Physically impaired people Punishment or lesson in life?
By Dr. José Luis Cabouli, MD
Why do some people have physical disabilities that impose limits on them? Why are children born with a congenital or hereditary malformation? Is it an arbitrary decision by our Creator? Could it be some punishment in advance for a fault they havent committed yet? Is it the payment of a debt from a previous life?
The reasons can be as many and as varied as the number of souls living on this planet. Each of them has its story and its reasons; however, there is a basic premise that holds true in all cases. Although we may not see it, the reason for this limitation is not on the physical level. What we see or what we experience, the physical alteration or disability, is the effect of a previous cause. Even genetic abnormalities respond to a previous cause since, in fact, the genetic alteration is only the means for the soul to meet the experience it has to undergo. So that the writing can come true.
And what could be the reasons for a soul to have to experience such a condition on the physical level?
Out of my clinical experience with TVP (Past Lifes Therapy), four basic situations come to my mind due to which somebody may end up in this condition. This does not mean that there arent any other reasons; we are simply trying to understand why the soul needs such a physical situation. Let us now examine which are these basic situations.
I) To overcome a tendency deeply rooted in the spirit
Let us imagine a soul with a violent, aggressive tendency. Throughout several successive lifes, this violence led this soul into situations causing a great deal of suffering for itself and those around it. It may have committed repeated crimes, it may have been an executioner, a victimizer or someone finding pleasure in murder. This soul has now reached a stage in its evolution in which it has finally learned that it should not kill. It knows that killing or destroying the physical bodies of other souls is not good, but it cannot yet restrain its aggressiveness. It is conscious that when faced with a provocation, it may react with violence and do something unfortunate that it will regret ever after. This is the same as in the story of the frog and the scorpion. The frog helps the scorpion cross a river, relying on the promise that it will not be stung. But despite that, when they are in the middle of the river, the scorpion stings the frog and both sink, not to resurface.
Why did you do it?, the frog asks.
I couldnt help it, answers the scorpion. Its stronger than I.
Exactly the same happens on the spiritual level. The soul becomes incarnated so as to improve its behavior on the physical level and make right its wrongs of the past; but it knows that the aggressive tendency inside it is still too strong, and that it may not be able to control it. That is why it can choose or accept a physical disability in its future physical body that will limit its essential violence.
Jesus says: "Should your hand or your foot make you fall, cut them and push them away from you. It is better to enter life one-armed or one-footed than to be thrown into the eternal fire with two hands and two feet. And should your eye make you fall, take it out and push it away from you; it is better to enter life one-eyed than to have two eyes and be thrown into flaming hell". (St. Matthews 18:7-9)
This teaching is clear for those who can comprehend its meaning. Notice that Jesus clearly says "it is better for you to enter life", thus pointing out the determination of a physical defect before birth. If a violent soul were in full command of its physical ability, it could commit a crime and then it would have to suffer accordingly. On the contrary, the physical disability will limit the scope of action of its aggressive tendency, and at the same time it will force this soul to depend on the love and care of others. Along this life, by means of love and contact with others, the violent energy will undergo a transmutation, thus ensuring a more favorable future incarnation for this soul.
II) To learn a lesson in particular
Every difficult circumstance we have to face in our physical life is a chance to learn. And so are diseases and congenital defects. They may be the hardest to put up with, since most of them last a whole lifetime. Through this experience, a soul can make remarkable progress in a life, getting rid of attitudes that prevent it from evolving.
I remember the case of a patient who, in a regression, relived an existence in which he was a boy with Down syndrome. When asked about the meaning of this past life, he said that, in a yet more distant life, he had been very arrogant, despising everybody around him. His life as a Down-syndrome boy helped him understand the suffering he had inflicted on others with his arrogant behavior, seeing as he himself now was discriminated against due to his condition. So he learned that we are all equal and that we are all good in our essence, and he admitted that in his current life there still are some remainders of that arrogance.
