This is a long blog but hopefully, well worth it. It was written by Mark Pitstick, MA, DC. You can read more about his background here: www.soulproof.com.
This is a topic of fascination not only by members of Orange County IANDS but others around the world – life between lives where the planning takes place for our next life.
Have you ever wondered . . .
1. Are the events planned that happen while you are on Earth?
2. Who does the planning? God? Your soul? Your guides?
3. To what degree are events planned? Are they completely “set-in-stone” or just partially influenced?
4. Do souls always succeed with their plans, or do they sometimes fail?
5. Can pre-planning be changed and, if so, by whom?
6. And – the biggest question – why in the world would souls choose to suffer with illness, disability, death of loved ones, etc.?
If you have thought about these questions, you have lots of company. I hear them almost daily from people around the world, especially those who are experiencing significant tragedy, pain, sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness.
It’s completely understandable that they ask these questions. Those who have endured tough changes and challenges struggle to discover if there really is purpose and meaning to life. Or is life just a series of random, chaotic, and unfair events?
One couple wrote to me after a horrible event: “Our daughter was murdered and the man who did it was never caught.” A mother wrote: “My son was addicted to drugs for many years and eventually died by suicide.” These are very difficult and hear-breaking events.
To be honest, I’ve wrestled with these questions for over forty years. Working in hospitals with many suffering and dying people, including children, can do that. In addition, I’ve worked with many people like the parents above. A person with an open heart on this planet can either find sensible answers, shut down emotionally, numb out with drugs and alcohol, or go crazy.
In this article, I will share my best current understandings. I don’t claim to have all the answers or the only answers. But I do have many good answers that have helped many people make more sense of life on Earth.
The questions above are most haunting when you view life from a duality perspective. Dualism is the belief that life is divided, that you are separate from others and the Source of all life. Einstein considered the belief that you are separate from the rest of creation to be an optical delusion. When you believe only you’re your five senses report, you are trapped in dualist beliefs. You suffer from illusions that warp your perceptions of reality.
Even though your five senses are amazing, it’s a scientific fact that they detect much less than 1% of reality. It’s as though you’ve looked at life through a tiny pinhole and then wondered why it doesn’t make sense. The more you see beyond your five senses, the greater your degree of unity consciousness. You enjoy an increased awareness that all life is interconnected, ever-expanding, and never-ending.
Spiritually transformative experiences (STE’s) awaken you to a greater reality that help all life events—even the sad and bad ones—make more sense. STEs can be triggered by: near-death experiences, after-death contacts, out-of-body experiences, birth or death of loved ones, mind-altering drugs, encountering a miracle, religious/ spiritual revelatory experiences, or a close encounter with death or violence. STE’s can also occur spontaneously without any identifiable cause, thereby supporting the notion that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
Centering practices that can facilitate STE’s include: spiritual study and fellowship; meditation; deeply loving a person or pet; drumming and chanting; service to others; quiet time in nature; sacred lovemaking; crafts; and inspirational artwork, literature, or theater. These help quiet the mind and strengthen an inner knowing that there is much more to life than meets the eye.
The more you know that you are one with All That Is—now and forever—the less important the six questions above become. You may be curious, but you don’t ask them because you are motivated by fear. You know that life is a never-ending, albeit often-changing, dance of energy. The more you glimpse this bigger picture, you more you realize that your earth-experience is a totally safe, meaningful, and magnificent adventure amidst forever.
Glimpsing that you—and everyone else—are indestructible, interconnected, and eternal beings of spirit/consciousness/energy removes or greatly decreases fear.
A dualistic perspective creates needless melodrama. The more developed your unity consciousness, the more peace, joy, comfort, and hope you will feel.
However, some people aren’t ready for a discussion that goes beyond dualism. And so, as I answer the questions above, I’ll use some dualistic language that implies you are separate from your loved ones, your spiritual support team, and Universal Intelligence. But you’re not.
The evidence behind my answers comes from:
• near-death experiencers, particularly those with deeper visits into the Light
• authentic mediums who accurately communicate details from guides, angels, and those who have passed on
• spirituality/religious teachings that there is a deeper meaning and timing to all life events
• reports from spiritual regressions—long hypnotic sessions in which subjects recall life details before coming to Earth
• philosophical views of the best way Infinite Intelligence might design life
• everything I’ve learned and thought in over 40 years of researching topics about life, death, and afterlife
The following people have helped inform me about this subject through their books and/or personal communications: Michael Newton, Ph.D., Eben Alexander, M.D., Raymond Moody, M.D., Ph.D., Annie Kagan, Helen Greaves, Suzanne Giesemann, Gary Schwartz, Ph.D., Rob Schwartz, and Bill Guggenheim.
