I tried to walk away from believing anything I have said previuosly about reincarnation. I had been nearly ready to convince myself that there was nothing to gnosticism either, that it was an aberration, a wild antique heresy.
But the first thing to go was the sense of normalcy, to be honest. There are certain topics I still avoid in conversation, certain music or videos I avoid watching with my partners. There are still moments I have to stave off a freakout over bad memories by hugging my cat and I play it all normal for my partners but I’m actually terrified.
I tried to brush it away with theology but that raised far more questions. The Judeo-Christian theology on the afterlife is much more complex than I could have ever imagined (in some Jewish texts, for example, souls still get their Shabbat even in Gehenna). The verse in Luke about the great divide fixed in place between the righteous and wicked is interesting, and supports the orthodox notion that Jesus spoke of an immovable obstacle that had been placed between the damned and the redeemed. But wasn’t that the point, in orthodox theology, of the crucifixion, to bridge that divide and redeem everyone? And what was the default belief at the time of Christ, versus the belief at the dawn of Rabbinical Judaism or the days when the First Temple was just a tent in the Judean desert? Whither the change? I can’t ignore the notion, shared with certain Eastern religions, that reincarnating in this realm is some form of lesser punishment. But did I not declare the name of Christ? Maybe that’s what Matthew 7:21 is all about. I had not known Christ before. My last life’s “baroque” theology was a dead end. My theology of late has been turning in a Rabbinical direction though I am not yet planning to convert to Judaism. Time will tell.
I guess what I’m getting at with my semi-organized ramblings here is that my experiences have shaped me in ways I can’t fathom. I don’t talk about the war much any more these days (starting to understand why the lads who made it home never did) but it’s still background radiation in my life and it’s changed the landscape.