Critiques of the Books Your Soul’s Plan by Robert Schwartz & Levels and Laws of the Spirit World by Khorshed Bhavnagari


Reincarnation Research Indicates that Souls Do Plan Lifetimes from the Spiritual Realm to be Reunited with Loved Ones from Past Lives

Article by: Walter Semkiw, MD

Past Life Relationships
Burmese Sisters Reincarnate as Twins

There is strong evidence that reincarnation exists based on independently researched reincarnation cases, including the work of the late Ian Stevenson, MD, of the University of Virginia. Stevenson accumulated over 1200 cases in which small children had spontaneous past life memories that were factually validated. In my opinion, these cases, in aggregate, provide proof of reincarnation. A viral reincarnation research video that features Dr. Stevenson and his work is: Evidence of Reincarnation

Reincarnation research shows that souls plan lifetimes before they reincarnate, so that they are reunited with loved ones that they have been with in prior incarnations. Ian Stevenson noted that in 22% of objectively validated reincarnation cases, the soul that is preparing to incarnate sent a dream to a future family member, which conveyed that the soul would be soon be born into that family. Stevenson called these types of dreams “announcing dreams,” as the soul, through the dream, was announcing its upcoming incarnation into that family. We can think of it as when one telephones a dear old friend to say, “I’m coming into town and will be staying at your house. Get ready!”

Announcing Dreams in Reincarnation Cases

The strongest evidence that souls plan lifetimes to be reunited with loved ones is provided by Ian Stevenson’s Twin Study. This analysis revealed that in 31 sets of twins (62 individuals) who had spontaneous past life memories that were factually validated, in 100 percent of the cases, the twins had significant past life relationships. In the image provided above the elderly women were sisters, who reincarnated as the young girls pictured, who are fraternal twins. Click on the image to enlarge it. Note the similarity in facial features from one lifetime to another. To learn more, go to:

Ian Stevenson’s Reincarnation Twin Study

Relationships Renewed through Reincarnation

Reincarnation case studies also give us other insights into how reincarnation works in general. These insights are summarized on the website section entitled: Principles of Reincarnation

Understanding the Purpose of Reincarnation and Nature of the Spirit Realm

Though reincarnation research confirms that we plan incarnations from the spirit world, there are many other issues regarding reincarnation that cannot be ascertained from reincarnation case studies, such as when did souls originate, what is the purpose of reincarnation, how many lifetimes do we have on Earth and at what point does reincarnation end.

Kevin Ryerson & Meaning of Life, Walter Semkiw MD IISIS Reincarnation Case StudyEnter Kevin Ryerson and the Spirit Being Ahtun Re

In 2001, I started to work with Kevin Ryerson, who is a trance medium who has worked with actress and author Shirley MacLaine for over 30 years. Kevin is featured in four of Shirley’s books, including her bestseller, Out on a Limb. Kevin plays himself in the movie version of Out on a Limb.

In his role as a trance medium, Kevin serves as a “human telephone” to allow spirit beings to speak through him. Kevin is in a meditate state during this process and he has no memory of what occurs during the session. When a spirit being speaks through Kevin, his voice, facial expressions and manner of speaking changes to reflect the personality of the spirit being coming though him.

Kevin channels a spirit being who uses the name Ahtun Re, who speaks with an Egyptian accent, as he states his last incarnation was in Egypt about 3500 years ago. Though I was skeptical at first, after working with Kevin for a period of years, I came to the conclusion that Ahtun Re has the ability to make past life matches with a high degree of accuracy. I also came to the assessment that Ahtun Re is truly a spirit being who is a different entity from Kevin. I based this conclusion on Ahtun Re’s vast fund of knowledge, which surpasses mine, Kevin’s or anyone else’s that I have interacted with. To learn more about the work that Kevin, Ahtun Re and I have done regarding reincarnation case studies, go to: Ryerson-Semkiw Celebrity & Historic Figure Reincarnation Cases

Once I came to the conclusion that Ahtun Re is an intelligent being residing in the spirit world, I decided to ask him big picture questions regarding reincarnation and the spirit realm. My dialogues with Ahtun Re regarding these issues, along with supplemental information contributed by associates who have psychic gifts, led to the publication of my book:

Purpose of Reincarnation Dean Radin Larry Dossey Walter Semkiw MDOrigin of the Soul and the Purpose of Reincarnation

Discrepancies in Channeled Material regarding Reincarnation and the Spiritual Realms

Other books exist that also try to explain reincarnation and the spirit world. As I studied these works, I realized that there exist some significant inconsistencies. I took these discrepancies back to Ahtun Re in sessions with Kevin Ryerson, to get Ahtun Re’s input regarding this conflicting information.

