There is a great deal of misinformation about spirituality in our society. It seems that those who don’t know often drown out the voices of those that do. It is a mistake to believe that just because a person has a large social media presence, or a best-selling book, that he has any true insight into the deeper reality.
One of the more popular spiritual memes is that more people than ever before are on the spiritual path. What does Meher Baba, the most recent incarnation of the world savior, have to say on the subject?
In God Speaks Meher Baba describes the soul’s journey through creation in great detail. And in Lord Meher he provides the number of souls in the stages of evolving, reincarnating, and progressing along the spiritual path. What follows is a brief summary of the soul’s journey. A more detailed description is provided in chapter four of my book Into the Formless.
In the process of evolving from lower to higher life forms a soul incarnates 8.4 million times (or 84 lakhs). Upon obtaining a human form (the highest life form) a soul reincarnates another 8.4 million times before beginning the spiritual journey. And all the while a person is only aware of the physical plane of reality.
When a soul’s karma comes into balance it begins the spiritual journey. A yogi first becomes conscious of the energetic planes of reality. And in the advanced stages of the journey he is conscious of the mental planes.
There are 8.4 million yogis who perceive the energetic planes and another 8.4 million who are aware of the mental planes. So the total number of people on the spiritual path is 16.8 million. There are currently 8.7 billion people on the planet. That means the number of yogis make up only one-fifth of one percent of the world’s population.
After evolution is finished, and the soul incarnates in human form, the same number is there of seven reverse twists and 84 lakhs of shakes of deaths and births.
— Meher Baba, Lord Meher, p2349
There are always and eternally 84 lakhs of souls who experience subtle experiences… There are an equal number who experience the mental world.
— Meher Baba, Lord Meher, p2350