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When the Dragon Stirs

Healing our Wounded Lives through Fairy Stories, Myths and Legends

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Gonna Lay Down my Sword
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A Complexity Perspective on Human Evolution from our Violent Past to a Compassionate Future

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My first book..

When the Dragon Stirs

Healing our Wounded Lives through Fairy Stories, myths and Legends

When the Dragon Stirs Book Cover

The Dragon

Line

My next book...
Gonna Lay Down my Sword
and Shield

A Complexity Perspective on Human Evolution from our Violent Past to a Compassionate Future

Mandelbrot Set

Articles by Victor

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Life After Death and Reincarnation

from a talk given at the Dunedin Spiritualist Church in May 1998

Lately, I have been thinking about life after death and reincarnation. I feel a bit like the woman who said, "I don't believe in reincarnation, but maybe I will in my next life". I find myself unable to see life after death or reincarnation quite as it is usually proposed.

To begin, all life comes from spirit, which is eternal. We usually think of eternal as something that continues on and on forever. But more exactly, eternal is beyond time. It is very hard to get an understanding of what 'beyond time' might mean, because we exist where everything we do involves time. Beyond time has no beginning or no end, there is no before or after. Anything beyond time is changeless because change takes time. Everything in the world we know, which is 'in time' changes. Even the mighty mountains will one day crumble away to nothing.
From spirit, which is timeless emerged creation, which requires time. We are a mix of spirit beyond time, and a body and soul in time.
 
The eternal is also beyond space. For spirit, there is no such thing as a place. There is no here or there. In the eternal, everything is one. Nothing in eternity exists separately. Anything separate is no longer eternal.
Keeping these ideas in mind, we can begin to investigate the nature of death. To start with, it is obvious the spirit cannot die, since it has no beginning or ending. Our spirit does not leave us on death, because spirit doesn't change. It is in all and through all. Spirit is in the trees and rocks and in a corpse. There is however, a spark of life, which brings our physical forms into life. That does leave at death, but it exists in time.

The way I picture it is that we have here on top, spirit, timeless and unchanging. Below it, although it really should be connected is our world 'in time'. This surface represents the energy of the universe 'in time'. It includes all physical matter, all astral, etheric and mental realms. It is hooked up by this 'spark of life' that links the energy forms 'in time' to the eternity of spirit and hey presto! We have life. At death, spirit does not change, but rather the spark detaches and the elements that made life drop away and die. Our physical body slowly disintegrates and returns to the elements. It takes from months to years to happen. In the same way our soul disintegrates and returns to the elements it is made of. Instead of months and years, it takes centuries for the soul to die.

Since everything in time has an end, our body, soul, and all our separate identity will eventually die. We have no individual self that lives forever. 
There is life after death because the soul maintains consciousness after it leaves the physical body until it finally dies. This soul is what is contacted when a clairvoyant makes connection with what we in the Spiritualist Church call, "spirit". Each of those "spirits" who pass on messages each Sunday night will die in time.

We do, however live forever, because our true nature is spirit, and that remains in eternity while our body and soul die.

Next, we investigate reincarnation. Reincarnation as we have come to know it is the process where after a lifetime our body dies, but our spirit moves on take on a new body where it takes the form of another human life. We therefore have a succession of lives, one after the other, each moving closer and closer to perfection.

This simply cannot be because spirit is beyond time and space. For spirit there is no before or after, no life followed by another. For spirit all time is one time, past present and future are one. Therefore, from the point of view of spirit, there can be no such thing as reincarnation. Reincarnation is just something that appears to be, when we are 'in time'.

It is possible that the energy that has been dissipated when the spark of life left is drawn back together again and is lifted once more and hooked to spirit to form another life. I am not sure that energy once dissipated can be reformed like that. It goes against all the natural laws of physics, as we know them. A glass jar once broken, is broken and cannot be made into the same jar again. Perhaps some of the previous energy is retained and remolded. Perhaps the soul energy of several people combines to make one new life?

Buddhists, with whom we often associate the idea of reincarnation, affirm our previous conclusion that there is no separate self that moves from one life to the next. 

They tell us that what moves on from life to life is not our individual self, but rather our unfulfilled desires in the form of karma. Our bundle of desires, unfulfilled dreams and physical cravings propel us into taking on another physical body. This certainly sounds more plausible. However I am happy to be convinced otherwise, but I can't tell the difference between an individual clump of karma and an individual self.

I am also unsure about karma. It all sounds a bit like a convenient way of explaining the unfairness of life. If life seems unfair, its too easy to explain it as a result of something in a past life. As well as creating our future by our words, thoughts and actions, the world creates us by its thoughts words and actions. If we are one with other people, we share their karma and take some of the responsibility for their actions too. I think we are given the experiences we need to enable spirit to be realized. We may or may not have deserved those experiences and don't necessarily need to feel personally responsible when things go wrong. I am intuitively drawn to a different picture of reincarnation.

All our 'in time' identity, we have seen, comes up from the bottom up. We, as humans, have similarly evolved through time, over many millennia, from the bottom up, slowly progressing to higher and higher states of consciousness, ever closer to our true state, spirit. When we delve into our unconscious mind, we are regressing downwards, away from higher levels of consciousness.

It is interesting and correct that we use the term past life regression for the process of visualization that opens us to information from a 'past life'. Accessing 'past life' information is a regression into the unconscious realms rather than a progression into higher consciousness. 

As we delve into our unconscious mind, we eventually reach the point where we have a shared mind; where your mind and mine become entwined. Where we become unconsciously one with everyone who has ever lived, is living, or will ever live. We then have access to information not available to us in our normal waking state. Once we have reached into this shared mind, we are drawn to the unconscious energy of beings whose energy is similar to our own. Like attracts like. We link with someone whose life contains images which reflect our own. We link to people we can learn from. This gives the impression that we actually were that particular person. This link is formed through time, so the links seem to form a sequence of lives one after the other. In fact we only have an energy link with them and access their being through the shared mind, rather than actually having been those people. 

Strangely, it is equally true to say that because we can link to the being of everyone who was, is, or will be, that we are in fact all reincarnations of each other. We are, here and now, everyone who has ever lived, is living, or will live.

This is not to say that the regression can not be useful. By reaching down to information in our unconscious mind, we can learn about deeper, less evolved, parts of ourselves. 

Therefore, life after death and reincarnation are not what we have thought them to be. We don't live forever as individual beings. There will be a day when you and I are no more. That might seem gloomy, but we must look at the wider picture. Our true nature is spirit. From timelessness, we emerged into time in a state of unconsciousness. At the beginning of our evolution, we were not even aware that we existed. We became aware that we had an individual existence, that I was separate from you. Having come to know and identify with our separate self, our next step is strangely, to lose it. We must next evolve to surrender our 'self', to die to time, and thereby enter eternity, beyond time and space, when we will be home again; in nirvana, in the kingdom of heaven. Then our journey in time will have ended.

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