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religion, spirituality

Rebirth: My take on Reincarnation

I want to talk about clouds for a second. I know that it is pretty uninteresting unless you are either the meteorologist type or some teenager experiencing acid for the first time.

Normally, whenever I see clouds they are being tracked by some people in a studio filled with blue screens, radar, Doppler, and a weatherperson with an ironically fitting name like Larry Sprinkle or Amy Freeze. But they always come from somewhere else, usually to the west or some variant of west (NW, SW, NNW, WSW, etc.) However, if you keep going west to where the clouds are coming from you end up right back where you were.

Now, I understand the process of how weather happens; I went to first grade too. I learned the Water Cycle Song just as well as the booger-eater next to me.

EVAPORATION
CONDENSATION
PRECIPITATION on my mind
they’re all parts of the Water Cycle
and they happen all the time
.

Not exactly a Paul Simon tune but it got the point drilled into our 7 year old heads. But perhaps we can attach to it something more magical.

Since as long as I can remember, I have heard about reincarnation and karma, most frequently in the pedestrian sense.

“Karma is a bitch.”

“I hope you get reincarnated as a dung beetle.”

First, we have to come to terms with reincarnation, rebirth, born again, karma, and other such ilk as a real thing. So, how does it work? Can it be broken down into a childish song?

INCRIMINATION
EXPIRATION
REINCARNATION in my third eye
they’re all parts of karmic dogma
and they happen several times.

Okay, so this is obviously a wild oversimplification but it does touch on the most basic points. The things you do in this life, good or bad; will decide your reincarnated form when you die. Purportedly, the worse your actions are, the worse your level of rebirth. If you act like a cur in this life, you will come back as a dog in the next. Inversely, the better you are, the fewer rebirths it takes to reach the ultimate goal of Nirvana, which is the attainment of pure enlightenment and the end of reincarnation for your spiritual self (soul).

That said, here is where I fork from the basic concept. Because if you really want to attain true enlightenment, one of the things you will have to realize is that simple is better. Humans are an exceedingly complex species with a wide range of emotions and intentions that aren’t felt by any other member of the animal kingdom.

Simplicity is a way of moving beyond the jealousy and ill-will of mankind to a place of modesty. The reason for reincarnation is to learn from the mistakes of one lifetime and apply them to the next until you become a humble beautiful creature worthy of a dip in the lazy river of consciousness.

Here is an example, if I lived a life as a real scumbag of a person, the traditional sense would say that I would be reincarnated as a mangy dog or a sand flea or something else considered lower than human in the universal caste system. This means another spin in the rock tumbler of existence and another rebirth to try to get it right once again.

But to me, if one were to be reincarnated as a dog, I believe that is a step toward enlightenment and not away from it. To me, dogs are less complicated than humans but still have some of the same domineering instincts. But if enlightenment is the goal, simplicity is the path and any step away from the complexity of human-kind is in the right direction toward Nirvana.

Honestly, what is simpler than a housefly or a worm? They simply exist to add to the overall spirit of the universe. There are no backstabbing moths, there are no envious slugs.

This brings me back to clouds.

What if the last form you take before moving on to Nirvana is that of a cloud?
Think of the human aspects that are attributed to clouds

-Clouds often look like objects and symbols we recognize

­-Clouds are described with emotions like angry clouds, brooding and dark.

-They also offer shade and rain to those that may need it or bring destruction along with them. These sound more like people than they do of condensed groups of evaporated water.

Maybe we have been thinking of reincarnation in the wrong way. Maybe working on being the best human you can be is only one path that leads to the same destination.

Sure, if you had the option to pick the easy road or the treacherous climb, most would choose the easier road. Why wouldn’t you? It’s the same reason people buy fast food when they could make it at home. We are conditioned to walk the path of least resistance.

The important thing to realize is that no matter what, no matter how good or bad we may be, we are always moving toward enlightenment whether we believe in it or not. There is no other option than to rejoin the universe as your purest state. You can do that while staring down at your shoes and scuffling along the long and lonesome road, the same one that we all have the tendency to create for ourselves.

Or you can hold your head high, know that the universe is waiting for you and appreciate a cloudy day for what it could be…another group of spirits that will be waiting for us when we get to where they are going.

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