“and then you had to bring up reincarnation / over a couple of beers the other night / and now I’m serving time for mistakes made by another in another life time…but then again it feels like some sort of inspiration, to let the next life off the hook / She’ll say look what I had to overcome from my last life, I think I’ll write a book…” – Indigo Girls, From the Song, Galileo
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness…
Parenthood in the Animal kingdom can be a dangerous business. A number of movies have already popularized the mating habits of various insects such as the praying mantis and the black widow spider. For Salmon swimming upstream to spawn, the female’s organs actually liquify to make room for the growing sac of eggs which will, if the stars are aligned, become future salmon progeny. Luckily for most mammals, humans included, parenthood doesn’t usually result in death. For us homo sapiens sapiens, the first year of life is the much more perilous period. The risk of death by age tables and graphs show that our chances of dying under age one in most developed countries is significant, we don’t have that high a risk again until over age 50! We are born unable to survive in our own world, and unlike most mammals who can do this within a few months or a year at most, the majority of us age well into double digits before we’re ready to fend for ourselves completely. Despite the fact that those formative years are so critical to our survival and development, it is still difficult for many of us to accept or believe, as Michael Newton’s research suggests, that we choose our own future lives rather than being dropped in by ‘accident’ of birth.
If we step back and examine the reports, though, it’s clear that the idea of ‘choice’ can be a bit misleading. Based on my reading of the dialogues between Newton and his subjects, the situation is more like choosing classes as a college junior than choosing candy in a candy store. If you’re majoring in biochemistry, your junior year is probably not going to be full of classes in basket weaving, modern dance, and exotic languages – as fun as those may sound. Likely you are going to have to balance your major and graduation requirements against taking one or two “for-fun” classes. As I will illustrate with examples from the books in more detail below, for most souls, choosing the next life’s circumstances appears to be more about what a particular soul should do or needs to do for its own development than about choosing a lifetime full of success, happiness, and love while avoiding sadness and pain.
The Power to Choose
According to Newton’s books, choosing a future life from the ‘spiritual plane’ appears to be a multi-step process. In our energetic ‘soul’ state, we review the things we need to work on from previous lives; karmic lessons, various experiences need to for development, and discuss these over with our spirit guides. Based on these ideas of what we would like to work on in the next life, a few life options that might work are chosen and we visit a ‘place’ Newton calls, “The Ring of Destiny” which seems to be like an imax theatre for one that displays futuristic scenes of events and people that the soul will encounter in the life to come”. Newton reports that descriptions of this place are consistent among subjects with divergence more in minor structural details rather than overall purpose and experience. When we think of ‘choosing our parents’ or ‘choosing our lives’ we may think – if that’s true, out of all the millions of options, why on Earth would I have chosen this life? It’s clear from the dialogue, however, that this kind of thinking is a misunderstanding of the nature of choices we have. We do not appear to have many choices of new lives or bodies at all, the consensus appears to be that less than a handful of body choices are presented. One subject commented, “…usually I only get a couple of body choices and that makes it easier for me”. Please note that I am not intending to imply any value judgement here – that it’s good that we only have a few or that it would be better if instead we had more. Rather, I am just trying to clarify that – if we accept the possibility that the experience Newton’s subjects report is accurate – the proposition is not that we choose our lives or parents out of an infinite number of possibilities, but that we may have been presented with two or three options and selected the one that best represented what we intended to do.
Further, we may think of the spiritual plane as a place where we are free from human emotions and pain. While this appears to be mostly true it’s clear from the many dialogues that Newton publishes that even souls have reservations in the selection of next lives. Newton reports, “..we are not really prepared for the choices offered to us once we enter the life selection room. There is a sense of wonder and even some apprehension for the average soul”. In the Ring of Destiny or life selection room we are able to view multiple scenes from future lives and even (apparently) enter ‘into’ scenes to experience the action of some sequences firsthand. Even so, “some apprehensive souls have said they refuse to enter the screens for fear they might lose their nerve in accepting a difficult life contract” So the perception that we, as souls, choose difficult future lives for ourselves without any idea of what we’re walking into also appears to be a misunderstanding of the case studies that have been reported. Sometimes, after viewing sessions, souls go into deep counseling sessions with their soul groups and spirit guide because they have such strong reservations about a particular body choice or deep inner conflicts over which life to select. One of Newton’s cases brings this point home, ““[Dr. Newton]: …go to the period just following your initial viewing of the man who is Steve. What are your thoughts? [Subject]: such a resentful man…he is so angry about his mother dumping him on a doorstep… And those hard-nosed people who will take over as his parents… I don’t know if I even want to take this body!”