Just the same as this patient, many people are curing or cleansing their soul through the difficult experience of living with a physical or mental shortcoming. Sometimes the disability is chosen by the soul itself. Some other times, it is the spiritual hierarchies who determine the most adequate physical conditions for that soul in particular. The soul may or may not agree with the decision of those advising it. The attitude it shows at that time will later be reflected on the earthly level. Those who adapt to their physical condition better are those who gladly accepted the experience meant for them to live. Those who disagreed with or rebelled against this circumstance are the ones who suffer the most and find it most difficult to put up with their ordeal. Every time we meet someone in this situation, we should ask ourselves: What is this person trying to learn or solve? What can I do to assist in their learning?
III) To prepare for a future reincarnation
Just as in our current life we get ready in advance for certain tasks, a soul can choose a life as a disabled person in order to gain experience that will prove useful for a future incarnation. An evolved spirit can plan in advance what it will do two, three or four physical lives ahead. In each incarnation it will gain some learning that will prepare it for its ultimate purpose. For the Higher Being life does not end when the body ends; each incarnation is just a stage of its eternal life. An example could be an entity that has decided to devote itself in a future physical life to help people with mental disabilities. It might then choose to experience being mentally disabled itself, as a preliminary step to the incarnation where it will carry out its charitable work. In this way, it will be better trained for its supportive duties, since it has experienced that disability itself.
IV) A lesson for the parents
When within a family there is a disabled person, the trial is for everybody. In fact, the trial is for the whole of society. The Universe commands, and nothing is left to random or improvisation; everybody gains from the trial.
Sometimes, the experience is basically aimed at the parents. Maybe they need to learn something in particular, or it may define the destiny of a couple, or it can trigger a dormant skill in the parents, or decide a certain course of action in them. How many times has a physician or a researcher developed a specialty or invented a procedure or devised a machine spurred by the needs of their ailing child? How many people have turned to a spiritual path for comfort, or driven by the search of a different explanation and an understanding of the sense of their suffering?
Disabled people going through this kind of experiences may be evolved souls who accept this sacrifice with love and selflessness, because they serve humankind. These are very special beings. Seeing the wisdom and understanding they show at very early ages is enough to realize this. For them, their disease or disability is not some punishment or test, but a mission to accomplish. Somebody has to do it, and the merit and credit goes to them. What we live as suffering or inconvenience is to them a ticket to the heavenly world.
When children with these conditions die at an early age, they are almost certain to have come to accomplish a mission. Once the mission is over, it makes no sense for them to stay on the physical level. To extend their life is to extend their sacrifice to no avail. And it is not the sacrifice of the disability, but the sacrifice of having to be in a physical body for somebody else to learn what they have to learn. These souls are like shooting stars that come, do their duty, and leave.
On other occasions, this could be the way for some souls to gain the right to a better physical existence, and it may even be possible for them to incarnate in the same family. If the death of one of these children is soon followed by a birth within the same family, it may be the same being who comes back for a new life in better conditions.
Personally, I do not believe in punishment as a valid reason to justify a physical disability. Furthermore, the experience of people who have worked with TVP has convinced me that there is no such concept as punishment for the Whole or for the Divine Conscience. It is us, in our ignorance, who experience as punishment the different trials we are faced with in order to grow and evolve. Being a disabled person is, first and foremost, a lesson in life. And many times, the lesson in life is not for the disabled person, but for those of us who are fully able-bodied. It could well be that the disabled person is a teacher trying to teach us something; it is up to us to learn or not to learn. Just our attitude regarding these beings is an indicator of the level of evolution we have reached. So, from now on, when we are face to face with a disabled person, let us think about the tough duty they are bearing, and try to assist and help them in their experience as best we can. And we should not forget to ask ourselves: What can I learn from their experience? If they were teachers hidden behind the disguise of a disabled person, what are they trying to teach me?
Note: This article was first published in the magazine Ciencias, Cultos y Religiones No. 15, August 1996.