The Beginner Soul

There are two types of beginner souls: souls who are truly young in terms of exposure  to  an  existence  out  of  the  spirit  world,  and  souls  who  have  been reincarnating on Earth for a long period of relative time, but still remain immature. I find beginner souls of both types in Levels I and II.
I believe almost three-quarters of all souls who inhabit human bodies on Earth today  are  still  in  the  early  stages  of  development.  I  know  this  is  a  grossly discouraging statement because it means most of our human population is operating at the lower end of their training. On the other hand, when I consider a world population beset by so much negative cross-cultural misunderstanding and violence, I am not inclined to change my opinion about the high percentage of lower level souls on Earth. However, I do think each century brings improvement of awareness in all humans.

Over a number of years, I have maintained a statistical count of client soul levels in my case files. Undoubtedly, the figures are weighted to some extent at the lower levels because these subjects were not selected at random. My cases could be overrepresented by souls at the lower levels of development because they are the very people who require assistance in life and might come to me seeking information.

For those who are curious, the percentages by soul level of all my cases are as follows: Level I, 42%; Level II, 31%; Level III, 17%; Level IV, 9%; and Level V, 1%. Projecting these figures into a world population of five billion souls would be unreliable, using my small sample. Nevertheless, I see the Possibility we may have only a few hundred thousand people on Earth at Level V.

My subjects state that souls end their incarnations on Earth when they reach full maturity. What is significant about the high percentage of souls in the early stages of development is our rapidly multiplying population and the urgency babies have for available souls. We are increasing by 260,000 children per day. This human necessity for souls means they must normally be drawn from a spiritual pool of less advanced entities who require more incarnations to progress and are, therefore, more available to return to another life.

I am sensitive to the feelings of clients whom I know to be in the early stages of development. I cannot count the number of times a new client has come into my office and said, "I know I am an old soul, but I seem to have problems coping with life." We all want to be advanced souls because most people hate to be considered a beginner in anything. Every case is unique. There are many variables within each soul's  character,  individual  development  rate,  and  the  qualities  of  the  guides assigned to them. I see my task as offering interpretations of what subjects report to me about the progression of their souls.

I have had many cases where a client has been incarnating for up to 30,000 years on Earth and is still in the lower levels of I and II. The reverse is also true with a few people, although rapid acceleration in spiritual development is uncommon. As with any educational model, students find certain lessons more difficult than others.

One of my clients has not been able to conquer envy for 850 years in numerous lives, but she did not have too much trouble overcoming bigotry by the end of this same period.  Another has spent nearly 1700 years off-and-on seeking some sort of authoritative power over others. However, he has gained compassion.
The next case represents an absolute beginner soul. This novice shows no evidence of having a spiritual group assignment as yet, because she has lived too few past lives. In her first life she was killed in 1260 AD in Northern Syria by a Mongol invasion. Her name was Shabez, and her settlement was sacked, resulting in a terrible massacre of the inhabitants when she was five years old.

Case 20

Dr. N: Shabez, now that you have died and returned to the spirit world, tell me what you feel?

S: (shouts) Cheated! That life was so cruel! I couldn't stay. I was only a little girl unable to help anybody. What a mistake!

Dr. N: Who made this mistake?

S: (in a conspiratorial tone) My leader. I trusted his judgment, but he was wrong to send me into that cruel life to be killed before my life got started.

Dr. N: But you did agree to come into the body of Shabez?

S: (upset) I didn't know Earth would be such an awful place full of terror - I wasn't given all the facts - the whole stupid life was a mistake and my leader is responsible.

Dr. N: Didn't you learn anything from this life?

S: (pause) I started to learn to love ... yes, that was wonderful ... my brother ... parents ... but it was so short ...

Dr. N: Did anything good come out of this life?

S: My brother Ahmed ... to be with him ...

Dr. N: Is Ahmed in your present life?

S: (suddenly my subject rises out of her chair) I can't believe it! Ahmed is my husband Bill - the same person - how can ...?

Dr. N: (after calming subject, I explain the process of soul transference to a new body and then continue) Do you see Ahmed on your return to the spirit world after dying as Shabez?

S: Yes, our leader brings us together here ... where we stay.

Dr. N: Does Ahmed emit the same energy color as yourself or are there differences?

S: (pause) We ... are all white.

Dr. N: Describe what you do here.

S: While our leader comes and goes, Ahmed and I ... just work together.