My answers to the questions . . .
1. Are the events that happen while I am on Earth planned?
Yes, but not all of them. Only key events—from the soul’s perspective—appear to be pre-planned. Things that seem major to a human may be of no consequence from the soul’s perspective. Conversely, minor occurrences—at least from an earthly viewpoint— may be planned since they may actually be quite important for the soul.
Once on Earth, people have free will and they sometimes choose to create events that were not designed on the soul level.
2. Who does the planning? God? Your soul? Your guides?
Ideally, by all of the above after collaborating to plan an optimal earth-experience. More mature souls use the wisdom of their spiritual support team (angels, guides, soul mates, the Light) and design key life events accordingly.
However, beginner souls—less advanced or younger parts of the One—may not recognize the importance of listening to others. Like impulsive or rebellious children, more immature beings may make impulsive or questionable decisions. That is their choice, of course, for we live in a free-will Universe. However, they experience the results of their choices. That’s how they learn about the law of cause and effect and, thus, the wisdom of seeking wise counsel.
To be clear, when I discuss the role of God/Source/the Light in life design, I am NOT talking about a huge guy in the sky with long white hair and a beard. Further, a personified Deity does NOT unilaterally decide how and when all life events play out. This image of Infinite Intelligence is an unfortunate carry-over from the Dark Ages; the short-comings of it become abundantly clear when one faces difficulties.
3. To what degree are events planned? Are they completely set-in-stone or just partially influenced?
Most pre-planning by the soul consists of likelihoods. That is, events aren’t set up as completely predetermined, but exist more as potentialities. Here’s my impression of how it works. Let’s say a soul wants to grow in patience and compassion as the main goals for an upcoming earth-incarnation. That soul sets up a probability that he will be severely injured. The long recovery and immobility phases would set the stage for developing the desired personality improvements.
Although I’ve not sought corroboration about it, I believe this was part of my soul’s pre-planning. Throughout my life, I’ve periodically felt that a potential outcome was to be paralyzed. That seems to be one of the toughest challenges, especially for a person who is used to being physically fit and active. Having flashes of that possibility is one reason I sold my beloved BMW motorcycle at age 24.
Maybe there were other possible preplanned routes to gaining those attributes.
When my Pony League baseball team lost, I got very angry and cried. I remember my Grandpa Marsh earnestly telling me that I can’t always win—I can only do my best. That made sense and my rage after losing abated. As I look back on that time so many years later, it seems that listening to his advice was a key to me learning patience.
My parents made me shovel snow and mow yards for several old people in our neighborhood, usually with no pay. At the time, it seemed unfair but—from a longer term perspective—I can see many benefits from doing that. One was that I became part of these senior citizens’ lives, understood what it was like for them, and thus had more compassion. I’ve helped tens of thousands of people during the last 44 years and thereby cultivated much patience and compassion.
Life can either teach you with a gentle tap on the shoulder or a two-by-four on the head. After learning the hard way a few times, I try to choose the easier way.
A minority of life-events are established as absolutes rather than possibilities. For example, consider the outcome if a soul chose to be born into a body deformed by Thalidomide, Paxil, or another drug with serious side-effects. That soul chose an occurrence that was a certainty, that is, an irreversible physical abnormality.
4. Do souls always succeed with their plans or do they sometimes fail?
The level of a soul’s advancement determines whether and to what degree its purposes are reached. Beginner souls are less adept in realizing and demonstrating how much they co-create their lives, while advanced souls have more experience in this regard. By the way, there is no hierarchy or pride in being a more evolved soul. Every part of creation and every stage of development is recognized as important and of equal value.
A younger soul does not always follow the ideal plans. Reasons for this can include:
1. interference due to poor home situations
2. lack of body and brain balance due to environmental factors
3. impulsive choice of host body during the pre-planning stages
4. a stubborn or resistive streak that needs improving
This helps explain how murder, prejudice, abuse, and other lower-energy actions can co-exist in a fair and loving universe. God or “the Devil” don’t make that happen. The polarities and contrasts on this planet create a first-class classroom; that’s why souls choose to come to such a dense and difficult physical plane.
