• by Susan Vaughn

The Soul’s Progression


What is the soul? To my understanding, it is the deepest, most majestic part of who we are. It is our divine nature, incomprehensible complexity said to wear a feminine face, for it holds all our emotions, both expanding and contracting. My long-time teacher, Lazaris, says that our soul is a lovaholic and that she just can’t get enough love in all its forms and permutations. My newest teacher, Kaia Ra, who wrote The Sophia Code, says that the soul is a complete hologram of the Goddess and is an immaculate conception of Sophia’s omniscient awareness.

When we incarnate, the egoic mind separates us from our soul, which blinds us to our soul’s needs. This separation occurs at every level, as self from what we think of as others, and as self from our own nature as truly loving and compassionate beings of light who are wise beyond measure. When we incarnate into a world that the egoic mind created, we seem to separate from the soul, for we begin to experience an “us and them reality”, or “me” and “not me”, which gives us something to push against, or react to.

During our incarnation cycle, we will experience love in a multitude of forms. Since love is an incredibly complex energy, we incarnate into a variety of environments to learn the lessons that love has to teach us. This is not an easy journey, for, as I look behind me at the history of humankind, what I see is that most of us have experienced war, violence, gender, racial and religious inequality, slavery, poverty, ignorance, and abuse from the beginning of written history. Though I’m sure that we also have had pleasanter lifetimes that weren’t so traumatic, it is also a given that we had plenty that were not. After the egoic mind develops, we must learn through lifetimes of experience how to reunite with our soul once again. This is what the spiritual journey is all about. We are all on a spiritual journey called coming home, which is nothing more than the reunification with our soul.

So, the perennial question is: how do I learn to love when the appearance of lovelessness is strong and exists in me? The simple answer is that learning this takes an enormous amount of time and wisdom to achieve. In fact, wisdom is born of time and experience. Until we’ve had a lot of life experience and made a lot of mistakes that we have corrected with conscious self-reflection, wisdom is an unattainable goal that takes lifetimes to achieve. In other words, it could take thousands of incarnations before we master it.

The theory is that the separated soul takes “time” to mature. Therefore, it stands to reason that the maturity level of the soul is dependent upon how many lifetimes a soul has lived in consciousness. A soul that has just begun its incarnation cycle will seem young and immature. From there, it will progress lifetime after lifetime into greater awareness and love. I believe that we all start life as a child soul and then move through all the levels and stages until we land at the soul level we currently are in our incarnation cycle. Up until this point evolution has been very slow because we have been evolving unconsciously. When we evolve unconsciously, our evolution goes at a snail’s pace, for we make the same mistakes repeatedly without a lot of self-reflection and correction. When we evolve consciously, however, the process is greatly accelerated.

I have no idea how soul progression really happens but being a practicing psychotherapist, an elementary school teacher who taught K through 5 in a one room school for 7 years, and the mother of 3 children and 3 grandchildren, I do know how human maturation progresses, and I suspect that soul maturation follows a similar trajectory. I also suspect that as we move through the levels, there is a lot of overlap until the soul awakens to truly progress consciously, this is inevitable.

Just like a child, I suspect that a child soul tends to be immature and ignorant, simply because they haven’t yet had enough life experience to see a bigger picture. Consequently, the child and possibly the child soul, is self-centered, meaning that they believe the entire universe revolves around them and their needs. Like an infant who cries when they need nourishment or comfort, they are simply unaware that other people have wants, needs, and desires of their own which are of equal importance and value. They can’t help this. It is simply the way they are made. Many of the developmentally disabled people I have worked with in my practice fall into this category.

Unlike the child, an adolescent, and possibly an adolescent soul no longer believes that they are the center of the universe. Rather, at this stage of the game, they have an exaggerated sense of self-importance. Although they know that their wants, needs, and desires aren’t the only ones that exist, they still believe that they are more important than anyone else’s. In childhood, forms aren’t that important. Broken toys are just as fun to play with as new ones and sticks easily substitute as make-believe swords. In adolescence, however, this is no longer the case. Now, having the “right stuff” is all-important. They want the right designer jeans, the right hair-do, the right expensive electronic devices, and the money you, as a parent, must spend on it, is irrelevant to them. In addition, whereas a child can run around naked in a room full of clothed people and not even notice, the adolescent examines the body through a magnifying glass. Everyone, including the self, is examined and either found to measure up to their high standards, or to be lacking. This not only produces a lot of judgment, competition, and comparison, it also produces anorexia, suicide, and low self-esteem.

Like all adolescents everywhere, I suspect that the adolescent soul thinks they know everything. They want what they want and do what it takes to get it. In childhood, this reflects as loud tantrums. In adolescence, it may include being deceptive, manipulative, and dishonest. Because an adolescent believes that all the adults in their life are clueless, they believe what they want to believe, and no one can tell them differently. They think in terms of absolutes, believing that all men are… All women are…, all Muslims are…, without considering the complexities of life and the endless shades of gray that exist within all forms and institutions. Because of these factors, they create a lot of conflict and friction. As examples I present you with the characters in any soap opera. Also, sounds a lot like our president to me. Because of these characteristics, an adolescent soul can do a lot of damage in the world, especially when they are in positions of power.

