Consciousness, Reincarnation and Free Will
Questioner: Why can man lose his human position and go to lower planes?
Kirpal Singh: God is All-Consciousness, and our soul, being of the same essence as that of God, is also a conscious entity. If this conscious Self comes in contact with higher consciousness, it will become more conscious. It won't return to lower planes. But if this conscious Self is identified with the material which is less conscious, naturally it will not go higher but to the same consciousness or to lower planes of consciousness.
All are conscious. Even the animals are conscious; birds are conscious; but there are lesser degrees of consciousness. Man is more conscious; animals are less conscious; birds are still less conscious. If our consciousness becomes identified with the material things, naturally it will be lowered and will have to go to a lower plane. In manbody we have the privilege of coming in contact with All-Consciousness. If we do that, we won't even return to manbody. But if it comes in contact with the material things, its consciousness will be lessened. It's a sort of death of the soul as the Saints have called it. It is not actually death but the consciousness being lowered. Word or Naam Power, that God-into-Expression is All-Consciousness. If soul comes in contact with that Naam Power, it will grow more conscious, you see. If it becomes identified with lower, material things, naturally, that consciousness will become morbid and will naturally go to that lower plane.
If you come in contact with the Higher Consciousness, you will become more conscious. If you come in contact with, identified, or imbued with the lower consciousness or the material things, you might say, naturally your consciousness is lessened. Each man has to go to his own plane. But such cases are few. There are some, unfortunately.
Questioner: Does each incarnation in nature work out specific karmas?
Kirpal Singh: Only in the manbody. They are bound in lower forms of creation. They are not free. In manbody, man is bound to some extent, and free within certain limits. When a railroad line is set, the train will run over it. You are given the railroad line with the freedom of laying the tracks in whatever direction you like. So in manbody, we are free to certain extents. All other forms are bound. There is no question of freedom.
Questioner: How can soul once obtaining manbody go back to lower forms of creation?
Kirpal Singh: I have replied already from the common sense point of view. That if you come in contact with the higher consciousness, you're not to return. If you come in contact with the lower consciousness, naturally your consciousness is lowered. Each soul has his own plane of consciousness. Man has got most. If there is the possibility of going up, there is also the possibility of going down. The Saints have referred to this as the death of the soul. Death of the soul does not mean soul dies but that the consciousness is lessened. I have replied from a very common sense point of view. How is it possible? Well you'll see. We do not know the language of animals but some dogs are very, more familiar, more conscious, you see, than others. Similarly, that is the state of other animals also. So this is given from a common sense point of view, but I also added that there are few cases like that. If your consciousness becomes morbid, naturally you'll go to lower planes, down to that level. Pity it is that we do not know our past or the future. Those who do know, know that what I am telling you stems from a common sense point of view.
Questioner: You have said that clue to one's past good karmas, one takes initiation from a Saint and just now, you said that we have a certain amount of free play. Is it what we do with our initiation that is part of our free will? How much or little we apply ourselves; is that our free will?
Kirpal Singh: No, no. You see, each man has his own background. Some get more, some less at initiation. Some advance quickly, others less quickly. But that is further modified. If a man who has got good background, as I think I have told you some time before, starts here, then stops further … Then another man who has got less background but is regular, puts in more time back there, regularly, he will go further than the other man who only goes by fits and starts.