Reincarnation: do you believe in it?
Kind of a heavy topic for first thing Saturday morning, but one that I am comfortable answering. As a Christian I don’t believe in reincarnation. Being brought up in the church and being immersed in it’s teachings, I honestly can’t think anything else.
However, I also have a degree in religion and cultures, so I wont just stop this post after one paragraph!
I can’t say that the idea of reincarnation doesn’t appeal to me on some level. The idea of being able to come back after death and live another life, in another body, does kind of sound fun don’t ya think? Being able to experience a whole new set of mistakes and triumphs? Maybe next time I’d get an emotionally stable mother….. Or maybe we come back with the same people just in different circumstances so really it’s just the same over and over?
Yet, on the other hand, would I really want to spend the rest of my days being ripped into, and out of, this world in various forms? Would I be able to control which form I would take? Or, like in the Hindu religion, would my past actions dictate the future vessel for my soul? I guess if that were true, no one would ever really volunteer to be a mouse or flea or something right? Would those less enticing roles then just cease to exist?
Have you ever seen the movie What Dreams May Come?
If you haven’t, here is a little synopsis that I found online about it:
After Chris Nielsen (Robin Williams) dies in a car accident, he is guided through the afterlife by his spirit guide, Albert (Cuba Gooding Jr.). His new world is beautiful and can be whatever Chris imagines. Even his children are there. But, when his wife, Annie (Annabella Sciorra), commits suicide and is sent to hell, Chris ignores Albert’s warnings and journeys there to save her. Upon arrival, Chris finds that rescuing Annie will be more difficult than he’d imagined
I first saw this movie when I was in grade 11, in my world religions class. My teacher was also my debate coach so I knew where his personally spiritual connection was, but for the rest of the class, he never told them – and it wasn’t an issue. It was the first time where I saw someone be able to discuss other religions and beliefs without letting their own biases get in the way (we all have our own personal biases!). It was amazing, and it was a guiding factor that I had in studying religions. He is also one of the very few people that I know who has been able to really have a conversation about things without getting too invested in sharing their own belief structure. For that hour and a half each day, it wasn’t about what he believed, it was about the facts, and presenting the facts (and only the facts) to his students. He kept his personally commentary out of it, and I thank him for that.
Ok, kind of a diversion there! This movie is very powerful. It tackles the concept of death in a way that I had never experienced in my 17 years of life. It’s extremely moving and intense. We probably shouldn’t have watched it, just because of the issues that it dealt with, but I have too much respect for that specific teacher to question his judgement. I highly suggest it to anyone, and especially to those who have tackled this prompt. Although, be warned: Yes it does have Robin Williams in it, but no, I repeat NO, it is not a light hearted movie. Lock yourself away, there will be sobbing and tears. Bring kleenex and maybe a pillow/stuffed animal to hug to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside after.