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 Do we return to this world? Must we do so? Where did we get the idea from that this could be the reality? Why would it be important to think about it? Are we afraid of time? These pages discuss the subject of reincarnation in the light of the christian doctrine and rebirth of culture and the duality of modern multicultural time-consciousness and its psychological fears of time. It offers an overview of the vedic thinking in this and maintains that the fear of time is in fact the fear to be faced with the never ending mission of getting closer and closer to one's own personal and collective divinity - whether one is reincarnated or simply in ones lifetime is reborn to another consciousness of time or not. Know the reborn, think the reborn and be the reborn.

 

 

 

 

 

BY A.A.

    Abstract

This article discusses the nature of reincarnation in the light of the christian Renaissance and the duality of modern multicultural time-consciousness and its psychological fears of time. It maintains that the fear of time in fact is the fear to be faced with the never ending mission of getting closer and closer to one's own personal and collective divinity - whether or not one is reincarnated or simply in ones lifetime is reborn to another consciousness of time.

 

Introduction

1. The Fear of Time

1.1 A bad call.
1.2 A demand for manhood.
1.3 The threefold nature of the fear of time.
1.4 Narrowing the problem down.
1.5 The need to be serious.

2.The Vedic point of view

2.1 An imperfect memory.
2.2 The record of our actions.
2.3 A supersoul.
2.4 Possessiveness and identification.
2.5 A danger.

3. Christianity and reincarnation

3.1 The classics and the enlightened heretics.
3.2 Modernity.
3.3 Reformation and rebirth.
3.4 A dual respect of reincarnation.

4.Time and Paradise

4.1 Time as a form of God.
4.2 Conclusion: The return to paradise.

 

    Introduction

"The illusion that we are separate from one another is an optical delusion of our consciousness." A. E.

Reincarnation is for Christianity a subject of discussion and speculation ever since its beginnings. For the common man it is an occult form of knowledge: how can one ever be sure of something like a body in a previous life that does not exist any more? Still many modern people like the idea of having existed before and lead positive spirited lives in the hope for a possible rebirth. Rationally it is difficult to accept that we possibly change bodies the same way we change clothes or cars. To the rational mind that knows its remembrance to take place in the brain, it doesn't make much sense to remember a previous life of having another brain. Still that rational mind has all kinds of irrational associations, preferences and fears that cannot directly be explained out of the experiences of his own life. The main argument of Christianity against reincarnation is as formulated by one site on comparative religion: "...reincarnation represents a threat to the very essence of Christianity: the need for the Lord's redemptive sacrifice for our sins. If we are to pay for the consequences of our sins ourselves in further lives and attain salvation through our own efforts, the sacrifice of the Lord becomes useless and absurd. It wouldn't be the only way back to God, but only a stupid accident of history. In this case Christianity would be a mere form of Hindu Bhakti-Yoga." . So how should we answer to this philosophical dilemma of having possibly other lives but this one that inspire and motivate us at the one hand and a strong theological and rational argument against it at the other hand?

 

    1. The Fear of Time

"The Supreme Lord said: "Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds engaged here in destroying all people, except for you [brothers] only, will all the soldiers who are situated on both sides, find their end." Bhagavad Gîtâ 11-32

 

1.1 A bad call

Time has a bad call with humanity. It is the one monster we cannot defeat. It always destroys our lives and everything we have build up. Eventually the whole planet will disappear from the universe after this Sun has exploded in a Supernova. Sooner or later the game is over, and for what purpose should we live then? Certainly not for the purpose of returning to see everything going down in a big blast or seeing everything decaying slowly with the law of entropy. No ..., time is a frightening reality of incessant and inescapable destruction. At this point of reasoning though we have to check out with a psychologist. Wait a minute: without dreams and ideals you will be doomed for depressions, drug abuse and self destruction. No Future is No Life. You have to be motivated to make the best of your life. Without belief, hope and love, what can your life be but a story of lies and misery? All this dreaming and hoping of witnessing a better future to which one has contributed is not just a trick of conditioning you to be a neat citizen. It is a life's necessity. It is a scientifically irrefutable fact of human existence. Concerning reincarnation the psychologist will explain to you that it is an interesting thought experiment, but difficult to prove. Nay you better speak according to them in terms of positive identifications with other historical personalities. It is always good to identify with as well hero's as losers in human history and learn from their lives lessons. In fact this is the essence of human culture: because of this process of identification with our ancestors we do not have to repeat the same mistakes over and over and thus we can progress: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." G. S.

 

1.2 A demand for manhood

But has the psychologist settled the issue this way? Identifications can lead to conflicts of philosophy as one hero wouldn't follow the same mind as the other character of the past. And certainly that will not be without mutual refutation if the characters lived (or still live) at the same time in history. It is either this movie-star or that one. Both is one too much. One cannot serve two Lords at the same time and two sinners even less likely. So how to continue? Apparently we have an existential need for things like either identifications or previous lives. In fact our behavioral repertoire is completely composed out of it. We learn not just by precept, but also by example. A little boy plays daddy with Dinky Toys and the little girl plays mommy with her dolls. This is irrefutably basic to our human lives. Whether it are identifications or previous lives, we cannot do without them and therefore we have to reason all the way down through human history to get over our existential fears of time. And this a demand for manhood in stead of just being mankind: "H. is right having said that man learn from history as people never learn anything from history" S.

