Excerpted from a lecture given by the  Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan . Full lecture published in the book  Success and the Spirit: An Aquarian Path to Abundance .  

The soul has a journey, and it is pre-destined. It selects its longitude and latitude to be born. It selects its geography; its space; its protective, nurturing essence of the parents, mother and father; and its environments. All the aspects, all the events that happen in the first seven years are set.

It is just like when you have a book. Let us say somebody has a sixty-page book that’s called “Life.” Every page has to be turned, and every page has to be read. Every page has to be gone through and has to be understood.

In between, there can be cross-references. In between, there will be things you highlight – the things you like. There will be things that bring tears to your life, and there will be things that are dreadful. Things that are right and things you think are wrong.

So let us say life proceeds like a book. Every tomorrow will become today. There shall not be, nor should there be, a tomorrow in fear. But there should be a tomorrow in existence. Elementary tomorrow is already in existence. You have to walk on it.

I’m giving these examples so you can understand how life and the soul proceed in combination with the elements and the environments. Then no one will make a mistake.

Like a freeway, there are lanes, and you set out. There are set driving rules. There are set exits. There is a set number of miles you have to travel. If your car goes by the set rules and procedures, then it will travel the distance to the destination. But on the other hand, you can cause an accident. You can bump into another car. You can slip off the freeway. You can fall apart.

These accidents and coincidences also happen in life. Therefore, fundamentally what we require is a very clear consciousness. You require a windshield wiper in case of rain. You want to see the windshield is clear. You want to see clearly; you want to see what is coming in front of you. You have mirrors on the side. You want to see what is catching up with you and what you have left behind. You also have a mirror in front of you, and you want to look in the back to see what is going on.

All of these aspects of the car in totality, that is Ek Ong Kaar. That is life. That is what you are. That is what Naam is.

Naam is the identity of your life in which you have traveled as the soul, looking left, right, front, sides and back. And then you have gauges before you – the speed, revolutions per minute, gasoline, temperature, water, etc.

What I’m explaining is, we have things. If you fly an airplane, you will find a way to measure the longitude, latitude and height. You will find a huge number of buttons and meters to press and to watch. And then you will keep on going.

Everything that you control in the cockpit makes you the pilot of life. Exactly in your personal life, you are nothing more than a pilot, sitting in the cockpit, running the vehicle of the body through time on the vehicle of space. Going the distance from point A to point Z, where you have to continue to your destiny. This is how the soul travels.

In between there can be an accident. There can be weather problems. There can be hazards in the way – the unexpected, the uncalled for, the unknown.

That’s why consciousness is necessary. Some do not develop consciousness, but rather think, “Well, as the years will grow, we’ll grow.” That’s why we need values. A pilot has to be tested. He has to go to a school. He has to be examined. He has to test pilot himself. That’s why he’s licensed, why he’s certified.

Nobody ever was there to get you to where you are. You may have it, or you may not have it. You may go through it, or you may not go through it. You may travel through it or you may not travel through it. Nobody can decide for you. Suicide and completion of the journey are two sides of the coin.

Now, opportunities in life will give you the access, the exits. It will give you the essence of life. You can go wrong. You can go right. In our elements, age plays a part. Sometimes you are driving on the freeway, nice and clear, singing and dancing, and you are not fully aware of what you are doing. All of a sudden, the car stops, makes some noise, and nothing moves.

What do you see? The parts fall apart. What will you do? Call Triple A, tow it to a mechanic, see what is happening, get it repaired, and it runs again.

But these incidents, coincidences, medical emergencies, good luck, bad luck – are all our expressions. Richness and poverty are all our expression. All of this is there. Nobody can wipe it out. But those who have consciousness and intelligence can enjoy it while going through it. Those who have not developed that consciousness and that clarity are subject to time and space. They do not enjoy life.

That’s why our life starts in the ambrosial hours, early before the sun rises, and we prepare ourselves for each day. We balance each day.