Dr. N: Doing what?

S: We search out what we think about ourselves - our experience on Earth. I'm still sore about us being killed so soon ... but there was happiness ... walking in the sun ... breathing the air of Earth ... love.

Dr. N: Go back further to the time before you and Ahmed had your life together, perhaps when you were alone. What was it like being created?

S: (disturbed) I don't know... I was just here ... with thought...

Dr. N: Do you remember during your own creation when you first began to think as an intelligent being?

S: I realized ... I existed ... but I didn't know myself as myself until I was moved into this quiet place alone with Ahmed.

Dr. N: Are you saying your individual identity came more into focus when you began interacting with another soul entity besides your guide?

S: Yes, with Ahmed.

Dr. N: Keep to the time before Ahmed. What was it like for you then?

S: Warm ... nurturing ... my mind opening ... she was with me then.

Dr. N: She? I thought your leader displayed a male gender to you?

S: I don't mean him ... someone was around me with the presence of a ... mother and father ... mostly mother ...

Dr. N: What presence?

S: I don't know ... a soft light  ... changing features ... I can't grasp it  ... loving messages ... encouragement ...

Dr. N: This was at the time of your creation as a soul?

S: Yes ... it's all hazy ... there were others ... helpers ... when I was born.

Dr. N: What else can you tell me about the place of your creation?

S: (long pause) Others ... love me ... in a nursery ... then we left ... and I was with Ahmed and our leader.

Dr. N: Who actually created you and Ahmed?

S: The One.

I have learned there seems to be a kind of spirit world maternity ward for newborn souls.  One client told me, "This place is where infantile light is arranged in a honeycomb fashion as unhatched eggs, ready to be used." In Chapter Four, on displaced souls, we saw how damaged souls can be "remodeled." My conjecture is these creation centers described by Shabez have the same function. In the next chapter, Case 22 will explain more about spiritual areas of ego creation where raw, undefined energy can be manipulated into a genesis of Self.

Case 20 has some obvious traits of the immature soul. The subject is a sixty-seven-year-old woman who has had a lifetime of getting into disastrous ruts. She does not demonstrate a generosity of spirit toward others, nor does she take much personal responsibility for her actions. This client came to me searching for answers as to why life had "cheated me out of happiness." In our session we learned Ahmed was her first husband, Bill. She left him long ago for another man, whom she also divorced, because of her inability to bond with people. She does not feel close to any of her children.
The beginner soul  may  live  a  number of  lives  in  a  state  of  confusion  and ineffectiveness,  influenced  by  an Earth curriculum which is different from the coherence and supportive harmony of the spirit world.

Less developed souls are inclined to surrender their will to the controlling aspects of human society, with a socio-economic  structure  which  causes  a  large  proportion  of  people  to  be subordinate to others. The inexperienced soul tends to be stifled by a lack of independent thinking. They also lean towards being self-centered and don't easily accept others for who they are.

It is not my intention to paint a totally bleak portrait of souls who comprise so much of our world population - if my estimates of the high numbers of this category of soul are accurate. Lower level souls are also able to lead lives which have many positive elements. Otherwise, no one would advance. No stigma should be attached to these souls, since every soul was once a beginner.

If we become angry, resentful, and confused by our life situations, this does not necessarily  mean  we possess an underdeveloped spirit.  Soul development is a complex matter where we all progress by degrees in a variety of areas in an uneven manner. The important thing is to recognize our faults, avoid self-denial, and have the courage and self-sufficiency to make constant adjustments in our lives.

One of the clear indications that souls are coming out of novice status is when they leave their spiritual existence of relative isolation. They are removed from small family cocoons with other novices and placed in a larger group of beginner souls. At this stage they are less dependent upon close supervision and special nurturing from their guides.

For the younger souls, the first realization that they are part of a substantial group of spirits like themselves is a source of delight. Generally, I find this important spiritual event has occurred by the end of a fifth life on Earth, regardless of the relative length of time the novice soul was in semi-isolation. Some of the entities of these new spiritual groups are the souls of relatives and friends with whom the young soul was associated in their few past lives on Earth. What is especially significant about the formation of a new cluster group is that other peer group members are also newer souls who find themselves together for the first time.

