THE RAMALA CENTRE

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
WITH
ZEN TAO

Q:  Is it true that souls of a high spiritual evolution tend to incarnate in the poorer areas of the world, in countries and cultures that we consider to be unsophisticated and, if this is so, does being an inhabitant of the Western World place us at a disadvantage?

ZT:  How strange it is that in the physical world 'poor' is always used in terms of being poor of money, whereas in the spiritual world 'poor' is always used to imply poor of soul consciousness!  Evolved souls are to be found in every country of the world.  Luckily God does not make the distinction between rich and poor, indeed, it could be argued that the rich need more help than the poor and therefore have a greater need of more evolved souls!  Rich and poor are just karmic lessons.  One can be rich in one life and poor in the next.  One can be born in an industrialised country in one life and in a so-called Third World country in the next.  The fact is that evolved souls choose their country and culture of birth most carefully, firstly, to fulfil any karma they might have to discharge and, secondly, to fulfil the divine plan for the evolution of the Human Race.  Evolved souls might appear to be more numerous in countries like India simply because the conditions for nurturing an evolved soul are more propitious there.  There are less material temptations.  Spirituality is a fundamental part of all life there, whereas here in the West it tends to be more compartmentalised, that is to say that Church and State are very separate entities.   Religion is rarely allowed to interfere with the way that one leads one's life.  In many cases evolved souls choose to incarnate into families where they will be in close proximity to the spiritual teachers that they seek to awaken their own spirituality, to be the devotee of a great guru, the student of a great Master, or the novitiate of a great priest.  Evolved souls have all the wisdom of the universe inside of them; it just has to be awakened.

It is the case that a high standard of living can often detract from a high standard of life.  The so-called pleasures of life become all consuming at the cost of one's spiritual development.  Sometimes a great shock, such as the death of a loved one, is needed to awaken the soul into self-realisation.   A life of great wealth is a testing incarnation because wealth is power, power to affect the lives of other people, and there is a great opportunity for creating karma that will take many lives to transmute.  So do not be desirous of great wealth.  By and large evolved souls choose the circumstances of birth and education that will help them to fulfil their divine mission in life.  They choose their country, their culture and their parents with great care so as to ensure the success of their incarnation.  It might appear that evolved souls are to be found more in poor countries than wealthy countries simply because they stand out more clearly, because more people seek their advice and counselling.  Truly, though, God spreads the seeds of wisdom where they are most needed, where they will do the most good, where they will further the divine plan of human evolution.

Q: Does an evolved soul always incarnate as an evolved soul and live and demonstrate an evolved state of being?

ZT:  No.  It depends on the role that the soul is playing.  Remember that life is a drama in which there is both 'good' and 'evil' and souls play both 'good' and 'evil' roles.  The soul is not 'good' or 'evil'.  It is pure light, pure spirit, pure love.  It is divine.  The soul is simply the actor playing the role.  It is not the role.  Sometimes you need great souls to play so called 'evil' roles.   So, for example, Judas was the soul equal of Jesus, he had to be in order to bring about the death of Jesus.  I know you find it hard to believe, but it is a fact that a lesser soul cannot take away the life of a more evolved soul, unless that more evolved soul permits it.  If that were not the case then human relationships would be in a state of total chaos and disorder.  No soul could guarantee that it would fulfil its destiny.  There is order and balance in the universe.  Just look up at the stars in their perfect orbits to see a demonstration of this fact.  So whilst you may judge the role, never judge the actor, because they may be very evolved souls.  If you were the great soul that played the part of Judas, how would you feel knowing that you would be reviled on Earth for thousands of years for playing that role?  It was an act of great sacrifice.

Q:  Are you saying that Jesus knew that he was going to his death when he went up to Jerusalem, that he knew Judas was simply playing a role when he betrayed him and that no blame should be attached to him?

ZT:  It would be a brave person who would say that they knew with any certainty what was passing through the Master Jesus' mind during those final days.  Undoubtedly Jesus was aware of the broad outline of his destiny, of the fact that one of his disciples would betray him, leading to his arrest and persecution.  Nevertheless, knowing it to be his Father's Will, he still went to Jerusalem. As a highly evolved soul, a true Master, he would not be afraid of death, but as events unfolded he would have had to face and handle his human emotions and to take care not to hate or despise those who persecuted him.  That was the supreme test of his divinity.  In all the gospels of the New Testament nowhere is there to be found a single word of anger, hatred or resentment by Jesus, either against the Romans or the Jews.   Now all of you are going to die, that is the one certainty in your life, but for every individual death is a unique experience.   Only those who understand the reality of death and are prepared for it can handle the event with any certainty.  The thoughts that you hold as you die decide in no small part the reality of your existence after death, the plane of existence on which you will dwell.  You prepare for so many less important things in your life, so why not prepare for death, especially when you might meet it tomorrow!  Above all, is it not a waste of time and energy to fear something that you know is going to happen?  You can only fear the unknown, not the known.

