Those undergoing the fifth and final stage of reincarnation are known as old souls. In this stage of soul evolvement there is a search for balance and completion, and an urge to pass on the torch before the end of reincarnation.

Journey’s End

Having completed the fourth stage of reincarnation*, the soul has come a long way.

  • In the first stage, as an “Infant Soul” it learned about physical existence, life and death, and the need for nurturing.
  • In the second stage, as a “Baby/Child Soul” it learned about society, culture and community, the need for structure, belonging, and playing a role.
  • In the third stage, as a “Young Soul” it learned about free will and self-determination, taking charge of its own destiny, rising to the challenge.
  • In the fourth stage, as a “Mature Soul” it learned about co-existence and interrelatedness, taking responsibility for its relationships, honouring difference and otherness.

At last, the soul is ready for the final leg of the journey: the return to unity and the end of reincarnation.

* For an overview of the stages of soul evolution, see Reincarnation: the 35 Steps

In Search of Unity

The Old Soul already has a well-developed sense of independence (from its Young Soul phase) and inter-dependence (from the Mature Soul phase). Now the soul also feels drawn to reconnect with the greater order of things, the underlying cosmic unity.

This does not mean overthrowing the lessons of the previous stages in favour of some nice, fluffy notion of oneness. Rather, it means coming to terms with all of life’s dualities (self and other, love and hate, joy and pain, etc.) as integral to the whole. In fact, the main lesson for Old Souls is to do with finding unity within diversity.

The Realised Self

This return to unity does not involve any loss of individuality, as some imagine. The end of reincarnation — “ascension” or “enlightenment” or what have you — does not mean fading out of existence, dissolving into nothingness.

Rather, the soul completes its adventure as a unique individual, like a distinctive star in the night sky, a completely realised Self.

So to begin this stage, the soul will tend to focus on true self-expression and self-actualization. In other words, seeking experiences and activitiies which provide ultimate personal fulfilment within life on the physical plane.

This could be found in, say, art, science, acting, wine-growing, gardening, flying old aeroplanes, or simply being a grandparent. The soul is not interested in success or fame so much as doing something it loves well, living up to its true potential, and finding inner satisfaction.

Then, towards the end of the stage, there is more of an emphasis on teaching rather than simply learning: passing on the lessons learnt, showing others the way.

Gangaji (American spiritual teacher)

For some, especially Old Priest souls, the teaching focus is explicitly spiritual. Many of the world’s great spiritual teachers were/are Old Souls: Buddha, Jesus, Ramana Maharshi, and so on.

But that’s not to say that every self-proclaimed guru is an Old Soul. Far from it. There are spiritual teachers at all stages of reincarnation. But the advanced Old Soul has certain characteristics as a spiritual teacher that stand out from the rest: far-reaching wisdom, great compassion, inner peace, and little or no attachment to material things.


Old Soul Perceptions

In this final cycle on the Earth plane, the soul develops a more holistic perception of self, life and everything as part of a bigger picture. So while a Mature Soul (stage IV) comes to perceive others as its brothers and sisters, an Old Soul (stage V) comes to perceive both self and others as integral parts of a greater whole, all unique yet all essential.

In other words, the individual comes to perceive every thing, every being, every moment, as part of one great tapestry.

The issue now is how to relate to this united reality through one’s own being — how to be at peace with all of the conflicts, how to experience the harmony within all of the diversity.

This involves recognising the validity of each being’s chosen path in life within the broader scheme of things. We are all part of the One, and yet we are many, each pursuing a different path. And no path is wrong. Hence the Old Soul motto: “You do your thing and I’ll do mine.”

Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman (6th-level Old King)

Old Soul Lifestyles

Old Souls become more relaxed, laid back and detached in life. Human existence is familiar and manageable, and there are not so many problems or issues to deal with. The main issues, in fact, are existential rather than material or psychological.

Doing their own thing, Old Souls end up pursuing nothing but their own path whilst allowing others to pursue theirs, just perfecting their own abilities, being themselves in life to the best that they can. Many do so through artistic, humanitarian or philosophical endeavours, though for many others their greatest form of self-fulfillment can be something as mundane as gardening. Work, rest and play all become the same thing.

A potential difficulty for Old Souls is lapsing into apathy or complacency, no longer caring about life and the world. Unlike Young Souls, they are not driven to complete major projects before they die. As the physical plane begins to lose its allure, an older soul can show signs of being world-weary, even from birth.

In the end, joy is found in simply being as opposed to doing.

Amma – the hugging humanitarian (Old Server)

Other Old Soul Characteristics

How can you spot an old soul?

Old Souls have a level of self-assurance that is unusual for souls in other stages. This isn’t the same as the brash confidence or “can-do” attitude of Young Souls. Rather, Old Souls are generally relaxed and philosophical about life, at ease with themselves and others, and have fewer worldly concerns.

That’s not to say that Old Souls have no issues; many clearly do. (We all have issues of some sort right up until our very last life.) But unlike Mature Souls, Old Souls do not let their issues stress them out.

Old Souls tend to emanate a calm, steady quality that has substance, depth or gravitas. In contrast, Young Souls tend to appear frantic and superficial while Mature Souls seem perpetually stressed and assailed by life. You can often hear it in the voice —

  • Young Souls tend to talk loud and fast (“I’m right and you know it!”)
  • Mature Souls have a sort of soft tone laced with uncertainty (“I’m really not sure I can cope with this …”)
  • Old Souls tend to have a slow, deep voice – relaxed, assured and unhurried (“If there’s one thing I know, it’s that I know nothing…”).

This inner calm and depth is also evident in the old soul’s eyes. Whereas Young Souls cannot make eye contact for long, and Mature Souls will do so occasionally, when they’re not too stressed or distracted, Old Souls tend to make direct eye contact with an unflinching gaze. (Note: This is not the same as the cold stare of a psychopath!) They are unafraid to look another in the eyes and see into their heart.

