If the theory of reincarnation is true, one recurring question that torments most of us is, who were we in our previous lives. Many people use hypnotic regression of the mind to find an answer; many visit ancient art galleries hoping to find a resemblance of their faces, especially eyes, in the portraits of people that lived ages ago; others take recourse to yogic meditation, but a definite answer is hard to come by.
Paramhansa Yogananda, a master of yoga and one of the pioneer teachers of meditation in the West, made a statement once, “Abraham Lincoln had been a yogi in the Himalayas who died with a desire to help bring about racial equality. His birth as Lincoln was for the purpose of fulfilling that desire. He has come back again (in the 20th century) as Charles Lindbergh.”
This statement made a great impact on Richard Salva. After an extensive study of the historical detail on the lives of Lincoln and Lindbergh, dovetailed with his own 30-years practice of the teachings of Himalayan yogis, Richard created one unstoppable read of reincarnation in his Soul Journey: From Lincoln To Lindbergh.
Salva, along with many researchers on reincarnation, believes the physical attributes of a person may change from one life to another; the conscious mind does not remember anything of the past; but the undying soul carries with it the quintessential traits of the person, the “subconscious images of familiar experiences” – everything we do in one life gets etched on our subconscious self and journeys with us to the next life.
In this book he gives a fascinating account of one such soul that journeys from the life of a Himalayan yogi, to becoming American President, Abraham Lincoln, and subsequently an aviator - one of the first to fly across the Atlantic in the person of Charles Lindbergh.
Part One of the book enumerates the uncanny resemblance between these two great Americans. Initially the anecdotes from their lives may seem a little far-fetched and may raise eyebrows but as one reads on one realizes that innumerable incidents and happenings can certainly not be ticked off as mere coincidence. Truly, they were two bodies, one spirit.
Part Two of the book explores the signs of yogic development in the lives of these two great men – especially, their adherence to dharma, reincarnation, karma, self-detachment, and other basic doctrines of Hinduism. Despite their striking similarities, Lindbergh fell short of Lincoln’s lofty standards. For instance, his secret second family in Europe. However, this is logically and satisfactorily explained by the soul’s growth chart right at the outset of the book, and as Richard admiringly puts it, “Lindbergh was Lincoln on vacation”.