The recycled soul?

Two independent events over the weekend that were coincidentally relevant have forced me to think about fundamental questions of birth and death. In the past, I have studied the questions of birth and death, life and its vagaries, desire and pain, destiny and free will as explained from multiple religious standpoints. However, in the recent past, I have learned to simplify my existence, my world view, my understanding and love of God to very few basic principles. This simplification has allowed me to be far less questioning and far more accepting thereby making life, well, more simple. But these two seemingly small events revived the questions from the past that had been blissfully suppressed so far. Quick context. Event 1: Advertisement that called for essay entries with the title “Who am I”. Event 2: Unplanned spontaneous discussion on reincarnation for a Hindu.

These two events got me thinking. If I were to ask myself “Who am I” would the answer after many layers of questioning be that “I am a soul”? And if that is true, what is the mission of this soul to have taken this particular form, at this time, in this country, in this family, in this set of associations with people? According to Hindu religion, a soul is on a mission of attaining maturity over multiple births to finally be rid of all worldly associations, realize the universal nature of God, and finally become liberated and attain God. I get “attaining God through understanding His universal nature and self-realization”. I understand the core teachings and absolutely love them. However, the aspect of reincarnation / repeated births has always troubled me in inexplicable ways.

As a human, I am obviously troubled in the face of major uncertainties. And if this uncertainty pans out over multiple lifetimes, the anxiety morphs into fear. Yes, fear. Although there are many small questions and fears on the concept of rebirth, the primary fear though is of facing overwhelming loneliness. For, we are each one of us are utterly alone on this journey through space and time for eras together. Probably in each birth, there would be other humans (or animals) we can call “loved ones”. However, the journey itself is one for an individual and highly personal. To truly attain self, we would need to think of God as the One and Only; the absolute everything that makes us need nothing. So we need to consciously make ourselves learn to be happy with ourselves and become fully independent physically, financially and most importantly emotionally. This last aspect terrifies me; the prospect of having to make myself emotionally independent means starting to become detached from my loved ones. However, if I believe that the essence and the meaning of my existence is because of them and to be with them, the call for independence leaves my reality bare. It strips away my ability to “connect” with my present life leaving me distraught and lost.

Perhaps in some birth, when my soul is “mature” I might be able to understand, accept and be rid of this fear. For now, though, I have tackled this fear successfully by reverting back to my simplified outlook.

4 thoughts on “The recycled soul?

  1. If God is the whole, then are we not already part of him? Could it be that we are required to become consciously aware of our place in the pattern, a place that we already occupy? Then, all those whom we love/have loved/will love throughout all of our existence are part of the pattern with us. Indeed, the love that we share is the defining feature of our shared place in the pattern. So, is it not a case of learning to see God in all around us, with those whom we love being particularly important?
    I am not Hindu, by the way, but I am someone who places love at the very heart of what I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a beautiful comment. Thanks for sharing this with me. I fully share your thought that love is the defining aspect of our existence and learning to see love as God and God as love in everyone and everything is the central principle. This is the simplification that I was referring to :). Just open your heart and love; learn to forgive and let go; learn to never be rude etc. However, being a Hindu myself, sometimes I am confronted with aspects that are difficult to grasp / accept using the senses provided. I know people who wholeheartedly accept the concept of rebirths and firmly believe that they are mature souls waiting for “just one or two” more births to attain God. I am left speechless after every such conversation :).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. People like that remind me of a Christian joke. A man dies and goes to heaven. He’s marvelling at all the wonderful things he sees, and then he comes across a high wall. He can hear voices from the other side, but he can’t see over the wall. “What’s this?” he asks. “Oh, that’s just the Baptists. They like to think they’re the only ones saved, so we’ve given them a special little area all of their own!” (Doesn’t have to be Baptists, can be any denomination with a reputation for being exclusive).


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