OUTLINE: SESSION FOUR
REINCARNATION OR GILGUL
- The term gilgul comes from the Hebrew verb lehitgalgel – to revolve or turn, and the noun galgal – wheel.
– Its central principle is that this life is only one part of a larger series of lives.
– We return to this world again and again until we have learned all that we can from this earthly existence.
2. The concept of gilgul is described at length in the section of the Zohar called sabah demishpatim, the grandfather of the Torah portion of Mishpatim (Exodus 21-24).
– In this section, the concept of reincarnation is developed as an explanation for several Biblical injunctions including the commandment of yibbum, levirate marriage and the laws regarding a female slave.
3. The physical, emotional and mental equipment that we possess when we enter into incarnation is of immense importance.
– We will be given the particular body, personality and life circumstances that will enable us to further the evolution of our soul.
4. The nature of the environment in which we will be raised is another crucial factor to be considered.
II. THE LAW OF KARMA: YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW
1. The law of karma, or cause and effect, is one of the major principles that define the process of reincarnation.
2. Karma is, in essence, a very simple idea. Every action has a cause.
– That action then becomes the cause of further actions, ad infinitum.
3. During the journey of our individual soul, we will undergo many different incarnations.
– What we do in one life will influence the elements that will compose the incarnation that follows.
4. If we have not learned what we need to in this life, then the struggle will continue on in the next life as well.
5. In the traditional perspective of karma, the principle of tikkun, or fixing a past wrong, plays an important role.
– The Shaar haGilgulim of Chaim Vital and the writings of the Hasidic Masters are filled with stories that revolve around the fulfillment of such tikkunim or reparations.
6. The workings of karma can also be understood from the perspective of the science of energies.
– In our personal universe, there is a constant exchange of energies between the surrounding environment and ourselves.
– Everything that we do, say or think has an effect on us and on those around us.
7. The law of cause and effect is a precise science with its own specific laws and parameters.
8. The workings of karma are overseen by a “department” in the Organization of the Heavens.