In Chapter Seven on placement, we saw how a soul group appeared when Case 16 rejoined them, and the manner in which life experiences were studied through pictorial scenes, as reported by this subject. Case  21 will offer a more detailed account of spiritual group dynamics and how members impact on each other. The capacity of souls to learn certain lessons may be stronger or weaker between one another depending upon inclination, motivation, and prior incarnation experience. Cluster groups are carefully designed to give peer support through a sensitivity of identity traits between all members. This cohesiveness is far beyond what we know on Earth.

Although the next case is presented from the perspective of one group member, his superconscious mind provides an objectivity into the process of what goes on in groups. My subject will describe a grandiose, male-oriented spiritual group. The raucous entities of this group are linked by exhibitionism which could be labeled narcissistic. The common approaches these souls use in finding personal value is one indication why they are working together.

The extravagant behavior modes of these souls is offset, to some extent, by their spiritual prescience. Since the complete truth is known by all group members about each other in a telepathic world, humor is indispensible. Some readers may find it hard to accept that souls do joke with each other about their failings, but humor is the basis upon which self-deception and hypocrisy are exposed.

Ego defenses are so well understood by everyone in spiritual groups that evidence of a mastery of oneself among peers is a strong  incentive for change.  Spiritual "therapy" occurs because of honest peer feedback, mutual trust, and the desire to advance with others over eons of time. Souls can hurt, and they need caring entities around them. The curative power of spiritual group interaction is quite remarkable.

Soul members network by the use of criticism and acclaim as each strives toward common goals. Some of the best help I am able to give my clients comes from information I receive about their soul group. Spiritual groups are a primary means of soul instruction. Learning appears to come as much from one's peers as from the skill of guides who monitor these groups.

In the case which follows, my client has finished reliving his last past life as a Dutch artist living in Amsterdam. He died of pneumonia at a young age in 1841, about the time he was gaining recognition for his painting. We have just rejoined his spiritual group when my subject bursts out laughing.

Case 21

Dr. N: Why are you laughing?

S: I'm back with my friends and they are giving me a hard time.

Dr. N: Why?

S: Because I'm wearing my fancy buckled shoes and the bright
green velvet jacket - with yellow piping down the sides - I'm flashing them my big floppy painter's hat.

Dr. N: They are kidding you about projecting yourself wearing these clothes?

S: You know it! I was so vain about clothes and I cut a really fine figure as an artist in Amsterdam cafe society. I enjoyed this role and played it well. I don't want it to end.

Dr. N: What happens next?

S: My old friends are around me and we are talking about the foolishness of life. We rib each other about how dramatic it all is down there on Earth and how seriously we all take our lives.

Dr. N: You and your friends don't think it is important to take life on Earth seriously?

S: Look, Earth is one big stage play - we all know that.

Dr. N: And your group is united in this feeling?

S: Sure, we see ourselves as actors in a gigantic stage production.

Dr. N: How many entities are in your particular cluster group in the spirit world?

S: (pause) Well, we work with ... some others ... but there are five of us who are close.

Dr. N: By what name do they call you?

S: L ... Lemm-no that's not right-it's Allum ... that's me.

Dr. N: All right, Allum, tell me about your close friends.

S: (laughs) Norcross ... he is the funniest ... at least he is the most boisterous.

Dr. N: Is Norcross the leader of your group?

S: No, he is just the loudest. We are all equal here, but we have our differences. Norcross is blunt and opinionated.

Dr. N: Really, then how would you characterize his Earth behavior?

S: Oh, as being rather unscrupulous - but not dangerous.

Dr. N: Who is the quietest and most unassuming member of your group?

S: (quizzical) How did you guess - it's Vilo.

Dr. N: Does this attribute make Vilo the least effective contributing member of your group?

S: Where did you get that idea? Vilo comes up with some interesting thoughts about the rest of us.

Dr. N: Give me an example.

S: In my life in Holland - the old Dutch couple who adopted me after my parents died - they had a beautiful garden. Vilo reminds me of my debt to them - that the garden triggered my painting - to see life as an artist ... and what I didn't do with my talent.

Dr. N: Does Vilo convey any other thoughts to you about this?

S: (sadly) That I should have done less drinking and strutting around and painted more. That my art was ... reaching the point of touching people ... (subject pulls his shoulders back) but I wasn't going to stay cooped up painting all the time!

Dr. N: Do you have respect for Vilo's opinions?

S: (with a deep sigh) Yes, we know he is our conscience.

Dr. N: So, what do you say to him?

