do all souls begin the reincarnation process as lower life forms such as plants, then insects, then animals and lastly as humans before they they become liberated from physical reincarnation OR some souls begin the reincarnation process in a human body already? if yes, that wouldn't be fair because they would have advantage over the other souls that begin the process as a little plant. How does this work? Did Yogananda talk about this?
Yogananda said he could remember back to his incarnation as a diamond! To remember previous incarnations in this way requires a very high level of Self-realization. But it supports the idea that souls start as minerals and work their way through the process of reincarnation to increasingly higher realization.
The Indian teachings say that this is the journey for all souls. The Indian scriptures say that it takes 5 – 8 million lives as a mineral, plant, or animal before the soul reaches the human level.
That process of reincarnation for the lower forms is automatic since they do not create karma, and so they move from one state to the next with increasing awareness.
Once the soul reaches the human level, the Indian Scriptures say it takes at least another 5 – 8 million lives to become free. Why? Because we have more ability to make choices, and some of those choices take us backward (toward greater selfishness) instead of forward, toward greater freedom.
You might enjoy a marvelous book called Karma and Reincarnation by Yogananda. It’s available through Crystal Clarity publishers.
Joy to you,