Apparently more than 50% of the world’s population believes in reincarnation. This post is for some of the other half who do not, since for many in the West reincarnation is an alien idea.
Personally, having been born in India and into Hinduism there is no doubt in my mind that we have lived many (some say millions) of lifetimes. Not only that, the perpetration of lifetime after lifetime is our own doing due to the causes we create ourselves through ignorance of the facts around how life works. In other words – karma.
Hard To Believe In Reincarnation & Karma In The West
But I can get how hard it must be to believe in reincarnation and karma if it’s not been your religious or cultural upbringing. It seems that so much store is given to the intellect and reasoning and science (as we know it) in the West, that things that are not tangible are frowned upon. Even where you have two-year old kid telling you stuff that he could not possibly have known ordinarily.
Yet this topic is so very fundamental to everything. Think about it – if this is just some random one-off life, how do you feel? You could go hurt people, kill even, and well, what difference does it really make, right? But if you have actually lived so very many lifetimes before and your own causes have led to the next, then how do you feel? Doesn’t it put a totally different meaning and slant on just about everything? If every cause has an effect that determines future lives then won’t that change how we talk, act, live?
On the spiritual path it is clear to me that until this aspect of how life works is seen, it is like seeing one side of the coin only – just this life. We remain stuck in our intellectual beliefs where one tries to fit the complexities and confusions of life into a life-view that does not acknowledge that we have lived many times before.
Reincarnation…The Part That Is Ignored
Not just with certain religious viewpoints, even with for eg, non-duality – whilst there is talk of the eternity of consciousness (wholeness, beingness etc), there is little or no talk of reincarnation. But as far as I am concerned, final liberation occurs only when we move out of the cycle of rebirth, and for this to occur there needs to be understanding of the facts around how life and this eternity actually work.
Videos On Evidence Of Reincarnation
So this post is to provide some videos on reincarnation. It is a topic that fascinated me from teenage years. Whilst watching some of the children’s stories in the videos of how they remembered their past life, ‘truth-chills’ went spiralling through my body again and again. How can a two-year old remember details of being a fighter pilot and remember names of people who were still alive? The videos are at the bottom of this post.
On the topic of religious beliefs. Some people feel drawn to the topic of reincarnation but their religious indoctrination stands as a barrier to this belief. But essentially, using western-loved intellect, one has to question whether the Bible IS the word of God given it has so many very many books and had so very many people writing it. Chinese whispers comes to mind. Note this paragraph from this seemingly objective and well-researched page: “The actual compilation of the Bible was an incredibly complicated project that involved churchmen of many varying beliefs, in an atmosphere of dissension, jealousy, intolerance, persecution and bigotry.”
All such questions aside however, and looking at the widely accepted concepts of heaven and hell it has to be asked, what is it that goes to heaven if there is no such thing as something after death? And in any event, how could Jesus, as per the resurrection story, be resurrected, if there is nowt after death? Something of him survived death.
Reincarnation & Karma – A Synopsis
In a synopsis, here is what I believe to be true about reincarnation and karma. This is just one of many lifetimes we have lived. Our Soul survives after death. During the course of these lifetimes we accumulate karmic charges which are played out in the next lifetime. Seeds sown in a previous life, simply sprout in this one. Our relationships with family, friends, colleagues, strangers are simply a discharging of these charges like batteries running their course. We are not the doer at all. The doer is simply the karmas playing out their course. When, finally, we get onto the path of liberation consciously, we have a chance to be free of this cycle of suffering. And have no doubt, that the worldly happiness we feel in this life, is not true happiness, it is attached happiness, ie happiness due to something or someone. Such happiness is always based upon a belief that we are someone (in other words ‘I am Reena’ or John or whatever our name is). It is this very belief, that we are this individual, this doer, that binds yet more karma. And eventually, if we seek sincerely, whether in this lifetime, or in several thousands or even millions more, we will tire of this pseudo and temporary happiness (as well as the suffering) and ask ‘Who am I truly?’ Then and only then, will we start to find what real happiness is, and we will see that this is found within our Atma or Soul, or you could say within the eternal, permanent element of that which is not any of all those personal qualities we believe ourselves to be (including the body), or any worldly happiness. Final liberation or moksha in Indian traditions, is when all karmas are dissolved and then there is no need to be reborn in a body and there is permanent, unchanging bliss, where nothing needs to be added and nothing taken away.
Reincarnation is not just some illusion that makes us feel better about death, after all, there is imho nothing wonderful about life after life ad infinitum. No way : ) The thing that is comforting is eternal bliss, nothing else. And I guess until one gets an idea of this eternal bliss, there is little recognition of the fact that this life is not really wunderbar but in fact struggle and suffering. Even pleasure is pain. Only that happiness that does not end is true happiness.
The Difference It Makes
For me, I find that the difference reincarnation and karma makes is massive. At its core this understanding allows us the stepping stone to the liberation beyond the cycle of rebirths. It puts this life into perspective and makes total sense of things which otherwise remain conflict and confusion. It also takes us out of the trap that relationships present of attachment-hatred and allows for an understanding of what true Love really is – ie if we survive death and continue on into eternity then we do not need to fear and cling on to people and things, because death is not the end. But at the same time, we truly are responsible for our life and thus our behaviour shifts for the better with this knowledge, because how we live this life is the direct determinant of our next, since every cause has an effect.
Where Is Reincarnation In Advaita Teachings?
If we have any inkling of interest in liberation, it is simply not enough to say live for the moment, live in the Now and let the future take care of itself. Because we have been saying that for aeons. I have found for myself that all the Advaita type teachings I’ve been listening to and reading in recent years failed in this one fundamental respect – they do not fully acknowledge the cycle of rebirths we are trapped in, and thus they failed, for me, to help me understand my own life in relation to the liberation I sought. They seek to focus on the ultimate liberation but without showing how one can actually get there on a permanent basis within the body-mind that we find ourselves in, or make proper headway towards this at least. They deny, if you like, the relative level, and focus simply on ‘Truth’. For eg, I once requested to interview an Advaita teacher and asked if I could ask them questions about their life. This teacher quickly responded with a no, I will only talk about Truth. So I didn’t do the interview. I mean, how can you compartmentalise in this way? Isn’t a spiritual master one who denies nothing? This isn’t a personal criticism and I name no names for this very reason, it is not about individuals. The point is liberation cannot occur if the relative is denied or ignored. It is the very body-mind complex that must be understood in order to progress towards liberation or enlightenment precisely because it is the body-mind complex that is the hindrance. It is the body-mind complex that actually provides the food for us to enquire sincerely into the truth about life. Thus, it is vital to understand reincarnation and karma since it is this knowledge that allows us to make any sense of this human life in relation to liberation.
Many Advaita teachings available on youtube etc are in my view based upon intellect. You can see the teacher trying to find a good answer for the questions put to them. But true knowledge does not need the intellect, it arises spontaneously from within, without thought getting in the way. As I mentioned above, in the West there is far too much emphasis on intellectualism. And it is this very thing that keeps us trapped in the cycle of birth and rebirth – ironically.
So over to the videos. Enjoy. Comments, as always, welcome.
The Boy Who Lived Before
REINCARNATION, past life evidence 01
REINCARNATION, past life evidence 03
Interesting that this video says that 1 in 4 people in the US, Jewish and Christians alike, do believe that souls do return in different bodies. Interesting also to see the fellow who is dead against the belief in reincarnation, but like he says, America is a free country – one can believe what one wishes (lol).
The reincarnation recall of MANDY SEABROOK. An amazing story of a young child
Evidence of Reincarnation
The Story of Nicola, Reincarnation Experiments
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