The True Meaning of the Term “Old Soul”

Question:
 
Recently I during a jyotish reading I was told I was an old soul.  The way it was described to me I would not be reincarnating.  This made me feel sad and purposeless, and I really don’t know if I want to believe it. I feel I would miss all the color and beauty of the earth. Do you have any insight or knowledge about the term ‘old soul’.
 
Answer:
 
The term ‘old soul’ is a relatively meaningless label that really doesn’t convey any useful information.  Even if someone could tell you how old your soul is, it still wouldn’t tell you how far along you are on your journey to Self-realization.
 
 But being told you are an old soul  is certainly nothing to feel sad about.  Being an old soul is actually supposed to be a compliment that implies you have accomplished much of your spiritual destiny. And just so you know, if  you are enlightened and no longer have to reincarnate again, that doesn’t mean you can’t incarnate again  if you want to continue experiencing the beauty of life. Being free from the bondage of karma means you are free and can do what you want.
 
Love,
Deepak

  

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Deepak Chopra

About Deepak Chopra

Time Magazine heralded Deepak Chopra as one of the 100 heroes and icons of the century, and credited him as "the poet-prophet of alternative medicine." Entertainment Weekly described Deepak Chopra as "Hollywood's man of the moment, one of publishing's best-selling and most prolific self-help authors." He is the author of more than 50 books and more than 100 audio, video and CD-Rom titles. He has been published on every continent and in dozens of languages. Fifteen of his books have landed on the New York Times Best-seller list. Toastmaster International recognized him as one of the top five outstanding speakers in the world. Through his over two decades of work since leaving his medical practice, Deepak continues to revolutionize common wisdom about the crucial connection between body, mind, spirit, and healing. His mission of "bridging the technological miracles of the west with the wisdom of the east" remains his thrust and provides the basis for his recognition as one of India's historically greatest ambassadors to the west. Chopra has been a keynote speaker at several academic institutions including Harvard Medical School, Harvard Business School, Harvard Divinity School, Kellogg School of Management, Stanford Business School and Wharton.His latest book is "Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul."

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Comments

  1. observer says:

    Thank You Deepak,

    Excellent answer. There is a lesson here about assumption. If we assume something we cannot know, why not assume what pleases us? Why should we believe we have choices in this life but none before or after? Who would be pleased by that?

    Let us daily increase in: wisdom, love, gratitude, reverence, healing, peace, joy, happiness, laughter and prosperity.

    Blessings X 10,

    Ed

  2. mydomainpvt says:

    dear deepak,

    thanks for the beautiful explanation, endless is man's love for this world, its cute how people want to take birth again and again.

    Wish you love, peace and happiness.

    Trisha

  3. Warren Stagg PhD says:

    Hi there, I'm sure you know that when we reach the old soul level we are in the process of transforming all remaining karma from all of our previous lives. To accomplish this we choose to come back until we accomplish this task. Then we may choose not to return or we may choose to come back for a special purpose. The choice of incarnation is always ours, called free will. What do you want to do is the question. Love, Warren

  4. deshkapoor says:

    Just one word – WOW!

    -d.

  5. runestone0 says:

    When my ex-wife became involved in the trappings of Wicca all the "witches" in her coven would call each other "old souls," implying that if you were in Wicca, you must automatically be extremely wise. Everyone else, myself included, were regarded as less-advanced beings. It's rubbish. None of these people had any power–they mouthed and performed meaningless rituals of dubious origin (Modern-day Wicca was created by Gerald Gardner in England in the 1930s. He's perform his rituals sky-clad, or naked, with his female acolytes. He knew what he was doing–the old goat.).

    Lies, damnable lies, and statistics.

    Bob

  6. KAN says:

    The Soul is Eternal and because of which all Soul

  7. ekazal says:

    Deepak, You must have come back to us of your own choosing.