Karma; she dogs our existence
From dictionary.com: Consequence, n 1.) The effect , result, or outcome of something occuring earlier
One thing that Newton (and his subjects) seem to somewhat tiptoe around is the subject of karma. I’m not sure why this is. After all, we know from Isaac Newton’s third law of physics that, “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. When we boil everything down to energy and motion – it shouldn’t surprise us that this holds equally true for our own actions. While I think it’s fine to shy away from using words with overly negative connotations such as ‘retribution,’ ‘punishment,’ and ‘revenge,’ we do need to realize that there’s no such thing as a ‘free pass’ in life, even if it seems like we (or others) are getting one at the time. Our choices have consequences. Per one of Michael Newton’s subjects, “[Subject]: In my last life, I chose a difficult path with the body of a woman who would die within two years of marriage. My husband in that life needed to feel the loss of someone he loved deeply for a karmic debt from the life before”. This doesn’t mean we should be quaking in our shoes every time we do something wrong, but it is a powerful reminder to live our lives mindfully. It can be disheartening to watch as people appear to get away with very bad behavior without any repercussions, and the karmic wheel can certainly seem to take a long time to turn, but it does always seem to balance out in the end. As one of Newton’s subjects reports, “[Dr. Newton]: Why did you and Eone wait 4000 earth years before discussing a balancing out of your treatment of her in Arabia? [Subject]: Earth years mean nothing; it could have been yesterday. I just wasn’t ready to offset the harm I did her as Haroum. She says circumstances are right for this exercise now”
‘I’m Free to do what I want any old time….’
Talking about karma and viewing scenes from lives before they happen tends to raise the question of whether or not we have free will. I intend to devote a whole post to this topic, but for the sake of this discussion, I want to note a few key points from the Michael Newton books about future life selection and alternative options in life. It may seem from the picture painted above that, although you’ve only seen a ‘trailer’ of your life in the Ring of Destiny, the whole picture is ‘in the can’ before you’re even born. On the contrary – as noted in the “Everything is Now” post – the future doesn’t actually exist so it can’t be set. Additionally, there are points in Newton’s dialogue that provide important counters to the idea that our lives are predestined to turn out a particular way. For example, in one dialogue “[Dr. Newton asks]:..if Ashley had begun her life with another soul entity..she might not have fallen at all? [Subject]: yes…that’s a possibility… one of many…she could also have been less severely injured…” This seems to indicate that whether a soul chooses a life and whether the ‘human body’ on the other end exists are two relatively independent things with many possible permutations. Even after a soul has chosen a particular ‘body,’ there are multiple potential outcomes as Newton illustrates in another dialogue, “[Dr. Newton]: Was there any chance you might live? [Subject]: A slight one, but that would defeat the purpose of my joining with that body” Here a subject had chosen a difficult life contract with a ‘planned for’ early death – but, nevertheless there was a chance she may have lived anyway..
The key conjoining factor, in these interwoven topics (free will, karma, forecasting the future) is that energy has a trajectory – it has movement and directional flow. Most of us are familiar with the concept of “inertia” from high school (or earlier) science class. As we move through life making one choice after another, we pick up ‘momentum’ in a particular direction and the course we set ourselves on becomes harder and harder to divert. Not impossible, just more and more difficult. To corroborate this, Newton notes in one of his dialogues, “…Amy indicated to me from a past life review…that her alternative choices to suicide began to fall off the chart of possibilities after a while” We are not necessarily aware of how our choices in life bring us to particularly painful or challenging junctures because often there are subconscious motives and higher self motives influencing our behavior in the background that our conscious mind is oblivious to. This is not to establish judgment that any one path is qualitatively better than another path – just to note that even with all the future viewing we apparently do before our lives, and the goals we set for our future incarnations in the spiritual state, our future life is not set in stone – far from it. Newton’s dialogues abound with examples of people who have set themselves on a very different path than the one their soul chose – or had fallen back into habits from previous incarnations and avoided learning the intended lesson in the current life. Whether you are following your soul’s intended path or not, the momentum you have going in a particular direction is difficult to halt or change. However, difficult is not the same as impossible. It’s possible to quit smoking, it’s possible to quit drinking alcohol or coffee or eating too much chocolate, it’s possible to lose weight or become better at something with dedicated applied effort and practice. Having free will to make a particular choice or change, does not mean that doing so is going to be easy.