S: I say, "Innkeeper, mind your own business - you were having fun, too."

Dr. N: Vilo was an innkeeper?

S: Yes, in Holland. Engaged in a business for profit, I might add.

Dr. N: Do you feel this was wrong of Vilo?

S: (contrite) No ... not really ... we all know he took losses to help those poor people on the road who needed food and shelter. His life was beneficial to others.

Dr. N: I would guess telepathic communication makes it hard to sustain your arguments when the complete truth is known by everyone?

S: Yes, we all know Vilo is progressing - damn!

Dr. N: Does it bother you that Vilo may be advancing faster than the rest of you?

S: Yes ... we have had such fun ... (subject then recalls an earlier life with Vilo where they traveled together as brothers in India)

Dr. N: What will happen to Vilo?

S: He is going to leave us soon - we all know that - to have associations with the others who have also gone.

Dr. N: How many souls have left your original group, Allum?

S: (A long pause, and then ruefully) Oh ... a couple have moved on ... we will eventually catch up to them ... but not for a while. They haven't disappeared - we just don't see their energy as much.

Dr. N: Name the others of your immediate group for me besides Vilo and Norcross.

S: (brightening) Dubri and Trinian - now those two know how to have a good time!

Dr. N: What is the most obvious identifying characteristic of your group?

S: (with relish) Adventure! Excitement! We have some real pioneer types around here. (subject rushes on happily) Dubri just came off a wild life as a sea captain. Norcross was a free-wheeling trading merchant. We live life to its fullest because we are talented at taking what life has to offer.

Dr. N: I'm hearing a lot of self-gratification here, Allum.

S: (defensively)  And  what's  wrong with that? Our group is not made up of shrinking violets, you know!

Dr. N: What's the story on Trinian's last life?

S: (reacts boisterously) He was a Bishop! Can you believe it? What hypocrisy.

Dr. N: In what way?

S: What self-deception! Norcross, Dubri, and I tell Trinian his choice to be a churchman had nothing to do with goodness, charity, or spirituality.

Dr. N: And what does Trinian's soul mentally project to you in self-defense?

S: He tells us he gave solace to many people.

Dr. N: What do you, Norcross and Dubri, tell him in response?

S: That he is going soft. Norcross tells him he wanted money or otherwise he would have been a simple priest. Ha - that's telling him - and I'm saying the same thing. You can guess what Dubri thinks about all this!

Dr. N: No, tell me.

S: Humph - that Trinian picked a large city with a rich cathedral - spilling a ton of money into Trinian's fat pockets.

Dr. N: And what do you tell Trinian yourself?

S: Oh, I'm attracted to the fancy robes he wore - bright red - the finest of cloth - his Bishop's ring which he loved - and all the gold and silver around. I also mention his desire to bask in adulation from his flock. Trinian can hide nothing from us - he wanted an easy, cushy life where he was well-fed.

Dr. N: Does he try to explain his motivations for choosing this life?

S: Yes, but Norcross reproaches him. He confronts Trinian on seducing a young girl in the vestry. (jovially) Yes, it actually happened! ... So much for providing solace to parishioners. We know Trinian for who he really is - an outright rogue!

Dr. N: Does Trinian offer any excuses to the group for his conduct?

S: (subject becomes quieter) Oh, the usual. He got carried away with the girl's need for him - she had no family - he was lonely in his choice of a celibate church life. He says he was trying to get away from the customary lives we all choose by going into the church - that he fell in love with the girl.

Dr. N: And how do you, Norcross and Dubri, feel about Trinian now?

S: (severely) We think he is trying to follow Vilo (as an advancing soul), but he failed. His pious intentions just didn't work for him.

Dr. N: Allum, you sound rather cynical about Trinian's attempts to improve himself and make changes. Tell me honestly, how do you feel about Trinian?

S: Oh, we are just teasing him ... after all...

Dr. N: Your amusement sounds as if you are scornful over what may have been Trinian's good intentions.

S: (sadly) You're right ... and we all know that ... but, you see ... Norcross, Dubri, and I ... well, we don't want to lose him from the group, too ...

Dr. N: What does Vilo say about Trinian?

S: He defends Trinian's original good intentions and tells him that he fell into a trap of  self-gratification  during  this  life  in  the  church.  Trinian  wants  too  much admiration and attention.

Dr. N: Forgive me for passing judgment on your group, Allum, but it seems to me this is something you all want, except perhaps Vilo?

