Reincarnation is a common belief in Eastern philosophy that is becoming more and more accepted within the Western world. Is there any validity to such a belief?
Somehow we find ourselves living in a world, we find ourselves having a particular body in a particular culture, living among countless other beings. Some we know, most we do not. We look up in at the sky and realize that this universe is wider and more vast than we ever even imaged, and in the midst of all that a question arises within the being; “why am I here?” The fact of the matter is that all of the philosophies that has been spewed out throughout the centuries are geared at one thing and one thing only; trying to help justify why “I” exist. We need a justification for the simple reason that humans do not feel connected to life, we do not intrinsically feel one with life, but feel that somehow “I” have been thrown into this thing called life and now “I” need to either figure out what it is or why “I” am here. No other creature on this planet needs a justification for its existence but humans.
A tree does not need to justify its existence for the simple reason that its existence has been already justified by life itself. A tree is not apart from life, but is so intricately connected to it that a tree and life are one and same thing. Yet, we humans have somehow lost this inherent understanding to such a degree that seeking out a reason for our existence has become an imperative for so many.
Why am I drawn to this? Why do I feel an attraction to such a person? How come that person is so gifted musically and I am not? Why was I born into this family?
Questions such as these can have no end, and being that none of these questions can truly be said to have their roots in the immediate external world, the idea that it must have been carried over becomes plausible. For humans are thoroughly against any notion of something just happening without any reason. If something happens there must be a reason, this is the idea. And because of this idea people have been plaguing themselves trying to figure out the secrets of the universe for thousands of years. The universe has happened, there must be a reason. This thought is the disease of human consciousness. For when applied to the fundamental nature of the universe no answer will be there. So what we will end up with is merely endless speculations and philosophies for thousands of more years to come.
The fundamental error is coming from the fact that we are trying to answer these questions on behalf of life. We are trying to answer these questions as if somehow God has appointed us humans as life’s spokesperson. For Life is not asking these question, only the false sense of identification is asking these question for it needs a reason to stay in control.
Yet, there is more to it than that, the need to have an understanding of why things happen is also based in the fact that we do not like feeling that we are not in control. We like the illusion of control for the simple fact that when we are aware of the fact that so much of life is simply happening without any conscious effort on our part it begins to threaten our sense of false identification. Which is an important step in the process of conscious unfolding, because as long as the sense of false identification is still in operation we cannot begin our expansion process. Yet, being that so many seekers on the path are actually trying to maintain their false sense of identification, any feeling that threatens this sense will be wholeheartedly rejected.
At the same time, though, Humans are also naturally terrified of death and dying. In the whole animal kingdom humans are probably the only species that have such an acute awareness of the fact that the body-mind structure is on a time limit. And this inevitable fact is so terrifying that we will do anything, we will adopt any ideology that will somehow protect us from the unavoidable fact that at some point we need to return this body back the our Mother.
Naturally, therefore, a belief in reincarnation will become appealing. Not just reincarnation, but a belief in an afterlife in general. For those who are culturally brought up in a religious environment that does not recognize reincarnation as a feasible possibility of life, tend to have a belief in a paradise that one will go to at the expiration of the body. In either case, what is consistent is the idea that life for you will be eternal. What needs to be understood though is why such a philosophy is being introduced. As stated before, for those who are seeking freedom as an escape route to living out their life, the philosophy of reincarnation will keep such a one from just running out and ending their life for the fear of having to do it all again. What is important, though, is not whether or not reincarnation is real or not, for the question is the same as asking is God real? Or is there an afterlife? The holding of a philosophy should not distract one from one’s true aim; seeking to discover via living experience the truth of who and what you are.
To hold onto the idea of reincarnation will just generate unnecessary problems for the sincere seeker on the path. Even if one was able to know without a shadow of a doubt that reincarnation was a true law of the universe will not bring one any closer to discovering the truth of who and what they are. The discovery of one’s self is the primary objective, it is only after this has been discovered that exploring the validity of these philosophies become meaningful, not before. If done before, what you are dealing with is belief and doctrine and not living truth.