“This will definitely be my last life on earth!” I often hear this comment within the New Age community. The unspoken follow-up statement seems like it would be, “I’ve had enough of this hellhole!”

While I think we can all relate to this feeling, I don’t believe that we can opt out of reincarnation when we feel like it. This is an incorrect understanding of the purposes of reincarnation, karma, and how exactly it is that we “graduate” from the school of earth.

Edgar Cayce gave 18 readings which were labelled “Reincarnation Unnecessary.” The Cayce source perspective on mastering the lessons of earth have more to do with the application of spiritual laws than with the tiring of worldly life. The desire to end incarnating seems to be about avoiding suffering. But the way out of suffering is through soul development. My work as a regressionist has led me to a deeper understanding of what we call the “soul level” and the “ego level.” You could say that the soul level part of us is the wise eternal part that sees the big picture. The ego level is the finite part of us. The ego self, when disconnected from the soul, does not have a long-term understanding of soul development.

I like to say that the soul incarnates to work, while the ego wants a piña colada! The plan for any incarnation is made at the soul level of consciousness. After we complete a lifetime, we go through a life review and, as Cayce puts it, analyze “losses and gains.” A life is usually full of periods of both. Once the review has been completed, an in-between life experience is planned which involves planetary and galactic “sojourns.” The soul shores up the weaknesses from previous incarnations, seeds important patterns to be worked through, and begins to look at the family/soul group to come. A council of guides is elected with hopes that the coming incarnation will be one of working through karma and acting from grace.

Once we incarnate, our soul consciousness is relegated to the subconscious. The ego consciousness becomes the dominant consciousness on the earth. We have a GPS (God positioning system) in our endocrine/chakra interface that we will need to activate to stay mission focused while incarnated. Here lies the rub for many an incarnation. Jesus put it so succinctly when He said, “Remember you are in the world, not of it!” The ego, without activating the GPS, will get caught up in the dramas of the worldly and will tire. It is necessary that we “drink of the water of life” regularly, through prayer, meditation, dream study, and at times, regressions.

The patterns that are required to graduate from earth are these: living an ideals-driven life, committed to loving service, and exercising forgiveness as a pattern. I would add that the fruits of the spirit, or the beatitudes (the beautiful attitudes), are also essential states of consciousness that keep us within the Law of Grace, and not within the Law of Karma. Just like a trip from New York to Los Angeles, we can fly directly or have a lot of stops and layovers. Grace is the direct flight. Karma is the layover. One of the promises of Edgar Cayce for the New Age was that the veil is thinning between the human level of consciousness and the divine level. And, I see this in my work. It is getting easier and easier for people to reach behind the veil and access the soul.

So, when someone says, “This is my last life,” to be true, this would imply a life lived with Grace. Edgar Cayce achieved this status after his lifetime as Ra-Ta, the Egyptian high priest. But the soul of Edgar Cayce chose reincarnation because of his love and commitment to his soul group. A soul that has completed the lessons of earth does it from a place of love, not from a place of exasperation.

Cayce advised that when we tire of ourselves, our brothers and sisters, and of this world, we turn inward and reconnect. In turning inward, we will get a glimpse of what the soul had in mind for this incarnation and assist the ego to be a better vehicle for those purposes. It is the soul that chooses the incarnation, not the ego. And as difficult as this is to swallow, we grow most from facing and overcoming obstacles. Life continually tests us. Choose thou—the fruits of the spirit, or the potato chips of the ego!

This article is reprinted from the Jan-Mar 2019 issue of Venture Inward magazine, a member-only benefit. To receive your hardcopy each quarter, join the A.R.E. now.