S: Hey, Vilo can be pretty smug. Let me tell you, his problem is conceit and Dubri tells him that in no uncertain terms.

Dr. N: And does Vilo deny it?

S: No, he doesn't ... he says at least he is working on it.

Dr. N: Who among you is the most sensitive to criticism?

S: (pause) Oh, I guess it would be Norcross, but it's hard for all of us to accept our faults.

Dr. N: Level with me, Allum. Does it bother the members of your soul group when things can't be hidden from the others-when all your shortcomings in a past life are revealed?

S: (pause) We are sensitive about it - but not morbid. There is great understanding here among us. I wanted to give artistic pleasure to people and grow through the meaning of art. So, what did I do? I ran around the Amsterdam canals a lot at night and got caught up in the fun and games. My original purpose was pushed aside.

Dr. N: If you admit all this to the group, what kind of feedback do you get? For example, how do you and Norcross regard each other?

S: Norcross often points out I hate to take responsibility for myself and others. With Norcross it's wealth ... he loves power ... but we are both selfish ... except that I am more vain. Neither of us gets many gold stars.

Dr. N: How does Dubri fit into your group with his faults?

S: He enjoys controlling others by leadership. He is a natural leader, more than the rest of us. He was a sea captain - a pirate - one tough individual. You wouldn't want to cross him.

Dr. N: Was he cruel?

S: No, just hard. He was respected as a captain. Dubri was merciless against his opponents in sea battles, but he took care of his own men.

Dr. N: You have told me that Vilo assisted people who were in need on the road, but you haven't said much about the positive side of your lives. Is anyone in your group given any gold stars for unselfish acts?

S: (intently) There is something else about Dubri ...

Dr. N: What is that?

S: He did one outstanding thing. Once, during heavy seas, a sailor fell off the mast into the ocean and was drowning. Dubri tied a line
around his waist and dove off the deck. He risked his life and saved a shipmate.

Dr. N: When this incident is discussed in your group, how do you all respond to Dubri?

S: We praise him for what he did with admiration in our minds. We came to the same conclusion that none of us could match this single act of courage in our last lives.

Dr. N: I see. Yet, Vilo's life at the inn, feeding and housing people who could not pay him, may represent acts of unselfishness for a longer term and therefore is more praiseworthy?

S: Granted, and we give him that. (laughs) He gets more gold stars than Dubri.

Dr. N: Do you get any strokes from the group for your last life?

S: (pause) I had to scramble for patrons to survive as a painter, but I was good to people ... it wasn't much ... I enjoyed giving pleasure. My group recognizes I had a good heart.

Every one of my clients has special attachments to their soul group, regardless of character makeup. People tend to think of souls in the free state as being without human deficiencies. Actually, I think there are many similarities between groups of souls close to each other and human family systems. For instance, I see Norcross as the  rebellious  scapegoat  for this  group  of  souls,  while  he  and  Allum are  the inventory takers for everyone's shortcomings. Allum said Norcross is usually the first to openly scrutinize any rationalizations or self-serving justifications of past life failures offered by the other members. He appears to have the least self-doubt and emotional  investment  over  standards  of  conduct.  This  may  define  his  own insecurity, because Norcross is probably fighting the hardest to keep up with the advancing group.

I suspect Allum himself could be the group's mascot (often the youngest child in human families), with all his clowning around, preening, and making light of serious issues.  Some souls in  spiritual groups do seem to me to be more fragile and protected than other group members. Vilo's conduct demonstrates he is the current hero (or eldest family member), with his drive for excellence. I have the impression from Allum that Vilo is the least defiant of the group, partly because he has the best record of achievement in recent past lives. Just as in human family systems, the roles of spiritual group members can be switched around, but I was told Vilo's kinetic energy is turning pink, signaling his growth into Level II.

I attach human labels on ethereal spirits because, after all, souls who come to Earth do show themselves through human characteristics. However, I don't see hatred, suspicion, and disrespect in soul groups. In a climate of compassion, there are no power struggles for control among these peer groups whose members are unable to manipulate each other or keep secrets. Souls distrust themselves, not each other. I do see fortitude, desire, and the will to keep trying in their new physical lives. In an effort  to  confirm  some  of  my  observations  about  the  social  dynamics  among spiritual group members in this case, I ask Allum a few more questions.

