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Echoes of the Soul
The Soul's Journey Beyond the Light Through Life, Death, and Life After Death
By Echo L. Bodine
New World LibraryCopyright © 1999 Echo Bodine
All rights reserved.
The human body is the best picture of the human soul.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
Before we take an in-depth look at the soul's perspective of birth, life on earth, physical death, and life after death, it's important to define just what a soul really is and answer some common questions: Does everyone have one? What does it look like? Does it die?
Webster's defines the soul as "an entity without material reality, regarded as the spiritual part of a person." I agree with Webster except that I would take it a step further and say that the soul is the spiritual part of us, which never dies.
Meeting a Soul
The first time I saw a soul that I realized was a soul was when I was doing a healing on a fourteen-year-old boy who had fallen eighteen feet and had landed on his head. He was hospitalized and in a coma, and the doctors gave him a bleak prognosis. I was standing over his body with my hands on his chest channeling healing energy into him. Out of nowhere I heard a male voice from behind me say, "Please heal the speech part of my brain. I'd like to talk again." I felt a bit unnerved because I knew there was no one else in the room with me. I slowly turned and saw, in the corner of the room, a transparent carbon copy of the young man I had my hands on.
I asked him who he was, and he told me he was the soul that lived inside the boy's body. I was so surprised by what I was hearing and seeing! I asked why he was out of his body, and he told me it wasn't unusual for a soul to go out of its body and take an occasional break. He also said that when the soul is out, the body doesn't feel any pain. He again asked me to work on the speech part of the brain and then floated out of the room.
The boy was completely still, his breathing very shallow. While I channeled the healing, my mind was trying to find a rational explanation of what just happened. I wondered for a quick second if I hadn't somehow imagined it. Then just as quickly as the soul had left the room, he reentered and moved back into his body. I could now feel a life force in the body that had been absent just a moment before. The boy started moving. His breathing became normal, and he began moaning in pain. I told him that I didn't know which part of the brain controlled speech, and his arm raised off the bed and came down on the front part of his head. (The nurse later confirmed that this was indeed the area of the brain that controlled speech!)
This boy's soul continued to come in and go out of his body throughout the healing process and continued to communicate to me whenever he felt the need.
Since that night, I've met hundreds of souls who have worked with me in various ways and have taught me everything that I am passing on to you.
Every human being has a soul. We think in terms of the soul being somehow separate from us when, in fact, it's not at all. Our souls are made of energy. They are beings of light. They can take on any shape they want. Most of the souls I have communicated with appear in human form, but I have also seen them appear as streaks of light or blobs of energy. In whatever form the soul appears, it is a thinking, feeling being with memories, unresolved issues, and a sense of humor. It is totally alive energy.
When God created us, He created our souls and then breathed life into each of us by putting a part of Himself (or Divine Spirit) within us. This is where the term Higher Self comes from. It is the part of our souls infused with the Holy Spirit. Within that part or light is a voice that guides us throughout our lives, often referred to as the "still, small voice within."
When our souls are created, we live on the other side with God and receive the nurturing that we need in order to give us a good foundation. There comes a certain point in our development (similar to a baby's development) when we want to begin learning and growing, and this is when the cycle of lifetimes begins.
Because there is already perfection on the other side, God created this world for us to come to, like a school away from home, to do our learning here. The objective is to develop ourselves and our world to our highest potential. We were given an unlimited amount of time to do this, and have been given as many different lifetimes as we need in order to learn all that's possible to fulfill our potential to the fullest.
If we understood what this really means, so many of us would live our lives differently. God has created us from Himself, from His image and likeness. We have unlimited potential! Our souls were created carte blanche, which means we have full authority to become the very best we can be.
Whenever I give a talk on this subject, people think I'm talking about their bodies. They say things like, "Not me, I've got short legs, I could never be a basketball player." "Not me, I flunked out of high school and can't even get a decent job." "God didn't create me with unlimited potential 'cause I'm physically challenged ... I'm too stupid ... I'm too poor...."
I am not talking about the body, although that, too, has incredible potential. I'm talking about the soul each of us has — the real "us" inside. We all have bodies, which house souls, which contain Divine Spirit, or God. It is the Divine Spirit within our souls that gives life. Without the Divine Spark, our souls are simply energy, just as our bodies are empty shells without our souls.