It is important to for readers to understand that my conversations with Ahtun Re are very much two-way and they can be quite intense. In contrast, with other channeled sources, information often goes one way, from the spirit being, through the channel and into print. I have learned the hard way not to trust all channeled sources of information or all psychics. In the end, Ahtun Re’s answers to my inquiries have made sense to me. I have developed trust in him and his answers to my questions.

Resolving Discrepancies in Channeled Information

In the section of the website provided below, I address discrepancies that I have found in two books on reincarnation and the spiritual world. I provide Ahtun Re’s analyses regarding these issues. I am the first to admit that I have no way to prove that Ahtun Re’s answers are correct. I am simply sharing information gained through my struggles to understand the process of reincarnation.

By providing these critiques, I do not intend to demean the value of these books. I applaud the authors for their efforts and their call to service in creating these titles. We all share the same desire to help human beings better understand their spiritual nature.

Your Souls Plan Robert SchwartzYour Soul’s Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Bornby Robert Schwartz

Points of Agreement

A major focus of Mr. Schwartz’s book is that souls plan lifetimes to be with people we have known in prior incarnations, both due to emotional attachments and due to karma that we have to work out with these souls.

In Your Soul’s Plan, it is stated that if a soul harmed others in previous incarnations, that soul will need to experience the same abuse in a future lifetime. The topic of karma is complex and is addressed in detail in Origin of the Soul, but this basic premise of karma resulting in “what goes around comes around” is true.

Point of Contention-Evil is Not a Gift

Your Soul’s Plan overall is a good book, but a premise is forwarded which concerns me greatly. In it, it is stated that if a person has to experience abuse in a future lifetime due to karma, a member of that individual’s soul group can volunteer to be the abuser to help enact the lesson, with no karma created by the second soul who agrees to be the abuser. According to Ahtun Re, this is false.

A mature soul would never willingly harm another, as that is against the nature of a mature soul and abusive actions would indeed create negative karma. Instead, the immature soul, who perhaps committed murder or some other violent act, would in a future lifetime encounter a second immature soul, who is also learning lessons the hard way. That second immature soul would enact “what goes around, comes around.”

Implications: Hitler, the Holocaust and New Age Absurdity

The concept that a soul would volunteer to commit abusive acts without the generation of negative karma is actually dangerous, as it suggests that there is no accountability for the perpetrator and that victims of violence deserve it. One could take this logic to an extreme by asserting that Hitler did the Jewish victims of the Holocaust a favor by helping them learn lessons they had to learn. I have actually heard one New Age spiritual “teacher,” who calls himself an incarnate “master,” make this absurd statement regarding Hitler and the Holocaust.

By the way, the individual am referring to who made this statement is not Robert Schwartz. My impression of Mr. Schwartz is that he is a kind, idealistic and well-meaning person. I would ask him to consider removing the cited premise from his book in a future edition.

In sum, violence and being abusive is due to immaturity and unhealed wounds of a soul. As Ahtun Re has stated:

“Evil is Not a Gift or Part of the Divine Plan.”

Laws of the Spirit World Khorshed BhavnagriThe Laws of the Spirit World, by Khorshed Bhavnagari

Points of Agreement

Levels of the Spirit Realm

It is stated that there are levels of the spirit world and that advanced souls gravitate to higher levels of the spirit world. In the spirit realms, we associate with souls of similar levels of consciousness.

We are in agreement with this assessment. In Origin of the Soul and the Purpose of Reincarnation, clairvoyants Echo Bodine and Judy Goodman, who relate they have consciously experienced the spirit world, contribute narratives of their psychic travels into heaven and its levels. In Origin of the Soul, Ahtun Re also provides insights on levels of the spiritual world.

