One often hears the phrase ‘old soul’ used to describe a younger person with seeming wisdom and emotional maturity beyond their years. New Agers and mystical belief inclined folks hint that maybe said young person is a reincarnation of someone older, a reincarnation in which the wisdom of a well lived life is somehow mystically imbued into a successor incarnation. Or perhaps they have been imbued or possessed by some enduring spiritual wisdom in the form of a non-corporeal entity.
I definitely have met younger people who seemed eerily wise and mature beyond their years. I believe that in fact they are displaying wisdom and emotional stability from someone or someones from the past. However I don’t believe it is from some mystical reincarnation or ethereal spirit imbuing them. In fact I believe that such an expressed mystical explanation distracts us from the more amazing and more useful real cause of ‘old soul’ wisdom beyond years. I believe that so called old souls are young people who were imparted wisdom, tranquility, and emotional stability by very real, very much alive human beings.
I believe that somehow, perhaps under some situations and in some very mortal environments some people are able to pass on not only rote memorization of facts but actual lived and learned wisdom and emotional stability. Some people or peoples in some environment have been able to penetrate the natural youthful barrier of frenzied confusion, the fog of flying directionless energy, the fear of the new, the terror of possible ostracization or abandonment and pass on life lessons. It may have been in a classroom. It may have been evenings on a front porch. It may have been on an athletic field. It may have been in a pew. It may have been a combination, a melange of all the above or other circumstances.
The real earthly sources, environments, and conditions of that transference of ‘old soulness’ is ignored or overlooked when we assign supernatural mystical origins. If we can determine from whom or from what set of real life circumstances a so called old soul is ‘charged’ or created then we can perhaps replicate the desirable circumstances and consequences (if indeed they are desirable).
As we age and learn valuable lessons that are too late to help ourselves, how often do we wish we could have known that lesson, that mindset, earlier in our lives when it could have helped us avoid harm or harming others? How often do we try to tell our kids or other young folks that valuable thing we have learned only to be ignored or insulted or assaulted by that young person. Usually we just stop trying and become embittered and sad because we have something valuable, something helpful to pass on and are rebuffed or hurt when we try to pass it on.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to discover those environments or demeanors that made it possible to create old souls? It would seem to be so much better than retreating to adoration of the so called old soul or mystical mumbo jumbo about reincarnation or possession.