Souls often fail at fulfilling their ideal plans, but they know that—just as a little child learns to walk after falling down a zillion times—that their “failure” will enhance learning. They also know that we have eternity to get it right, Creator is infinitely patient and nonjudgmental, and time is not a barrier to learning and growing.
So there’s no fear or pressure when, despite their best intentions, they take the low road instead of the high road. Souls know very well that all paths lead to God because that is—whether we remember it or not—our true nature now and always.
5. Can pre-planning be changed and, if so, by whom?
Indications are that soul planning can be changed and the soul always has a role in that decision. The spiritual support team may strongly suggest an alteration of plans, but the soul retains free will to listen or not. Extensive preparation occurs before a soul enters into a physical body: potential scenarios are examined, future family members are visited, and even the locale of birth is evaluated.
Nevertheless, change can occur: a soul’s emphases might shift; goals may be reached sooner than expected; or supporting cast members may not fulfill their parts. Any of these can necessitate a change in the script. It’s very much like a movie, theatrical play, or book. To extend that analogy, you are the writer, producer, director, and actor of your life’s story. You determine whether your life is most like a tragedy, quirky comedy, repetitive melodrama, or exciting and successful adventure.
It often happens that the personality gets off track and—with the soul’s consent—original plans need to be modified. Pre-birth plans are frequently amended in the dream state. As you sleep, your essence can leave the body and meet with soul-mates and guides. You and your team discuss how things are going and evaluate if changes should be made. This helps explain why you may sleep more than usual during times of stress or change.
Another reason for changing the original plans might be to take an alternate route. You could take the interstate and get there more quickly, or the back roads to enjoy the scenery and avoid stressful traffic. The soul knows that—as the popular children’s song reminds us—life is but a dream. So it’s not obsessed about reaching the finish line as quickly as possible. Life and expansion are never-ending.
6. Why in the world would souls choose to experience illness, disability, broken relationships, financial loss, death of loved ones, and other forms of suffering?
It’s a very important question, isn’t it? From a human perspective, only a lunatic would choose suffering. There are a few sides to this one, so stay with me . . . .
During 44 years of working with others, I’ve been privileged to meet incredibly impressive people who faced tremendous adversity: Geraldine was raped by her uncle at age 14, then thrown out by her family when she became pregnant; Rob was paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident; Michael lost his vision at a young age; Elizabeth’s son died tragically; the list goes on and on.
Each of them were able to work through their lower energy emotions such as anger, bitterness, sadness, self-pity, and hopelessness. Over time, they upgraded those emotions into higher energy ones: peace, acceptance, gratitude, and even enthusiasm and joy. They each contributed to our world and helped others.
I’ve seen it so many times that I know it’s possible. Most of them said that they wouldn’t go back and change things even if they could. They recognized the benefits that directly resulted from their challenges and valued those more than their personal comfort. How does one reach this point of understanding?
First, realize that time is a human construct. From an earthly perspective, time seems to move very slowly, for example, when you are in severe pain or missing a “departed” loved one. However, the collective evidence shows that this earthly life—even if it’s one hundred difficult years—is but a blink of an eye in the span of eternity. So, you tell me: is it worth a relatively few moments of challenges to learn and serve others? Souls think so.
Next, remember that not all suffering is pre-planned on a soul level. You can’t know what is and what isn’t without the benefit of a medium, spiritual regression, or another way to evaluate. It’s even difficult to make guesstimates since a soul’s perspective is so different from that of humans. But it’s clear that difficulties, whether pre-planned or not, can result in a great good for you and others.
A patient I worked with drank himself stupid before driving his motorcycle at high speeds. A leg will lose a fight with a guard rail every time so he will spend the rest of this earth-experience with only one leg. Whether his soul chose that or not, he certainly stacked the deck in favor of a physical injury. If he did pre-plan it as a likelihood, possible reasons include that he:
• Was an alcoholic in other times/places. This earth-experience gave him a chance to take better care of his physical body, the temple of his soul. If that was the goal, I’m
guessing that he didn’t get high grades.
• Used his physical body to hurt others in “past lives” so he chose to lose a leg in this one. That will help him realize the importance of the Golden Rule
• Really is an advanced soul who chose that scenario to powerfully warn others what happens when you drink and drive. It also allowed me to tell this story.