There are differing beliefs about whether God created our souls all at the same time (ten billion or so years ago) or if He continues to create new souls along the way. My inner knowingness says God has continued to create new souls — which explains why our population continues to grow. You'll hear references to old souls and new souls — an old soul has had many lifetimes and has gained quite a bit of wisdom in doing so, whereas a new soul hasn't had many lives and is still in the process of gaining wisdom. I can tell by looking into the eyes of a newborn baby if its soul is old or relatively new. The older soul has that knowingness as if to say, "I'm back," and the newer soul has a less aware look. Either way, that baby's body has a soul in it and that soul has a purpose for being on earth.
When a soul resides in a body, it is attached to that body by a silver cord, similar to the umbilical cord. The cord keeps the soul connected to the body throughout its lifetime and is severed only at the time of physical death. It in no way restricts the soul, which has the freedom to come and go whenever it chooses to. The cord also has no limit as to how far it can stretch, so the soul is not bound by anything except the conscious mind.
I know that soul travel or astral projection bothers some people. We don't like thinking that we can't control the soul, but whether we like it or not, it is something our soul does all the time. Most soul travel takes place at night when the body is sleeping, but the soul also takes little quick trips in and out of the body during the day. As you will continually learn throughout this book, most of us are not conscious of what goes on with our souls, and that's usually how both the body and the soul prefer it.
Signs of an Out-of-Body Experience
Here are some signs that indicate your soul is having an out-of-body experience. They are not, however, exclusive to soul travel.
You're sleeping at night and your body jerks hard. You wake up for a quick second, but go right back to sleep.
You have flying dreams that feel very real.
You wake up in the middle of the night and you can't open your eyes or move your body. You want to talk or yell to someone that your body seems frozen, but you can't get your mouth to move.
You have brief periods throughout the day when you seem to go blank (daydreaming).
You have very real dreams of visiting a deceased loved one.
You dream of being with a loved one who lives far away and you wake feeling sad because it felt like you had to leave that person.
Most out-of-body experiences are at night so as not to upset us consciously. As you will see in each chapter, the soul prefers to remain somewhat anonymous because it usually has its own agenda. Many times when I've communicated with a client's soul, it has asked me not to tell the body what it's up to because the body (the conscious mind) wouldn't understand. The reason for this is simply because the soul looks at every experience it goes through as a tool for learning and is usually emotionally detached from it, whereas those of us in a body usually react in some way emotionally to the experiences we go through.
When the Soul Travels
Maybe you're wondering why and where the soul travels and what it does when it's out of the body. How many times do we find ourselves saying that we wish we could be in two places at once? The truth is that we can be in two places at the same time, but we're just not conscious of it. Some examples:
If you have a sick loved one you can't get to, your soul will visit the person, whether he or she is in a different part of town or the world.
If you're a parent who had to send a possible sick child to school, your soul may check on the child throughout the day.
If there's someone you love, you may leave your body to give the person a kiss or a hug. (No, the person wouldn't consciously feel it, but he or she would get a feeling of being loved.)
Your soul may give a pep talk to a loved one about to give a presentation at work or to a student about to take a test.
When two people need you at the same time, your soul may visit one of them.
If you have to be at work but would rather be home or shopping or fishing, your soul can take quick little trips to your favorite fishing hole or shopping mall just to take a little break in the middle of a hectic day.
If you take your car in for repairs and want to know what is really being done to it, your soul may visit your auto mechanic.
A healer's soul may go out and channel a healing to someone.
If there's a function such as a concert or play you can't attend, your soul may go anyway.
If you are bored in a classroom, your soul may go somewhere it would rather be.
If a person is in a relationship with someone who lives in a different place geographically, one soul may travel to the other soul to spend the night. The souls may take turns each night.
If a parent has children in other parts of the world, the parent's soul may travel at night to see how the children are.
If there's a part of the world that you love, but because of your lifestyle you can't possibly move there, your soul may visit that location frequently.
When your body becomes really stressed from all the hustle and bustle of life but you can't manage a vacation, your soul may go to a favorite spot such as the mountains, ocean, or countryside to spend the night. In the morning, your body feels better and isn't conscious of the reasons why. Sometimes the experience comes through as a dream and you wake up feeling refreshed because you "dreamt" about your favorite vacation spot.
When you are in your dying process, your soul goes in and out quite a bit. It may be going to those still living to communicate with their souls. If there are amends to be made, conversations to be had, instructions to work out, anything your soul feels is important to take care of before leaving, these things will take place. Your soul may also be going from this side to the other side to prepare a home for itself.