 

1.3 The threefold nature of the fear

Time is not just fear-arousing because of its destructive capacity. No, in fact it is also fear arousing because of its creative and maintaining capacities. It would be easy enough to do away with time as something horribly materialistic, illusory and destructive. Lots of modern spiritual and religious timelessness-preaching as well as classical forms of it must be debunked as fraudulent and escapistic from this point of view. It is easy to reduce the complete and complex of human history to a modern mind without a conscience and memory of previous historical happenings and persons. That is rightout dangerous. Let's not even try to give an account of the numerous sayings in the world literature stating that those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it (see quotes). No ..., time is the essence of our life. It is one of three pillars of the objective reality (God's creation!) of space, time and matter. Trying to escape from the subject is a futile attempt for simplicity; a true heresy against human reason and the complex cultural historical reality. No, from a sane point of view there is no escape. We have to face the fact that also from the maintaining and creative point of view time is of foremost importance, and, as said, fear arousing.

 

1.4 Narrowing the problem down

If we live the continence of keeping the lessons of history, then we are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it. The very human soul of history will expand our vision beyond our capacity of coping with it: we are afraid of it; afraid to collapse at the confrontation. We can try to narrow our vision to merely a jewish history book covering a few thousand years of experience with the God of Time, but the world is much bigger. We also have our own greek/roman history of experiences as well as an unbelievable claim of historical time from the old vedic culture before that. And how to think of the history of God in Time since the year 1.A.D., and what about all the other cultures that also gained in experience in China, the Middle East, South America and where not? From this perspective of fear-management we can safely say that for the sake of simplicity we do not look further than our own noses, not into other cultures, nor into other lives of possible reincarnation. Our own simple life in our own simple local cultures is difficult enough.

 

1.5 The need to be serious

Well so be it. Let the lay think narrow like that, but intellectuals and state-officials cannot make for a world order or any meaningful and enduring peace without a broader vision of the history of Time-management in the world. And that was just about the maintaining aspect. We didn't want to reform anything yet as might be expected from learning a lesson in studying our history. We certainly made mistakes with e.g. our colonial passions of thinking our christian time-culture superior. Nor did the Arabs really go innocent on their enthusiasm about their moon-calendars. And what to say about all the strange UFO's and crop circles around the world since the second World war? We are still collectively denying all of it at a formal level. We fail in creative adaptations just as we fail in facing the past just trying to contain our human souls. The possibility of changing and amending the existent of our culture is always blocked by the conservative force that warns us against rash decisions and the uncertainties of everything new. We are afraid of losing control again as with world wars we had - as this time that might happen because of too many changes. The culture tends to hold on to its fixations despite of necessary changes just because it is a known road, acting like a battered wife that may hesitate long before she will go for a divorce. But in the face of this collective fear for changes the psychologist will immediately rise to tell us that such an attitude will sooner or later have to face the consequences. We really need to be creative and adapt ourselves to the changes and new perspectives that not only are offered by our modern time, but also by our international historical and future realities. Repression, denial, ego-culture alone and being led by existential fears of time will certainly bring no success to the making and maintaining of a world order and world peace. Any psychiatrist can tell us that lacking in creativity and adaptation, denying the past, narrowing on subcultural ego's and looking away from the responsibility for a common future and past, we are doomed to live in compensations of a faked mind-only and imagined progress in a doubtful quality of consciousness that will surely sooner or later collapse - if not individually, then certainly collectively. And that can happen despite of acquired wealth, borrowed knowledge and technological capacity. The latter will make us only more fanatic and dangerous once we lose control decompensating on our falsehoods of escapism. So lets begin with a sincere survey of this phenomenon of historical identification called reincarnation and make this confession to a personal, historical and creative responsibility a serious one.

 

    2 The Vedic point of view

"The body one gets as also is given up
takes its Lord to all these [senses] away
like the fragrance carried by the air from its source.

With the hearing, seeing, touching
as also the tasting and smelling,
he from within the mind enjoys the objects of the senses.

Either leaving the body, staying in the body
or enjoying the body associated with the modes of nature
are things the ignorant cannot understand,
but those who have the spiritual vision can.

Those who endeavor and are of yoga perceive from being of the soul,
but those endeavoring who do not act in favor of the soul do not see this,
however developed their minds are.
"

Bhagavad Gîtâ (15:8 -11)

 

2.1 An imperfect memory

First of all the vedic scriptural facts about it. At the one hand taking the Bhagavad Gîtâ for a lead we read that this theme is as good as the main theme of the reasoning of the Lord of Yoga ( K..). Half of the second chapter, He summarizes what He says throughout the whole Gîtâ where He is lecturing to His fearful friend A. on the ins and out of human motivation. First He says that the way one gets older changing one's young body for an old one, that the same way one also changes lives. Just like that (2.13). And, He adds thereto, that a wise man is not disturbed by those changes (2.14). One is not the Body is the thesis of the Gîtâ and therefore one shouldn't fear. Or should we? The psychologist might interrupt the lecture here to explain that there is a fear of death and a fear of life. It is the fear of death that one should forget dropping the identification with one's own body. The fear of life should be a fear of God not to lose the path of in this case dharma (righteousness and ones true nature). Identification? We spoke about that above. Of course it is the importance to identify with ones conduct and not with the body one uses for it. And so the lecture continues on the necessity of considering a possible rebirth. And, the Lord of Yoga concludes, if we can't believe such an option then it is still wiser to accept the challenge of fighting for the ideal, than to survive without the honor of the victory, which is worse than dying fighting for the cause and not being incarnate any longer (2.37). But the wisdom of God by mouth of this Lordship is serious about the doubts about a possible reincarnation - He says: Both you and I have taken many births. I remember them perfectly, O Arjuna, but you do not. (4.05). In other words: to Him we may speculate what we want but only He is really sure about it. And so be it to begin with. Our memory of continuation is with Him, He knows us better than we do our selves. But how can we make a rational and scientific comment to this? Say non-sense? That is easy, but not to be serious is the wrong way has been concluded.

