TELL A YOUNG SOUL FROM AN OLD SOUL
by Jose Stevens, Ph.D.
(Who is a long time observer and reader
of the Edgar Cayce Readings.)
following is a brief description of the characteristics of five
basic soul levels. Each level has many lifetimes of lessons to
teach us wisdom through trial and error.
SOULS choose lessons of physical survival. They live in simple
situations that include intense experiences - famine, plagues,
floods, wars, oppression, etc. They don’t know the difference
between right and wrong, though they can be taught to be decent
human beings. They don’t usually seek higher education and
often don’t seek employment, as such. Infant souls don’t
question authority and willingly adopt the religion of their parents
SOULS display less fear than infant souls and are more sophisticated.
But they tend to over apply rules. Black is black as far as they’re
concerned. Their strong early beliefs remain fixed in their minds,
regardless of a lack of their wisdom or tolerance. Baby souls
love to become big fish in their little puddles...but hate being
opposed. Because of this they may spend much time in litigation.
Baby souls don’t spend time navel-gazing into their own
lives. They’re often “good students” that learn
”proper subjects”, and are attracted to fundamentalist
SOULS are the “Donald Trumps” of the world...the movers
and shakers. They usually set the bar too high for themselves.
Achievement is paramount. They chase after what they believe will
bring success without ever stopping to think why - because they’re
so limited in their perception. They fear death and must have
all the toys, experiences, fame and money they can possibly accumulate
before they die. They are designers of civilization.
Young souls usually seek higher education and graduate-level degrees.
Their views of orthodoxy are at one end of the spectrum or the
other. Monks and nuns are at one end and a belief in total sexual
freedom, the other. They have difficulty with insight into other
SOULS challenge the young soul’s desire to “have it
all”. It is a hard cycle that demands seeking answers to
life’s tough questions. They are attracted to gentler faiths,
such as Quaker, Unitarian, or Buddhist. Mature souls are not as
open to the occult as old souls. They look for and question the
motivation for all of life’s actions. They often continue
with inappropriate relationships - perhaps believing that through
self-sacrifice, or tough lessons they will ultimately prevail.
Often they can’t shake their sense of duty. Mature souls
suffer from stress related illness that sometimes results in schizophrenia,
psychosis and a higher suicide rate than other souls. [Cayce emphasized
the role that “stress” plays in not only physical
illnesses but also mental illnesses; he believed it was “stress”
that wrecked havoc on the brain's chemistry/balance]. But they’re
smart enough to seek professional help without urging. Mature
souls often make huge contributions to knowledge - particularly
philosophical and scientific. But although they don’t necessarily
have the drive for fame, many still achieve it. They’re
emotionally high maintenance.
SOULS live and let live. They seek the route of least resistance;
they’re individualistic and usually easy going. They have
an inner knowing of the waste of time in pursuing fame and fortune
and therefore create the appearance of being “laid back”.
Old souls are highly competent - even in roles they don’t
particularly like. They tend to choose work that is pleasant and
undemanding, leaving them free to pursue their desired goals easily...unless
the job adds to the spiritual search. They may or may not seek
higher education...but definitely will seek it if they sense it’s
needed for their chosen path. Old souls create confidence in animals.
And their choice of medical care tends to be alternative and holistic.
Old souls are here to teach others their spiritual understandings.
Their philosophies and writings are simple and easy to read. Old
souls religion is far reaching and has no label. A grove of trees
is a sacred place to them. They seldom cling to dogma and prefer
personal spiritual practices. However, old souls are wise enough
to be discreet in their religious practices and know how to pass
in public undetected. They focus on searching for the spiritual
truth and have a finer sense of knowing what is true than any
other souls level. Old souls all over the world share the experience
of emptiness and a longing for that feeling of home.
may start noticing these characteristics in people around you
- and perhaps better understand why they think and act the way
By Joya Pope
On deep inner levels, Old Souls perceive the interrelatedness
existing among all people. Intuitively they sense they are part
of an integral whole.
this big picture, Old Souls then do their best to live by it and
to not harm or judge others. There is a strong urge to be impeccable
and to maintain personal integrity in all transactions. They detach
from the emotional intensities of the Mature Soul period and get
more objective about the ups and downs of life.
dozens of lifetimes in varieties of cultures and classes thoroughly
blended into their essences, it is much more difficult for Old
Souls to get embroiled in the right-and-wrong, us-and-them games
people and countries both play. Seeing the whole picture in this
way makes Old Souls calmer, more peaceful and centered. It can
also make them appear passive or weak to the other soul ages.
