Discussing Reincarnation with Karen Berg

Author and Kabbalah expert Karen Berg breaks down the essentials of reincarnation and how it impacts our lives.

BY: Beliefnet


Pick up Karen's new book To Be Continued here!

What inspired you to write this book at this time?

For the last 40 years as the spiritual director of the Kabbalah Centre I have spoken with many people who suffer personal challenges, trying to understand why certain things are happening to them. It is hard for them to accept the idea that a child can be born with a deformity, or why a business partner might have deceived, or worse, stolen from them. But once people begin to understand the doctrine of reincarnation, things begin to make sense. Somehow a burden is lifted. I see it in their eyes. I simply found that helping people to understand that there is a bigger context to life empowers them, they don’t feel like victims. By sharing this wisdom with people I can help them engage and experience life more fully, and with more meaning.

This is a 2-part question: 1. You wrote that the more elevated we become, the greater our challenges. Please define elevated. 2. Does this mean that people with seemingly steady lives such as Condoleezza Rice, and my cousin whom you’ve never heard of, have not had many incarnations?

There are several answers to this question. There is a spiritual system in this universe that resulted from the Creation of this world, I discuss this in the book; Spiritual energy exists in a polarity. Where you have light you have an equal amount of darkness, in this way we have free will and we can, with our choices, carve out our own destiny. However there is also a concept that I talk about which is the different level of souls, some are new souls who are coming down for the first time, some are older souls that have been here before. The work of each soul is different. Some have more challenges, but at the same time they have a greater capacity to reveal light from their decisions. It is also difficult for us to know what spiritual work a person needs to go through, or at what point in their life the challenge might come. We cannot assume anything about another’s life: We are only here to understand and work on our own. That in and of itself is difficult enough to understand we should not be involved with the work of another, that is between them and the Light.

If one believes in reincarnation, it’s not a stretch to think that people in our family and social circle have been with us before, but how can we tell what lessons we are to learn from each person this time around?

The work we are meant to do is usually found in our challenges, in those things we avoid, or run away from. For me the most difficult thing to learn was how to be alone. When my husband, teacher, friend, and partner in this spiritual work had a stroke, in many ways I was left to do this work alone. It is here that I found my greatest challenge, and also my greatest gift. 10, 20, or even 30 years ago I would that thought that my work was one thing. But in this, one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced , I learned something very different. We just never know what the Creator has in store for us. What we do need to know is that no matter what happens, no matter how hard life seems, our challenges only to bring us to become our best self.

Continued on page 2: More on reincarnation »

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Related Topics: Faiths, Kabbalah