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Summary: What happens after I die?

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This question relates to the idea of reincarnation. This notion has become popular today because of the rise of New Age thought in our culture, but its origins go back to eastern mysticism.

Reincarnation is the belief that the individual soul survives and is reincarnated into another body upon death. The good and bad deeds that we do add or subtract from our accumulated record, our karma. At the end of our life, we are rewarded or punished according to our karma by being reincarnated into either a painful or good new life. This process continues until the soul has fulfilled its destiny, learned its lessons, and become sufficiently enlightened so that it might revert to its divine status or is absorbed into (or realizes its timeless identity with) the Divine All.

The reincarnationist accepts four primary presuppositions:

#1: The problem facing man is imperfect discernment -

The idea behind reincarnation is that people need to discover the divinity within through "enlightenment," "attunement," "self actualisation" - whatever it may be called. This occurs through a shift in consciousness and when our consciousness is enlightened then we can escape the lie of our finiteness and realize our "oneness with the divine." Of course, this takes time for a person to figure out. Hence the need for reincarnation.

Also complicating matters is something the reincarnationist refers to as "karma." "Bad karma" refers to the things we did wrong in our past lives for which we are being punished in the present. "Good karma" refers to the things we did right in our previous lives for which we are being rewarded in the present. Since everyone is having to pay for previous mistakes from the past, that complicates, making it even more difficult to progress toward "enlightenment."

To add insult to injury, your next body could be an animal, vegetable or human depending on whether you were good or bad. Your past behavior catches up with you in your present life due to the law of karma. You could in your next reincarnation end up a clam, a carrot, a bush or a human being. Because of this, reincarnation is necessary because it provides one with an infinite number of lives through which they can figure things out.

So the idea is that a person is condemned to pass through one life-time after another until they achieve "enlightenment." Following this achievement, then, upon death, the process stops, and the person is absorbed into the "Divine All."

This whole idea does not make sense! The idea that we are reincarnated in order to learn lessons we failed to learn in a past earthly life is contrary to both common sense and basic educational psychology. I cannot learn something if there is no continuity of memory. I can only learn from my mistakes if I remember them. Additionally, how is it going to help me figure anything out if, because of "bad karma," I come back as bird, or a dog, or a cow?

Now, the reason this does not make sense is because reincarnation has its source in man’s imagination rather than God’s revelation.


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