It’s said that when asked why there is so much suffering, the Buddha answered: “For the opportunities to grow and serve others.” Post that where you’ll read it several times a day because it really says it all. Over time, various cultures have taught that suffering is grace and we shouldn’t question God’s will. Native Americans had “mystery bags” in which they symbolically stored what didn’t make sense to them at the time. Other cultures have recognized the “X-factor” and the value of the unknowable in life. These view-points recognize that human perspectives can fail to capture the richness and timing of life events.
Suffering can have many layers of meaning. Thirty-five year-old Mary, a wife and mother of three young children, developed breast cancer. After receiving the best of traditional medical/disease care—surgery, radiation, and chemo—she died. From the 1% perspective of the five senses, that certainly seemed to be a horrible occurrence. From the 99% greater viewpoint of reality, however, her illness and death may have been designed so:
• her husband and children would be more likely to reach down deep and remember who they are
• caregivers could develop their skills by working with her
• estranged family members would reunite
• more people learn the importance of buying healthy and chemical-free food, cleaning, and body care products that don’t pollute the body and planet
• others realize the wisdom of using natural healing whenever possible instead of just relying on dangerous and expensive crisis care methods
• her soul could take an early exit to the next page in life’s eternal book
Children with drug and/or alcohol addictions take a horrible toll on many families. Divorce, bankruptcy, and stress-related illness commonly affect the parents and the child may still die. It’s an all-too-common event. Possible reasons why the souls involved—the child and family members—might have chosen to endure such difficulties include:
• difficulty builds spiritual muscles
• the parents may have been drug addicts who ruined the lives of others in another time/place, thus their choice to experience the other side of the coin
• enlightening people and health care professionals about how to address core causes of addiction
• addicted children can be teachers for others in the family; going through all that challenge can result in greater growth and service to others
• parents can learn to set limits, monitor children, and take actions that are unpopular but important
• the parents’ relationship can grow stronger while going through all this
What about suicide? An elderly woman was losing her mind while her body was failing horribly. Her husband had passed on many years before and she didn’t want to burden her children who were busy with their jobs and family. She didn’t want to spend their inheritance on health care that would only delay the inevitable by a few months or years. Finally, she wanted to leave this planet on her terms and not suffer with extended degeneration. So she started her car in a closed garage and died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Suicide among young people is so common these days. When I speak to groups of bereaved parents, about 20% of their children died this way. Most recently, a mom told me about her very happy and well-balanced son who was prescribed a generic form of the drug Accutane for his acne. He shot himself in the head just a few months later. That’s why the makers of Accutane first issued a black-box warning for possible increased suicidal behavior and then pulled the drug off the market.
Did the souls of this young man and his family volunteer to go through challenges that could potentially bless others? Or was God asleep at the wheel for yet another tragedy? Only you can decide for yourself, but the evidence indicates it’s the former.
Suicide is too complex of an issue to discuss fully in this article. In general, it’s my impression that souls may pre-plan the possibility of suicide to:
• allow very old people to die with more dignity versus slowly vegetating
• allow souls who died by suicide in another time/place to experience the devastation it can cause when their loved one dies that way
• in native cultures, so the infirm person isn’t draining tribal resources
• the person who dies can move on into the next phase of life
• help warn others about the potential negative impacts of prescription drugs, vaccinations, excessive heavy metals, chemicals, stress, and harmful foods, that may affect the
brains of sensitive people. In my opinion, these all are causative factors in the high suicide rate among young people.
• bring attention to the paradox that we mercifully euthanize our pets, but humans must suffer and decay away? Bioethics haven’t caught up with
technological advances that can keep people alive way beyond any semblance of quality living.
Is murder preplanned? If so, for the murderer, the murdered, or both? And are we using legal definitions of western society? That is, does murder include killing someone in self-defense? How about abortion? What about killing someone in war because your country orders you to? Murder is done to others who don’t, at least consciously, choose to end this earthly life. It’s a complicated question and I have the least amount of certainty about this one.
Answers from consciousness experts I contacted about this question included:
• It’s my understanding that souls never purposely choose to murder
• Sometimes murder is preplanned but only when greater blessings can result
• I don’t know
• Maybe, but who knows for sure?
Does that clear things up for you?
