What is your view on reincarnation?

You are now under a banyan tree in quiet contemplation. If as is believed in some eastern religions you are here to work out your karma, then it is very probable that you return many times. Most of us have had déjà vu experiences. We ‘sense’ we have been to a particular locale before … but not in this lifetime. How many people have you met for the first time and you feel certain you ‘know’ them? In quiet moments do you sometimes feel things very deeply which have nothing to do with your past experiences? Could these be ‘shadow memories’ which have accumulated from other lifetimes? Ever so faintly whispering to us “remember lessons learned”. When you are ‘resting’ can you ‘hear’ the murmurings, ‘visualize’ ‘foreign’ customs? Is there an inexplicable awareness of brief flashbacks to another time and place?

If you meditate regularly and ‘shut out’ the world, dim fragments often race quickly through your psyche. These are enigmatic. Perhaps there is a deep nostalgia that compels us to feel things that have had great meaning to us in past lifetimes. Have you ever reacted emotionally for no explicable reason? Has a sound, a structure, a person’s visage moved you suddenly … and left you wondering what was that? What happened? Why? Could you be experiencing a connectedness to a universal consciousness? Or to your own, personal journey through the ages?

If you have lived before why are you unable to remember? The most obvious answer: Your memory is stored in grey matter, your brain. Once it ceases memory is erased. Also, if you knew FOR CERTAIN that you would be returning in another body, you might be inclined to ‘bow out’ of a life you find difficult. The survival instinct would be undermined and the ultimate escape, suicide, embraced. Persevering through adversity would be abandoned … ‘lessons’ lost.

Though we have no obvious memory of past lifetimes, our spirit must retain something. For it is indestructible. Most of us experience strong attractions and aversions during childhood. We may enjoy music, sports, cooking. We may fear crowds, heights, various creatures. Could intense ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ be ‘exhibits’ of passion and emotion from a past life? Often nothing in a person’s current history can account for their extraordinary skill. Consider the child prodigy born into an ignorant, indigent family. A two year old plays the violin with aplomb. An unusual gift? Or a message to us all that one has lived before?

A final note: Many die young. Some are mentally impaired. Few octogenarians have realized their potentials. Is it inconceivable therefore that we humans are participating in a process of growth … of spirit? A process that knows no bounds? A mystery but one that should prod us to maintain an ‘open’ mind.


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