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.
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.
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.