Dr. N: Allum, do you believe your criticism of each other is always constructive?

S: Sure, there is no real hostility. We have fun at each other's expense - I admit that - but it's just a form of ... acknowledgement of who we really are, and where we should be going.

Dr. N: Is any member of your soul group ever made to feel shame or guilt about a past life?

S: Those are ... human weapons... and too narrow for what we feel.

Dr. N: Well, let me approach your feelings as a soul in another way. Do you feel safer getting feedback from one of your group members more than another?

S: No, I don't. We all respect each other immensely. The greatest criticism comes from within ourselves.

Dr. N: Do you have any regrets for your conduct in any past life?

S: (long pause) Yes ... I feel sorry if I have hurt someone ... and then have everyone here know all about my mistakes. But we learn.

Dr. N: And what do you do about this knowledge?

S: Talk among ourselves ... and try to make amends the next time.

Dr. N: From what you told me earlier, I had the idea that you, Norcross, and Dubri might be releasing some pent-up feelings over your own shortcomings by dumping on each other.

S: (thoughtfully) We make cynical remarks, but it's not like being human anymore. Without our bodies we take criticism a little differently. We see each other for who we are without resentment or jealousy.

Dr. N: I don't want to put words in your mouth, but I just wondered if all this flamboyance  exhibited  by  your  group  might  indicate  underlying  feelings  of unworthiness?

S: Oh, that's something else again. Yes, we do get discouraged as souls, and feel unworthy about our abilities ... to meet the confidence placed in us to improve.

Dr. N:
So, while you have self-doubts about yourselves, it's okay to make cynical remarks about each other's motivations?

S: Of course, but we want to be recognized by one another for being sincere in working on our individual programs. Sometimes self-pride gets in the way and we use each other to move past this.

In the next passage of dialogue, I introduce another spiritual phenomenon relating to group healing. I have heard a number of variations about this activity which are supported by the interpretations of Case 21.

Dr. N: Now Allum, as long as we are discussing how your group members relate to each other, I want you to describe the spiritual energy by which you all are assisted in this process.

(hesitant) I'm not sure I can tell you ...

Dr. N: Think carefully. Isn't there another means by which your group is brought into harmony with each other with intelligent energy?

S: (long pause) Ah ... you mean from the cones?

Dr. N: (the word "cone" is new to me, but I know I'm on the right track) Yes, the cones. Explain what you know about them relative to your group.

S: (slowly) Well, the cones do assist us.

Dr. N: Please continue, and tell me what the cone does. I think I have heard about this before, but I want your version.

S: It's shaped to go around us, you know.

Dr. N: Shaped in what way? Try to be more explicit.

S: It is cylindrical - very bright - it is above and all around us. The cone is small at the top and wide at the bottom, so it fits over all of us - like getting under a great white cap - we can float under the cone in order to use it.

Dr. N: Are you sure this isn't the shower of healing you experienced right after your return to the spirit world?

S: Oh no, that was more individual purification - to repair Earth damage. I thought you knew ...

Dr. N: I do. I want you to explain how the cone is different from the shower of healing.

S: The top funnels energy down as a waterfall in a spreading circle around all of us and allows us to really concentrate on our mental sameness as a group.

Dr. N: And what do you feel when you are under the cone?

S: We can feel all our thoughts being expanded ... then drawn up ... and returned back ... with more knowledge added.

Dr. N: Does this intelligent energy help your unity as a group in terms of more focused thinking?

S: Yes, it does.

Dr. N: (deliberately confrontational) To be frank with you, Allum, I wonder if this cone  is  brainwashing  your  original  thoughts?  After  all,  the  arguments  and disagreements between you and the others of your group are what make you individuals.

S: (laughs) We aren't brainwashed! Don't you know anything about the afterlife? It gives us more collective insight to work together.

Dr. N: Is the cone always available?

S: It is there when we need it.

Dr. N: Who operates the cone?

S: Those who watch over us.

Dr. N: Your guide?

S:(bursts out laughing) Shato? I think he is too busy traveling around on his circuit.

Dr. N: What do you mean?

S: We think of him as a circus master - a stage manager - of our group.

Dr. N: Does Shato take an active part in your group deliberations?

S: (shakes head) Not really - guides are above a lot of this stuff. We are left on our own quite a bit, and that's fine.

Dr. N: Do you think there is one specific reason for the absences of Shato?

