I have had an awakening, an epiphany, if you like. And so, with a sudden need to believe that this life can't be the only life I'll ever live, I embrace reincarnation as my end of life view.
I need to believe that I will have an opportunity to experience the life that I missed out on, this time around. I have felt a restlessness these last few days that I attributed, at first, to the grey skies and constant threat of a storm after a winter of basically sunny, blue skies and an absence of snow. But today I can admit that my blue mood has been the result of my approaching birthday, a birthday that marks the passing of another decade. Reflecting back on my life, I find it lacking…and unfulfilled, and am distressed with the realization that the future years are now more limited.
In a 1928 interview with the San Francisco Examiner, Henry Ford stated his belief in reincarnation. Why would you not, he asked, for “...if there was a chance” wouldn't you embrace that “...time was no longer limited.”
Reincarnation comes from Hindu-Buddhist philosophy that believes that one's soul moves from body to body in an ongoing birth-death-birth cycle. They believe that the status of each successive body is the direct result of the quality of life that soul led in the previous body. So if a soul lived a 'good' life it would move on to a higher quality form, and if it lived a 'bad' life it moved on to a lower form. This can really get interesting, as they believe that not all souls move on to another human form but may move on as an animal. That should make some people very leery of where they might spend their next life, after all, what goes around, comes around.
Such is the Law of Karma, the central foundation of Hinduism and other eastern based philosophies. Karma teaches that good deeds are rewarded and bad deeds punished. The ultimate goal is to progress to the highest level of existence, to become one with the universe and...you have unlimited chances to get it right.
Reincarnation is not in line with the dominant doctrine of Christian faiths, Catholic or Protestant but I feel the concept of reincarnation is as substantial as the concept that you'll 'get your reward in heaven'. I don't want to sound as if I have no faith, for my Protestant upbringing has stayed with me even if my regular church going has not. Living a good life so one can get into heaven, or living a good life so one can move on to a better life, not much difference in my opinion. Both require a faith in something, some form of afterlife.
Even New Age philosophies, such as the Wiccans believe in a form of reincarnation. Their belief is that the soul is moved to a place called Summerland, to rest and prepare for the next incarnation. Once reincarnated, they believe that you continues to do so, until you've experienced all that there is to experience and move to a higher plane of existence.
The thing is, none of this can be proven, there is no evidence that reincarnation actually happens. It's a leap of faith, and faith, in whatever form, is what gets you through the day.
Too many years have passed, not all of them kindly, and I am left with the regrets that I didn't live enough, didn't love enough, didn't risk enough. It is too easy to get weighed down with regret, with missed opportunities and with lost dreams.
I am reminded of the poem “Warning” by Jenny Joseph, when I am an old woman, I shall wear purple. Having felt trapped by convention, by responsibility, for most of my life I look back and see all the wasted years and regret that it is only now, in my senior moments, that I am brave enough to wear purple.
I hope when I move on from this earth that my soul will have it better. May it find a new life full of fun, may it not be so serious and may it not be lonely. That is what I wish for my soul, for us, and that is why I want to believe in reincarnation.PS I searched the internet and found bits and pieces of information when I wrote this. Today as I was posting, I remembered that I have readers from many parts of the world. I apologize if this information is inaccurate. The intent at the time...by writing about my thoughts and feelings I got all those negative thoughts out of my head, there was no offense intended..