Souls were Created in Pairs: Soul Mates or Dipoles

Souls were created in pairs to complement and balance one another. These paired souls are the basis of the popular notion of soul mates. In Origin of the Soul, I prefer the term dipoles to describe these paired souls, as they tend to have opposing natures.

Laurel & Hardy an Example of Soulmates

For example, a dipole pair in the entertainment field, affirmed by Ahtun Re, is the comedy team of Laurel & Hardy. Stan Laurel was thin and took on the role of a helpless dimwit, while Oliver Hardy was obese and played the part of a worldly sophisticate.  Their opposing natures resulted in comedic genius. To reiterate, Laurel and Hardy were soul mates or, to use my terminology, dipoles. Note that not only did the two have different personalities, they had markedly different body types. Of interest, reincarnations of Laurel & Hardy have been identified. To learn more, go to: Reincarnation Cases of Laurel & Hardy | Josh & Danny Bacher

laurelhardyreincarnationcasesRomantic Soul Mates

Dipoles generally do not become romantic partners. The popular concept of romantic soul mates refers to individuals who have had many incarnations together and who have found that they are compatible. This compatibility leads these souls to choose to continue reincarnating together. Souls who are not compatible tend to avoid one another in future incarnations, unless negative karma is generated which requires them to cross paths again.

Points of Contention

Humans Do Not Reincarnate as Animals

In The Laws of the Spirit World, it is stated that human beings can be reborn as animals. Ahtun Re has indicated that this is not true. Souls incarnate to learn and grow and a human soul would not learn much by incarnating into the animal kingdom, which is driven by instinctual behavior.

It is true, according to Ahtun Re, that when human souls started the process of incarnation into the physical Earthly realm, they initially would attach themselves to, or piggyback on, animals to become accustomed to the physical plane. This was an initial, transitory stage, which has not occurred in millennia. Ahtun Re noted this idea likely entered into The Laws of the Spirit World as the author, Khorshed Bhavnagari, was raised in the Hindu culture, where the belief that humans can reincarnate as animals is prevalent. In sum, human souls reincarnate as humans, not as animals.

An interesting angle on animal incarnation involves a telepathic experience I personally had with a squirrel, which I believe sheds light on why some people and faiths, such as the Hindu religion, believe humans can reincarnate as animals. This experience is presented in light of a proposed animal reincarnation case included in book of University of Virginia psychiatrist Jim Tucker, Return to Life. To learn more, go to:

Do We Reincarnate as Animals?: A Thai Boy’s Past Life Memories as a Snake in Jim B. Tucker’s Return to Life, & Human-Animal Telepathy

One’s Date of Death is Not Predetermined

In The Laws of the Spirit World, it is stated that there is a fixed and predetermined date for one’s death. Ahtun Re has indicated that this is not true. Though there can be an increased probability of a certain lifespan due to karma, in general, the date of death is not fixed.

The Nature of the Lower Spiritual Realms

In The Laws of the Spirit World, the lower levels of the spirit world are described as pitch black with hard rocky surfaces. Ahtun Re has stated that this description is an exaggeration. It is true, though, that the higher planes are more desirable places to exist in.

A good way to understand this issue is the concept that a soul gravitates to the plane that reflects its level of advancement. Murderers and criminals will go to a level or place inhabited by other murderers and criminals, which we can imagine has an atmosphere of conflict and hostility.

The Top Good Soul Does Not Give Permission for Incarnation

In The Laws of the Spirit World, it is stated that to reincarnate, a soul has to get permission from the “top good soul” of the level of the spirit world that the individual is in. Ahtun Re states this is not true. Rather, we get guidance from advanced souls and an individual makes plans for an upcoming incarnation based on this guidance, as well as in collaboration with members of our soul group.