S: (pause) Oh, he probably gets bored with our lack of progress. He loves to show off as the master of ceremonies though.

Dr. N: In what way?

S: (chuckling) Oh, to suddenly appear in front of us during one of our heated debates - throwing off blue sparks - looking like a wizard who is an all-powerful moderator!

Dr. N: A wizard?

S: (still laughing) Shato appears in long, sapphire-blue robes with a tall, pointed hat. With his flowing white beard he looks simply great, and we do admire him.

Dr. N: I get the picture of a spiritual Merlin.

S: An Oriental Merlin, if you will. Very inscrutable sometimes. He loves making a grand entrance in full costume, especially when we are about to choose another life. He knows how much we appreciate his act.

Dr. N: With all this stage management, I am curious if Shato has much emotional connection to your group as a serious guide.

S: (scoffing at me) Listen, he knows we are a wild bunch, and he plays to that as a non-conformist himself - but he is also very wise.

Dr. N:  Is  Shato  indulgent  with  your group?  He  doesn't  seem to  limit  your extravagance very much.

S: Shato gets results from us because he is not heavy-handed or preachy. That wouldn't sit well with our people. We respect him.

Dr. N: Do you see Shato as a consultant who comes only once in a while to observe, or as an active supervisor?

S: He will pop in unannounced to set up a problem for our discussions. Then he leaves, coming back later to listen to how we might solve certain things ...

Dr. N: Give me an example of a major problem with your group.

S: (pause) Shato knows we identify too much as actors playing parts on Earth. He hits ... on superficiality. He is trying to get us to cast ourselves from the inside out, rather than the reverse.

Dr. N: So Shato's instruction is serious, but he knows you all like to have fun along the way?

S: Yeah, that's why Shato is with us, I think. He knows we waste opportunities. He assists us in interpreting the predicaments we get into in order to get the best out of us.

Dr. N: From what you have told me, I have the impression that your spiritual group is run as a kind of workshop directed by your guide.

S: Yes, he builds up our morale and keeps us going.

Unlike educational classrooms or therapy groups on Earth, I have learned teacher- counselors in the spirit world are not confined as group activity leaders on a continuous basis. Although Shato and his students are a colorful family of souls, there is much here that is typical of all cluster groups. A guide's leadership is more parental than dictatorial. In this case, Shato is a directive counselor while not being possessive, nor does he pose a threat to the group. There is warm acceptance of these young souls by this empathic guide, who seems to cater to their masculine inclinations. I will close this case with a few final questions about the group as a spiritual unit.

Dr. N: Why is your group so male-oriented on Earth?

S: Earth is an action planet which rewards physical exertion. We are inclined to male roles so we can grab hold and mold events ... to dominate our surroundings ... to be recognized.

Dr. N: Women are also influential in society. How can your group hope to progress without more experience in female roles?

S: We know this, but we have such a fierce desire to be independent. In fact, we often expend too much energy for too little return, but the female aspects don't interest us as much right now.

Dr. N: If you have no female counterparts in your immediate group, where do you go for those entities to complement your lives on Earth?

S: Nearby there are some who relate better to female roles. I get along with Josey - she has been with me in some of my lives -Trinian is attached to Nyala - and there are others ...

Dr. N: Allum, I would like to end our conversation about your spiritual associations by asking you what you know about the origin of your group.

S: (long pause) I ... can't tell you ... we just came together at one time.

Dr. N: Well, someone had to bring those of you with the same attributes together. Do you think it was God?

S: (puzzled) No, below the source ... the higher ones ...

Dr. N: Shato, or other guides like him?

S: No, higher, I think ... the planners ... I don't know any more.

Dr. N: A while back you told me some of your old friends were reducing their active participation  in  your  group  due  to  their  development.  Do  you  ever  get  new members?

S: Never.

Dr. N: Is this because a new member might have trouble assimilating with the rest of you?

S: (laughs) We aren't that bad! It's just we are too closely connected by thought for an outsider, and they would not have shared our past experiences.

Dr. N: During your discussions about these past lives together, does your group believe it contributes to the betterment of human society?

S:  (pause) We want our presence in a community to challenge conventions-to question basic assumptions. I think we bring nerve into our physical lives - and laughter, too ...

Dr. N: And when your spiritual group has finished discussing what is necessary to further your aims, do you look forward to a new life?