Old Souls do not tend to grow into their full soul perceptivity
until about age thirty-five or so, they will, even before then,
be accused of stepping to the beat of a different drummer. They
are unusual - two steps away from the norm - in this Young Soul
culture. Because they are inclined to individualistically follow
their inner perceptions and desires, they may be seen as eccentric,
though usually harmlessly so.
there is great motivation for spiritual growth, motivation tends
to be lacking when it comes to developing political or material
punch. Seldom doing anything they don't want to and preferring
their own unconventional pursuits, they often seek the path of
least resistance as far as work, so that all energy can be poured
into spiritual development. Because of the essence's richness
gathered over many lifetimes, Old Souls tend to be extremely competent
in a wide range of things - which often aren't pursued. They will
try to find work that supports their personal growth: counseling,
teaching, bodywork, gardening and carpentry being some favorites.
are magnetized by philosophy and art. If higher education proves
necessary in order to teach, less orthodox schools allowing more
opportunities for inner exploration will be favored.
fancy house or car, or impressive clothes and jewelry aren't often
too high on an Old Soul's real priority list. Neither is a nine-to-five
job. Plain laziness on the physical plane sometimes creates difficulty
paying the bills, but the material game just isn't what it used
to be. However, Old Souls do have one advantage with the material
world: as they begin to seek, understand and use the laws of the
physical universe, goals can be attained with less effort. Thus,
there is an outer, as well as an inner draw to understand the
universal laws distilled in astrology, metaphysics, tarot and
other ancient teachings.
Souls may explore many religions and teachings, being most drawn
to those emphasizing love and to those they've resonated with
closely in past lives.
being rule-bound or as orthodox as some disciplines require does
not usually last long. Unique, personal spiritual practices, like
an oceanside ritual to mark a birthday, are often developed and
Souls are very capable of agape or unconditional love, and many
consciously work on not ever judging other people. For this very
reason, some Old Souls appear to be annoyingly remote. This is
usually an essence who has previously handled many emotional issues
and comes to the planet intent on examining intellectual, philosophical
and spiritual issues, period.
the television rendition of Shirley MacLaine's Out on a Limb,
the character, David, who took her to Peru and never stopped playing
pedant, was noticeably lacking in warmth. David appeared to function
well with minimal feeling; he didn't seem to mind instructing
and mentoring all the time. However, some people get uncomfortable
once they are here with their aridity and lack of emotional warmth
and set out to make up for what their personality seems to lack.
But, the force of essence - which, in this case, is committed
only to comprehending spiritual lessons - will not be behind creating
the change. This does not mean the change can't be made, just
that it is trickier to pull off because you and your essence agreed
to work on spiritual lessons.
similar situation arises after a person has had materially successful
lifetimes. The essence has completed the lessons to be gained
from having riches and does not have much impetus to recreate
those situations except as it might peripherally help with other
lessons. Your essence may be willing to let you be dirt poor for
the duration of your lifetimes as long as it is gaining the desired
spiritual and philosophic lessons. Sometimes an essence actually
interferes with a person gaining money when it's clear that riches
would distract attention from the real inner work.
you are your essence while you are astral; it is you who decides
not to give yourself the wealthy Young Soul parents or the drive
and ambition to go out and get powerfully rich. The problem is,
of course, that when you arrive on the physical plane, the personality
goes a little crazy without material goodies in a material world.
