In some cases for example, an individual may have lived like a scientist or a philosopher, and ultimately the greatest philosophers find that the highest system of philosophy that he builds up is a cobweb. It is a web of ideas, and he finds out that in the web of ideas I can never experience. The more ideative I am, the more abstract I am. In abstraction I cannot experience, experience requires a different kind of quality. Mere ideativeness is not experience. So if at the end of my life of a philosopher I have really realized that I could not come out of the cobweb, and I want to come out of the cobweb, and I assert my soul's freedom and say, ‘Next time I must not have cobweb’, – in my next life therefore, I won't be a philosopher. I will not enter into cobweb. This is another example to show how your experience makes you mature and gives you the new turn in your experience, in your chain of experience, and your reincarnation will have a different personality. You may be a king in this life, in next life, you might have seen that, oh! king has everything readily available, and you feel, what is there in readily getting everything that you want? I want to make a big labor; I want to make an effort to get everything. In the next life you may be born in a very ordinary family, where lot of effort is required, and you learn the experience of labor. This is how what you gain in the past life is carried in the next life, but in a different way.
And then you go forward. When you are taking a repose in your soul world, after exhausting your subtle physical, your vital, your mental, when you are watching from above, as it were, there is a perception that in this particular circumstance I have gained what I have decided to gain in my next life. And therefore your birth takes place. If you have decided in your past life, "I must become supramental", very likely you will be born in Auroville. If your soul has decided, ‘I must be supramental’, because you find that here is a circumstance, although not a very smooth circumstance, a kind of a battle which is going on, but battle for the supermind. So very likely you'll be born here, or, even if you are born elsewhere, you'll find such a circumstance where the parents will be obliged to come to Auroville, sooner or later. So you are born there. It all depends upon the decision that your soul has taken. It is one truth in your life, if you have come here; it's quite possible that you have greatly aspired for the supermind in your past life. Therefore, you are here. It's quite possible. Many others also make mischances also; by chance we have got to come here for a short time, and then your destiny may be elsewhere, but it's quite likely. When you are seeking, put this in your itinerary, in your journey. Very likely you have come here because you have a destiny to discover the supermind and to become supramental, and therefore you have to prepare yourself for that. If you know this, your preparation also becomes much easier. All this takes, according to Sri Aurobindo's writing, normally three years, before you can come back into the new body.
Another question which was asked was, is it possible that a human being in the next birth becomes a bull, animal? Is it possible?
Sri Aurobindo's answer is that once you have crossed the human threshold, normally a human being becomes a human being in the next birth. But there may be tendencies in you, in the past birth, which are satisfiable only through the experience of bull. There may be some tendencies. In which case, when you are shedding off your subtle physical and vital and mental, some of your vital being, only that portion takes birth as a bull. It can happen. Not that you, your soul is not taking birth in a particular bull, your soul is moving upwards. But the tendencies which were there in the vital, they can take incarnation in a bull and satisfy themselves and then get exhausted. That is possible.
This answer, also answers other question that you have put: Can a being be at the same time in many personalities? Answer is that there can be certain states of consciousness. I had once spoken about states of consciousness as distinguished from information and ordinary knowledge, intellectual knowledge, and states of consciousness. At a certain stage of maturity of a being we become very concerned with the states of consciousness; serenity, kindness, forgiveness, love, generosity – these are all states of consciousness. If you nurture the states of consciousness then they begin to mature so much they become permanent, as it were. They cannot die. And since you have put forth, whenever you are born, they are always available to you. This is the law of karma because you put forth they are easily available to you. So certain states of consciousness, you are master of. And you can even put forth that state of consciousness into somebody that is how you see some saint or a great spiritual being, and you'll find that after meeting that person a great change comes into you. The Yogi has been able to put a state of consciousness in you. It can even seem, as it were, sometimes this state of consciousness coming out of that Yogi, can also become permanent in you. You can also feel that that portion is not you, that portion is Yogi's portion himself. Yogi himself is living there. And in that personality that Yogi lives in you. So although Yogi is living in this body he can also live in Anandamai's body, in Juan's body, in Fanny's body, at the same time. That is quite possible; it is through states of consciousness and states of being. This is a very fascinating subject, one can go on talking a lot, but we must honor law of karma.