Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reincarnation Controversy

(from the Magical Mysteries Collection, initially published in the mid 90s, later published online for a website that no longer exists)
He appears on your television set with a pathetically sorrowful expression asking, "Have you done something incredibly stupid? Would you like to blame somebody else for your own stupidity? Call the law offices of Will Gettum and we will sue whomever you deem wealthy enough to provide you with the lifestyle to which you would like to become accustomed."

The more we blame and accuse, the less likely we are to assume responsibility for our actions. Lawsuits border on, and many times cross beyond, the absurd. Many people today, however, applaud the absurd, even going so far as to sign up for lawsuits with attorneys already stationed in hospitals scrambling for the attention of the recently afflicted.

But what if we truly are responsible for our actions? If we shirk our responsibilities in this life, who can say with certainty that reincarnation is not merely theory, but reality?

Reincarnation is most assuredly a controversial issue, bordering on sacrilegious. Passages taken out of context from the Bible arouse contempt in those who take the written Word literally. But for those who try to understand its meaning and believe the Word was written for "those who have ears," some passages are intriguing and worth investigating. In the 80s I read with interest the following passages and came up with my own conclusions, which I relate here.

Matthew 11:11 states: "I solemnly assure you, history has not known a man born of woman greater than John the Baptizer. ..." Matthew 11:14-15, in continuing Christ's remarks about John the Baptist, states, "If you are prepared to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who was certain to come. Heed carefully what you hear."

Further discussions about the Elijah/John connection appear after Christ's disciples asked, "Why do the scribes claim that Elijah must come first?"(Mark 9:11). Christ's response is, "Elijah will indeed come first and restore everything. ... Let me assure you, Elijah has already come. They did entirely as they pleased with him, as the Scriptures say of him." (Mark 9:12-13) Christ was referring, of course to the beheading of John the Baptist.

So what if John the Baptist was Elijah? Is it possible Christ meant that he was the reincarnation of Elijah? What other explanation could we consider? That he was like John the Baptist? Why then did Christ say, "he is Elijah"?

If infinity could somehow be contained so that each year represented one grain of sand, and each grain of sand was divided by the number of people living on Earth during that year, we still wouldn’t have a grasp of “infinity” – infinity would still be incomprehensible.

Are our lives so inconsequential that this one life is all we have, and forever afterwards we are either rewarded with heaven or punished with hell?

Why is it more difficult to accept that, at the end of this lifetime, we can ask and receive permission to make amends to the people we have harmed – through living another life, than it is to accept the greed that plays out in commercials asking us to avenge other people for our own mistakes? Are we heeding carefully what we hear?

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