Old Souls are like citizens of the world, not so much identified with their country or culture of origin. They tend to be drawn to the quiet life away from the noise of the city. Old Kings in particular will tend to spend their last lives as homeless, wandering teachers.

Some Notable Old Souls

Old souls who become famous tend to do so by virtue of their mastery, insight and wisdom rather than ambition.

Many of the finest minds in history have been old souls: Marcus Aurelius (121-180), Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), Carl Jung (1875-1961).

In the arts we have the composer J. S. Bach (1685-1750), the painter Paul Gauguin (1848-1903, now apparently reincarnated as artist Peter Teekamp).

Also the writer Walt Whitman (1819-1892), now apparently reincarnated as the writer/activist Alice Walker.

Walt Whitman - Alice Walker

Walt Whitman & Alice Walker

In the acting profession, there are numerous Old Souls who excel at playing characters who are, essentially, younger souls — mainly because there aren’t that many scripts featuring older soul characters! Consider, for example, Michael Dorn playing Lt Worf in Star Trek TNG. Morgan Freeman is well known for the gravitas he brings to every role.

     Michael Dorn

Clint Eastwood’s acting reveals a mix of Warrior soul combativeness with old soul detachment, but it is as a director that he has achieved mastery.

Finally, many of the world’s great spiritual teachers have been late-stage old souls passing on their wisdom: Gurdjieff (1866-1949), Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986), Ramana Maharshi (1879-1950), Anandamayi Ma (1896-1962), Neem Karoli Baba (d. 1973), the Dalai Lama, Ammachi (Mātā Amritanandamayī Devi), and Thich Nhat Hanh.

The End of Reincarnation

There are seven levels to every stage of soul evolution, including this one. After completing the 7th level of the Mature Soul stage, the soul begins its next life as a 1st-level Old Soul. The soul then undergoes the whole cycle of development, one life at a time, until finally it reaches 7th level. This is the final step, step 35, in the 35 steps of reincarnation.

Now, I occasionally meet people who are convinced that they must now be in their final incarnation simply because they are so “spiritual” and have no liking for the material world. This is not how it works.

The goal of evolution is not to escape from the wretched physical plane, despite what many teach. The end of reincarnation is not some sort of reward for good behaviour. Human existence is not a prison, or a wheel of torment, from which only the most worthy gain liberation.

We incarnate because we want to and we choose to. We keep doing it precisely because we want to come to terms with it. We know that in each life we will probably spend several decades not remembering who we are, not remembering our eternal Home, buying into the illusion of separation, experiencing fear. This is the very stuff which inspires us to become more conscious.

Completion occurs when it matters not whether you are incarnate or discarnate: you see through the illusion and you always feel at Home.

If you have issues with being physical, then you still have a way to go.

So the last lifetime is one in which you are very content to be in physical form, using it as an opportunity to teach and enlighten others.

Ramana Maharshi An example of someone in their last life is Ramana Maharshi, a 7th-level Old Scholar and a model of pure enlightenment. Towards the end of his life, some of his students begged him not to die, not to leave them. His answer was: “But where could I possibly go?” He knew that both he and everybody else are already Home, and always will be, having never really left it.

→ See: Abide As The Self [DVD]

Cycling Off: The Higher Stages

On completion of the seventh level of the Old Soul stage (or “cycling off”), there is no longer any need or desire to reincarnate. The soul will unify its consciousness with soul mates who have also completed, and it may serve as an elder spirit guide to others still undergoing reincarnation. But there is no longer value to be had in incarnating as a human being.

There are some rare exceptions, however.

A number of old Priest souls such as the philosopher Socrates, the Prophet Mohammed and Mahatma Gandhi are said to have incarnated to become vehicles for a higher level of consciousness capable of inspiring a cultural revolution. The higher consciousness manifested through these individuals only in later life. From that point on, they are referred to in the Michael teachings as “transcendental souls”.

Rarer still, Jesus Christ and the Buddha are said to be examples of old King souls who returned to become the physical embodiment of divine love, pure consciousness and ultimate truth, the Tao itself in human form. In other words, avatars. Again, the transformation did not occur until some point in adulthood. But from then on, these individuals are said to be manifestations of the “infinite soul”.

Recommended reading

The Michael Handbook

A Channeled System For Self Understanding
(Warwick Press, 1990)
Amazon link

Journey of Souls

Case Studies of Life Between Lives
(Llewellyn, 1994)
Amazon link

Old Souls

The Sages and Mystics of Our World
(KINDLE only: Amazon, 2013)
Amazon link


The Five Stages of Reincarnation

Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4
Stage 5
Infant Soul Baby Soul Young Soul Mature Soul Old Soul


315 Responses to “Stage 5: The Old Soul”

  1. 1 Katie 30 Dec 2014 at 6:46 am

    Possible Old Soul sighting:

    • 2 barry 31 Dec 2014 at 10:31 am

      I remember seeing a TV item on Akiane. Amazingly talented as a painter, and clearly in touch with the higher/inner planes.

  2. 3 Benjamin 01 Jan 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Thank you for such an indepth article on old souls. I was told last night that I was an old soul. I thought it a very interesting idea and wanted to learn more. The ego in me wants to be an old soul. But thats just ego trying to create value for its own identity. In the end, we are here and no where else. Lets enjoy it!

    But the ideas are very interesting and definitely worth exploring, thanks for the article again and please continue your path of love and care. We all need beacons in dark times.

    • 4 barry 02 Jan 2015 at 12:00 am

      Thanks Benjamin.

  3. 5 Amy 02 Jan 2015 at 10:31 am

    Can you explain why some people are drawn to drugs and alcohol? Why do people have addictive personalities? How can one learn to break an addiction?

    • 6 barry 03 Jan 2015 at 12:22 am

      Different drugs have different effects. People take specific drugs (anything from heroin to a cup of tea) because they like the effect it has on how they think, feel or act.

      Most souls enjoy the social “lubrication” effects of alcohol, getting over their own inhibitions. In the case of Mature and Old souls, it also numbs their existential angst.

