Consider The Cycle of Rebirths
Centuries before Jesus’ birth, various branches of Hinduism came forth with a concept known as reincarnation. In more recent times this belief has been modified from the original models so that our spiritual entities re-enter our solid forms only as human beings, not animals. Also, the concept of karma has equally been modified or deleted from the modern model.
Each lifetime offers a clean slate for growth and the expansion of each entity’s inner world of creative energy. The risk that entities assume upon entry into solid form, however, is whether or not they will awaken to the greater reality from the one they perceive with their senses.
The repeated cycle of rebirths was once a thought pattern held by Christians. The concept was narrowly defeated at the Council of Constantinople in A.D. 553 when it was dismissed from Christian theology on a vote of 3 to 2. The concept was accepted by Origen, St. Augustine and St. Francis of Assisi. Interestingly, Jesus once asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am? They answered, “Some say Elijah; others say, John the Baptist,” suggesting that such thinking was also a shared understanding among the people of Jesus’ day.
The signs of such cycles of rebirth have been present in every generation but have seldom been considered as a possible explanation for child prodigies, or that brief period in history when great composers of music cycled through our world or a possible explanation why a number of individuals have easily mastered ten to fifteen languages. Many people have experienced fleeting moments of past memories but have had no background in such thinking to connect the dots. What are the origins of such highly developed skills and the fleeting remembrances of ancient memories?
It became much easier for believers, for example, to say, “Jesus was the Son of God” than to consider that he was an old soul that has chosen to recycle into solid form countless times in order to bring new understanding (light) to listeners about the potential of our species.
Jesus planted a seed, or spiritual skill set, that would help people to escape the countless illusions offered within the material world. He brought to humanity the pearl of great price, i.e., the internalization of values, the acknowledgement of a vast internal world where power and human potential had infinite possibilities when expressed through loving energy patterns. He called this consciousness, the source of which is invisible to our senses, The Kingdom of God.
Where did his command over the material world come from? Where did his remarkable wisdom and insights have their origin? Was his father Joseph that wise with his instruction? Were the rabbis who possibly taught him that informed? None of Jesus’ thought patterns about consciousness existed at this time in the Hebrew world.
The Scriptures tell us that Jesus’ personhood truly was of divine origin, i.e., from the seed of our Creator. If we could have tested Jesus’ DNA, for example, would his genetic signature have revealed that he, indeed, was not one of us? Was he truly like Hercules of mythology – half god and half human? Or, was Jesus truly God incarnate? These two ideas would imply that humans could never succeed at personalizing Jesus’ teachings unless they, too, were divine in some fashion.
There is a universal nature about the understanding that cycles-of-rebirth is a viable alternative to “our going around once in life.” Entities do not need to have an orientation toward life that is filled with religious symbols, traditions and heritage in order to offer their gifts to the material world.
People with highly evolved spirits have given us art, music, new ways for prolonging our lives, insights into engineering and new ways to secure sources of energy that will meet the needs of future generations. The world of spirit and the world of our physical environment must coexist peacefully if our species is to survive.
Understanding our lives as one chapter in a lengthy dramatic novel encompassing many lifetimes is far more compelling than believing that Heaven or Hell awaits those who spent their lives succeeding or failing according to some external ethic or standard of righteousness. Again, we simply do not begin life in an environment that encourages speculation in the areas of our origin or about what happens to us when our physical forms can no longer sustain our consciousness.
Our species is very limited in its collective understanding on any topic and we are still in the very primitive, aggressive stage of our evolution. What a relief it is when we realize that we have more chances to grow our loving life-patterns, more opportunities to refine what we know and many more moments in a future time to engage in more enlightened patterns of creativity.
People can become trapped by their poverty of understanding that one life is all there is. It is no wonder that some people reach their senior years disillusioned about dreams that went unfulfilled, plans that never materialized and misfortunes that they believe robbed them of reaching their goals. Equally, those that have “had it all” can become like King Solomon who questioned why all his material possessions never added meaning to his life. Alas, now there is a reason not to fret. God’s form of justice lies beyond our grasp. God’s love and mercy assures us that there will always be a next time. Such a thought, however, has seldom been taught by the teachers of our faith.