Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reincarnation - Comfort For Your Soul

by Christofer French

Reincarnation - Soul Comfort


Astro Power - Divine Mechanism for Soul Development


More and more people from diverse religiions and cultures believe in
reincarnation as a way in which the Individual Soul goes through its
"paces". Those who wish to make reincarnation a strictly religious
topic may do so, but those who are not bound by strict religious dogma
are free to explore this topic as the "divine mechanism for soul
development".


The River Lethe - Forgetfulness of the Soul -


The place I will start is the Greeks. Ah, the Greeks, those ultimately
syncretistic peoples who, breathing the Spirit of Democracy were about
COMBINING ideas, absorbing ideas and making new ideas, giving them new
names and packaging them in Hellenic ways! The Greeks, sitting where
they sat in their craggy stony island places, in between the East and
the West are a wonderful source for so many ideas.


Paying the Boatman and Spiritual "Lethargy"


The River Lethe is their name for the process of forgetting - what
happens to the Soul when it passes from Death to the Other Side, from
the Other Side to Rebirth. The word "lethe" has the same root word as
lethargy or sleepiness. We are supposed to be forgetful of our past
lives, otherwise how could we live our current lives? The ancient
practice of putting coins on top of the eyes of the dead was to "pay
the boatman" who took you across that River of Forgetfulness. So they
devised Imagery that feels vivid and somewhat like a movie. Greek
Mythology was highly picturesque. It all tends to stick in the mind.


"The Uttermost Farthing" -


Christ refers to this in his picture of "agreeing with your adversary
quickly, lest you be taken to the uttermost farthing". Most see this as
a warning against being overly litigious. It is really most likely
Jesus' reference to a judgment phase for the soul. (It has recently
been shown through archaeology and history that Jesus was very
Hellenized. We can deal with that in another blog) The point here is to
appreciate the fact that your Soul is under constant assessment and
analysis, and as you pass, you should be in a state of peace, not
disputing and struggling with the fingers of judgment that are pointing
at you. "Agree with your advesary quickly" says: "Get some perspective.
You are in a State of Grace, you are about to go to the Other Side.
Don't struggle with the Accuser. It's over for now. Let the process
work. Do not exhaust your spiritual resources fighting like a fool for
your Virtue."


The Grand Ovearching Comfort that Lies in the Concept of Reincarnation -


The point of this blog is to get people to think about all of the
psychological, emotional and spiritual benefits that can be derived
from contemplating this "divine mechanism for soul development". For
those of you who might not be aware of it, reincarnation is a concept
that spans ages, centuries, and cultures. There is no need to document
that here. Of course, culture and history hold LOTS OF OPTIONS for what
reincarnation means. I will discuss how I am approaching the topic, but
let me acknowledge here the multiplicity of offerings from around the
world on reincarnation.


You have a background story -


Is there a rationale for your lot in life, the people you have met, the
positives and negatives of your fate and your character? Forgetfulness
dictates that you do not remember your background story, but the
reality of your life - its complexity, apparent contradictions and
mixedness of life, make each individual ask - is there a WHY to all of
these various factors? If it is random, then you must deal with what
that sense of randomness does to you. If you have a ONCE AROUND sense,
then luck, curses, despair, privilege, blessings and all those words
tend to have more power. But if you see the background story as an
explanation for your soul development, then you can be in a constant
state of transmutation of trouble, building on blessings, crushing
curses. If you think in good news/bad news terms, its easy to get
discouraged with life. If you see your soul as going through a set of
experiences that with conscious work will all be beneficial to the
eventual further development of your soul, then Life's Lot does not
need to be a weighty burden.


You've Gotten Another Chance -


I once told my sister that the fact that she was alive and on the
planet was evidence that redemption and salvation were hers. The divine
has declared that you can learn more lessons and progress in your
spiritual journey. You have a life. That is a positive statement that
you are progressing. If you have been "beaten up" in the past, this
current life is a declaration that you need not be a victim again. You
are not granted another individual existence for failure. You have
gotten another chance and that is reason for Joy!