      Young souls particularly enjoy cocaine because it makes them act and look more powerful and charismatic.

      Mature souls particularly enjoy the heart-opening and truth-telling effects of ecstasy.

      Mature/Old souls with a goal of growth are easily drawn to experiment with consciousness-altering substances like LSD.

      Mature souls are most easily stressed by life’s challenges, and therefore most prone to use drugs as a form of relief.

      Addiction is what happens when a drug is used so often that the person’s physiology resets itself to accommodate the constant presence of the chemical in the system, at which point the drug seems to become an essential part of the self. The addicted individual has lost contact with their true essential self, which needs nothing to sustain itself at all.

      Some people have what we are known as “sensitive” personalities. This just means that their nervous system is wired predominantly for sensing rather than processing or acting. Sensitive types are particularly prone to addiction merely because privately they feel more intensely than they know how to live with. The numbing chemicals (alcohol, etc) “dampen” the intensity of their everyday experience. These people are more prone to addiction.

      To overcome addiction, there are various options:

      – Eliminate all access to the substances (… Not always feasible);

      – Counterbalance high sensitivity by developing the other faculties: become more open (expressive, articulate) among friends, and lead a more physically active or productive life. Spend less time alone with one’s inner feelings.

      – Focus on experiencing the true self. Take an Enlightenment Intensive, or try meditation or psychotherapy.

      – Above all, make the conscious choice to overcome addiction/dependence; but at the same time, avoid judging oneself and others too harshly for having such a habit; it’s just a way of dealing with the human condition.

  4. 7 Stacey Parish 13 Jan 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Ty for responding. I Will be 39 this year…..i have since become pregnant with our fourth baby. So when you say I’m an old soul seeking answers from a mature soul…..of course i just cried. I really had that feeling for a while that maybe my work here was done , or at least I felt the disinfect with the physical world for quite some time. With that said, I see my work on earth obviously for obvious reasons is not done. But, when it is, i will never be afraid. I will cherish like I do with everything.

  5. 8 Sema Firestone 13 Jan 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Hi Barry,

    I am just wondering about people who develop chronic pain conditions (such as Fibromyalgia) in their prime of life (early 30’s). It is usually women who contract it. I believe that I am an old soul (and have been told this many time by many different people as well.

    I would be interested in your comments about this. It is something that has become more and more prevalent in the past 10 yrs., and I done a lot of research about it, but your viewpoint would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • 9 barry 14 Jan 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Well, I’m not a woman and I’m not an old soul, but I personally developed chronic fatigue syndrome at the age of 47. It ruined my life for six years until just last year, when a friend suggested I ask myself, “What is my body trying to tell me?” When I did so it set in motion a series of openings, insights, and synchronicities that culminated in a kundalini awakening. (See my most recent blog posts.) The key insight was that I wasn’t allowing myself to shine; I was stuck in hiding my light under a bushel (is that the phrase?).

      Hope that helps.


    • 10 KIM Buchholtz 15 Mar 2015 at 3:07 am

      I have chronic pain! Is there a way out of this unbearable pain

      • 11 Djg 06 May 2015 at 12:27 pm

        Hi kim. Look into some natural and herbal remedys! These i have found far more effective than over the counter drugs. The have a good look at your diet. I know fresh vegetables and fruits can really help in pain management.

  6. 12 you 14 Jan 2015 at 4:09 am

    wow i’m def an old soul ever since I was young I would always carry a feeling of being tired and wanting to go home and I always just felt really old at heart. people always described me as being apathetic or “chill” my whole life. & I never allow myself to make mistakes? like I just know the lesson before having to experience it??Therefore I don’t experience it, for a sense of “knowing” what’s to come? Is that normal? Also I get depressed sometimes for knowing so much but lack of experiencing it.

    • 13 barry 14 Jan 2015 at 8:02 pm

      As a rule, I find that old souls don’t ask, they just know.

  7. 14 Katherine 14 Jan 2015 at 7:24 pm

    I was told I was a old soul, I’m not sure. As I’ve been told by my family I have very little patients for them, and I find them irritable. I have no interest in what they pursue, purchasing homes, talking about bills, debts, furniture.. Blaa, blaa, blaa… My interest are in science, quantum mechanics and spiritual science, and discussing about universal consciousness. I practice Reiki and healing I mediate too, I’ve felt spirit and have seen things. My family say I take it too far, and I’m unhealthy. I should do Reiki on my family, but as far as I’m concerned, they should see themselves as they are, if they want and ask for Reiki I’ll do it. Not gonna force it on them. I don’t really talk to them, as there is full lack of understanding in both parties. So can’t be that old, if I lack compassion to want to participate with them. If they want to do those things and pursue them, that’s fine, but I have little interest in it. I feel very smothered by there programing, to be more like them.

  8. 15 Cloud 9 05 Feb 2015 at 8:37 pm

    A long story short I had someone read my aura, and she said that my right side was red, left was lavender, and my head was a whitish yellow or pale yellow. Then she saw 5 rainbow color balls/orbs around my head, that’s what i didn’t understand. Would you happen to have any insight to what those balls/orbs mean? I tried doing my homework about it but there was little to find. I appreciate you for taking the time to read this peace.

  9. 16 Juffrey Bolo 07 Feb 2015 at 2:52 pm

    I feel very old in knowledge even though I’m at my 25 years. I have this strong gut feeling that I forget something important, I always ask my self a question why am I here, why the society are complicated when it can be easily fixed and so on. I have this knowledge with in me that I did not learn it here, it’s very very old knowledge. I realized that I volunteer to be here to help this earth lift up the positive energy and consciousness of the people and and the earth.

  10. 17 myles 08 Feb 2015 at 2:38 pm

    i think no one is just one way. we all have aspects of all souls where one soul dominates at a time and i think life is how you feel at the moment. if you are bored, life sucks! if your having fun, that is ze life!!!nothing to do with souls.
    we were all born knowing, it was written in our souls even before our souls entered our bodies. education just helps us process it. For all people the same thing.Thats what we all strive for.

