"We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey."
- Stephen Covey -
- Stephen Covey -
I believe in reincarnation. I decided this a long time ago. And when I did, I researched the topic to death (pun intended), and read as many books and articles about it as I possibly could. There were questions I needed answered. Information to fill in the grey areas. And a curiosity that needed satisfied. Some of my questions were answered. Some were not. And some of the blanks I filled in on my own with self-made explanations that made sense to me.
I did not grow up being taught about reincarnation, and there are very few – if any – family members and friends that believe such a thing exists. In fact, most of them would raise an eyebrow to this. I grew up in a typical Christian home where religion – and life in general - was defined by the old and new testaments. Straight forward. No grey areas. The world was created in six days. God made Adam and then Eve. There was Noah and Moses and John the Baptist. The birth of Jesus. His death and resurrection. We go to hell if we’re bad, and heaven if we’re good. And – according to John the Apostle in ‘Revelation’; the final book of the New Testament – we’re anticipating Jesus’ return at some point. Not sure when. But when he comes back, he’s going to be a tad bit upset with us. There’ll be some pretty wicked conflicts between good and evil, and the world will end. Additionally, once this apocalypse strikes, most of us will be put out to pasture. Rotten sinners that we are. Only a small group of (super) faithful Christians – some believe the number to be around 144,000 – will be heading to heaven to spend eternity with God. (After this tongue in cheek paragraph, I’m guessing I’m not going to be one of them.)
Most Christians I know are relatively comfortable with this uncomplicated explanation of life and death. Of the soul. And that’s fine. But I’m not. It’s too...mmm...simple. And I don’t believe that it should be that simple. I believe that earth is a training ground, and the primary purpose of our soul’s journey in this training ground is to evolve. In higher consciousness. A higher level of development. To master and practice compassion. Decency. Seflessness. Acceptance. And a whole lot of other wonderful virtues. To become old souls. In time.
But since the level of consciousness only increases by a small degree in an entire lifetime for the vast majority of people, how can our soul evolve to the highest level? How can we be expected to learn all the lessons that need to be learned? To become better human beings. To balance our karma. To have a chance at the gates of paradise. Is 70, 80 or 90 years long enough to evolve for a soul that is eternal? I don’t believe it is. That amount of time passes in the blink of an eye in the spirit world.
So I believe in reincarnation. And I believe that we return time and time again. To grow. To pay debts. To experience. To become better human beings. To reach the final stage of reincarnation. Or enlightment. Where there is more of an emphasis on teaching rather than learning. Becoming an old soul. Passing on those pearls of wisdom. And showing the younger ones the way.
So do I believe that there is something after death? After this life? That the soul is forever? Absolutely. But not in the traditional Christian way that I was taught growing up. It just doesn't work for me.