As the soul progresses, they move into young adult consciousness. You can recognize young adult souls by their strategies. Having just left adolescence with its black and white way of seeing the world, they come up with a strategy for how to keep themselves safe and comfortable, and then go about living their strategy until it falls apart. For a young adult, this usually happens in their thirties or forties. For a young adult soul having dozens, if not hundreds of young adult lives, it won’t happen until they get to that series of tragic lifetimes that wake them up and shatter their dreams of safety and security seemingly forever. Until that time, if anyone should tell them why their strategy won’t work, they will vehemently deny it and screen any proof to the contrary out of their awareness.

An example of a young adult strategy that all of us probably fell for was to believe that once we find prince or princess charming to rescue us, he or she will meet all our needs for companionship, comfort, safety, sex, income, happiness, and love, which will allow us to live happily ever after. Little did we know that that’s when our struggles would really begin. Many of us also bought the education strategy. If I get a higher education, I’ll get a great paying job and will live happily ever after. Not in this economy, we won’t. Besides which, how many of us became employed in what we majored in, only to find out that we didn’t like it, or that we hated our boss, etc.?

Here’s a more serious example. If I follow all my doctor’s (or priest’s) orders, believe everything they tell me to believe no matter how ludicrous it is, do everything they tell me to do, and swallow every bitter pill they tell me to swallow, I will be saved. But then of course you find out their bitter pills were all toxic and did nothing to heal you or the people you loved. So now what do you do? The young adult soul didn’t understand that self-healing comes from within and is accompanied by deep communion with their higher selves, which they are still too immature to fully understand.

As time progresses, the mature soul is born. The mature soul has become disillusioned by past methods of success which have obviously failed to create the results wanted. (No surprise in that!) At this point (at last), they have become open-minded seekers who know they don’t have all the answers. (Yeah!) Now they begin to explore the many divergent pathways there are for creating positive change. Therefore, they tend to be eclectic in their approach to life, picking and choosing positive, life-affirming beliefs and actions from a variety of sources. Discernment now becomes all important. This is the phase that most seekers are in. They are in all religions and no religion. They are now learning how to follow the dictates of their hearts and to listen for the truth that comes from within. Most everyone who is reading these words has moved into their mature soul stage of awareness.

The last stage of progression is what is known as an old or wise soul. Although they begin as a child as everyone does, they tend to move through the ages and stages with greater aplomb than younger souls, making less mistakes with fewer consequences. By the end of their lives, they are completely self-aware and self-responsible. They understand that the egoic mind has created the world of separation that has such a negative impact on everyone and everything and that they, themselves, are still part of that domain. This makes them mindful and self-reflective as they look for their own hidden motives, judgments, and negative beliefs in everything that they think, feel, say and do. This also gives them the ability to look beyond the illusion and to see that there is something greater and grander that is happening there beyond the surface of things. As they begin to glimpse the implicate order within the chaos, they begin to understand the grand scope and nature of creation. Having incarnated into a world of chaos, they understand that literally everyone is doing the best they can within the maturity level they’ve got, and that there is nothing whatsoever amiss, for everything is perfect the way it is.

Being an illusion that passes away with death, old souls are not attached to this life as anything other than a learning experience that has allowed them to live the journey of conscious awakening and to feel its effects in their own bodies so that they can fully understand its consequences. This leaves them in awe of the creation and in awe of each human being who comes here to partake in the heroic human journey of never-ending ascension which is unfolding like a flower before them. Finally, at one with their own soul, they realize that, “All for One, and One for All” is the truest statement that has ever been made and that each individual must come to its own awareness of this truth, in their own right time, and own right way, before they, too, can get off the wheel of karma and “go home.” With nothing to judge or condemn in themselves or anyone else, they relax into peace as they make their ascension into higher consciousness.

How many lifetimes does this take? Hundreds, thousands? Does it matter, for there is only One Lifetime, but it is huge and enormously complex. There is also only one of us here. It is us, all evolving together, helping each other learn the lessons of love our environment teaches us. Within this complexity, what we all must learn is that you cannot judge or blame a child for being a child anymore than you can blame a child soul for their immaturity. They just cannot do any better. All we can ever do is learn how to forgive, love and honor the people we have incarnated with, no matter their maturity level and set appropriate boundaries with them. Because setting boundaries is an important aspect of tough love, we must first love, honor and forgive ourselves, cultivating the connection with our hearts, truly knowing ourselves. That may seem like a paradox, but it is one that we all must grapple with, for its resolution is what evolves and unites humanity. Free of judgment and full of acceptance, we must also spread the good word of our union.

Susan Vaughn has been a spiritual seeker since 1987 when she awakened through A Course In Miracles. Two years later she began her hypnotherapy training. A year after that she began her work with the channeled being Lazaris, who taught her everything she ever wanted to know about reality creation.. After taking seventy-five 3-5 day workshops with him during the following thirty years, she believes that she can safely say that she is an expert in the field. She became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who regularly includes hypnotherapy in her sessions in 2003 and has been in practice ever since. You can contact her at 707-382-7050.

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