The personality may push to make a comfortable living, and pull
it off, but again without the added impetus of your essence insisting,
"Make a bundle! You have got to be successful." As long
as the essence is being fed what it really wants – philosophical
and spiritual food – it won't hamper your goals of making
money or creating warm emotional connections with people. But
your essence still won't be giving you its added push toward prosperity
or emotionally nourishing relationships.
major challenge of the Old Soul period is mastering self-esteem.
No one is complete until there is self-forgiveness and self-love.
Self-esteem can be elusive when living in a Young Soul society
that doesn't acknowledge the work or innate value of most older
souls. And on top of that, Old Souls truly see what a small part
they play in this grand, infinite universe. For this reason, working
this issue through is often a very big deal, with lots of self-deprecation
being used along the way.
major item on the Old Soul school-days agenda is loving being
in a body, manifesting sufficient mastery that you have enough
of what you want to make it pleasurably exciting to be on the
planet. It is never your last life until you like it here; essence
would never let you off the hook before then.
order to even out your past life choices, as an Old Soul you are
often in the body of the sex you least prefer. But having had
both male and female bodies so many times before, you do begin
to blend the different energies and may not be greatly identified
with being either male or female. It becomes hard to work up a
lather about someone's homosexuality or "lack of masculinity"
or "femininity". Bisexual feelings are not uncommon;
whether acted upon or not, they are allowed to rise to the surface,
sometimes. Sex, which takes on a cosmic feeling by blending all
charkas, becomes possible – and sought after.
an Old Soul as a baby is telling, for while the child is still
acting the demanding infant or growing baby, another quality may
be sensed. Because the soul has done all of this so many times,
the child has a peace, ease, and wisdom about it--at least in
its quieter moments--that can be sensed by the adults around it.
fewer Old Souls than Mature or Young ones become famous, and when
they do it is usually to teach, for the Old Soul level is the
of us allow ourselves to complete the physical plane experience
until everything we've learned is shared with at least one other
person. Some musicians typifying this Old Soul need to teach are
Joan Baez, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Sting, Judy Collins, Jerry
Garcia, Bob Marley and children's hero and folksinger, Raffi.
Paul Winter, George Winston, Kitaro and a burgeoning band of Old
Soul; New Age musicians are intent on moving us into gorgeous
inner spaces with their music.
Twain, John Muir, and Albert Einstein were all Old Souls with
a mission, as was Dr. Edward Bach. John Robbins is busy changing
the way America looks at food and food production. Film director
John Boorman (Emerald Forest, Hope and Glory), author Alice Walker
(The Color Purple), goddess researcher Jean Shinoda Bolen, Shirley
MacLaine, Robert Redford and Phil Donahue are some pretty active
Old Souls currently doing work on our culture.
on the spiritual front we find Don Juan Matus, Nostradamus, Gurdjieff,
Guru Mayi, Carl Jung, Werner Erhard, Rajneesh, Ram Dass, Matthew
Fox, the Dalai Lama, Sun Bear, Swamis Satchidananda and Muktananda
and transpersonal psychologists, Christina and Stanislav Grof.
Jackson, Jerry Brown, Abraham Lincoln, Anwar Sadat, Iceland's
president, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, and Brazil's Chico Mendes are
six very affecting Old Souls who put their energy into the political
arena. You'll notice these individuals teach from their being
or essence in a unique fashion.
currently containing predominantly Old Souls (but not always Old
Soul leadership) are Iceland, Holland, and Czechoslovakia. Old
Soul nations prefer neutrality in international conflicts, and
when that's impossible, they prefer subjugation to violence and
bloodshed. Being aware that freedom is first an inner experience,
they teach their captors a great deal about harmony and humanity.
Historically we see this in Alexander the Great's conquest of
(then Old Soul) Persia and parts of what is now modern India.
Souls are everywhere, at least sprinkled thinly. Burma has many
Old Souls, as do New Zealand, Finland and Norway. Most U.S. cities
have Old Soul groupings in them whether coastal like Vancouver,
Miami, Laguna and Boston or inland like Minneapolis, Chicago and
Atlanta. However, the deepest United States pockets of Old Souls
are so far primarily in Oregon, Washington, and Northern California.