 

2.2 The record of our actions

From the vedic point of view the soul is not just the body. Fear is of the body because of the time it is subject to. The soul has to contend with that and waste the body if necessary and continue with a new one eventually. The soul, the real person, is not just in his temporal mind and factual matter of electro-chemical brain-patterning, but is also factually his imprint into the outer world which is also called the akashic record. That record is far greater than the little bit of censored information kept by the subject's material brain: "Every action that you do produces a two-fold effect. It produces an impression in your mind and when you die you carry the Samskara in the Karmashaya or receptacle of works in your subconscious mind. It produces an impression on the world or Akashic records. " S. S. This is the original spirit of mankind we also find with the roman greeting of the emperor just before the battle: "They who are about to die are greeting you". We don't want to be ashamed of ourselves and also not through the akashic eyes of others after our death. That is manhood. That is why martyrs tolerate torture. They do not want to return to settle unfinished business or leave their work to others. They don't 'give in today and then settle it maybe later'. But normal people do.  

More interesting than the fear of death thus is the fear of life: the problem is that one does run the serious risk of returning to this planet because of one's own dissatisfaction with the akashic record that can only be changed by acting materially to it. It might happen that one has to settle unfinished business not being such an hero or martyr after all once having lost one's own brain, or that one might have to return as an aid to the divinity that incarnates out of grace and not out of personal karma (just like the christian Lord did). One either just might be needed on Earth (Like the Lord or 'the spirit and power' of E.) or one has to do it out of one's own desire to clear ones soul of negative 'samskara's' (impressions). Of course with this akashic record of the witnessing society and culture the fact of reincarnation is not proven. It is just a wise calculation of risk, honor and sane manhood to count with a possible material rebirth because of missing the proper spiritual rebirth for a more permanent position in a higher realm, be it on Earth or in the heavens.

2.3 A supersoul

What is interesting is how the soul would be maintained as an integer whole in the akashic record. In principle it is just a chaos of unorganized impressions one has made in ones life. The unity of that experience requires a higher principle of order; a so called supersoul. In the Veda this soul is called the param-atma against the jiv-atma of the individual. With that soul one has always lived, and losing one's body that soul will give a better, more morally founded memory of your life than you had yourself from your physical brain. That way it is possible that after ones death, having lived a good life, one can be happy in a kind of heaven, finally seeing one's own positivity through the akashic eye of that omniscient supersoul that organizes the remnant bits and pieces from an integer angle of selfknowledge. This paramatma is also called the vibhu-atma , meaning the potency (vibhu) of the soul. What to think rationally of an existence of such a supersoul? It implies that we are always connected to a higher soul or person within ourselves. The psychologist may tell you that you might have always known of such an ideal self as your motivation couldn't manage without ideals, hope and belief. One can think oneself to be lower than one really is taking ones personal troubles with society seriously in trying to do it better. But then it still sounds rational to have such a higher self. The Veda calls it Ksirodakasayi Vishnu: it is not the highest realization of the maintaining capacity of the Lord, but it is of Him, the ideal allright. It is not the full socalled Bhagavan realization of the divine capacity, but the localized personal aspect that is omnipresent and transcendental (see A.A.'s site for more reference on this). The western psychology will insist that this is - and can not be - another estranged person-on-a-pedestal while from the Veda one will insist that it implies a higher principle of organization than your self image can prove. To the psychologist that higher principle is set by the religious or morally motivated superego identifications with holy people, Lordships or other types of heroes that led humanity the way of righteousness. History gives many records of these manifestations of the supersoul. The existence of them can historically not be denied. Those manifestations, incarnations of the supersoul, founded the religions in the world and are still the strongest social coherence of mankind. Only a fool would deny the existence of the manifest omnipresent supersoul. Or as the physicist A.E. said: "The illusion that we are separate from one another is an optical delusion of our consciousness". But, psychologically, can we afford an attitude of estrangement putting the responsibility and overview over our lives with the supersoul? Does that soul really remember us in our private secluded lives? Are we with the supersoul if we are alone? Does it exist without the eyes of the other person? Emperor N. of old Rome e.g. murdered his own relatives to be freed of those nasty witnesses to his bad deeds. It didn't make him a better person in the akashic record. The christian Lord said that He would only be present if two or more would be together in His name. The psychologist will support that insisting that one is a social being and that one can only be fully sane if one does somehow meet complying in social control with the other person.

Still there are accounts of recluses, hermits and sages living on mountains and in deserts where they are never seen by another soul to be witness of their love for God. How could they relate to the eye of the supersoul and survive after death? Still guru's today preach to realize Him within oneself instead of through the eyes of the other. The latter can, after all, be just a lot of hypocrisy. Can we cheat God acting as if? Is one only a thief when one is caught?