    Namaste,

    Elaine K

  8. ardverk says:

    Elaine, for all his sins, he never left ;)

    Overcoats,

    ed

  9. buddhistprincess says:

    One must remember that in the realm of transition, time is not the same as on this plain of exitstance. The term old soul should not be taken as a insult but celebrated that another has recognised you as an old soul. The point though is it is just like any other title. I know I am being a hypocryt because mine is buddhistprincess but some titles are useful to get others to remember you or your teachings.

    As for wicca , it is a beautiful phillosophy and for some quite usefull. My ex husband proclamed himself a wicca and then promptly started attacking my faith, LOL, he used to love testing me on this exact question. But my mom has add wicca to hers because , in the right manner and people, wicca does fit into our material world , it has instructions on how to use your powers to manimpulate the material, but you must be of a certain mindset.

    You most deffinatley have a choice to incarnate when you choose to, but we don't have to come back to this world or demention or species.

    The questioner needs to know that reincarnation comes with a whole nother fantastic experiences

  10. rafael says:

    There are some traditions that say we incarnate in other planets(some more advanced

    some less, depending on what we need to work on) after we leave this one.

    I hope so, since it would be boring to come here again and again…

  11. Super frog says:

    The term " Old Sole " is a compliment normally used to describe a person that displays spiritual knowledge that is not normal for a person of their age. As for reincarnation as long as you still have desire for the physical world you will be reincarnated.

  12. Ursula says:

    Dear Deepak,

    I'm wondering why you would need to know if you are an old soul or not?

    We all want to look and feel young but we also want to be an old wise soul at the same time.

    "You can't have it all… where would you put it?"

    I love this topic as much as your answer.

    Cheers, Ursula

  13. organicspaces says:

    Ed, I am so in align with your answer! Let's assume the BEST ROCKING ANSWER EVER!!!

    With Love,

    Renay and my Organic Space

    X

  14. ekazal says:

    Rafael, I'm curious as to why you think that it would be boring to come here again, with so many places to explore, so many cultures, so much that I couldn't even begin to comprehend during a hundred life times on Earth.

    Am I missing something?

    Curiously,

    Elaine K

  15. akemigaines says:

    Hi,

    I read people's soul records (Akashic Records) and I think there is a misunderstanding going on that "The older the soul, the better and wiser it is." As Deepak implied, the soul's age doesn't necessarily correlate to the level of development or the advancement of the soul in its journey. Souls are not quite the same with wine.

    I think there are people who tells clients "You are an old soul," just to please them. This just doesn't make sense for the above reason.

    And we all have free will. We can choose to opt out from reincarnation, or we can choose to come back. Many souls seem to be reaching the level that we don't have to reincarnate. It's part of Ascension.

    Love & Light,

    Akemi Gaines

  16. runestone0 says:

    I think the old Chinese adage sums it up: Believe half of what you see and nothing that you hear. Especially when people are charging you for their readings. Unfortunately, it's often about the money.

    Bob

  17. A_Fiery_One says:

    What I wonder is… will I recognize those I love again, and they me.

    Thank you, Deepak, you often leave me adrift in a calm sea of blue.

    Natalie

  18. Mariahn Scarborough says:

    I have had people say that they thought I was an old soul… From the Lakota point of view, people only incarnate when they have failed to complete their life's purpose, or throrughly *%@$ed up. If I were an "old Soul" that would mean I just wasn't "getting it". I know it is meant as a compliment, so I find the irony amusing.

    That being said, it reminds me to be reflective about all labels, regardless of their intent. Abraham Maslow said that the mark of a self acutalized human being is that she is free of the good opinion of others. Now whenever people say things like "You are (fill in the blank).", I simply peel off the label and acknowledge that they might be right…or maybe not, but that I am the only person who really knows. If they were really as wise as they thought, they would ask me about who I am, rather than stick a convenient label on me.

    Collect kindnesses, trust your instincts, learn happiness and then spread it all over everyone you know.

