This morning on my walk I’m listening to my friend Roberta Grimes muse about reincarnation. Reincarnation, keeps coming up again and again. For those of us raised Christian, it was taboo. Eastern religions beliefs on reincarnation make it sound more like punishment than anything else. This life is where we come to work off karma, mistakes from our past. We are forced to come back again and again, maybe thousands or even millions or billions of times until we “get it right”. Man, when I was a kid, I thought Hell was scary. How about an almost never ending cycle of coming back to Earth? Something’s wrong with this picture. The image of going Home that comes to mind is of the schoolmaster in the Pink Floyd movie The Wall- In Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2, he shouts “Wrong! Do it again! Wrong. Do it again!” Is this what we have to look forward to? “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding? How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?” Sorry, lady. You can’t stay here until you get it right.
I watched Astral City (Nosso Lar) a couple of years ago and there is a scene where loved ones are watching people board a vehicle bound for Earth. There are tearful good-byes as they depart for the Earth plane to make another stab at it. So, we get back Home, settle in, then one day they come knocking at the door. “Time to go back. Better luck this time. Maybe this will be your last trip. Try harder.”
I think Roberta was onto something when she talked about the fact that time is an illusion. Einstein told us this and physicists are verifying it. Past, present, and future are constructs that are necessary for this Earthly incarnation. We think of time beginning with the Big Bang and moving in a linear, constant fashion indefinitely into the future. In reality, from outside of this universe, all of time is “happening at once”. I realize the futility of using temporal words to describe things that are non-temporal, but time is such a big part of our reality, we can’t get away from it. If it’s not happening in a linear fashion, maybe it’s all happening “at once”. Even as Roberta was explaining that the present impacts not only the future but the past and that our many lives are all taking place at once, each influencing the other, she kept drifting back into talking about past lives, saying that we can make this our last life, and that her guide had advanced through his lives to the point that he doesn’t have to reincarnate anymore, implying he got better with each life in a linear fashion. How is this possible when the “future” lives are lived at the same time as the past? We talk a lot about past life regressions because we think linearly. Rarely, will you hear about future life progressions, which actually are a thing. Why? Because we still think of our lives, if we have many, as laid out in a linear fashion.
My thoughts on this are ever-changing and I’m sure will be because, like every other being on this planet, I cannot wrap my head around an existence without time. I cannot fathom everything happening “at once”. I don’t know how the present could possibly change the past. But, what I can do is eliminate things from my model. I don’t think we go back Home, only to be tapped on the shoulder one day and told to do it again. I think this is our “last time” here for all of us. We come once and that’s it. As Scott Milligan said, this Earth is a place of goodbyes- we watch people leave. Our Home is a place of hellos, we greet people as they arrive. They do not depart again. No one will force us into a do over.