Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Have we met before—maybe in another life?

I have always wondered about what happens to people when they die. Death does not put an end to the entirety of one’s being, does it?

Someone recently asked me if I believed in reincarnation. I said, “Yes, I do. I believe in new beginnings rather than just endings. Reincarnation gives me a hope for the future.” Mind you, my answer bears no reflection to the fact that I was born into and practice Hinduism.

Depending on the religious faith of the deceased, we either cremate or bury the dead bodies but what really happens after that—what happens to the souls, specifically? Movies tell us a lot but they don’t really tell us much—a white light at the end of the tunnel or a dark angel flying souls to heaven or hell. But where do the souls really go?

I find it easier to believe that souls are reborn in another body. That there is some sort of continuity. Have you ever met someone for the first time but felt that you have known them forever? A sense of familiarity. A degree of comfort. I am not referring to déjà vu moments but a deeper sense of attachment. Or other times of people who do us no wrong, yet we can’t stand the mere sight of them. How do we explain these feelings?

I personally know of a case where a child was born moments after his grandfather died. As the little boy grew up, people noticed that his eating habits, body posture, demeanor, and nature were similar to that of his deceased grandfather. Not just that but also the people this boy was closest to were the ones the grandfather was extremely fond of. Part of the behavior and pattern could be attributed to genetics but what about the other aspect—the relationship angle? I can’t say with any scientific certainty that the grandfather returned as the boy. But it did get me thinking about reincarnation.

A cousin recently told me about the book “Many Lives, Many Masters.” Written by prominent psychiatrist, Dr. Weiss, the book is based on the true story of his young patient, Catherine, who reveals details of her previous lives through past-life therapy. The sessions eventually changed both their lives, but for the longest time, Dr. Weiss was mistrusting of anything that couldn’t be proved via traditional, scientific method. He treated Catherine for 18 months using traditional methods but when nothing worked, he resorted to hypnosis. During one of the hypnosis sessions, Catherine shared specific messages about Dr. Weiss’s dead son; he had never told Catherine about the boy.

I don’t want to give away too much about the book, so I would recommend reading it. Pausing for a moment and thinking. Sure, we can’t verify the truth of Catherine’s story using the limited scientific tools we have available. There is no way to know. But should we close our minds to possibilities?

Can we dispute reincarnation completely?

More until next time,
Copyright © 06.13.2012

“I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence.” ~ Socrates