannot be seen as long as there is a sense of boundary because that sense of boundary is a contradiction, a statement that this love does not exist.
Diamond Heart Book Two, pg. 169
The Resurrection of Christ is not Simply the Rebirth of an Individual Person it is the Rebirth of the World, of the Totality of Existence
The realization of the truth from this perspective involves seeing the world as unreal and valuing the escape from human life. Our life is as unimportant as our thoughts, and is part and parcel of the overall illusion. The value of life is as a way station where we learn something and depart. Human life in itself has no intrinsic value, nor does the material world. To be spiritual is to go beyond life and the world. Most traditions ascribe to this general view. I believe that Christ understood this view and went further. To know Christ is to go beyond the world to the Father, but there is something new in the story of the resurrection. I think the resurrection is the resurrection of the world. In spiritual realization the world dies and is revealed as ephemeral and unreal. We experience the death of the whole world. The resurrection of Christ is not simply the rebirth of an individual person. It is the rebirth of the world, of the totality of existence, of the totality of the universe. The resurrection is the rebirth of life and the rebirth of humankind. So Christ is a redeemer in that respect. He redeems not only the individual but the totality of human life. He redeems the world. Christ’s resurrection is from the death of the world, from the death of the universe, after we recognize its illusory nature. In that death of the world, there remains only the Father, only the Absolute in its majesty. That death is the complete annihilation of everything else. But from that death, there is the possibility of a new arising. The world is reborn, but reborn as the real world. Just as an individual can die and be reborn and redeemed, the whole universe is reborn and redeemed. Through this rebirth, the whole universe is seen in a different light, a light that was not seen before the spiritual realization and not seen during the spiritual realization. We do not see the real world when we have not yet seen through the naive belief about the absolute reality of the apparent world. We also do not see the real world when we see the apparent world only as illusion. When we come to see the real world, it’s the same world, except now it is redeemed. It is no longer an illusion. It is a new world.
Diamond Heart Book Five, pg. 292
The True Birth of the Human Being
This brings us to the concept of rebirth in relation to the Personal Essence. Rebirth is a recurrent theme in the literature of inner transformation. Inner transformation is primarily a death and rebirth, the death of an old identity and the birth of a new one, on a deeper level of reality. While we can see the realization of each essential aspect as a process of death and rebirth, it is the discovery of the Personal Essence which is actually felt by many students as the birth of who they are. It is the true birth of the Human Being, and is recognized as such by the experiencer himself. If the development of the separate individuality of ego is the psychological birth of the individual, then the realization of the Personal Essence is his essential birth. The death, of course, in this process of rebirth, is the abandoning of ego identifications. In this sense the “birth” of the Personal Essence is fundamentally different from the birth of the ego, which is not preceded by a death but arises out of a state of nondifferentiation. There is no conscious identity preceding ego identity which needs to be dissolved to allow the birth of the ego. However, the birth of ego does mean the loss of contact with Being, as we will see later.