 

2.4 Possessiveness and identification

There is another vedic record explicit about reincarnation than the Gîtâ. In the Yoga-sutra (see for several translations these links) of P. it is stated that one can acquire the special yogic achievement (siddhi) of remembering ones previous lives through yogic detachment and the direct perception of one's subliminal impressions (III-18). Freed from ones identification with material objects, one's own body or possessions one can clearly see oneself. The psychologist would say that, of course, missing such a material hold the person can compensate for the lack of cultural reinforcement in general or specifically of a t.v-set, a bookcase or an other medium, by filling in the gaps of normal identification with the supposition of other lives through which that capacity would be fulfilled. Certain is that preoccupied with external stimuli the inner experience of being connected to a supersoul, that could inspire for knowledge beyond one's own life, will be hindered. One will be more of opposition, estrangement and projection without introspection. Still also hard-core western science is founded on intellectual philosophical introspection with a healthy suspicion about everything that one cannot confirm oneself. Thus seen detachment is a sound practice of not only the yogi or hermit for the realization of other lives, be it of one's own action or more psychologically experienced as identifications with other persons.

2.5 A danger

The inner experience of other persons is dangerous. And that gives another argument for reincarnation. The inner experience of other persons is called either being possessed by demons, being paranormally gifted as a medium or being mentally disturbed in a socalled MPS-syndrome of a multiple personality disorder if one identification is strange to the other. Reincarnated or not, psychologically one has the duty not to be a stranger in introspection to other identities. The psychologist will insist that you accept to be at least a kind of actor that consciously can change roles taking up different personalities or different aspects of an integrated, more selfrealized personality. He will say that that is a normal adaption to ones decorum: at home daddy to the children, in his bedroom lover to his wife and in his office a proper colleague on the job. Analytic psychology is speaking of archetypes of the collective unconscious that are in need of integration into constellations of ego, conscious mind and persona. Of this we are composed and according to the psychologist we should be familiar and not estranged to these roles. Also the behavioral approach cares about a proper behavioral repertoire of skills amounting to the same acting capacity of personal integration. Schizophrenia seen from this point of view is the disease of estrangement to these archetypical mental entities or previous lives. Losing the identification with these mental entities one runs into a hell of hearing inner voices that cannot be appeased with the duty to perceive them as ones own thoughts.

Anyone can for an experiment imagine himself a kind of play with different characters that make a meaningful story. With these characters one can converse within oneself. In fact it is the essence of the thinking mind that continues the conversations with others in their absence. Acting it out in the imagination is an accepted therapeutic exercise in psychotherapy. Normal writers write plays and film-scripts managing the estrangement of the characters in to a coherent story with a moral lead. From this we learn that with the possible discoherence of mental entities (mentities?) one is still capable and sane adhering to a moral lead or an event-script. Losing the (confidence in the) script then would trigger the process of the schizophrenic getting caught in an inner world to which the outside of social control has no access. The sanity of inner hearing (the imagined play of 'mentities') is even called divine. The Holy Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit that descended over the pupils after the departure of the Lord. The Yoga-Sutra speaks of the divyam srotam or divine hearing that one can acquire as an other yogic achievement or siddhi of samyama (concentration, meditation and absorption of-) on the relation between sound and space (iii-42). Still also e.g. bhakti-yoga maintains the dictum that these siddhis can be impediments on the spiritual path. They are no goals in themselves. They can even be a danger to one's progress and liberation and can only be respected as being in service of the progress or the event-script with a moral lead.

Thus inner realization of other lives carries a warning: it may not be an effort to escape from the duties one has with a liberation in service to the cause of the ideal of a localized super-soul, God or time-culture. The warning is there against losing the social control with all its duties of mutual respect and freedom of association and detachment from profit motives. And this is not an imaginary warning: modern culture in its collective selfrealization by means of the media is constantly having plays where crime is fought and heroism is modeled. These achievements of the morality, or common siddhis of artistic and literary creation, must not be considered as goals of commercial action in themselves. The commerce should be in service of the community and its social control. Therefore one should have cinema before t.v. , the theater before cinema and personal enacting before the theater. The personal localized body is after all the first medium. Losing this priority and blocked in one's progress one may collapse into a nightmare where all the fantasies of role-playing become the real horror of actual warfare and crime. By means of positive identification with the heroes and saints of the plays or the holy history or ones previous lives one can escape from being a passive spectator estranged from the action. Therefore one should not just seriously consider being an actor oneself or being interested in historical events and people, but also consider the being personally involved with human history as a reincarnated familiar soul. Acknowledging the necessity of such an attitude to our post-modern sanity we run into the history of christianity with this subject of concern.

 

    3 Christianity and reincarnation

In M.11,14 The Lord says: "And if you are willing to accept it, he (the Baptist) is the E. who was to come." ..."But I tell you, E has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands."

3.1 The classics and the enlightened heretics.

The early foundations of the christian belief in reincarnation can be found in greek philosophy. Py. thought it 'very likely' and Pl. wrote:"

"But when she the celestial soul is unable to follow, and fails to behold the truth, and through some ill-hap sinks beneath the double load of forgetfulness and vice, and her wings fall from her and she drops to the ground, then the law ordains that this soul shall at her first birth pass, not into any other animal, but only into man; and the soul which has seen most of truth shall come to the birth as a philosopher, or artist, or some musical and loving nature."

In the same work, he states:

"ten thousand years must elapse before the soul of each one can return to the place from whence she came". (Phaedo ).

Until the first counsel of Nicea (A.D. 325) there was a mixed belief in reincarnation inspired by mainly the platonic school which was after that called heretic. With the fall of the roman empire also the consideration of having had previous lives broke down. Losing the natural order of divisions to the old lunar calendar the roman empire had fallen into the ego-perversions and christen-persecutions of the later Rome that discredited the julian calendar as being of a sincere and human virtue. With the definite loss of the formal original weekorder of Nones and Ides with the constantine reform of the fourth century, the pagan weekorder became the grace of christianity throwing the whole of western culture into the darkness of the Middle Ages wherein Christianity had to wrestle for is own concept of cultural time-consciousness from monasteries and feudal authorities with doubtful scientific capacities of timereckoning. In fact the whole of papal christianity started out as an estrangement of the original natural timeconsciousness of the moonphases with their natural philosophical belief in a continuing soul over different lives.

The discontinuity of timeconsciousness was not just the collapse of the Roman empire: it was the collapse of the complete collective consciousness of the greek-roman-egyptian culture which had to wait for over a millennium for its renaissance into a cultural and mechanical concept of time that, alas, politically and pragmatically in the modern era also began to run out of line with the original natural consciousness of timing to objective natural events. Barbarian or jewish mooncalendars were disrespected as primitive culture of false idolatry (although or because they proved more powerful than the julian reformed of Rome in overtrowing it) and the complete of the european cultural roots were repressed for the sake of the idea of a christian dominance based on a faulty sun-calendar that ran out of order by lack of proper leaping. Reincarnation was an heretic position of natural cyclic time-awareness to be condemned. In fact with the christian gracing of the pagan weekorder of market-weeks the linear concept of time took over as an ego-management strategy estranging from the real spiritual soul. Gnostics and Arians were called heretic and persecuted. E.g. the dominican priest G. B. was banned by the church for his heretic sympathies with Arianism, just as were C' s sun-centered model of the universe and the forbidden works of the humanist Dutchman D.E. . G. B. was one of the most brilliant men of his day. He instructed the French king H. III in the art of memory, taught philosophy at the University of Toulouse and mingled with the literary circle that surrounded England's Queen E. I. (see Reincarnation-The Missing Link in Christianity). He argued for a religion based on reason, through which man could purge himself of the "beast" within. He was convicted to be burnt at the stake in 1592 for his original ideas on astronomy (the existence of other planets like ours) and also reincarnation of which he had said at his Venice trial:

"I have held and hold souls to be immortal....Speaking as a Catholic, [I say] they do not pass from body to body, but go to Paradise, Purgatory or Hell. But I have reasoned deeply, and, speaking as a philosopher, since the soul is not found without body and yet is not body, it may be in one body or in another, and pass from body to body."

He said that reincarnation was, if not proven, "at least likely," supporting the view of the greek philosopher P. He challenged the church doctrine that souls are created "out of nothing" and therefore are not a part of God. His last words to the authorities in 1600 before being burnt were:

"Perchance you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it."

, proving that his belief in the immortality of the soul made him fearless. He was a true martyr of the enlightened and humanist vision of the soul in transition from world to world.

 

3.2 Modernity

Later christianity nowadays cherishes the idea of reincarnation in the Theosophical movement, the Scientology movement (see for an evaluation), the Share-movement (a later offshoot of theosophy) and the Humanist movement. In the New Age movement the channeling mediums, and past-live regression hypno-therapists also depart from this concept (see Spirit Web and The Question of Reincarnation ). Also literary authors as W. v G. and scientist/politician B.F. held positive ideas on reincarnation without losing public respect:

"I am certain that I have been here as I am now a thousand times before, and I hope to return a thousand times..." W.G.

"When I see nothing annihilated and not a drop of water wasted, I cannot suspect the annihilation of souls...I believe I shall, in some shape or other, always exist. I shall not object to a new edition of mine, hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be corrected." B.F.

Some authors find definite proof in the Bible for reincarnation while others contest that. It is in fact a theological discussion covering the millennia of christian culture that is also reflected in serious personality studies of the health sciences of out of body experiences, children remembering or being possessed by spirits recounting of other lives, deathbed apparitions, near death experiences and the like. Despite of many witnesses all these studies could deliver, of course, no objective scientific - read material - proof that reincarnation is a fact. Still they could prove that it is a subject of objective scientific survey (see also: How Americans think about reincarnation).

Historically this freedom of thought and sincere scientific interest in the phenomenon of a separate soul was preceded by the renaissance at the end of the Middle ages wherein the ideas about time changed. The church and the feudal legal accord of time with it had to give up its monopolist authoritarian claim on time. The theologian T.of A. (1225-1274) and later the humanist E. (1466-1536) preached the enlightened position of a more holistic respect for all of human culture about religion and time. Together with R. B. the christian scholar who wrote that there is:

"Time designated by nature....by authority...and by custom and caprice'' (Opus Maius 1267)

, may one say that there thus the threefold is upon which the tolerance for the multicultural society and the modern respect of time was founded, just as is the threefold full calendar of order we can conceive of today. These characters of learning held that God and time were not the exclusive domain of the clergy and the legal authorities in philosophical debate. Man had to practice and experiment for his own selfrealization for which the scriptural authority was only one of the sources of knowledge. Also experimentation and observation of natural fact were important sources of wisdom and knowledge. Before that, in the beginning of the fourteenth century, left the franciscan monk W. o O. his monastery to prepare the philosophical ground for the modern cartesian rationality and methodology. This was because the church had endless debates on how the date of Easter should be calculated and why a reform of the calendar should or should not take place to correct for the julian imprecision to the length of the tropical year. Especially halting with customs of time-measurement not succeeding in calendar-reforms prepared for the great schism of the church itself which not only reformed the reformed but also purified the catholic position in her contra-reformatory exercises of discipline. Missing the progress again we ran into ego -cultures and political oppositions of never to be the same natural people that we were before. The world thereto mechanized which also created the two worlds of the natural and the cultural consciousness, of warfare with personalistic medieval true time swords against impersonal standard time modern explosives of gunpowder and nuclear power, as we nowadays can experience in the pains and psychology of common cultural estrangement and nuclear threat.

 

3.3 Reformation and rebirth

Because of the Renaissance of the greek-roman ego and spirit in fact Christianity attained to the original roman pax romana of humanistic respect for all types of religion and time-culture. It was not a complete hell of a babylonian confusing weekorder in medieval darkness like it was after the fall of Rome, but a reawakening of a truthfull and aligned ego as an enlightening infuse of classical relativity and cyclic time-awareness. Thus also other ideas of reincarnation and rebirth could originate than only those sanctioned by the church of having one material life and one eternal liberation in the rebirth of being baptized for a permanent position in one eternal mystical heaven. Rebirth had become the fact of the complete culture as it rose from the darkness of the Middle Ages in a renewed scientific and philosophical/theological interest in the universe or creation of God. P. and A. were rediscovered and ancient dilemma's were solved in the contradictions between the idealist and the logician, the vulgar and philosophical 'computus' of timereckoning by respectively customs of fixation and sciences of measurement. Rebirth became an issue on the philosophical agenda of historians who could not deny that at least the old greek/roman honor had reincarnated of seeing the philosopher as the God, baptist and apostle of our own culture and divinity.

Anyone has the right to speak up in our reborn culture, who has respect for the God of Philosophy who said: "Know Thyself " and the preacher of His philosophy who said that our world of ignorance is but a shadow in a cave compared to the daylight of filognosy, the love of knowledge that should enlighten the whole world into the liberation of service to the ideal concept of state (see P. in his dialogues of S.' preaching of human goodness and reason). Islam before that in her medieval glory had served its medieval purpose of maintaining this scientific respect for time, defying the personalistic and animalistic propensities of Christianity. The Arabs (like A.-K. ) gave us the knowledge they got from the Indians (like A.) about numerals, fractions and time-reckoning. Thus we succeeded not only in a more sophisticated respect of time in the form of an improved calculus of linear time culminating in the Gregorian reform of the calendar of 1582, we also inherited the Indian philosophy of the cyclic time of reincarnation imbibed with it in the same deal. (see the book Calendar for more of this history of time-management and the articles in this series about Sun and Moon and the New World Order and Why the year 2000 should be counted as 2753).

3.4 A dual respect of reincarnation

In the indian scriptures it was common sense to believe in historical cycles called yuga's in which souls time and again enact to the same story of God from different evolutionary perspectives (see the Bhagavata Purâna). Reincarnation is a fact for the Hindu who simply believes in repeated rebirths in better and better lives by the power of proof delivered by the avatars of the many incarnations of the one Lord and His expansions. Although our memories are imperfect and only The lord can be sure and deliver proof of previous lives, the belief in that culture is firm and nothing but a logical fact of philosophy. A single life is but a drop in the ocean of eternity and the soul just a spark of the great fire that God Himself is. This was what the guru's brought to the West in the second half of the twentiest century (see also speeches of swami V. on this). We should modestly believe in personal rebirth and selfcorrection, not just in a rebirth from the guru for the sake of a more natural and spiritual life, but also for the sake of a revision of our own historical awareness to make for a better future taking responsibility for our collective and individual karma. Listening to them they insist on this dual concept of rebirth: as well a constant cultural reformation as an individual selfrealization of previous and future lives is of importance. The burden of proof of whether they are just talking of necessary historical identifications or actual past and future karma-motivated lives (see Vedic quotes on rebirth and reincarnation and other links below) is not to us but on the shoulders of the Godhead Himself who may or may not have the grace for the individual to enlighten him on his historical position in the human time-universe of past, present and future lives.