If you go to bed struggling with an answer to a problem, no matter how simple or complex, your soul may go out and talk to other souls about possible solutions. When you wake up in the morning, you may discover you have the answer.
Your soul may leave your body at night to spend time with your spirit guides (discussed in more detail in chapter 4). You may be surprised to know we communicate with our spirit guides daily.
The soul might feel the need to leave if there is any kind of abuse — physical, mental, emotional, or sexual — taking place. When the abuse is about to start, the soul will leave the room and return after the abuse has ended. The professionals call this disassociation. Years later this person may go to therapy about abuse issues, but will be unable to remember specific incidents. This can make recovery more difficult, but not impossible.
Sheryl (my editor) and I were sitting in a restaurant one day working on the book. Suddenly she got that blank stare that can indicate the soul has left. Within fifteen seconds she "came to" and apologized for being so spacey. I asked if she was concerned about one of her children, and she said that her daughter wasn't happy at her day-care center. I said that her soul was probably checking to see how her daughter was feeling because parents' souls will do that throughout the day when they worry there may be a problem. When Sheryl got home there was a call from the day-care center indicating there had been a problem that morning.
If we are concerned about a person or a situation we can't physically get to, our souls will check it out. The problem that can arise for our souls is how to get our conscious attention to the matter. We may feel an internal agitation about something or feel compelled to call someone, but unfortunately a lot of us don't act on these feelings because there's no rational reason to back up what we're feeling. By making people more aware of this, I'm hoping they'll start to pay more attention to what they know inside.
Signs That Other Souls Are Traveling
We've looked at signs that indicate when you're out of your body, but how can we tell if others are out of body, and what can we do about it?
If they are sleeping, their bodies will be extremely still. There's no movement at all and the breathing is very shallow.
If they are awake, they will go blank for a few seconds. The eyes are open but it appears as if no one's there. "The lights are on, but nobody's home."
If you encounter either of these experiences, don't panic. Just let the person be. Our souls are very wise and wouldn't go out unless they felt the need. I strongly suggest you do not shake the person or make the person wake up. It can be hard for the body if someone is pulling on it while the soul is out. The body usually wakes up disoriented and cranky.
Out-of-body experiences are fascinating to read about. Robert Monroe's books are my favorite on the subject, but I know there are other good books as well. (See Recommended Reading.)
Soul loss can occur if a soul has had to disassociate itself from its body a lot. When a person has suffered a lot of abuse or loss, a part of the soul may leave in order to cope. That soul part may or may not return after the abuse has ended. If the abuse continues for years, if there is a problem with chemical abuse, or if there is something else traumatic the person couldn't cope with, several parts of the soul may disassociate. That person then becomes quite fragmented.
I'd like to share an experience to help relay this concept a little better. As far back as I can remember, I had always felt that something was missing in my life, but I had no idea what it was or how to put words to it. I had suffered with depression most of my life and no matter how many therapists I went to to overcome it, the depression had always come back.
A psychic friend of mine suggested I see a shaman for possible soul loss, which at the time sounded a little weird to me. But I was so tired of fighting the depression, that I was ready to try anything.
We have some wonderful shamans in Minneapolis, and among them is a gifted man named Timothy Cope. Timothy is one of those rare people who is quite humble about his gifts. I have the highest regard for him and his work.
The day I went for my "soul retrieval," as the shamans call it, I had no idea what to expect. Timothy asked me not to tell him anything about why I had come. He said he would go on his shamanic journey first to see if any parts of my soul had left. If they had, he would ask those parts what they needed to reconnect, and then he would bring them back. He said that then I could tell him why I had come, but he didn't want to be influenced by anything I said.
The next forty-five minutes are hard to describe. It was a very mystical experience. Timothy played drumming music and prayed. He burned sage. He called in spirits to help him on his journey and then lay next to me on the floor. He was silent for several minutes and then explained that he retrieved a part of my soul that had been missing since I was four (I was forty-four when this experience happened). He told me an important man in my life had died when I was four years old and I couldn't stand being without him, so a part of my soul had gone to live with him on the other side. He said he had found me holding this man's hand and that he suspected it was my grandfather.
Excerpted from Echoes of the Soul by Echo L. Bodine. Copyright © 1999 Echo Bodine. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
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