What Is an Old Soul?

Q: What is an “old soul,” and is there even such a thing?

It depends on how someone uses the term. The most common use is more of a poetical reference to another person who appears to possess wisdom, maturity, understanding, and insight beyond their years. It’s an acknowledgment of an individual’s unique, mature qualities, attitudes, and behaviors typically associated with someone much older.

Some additional common characteristics attributed to an old soul are a natural curiosity about the world and a preference for solitude or small gatherings because they are easily overwhelmed by large groups. They often crave a simpler life and perhaps are not as materially driven. And because they are often intuitive and a good judge of character, they can be frequently sought out for advice.

Q: Why do some people exhibit these traits?

There are a few reasons why someone may display these characteristics. If it’s a younger person, they haven’t lost their connection to the greater All-That-Is. This allows them to take in a greater amount of information from their surroundings because they often pick up and notice what others miss. They are typically seen as having a very high emotional intelligence (EQ). For older individuals, their life experiences have taught them valuable lessons, contributing to their deep wisdom and insight. Usually, those who identify with these traits often follow a spiritual path that keeps them present and aware, heightening their empathy, compassion, and intuition.

Q: When someone uses the term “old soul” in reference to spirituality and reincarnation, what is the meaning?

In this case, they’re usually suggesting that the person has lived many previous lives. This belief is rooted in the concept of reincarnation, where each life adds to the soul’s cumulative knowledge and wisdom. An old soul, in this sense, is considered more experienced than “younger souls” who have had fewer past lives. They may possess insights and a level of maturity that seem innate and not solely derived from their current life experiences. 

In this instance, though, the concept implies that the soul is on a journey of spiritual evolution through multiple lives. With each reincarnation, the soul learns important lessons, grows, and progresses. An old soul is seen as being further along on this spiritual path than younger souls.
They might have a more detached or philosophical view of life, understanding the transient nature of worldly experiences. This perspective can lead to a more peaceful and accepting approach to life’s ups and downs.

So, when the term “old soul” is used in a spiritual or reincarnation context, it implies that the person has a rich history of past lives, resulting in profound wisdom, maturity, and a deep understanding of life and spiritual matters. This concept is embraced in various spiritual traditions and philosophies that believe in the continuity of the soul beyond a single lifetime.

Q: What do you believe?

From a non-dual perspective, this is a moot point. Nondualism says that, at the deepest level, all distinctions and dualities are ultimately illusory. This includes the idea of old and new souls. Here, the concept of old souls and new souls is seen as a construct of the spiritual ego.

From the nondual understanding, we are all expressions of a single, unified consciousness beyond time, space, and individual identities. The labels of old soul and new soul may be comforting or flattering to the ego, making us feel special or unique. However, they can also reinforce a sense of separation from our true nature. We are all equally part of the same infinite, eternal consciousness, and any notion of progression or hierarchy is a creation of the mind.

In a nutshell, for those coming from a dual perspective, being an old soul in the context of spirituality and reincarnation implies that you’ve had many past lives, resulting in wisdom, maturity, and a deep understanding of life and spiritual matters. Such an individual is often seen as having unique perspectives and the ability to guide others with their accumulated wisdom and compassionate nature.

This view suggests that reincarnation is linear and that we move in a straight line from inept/bad to evolved/good (which is not the case). Too often, this is used as just another ego concept to help us feel special.

From a nondual perspective, the distinction between old and new souls doesn’t compute.  When there is only the All-That-Is, where there is no separation and no time or space, how can you talk about “old” and “new?” There is only the manifestation of a singular, infinite consciousness.

Final answer:  At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.  Dual. Nondual. Just try to be the most present and aware you can be. That will show you the most truth about yourself and reality.

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