Oh, wait! I thought this was going to be a post about what I think of karma… but it’s about reincarnation… You want to know if I believe in the idea that I have to do this shit all over again? Live my life again? Man, if I had to do this over again…
Look, I’m not into the whole spiritual stuff, since I barely practice religion (don’t judge me!) but it’s an interesting enough topic. I wasn’t clear on the definition of karma until I read the definition of reincarnation. So, I decided to look more in depth at karma and reincarnation, and although I didn’t delve farther than Wikipedia it was interesting information. Karma is what comes back to you depending on who you were in a past life. According to Tibetan Buddhism, it is almost impossible to come back in the next life as a human, so you would most likely come back as an animal or something else.
Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life’s actions. It is the universal process that gives rise to the cycle of death and rebirth, governed by karma.
So apparently, your reincarnation is based on your karma from your former life. Your jiva, or soul, goes from one being to the next depending on what you did before. Your past life determines what you become, be that human, animal or spiritual divinity, when you reincarnate or are reborn. I was not aware that karma wasn’t just “what goes around comes around” but more or less what determines your rebirth when you die.
[Born > Live > Die > Reborn]
All religions that believe in reincarnation believe in a type of karma, but generally that all karma is the result of your actions. Certain extremes would be that God has preordained all the events in our life meaning that humans do not exhibit free will at all. These are people who believe their actions are that of God’s will and not their own. God knew we were going to mow the lawn on Monday long before we did, so he already has out lives drawn out for us. Fate.
Karma is a way for us to believe in something bigger than us. Not necessarily God Himself, but more or less the existence of a different power and a goal. The ultimate goal being reaching nirvana, the final state of zen, and our souls no longer need to reincarnate anymore.
Whether you are reborn into new flesh upon death, your soul somehow travels into the next newborn anything, wouldn’t you want your new life to be a good one? That means you need to be nice to people. Karma is all about getting what you give; that golden rule. Reincarnation is about being reborn til you have done so well in life that you reach that final plane of zen. Your nirvana, your heaven.
Whatever your beliefs, be it reincarnation, heaven or hell, nirvana, Mars, you should always believe in the power of living a good life. A life that, if you were going to be reincarnated it wouldn’t be an animal that gets abused, or lives out on the street. Be someone you would be proud to says is yours and you would be happy to do it all over again.
It’s never too late to be a good person. The biggest joy can come from the smallest good deeds. Make your life count for something. You don’t have to believe in reincarnation, but you can believe in the fact that when you sow goodness, you reap goodness, regardless of religious or spiritual background.
Inspired by: The Daily Prompt