Q:   You speak about death as though it is something to look forward to, almost a blessing.  If that is the case, then, why in our society today is death nearly always associated with fear and loss, with tears and sadness?   Why do we feel the need to mourn the loss of a loved one?  Why do we grieve for the murder of some small child even if we do not know them personally?
 
ZT:  I wonder if you have ever considered the true reality of death and, indeed, questioned why it is necessary to mourn the death of anyone.  Death is a perfectly natural everyday event.  Every aspect of matter has a finite life and dies at its appointed time.  Your physical bodies are no different from any material form to be found on the Earth, if only because they are all composed of the same elements.  Birth and death are both part of the cycle of life on this planet.   If you take birth, then, you are going to die.  All of you have to come to terms with that fact and recognise that they are simply moments of transition from one plane of life to another.  Life truly can be compared to a dream and as you go to sleep, dream and then wake up, so you are born, experience life and then die.  Each of you has an appointed time of death and, unless, through some act of the lower personality, such as suicide or taking your own life in some foolish endeavour, you shorten your destined life, you will die at that appointed time.  If you did but realise it, death is a moment of bliss and involves no suffering at all.  It is only those who are left behind that choose to suffer!  Death is the release from the physical body, from all the pain and the suffering of physical life, into a world of love, light and bliss.  Death and birth are simply moments of transition.  An evolved soul such as the Master Jesus would not fear death.  His only concern would be whether he had truly fulfilled his mission, whether he had truly fulfilled His Father's Will for him.  So to mourn the death of someone is really wasted energy.  You are doing it for yourself, not for the person who has died.  It is far better that you give thanks for their life, for what they have given to the Human Race during that life, rather than that you question the wisdom of God for taking them at that time.  

Every death has meaning and purpose, not just for the individual concerned but also for all those who remain to bear witness to that death.  It is understandable that you should grieve for the loss of a loved one, of a friend or family member, but be aware that that grief is an expression of what you, not the dead person, have lost.  Grief is born out of attachment for what that person means to you, for what that person has or has not given to you.  After all, what is it that dies at death?  It is not the spirit, or its memory the soul; it is simply the overcoat of one's physical body, which you have thrown off.   Without the spirit a physical body has no meaning.  A view of any corpse will confirm this fact.  It is the spirit that gives life to the physical body, which imbues it with energy.  Every spirit incarnates with a plan, with a destiny.  Not all are intended to live for the expected span of three score years and ten.  It is important therefore, especially in these times of crisis, where the very fabric of society is distorted by violence and so-called tragedy, that you come to an understanding of the true meaning and purpose of death.  You must recognise that in any tragedy, no matter whether it be in the crash of an aeroplane, the sinking of a ship, or the loss of thousands of lives in an earthquake or a flood, there is both meaning and purpose if you can but see it.  There is no such thing as blind chance, as a random act of fate, as an accidental death.  God wills everything that happens, otherwise it would not happen, and for you to question that will is to question the wisdom of God.  You, with your physical blinkers, may not see a meaning and a purpose for it, because you do not know the karmic account of those souls, of what sacrifices they are making, of what karma they are transmuting, of what soul lessons they are learning.  Every death experience is always for the highest good of every person concerned.  I will close by saying that the secret of a good death is to lead a good life.

Q:  In recent weeks I have been feeling very discontented with my life.  No matter what I do I still feel that something is not right with my life.  Is this a genuine feeling or simply a case of self-pity?

ZT:  There are two sorts of discontent, namely personality and soul discontent.  Personality discontent is caused by the ego, by the fact that you are not getting what you want, what you think you deserve out of life.  It is most often associated with a personal relationship, with a career, a job, or with a standard of living.  You want more than you have, be it love, the respect of your peers or physical possessions.  Soul discontent on the other hand is born out of a feeling deep inside your being.  It can be likened to a pain that has no physical centre or source.  It permeates your whole being.  It is a feeling that you are not on your destiny path, that you are doing something that is not in your highest interest, that you are taking more out of life than you are giving.  It is a sign that your soul is in a state of unease and is trying to bring about a change in your life.  It is God's way of ensuring that, if you are in the least bit aware and listen to it, you will get back on your destiny path and will fulfil the life that you came to lead.   An example of this would be the Buddha.  Although born into a rich and powerful family, with all his physical needs met in full, yet he was discontented with his life.  He knew that there was more to life than this, that his life had a greater purpose than this, and so he was compelled to search for a greater understanding.  At the other end of the spectrum, an unevolved soul bent on experiencing sensual pleasures to the full, be it sexual or drugs, would ignore all feelings of soul discontent and pursue them to the point of self-destruction.   This would, of course, still be a learning experience for the unevolved soul, a lesson that an evolved soul would not have to learn.

