1. What is understood by return?
Samael Aun Weor: Common and ordinary people understand by return the return to a new womb; this means that we as souls can reincorporate ourselves within a new human organism. It is not irrelevant to state that when we return we are born and continue to exist in the same manner, in the same way lived by us in our present existence.
2. Why is it that we do not remember anything of our previous lives?
Samael Aun Weor: People do not remember their previous lives because their consciousness is asleep; it is clear that if their consciousness were awakened then they would remember their previous lives.
3. Who returns?
Samael Aun Weor: The souls who still have the possibility of salvation can return to a new womb in order to re-attire themselves again with a new physical body; however when the case is lost, when we have become definitively evil, when already any punishment has no purpose for us, then it is clear that we no longer return, we do not return into a new body anymore, and instead we enter into the infernal worlds where only “weeping and gnashing of teeth” are heard [Matthew 8:12, 13:42, 13:50, 22:13, etc].
4. How can we verify that we returned to this world anew?
Samael Aun Weor: For some people the return to this world after death is another theory, for others a dogma, a cause for laughter, a superstition, or a belief; but for those who remember our past lives, return is a fact; this means that only by remembering our previous existences will we be able to demonstrate the crude reality of the reincorporation or return to this valley of tears; however, we repeat, to remember our last lives is only possible by the awakening of the consciousness.
5. Why do we come to this world again?
Samael Aun Weor: We return to this world with the purpose of becoming perfect, because unfortunately we are sinners and we need to end our errors.
6. What returns to the world of human beings?
Samael Aun Weor: What returns to this world is the soul of the deceased.
7. Do animals and plants also return to this world?
Samael Aun Weor: The souls of plants, animals, and stones are the elementals of nature; they also return to this world in continuous manner. For example, if a plant dries up and dies, then the elemental of such a plant is reborn again in a new plant; if an animal dies, the elemental of that creature returns in a new animal organism again, etc.
8. Does predestination exist?
Samael Aun Weor: Each soul is the creator of its own destiny; if one performs good deeds, one then receives good luck, however if one performs evil deeds, then one is reborn in this world in order suffer and to pay everything; now we can understand why some are born on mattresses filled with white goose feathers and others in disgrace.
9. I would like to remember my past lives, but since I have my consciousness asleep, how can I awaken it?
Samael Aun Weor: Follow the path of the sanctity; that is the way for the awakening of the consciousness. Terminate with all of your errors, repent of all of your evil deeds, become pure in thought, word, and action; I guarantee you that your consciousness will totally awaken when you have reached true sanctity.
10. Why do many of us not believe that we have had previous lives?
Samael Aun Weor: Some people do not believe that they had previous lives simply because they do not remember them, and indeed they do not remember them because their consciousness is totally asleep.
11. Sir, do you remember your previous lives? Is it verifiable to you that reincorporation exists?
Samael Aun Weor: It is clear that if I did not remember my previous lives, I would not dare to defend the doctrine of return with so much passion; fortunately, I remember with entire exactitude all the lives that I have had on the planet Earth.
12. How many times can one return?
Samael Aun Weor: It is written with golden letters in the book of life that one returns to this world 108 times.
13. Why do some souls return as men and others as women?
Samael Aun Weor: Everything depends on the events of life. Sometimes we must return in a feminine body and others in masculine. This is according to the events of our previous lives.
14. Why do some say that if one treats animals badly one can return as a horse, dog, or cat, etc.?
Samael Aun Weor: The lost souls enter the infernal worlds. There, as it is stated in the sacred scriptures, they suffer the Second Death [Revelation 2:11, 20:6, 20:14, 21:8]. It is after that death that the condemned souls become free of any sin. Then they can return to this world. However, they return according to the law of evolution, namely, they evolve, returning as mineral elementals. Thereafter they ascend to the plant state, then later the souls reincorporate within animal organisms, and finally reconquer the human state that once they lost. When arriving at these heights, 108 lives are assigned to them again, so that they can become perfect. Nevertheless, if they fail again, then the same process is repeated anew.
15. How is it that when one visits certain places one has the sensation of knowing the place so well that one can even give details and signs of the same place?
Samael Aun Weor: That phenomenon happens because in previous lives we were in that place.
16. How many opportunities does one have in order to return as a human being, how many as an animal, how many as a plant, and how many as a mineral?
Samael Aun Weor: The return in human organisms is already properly calculated as 108 times. But the return in plant or animals organisms, or simply as mineral elementals, does not have an exact number.
17. Is it possible to pass from the plant kingdom to the human kingdom or from the animal to the mineral?
Samael Aun Weor: From the plant kingdom one passes into the human kingdom—but through the animal kingdom; this means that we cannot skip a step, because “nature does not make leaps.” If animal elementals degenerate, then they devolve; they go back down to the mineral state but first by passing—naturally—through the plant state.
18. In what dimension are the elementals from plants and minerals located?
Samael Aun Weor: The elemental creatures of nature live in the fourth dimension.
19. Are we the same human souls from ancient times, those who return, or do some definitively disappear?
Samael Aun Weor: The present humanity is very old; it has been returning to this world for millions of years.
20. How long does it take for a human soul—after physically dying—to receive a new body?
Samael Aun Weor: That depends upon the destiny of each one; some are reborn again immediately and others delay a long time in order to return.
21. As to students who have begun to awaken their consciousness: when they die, can they be aware of the return process?
Samael Aun Weor: Whosoever awakens the consciousness does not need to wait for the moment of the death in order to remember their previous lives; they can remember them in life, here and now.
22. Does Gnosis consider unfair the fact that millions of human beings live in the most complete ignorance about their evolution, return, the inner realization of their Being, and the awakening of their consciousness?
Samael Aun Weor: We Gnostics consider unfair the fact that there are not enough instructors, or better said, a great quantity of missionaries to deliver the Gnostic teachings everywhere. Nevertheless, we are not guilty of this, since this humanity is only interested in amusing themselves, obtaining money, giving themselves to pleasures, etc. If people were more comprehensive, they would be more concerned with these studies and would spread them.
23. What is the Second Death and what does it have to do with return?
Samael Aun Weor: The Second Death is the termination of our animal passions in the infernal worlds; this means that through its fulfillment the condemned—the lost ones—arrive at the original purity, and when this happens they leave the infernal abysses, which are within the interior of the Earth. Then, as we already stated, such souls evolve again from stone to man.
24. When will it be possible for humanity to understand “the why” of returning?
Samael Aun Weor: Humanity will only be able to understand “the why” of returning when they attain the awakening of their consciousness.
25. Why is it that people are born, die, and return again just to repeat the same song?
Samael Aun Weor: Certainly, people—as you stated—are born and die and return again in order to repeat the same song because we are submitted to the law of recurrence. In each life, we return in order to repeat everything which we did in the previous life, but we suffer the consequences of the good and bad things we did in the last life; this is a vicious circle, a repetition of dramas, scenes, loves, encounters with the same people, etc.
26. What should we do in order to cease so many repetitions?
Samael Aun Weor: Only by means of sanctification is it possible for us to get rid of the law of recurrence.
27. Who sends us to take a physical body again?
Samael Aun Weor: The angels of destiny send us to this world; they have written down in their books our good and bad actions.
28. If after the death of the physical body, the soul goes to heaven—as it is stated by many religions—why does it not stay there?
Samael Aun Weor: Heaven is a reward and a recompense for our good actions. However, when the recompense is exhausted, it is then clear that we must return to this world.
29. Is it true that hell exists?
Samael Aun Weor: That hell with flames—that pit with ignited coals and devils with forks—is a symbol that corresponds to a tremendous reality. In other words, the infernal worlds, the inferior worlds, are regions of bitterness within the interior of the planet Earth. The lost souls live in those infradimensional abysses.
30. If some souls go to hell, what can we do in order to avoid falling into those flames?
Samael Aun Weor: To teach the Gnostic doctrine to all souls is our duty, since it would be unjust—as we already stated in a previous answer—to not preach these teachings in all the regions of the world.
31. Is it true that the souls fall into that pit full of flames and yet are not burned?
Samael Aun Weor: The fire and the water are within the interior of the Earth. The failed souls become identified with these elements of nature, and suffer. However, the fire cannot burn them nor the water drown them, because the souls are incorporeal, subtle. When seeing this subject-matter about the flames from another angle, I want tell you that those flames symbolize our animal passions.
32. Who saw those flames and became aware that the souls were there?
Samael Aun Weor: Any intelligent person knows that there is liquid fire within the interior of the Earth, since volcanoes show it. So, it is not necessary to be wise in order to see the flames.Anyone can see those flames within volcanoes’ craters, mixed with lava and flammable gases.
33. What is the Purgatorial region?
Samael Aun Weor: Religions address us about Purgatory, about the Purgatorial region; in fact, there are inferior and submerged molecular zones located beyond the fourth dimension. In such zones, many souls that aspire to the Light are purified by eliminating their sins.
34. Is it true that by believing in God one can escape hell?
Samael Aun Weor: Many people believe in God and, nevertheless, they do not escape hell. If you want to escape from falling into the region of the darkness, then you need to sanctify yourself.
35. Is it true that by learning by memory the chapters of the Bible one can be free of hell?
Samael Aun Weor: Many people who know the Bible by memory—with periods and commas—abide in hell.
36. Could somebody be saved just by believing what is written in the Bible?
Samael Aun Weor: Faith without works is dead faith. We need living faith, and this is based on good works. It is urgent to live in accordance with the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. [“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” —James 2:17]
37. Is returning an obligation?
Samael Aun Weor: As long as we do not attain perfection, the angels of destiny will send us to this world.
38. Is returning favorable in order to pay for our bad deeds?
Samael Aun Weor: All the sufferings that we have in this world are due to the bad actions from our previous lives.
39. Do we always return in the same family?
Samael Aun Weor: The “I” continues in its own seed; this means that we continue in our descendants. In other words, we return to the same family.
40. What is the difference between return and reincarnation?
Samael Aun Weor: The egos “return incessantly” in order to repeat dramas, scenes, events, here and now. The ego returns in order to pay karma and to satisfy its desires.
The word reincarnation is very demanding. Nobody could reincarnate without previously having eliminated the ego. It would be absurd to confuse reincarnation with return. The humanoids return with their consciousness asleep, whereas masters like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, etc., reincarnate at will.
This chapter is from Beyond Death (1970) by Samael Aun Weor.