Twelve Approaches to Reincarnation and Karma

By admin / December 7, 2008
By: Josef Graf
Category: Spirituality

It has been thought, by a few great individuals, that if you can garner twelve perspectives on a particular subject, then you can attain a significant understanding of the subject. This article strives in that direction by presenting the dynamics of reincarnation and karma from twelve different angles.
The thrust of the material presented here serves twofold: to help elucidate the actual nature of reincarnation and karma, and to answer to current voices during this materialistic phase of human development who attempt, in vain, to deny its existence. None of the materialist arguments hold any water, as can be seen by reviewing the following twelve aspects of R and K.
1. The masterpiece scenario
If you wanted to design a system that would be a masterpiece, a means of providing individuals with opportunity to fulfill their potential, to keep growing and learning, and meeting themselves with all their foibles and virtues, qualities and talents, vices and shortfalls to improve on, and to ensure that all participants could access awareness of their effects on others (be it right away or, as seems to be more the case in our current time, in the between-lives arena) - then you would come up with the system that appears to be in play on Earth now - the masterpiece of karma and reincarnation in which we live.
Human imagination has, thus far, been unable to come up with anything remotely approaching this level of creationist expertise. This, plus the conceptual reality of the R and K scenario in our individual psyches (and in our collective psyche), not only suggests that some kind of omniscient being created this masterpiece, but also implies that the scenario has been fully implemented in the fabric of our existence.
2. Experiment:
Take a moment to imagine the cessation of your "I".
You can imagine the physical body coming to an end, the dissolution of the body.
But can you do so with the "I"?
The moment you try, there is your "I" standing back looking for an imagined end to itself.
It can't be done* - inferring that the Ego lives on after death.
*footnote: The "I" can be dissipated, in a sense, by one's own efforts, or at least degraded and debilitated, through chronic substance abuse, or through long term practice of a spiritual path that espouses the dissolution of the ego (once an appropriate experience for the soul during the ancient Indian epoch, but now counter to the present leading edge of evolution - the retention and enhancement of the "Ego" or I).
3. Multi-dimensional factors and future life progress.
There are times when an overly simplistic view of reincarnation can be held.
One aspect that helps over-ride this inclination is to understand that thoughts don't carry on beyond a certain stage of the death process, except as forces, whereas enthusiasms, perceptions and feelings do pass into the next life. That the conceptual life associated with an incarnation dissipates means, for example, that a child who spoke the Greek language in his/her past life does not learn the Greek language any greater ease this life.
Another perceptual shortfall resides, for example, in the notion that a great musician must have been a musician in a prior life, and now has simply progressed to an advanced level. A more accurate perspective views the emergence of a talent as a result of progress made in a past life in another (but obliquely associated) arena of development.
4. Proportion of brain utilized
Through reincarnation, we are given the opportunity to fulfill our overall quest to become whole, fully evolved beings - a quest that is utterly impossible in a single lifetime.
It is generally agreed that we use only 10-20% of our brain capacity. This suggests that eventually we are going to use the whole organ. Of course, to attain such a goal would only be feasible over many lifetimes.
The other side of the indication is that when we die, we move into our deeper wisdom, we move out of our temporary, life-long confinement, into our full capacity (use of 100% versus only 10-20%). We come to know, from an overview, what our life was really about, and where we need to improve, and can then determine where we are going, and with who, and the particulars pertaining to the next life that we choose.

The foregoing article was written by Josef Graf, coordinator of the Earth Vision project and Insight21 - presenting nature in the light of spiritual ecology, and answers for the 21st Century.

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