The Keys of Florida and Orcas Island, Washington are both magnets
for Old Souls. Certain other cities, like Santa Fe and Taos, New
Mexico, and Boulder, Colorado have taken on a comfortable Old
also has large scale Old Soul pockets; the major one was, for
a time, Siberia. It is said that these Old Souls incarnated in
the U.S.S.R. to help push that country forward. They did not expect
to end up in gulags, nor would they have chosen that way to work.
Soviet Armenia was bulging with both Old and Mature Souls: even
the best laid astral plans don't always pan out perfectly.
individual Old Souls are scattered about, resting in comfortable
island places like Tahiti, or conversely, working spiritedly in
places like Africa to help bring a country or continent forward.
Old Souls incarnate in Infant Soul areas like the Amazon in order
to protect, assist, foster, nourish and guide those that need
is a tendency for older souls to have a greater understanding
of what the younger soul perceptivities are like than vice-versa.
Knowing about soul age perceptivity is exceedingly helpful in
understanding the way other people think, the way they look at
life and in understanding something about their life tasks.
soul age is trying to experience as much as possible within that
particular level of perceptivity. It's absolutely to the point
for an Infant Soul to be fearfully concerned about basic survival
and for a Baby Soul to be requesting law and order. A Young Soul
is appropriate when striving for great material wealth, power
and acclaim, and a Mature Soul when beginning to feel intensely
emotional and ask those deeper questions. It's appropriate for
an Old Soul to not meet societal norms, to look and act mildly
eccentric and to be teaching others, even when his own personal
or material life isn't together.
expect your Old Soul child to make a successful climb up a corporate
ladder is unrealistic. Likewise, it's in error to count upon an
aggressive Young Soul attorney turning her attention towards saving
the environment, or to believe a Mature Soul embroiled in a major
emotional drama would be able to calm down because you showed
him the "big picture".
Old Soul starts each lifetime being born as an infant who experiences
Infant Soul consciousness and gradually grows into prior levels
of consciousness. A baby is often perceiving through Baby Soul
consciousness; think about a two year old shrieking because a
parent offended her sense of right and wrong. People vary, but
generally reach their competitive Young Soul consciousness sometime
in grade school years. Mature Soul consciousness arrives for many
during junior high school and is what your up-and-down, full-of-drama,
teenager is experiencing.
don't come close to obtaining their true soul perceptivity roughly
one-third of the time. They get stuck. They get lazy. Or the essence
finds it easier to complete certain karmas at earlier more ambitious
or more emotional soul levels. While most Old Souls (Mature Souls
too) will be doing the intense Mature phase in their teens and
early twenties, an Old Soul is often not consistently acting out
of Old Soul awareness until about age thirty-five, and even then
it may be only in some areas of life and not in others. When security
buttons get pushed, for instance, it is often difficult to remain
completely centered in your Old Soul consciousness. Old Souls
will be able to successfully drop out some of the Baby Soul discipline,
Young Soul ambition, and Mature Soul emotionality only if those
qualities are integrated sufficiently into their personality so
that they have access to them when necessary. It does not work
to stick your nose in the air (or your head in the sand) in an
attempt to avoid lessons and gifts from the other soul ages.
who come into these teachings are usually relieved to find out
why they are different from mainstream society; they knew they
marched to a different drummer anyway. These explanations are
useful, making it easier to understand why humans come in such
varieties and why it is that some share global perspectives and
others, no matter how intelligent and cultured, just aren't interested.
purpose of the teaching is agape, not creating yourself to be
souls are not less intelligent, less appropriate or wrong. Their
lessons are about survival, structure, ambition and success, while
your lessons are about emotional and universal connections. Younger
souls are a natural part of that whole you know is all connected,
right? So, if you're indulging yourself by feeling superior, aim
for mild tolerance as a way to begin clearing up that attitude,
which ultimately is a painful, separatist one to carry around.
article is meant - not as a way of "judging" people
- but as a way of understanding the process of the soul's growth
and evolvement, thereby referring to the old theosophical edict,