Similarly in life, there’s one unison body. Wherever we are – we are one. We have not forgotten that in us there are three values: we are angels, we are humans and we are animals.

Our barbaric animal nature is to live at each other. Our human nature is to live with each other. And our angelic nature is to live for each other. That should decide all our behavioral aspects.

If we start looking at this Trinity, that is what our behavior is. If we teach our children these three fundamental natures and tell them the set rules for the angels, for the humans and for the barbarians, then we prepare them for life. And as we prepare them, we also get prepared. And as there is a child in us that also gets prepared, that child has to be fed, nurtured and educated every day, at every moment.

Whenever you decide to deal with somebody, ask yourself, “Am I an angel? Am I going to do it angelically? Am I doing it humanly? Am I going to be a brute – barbaric and neurotic?”

. . . Look at the human. He will have one piece of bread. If somebody comes, he’ll share it. Look at the angelic nature. He will look for somebody who’s hungry and shall feed him or her. The human is the same. There are three natures always active, effective and working. This is the Age of Aquarius. This is the Age of Knowledge. “I know. I am.”

Now, what is to be done? Am I going to adopt the behavior of an angel? Am I going to adopt the behavior of a human? Am I going to stay in my basic animal nature? Well, this is what I want to tell you. Tomorrow, after the completion fo your journey, if your balance sheet says you have lived like an animal, you will go back into the animal nature. You will have the body of an animal, and you will be totally condemned to living an animal life . . .

If the balance sheet for this journey of life as a human shows insecurity, jealousy, greed and the unconclusive self; and if there is absolutely no positive, graceful, angelic nature; if there is no giving, then:

Daydaa day laiday thak paahi.

Jugaa jugantar khaahee khaahi.

Hukmee hukam chalaa-ay raahu.

Nanak vigsai vayparvaahu. II 3 II

You, Great Giver, keep giving to us and we grow tired of just taking.

Age after age You continually feed and nourish us.

In Your Will, Oh Divine Spirit, You guide us along the path

You choose for us.

Nanak, blissful, hasn’t a care.

Guru Nanak, Japji Sahib, 3rd Pauree

Then you have no relationship to the fact that giving is the way of life. God gives, gives, gives, and gives; and we take, take, and get tired. Then you will never reincarnate as another human.

But if giving, sharing and loving; tolerating, kindness, compassion and caring is the nature, then at the end of this journey, the next life will only be human. Redemption is not there. Don’t misunderstand, and don’t tell me that I am Dharam Raj, the God of Judgment speaking. I know the science and I have seen it. I know how it happens. I’m just telling you how the journey of the soul is condemned by you and you alone.

You put your soul into the depth of being in the sea or the animal world or the bird world. You do it. It is not that a human is born to go and reverse itself. It is when a human is born and acts that way. That is where the cycle of life goes negative and downward in its trend. And that is what I am trying to explain.

The second part is this. When you deal with kindness – comparative kindness, caring and compassion – and you are nice and you go all the way to tolerate, be peaceful, educate others, be knowledgeable and clear minded, that next life gives you an improvement as a human.

But if you choose that you should be totally balanced, and you will only adopt the policy of God, which is to give, give, give, give because God gives; and God gives, gives, gives, gives and never gets tired. And you will never get tired of giving. Time after time after time after time He gives and gives and gives and gives. Time ends but God never ends His giving.

Jugaa jugantar khaahee khaahi.

Hukmee hukam chalaa-ay raahu.

Age after age You continually feed and nourish us.

In Your Will, Oh Divine Spirit, You guide us along the path You choose for us.

Guru Nanak, Japji Sahib, 3rd Pauree

That carefree Lord moves like the wind, like a breeze in the morning, touching and kissing everybody, hugging, laughing and smiling through the angelic nature. If you become that kind of giver, you will become God. This is what Guru Nanak said in Japji. And that is what is understood.