notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Rethinking Reincarnation

About five years ago, when I was in one of my rare poetic moods, I wrote a poem about Reincarnation.

Here it as, and it’s short, so if you are one of the millions of poetry-averse souls, be assured that you can get it through it very quickly and go on without much long-lasting trauma.

reincarnationpoem

Okay, all done. You will be able to breathe normally again in just a second.

Lately I have been rethinking my position.

Not that I have any background whatsoever on Reincarnation.  But knowing nothing about a subject has never stopped me from expounding upon it at length anyway.

So that’s my beginning disclaimer. I am not referring to the concept of Reincarnation within Hinduism or within any established belief. I am talking about Reincarnation as I have imagined it – as a wrinkle in my own little curlicued brain.

I have always pictured Reincarnation as your just desserts.  You live a good life and you get a really nice next life. You live a bad life and you are punished in your next one. A straightforward Karma.

I am now at the age where my next life is looming closer – perhaps closer than I know. But let’s face it, if Reincarnation is real, our current lives are just the roller coaster ride that leads to the next roller coaster ride. Or perhaps bumper car to the next bumper car, or perhaps even more accurately – laugh-in-the-dark to the next laugh-in-the-dark.

And I see a fallacy in my conception.

Awareness.

What is the point of reward or retribution if you don’t know that it is? What have you learned if you don’t see the continuum of the lesson?

I mean, if you get a horrible life because you were bad in a previous life, but you don’t remember the previous life, how in the world can you understand that your current hell is punishment for being awful, when you don’t remember the awfulness of your earlier self? Wouldn’t you just think, “Holy shit, my life sucks!”?  You wouldn’t necessarily know the reason why it does.

And on the other hand, if you are having a great life because you were a gem of a guy before, why wouldn’t you be thinking, “Holy shit, I can do no wrong!”?  And perhaps you would end up being quite a prick, and you’d be bouncing back to Bad Life the next time.  You’d be a ping-pong ball in tabletop Karma.

So you’d HAVE to remember your previous lives to make my notion work.

And we don’t. Or at least – I don’t. I do wonder sometimes if other people know about all their previous lives and just aren’t telling me, because this is my first go-round.

Perhaps most people are saddle-sore veterans and this is my first rodeo, and they don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Okay. That’s my share today of crazy, inane metaphors.

But it is my best hope for Karma – that I am new to the game but I will remember my past in the future. As everyone else does, but is too polite to tell me.

And the best Karma I can think of – for everyone – is this:

That we get to be the opposite of what we are. That if we are rich, we will be poor in our next life. If we are illiterate, we get to be knowledgeable. If we are lonely, we get friends. If we are hateful, we become the object of hate.

And we SEE.

We see what it like on the other side.

And maybe understand each other.

 

reinc2a

 

 

18 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more! But also in the aspect that sometimes I will see something or drive by something and just get this familiar sense even if it’s my first time seeing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never had that feeling. But once in a great while I read something and I KNOW I’ve read it before. I once called out a guy on Twitter for plagiarizing someone else’s twee and he wrote back – “I didn’t…where did you see it before?” And I could NOT find it anywhere.

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  2. dragon

    Having been married to an old soul, and having a daughter who seems to be one, they both agreed it’s my first time here … that explains a lot. I like your version of how it should work, I’ve always had an issue with what I know of Buddhism and Hindu beliefs because as noted, if you don’t remember what you did previously, how do you learn and continue? Thanks.

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    • Yes, that part always confuses me.