Point…..and Counter Point
My original intent and mission in this post was to confront the idea that when we ‘choose our parents and our lives’ we could have chosen anything; to be famous, to be rich, to be happy and well-loved, but instead we somehow chose ‘this sorry life’ (as some may feel). This is largely because, when I’ve tried to talk about this subject with friends and family, they seem to take that viewpoint – “Why would I have chosen this life?” Newton, himself, says, “Although the average person has experienced love from his or her parents, many of us have unresolved, hurtful memories of those near to us who should have offered us protection and did not…’” I realize in reading through and editing this post that I may have inadvertently pushed the interpretation from a position where we could have chosen anything, towards the other exteme – crafting a picture of our soul-selves as burdened with an anxious and overwhelming process that represents a choice in name only. I want to take a moment to moderate that a little bit and note that I excerpted the snippets from the dialogues that best illustrated the very specific points I was trying to make in this post. Although I would not say I misrepresented the situation in any way, I would argue that when you read the dialogues themselves you don’t come away with an overly negative view of the process. In the dialogues Newton has published, at least, I felt that the life choices presented and chosen by the subjects did make sense with the overall trajectory of their souls. The second half of Newton’s sentiment above notes, “When clients tell me how much they suffered from the actions of family members, my first question…is, ‘If you had not been exposed to this person as a child, what would you now lack in understanding?” If you subscribe to a view of the afterlife that is limited to puffy clouds and playing harps, it may be disconcerting to think that we have to make difficult decisions as souls in the spiritual plane. However, if you do believe in reincarnation – which I think it’s fairly obvious that I do at this point – it can be very comforting and empowering to think that, rather than an endless stream of lives we have no control over, we take an active part in crafting our own life circumstances and that we have a chance to talk over our concerns and reservations with our soul group and spirit guide before taking on a new life.
 Dictionary.com defines research as, “diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject..” – my husband has asked questions about whether Newton’s work represented ‘double blind studies’ and was conducted under scientific laboratory circumstances. The answer to that question is no, and there are some things about Newton’s research methods that could be considered questionable. However, I choose to look at the information as presented and explore / examine it as it is. I had to do much the same for many a philosophical paper I wrote in college.
 Here I use “spiritual plane” but spirit world, heaven, energetic state between lives, any of those and other terms could stand-in here – basically I’m referring to the ‘place we go in between lives’
 Will write more about soul groups & guides in a future post
 These are all pieces of a puzzle, and it’s difficult to explain only pieces – who chooses? are life options chosen or ‘crafted’? Some of these concepts I’ll address in later posts, others can be rounded out by reading the books
 Destiny of Souls, loc 5880
 Destiny of Souls, loc 5996
 Destiny of Souls 5921
 In several dialogues, Newton seems to encounter soul personalities that are not unlike human personalities – although they seem more removed from negative emotions such as anger or fear. I hope to explore this concept in more depth in a future post
 Destiny of Souls, loc 5913
 Destiny of Souls, loc 6005
 more to come on the subject of soul groups and spirit guides in a later post
 Journey of Souls loc 2849
 Dictionary.com definition of “Consequences”
 I’ll be filling out the detail around this in other posts. “Everything is Now” holds the germ of this idea, but there will be more, discussing free will as it pertains to the composition of the universe and also the concept of ‘projection’ which I’m hoping to use some of Jung for, some of Newton, and perhaps some of a Villodo book I just read. It all fits together and can be challenging to talk about in pieces…but hopefully over time, the picture will begin to take shape.
 Destiny of Souls loc 5941
 Journey of Souls loc 2876 – it should be noted that this quote is part of the overall dialogue of the ‘man who is Steve’ from the paragraph before. I do try to avoid giving away ‘too much’ of the dialogues and the books in my posts because I prefer people to read the books & dialogues themselves and make up their own minds about what they think.
 Journey of Souls loc 2758
 I will also devote an entire post to this subject; ‘what’s the difference between myself and my soul?’
 Destiny of Souls loc 5948
 objects at rest tend to stay at rest, objects in motion tend to stay in motion
 Destiny of Souls loc 5983
 Journey of Souls loc 2969
 Journey of Souls loc 2969