Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Maybe in Another Life

The idea of reincarnation originates in religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. I am not personally religious, but I find the possibility that our souls come back multiple times, into multiple bodies fascinating.

Some kind of belief in a higher power or something resembling Heaven is kind of a prerequisite to a belief in reincarnation. There has to be some kind of organization involved in the passing of souls from body to body. But maybe that is just the logical part of me kicking in. When I picture it in my head I see a huge office, kind of like where you go to renew your license. Each soul has a number, and when yours comes up on the screen, it's your turn to be born again. Do we even have a choice when or how it happens?

There are some unexplained phenomenon that people have associated with reincarnation. Xenoglossy, when someone can fluently speak a language they have never been exposed to, or a child prodigy, a young person who exhibits extraordinary talents without practice are two things that could be explained by the existence of past lives. Also, deja vu, (which I talked about in a previous post) could indicate memories that only exist because our soul never dies.

The Skeptic's Dictionary entry on reincarnation raises one important point. What is a soul? We can really only speculate, since we can't remember what it was like when we weren't in a body and on Earth.

But the mystery is what makes reincarnation such a popular topic. There are lots of movies about it such as What Dreams May Come that also addresses the idea of soul mates. That is one thing a lot of people like to imagine is possible. You see someone on the street and you just know you have met them before and you absolutely need to talk to them. You have coffee, you fall in love. You must be soul mates. For this to be true... you had to have lived many lives before your current one.

I definitely believe in soul mates. But I think you can have many. A soul mate is someone who has had a positive affect on you in any way and you learn something from during each lifetime. They may be a very good friend. They may be someone you know for only a very short time. But somehow, they are important to what you have to learn in this lifetime.

To believe in reincarnation is to believe we are all here for a purpose. Our souls are evolving everyday and even the difficult things in life are teaching us something. Without the opportunity to move on after we die, what is the point in learning anything in the first place?

As with most spiritual issues, it is difficult if not impossible to prove the existence of the soul and reincarnation. It is a matter of faith, and I personally prefer to believe everything happens to teach us something, and nothing ever goes to waste.

"Faith is believing in things when common
sense tells you not to"

-George Seaton

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