One Life to Live

Mar 22, 15 One Life to Live

3) One Life to Live – in the series: About the New Age

 

 

Made to be human and made to only live once…

 

“We Are Spiritual Beings Having A Physical Experience” – this quote is a reoccurring online/internet saying.

 

Gnosticism, Buddhists, Taoism, New Age, Syncretism, Esoteric, Mysticism, Occultism (to identify just a few), believe that “matter” is a temporary, fallen state. They believe we are spirit, working our way up from “matter”.

 

When I was a New Ager, and believed in “Reincarnation”*, I thought that “mankind” was not intended to be human; I believed it was a base & gross condition because the reason we are “human” was a result of our departing from our intended state of being, which is “Spirit”. In that belief system, being a “human” is considered a mistake. Not really sure how we fell into that mistake but it was definitely something we were suppose to stop being and to get away from and correct because, being a human IS the reason for everything being wrong or imperfect.

 

In the aforementioned belief systems, that intended spirit-self is often referred to as the “Subtle body”. As a New Ager, my belief system was more causal, i.e. “westernized”, and we referred to it as your “soul”. It is this “soul” that enters the human experience, each time, becoming encased in “matter”, lifetime after lifetime.

 

For each lifetime, the “soul” decides upon a new “personality”, which is destined to live under a different set of circumstances, with the hope that the soul will evolve after each lifetime to the goal, which is to finally stay “Spirit” without human personality or in other words, perfect and divine. The soul strives to make its way back to that state of perfection and a progression in the striving is just being able to recognize your “ignorance” of this “truth”.

 

Suffice to say that this state of Perfection occurs at some far and distant time and after many, many lifetimes after the “soul” has been able to experience the gantlet of human experiences and has therefore, gained enough experience.

 

It’s easy to romanticize the idea of living more than one lifetime. Imagine! You could have been a king in ancient Egypt or a Mayan priestess or … the possibilities are endless (literally)! But that also means that the person you currently are in this lifetime will get swallowed up into the cosmic consciousness of your soul’s many, many lifetimes. Maybe you’ll even be a “past-life-regression”* experience for one of your soul’s future personalities. Aside from that possibility, the person you are now will be permanently cast aside, it is as if you were a piece of clothing and your soul strips you off like yesterday’s garment.

 

As a reincarnation believer, I believed that it was okay to lose your individual memories after each lifetime, over and over and that it was okay for each personality (lifetime person) to surrender to the “real” essence of who you are which is the soul.

 

 

The idea in Christianity, that we inherited sinfulness, that somehow we are effected, infected really, by Adam and Eve’s action of “fallenness” was repulsive to me because, “where is the fairness in that?”

 

It hardly seemed fair or Justifiable that a loving God could allow my soul to be effected because of the actions of another. But the following examples are true. We can catch a cold from a person. We can inherit a propensity for a particular disease or condition. So, its possible that even “Sin”, which we exhibit as selfishness, is inherited. We are BORN with this tendency. No one has to teach us to be selfish.

 

As a believer in reincarnation, I believed that a person who is mentally challenged in this life could be making up for his failings (sins) from another lifetime. As a Christian, I realize that God values a mentally challenged person as highly as he values a mentally average or a mentally exceptional person. He values life PERIOD; he does not rate its worth. He is the AUTHOR of life (Acts 3:15 and Hebrews 12:2).

 

It would almost be like stating that God values beautiful people more than he does ugly people. Maybe your response would be “beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Who can say what is beautiful and what is not?” Well, use that rationale on the mental capacity example. Are these two examples then so different? Whether we are considering outside appearance or mental capacity, it doesn’t matter to God. HE formed each of us. And whether we reflect the DNA in our family code or whatever, He has deemed our condition. Although the Christian worldview, believes we are broken, we also believe that God can override this; He does not make mistakes.

 

But I realize now that it is mankind who places value on beauty and on intellect and not God. Because He is the Creator, only He has a perfect overview of what is Good; we do not.

