The Autobiography of a Soul

By Jasper Burns

A journey through time,
from 1 billion years ago to the present and beyond.

Imagine the Hindus, Buddhists, Pythagoreans, Orphics, Theosophists, Essenes, Gnostics, Bantus, Jains, and Platonists are right.

Imagine that an individual soul inhabits many bodies, lives many lives, experiences many roles and places and times.

What would the autobiography of a soul be like?



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Sample Pages


Cell division and death – 1 billion years ago
A new skin – 400 million years ago
Fungal feast – 300 million years ago
Plundering plesiosaur – 200 million years ago
Soaring pterosaur – 150 million years ago
Surrounded by allosaurs – 145 million years ago
Turtle landing – 100 million years ago
Hatching – 58 million years ago
Seven-foot cock of the walk – 50 million years ago
A crunchy snack – 40 million years ago
The grieving whale – 15 million years ago
Strange beasts – 2 million years ago
King of the desert – 1 1/2 million years ago
Stolen by the wind – 1 million years ago
Musing by the campfire – 200,000 years ago
Neanderthal wedding – 75,000 years ago
Staying behind – 35,000 years ago
The first fishhook - 30,000 years ago
Shaman’s song – 20,000 years ago
Arms race on the Nile – 10,000 B.C.
Surrounded in Texas – 9,000 B.C.
The mountain spirit’s face – 4,500 B.C.
Along the Yellow River – 4,000 B.C.
Flight from Malta – 3,000 B.C.
Drought – 2,200 B.C.
Minoan melancholy – 1,500 B.C.
On an Indian plain – 1,000 B.C.
Olmec delinquent – 800 B.C.
Mayan home cooking – A.D. 400
Mother of the world – A.D. 800
A woman’s path – 1200
Boomerang – 1400
Elizabethan justice – 1600
Freedom – 1800
A ray of light – 1900
Depression – 1945
Epiphany – 2020

Notes and Explanations
(thumbnails with historical/scientific background)

Reader's comments

human history with a soul" " I love this book. As an anthropologist I use it in my workshops -- human evolution with a soul -- and as a grandmother I read it with my grandchildren (ages l0 and l2), both budding artists and writers, who find its content fascinating and its images awesome." (Serena Nanda, "5 stars"

"I cannot begin to tell you how much your book affected me as I read it today… I felt fear, I felt love, I felt death, I felt hunger, I felt a full and empty soul, and the hereafter. All those things and more as I poured your words of life into my heart. I even chilled and trembled… Thank you for this incredible experience… all afternoon I have been thinking about your book…"

"...I have had the time to read and reread, and all I can say is 'Wow!' It is a splendid blend of history, humanity, and spirituality, tied together with art and poetry. 'Wow!'"

"…I was going to just peruse a bit, but ended up reading up all of "Selected Lives". I didn't think it would be my type of thing, but I didn't want to put it down…"

"…had a party on Friday and your book, which was on the coffee table, was quite a hit! … the reviews are 100% positive…"

"I just love it … it is even better than I had imagined. I'm going to have to read it again a few more dozen times… What a variety of life's experiences! … The Indian battle with elephants is a tour de force all by itself..."

"... You took an original idea and with restraint and carefully chosen words, you gave us a glimpse of a moment-in-the-life-of a progression of creatures, human or otherwise, down through the ages. I was impressed how you took us back in history, spread us up and down and all over the planet, and then wed it to familiar feelings, events or situations... I was impressed with your imagery, your choice, color, music and economy of words... Now, I'm not in the reincarnation camp ... but I respect your idea and the way you expressed it..."

"Love this book!"

Copyright by Jasper Burns 1986, 2006
ISBN 0-9785495-2-X
96 pages

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Read about my new book on the Roman Empresses - from Routledge

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