I (choose to) Believe It

Reincarnation is like being challenged with a puzzle. We are here to learn how to get out of the escape room, to recognize what we are, to transcend the limits it places upon us, to learn what we need to learn so we don’t need to return.

I feel this stress and depression because I put too much of an importance on things that don’t matter. The answer, for me, is to look around, notice the details of this holodeck we are trapped in, and marvel at where I find myself, recognizing that it is like a game. I ask myself, how is this different than the last time, and I remind myself that when we die, we  get another chance in different surroundings and circumstances.

When I travel, I feel out of sorts until I learn how the public transportation works, or find a particular cafe I like to return to, and then I can start pretending, at least, that I’m a local, that I know the ropes. Incarnations are like that. If we accept that this is just a temporary home, different, not who we are, and learn about it, we’ll function better. For now, this is who we’ve always been. That’s the game we should play. We may not like this life, but we’ll get another chance, unless we as a people destroy the entire planet. Then, I suppose our spirits can get in line to incarnate on some other planet, but we might have to step backwards. We won’t have the instincts developed over many incarnations. And I guess it would be fair if we had to wait in line behind those souls that didn’t destroy their own planet.

But that’s the thing. If we recognize that this is a game, that we don’t have to take any of it too seriously, our job preparing tax returns, for example  – seriously, how perfect does a tax return have to be – then we can start focusing on what really matters, like what can we do to help preserve the world for our own future?

I was sitting on my drums yesterday and looking around the basement, trying to notice all the particulars of this place I just woke up in. I was telling myself that I am a not limited by this particular circumstance. It is not who I am, and it’s ok that I feel out of place.  that’s normal. I always felt like my name didn’t fit, that it wasn’t really me. Maybe that’s why I used to feel that getting braces changed who I was, and imagined that if my teeth were left alone, maybe I would be more authentic. But, no, that wasn’t it. There was never anything I was supposed to be here. This is what it is. It doesn’t matter if I don’t like this particular incarnation, if I want to be someone else. It’s not permanent. It’s not my only chance. It’s not my first time. It’s not my last time.

Yes, I am constrained. Because incarnation is a prison, a maze, a puzzle. It’s a game. We have only one role to play here. We are missing out on all of the other roles. But if we recognize that we have many lives to live, doesn’t that make it so much easier to accept this one?

The belief passes my test for a good belief in every way. The test is to ask, “what if I were wrong?”  Does believing it encourage me to do the right thing, does it help me to embrace my experiences, does it help me to lead a better and happier life? If I die and then there is nothingness, did believing that there was something-ness help me to get more out of this life? Yes. And it inspires me to do right to better the world, for future incarnations.

The only counter to that is that bravery born out of the belief that I cannot actually die may lead me to embrace an early death in support of a good cause. But if I were to die for good, helping others to live, or live better, then I don’t mind. My life will be relatively short, no matter how long medical science can extend the lives of humans. And even if this is all I have, then I’d rather it be a life that I can die proud of, then a longer life that wasn’t worth anything. I may shortchange myself, if I am wrong, but my belief would still benefit others. There’s evidence, don’t get me wrong, plenty of it. And some of the greatest thinkers believed in it. But that’s not proof. So, I apply the test. What’s the downside? If I have a spiritual belief that encourages me to do wrong to others, in a misguided belief that I will get a reward, then that belief fails the test. But if the only potential harm is to myself, in sacrifice to the all, then no one should have any reason to contest my choice.