To the normal soul it not given to be sure of reincarnation. But from the christian point of view we also can firmly believe in this relative of a possible rebirth individually or collectively. From the Holy Bible we know of the ladder of Jacob that leads us rung by rung into a heaven of a better world. It is not the common belief of an all-or-nothing heaven that the Bible preaches. It is just like the gurus and the Bhagavad Gîtâ say: a step by step realization of better and better lives in better positions in a less and less material universe. The dualist mind might inspire for absolute opposites. But all facts of life tell us reality is not of any sharp border lines of an either-or-reality. It is more a field or mountain of gradual self-realization of being liberated in the service of the human values and order of nature, culture and the spirit. From the Holy Bible we also have the prediction of the second coming of Christ. If the Lord would return to our planet, then why should we not? For Him it must be much more easy to rest in higher planets or places than it would be for us with our attachments and commitments. Thus the main argument of christianity against reincarnation given at the introduction becomes doubtful: the sacrifice of the Lord is not nullified by the dual reality of a cultural or physical rebirth. He didn't die in vain if we return to this planet in a better life as a better servant and a better greek/roman philosopher respecting His truth. He just took away the fear of time telling us that we can live eternally with Him in His heaven of divinity and happiness or working for it again on earth together with Him in one of his own many rebirths as is confirmed by the Bhagavad Gîtâ:

yada yadaa hi dhamasya
glaanir bhavati bhaarata
abhyutthaanam adharmasya
tadaatmanam srjamy aham

Whenever and wherever it is sure
that one weakens in righteousness
and a predominance of disorder does manifest,
o descendant of Bharata, at that time I do manifest Myself..
(
Bhagavad Gîtâ 4-7)

Thus seen multiculturally the arguments against reincarnation can be recognized as a fear of time. Fear is a fact of being identified with a material body. Reincarnation would fix us on that body and thus it would be bad... But once we realize that we simply need one or another body to practice the same akashic soul in the same personal spirit to deal with the same eternity of matter and time, then the whole concept of heaven turns a 180 degrees around. If we reincarnate, we do not reincarnate for a physical body, but just have one to be a better servant and proof of the existence of heaven and the enduring soul. This is the other type of rebirth christianity had to accept in its reformation: it is not the false authority of this or that material - legal or religious - body, but the authentic authority of the filognosy of divine wisdom that leads us through worlds climbing up to higher civilizations and better planets in a better universe of justice and peace.

There have also been theological qualms and counter-arguments about possibly having been an animal in a previous life. To that one may say that a spiritual man in his body doesn't really exist to the world of God's creation until he speaks. Possibly having existed as a beast he couldn't speak then, and therefore reincarnation as such cannot be the reality. It is not the animal though that reincarnates but the will to be a human being, nay a God. Summarizing from these arguments taken consequent it seems to be more heretic to be against reincarnation than it is to be in favor. It is the benefit and progress of the soul of it that one cannot really counter theologically. It is the psychology of the fear of time of its opponents that must be countered. But that is just a religious concern. Competing with the other religions modern Christianity will realize that it has to upgrade to the capacities of the Islam and the Buddhist and Hindu universe. It not only will have to accept reincarnation as also a biblical possibility, but it also must give up the fixations held against reform, as would be the nature of its own historical reformation.

 

    4 Time and Paradise

4.1 Time as a form of God

I died from the mineral and became a plant;
I died from the plant, and reappeared in an animal;
I died from the animal and became a man;
Wherefore then should I fear?
When dids I grow less by dying?
Next time I shall die from the man,
That I may grow the wings of angels.
From the angel, too, must I seek advance;
All things shall perish save His face
Once more shall I wing my way above the angels;
I shall become that which entereth not the imaginations.
Then let me become naught, naught, for the harp string crieth unto me,
Verily unto Him do we return ...

The sufi mystic poet J. A.-D. expressed the purpose of the realization of the truth on reincarnation beautifully in this poem (taken from karma and reincarnation). It subscribes to the conclusion that rebirth is an historical, philosophical, psychological and intercultural theological necessity without which our lives are as good as meaningless. It also subscribes to the goal of the reincarnation-cycles; from that wheel of rebirth one must, as the eastern philosophy maintains be liberated in the eternal sat cit and ananda (eternity, consciousness and bliss) of climbing up to the Supreme Divinity. It is up to that divinity to decide whether there would be any personal material involvement with time or not at this or that level of attainment. The soul might be timeless, but the fear of time must be equaled to the fear of God. The way we fear God we must face and take the consequences of the fear of time. Fixed on our temporal existencies we can be an escapist of physical exercises that hinder our consciousness of the big picture of time: the om purnam (complete whole) of the complete reality of time with all its worlds, souls and Lordships of the past and the future. We can lust for the disgrace of taking the lives of animals and trees. We can live for the acquisition of private properties and sexual freedom without the duties of a marriage. But all this material activity so common to the narrowing of our minds in our modern tolerance will breed more and more the fear of time that leads to total destruction if it is not recognized as the fear of God. One should also be afraid to lose the time as time is the form that God has taken to give us the peace and order we were looking for as is confirmed by a hymn - the so called sisumara-mantra- in the hindu-vaishnava Bible describing the life and devotion to the Lord of Yoga:

Namo jyotir lokâya
Kâlâyanânimsâm pataye
mahâ-purushâyâbhidhimahîti

O Lord, who has taken the form of time
O resting place of all the planets in their orbits
O master of the demigods, O supreme Personality
I offer you my respectful obeisances and meditate upon you.

(Srimad Bhagavatam 5:23:8 see time-quotes)

Time properly managed is a source of great joy and happiness a western psychologist can confirm. Isn't it all about attaining to having a 'good time'? The Veda, especially in the so called fifth one or the purâna, confirms this in almost every chapter of its many literatures. Even modern materialist culture confirms this divine respect in the philosophy of profit and time-management. 'Time is money, don't waste time.' One also says this way 'don't lose Time, don't lose God.' Time isn't Godless. Time is a form of God. The Lord confirms in the Bhagavad Gîtâ that He is the Time Himself at three places (11-32, 10-30, 10-33). A threefold confirmation is by Hindus held as an expression of the greatest importance. Also a christian theologian like T. o A. would respect and seriously consider such an emphasis. And why wouldn't we?