  11. 18 Kathy 04 Mar 2015 at 11:26 pm

    If a soul reincarnates, can it still communicate to a medium, as the person it was when it last died?In other words, if my son went on to another life after he died, can he still communicate to me, as I knew him?

    • 19 barry 05 Jun 2015 at 10:02 am

      In your dreams. I mean, literally, it would occur in the dream state while the conscious personalities are offline.

  12. 20 River 07 Mar 2015 at 12:40 am

    Could it be possible that old souls are prone to depression? I seem to be an old soul and I’ve experienced this illness with its own lessons. I’ve always felt old inside and had this deep inner knowledge beyond my years. I’m just wondering if it’s my last reincarnation and if I still have some lessons to learn. I’m 20 and my adolescence had many obstacles that taught me great lessons (or reminded me of those lessons learned in past lives).

    • 21 barry 07 Mar 2015 at 2:49 pm

      Old souls are indeed more vulnerable to depression than to other mood disorders or major psychological issues. That’s not to say that anyone who ever experience depression is an old soul. Nor does it mean that a given old soul must or will experience depression.

  13. 22 Angel 09 Mar 2015 at 8:17 am

    Hello, I read this article and found it so interesting. I have always wondered about reincarnation and did not know the different levels. I have a question though. Why do souls get stuck here, example- a ghost. I have had a lot of experiences with the paranormal and after reading this article made me think of these spirits/souls/ghosts that are “stuck” or “stay”. Are they lost? Do they ever get to reincarnate?
    Thank you for reading and hope to hear what the answer could be.

    • 23 barry 09 Mar 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Hi Angel,

      At the point of death, the soul detaches from the physical body and the individual consciousness often has what is called an out-of-body experience (floating above the scene, flying elsewhere at will). Normally, once it recognises the fact that is no longer able to inhabit the body, a soul will want to move on, leaving the physical plane altogether. However, some spend a long time in the out-of-body state, hanging around the physical plane.

      This is basically what a ghost is: a soul who has departed their body but either doesn’t yet realise it or doesn’t feel ready to accept it. Some simply don’t understand what has happened to them; they may be disoriented, grief-stricken, angry, and don’t know how to seek help. (Their guides will try to intervene, but the soul has to be willing to accept their help.) Some are simply determined to watch over their family (or property!) before agreeing to move on.

      These are always temporary conditions – it’s just a matter of time before the soul comes to “see the light” – literally! Then it’s back to normal – assimilating the lessons of the last life (and death), hanging out with soul mates, and planning the next life.

  14. 24 Sunaina 17 Mar 2015 at 10:34 am

    Greetings!! I would like to know is it necessary for a soul to suffer on earth in order to rise high? Can’t a soul learn without going through suffering? Would it be difficult for a soul to grow from happy moments…would like to hear your thoughts…Thank you so much.

    • 25 barry 19 Mar 2015 at 10:25 am

      Certainly we can learn through experiences of joy as much as from experiences of suffering. And in theory, yes, a soul can learn without suffering at all. The catch is, the soul must choose to do so, and to be able to do that it must first know (from experience) that it has the choice, and how to apply it in practice. So in a sense, our suffering is like a barometer of our self-knowing. The more we evolve, the less we cause ourselves and others to suffer.

      • 26 Sunaina 20 Mar 2015 at 10:35 am

        Thank you so much for your answer. God Bless you.

  15. 27 Gangvi 30 Mar 2015 at 5:32 pm

    I have been told in a few occasions that I am an old soul. For the past few years I have been struggling with understanding the purpose of life. Nothing seems to bring inner joy and peace. Essence and existence are getting complicated about life. Dreams and desires fluctuate high and low. And even with creativity and service to others that I enjoy deeply creates a question within me that what and why is this needed?
    Social life and everyday actions are becoming difficult because true interest is going off. Spiritual talks and learning, quiet peaceful nature gaZing or just reading or being alone is all I wanna do. Since it’s not possible I find myself struggling as it feels I am living a fake life the other way.
    Is it normal to go through this struggle? What am I missing?

    • 28 barry 12 Apr 2015 at 5:10 pm

      Hi Gangvi

      A few possibilities spring to mind.

      Disillusionment with the trivia of everyday human life is not uncommon for older souls who sense a deeper meaning behind it all, but have yet to find a way to access it or express it. You may simply have to go through a period of disillusionment before you can let go of “illusionment” and seek the Truth beyond the illusions.

      I could recommend going on a spiritual retreat, such as an Enlightenment Intensive (can be hard work) or a Vipassana retreat.

      It’s also possible that you have come into this life a specific goal which goes by the unfashionable name of Retardation – but which simply means deceleration, pulling back, taking stock. (See ) How this usually manifests is as a desire to be in nature, or to become a contemplative or renunciate (monk or hermit), or to trek into the wilderness. If this is the case for you, it might be worth noting that there are “normal” professions in which you can you do this sort of thing, such as working in a nature reserve.

      Hope this helps


      • 29 Gangvi 13 Apr 2015 at 12:08 am

        Thank you so very much Bary for replying!
        Your suggestion of retreats is being thought upon and so timely for me.
        I had teary eyes and heavy heart when I read your article about Retardation and do feel strongly that it fits my life right now. It’s like when everyone fails to understand me even myself, this came as a welcome acceptance and knowledge about self. But Is there a way to understand if this is a permanent part of my rest of this life or a phase before next growth? It did happen for me right around 28th birthday that I started contemplating more and more on life and it’s purpose.
        Your reply and article came as relief. For the past 3 weeks I am just trying to “Be” and not “do”, of course other than everyday chores and worldly things for family. And my anxiety for soul quenching seems distant. But background has the questions and I am waiting for right and enough time when I will be able to pursue it….some questions get further complicated with right answers…or that’s an illusion as well?

  16. 30 Taylor 11 Apr 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Hello. Today, I was told again that I am an old soul. I got a reading done, and I was told that I have been through 65 lives. The whole thing seems amazing to learn about past lives and such. And, that we do this to grow spiritually, closer to god. I was also told of the stages again.

