Would You Find Bliss in Reincarnation?

Hindus believe the self or soul (atman) repeat...

Hindus believe the self or soul (atman) repeatedly takes on a physical body. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s prompt from Michelle at WordPress~

Reincarnation: do you believe in it?

I don’t know.  In the last little while a fellow blogger (grosenberg Feb 7, 2013) talked about the fact that “I don’t know” is one of the most honest answers you can give. And I agree. When it comes to reincarnation, I just don’t know. I don’t discount it. I don’t not believe in it. But I also do not know if it is something that really happens.

I sometimes wonder why we are supposed to be faith based. Why do we have so many unanswered questions? If they were answered, would be sealing our fate as Adam and Eve did?

Reincarnation has a number of synonyms: rebirth, re-creation, reawakening, restoration, re-embodiment, recreation (I assume this is the same as re-creation, and not referencing activities such as baseball or beer drinking).

 Definitions generously provided by my Encarta Dictionary for reincarnation say that “in some systems of belief, the cyclic return of a soul to live another life in a new body”; “ a person or animal in whose body somebody’s soul is born again after he, she, or it has died”; or more simply “a reappearance of something in a new form”.

I like to keep an open mind. And I do not like to discount other’s beliefs unless they are harmful. Reincarnation is a religious concept as well as philosophical, and in those terms I am not prepared to reduce it to something I do not believe in.

Français : L'actrice américaine Shirley MacLai...

Shirley MacLaine 1987. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I find the concept fascinating. That we have more than one chance at life. Different chances, different experiences. If I have been reincarnated, I wonder what my other lives were—and why I don’t remember them.  Shirley MacLaine does. Maybe we should ask her.

Would you find bliss if in fact we knew there was such a thing as reincarnation?

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  1. Like you, I don’t discount spiritual/religious beliefs of others. I can say without at doubt, the thought of being reincarnated does not cause me to experience bliss. My answer is no.

    • just out of interest – what makes you uncomfortable about it?

      • Not uncomfortable, just not interested in my soul returning to this world. When I leave this life, I’m done.

      • I like a girl who knows her own mind…….and soul! 🙂

  2. I don’t happen to believe in reincarnation. I know that there are some even Christian theologians who use some words in scripture to say there is but I believe as Christ came once to offer salvation then to say we come more than once means he’s have to keep offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins again.

    I think that there are those who believe in it so that they can think there second time will be better than the present one.

    I think people who believe they know who they were in a past life are experiencing an enhanced version of a dream. And I think if one delves into this sort of thing they are inviting a form of psychic belief…This is my opinion only…Diane

  3. I believe in it fully. I can certainly understand why some might not, or would doubt it, though.

    All that being said, I often joke that I hope this is my last life on this earth. I’m certain I don’t want to come back here.

    • that seems to be a theme today – someone else mentioned that they did not want to come back here either.

  4. The idea of reincarnation does not bring me bliss! On the contrary, it makes me a little nauseous! LOL!
    I believe in a pre-existence, where our spirits lived before we were born. Next, I believe our mortal life here on earth was created for us as an opportunity to live away from our Heavenly Father with the opportunity to grow spiritually. Finally, I believe in a heaven, where hopefully we return to live with God again.
    Maybe when people get the sense that they know someone that they’ve never met before, it’s because they knew each other in the pre-existence?
    I’ve read enough near death experiences that confirm my beliefs. But then again, when all is said and done, I don’t know for sure. I just have my gut instincts.
    Great post, LouAnn! I love thinking about all these spiritual and philosophical things.

    • me too – I never really come to an answer, but I guess life is about the search–I kind of like some of your beliefs

      • Thanks, LouAnn! It comforts me to think that we are all finding our way home and that we may have known each other before we came here. 🙂
        Hope you have a happy day!

      • I like that thought – makes me understand why I connect to some people so well – you certainly being at the top of the list — happy day to you too – LouAnn

  5. Hmmm… hope certainly. Bliss would be contingent on knowing reincarnation had method and reward, not just a recycling of essence at random. Although I suppose any life can be wonderful (almost).

    Since energy never really disappears I believe some essential part of ourselves continues and merges with others – anything beyond that, though, I’m still in the “undecided” column.