Beings in nonphysical realms are very aware that love is our essential nature and all that really exists. The goal of enlightened souls is always to grow in and show love. As such, on the one hand, it doesn’t make sense that souls would preplan to murder someone. However, there are some cases that indicate a soul chose to murder because that would result in a greater good and, ultimately, more love.
Free will exists and people can make poor choices, especially when confronted with excess stress, brain chemistry imbalance, abuse, etc. That accounts for the cause behind most murders. Beginner souls may make an impulsive choice of body/brain and not heed wise counsel of their guides and the Light. People may suffer abuse from others that was more difficult than anticipated. These events could result in a twisting of psyche and horrible choices such as murder.
I can better understand why souls may choose the possibility of being murdered:
a. They inhabited bodies that murdered someone in another time/place. Being murdered in this one will help them realize that action is not acceptable.
b. A person murdered someone in the past and chose to reincarnate with a dear one murdered for the same reasons as (a.)
c. Advanced or intermediate souls may choose to be killed to help imbalanced beginner souls learn by trial and error.
d. The murder may have been designed to help health care professionals better address the core issues of such mental health ailments.
e. Being murdered always provides a timely ticket back Home when a soul doesn’t need to go through a long time on Earth.
By the way, if my mortal mind can generate this many reasons why seeming tragic events like murder and suicide might happen, just think how many there really are!
My strong sense is that even something as horrible as murder can result in a greater good. Universe/Life is so wisely and lovingly set up that there are endless safety nets and opportunities to convert “sad and bad” into good. I hope this helps those with a loved one who was murdered.
* * * * * * *
You hopefully now understand more about the complex question, “Did my soul really plan all this?” Our limited human minds cannot fully understand limitless possibilities, but we’re getting closer. That’s why Native American and other indigenous wisdom sources had another name for Great Spirit . . . The Great Mystery. We may never fathom everything, but I hope you have more comfort and trust that, as Buckminster Fuller said, the Universe is friendly.
I’ve created several audio-products to help you better understand, accept, and transform when life events seem senseless:
• Ask Your Soul: access your inner wisdom using deep relaxation to answer the most commonly asked questions about life, death, and afterlife.
• Heal & Transform Your Suffering: under hypnosis, see past challenges in a new light. Learn why you, as a soul, might have chosen difficult scenarios so you can reap the
rewards that always accompany adversity.
• Transformational Breathwork: deep, noisy, diaphragmatic breathing with music and coaching to release old wounds and stuck energy
• Facilitated After-Death Contact: visit with your beloved people and pets who have transitioned from this earth-experience. Designed to expand your awareness that they are very near and want you to be happy. Learn how to enjoy a continued, although different, kind of relationship with them now.
A bottom line? Humans usually want safety, comfort, and ease. Souls care for none of that; they want to grow, serve, expand, and enjoy adventures and the richness of life. From their nonphysical perspective, they remember:
• no one really dies since our energy/essence cannot be destroyed
• love is forever since we see our departed loved ones again and again
• they are one with God/Universe/All That Is—right now and always
• challenges develop strength of spirit in many ways
• they come to Earth because of the rich opportunities for loving service, adventure, growth, and enjoyment
It seems we have come full circle to the opening discussion of dualistic versus unitive consciousness. All life really is interconnected, ever-expanding, and eternal
. . . remember? I know it doesn’t seem that way at times, but that is our task: to see beyond our limited five senses, understand more of the greater reality, then do our best to live accordingly.
Let me know how I can help you and your loved ones to enjoy the greatest life you have envisioned and shine your inner light brightly.
Note: This information is not designed to replace medical or psychological care. Dr. Pitstick’s recommendations are based on his four decades of training and experience in hospitals, pastoral counseling settings, mental health centers, and holistic private practice. They are not based on large subject studies, especially those funded by the medical/disease-care industry.
Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is a author, clinical psychologist, holistic physician, frequent media guest, and workshop facilitator. His goal is to help you know and show —no matter what is going on around you—that your earth-experience is a totally safe, meaningful, and magnificent adventure amidst forever. Visit www.soulproof.com for free articles, newsletters, and radio shows with top consciousness experts. Email Mark at email@example.com to ask your toughest questions about life, death, and afterlife.
Dr. Mark Pitstick
234 N. Plaza Blvd.
Chillicothe OH 45601