    I’m wondering how I could grow spiritually besides meditating.

    • 31 barry 12 Apr 2015 at 9:37 am

      Anything that leads to experiences of truth, love, beauty, peace or joy for self and/or others.

      You can pursue these things in any life activity, not just in dedicated “spiritual practices”. For example, being a parent or an employee or a tourist — all are opportunities for being and acting with greater consciousness and aliveness, and inspiring the same in others.

      Meditation is the superhighway for self-transformation, but there are infinitely many smaller roads to explore :-)

      • 32 barry 12 Apr 2015 at 2:28 pm

        I should add: if you wish to accelerate spiritual growth, I would recommend taking an Enlightenment Intensive.

  17. 33 Alef 14 Apr 2015 at 5:10 pm

    “The soul will unify its consciousness with soul mates who have also completed, and it may serve as an elder spirit guide to others still undergoing reincarnation”
    Do we lose our indivuduality when this happens?

    • 34 barry 14 Apr 2015 at 5:13 pm

      Not exactly. There is still a you that is uniquely you. But there is no longer any need or desire to explore the existence of you as an individual alone. Been there, done that.

  18. 35 peonybloomer 23 Apr 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Do like this article, though from what I’ve studied, I tend to disagree with the view that teaches human life is not a torment. Indeed, that is a much more positive light to place humanity and existence in. In my opinion, and I respect opposite opinions, the world is a cage; a test, and we can choose to realize the illusion that envelops it. Once we realize this, then we can begin to undergo our advancements. Individually, a person does not escape the cage of human existence by themselves; it is also helping out others who are stuck too. It is to improve everything about us: to advance to the next level. It’s always a journey, though; we are always adventuring throughout the universe. As the universe expands, so do our journeys.

    Still skeptical of reincarnation; sometimes I think it’s possible, sometimes i think other things are more likely than reincarnation. Perhaps reincarnation might be something entirely different than what we have known it to be for centuries.
    And then again, we could very well be in a hologram and simply be part of some computer too… disconcerting, but we must keep all possibilities open.

  19. 36 Richard 04 May 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Once I was told by an entity that this is my last reincarnation – I don’t understand…

    • 37 barry 04 May 2015 at 7:46 pm

      What don’t you understand ?

  20. 38 Melissa 25 May 2015 at 11:41 pm

    I’m 17 years old.. am I too young to know my Soul Age yet? Thank you.

    • 39 barry 03 Jun 2015 at 8:28 am

      You can simply get yourself a reading from one of the channels, or get an 18+ relative/friend to do it for you if that’s a requirement. See here for more details:

  21. 40 Rosario 28 May 2015 at 4:03 am

    Gracias Barry. It’s amazing how detailed your answers are that help people towards their Truth…specially my fellow teens. So much love and fascinating stories out there.


    • 41 barry 03 Jun 2015 at 8:46 am

      Gracias Rosario :)

  22. 42 summer 28 May 2015 at 11:03 pm

    What role do aliens play in reincarnation?

    • 43 barry 29 May 2015 at 4:00 pm

      You mean what role do they play in our reincarnations as humans? None as far as I know.

      • 44 Sister Grumpy 08 Jun 2015 at 7:29 pm

        Has it occurred to anyone that the soul can take on a body fully adapted to live on a different planet from Earth? Imagine the possibilities!!!

  23. 45 Marta Tuule 30 May 2015 at 11:51 am

    Hi Barry,

    I used to write to you couple of years ago I think when I kept stumbling on souls once known as Paul Verlaine and River Phoenix, and I have been channeling that time to time through that time to understand the meaning of all that – and I would like to share with you the understandings I have now about them.
    So first soul, who was known as River Phoenix till 1993. His previous incarnation prior to becoming Phoenix was Neal Cassady (1926-1968). Prior Cassady he was incarnated as Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) and then there´s empty space, but I know that one of his 18th century incarnations was Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). They all are Old souls and by my channeling, Scholar cast Warriors.
    And then also Verlaine´s “partner in crime” – Arthur Rimbaud. Results I´ve had, have made me to understand (with doubts first I have to admit) that he was incarnation of my soul (Marta Tuule is my pen name, I am not interested in revealing my true ID – but if you like, check out also my blog or Facebook site “Life is matter of love and death”- it can be accessed also without being member of Facebook).
    But I also do not identify myself with all those incarnations of my soul – cause right now it is my time and my soul´s journey does not identify with that, who I am right now – I just accept that part of me now and that´s it.

    So going back, it looks like this – Marta Tuule was born in 1975. Prior incarnation of that soul was Albert Camus (1913-1960). Prior to Camus, was it´s incarnation as Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) and then there was incarnation in beginning of 19th century I don´t have name for (I think that his last name started with A), but he was in a military (Napoleon´s army I think) (but I´m pretty sure he was a cleric in a army) and turned out to be a traitor due to some events – and was executed as young man due this. I think I recognized him due to my late husband- cause I saw a glimpse of that life when I wanted to know more about the soul, who was incarnated as my late husband in this life- and I saw the karmic bond between us – cause in that life he was the soldier, who´s bullet killed the incarnation of my soul in the beginning of 19th century. And prior to “cleric A”, my soul´s incarnation was Sweden´s Gustav III (1746-1792). That´s all I know. They´re all also Old souls, Scholar cast Priests and the reason why I have been able to channel that information, is thanks to my discarnate twin soul- the one I described above, known last time as River Phoenix. I have discovered the pattern in the past, that if a soul is more or less preordained to have tragic ending (probability for that is bigger than the opposite), then soul often does not return to Earth very fast. What goes for Phoenix, I have seen that he´s about to be incarnated soon again – I think in 2016 and once again to US. He´s such a tenacious warrior :).