    Love,

    Mariahn

  19. arun raghuwanshi says:

    Dear Ed Howes

    Your remarks are most illuminating!

    It all reminds me of a poular urdu poetry:

    "Hum ko maloom hai jannat ki haqeeqat lekin

    Dil ko behlane ko Khyal Accha Hai!

    Meaning:

    " I know the reality of Heaven!

    But to keep heart feel good, this Idea is good."

    Indian Philosophy(Hindu ,Buddhist and Jain) have almost every answers about spiritual questions!in most convincing way!

    No need to create confusions and spreading false ideas in the name of spirituality and Astrology!etc. Both being entirely different fields,with diffrent objectives!

    And lot of confusions already!Why to create anarchy in the name of advancement/enlightenment!Let only realized people say or ask any thing in these matters!

    Is there any limit to pseudo sprituality?

    With best wishes!

    @run

  20. Simon Hay says:

    If all things remain a part of god consciousness then all souls are equal. Karma is a human concept not a soul concept. Six billion people, but only one life. The energy of karma remains constant in the earth's environment, auric field?, energy?, and is reactive only here, and has no power in the one soul, source energy, divine, God. I'm responsible, at a human life level, for the karma of the six billion. We have lived every life, past and present. When we grasp that, what's communicated by consciousness/spirit will evolve.

  21. chestlyn says:

    Thank you Dr. Chopra.

    Excellent work there.

  22. simon_freejohn says:

    When there is no end, beginning, new or old left in you, then You will become Incarnation itself

    to ask when, why, how and If is totaly invalid. The only answer is "It doesn't matter one iota"

    If we feel the need to ask the question "How far have I come on my spiritual evolution?"

    Then the only real way to know that is to be alert to your immediate state of affairs. Because those state of affairs are where you are at.

    "Nothing that is for you – Will go past you"

    Love xx

    I am your reflection as you are mine

  23. royally_chic says:

    Deepak, I agree with your answer.

    I have been called an "Old Soul" and never attached any meaning to the observation. Simply because our Souls never had a beginning and will never have an end. The Spirt is omnipotent and ominipresent….it's not until we live in Spirit and Truth do we realize this.

    Not until our Hearts harmonize with our consciousness will our questions be silenced. The Spirit is all knowing therefore it will not matter if you reincarnate, transcend to the next dimension, or rest in a Grave…..The Spirit lives and never dies….whether you are cognizant of it or not is an entirely different matter….

    Our cognitive abilities limit our Spiritual experience…..

    Tera

    "Turning myself inside out in pursuit of Divinity"

  24. rkhullar1 says:

    How can their be an old soul. The gita says the soul is like infinity it is underfined. It has never been born and can never die. Therefore, according to Gita this is a nonsense conversation. Personally, as a Hindu person I don't buy any of it. So why are we talking about it. How old the soul is is irrelvant to whether a person on this earth in the form of a human is at peace with themselves and others. A peaceful soul not how old the soul is that that is what matters.

  25. poeteye says:

    Sophisticated Innocence:

    Sometimes it seems that my soul has a naive aspect.

    This most often fills me with excitement and eagerness to learn.

    It is not weary or fragile with age, and definitely not jaded.

    Sometimes my soul is a young adult, sometimes it's a teenage snot.

    My soul has so many aspects that proceed at different paces,

    defining an overall average is a rather useless endeavor.

    As soon as you do the math, it's changed.

    Mostly my soul is ageless.

  26. Ziggy says:

    But being told you are an old soul is certainly nothing to feel sad about, I could not agree with you more, it is usually said to those who seem to be living life. Thanks

    Touch Everything

    Attach to Nothing

    Ziggy/Nuela Chogyal

    C.E.O. (Concerned Environmental Officer)

    H.E.A.L. (Heal Earth and Life)
    http://www.earthhealer.org

  27. Love Angeles says:

    Whoooha!