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      • dragon

        It suddenly occurs to me, having actually studied Hinduism, that those who believe basically look at what their past life must have been like to land them where they are now and proceed accordingly. Thus, in that frame of belief, you don’t actually need to know what you did, you just have to believe and be grateful you didn’t end up a cockroach … LOL

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  3. Good theory. I believe e make mistakes in this life so that we learn in the next. As you say though, as we get older, our chances of finding out what lies beyond grow closer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another thing I don’t understand though… if we are all improving based on what we learned, how come there is still so much awfulness in the world?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the IDEA of reincarnation, though I can’t make logical sense of it. Your issue with it – the not remembering – I think I have figured out, though. I don’t think we are here to be rewarded or punished, but rather to learn a lesson ( that does, I admit, sound vaguely like my mother, explaining why she was about to spank me…to teach me a lesson). Though it may not be in our conscious memory, we have a collection of lessons learned, and a list of lessons yet to be learned. The hardships we face are there to teach us (which does make failures and misery in this life just a tiny bit more palatable), and it’s our job only to pay attention, as we move through this life. The nice thing about this theory is that we don’t have any other job. If things are going well, be appreciative; if things are going badly, learn what you can and keep going.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I like that idea, but it still doesn’t explain why there still seems to be so much evil… shouldn’t we humans be getting better than THIS?

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  5. I’ve always believed reincarnation makes perfect sense. Just because we haven’t developed an awareness of where we’ve come from doesn’t negate the value of learning new lessons and improving on our Karma as we go through lives together.

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    • Maybe we eventually reach some kind of awareness, but haven’t got to that point yet?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Manuela Gnauck-Stuwe

    Dear Nancy,

    you do‘nt know me, but i know a little bit about your life. I look at Theo‘s daily pup tip which makes me smile every day. Thank you so much for this daily lecture! Sometimes i make a glimpse into your house or garden. So i become more and more familiar with you. You are a very relevant author for me.

    I am Manuela, married, 63 years old, with two children. My daugther is 30 and my son 27.

    I am a lawyer, my husband is a dentist, but he cannot work any more, because he cannot see good enough.

    The cat on my Twitter-account is my cat Susi. She died in 2016. We hat a dog, too. He was named lenny. Ten years old, he died in 2015.

    My daugther has a horse, Rubinio. He is her horse for more than 15 years- half time of he life.

    So you know one of your most admiring follower a little bit better.

    Greetings from Hamburg

    Manuela

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Manuela…. I recognize you from Twitter, and I’m so happy to get to know more about you. As a person with cats, a dog and a horse….I see we have a lot in common!

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  7. I have always figured that I must have been some kind of incestuous axe murderer in my previous life. It is the only explanation that I have.

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  8. Hi Nancy! Just found your blog and had to chime in here on reincarnation. I have nearly always believed in it…just sort of popped into my awareness as a teen and has never left. It explains so much to me as far as my worldview goes. As far as remembering there is actually a lot of evidence that many children remember previous lives but they are usually quite quickly conditioned away from the idea because it doesn’t fit mainstream thinking (especially religious thinking). I too believe that my life is so incredibly blessed that I must have done something very right in the last life…but that doesn’t mean we just sit on our laurels and soak it up. I believe what we give out comes back to us so we have to keep doing our best to share love and goodness if we want more of it in the days to come. ~Kathy

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  9. Patricia Mitchell Lapidus

    This is a good conversation, Nancy. To distinguish my own thoughts from the Hindu, I usually just talk about past lives. And I do remember some of mine. I began to explore for these memories on my own and eventually met a psychic who could read several of my past lives. Since then I have remembered more and more. One thing is clear: death is not such a big deal. We go on from there. We are not our bodies–we just borrow them.

    I recently read a book by Ian Stevenson, MD, called Children Who Remember Past Lives. He gives us many interviews with these children and their families. He explains that the children mostly come from cultures where past lives are believed and not treated as made up stories.

    As for your question why there is so much wrong-doing, I’ve been able to sort out some of that as well. It seems clear that we are all basically good and that the bad behavior, no matter how deep, is an overlay. Bad behavior seems to comes from fear based on experiences of rejection, fear of being left in the woods where the wolves could find us. I’ve even seen people deliberately identify with evil when they feel rejected by “good” people. There’s a lot to it, but that’s my basic look.

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    • I would have to agree that fear is the basis for bad behavior. Thanks for your insightful comments.

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