  24. 46 Raymond 09 Jun 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Hi Barry,
    I just discovered your website last night and I’m absolutely fascinated by some genuinely interesting topics that people are bringing forward, as well as your very insightful responses and attention to all. I wonder how you find the time and energy to do it, really. :-)

    So much of what you say are things that I’ve also been thinking myself for quite a long time. One particular element that strikes me is the notion that when we “die”, our soul takes a break from this material world for some time to take stock of all the lessons learned and lived throughout various incarnations and, on the basis of such reflections, choose our next incarnation. Somehow, I firmly believe this to be true.

    I am currently 63 years old and feel very strongly that I’m ready to move on to what I would consider as the total essence of the universe, precisely because I know who I am (I think), am aware of my strengths and shortcomings, am also aware of my blessings and frustrations in my current incarnation. I know that there is only so much I can learn and accomplish in my current life form and, frankly, I often feel exhausted and ready to take “a long nap” before tackling on my next life. To that effect, I have a very determined plan of how I would like my next life to take shape. I’m also aware of the old axiom: “Be careful what you wish for…”, as I can imagine that whatever I choose for my next life will bring other challenges and surprises that I may not always agree with. However, I am prepared to assume responsibility for whatever choices I make. Que sera, sera… whatever will be, will be.

    In my next life, I would like to fill a few voids that I am currently experiencing as “myself” right now. Essentially, there are three major sources of frustration in my current life that I feel will need to be addressed and perhaps resolved in my next life: sexual frustration, stunted musical aspirations and pervasive anxiety. Over the course of my life, I have been blessed with many things, including a loving wife who has been with me for the past 40 years, an abundance of artistic and linguistic talent (music, writing and languages), as well as an engaging personality (I attract people’s interest very easily.) That’s my good side. Unfortunately, I also have a bit of a dark side, as we all do, I’m sure: the older I get, the more impatient I become when things that don’t go my way, and sex (lack of) is a big part of my personal frustrations. I also suffer from a lot of general anxiety about my life as a whole.

    I’m not seeking advice on how I can improve my life, as there is also a part of me that accepts the fact that life is not perfect and, as Mick Jagger says in one of his songs: “you can’t always get what you want.” In the end, on the basis of what I read on your website, I’m pretty sure that I fit into the “mature soul” category, but I also know that I still have a long way to go before I reach the “old soul” level. That’s fine, I’m in no hurry, but I do want to get there eventually.

    I would like to know whether you agree with this personal self-assessment. On the basis of your response, there is another topic that I would like to address with you: i.e. I’m convinced that my 30-year old daughter is the reincarnation of my mother. There is a lot that I could say about this, but right now, I first need to find out from whether you think my philosophical meanderings are making any sense. I would be grateful for any insights you may wish to share with me.

    Thank you for your valuable time and attention. :-)

    • 47 barry 10 Jun 2015 at 10:37 am

      Hi Raymond,

      Great to hear that you like my website.

      It occurs to me that you have you just completed one of the 7 major life transitions (See Victoria Marina-Tompkins’ book ‘Spiritual Turning Points’, which is shown somewhere on the sidebar to the right). I’ll describe them here in a nutshell, and see if you agree that you’ve just completed the 5th one in a healthy, conscious and positive way.

      1st = INCARNATION
      The shift from nonphysical to physical existence via physical birth.

      2nd = SELF-CONCEPT, approx 1-3 yrs (the “terrible twos”)
      Letting go of dependent attachment and asserting new-found (but limited) autonomy via a sense of one’s own identity, albeit within a safe, secure context. This is the big one for Baby souls.

      3rd = ADOLESCENCE, approx 12-25 yrs
      Internal construction of a new identity as an independent mover & shaker in the adult world. No longer willing to be seen as *merely* a member of a one’s original family, neighbourhood, school, etc (“leaving the nest”). Eventually reconciling the two. This is the big one for Young souls.

      4th = MID-LIFE, approx 35-50 yrs
      Internal search for and discovery of one’s true self and life’s purpose. Gradual release of predefined/acquired ideas, goals, fears, and personality. Allowing the true self (essence role and soul age) to emerge. The beginning of “true work”, the soul’s special task for this life, that which the previous 4 decades have been leading up to. The big one for mature souls.

      5th = LIFE REVIEW, approx 60+
      Internal assessment of life task achievements and what is left undone.
      Gradual change from active worldly existence to quiet review and happy retirement.
      The big one for old souls.

      6th = RECONCILIATION WITH DEATH (age variable)
      Conscious recognition that physical existence is finally in irreversible decline, whether due to cancer, heart failure, drug overdose, car crash, bullet in the brain, etc. Could occur at any age but current average is late 70s/early 80s.
      Enlightened souls take it in their stride.

      7th = DEATH (or as Abraham likes to all it, “croaking”)
      From physical to non-physical: Ejection from the physical body, reabsorption into the astral (“Home” “Light”), greetings by loved ones, life review with guide, interview with elders, catch up with soul mates, leisure time, then think about next life.

      So, I suspect you have completed #5 as you sound satisfied with the way your life task (#4) has gone and while you don’t feel any outstanding loose threads in this life you are already aware of what you’d like to work on in the next. Great!

      I know others in a similar position.

      The only snag is the irritating aches and ailments that go with old age (which according to the latest research doesn’t even begin until about age 74 these days).

      So yes, I’m totally on board with your “philosophical meanderings”. You should hear the philosophical meanderings that go on in our house! I’m also feeling honoured to hear your self-awareness and maturity coming across, for what it’s worth.

      As for your mother-daughter connection, I’d need to know a few more details before I could comment specifically. e.g., who died when?

      In general, it does often happen that soul-mates (of which we each have many, not just one or two) turn up again and again in overlapping social circles, sometimes for a special reason, sometimes not. Your old uncle from your childhood could now be your brother’s daughter; your primary school headmistress could now be the kid who delivers your newspaper. The quiet kid you sat next to in class but died at a young age could now be a South Korean techno whizz-kid you’ve seen on YouTube.

      Edgar Cayce laughingly called himself “a grandfather sandwich” as one of his grandfathers had returned as one of his grandsons.