    • yes, I too would not want it just to be recycling, but a reward —
      my energy needs some re-energizing while I still have it

  6. Great post, LouAnn. I saw Michelle’s prompt today so I had been thinking about it before I read your post.I think reincarnation is a compelling argument for what eastern philosophy would say moves us towards enlightenment. With each new life, the soul becomes more aware of its connection to source through growth, evolution, understanding. And there has been a lot written about it. The stories of the lamas in Tibet, children recounting past lives, etc. Does it bring me bliss? I suppose so. It’s comforting to me to think that I might have other chances at a physical body. We cling to these bodies because they have the potential to bring us pleasure in ways that may be quite different “on the other side.” I’ve had a few experiences that I might call past-life rememberings – very curious and totally unfabricated, so the concept challenges me to wonder…Do I believe in it? Just not sure, but I might like to…

    • very thoughtful comment – deja vu sometimes makes me feel like I have been here, done that before — whenever it happens, it is like a camera focusing out to take a long shot

  7. Nah, I rather hang out with God in the house He’s built for me in Heaven surrounded by loved ones.
    But each to their own and if the thought of reincarnation brings someone else bliss, that’s okay too.

  8. I do believe in reincarnation. I had this recurring dream as a young child, it was always the same and in the same geographical location. At 9 my grandparents took me on a cross country trip. On the way back I suddenly sat up and described a place we were about to come to and that we had to stop. I described all the natural land formations, not knowing their names but tapping into my dream for the descriptions. Few miles down the road, there it was. Exactly as I had seen it. The land is part of the Navajo reservation and nothing I ever seen pictures of before. Since then I like to think that we come back in a better place/way based on how we live the life we are living right now. Yes, that would give me bliss.

  9. I’m not sure if the knowledge of reincarnation would bring me bliss. Maybe if I could come back as a cat. Or maybe try out Ryan Reynolds body for a while. I think I could have fun with it..

    • ha ha – I love your take on things–always funny and clever — I would really have to thing about who or what to come back as though–

  10. […] Would You Find Bliss in Reincarnation? (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com) […]

  11. No. Don’t believe in it. Good read tho.

  12. I’ve read some amazing stories that point to the possibility. I dunno. But I’m not frightened by the thought… intrigued, yes.

  13. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if it exists, then so be it…just another ride to take! I just can’t make sense of it, given my theological point of view. But I also will be quick to say that I think there is so much we don’t see/understand about our universe and spiritual selves. Whatever life we’re living, make it a great one, and then whatever the reality is, we, and those around us, are making the best of what we have. Too Pollyannish?! A long winded way to say: I don’t know! ~ Sheila

    • Pollyanna was practical not over the top — this was a great comment as it weighed everything

  14. this is actually my second read today. I love that you do that LouAnn. You make me think all day sometimes. Maybe God will have other plans for me when I reach Heaven.. I can hang out for a bit and then he’ll have another job for me? Who knows? Deja Vu freaks me out.. it is very unsettling. I do not have an answer for you.

    • be nice to hang around and get a good rest before you are off on another adventure

  15. I do believe in reincarnation but I’ve also heard the theory of parallel lives, so I wonder if all of them are possible? I don’t think I would consider it bliss but definitely intriguing. The endless possibilities could be considered blissful!

    • the theory of parallel lives has always intrigued me–but like most things I do not understand it

      • I don’t understand it all either but maybe that’s where I find the bliss: the infinite possibilities!

      • excellent point

  16. Reincarnation? Let me think about that! Well actually I have-some. I have met several people that looked so familiar to me and yet we had not met before. How to explain that- I don’t think it has anything to do with having lived before. There is just some some kind of weird connection such as that I have gotten from about 4-5 fellow bloggers and we are now friends of a sort. One more so than the others. But when I read their blogs something in the tone of the writing struck an instant cord with me- like a gravatational pull. Odd that way. And I don’t know these people from Adam and they are not Americans. Odd again.

    But the one thing I have to say here and I am not sure how many people actually read the comments. If there is re-incarnation maybe that is why Christ said we would be born again. Here too I must clarify. I say that I am a Christian but is there a heaven and a hell- I am not sure about that either .

    One last note. I think but not actually believe( is there a difference?) that some animals have souls simply because of their close connection to humans and I think that some not all come back to us again as another pet. That is my way of appeasing the death of pet. Purley psychological. It helps with grief. I got off the rails here but I had to get to my answer in a round about way.No brevitry here today. Lou Ann.

    I don’t believe that I want to live again. This life has been plenty for me.Too many trials and tribulations and it might be a repeat of the same old BS or even worse.

    • I think that is interesting that you think pets have souls and come back as another pet — I never thought of that, but it is comforting,
      My answer about reincarnation is that it is certainly something to think about–and I am not sure we have a choice about it

  17. […] Would You Find Bliss in Reincarnation? (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com) […]

  18. I don’t know either. But if reincarnation is possible, I’d like to come back as a published author.

  19. Mmmm – not sure. I wouldn’t want to come back as a cockroach!

  20. Not sure that I believe in it. But – I don’t discount it either. I’d like to think that as I come back – my life gets better & better though. Bliss in reincarnation – no. If I can’t recall it – I don’t have any feeling about it.

