Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Life after death, reincarnation and purpose of creation.

A dear friend of mine, Gary asked me today about my thoughts on “life after death, reincarnation and the purpose of creation”.

In my humble opinion, as part of my own spiritual journey, I have had the best luck in understanding these intellectually draining topics in simple easy to understand portions. Just as a meal is best enjoyed in small servings, as opposed a large meal that makes us uncomfortable afterwards, let’s take these topics in an easy to digest serving size. Otherwise, just as a heavy meal makes the body uncomfortable, heavy intellectual discussion will make the mind uncomfortable, more confused and will bring up more questions than answers.

On the topic of life after death and reincarnation, let’s compare the body, mind and soul to a tree, a bird’s nest and a bird. The body can be compared to a tree, the mind to a bird’s nest and the soul to a bird. Among these three, the bird (soul) is the only one that has the freedom of movement. The bird (soul) has the freedom to chose any tree (body). Once the bird (soul) chooses a tree (body), a nest (mind) is created to keep the bird (soul) temporarily attached to the tree (body). Just as a bird (soul) takes flight and leaves the tree (body) and nest (mind) for brief periods during the daytime and returning to rest at night, our soul has the ability to temporarily leave the body and mind. This happens in deep sleep when we temporarily lose identification with the body and mind only to regain it when we wake up.

Going further, if the tree (body) dies from a lightening strike (comparable to sudden natural death such as sudden cardiac death), or due to a wood cutter’s axe (accidental death), or from termites (slow natural death from various illnesses), the bird (soul) has the freedom to move to another tree (body), dismantle the nest (mind) into little twigs (seed thoughts) and rebuild the nest (mind) when it finds a suitable tree (body). This is how I understand the transmigration of the soul from body to body and how the mind is the key link in the process.

In order to understand this process we have to focus on the bird (soul) as it takes flight from the nest (mind) and tree (body). This is best achieved by consciously recreating what happens in deep sleep through a process we call meditation.

On the subject of the purpose of creation. I don’t have an easy answer. When you are in kindergarten, do you worry about passing a college course and getting a degree? If you do, then the thought of taking a college course while in kindergarten overwhelms you and you will not make it out of kindergarten. If we make the required effort in kindergarten we then progress through first, second, third grade etc. till we pass through high school. Then, even more effort is required to get into and through college till we take our last final exam before we get our college degree. Similarly we have to face tests in life and pass in order to evolve spiritually. Once we achieve inner perfection by rigorous self effort (can be done through meditation), we are given the opportunity to pass the final test and get a degree that contains the answer to the question on creation.