Accepting or Not Accepting Reincarnation

There is no argument: some believe in reincarnation while others do not. Either way, it’s a belief, and beliefs have psychological consequences. Every individual decides what life and death are all about. We may not be certain, and may even dismiss the whole notion that life has any meaning at all, but our vague ideas and beliefs are what we live by. A large proportion of this planet believes in a heaven, which suggests some sort of existence after death.

If we say that there is no reincarnation – no rebirth of consciousness in a different body – then we will live our lives not mindful of the consequences of our actions. We may understand cause and effect but not karma, that deep reservoir that causes reaction in our minds, creating our destiny. We will not accept that there are long term consequences to our actions, saying “Things just happen” and “Anyway, no one’s looking”. That is the choice by which we then live. Unfortunately, if this is the only life, then we won’t learn much, spending most of it following others’ dreams. That is samsara: what a waste of life.

What if we realise that things don’t just happen? That they arise out of causes and conditions. And what if everything is noted by our karmic record? What if reincarnation is true and we have done the same things before? Where did our tendencies comes from?

If reincarnation is true, then we have had countless rebirths. I mean, really countless: every being in the universe has been our loving mother and father, and they have also trodden on us and cut off our heads. If that is true, then we have within us the “akashik record” of knowing all things.

Understanding karma is the great regulator! Although we are told that God (or the Lord of Death) counts out white beads and black beads (good and bad actions) at the end of life, thus revealing our dues, it is our karma that dictates what happens to us, and this is happening at every moment. If this is the case, then we will be mindful – very mindful – extremely mindful! – of our actions and reactions. If we change our attitude we change our future – even in this life time.

The Old Testament speaks of a wrathful, jealous God, and in the New Testament, there is a loving . From a Buddhist perspective, this is merely good and bad karma being weighed out, dictating our next incarnation and driving us forward.

Sobering isn’t it?

The idea of reincarnation has a beneficial psychological effect; such reasoning keeps us sharp and we never grow old, either mentally or in motivation! Intuitively, we all know there is nowhere to run or hide…what do you think conscience is?

“All life is a play
and all people merely players.
We have our exits and entrances
and in our time we play many parts.
Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness or mere oblivion…
It is all As You Like It.
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”

(adapted from Shakespeare’s As You Like It)

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