Previously published in The Daily Journal as part of the Magical Mysteries Collection in the early part of the century and on Yahoo Contributor Network, July 30, 2008.
Every day, while we are alive, we experience our world through our physical senses. But what happens when we die? Who are we without arms, legs, torso, and head?
Whether we are buried in the ground or cremated, ashes cast into the ocean, our bodies are shed like skins from a snake and it is the soul that lives on after we die.
Perhaps the soul hovers above the body at death and watches events that take place on Earth. Many people who have "died" and come back report they heard conversations between doctors and paramedics who treated them while they were supposedly dead. After traveling through a tunnel and seeing a white light, they return to their bodies when they are told it isn't their time to die. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of people have described the same scenario. No longer afraid of dying, they are forever changed by the experience. Death does not kill the soul.
Reincarnationists believe that our spirits live again and again in order to progress our souls through eternity. But are we capable of understanding eternity?
Imagine a million dollars, a billion dollars, or a trillion dollars. How much space would it fill? Now try to imagine a zillion dollars, or the number one with an infinite number of zeros.
If we could contain infinity by comparing years to grains of sand and assigning one grain of sand to represent one year, every person living during that year would be part of that one grain of sand. Infinitesimal, in terms of infinity, is it possible to imagine, after removing only 80 grains of sand (an approximate lifespan), living more than one lifetime?
Many doctors, utilizing hypnotherapy to regress their patients while seeking explanations for fears and behavior, stumble across previous lifetimes or incarnations. Dr. Michael Newton, however, a retired hypnotherapist in northern California, asked his patients about the period of time between lives.
The patients he regressed were varied in sex, age, religion, and ethnicity. With amazing consistency, people reported similar experiences: spiritual guides, lessons learned, and life reviews.
Personal guides questioned them about the way they lived their lives. Did they treat others the way they wanted to be treated? Did they exert power and control over loved ones? Did they allow their physical senses to control them? Pleasure abused results in alcoholism, gluttony, greed, incest, and a myriad other problems that create a block to spiritual growth. As the souls review their own lives, they gain knowledge and understanding that each life has a purpose.
According to Newton in his book, Journey of Souls, "If death were the end of everything about us, then life indeed would be meaningless." Life then must be a transition from one phase of soul development to another. And even though the number of grains of sand on the entire planet is nearly impossible to imagine, each life is valuable in that living it affords the soul an opportunity to return to the Source, to the One, to God.