4.2 Conclusion: The return to paradise.

From the perspective of the divinity of Time itself, the whole spiritual culture of timelessness looks like a hoax: there is no such thing as a time-less God or a timeless paradise or heaven. With timelessness one may better think of a reference to the cyclic of time in contrast with the serial nature of time: time repeating more or less the same patterns of material action gives the illusion of timelessness by the stability and happiness [of the automatic erasing of things or sins in the repeteated observation] of its conditioning. From bad habits and brain-lateral onesidedness one may have a neurosis and complex of fear of losing control and consciousness against this realization. But from the time=God perspective one goes to heaven when one is reïncarnating on the same (or a higher) planet: one gets another chance of realizing what a divine eternal reality the time really is. It is the personal soul (jiv-âtmâ) that is unstable flickering in and out of the reality of space-time and the eternity of matter (not eternal of form). One can, being in heaven, being reborn that is, regret ones previous earthly or worldly existence and have the chance to work at ones karma again. Birth after birth one will realize that with less and less karmic debts one will be more and more happy and fulfilled in the service of that divinity and even be more effective and convincing in ones material existence.

From that vision there is no question of heresy and atheism with the common man. Time is change and diversity and all diversity and changes of culture are of that divinity. Everyone respecting a clock or calendar is a devotee of God as soon as one realizes that Time is the manifest reality of the living God. From that reality the whole discussion and controversy about religions is the true heresy that defies the absolute necessity of each his own selfrealization in time and matter. Any socially rigid dictate of God or material fixation on God or unwillingness to correct oneself with necessary agreements of fixations thus seen is being imposed a false preaching. Each is free to create a culture of time respect and have a meaningful incarnation. Each may judge himself which authority of time would be the ultimate one. To the philosophical God of the westerner the fear of time is overcome realizing who one is: that is, who one possibly was identified with historical personalities taking the karma and responsibilities of our cultural past, who one actually is in the present society and what and how one thinks oneself to be in the future of this same world one is living in. This way seen ones life is complete if the full commitment to the actual planet is realized, time and again, birth after birth building and maintaining constantly upon what one did for oneself and the others to which one belongs with ones previous lives.

Thus we arrive at the conclusion of this consideration of the subject of reincarnation: from the spirit of truth it is a necessity to strive for the heaven and paradise that the planet in fact naturally is and culturally should be. The confrontation with all the cultural and natural obstacles of predators, earthquakes, wars of divinities (religions) against one another, floods and environmental decay, does not take away the duty of fighting them in favor of the proof of the manifest paradise. The fear of time in fact is the fear to be faced with the never ending mission of getting closer and closer to one's own personal and collective divinity: it requires to take the workload (karma) of the complete culture and get it one rung higher on the ladder of Jacob. The weight of that mission makes it easy to understand why for centuries Christianity has maintained a negative attitude about reincarnation. But from the light of the modern internet filognosy of available intercultural information exchange this can no longer be maintained: we are working at this realization and we do progress building a world mind and a concept of world order with it for God,Time, the Material universe and all souls in the spirit and in the incarnated physical bodies involved.

A.A.

Suggested further reading: Srîmad Bhâgavatam: Canto Four Chapter 29: Conversation between Nârada Muni and King Prâcînabarhi

 

    Links

Discussion: Anand Aadhar Prabhu: letter to Maura.

Aphorisms on Karma (Theosophy)

Itihaas: Speeches at Parliament of Religion: about the intercultural situation of the world religions (yoga-teachings).

God, Spirit, and Reincarnation: Web site of The Fellowship of Erasmus (the humanist connection).

Quotes and articles (Share-movement).

Vedic quotes on rebirth and reincarnation: a collection of quotations from scriptures and guru's.

Personality studies: University of Virginia Health Sciences Center: division of Personality Studies: studying how mnd and brain relate and the question of post-mortem survival

Karma and reincarnation: page from swami S.. with other lectures on his yoga.

Reincarnation: Its meaning and consequences: Reincarnation in world religions; Past-life recall as proof for reincarnation; Reincarnation and cosmic justice; Reincarnation and Christianity (a more skeptical vision) .

Reincarnation-The Missing Link in Christianity: the first chapter of the book (a defense).

Reincarnation and Karma in the Bible (share-movement)

Spirit web : Reincarnation & Karma

The Question of Reincarnation: from the The First Spiritual Temple is a non-denominational Christian Spiritualist Church: a discussion on reincarnation and karma.

More Links on reincarnation form Reincarnation documentry: how Americans think about reincarnations.

See for more links on religion and spirituality: religion&spirituality-links

See for more articles on the spirituality, politics and religion of an alternative of time-consciouness: Articles by the Order of Time.

Filognosy: a site instructing on the basics of the love for knowledge needed to manage an altenative of time-consciousness.

The Game of Order: view the progress of the soul through its different levels, modes and identities in the form of an internet game of searching on ones personal identity.

Time-quotes: recommendations from The Order of Time.

 

Search for any of the persons linked or subjects mentioned in this article in the Encyclopedia Britannica.

 

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