Ultimately the Mystery of You has a Great Ending -


Why is a mystery story so compelling? Because you know that everything
will be explained in the end. A mystery is a great mystery if it keeps
you guessing and wondering and coming up with potential answers and
being forced to look at everybody as the solution to the mystery. That
faith that your good mystery story will be satisfying in the end is
what reincarnation offers you. Reincarnation says: "There is a reason
for your story, and when the story is over, your wonderfully complex
character will manifest again with even more color and texture for your
development in the next life."


Death is not Final -


I am trying to avoid discussions of heaven and hell and purgatory
because they tend to put dead people in spots for the "organizational
purpose" of "where do dead people go?" Reincarnation sees death as
NECESSARILY TRANSITIONAL. The human body is only going to live a short
time. The soul having previous existences, current existences and
future existences "knows" that multiple lives are the only way to build
character, become more completely textured and arrive at spiritual
states it has not previously had.


Kabbalah's Shards of Light -


One vision of soul development (ancient wisdom from Mosaic/Egyptian
tradition) sees our souls as once very young splintered fragments of
divine light, and filled with the glory of divine company. But at the
same time, these "shards" of divine light were ovewhelmed with a sense
of their "lack of development" or "unworthiness". These shards (young
souls) ate of the "Bread of Shame". They thought that being so
profoundly blessed and yet so undeveloped made them in need of
development. Of course, the Divine said: "You can't have it any better
than this, but you can get better, sure! Physical existence will give
you opportunities for development. As you go out on this journey, you
are going to feel lost and alone, many times. But you will be brought
back from life to life to contemplate your development. This is your
decision, but in the end its what the Divine wants too." This proposed
dialogue gives a sense of what reincarnation, as a belief imparts.


"The Fall of Man" was not our grim determination to be GOD LIKE and
impetuous and rebellious, the fall was our recognition that we needed
to go through a process that would take ages. Virtually everyone I have
ever listened to characterizes the "fall" in wholly negative ways.
Orthodox Christianity makes Adam and Eve the "heavies" in a drama that
is over before it starts.


But reincarnation settles mankind into a Spritual Context of
Continuity. The Roman Catholics love the fall of man as a concretized
spritual reality because then they get to run around SAVING everyone,
especially on the battlefield, because we are these LOST SOULS about to
slip into OBLIVION. If you believe this, I am sorry to offend you, but
it is not a particularly elevating vision of the human state. It works
for Orthodoxy because it casts the lowly people separate from a God who
sees them as damned, and the intermediary priesthood negotiating the
fate of each "newborn" soul.


Salvation is not the end, but the beginning -


When I look into the eyes of a newborn child, my heart does not
overflow with awe because I am contemplating its hoped for redemption
from the strangle hold of physicality. I am filled with awe because I
see an ancient soul wrapped up in one of life's new packages, ready for
a new round of experience. Birth is a salvation for new complications
and challenge which will happen to an old soul. Death is a release into
a new round of such activity.


Dying Suddenly In Youth -


When Mrs. Ryan's feet and knees buckle on her front porch, upon hearing
that she has lost 3 sons, in that painful scene from "Saving Private
Ryan", (one of the best movies ever made), your heart sinks in your
chest. The awareness of this "mortal coil" being shuffled off is always
with us. "In the midst of life, we are truly in death." We are like
grass and flowers so beautifully manifest and yet so quickly gone.


With reincarnation you need not conjure up a scene in your head of
Mikey bouncing his ball on God's driveway with all these other
similarly situated youths. Reincarnation puts a soul back into the
running up and down quality of the process. Losing one's life
unexpectedly in mid-stream is probably one of those major soul
experiences that is a "requirement" for one to go through. Think of the
major shocks and pains in life, as a soul, you have probably gone
through a selection of those experiences. Loss, to be understood and
appreciated, makes its mark on us all. As a species we have cut enough
young people down in the vibrancy of youth. Reincarnation puts a quiet
comfort in contemplating that that young one will be back in the flow
of flesh sometime soon.