Further, reincarnation can happen very quickly. One very interesting Ian Stevenson Past life case study involves: The Buddhist Monk Who Consciously Experiences his Death, Funeral and Rebirth

The picture is further complicated by reincarnation cases, including those researched by Ian Stevenson, MD, that show that a soul can inhabit more than one physical body at a time. To learn more about this phenomenon, go to: Split Incarnation

The Evolution of Dipole Pairs or Soul Mates

In The Laws of the Spirit World, it is stated that dipoles, a concept defined above, cannot advance separately, but that they must advance to higher spiritual planes together. Ahtun Re has stated that this is not true. Dipoles can develop or evolve separately, though the more spiritually advanced dipole will often try to help its dipole, or soul mate, advance due to empathy.

Dipoles or Soul Mates Do Not Merge into One Soul

In The Laws of the Spirit World, it is stated that at the highest plane of the spirit world, which is defined as Level VII or 7, dipoles (such as Laurel & Hardy) have to merge and become one soul. Ahtun Re has indicated that this is not true. Dipoles retain their individuality throughout existence and at all levels of the spiritual world.

On the other hand, at the highest levels of spiritual advancement, a soul attains the ability to merge its consciousness with God. Ahtun Re explains that he is able to do this and when he merges with God, his sense of separate individuality is lost. After entering this merged state, Ahtun Re can step down his level of consciousness and thus regain his sense of individuality. He in effect un-merges.

Lucid Ecstasy

Ahtun Re says that in his usual state of consciousness in the highest plane, he is in a state of “lucid ecstasy.” This explains why whenever I speak to him through Kevin Ryerson, Ahtun always seems to be in a very good mood.

The Nature of Ghosts

Purpose of Reincarnation Dean Radin Larry Dossey Walter Semkiw MDIn The Laws of the Spirit World, it is stated that ghosts are always less-developed souls who do not want to return to the spirit world, as they don’t want to go back to lower realms of the spirit world. Ahtun has indicated that this is not true. What we perceive as ghosts or apparitions can be derive from many different levels of the spirit world. The nature of ghosts is discussed in Origin of the Soul and the Purpose of Reincarnation.

Reincarnation, Karma and Bodhisattvas

In The Laws of the Spirit World, it is stated that everybody who incarnates on Earth does so because of unresolved karma. This is not true, according to Ahtun Re, and as explained in Origin of the Soul and the Purpose of Reincarnation, up to 20% of souls on Earth are here on a voluntary basis to help humanity advance. Buddhists term souls without karma who incarnate out of a desire to help humanity evolve “bodhisattvas.”

Spirit Robes and Auras

In The Laws of the Spirit World, it is stated that in the spirit realm, souls are given robes to wear for various purposes, as they provide specific abilities. Ahtun Re states this is not true, though the auras of certain spirit beings may appear like robes.

Earth Does Not Have Bad Vibrations: Life is an Opportunity for Growth

In The Laws of the Spirit World, it is stated that Earth vibrations are negative and should be avoided. Ahtun Re has indicated that this is not true. Earth life is what you make of it and incarnation is a gift from God, which allows us to grow and advance as souls.

Earth Changes, End of the World Doomsday Scenarios and the Book of Revelation

In The Laws of the Spirit World, it is stated that there will be massive earthquakes around the world that will occur within a few hours, which will wipe out 75% of humanity’s population. As such, only 25% of humanity will survive.

Other New Age books describe a similar doomsday scenario in which only advanced souls with high vibrations will survive the apocalypse. End of the world hype reached a crescendo in 2012 due to the Mayan calender ending. The Christian Book of Revelations has an end of the world theme, which is discussed in Born Again: International Edition (2011).

Since doomsday scenarios have enjoyed much popularity in New Age circles, I have asked about this issue many times since I started working with Kevin Ryerson and Ahtun Re in 2001.

Ahtun Re has consistently stated that these doomsday Earth change scenarios will not occur. Earth will undergo usual events such as earthquakes and tsunamis, as it has for millennia, but this catastrophic scenario that predicts that 75% of the population will be wiped out is unfounded.

On the other hand, global warming is a real phenomenon. Changes, such as rising sea levels, will occur, but on a gradual basis.

Overall, I think The Laws of the Spirit World is a good book, but I feel the need to address premises that I, and Ahtun Re, judge are flawed and which can bring about unnecessary fears.