We all wonder, at one time or another, whether there is a life after death, whether we get a second chance and reincarnate, or if the end is just the end. My personal beliefs are in the hereafter, but which hereafter? Does God recycle our souls? At the end of each day, does he have several large bins, look at each soul and decide class or bombastic?
The belief in reincarnation is primarily a part of the Eastern religions but has crept into the Western world, first quietly, on soft cat paws, then brashly with the introduction of past lives and past life regression. The ancient Aryans believed that the self, came back. The self is unique and not just the soul. It maintains the identity of this world and life. The belief was so strong in the Aryan tradition, that if a husband died, his living wife was cremated with him, along with his trusty bow. That really makes divorce look good, doesn’t it?
There have been many that have claimed information from their past life. Madam Blavatsky, a Russian born immigrant to England developed an entire movement based on it. It was said that she was able to retrieve information that any normal human could not possibly know. She was a widely traveled woman that wrote articles of her philosophy and understanding of the universe.
Reincarnation has stemmed from many proclaiming to know the existance of their past life. While many books and stories have been written, I am personal witness to one that is kept private. A distant relative to the family has a child that is now approaching four years old. The child has two unusual attributes. He has been labeled as autistic, and he knows that he was someone different prior to his birth.
The family has not mentioned the second to doctors, due to the sensitive nature of the condition. One day when watching a television program, he became extremely excited. At the age of two and one half, he articulated that the background was the New York skyline, where he used to live. He identified many of the buildings accurately. Little by little, as time went on, he gave his previous name, the name of his dog, his friends, and the last place that he had been before he died. It was a building in New York City on September 11, 2001.
I suggested to a relative of the child, that they investigate the stories and contact the parents of the young man that died. They had found the name on the list of decendants from 9-11 but refused to contact the parents. Their child had told them that they were his good parents, and the ones that he had previously were not. The parents of this young boy chose to question him no further, or pursue the anomaly . They are coping with other problems, and want those to be resolved. They feel that this issue would only create more of a burden on their already “different” child. Respecting that wish, I will tell no more.
Are these types of instances proof of reincarnation, psychic contact with incarnate souls, or fabrication from bits and pieces forgotten? Little is known about the origination of these stories that are backed by fact. Why would we immediately jump to the theory of reincarnation?
The first is the desire to find an answer for the stupid things that we do on a daily basis. Afraid of the dark? It couldn’t possibly be all the monster movies you’ve watched in your life, it must be that you were killed in the dark in a past life. Do you eat too much? You starved in a past life. These are convenient excuses. Why not embrace the source? What about those that are afraid, only to identify a specific person that they believe that they were, and who died in the same manner that they fear?
Man has always wanted to make sense of death. As with all natural phenomena it has been addressed at one time or another by religious prophets and soothsayers. It is easier to imagine remaining in this world in a different form. It addresses the unknown with the known.
Everyone wants to feel special. If you haven’t really understood or lived up to your potential, it is easier to get a little of the much desired attention, by having done it in a previous life. There can be a romantic concept of eternal love with a past life experience. I remember an incident vividly that made me question whether I had existed before this life. I lay next to the man that I loved and we talked, about everything and yet nothings. He happened to say, “Do you remember when we met in a different life?” Suddenly we were sharing our visions about a turn of the century couple. The picture of a house that neither of us had seen in this life was shared, as was the vision of the death of the first to pass. A fire had taken the woman, me, and it was started in the kitchen. The details were matching when you considered the prospective of each party. The conversation lasted about an hour, and was never mentioned again. Was this idle ramblings that seemed to come from ESP, or a shared memory? Had it occurred in a previous life? The answer remains unknown.
There is phenomena that leads one to easily believe in past lives. Savants fit into the picture, knowing specific areas with great clarity upon first or limited exposure. Savants, while limited in some areas, have splinter skills, or narrow areas that they excel beyond the norm. Some savants can play beautiful music and yet have never had a lesson. Others, like in the movie, Rainman have mathematical skills that would be difficult to teach. Is it because they lived before? Does reincarnation answer the question of why they can achieve these remarkable skills.?
Money can be a driving force in some of the recent movements toward reincarnation. If enough people believe a man has information from a soul that has lived centuries, he develops his own lucrative religion. I am not saying that all that claim to be reincarnated souls are frauds, any more than I would say channeling is fraudulent. I just bring to the table the concept that it can be quite profitable if promoted correctly. So whom do we believe?
I’m not certain what the correct answer is. My religious background does not include reincarnation in their tenets, but there is certain sweetness about the concept. I frequently visit unusual shops. I am an active seeker of the unknown and rocks. One day I walked into my favorite store that has both, and a new face was in the store. The owner introduced the party as a reader. She looked at me and said I had been a witch in a past life. There was a certain comfort in the thought that I might have some magical power, at least at one point in my history. I never found out more, because it would have cost over fifty dollars and I had left my magical money wand at home.
There is no answer that can be proven. I guess we all must wait until our final moment has come. Still there remains the picture in my head of God mumbling as he digs through the pile of used souls, separating them into boxes to be left outside his door for the angels to take to the soul recycling center. In this vision, I picture God coming to my soul, hesitating, pondering a bit, smiling broadly until it turns to a laugh, nodding, and then placing it gently into the class box, for if nothing else, I made him laugh.