New Flight Plan

from Richard Salva

I was on an airplane flying eastward across the United States when the direction of my life changed completely. I am a creative person, artistic and spiritual by nature. I came to Ananda in my late teens, and since then my life has been dedicated to serving God as a disciple and a minister. Over the years I have channeled my energy into many different areas of creative service. One by one, however, all those doors had now closed.
Sitting on the airplane, suspended as it were between heaven and earth, I prayed, “Divine Mother, what do You want me to do?”

Immediately, unexpectedly, a thought came with sparkling clarity.

First, let me give you a little background.

Paramhansa Yogananda said that Abraham Lincoln had been a great yogi in past lives who died with a desire to help bring racial equality. Thus his incarnation as the president of the United States who emancipated the slaves. Lincoln was a great man in many ways, but he never received the public acclaim he deserved. He was praised by some, but criticized also by many.

Later, the soul that was Lincoln reincarnated as Charles Lindbergh, the man who first flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean and gained worldwide acclaim for doing so. The progression from Lincoln to Lindbergh is certainly not an obvious one! Only a master like Yogananda could declare such a relationship. As Lindbergh, Yogananda explained, Lincoln received the universal acclaim he deserved but did not get in his earlier incarnation.

All of this I knew before that moment on the plane. But now it took on profound personal meaning.

Almost audibly, the thought was in my mind, “The lives of Lincoln and Lindbergh are well-chronicled. Why don’t you study their histories for evidence that what Yogananda said was true?”

Karma and reincarnation are fundamental to the teachings of Self-realization which I had studied thoroughly in my years at Ananda. Lately, though, I felt as if Divine Mother had been giving me a personal crash course in how these principles express in daily life. For several years, and virtually on a daily basis, my experiences, and the reflections they prompted in meditation, had made me somewhat of an expert on the subject. I had been preparing myself for this assignment without knowing it.

Following the plane flight, I dove into this new project. I spent ten years researching what became The Reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln. And I was amazed to uncover nearly five hundred examples of the connection between the two men and their shared connection to the path of yoga.

Working on this book not only provided an answer to my prayer, it set in motion a trajectory I have been following ever since.

I became a published author and a recognized authority on karma and reincarnation. I vastly improved my writing skills, which has led to further interesting assignments. Learning how to publish and promote books opened doors to worthwhile service to other authors.

All from a simple and heartfelt question asked of the One who had the answer.