      From a human perspective, we can get a bit short-sighted and think, “Why would so-and-so return to ME in this way, it must be for a special reason.” But not necessarily. The soul has a much bigger picture. After all, you have to be born somewhere, and why not just be born with people you already now and love (… unless your specific life goal is Growth, like mine, in which case better just expect the unexpected…)

      What I’m getting at is, your daughter may well be a reincarnation of the soul who was your mother.

      But if so, just take care to note the wording: your daughter is not your mother; rather, a soul who once lived playing (among other things) the role of your mother is now here playing (among other things) the role of your daughter in this life, perhaps with a different perspective and different life agenda.

      The family roles do not define who we are; they just provide different vehicles for love to find a way to flow between us.

      Hope this helps

  25. 48 Raymond 11 Jun 2015 at 4:50 am

    Thank you so much for your answer, Barry. I really appreciate the explanations regarding the seven major life transitions. I can see how I may indeed have reached the “life review” cycle, as you put it so eloquently. Perhaps the fact that I’m actually so very much AWARE of it may be testament to my soul’s maturity in its long journey. And yet, I feel that I still have a long way to go…

    So now, here’s my story about my daughter, who I strongly believe happens to be the reincarnation of my mother. In any event I’m anxious to hear what you will think of all this, If nothing else, my testimonial could very well serve as an interesting case study on reincarnation. I swear, on both my parents’ grave, that what I’m about to tell you is the absolute truth, with no embellishment or ravings of an hyperactive imagination. Now to the facts…

    My mother died of pancreatic cancer in December 1981, at the young age of 67. On the eve of her death, she whispered to my ear something that was barely audible, but I heard her loudly and clearly nevertheless: “Do not worry about me, I will be back.” My immediate reaction to these words was that my mom was trying to tell me that she wasn’t done fighting in this world. However, I knew in my heart at that time that this was the last time I would ever see her.

    A few years passed, and during that time my wife and I decided that we wanted to adopt a child, since for some unknown reason to science, we could not manage to “make” a baby on our own. Ultimately, we ended up adopting a baby girl who was nearly six months old when we had her. Our daughter, who remains today our only child, was born in August of 1985. From the first instant my wife and I lay eyes on her in early February 1986, we both had some strange thoughts that we immediately felt the urge to share. Literally, my wife felt that she was SEEING my mother, while at the same time, I was HEARING my mother’s voice in my mind: “Well… it was about time you got here.” As you can imagine, both my wife and I were a little freaked out by these coincidental occurrences, but then we quickly dismissed these thoughts as ridiculous nonsense.

    On February 13, 1986, the adoption became official and we took our daughter home. As the months passed, family and friends were introduced to her, as everyone welcomed her with open arms and were genuinely happy for my wife and myself. Over the course of a full year thereafter, I can recall at least four SEPARATE incidents when some individuals who saw our daughter for the first time each reacted in exactly the same fashion. In each case, these were women who had been very close to my mother. One of them was my godmother, one was an aunt, one was my brother’s mother-in-law, and one was a close friend of my mother. Four times, the exact same comments came out their mouths, with the same expressions of astonishment and feelings of slight embarrassment, as they each said: “Oh my God” (as in each case, they put a had to their mouth), “I don’t know why I’m saying this… you will think I’m crazy, but this is your mother that I see… I’m so sorry, I know how ridiculous this must seem to you…” In each instance, my wife was with me when these occurrences took place. Well, as you can imagine, by the time we went through the third… and then the fourth round of this same pattern, my wife and I both looked at each other with a big knowing smile, as we anticipated when these women were going to say. These women, I must add, had no way of having spoken to each other before they saw our daughter for the first time, as they barely knew each other, if at all. These were really completely separate incidents, I must emphasize.

    Over the next year or so, there were a number of other times when I could easily visualize or feel my mother’s presence when I looked at my daughter, but that feeling eventually dissipated and now I feel no more of this odd “mother-daughter” connection. As you pointed out in your response, my daughter is indeed NOT my mother, and I can assure you that I’ve understood that for a long time. Most importantly, I do not consider this as an issue in terms of my relationship with my daughter. I see her for who she is today and love her strictly as my daughter, period.

    However, I can not help but draw many significant parallels and connections between some things I remember about my mother’s life and my daughter’s life today. It would be too long and personal to delve into details here, but I often wonder why my mother decided to reincarnate herself into my life. As you can see, I’m not even asking myself whether or not this is the case: I simply wonder: “Why? Oh why?” Clearly, in my mind anyway, there were a lot of issues that were unresolved in my mother’s life and — for whatever reasons — she decided that it was my turn to help her out with her journey. I can tell you, in a nutshell, that the challenges in my daughter’s life are enormous. Whatever problems my mother had, they were huge if I base myself on my daughter’s needs today.

    Oddly enough, I dream about my mother every once in a while and each time I’m furious at her, but never do I tell her in my dreams that I’m pissed off at her for burdening me with her multiple issues. My anger towards my mother, in my dreams, is rather directed at her specifically — for things that I subconsciously begrudge her in the past. For that same reason, I do not blame my daughter for a second; quite to the contrary, I embrace my role as a father who will do everything in my power to provide for her and surround her with all my love. In the end, if this is what my mother needed from me, I’m giving it to her, but I’m really doing it for my daughter. Some people would think that I’m not making any sense, but I’m pretty sure you know exactly what I’m saying.

    So, this is my story. When my mother told me that she would be back, she meant it… I’m now sure of that. I look forward to your thoughts — and perhaps suggestions — on this.


  26. 49 Young 01 Jul 2015 at 1:55 am

    I heavily enjoyed this article. I have never felt like I could relate to my peers, due to the fact I have always felt much, much older. When in elementary school, I always hung out and talked to my teachers rather than other kids since they thought of me as boring and in turn I saw them as too naive. Luckily, I have 2 friends whom I’m very close to; together we constantly debate things, challenging each other to think deeper( p.s. I shared this article with them). My friends also say I’m uncanny when it comes to reading people. As a person, I’m very laid back, perfectly content to just observe the world I live in and I hate confrontation. I understand I am young at only 15, but I believe that souls can have an age and that, I myself, am somewhere at the mature to older range of the spectrum.
    My great grandmother has always called me an old soul since the day she met me, hence where I heard the term. Do you believe that it is easier to identify older souls in children?