S: (zestfully) Oh yeah! Every time I leave for a new role on Earth, I say goodbye with, "See you all back here A.D. (after death):"

This case is an example of like-minded souls with ego-inflating needs who support and validate each other's feelings and attitudes. Herein lies the key to understanding the formation of soul groups. I have learned that many spiritual clusters have subgroups made up of entities whose identities are linked by similar issues blocking their  advancement. Even so, these souls do have differences in  strengths and weaknesses. Each group member contributes their best attributes toward advancing the goals of others in the family.

I do not want to leave the impression from Case 21 that the few remaining souls in this inner circle of close friends represent the behavior traits of everyone in the original cluster. When a primary group of, say fifteen or twenty souls is formed, there are marked similarities in talent and interests. But a support group is also designed to have differences in disposition, feelings, and reactions. Typically, my subjects report a male-female oriented mixture of one or more of the following character types in their groups: 1) Courageous, resilient, a tenacious survivor. 2) Gentle, quiet, devoted, and rather innocent. 3) Fun-loving, humorous, a jokester and risk-taker. 4) Serious, dependable, cautious. 5) Flamboyant, enthusiastic, frank. 6) Patient, steady, perceptive. 7) Thoughtful, calculating, determined. 8) Innovative, resourceful, adaptable.

These differences give a group balance. However, if an entire group displays a strong tendency toward flamboyance or daring, the most cautious member would appear less so to another group of souls.

There is no question that the souls in Case 21 are in for a long development period. Yet they do contribute to the vitality of earth. Subsequent questioning of this subject revealed the paths of these souls continue to cross in the twentieth century. For instance,  Allum is a graphic designer and part-time professional guitar player involved with Josey, who is a singer.

The fact that the closely-knit souls in this case were so male-oriented in their physical lives does hot take away from their ability to associate with young souls with predominantly female preferences. Cluster groups are gender-mixed. As I have mentioned, truly advanced souls have balanced gender preferences in their physical life choices.

The desire for expression of self-identity is an important motivating factor for souls choosing to come to Earth to learn practical lessons. Sometimes a reason for discomfort with the lower level soul is the discrepancy in perception of Self in their free soul state, compared to how they act in human bodies. Souls can get confused with who they are in life. Case 21 did not seem to exhibit any conflict in this area, but I question the rate of growth achieved by Allum in recent past lives. However, the basic experience of living a life may compensate, to some extent, for the lack of insight gained from that life.

Our shortcomings and moral conflicts are recognized as faults far more in the spirit world than on Earth. We have seen how the nuances of decision-making are dissected and analyzed in spiritual groups. Cluster members have worked together for such a long time in earth years that entities become accountable to each other and the group as a whole. This fosters a great sense of belonging in all spiritual groups, and can give the appearance of thought barriers between clusters, especially with souls in the lower levels. Nevertheless, while rejection and loneliness is part of every soul's life in human form, in the spirit world our individual ego-identity is constantly enhanced by warm peer group socialization.

The social structure of soul groups is not the same as groups of people on Earth. Although there is some evidence of paired friendships, I don't hear about cliques, stars of attraction, or isolated souls within clusters. I am told souls do spend time alone in the silence of personal reflection when attached to a group. Souls are intimate entities in their family relationships on Earth and engagement in group community life in the spirit world. And yet, souls do learn much from solitude.

I understand from my white-light subjects that souls at the beginning levels are frequently separated from their groups to individually work on simple energy projects. One rather young soul recalled being alone in an enclosure trying to put together "a moving puzzle" of dissembled geometric shapes of cylinders, spheres, cubes, and squares with self-produced energy. It was described as being "multidimensional, colorful, and holographic" in nature.

He said, "We have to learn to intensify our energy to bring the diffused and jumbled into focus to give it some kind of basic shape." Another subject added, "These tests give the Watchers information about our imagination, creativity, and ingenuity, and they offer us encouragement rather than being judgmental."

Souls on all levels engage in another all important activity when they are alone. They are expected to spend time mentally concentrating on helping those on Earth (or other physical worlds) whom they have known and cared about. From what I can gather, they go to a space some call the place of projection. Here they enter an "interdimensional field of floating, silvery-blue energy," and project outward to a geographical area of their choosing.

I am told this is a mental exercise in "holding and releasing positive vibrational energy to create a territory." This means souls ride on their thought waves to specific people, buildings, or a given area of land in an attempt to comfort or effect change.