Racial and Cultural Prejudices -


Reincarnation says: "You don't know what you used to be, you don't know
who you are going to be in the future, so try to get some neutrality
about who you are dealing with." In the SUBJECTIVITY OF YOUR CURRENT
EXISTENCE, your identity tells you how to feel about others. Human
cultural, ethnic, linguistic worlds are constantly creating a person's
reality. We can not resist thinking of ourselves as Americans,
Brazilians, Germans, Cubans, Majorcans or Chinese. We are where we are
born, brought up and pickled. And religion as a cultural creation,
perpetuates that reality of what it is to be a socialized enculturated
human.


BUT if you believe in reincarnation, you have a thought in your head
that keeps you in check. "Last time, I could have been like that guy.
Next time, I could be like her." At this moment in time, that might not
be comforting to you in your current state of mind, but as a backdrop
of human consciousness, this thought could alleviate racial, strident,
virulent, fighting fury. At least, as a night time nugget of
contemplation, it might calm your soul a bit and give you a different
kind of look from a 30,000 foot view of the kingdom that is your
conscious and subconscious mind.


"I'm depraved on account I'm deprived." -


In "West Side Story" the gang members sang to Officer Krupke about how
people were poorly socialized and thus criminal. In the 50's these
ideas were up for more ridicule than they are now. But presently, we
also consider that NOT EVERYBODY who is deprived becomes depraved.
Character, will, choice and determination also come into play. I bring
this up, not to restart the "nature/nurture" controversy, but rather to
talk about how reincarnation is life's way of saying that EVERYONE is a
Distinctive Soul with a Unique Past and our Own Special Will and
Horoscope. What you decide to do in your life is a result of all of
these uniquenesses. One can say: That we are just smart apes who have a
dynamic need for security and food and comfort and people don't even
have souls" Reincarnation says: "Talk like that if you will, but you
are a divine individual with a plan. This puts a heavy responsibility
on the soul. Reincarnation puts a burden on the identity. It puts a
burden on the heart and head to come up with a plan based upon self
respect and a sense of individual destiny.


Relationships have Greater Potential Meaning -


Some or our relationships in life are not loaded with meaning. Some are
meaningful but negative. Some relationships are long term, meaningful
and full of love. With reincarnation, you are constantly looking for
the poetry and sense of relationships, because you believe that the
OTHER GUY also is a divine soul with a past and a purpose. And perhaps,
just perhaps. YOU HAVE A PAST WITH THEM. This fuels speculation that
can never be determined. It is entertainment often, for people trying
to have a more special kind of relationship -- imbue it with greater
meaning. This doesn't hurt. It gives people a greater reverance for
each other. "Soul Mate" is a term that is popular and is based on the
idea that this is a more transcendent relationship. Previous lives is
just a more fascinating term because it quickly leaps to "previious
relationships" in those previous lives. Since nothing can be confirmed,
and only speculated upon, it becomes fodder for friendliness and
reasons to contemplate your similarity of dispositions and values.


NAMASTE -


"The divine in me acknowledges the divine in you." This ancient eastern
idea faces human interchange as being one in which our divinity is
constantly being carried around and facing other people who also have
the divine residing within. This affects human consciousness if you let
it. Reincarnation, as a belief held, is a reminder that everyone we are
dealing with is a child of god with a load of karmic action in their
past. It makes you not necessarily tolerant, but aware. One can
conclude that the fixed aspects of life come from our past and we
should accept that fact in others. Reincarnation keeps us ever in mind
that there is this fixity that we do not need to become overdramatic
about. People are not doing things AT you on PURPOSE, they are just,
most of the time, acting our their horoscopes and working off their
karma and approaching the world in a generalized way. Seldom do we need
to take things as personally seriously as we do.


I propose the ideas in this blog as a way of achieving greater levels
of comfort for our sometimes overwrought selves. Exploring this in this
way leads to many more such ideas. Try it. Please see: http://www.hubpages.com/profile/Christofers+Flow.

As a Minister in the early 70's, the author began to think about the
fate of all souls regardless of their sectarian and religious beliefs.
When considering what humanity is down here for anyway, the only answer
he could come up with had to do with the human soul passing through
multiple existences. Upon coming to this conclusion, he saw a plan and
began to study ancient systems. This is just a taste.


1 comment:

Anirudh Kumar Satsangi said...

Rebirth is ‘YES’. I know about my previous birth. My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state.
HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab.

Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.

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