 

1 Samuel 16:7 ESV But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

 

When I believed in Reincarnation, I believed that a person goes through pain to pay for the sin they conducted in a past life. As a Christian, some of the reasons I believe there is pain is because, we live in a broken, fallen world and sin and free-will choices have ramifications; pain will cause us to rest in His strength and it helps us see that our ability to ride out a “storm” is NEVER dependent on our strength (2 Cor 12:9*); it draws us closer to God; it deepens our character, which could not have been developed otherwise and it creates empathy, allowing us to minister to others. Our Jesus suffered incredible pain, so our God knows exactly what we are going through and it grieves Him.

 

Celebrate death?

When I believed in Reincarnation, I believed you celebrate deaths because the deceased person has finished the lesson in this lifetime. You mourn births because that means that the soul of the person being born has not evolved enough to escape the cycle of being born, dying, being born, dying, etc., etc. A new birth means a soul has not passed on to perfection and true understanding.

 

I didn’t begin to think that this way of thinking was sad until after I’d become a Christian. Prior to being a Christian, the concept of Reincarnation gave me comfort because it meant that I’d have many more opportunities to becoming perfect and therefore worthy of becoming Spirit only. I didn’t see the “downside” of Reincarnation until after becoming a Christian, which is that “me”, who I was and who God created, would be long gone because it isn’t important to the “God” of that belief system.

 

Only after becoming a Christian, did the Holy Spirit* form in me a new logic process or worldview.

 

I learned that we were born to be human. Now this may seem like a huge misnomer but in the reincarnation worldview, you are not utmost human because it is a temporary and despised condition. But the truth shared through Christianity is that we were created human. Not a spirit being punished or trapped and so exiled to a coarse body of matter, trying through eons to become again spirit only.

 

Since becoming a Christian, I realize that, wow, God designed humankind to be HUMAN. We each express our unique and individual GOD-intended personalities! What a joy! Each of us was created/made/designed/intended to be human. God made ME! He intended me to always BE me. He loves ME so much that He wants me to be around forever!

 

And even more awe inspiring is that God made us in HIS image! In Genesis 1:27 (Old Testament Bible verse), when God first created the world and humans, it states, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them”.

Although, this concept is a Jewish belief and therefore also a Christian belief (because Christianity’s roots are Judaism), it has permeated our Western culture so much so that even an atheist, recognizes that humans have an inherent value.

 

But are we the humans God intended us to be? No, no one is and that IS the sad part of the story. This is a fallen, broken world but Jesus allows us to rise above that brokenness and become, through the acceptance of his sacrifice *sanctified, more like the human that God designed us to be. This is so much of what the New Testament is all about.

 

 

Endnotes:

* Reincarnation: (from dictionary.com) 1. The belief that the soul, upon death of the body, comes back to earth in another body or form. 2. Rebirth of the soul in a new body.

 

* “Past-life-regression”: it is a technique usually through hypnosis for the purpose of discovering a person’s past lives i.e. reincarnation.

 

 

* Holy Spirit: The Helper or Comforter. From New Testament Bible passage John 16:4b-15 English Standard Version, Jesus tells his disciples (students) before he allows the Romans to kill him:

The Work of the Holy Spirit

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

 

 

* Sanctification or Transformation: – the work of the Holy Spirit bringing a believer’s whole nature more and more under the influences of the new gracious principles implanted in the soul in regeneration after you have been justified; the process by which God brings the Christian to be the person God created him or her to be.

This is how it happens. First comes repentance because you feel conviction (thank you, Holy Spirit! Job well done!), then you are regenerated, justified, then comes a lifetime of Sanctification. You CANNOT be sanctified without first, being justified. To see more Christian definitions, visit my blog ‘here’

 

 

* 2 Corinthians 12:9: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Intro to Series | Blogging with Elaine - […] 3) ‘One Life to Live – against Reincarnation’ […]

Leave a Reply

You may freely reprint anything on this site for your personal use or for sharing with others as long as you include:
"By Elaine - http://www.BloggingWithElaine.com." Please do not make any changes without my permission. If you reprint it to your website or blog, please include a link back to this website. You can also share this page by clicking this share link: