GLOSSARY

DHARMA

Dharma is a Sanskrit word that refers to an individual's duty in life according to divine or cosmic law. When people say that they know what their dharma is, they usually mean that they are aware of what their special work or their mission is and how they are to fulfill their reason for being.

For example, it may be one person's dharma to get an education and become a scientist who discovers the cure for cancer or AIDS. The dharma of another person may be to become a teacher who helps others get the education they need to be successful in life; or a doctor or nurse, so that they can help the people they need to help- the people that they promised to help before they were born.

But, your dharma may not always be the same as your profession. For some people, having children and raising them with love and kindness may be their dharma; or their dharma may be volunteering with handicapped children or with the Fire Department so they are able to help save certain individuals in times of tragedy. There are probably as many different dharmas as there are individual souls-and all are equally important.

KARMA

Karma is the law of cause and effect. It is a basic principle of the universe. In order to graduate from the schoolroom of life on earth and return to God, you have to fulfill your special mission and balance your personal karma. There is good karma and bad kharma.

An easy way to understand karma is to think of a boomerang: whatever we send out returns to us - for better or for worse. Positive karma, such as acts of loving kindness towards others, may return in the form of happiness and good fortune. Negative karma might return in the form of tragedies and some kind of hardship.

But, it is important to remember that there is always new karma being made everyday, and not everything that happens to you is your karma returning.

REINCARNATION

After a physical death, your soul returns to life in another body.

Reincarnation gives your soul the opportunity to evolve by learning the lessons of love through many different life experiences.

By having a series of lifetimes, we are able to "fine tune" our hearts and the talents that God has given us. How many times we have to reincarnate depends upon our experiences, how we have reacted to them and how much love we are able to hold in our hearts, for ourselves, for others and for God.

It may take many lifetimes to learn how to love ourselves-and our enemies.

Learning how to forgive people for wrongdoing-and learning how to forgive ourselves for past mistakes can take a long time.

For example, if, in one life, we got into a fight with our brother or sister and they ended up killing us in a fit of anger, it might take two or three lives before our soul was healed of the trauma and able to forgive the other person.

In order to balance the karma of murder, they might have to reincarnate again and be our mother or father and learn how to love us and take care of us and protect us from harm.

They may even have to lay down their own life so that yours might be spared.

SOUL

Your soul is your life essence. It has a definite plan that started a long time ago in the heart of God. Many people refer to the soul in the feminine form, such as "she" or "her."

It is your soul that needs the opportunity to be born again and again in a human body so that she can balance the majority of her karma, fulfill her special mission and return to God in the heaven world.

TWIN FLAMES AND SOUL MATES

A long time ago, your soul was created in the heart of God. You were not created alone - you were created with your twin flame, a very special soul with whom you share a unique mission. While you may have more than one soul mate during your life, you have only one twin flame.



* The ideas in this section have come from the many written and oral teachings of East and West and a variety of religious documents that have been researched over the past 30 years on the philosophy of reincarnation and karma. There are, however, two books that have been more important than any others: Quincy Hoew Jr.'s Reincarnation for the Christian (The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, IL, 1974; available through its publishing house and most online bookstores), and radio interviews taken from Elizabeth Clare Prophet's Inner Perspectives (The Summit Lighthouse Library, an imprint of Summit University Press, Corwin Springs, MT; available by calling 1-800-245-5445).