    • 50 barry 05 Jul 2015 at 10:42 am

      Well, it can be easy to spot a child who is likely to be an old(er) soul if the child demonstrates their soul age in some way. A child may come out with profound and unexpected wisdom, for example, and people will say How can there be such an old head on such young shoulders? But another child of the same soul age might be more introverted and leave no clues whatsoever.

      True soul age becomes more and more apparent as we approach middle age. This is because for the first few decades we are so heavily involved in and identified with a new body, a new family, a new culture and so on. For example, let’s say you are born in France and the French language is new to you. You are unlikely to articulate anything profound — or even THINK anything profound — until you have mastered your language.

      Having said all that, I think there are often clues in the eyes of the child — the windows to the soul. Sometimes you can just look at a kid and see that there’s an ancient consciousness behind those eyes.


  27. 51 Jake 02 Jul 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Hey Barry,

    I’m sorry to say but I’m not sure if I agree with the statement about old souls not experiencing much psychological discomfort. I’m an old soul and my life’s full of it, although I’m not sure if it’s due to the fact I’m still developing as I’m still quite young. I know it’s been said that everyone has to go through past soul levels so that they can reach there current level, so do you think it’s to do with that?


    • 52 barry 03 Jul 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Jake,

      I’ve emphasised the differences between stages, and while I do know that old souls go through their own shit it’s nothing like the agony that confronts mature souls. I don’t mean to suggest or imply that life is easy for old souls.

      I personally know some old souls who are struggling with stuff that is emotionally difficult. But unlike mature souls, old souls are very unlikely to be driven insane by their issues. Uncomfortable issues are certainly still there to be dealt with, otherwise there would be no reason to reincarnate. But old soul issues are more quietly existential (“how do I reconcile myself with finding meaning in a meaningless world?”) while mature souls are more likely to experience torment until they find “the way”. Jack the Ripper, for example, has often been described as a mature priest in torment.

      As you have pointed out, being still quite (physically) young in your own case, it is likely that you are “tying up loose ends” from old issues before getting stuck into your current true life task as an old soul, which will commence around age 40-ish.

  28. 53 Sister Grumpy 02 Jul 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I think it is quite likely that when we incarnate as an old soul, we have to climb the steps of former levels in the early years (recapitulate), and if we can “test out,” then we can “get credit,” without having to go through the whole thing again. It is shown that as embryos we pass through stages where we have gills and a tail, among other things, so why not have something analogous (mentally) as we incarnate to a higher level?
    I have experienced several episodes in this life where I found that once I understood why the same thing kept happening, and what I was supposed to do about it, that type of thing stopped happening, and I was able to move on…or move up.

    • 54 barry 04 Jul 2015 at 1:22 pm

      The Michael teachings refer to this recapitulation as the gradual manifestation of true soul age. But it’s not just about revisiting unresolved stuff from the past — it’s also a natural and inevitable growth process. A newborn infant, even if she is an Old Soul, has to start individuating as a new and distinct personality from scratch: equivalent to infant soul, level 1.

      In each life, no matter what our soul age on the “inside”, it takes about 3-4 decades before we can fully manifest the true depth of our perception and awareness in our outer behaviour. This is partly because of the veil of amnesia that affects us with each new incarnation, and partly because we are always born into a fresh body with a different brain, in a new family and culture. We generally have to adapt to WHERE we are before we can find ourselves and then act from WHO we are. (There are some exceptions, but this is the usual pattern.)

      So in our first few years of each life, we act outwardly like Infant souls, then as young kids we act more like Baby souls, and so on. An infant soul will “level out” pretty early on in life, but for most of us the level-out point is usually around age 35 or so (i.e. the approximate mid-point of human life). In other words, we spend the first half of a typical life gradually “coming to” and “coming out” with our true soul age (awareness, depth), and then the second half of life using that to work on our soul task for that life.

      Some people (personalities) can turn into a case of arrested development. For example, a Mature soul might get “stuck” at manifesting like a Young soul if they are always surrounded by Young souls and have no access to insights from other Mature souls (e.g., art, literature, science, philosophy, spirituality).

      As you point out, though, each passage through an earlier stage is also an opportunity to resolve anything left unresolved from the past. In our 20s, for example, we might revisit issues with (say) fame and fortune that originally arose for us as Young souls.

      I am writing an article about all this which should be available v soon!


  29. 55 Sister Grumpy 04 Jul 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I will certainly want to read that article. I know that my parents did not pressure me to do any particular thing with my life (maybe since I was a girl growing up in the ’50s.) I married and had a family. But I did begin to use my initiative in my mid-30s, began taking some college courses in my 40s, got divorced, went back to school for my degree, and changed careers at 50. Now at 77, I am still single, retired, happy, and writing 3 blogs.

  30. 56 babylonmagus 14 Sep 2014 at 8:50 pm

    As it was then my Saturn return, I do believe that the central figure in this initiation dream was either a member of the Michael or the magnetic old king to whose realm we – Merlin and I are as task companions – belong…

  1. 1 Stage 5: The Old Soul « Ralphie´s Portal Trackback on 18 Feb 2013 at 6:57 pm
  2. 2 What are 'old souls' and how do you recognize them? Trackback on 20 Sep 2014 at 3:38 am
  3. 3 Are You an Old Soul? What It Means and How You Can Tell | SpiritualCleansing.Org - Love, Wisdom, Inspirational Quotes & Images Trackback on 27 Mar 2015 at 7:07 pm
  4. 4 Wednesday Writings | Brianna Audrey Wright Trackback on 20 May 2015 at 3:04 pm

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