Reincarnation appears in many religions, its theme one of the most ancient. Simply put, one dies and one is reborn. One dies to the old form and one is reborn to a new form. Reincarnations have been documented in many countries.
If one believes there is a soul, if one believes that soul is immortal, then it becomes possible to accept the idea of reincarnation. A soul may travel many human bodies before it completes its learning assignments.
In most Christian religions, the idea of reincarnation is either forbidden or laughed away as foolishness. That is because if you are programmed to believe you might not get a second chance, it is easier to plant all kinds of guilt trips on you, collect an abundance of tithes, and give you a feeling of damnation that is totally undeserved! Reincarnation makes useless those Christian doctrines for control of the flock, so to speak. Before Christianity became organized with a command center, those early Christians believed in the possibility of reincarnation, and honored it.
Yet, there are many fanatics who believe one cannot be a Christian and believe in reincarnation at the same time. It is like the fanatic who comes up to you on the street, and says: “Do you believe in the Holy Bible?” The only way to answer that honestly is with another question, “Which of the 287 translations did you have in mind?”
Personal beliefs aside, is it not preferable to do good and be good wherever you are rather than having to come back and do it all over again to get it right! Reincarnation holds out the promise that there are alternatives available.
My personal beliefs include two statements that have stuck with me over the years:
1) “Every moment is a new beginning.” Spoken by Swami Vivekananda of the Vedanta Society.
2) “Be good and do good.” Spoken by Swami Chetanananda of the Vedanta Society.
Those two statements correspond with the best tenets of reincarnation and living a moral, spiritual life. If you truly sense the possibilities of knowing every moment is a new beginning, then you suddenly realize with loving insight that it is possible to become the best you can be wherever you are. And to be good and do good is self-explanatory from a spiritual perspective. A moral person and a spiritual person are the same, taken in the context of these two statements. Neither statement requires membership in a religious organization. All is required is that you think for yourself, trust in the good that is around you, and avoid evil. Forgive often.
As long as there is a knowledge of reincarnation and its possibilities, humans will seek inspiration from their moral and spiritual nature. If that knowledge is lost under the burden of “churchianity” in whatever form it takes, the human heart will find a way to the truth. There are many pathways to the truth. Hindus, Vedantists, Christians, Buddhists, Wiccans, Witches, Pagans, Moslems, and many others each have a pathway to follow in search of spiritual truth.
Happiness must come from within the person. Truth must be realized within the individual.
Churchianity has a lock and key on doctrine, but it does not have a lock and key on the human spirit. Whether or not one believes in Jesus Christ is less important than knowing that much is done in his name that he never intended nor asked for. Jesus Christ never said to turn the other cheek until you are beaten dead; no, he would be the first one to say, bring your knee up quickly into the groin if the second fist is heading your way. Jesus Christ was not stupid despite some Christian groups trying to make him into a wimp for personal reasons. Jesus Christ was a fighter and laughed a lot, even drank wine and probably had a wife with whom he had frequent and enjoyable sexual relations. Reread your history, reread your holy books, reread your heart—then look at the possibilities of reincarnation. Look at the learning experiences you have already achieved.
It is then that every moment is a new beginning. We are not the same person we were a moment ago because we are always free to learn, to build, to forgive, to love, to share, to help others, and to dream.
To give the gift of patience, love, and sharing of knowledge are three great gifts to give to children growing up. A fourth great gift is to give them the inspiration to read. And a fifth great gift is to give a child the desire to question and be inquisitive so nobody and nothing can ever take dictatorship over his or her mind.
We must try to do our best and always remember that intent is everything. If we believe hard enough, we can make a difference.
Do good and be good, and every moment does become a new beginning. Reincarnation is one distinct possibility to understand, comprehend, and consider.