Q:  It seems to me that the world today is in a state of total chaos, which is getting worse by the day.  I have this feeling that life is spinning totally out of control.  How can this be a part of God's plan?  How can God really be in control of life on the Earth?  Do we not all have the free choice to create whatever we wish, even to act against God's Will?  Is this not the reason for the chaos?

ZT:  It is interesting that you should choose to use the word chaos, because the word comes from the Greek and its derivative meaning is a time when God did not control the matter of this Earth, a time when the form was formless.   There was indeed a time, which I will call pre-creation, a time before God's Will created structure and form out of the apparent chaos that existed.  However I can assure you that your God is very much in control of every aspect of matter both in the aspect of Creation that you see with your physical eyes and in the aspects of Creation that you cannot see.  So it is not Creation that has to change, it is your perspective of it that has to change.  Physical eyes see physical creation, but spiritual eyes see spiritual creation.  The higher viewpoint sees meaning and purpose in everything.  On many occasions I have likened life on this Earth to a drama being enacted on the stage of a theatre.  When you see murder and mayhem being performed on the stage do you feel threatened by events on the stage?  Do you think that what you are witnessing is real?  No, because you know very clearly that you are the observer of the drama, that you are not a part of it.  Moreover you know that no one is really dying and that the actors are just playing roles, some good, some bad, depending on your perspective of the drama.  You respond to the drama according to your viewpoint of it.  You are touched on many levels of your being.

        A wise man once said that the way to lead a fulfilling life is to be in the world, but not of the world.  That is to say that you play your role in life but do not identify with the roles of all the other people that you meet.   You are the observer of life and you learn from that observation.  Because of the technological advances in all forms of communication today you are aware of everything that is going on all over the world.  Every human tragedy is presented before you through the means of newspapers, television and film.  The media thrives on tragedy, on bad news.  For the most part it ignores good news.  A case of adultery is a much more tasty morsel than the story of a happy and faithful marriage.  Imagine, though, if you lived out of the range of the media.  Would the world change? No!  But would your view of the world change?  Most certainly!  So the colour of the glasses that you wear determines the colour that you see.  A positive person sees positive things, a negative person sees negative things.  It is a case of the cup being half full or

half empty.  If you look with the eyes of the soul you have a very different viewpoint from the eyes of the physical body.

Now you are living in Kali Yuga, a time of darkness on the Earth, a time when all past karma is being brought to the surface and transmuted before the dawning of a New Age.  Everything that is taking place on the Earth right now is simply karmic settlement.  You have your own karma, your own dirty laundry to wash, so to speak, so why be concerned with the dirty laundry of other people.  Of course you can help other people to do their laundry, when the opportunity arises, but you cannot do the dirty laundry of the whole world!  Only God can do that!  What concerns us of the spiritual hierarchy is that many evolved souls are being sucked into the drama of life and are forgetting that they are simply observers.  The years ahead will present much trial and tribulation for Humanity.  Affairs will get worse before they get better.  This is the time of Armageddon that was prophesied in the Bible.   Truly you will see events manifesting on the Earth that will push your point of consciousness to the limit.  The final scene of a great drama is about to be enacted.  Millions of new souls are streaming onto the Earth for this event.  Do not get caught up in their karma.  Be the observer, not the participant.  Go within for guidance and understanding, not without.  Just as you are not your body, you are an eternal being of spirit, so you are not the drama.  When you recognise the drama for what it is, then you no longer have the need to experience it.  When you have learned all of its lessons you progress to another school of life on a far higher plane of consciousness.

Q:  I hear what you are saying but the world is becoming a very fearful place.  You walk the streets in fear of being mugged or raped.  Life seems to be out of our control, it is government and big business that is pulling all the strings.  The man in the street appears to have no control over his destiny.  Are you saying that this is all a part of the drama?

ZT:  As I have just said, God is in control, or more accurately God's Laws, the Laws of the Cosmos, which control every aspect of matter.  You are magnetic beings. You attract unto yourself according to the qualities of your being.  Good actions attract good fruits.  Bad actions attract bad fruits. A good person, who follows God's Laws, will lead a fulfilling and a fearless life and will attract only good things to themselves.  It is quite possible to lead a Golden Age life in the very midst of Kali Yuga, the Iron Age.  Do not be fearful.  If your thoughts are pure, if you are leading a life of love and light, you will not draw a mugging or a rape to yourself.  A God-centred being has God's protection around them and will draw everything unto them that they need for their lives.   That is the Law of Manifestation.  If you surrender your life into God's hands, if you offer everything to God, then God will protect and provide for you.  You truly have nothing to fear.  It is only those who do not know God in their hearts, who do not have a correct relationship with Him, who are fearful.  This knowledge will set you free.