  21. I’m like you in that I don’t discount it but I can’t fully invest in it either. If we’re all actually reincarnations, I kind of think that maybe the reason why most of us don’t remember our past lives (at least not consciously) is because we need to learn for ourselves in each life and if we remember our past lives, we might just end up following those as examples without living for ourselves in this life. Maybe I’m overthinking this but definitely a subject for lots of thought!

    • that makes a lot of sense – if we are reincarnated we are meant to learn new things

  22. The list of great thinkers who believe in re-incarnation is endless, from Aristotle to Charles Lindbergh, Herman Hesse to Tolstoy to pick at random from the list… many such thinkers believe this is why people have particular talents, because they mastered them in another life.
    There is also research to show that cultures and peoples who believe in re-incarnation are happier and more relaxed… they know that death is not the end.

    Re-incarnation is seen in these cultures as a way of redeeming past mistakes and developing spiritually. When people talk about old souls, they generally mean that person has learned wisdom from many lives

    Yes, I believe in re- incarnation, and have had many experiences of other lives. They have never been glamorous, and many – mankind being what it is – have been as a slave. The idea of discovering a past life is to know what unfinished business or behaviour patterns we’ve carried over into this life-time in order to free ourselves from limiting beliefs..So we actually become happier people…

    • you have put a light on a subject I know little about – but I certainly do understand the comfort factor
      it is fascinating that you have had many experiences in other lives–maybe you know this because you are more aware or awakened

      • NO, you don’t need to be awakened or aware! There are various ways in which people can tap into what someone called far memory, and there are many therapists who use past life therapy to clear up neuroses. And masses of books on the subject too!

      • I will have to do a little research – a fascinating subject for sure

  23. Add me as one of the people who does not want to come back here after this life ends. I do think it’s possible that reincarnation is a real thing, but I’d rather just hang out in the ether with my friends after I’m done down here.

    • from others who have commented, I wonder if we do come back but to build on our strengths–that is the only way I would want to come back

  24. I am not very educated in the aspects of reincarnation but yes, bring my soul back..i would love to think our souls live on infinity..

  25. I like the idea of reincarnation, and karma, no doubt influenced by the many Buddhist texts I have read and the works of the Dalai Lama in particular, whose own story of being identified as a reincarnate is fascinating and wonderful.

    Interestingly, I am currently reading Kate Atkinson’s new novel Life After Life, which addresses a form of reincarnation more like Groundhog Day, although this idea of returning as the same person isn’t what I imagine.

    Sometimes I think reincarnation, past lives and the imagination are all inter-related, inevitably it must always remain something of a mystery, but it is interesting that the Tibetan people use a kind of test to try and prove it.

    • and what is their test? – I must really read up on the topic -am going to look for Life After Life – thanks for the suggestion

      • So the current Dalai Lama, when he was discovered, was presented with personal items belonging to the 13th Dalai Lama along with a number of things that didn’t belong to him. If he really was the reincarnate, he would recognise them. It is said that when he saw the things, he grabbed them saying “That’s mine, that’s mine”. It is a fascinating story and one that has been repeated over many generations. Quite apart from his own story of descendancy is reading his own work, equally captivating and full of great wisdom.

      • got Life After Life on hold at the library – thanks for the info–I am going to build on it

  26. It’s an empirical question of course. Schoepenhauer said that if we knew what happens after death there would be no religion business.
    My second novel (already released on Amazon!) titled One Life or The Lives of Chester Knowles is about a reincarnation. I try to explain the business of reincarnation, and poor Chester is obsessed with it at first, but even after all my glib and silly explanations, nobody knows.

    • then you are an expert of sorts–congrats on the release–a thing to celebrate — is the second time sweeter?

      • I think my second book is the better one, but perhaps it’s a bit too fanciful to be popular. As for sweetness, both of my books took a long time to do and they would be sweeter if I sold a couple. Currently I am on a hiatus from writing. although if this comment goes on much longer…..

  27. […] Would You Find Bliss in Reincarnation? (onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com) […]

  28. To answer your specific question, I would not find bliss in reincarnation. I don’t think we should merely believe in what is appealing, but I do find that the Christian hope I believe in to be the most appealing. My physical body will be resurrected to live in the new heavens and earth that the present creation is a glimpse of. Call me bound to what i know, but if I love this life why wouldn’t I love this life perfected? And that is the true Christian hope that many don’t know about, having become muddied with the resurgence of ancient gnosticism – that salvation is the eternal liberation of our ethereal spiritual existence apart from the world of matter. I think I would rather be what I am only perfected than be a ghost. It may seem selfish but I didn’t set up the Christian hope, it is what it is, but I agree that it is good. Just like when God made us at first he said ‘it is good.” By the way I was interested in other religions before I became a Christian.

    • I like your outlook–you have obviously been a seeker and found what satisfies you–I agree that I too would be happy to be perfected as you explain it

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