From here I have to wonder what the truth behind my experience of reincarnation is.
Intellectually I know that there were traditions in Judaism and early Christianity that were friendly to the idea of reincarnation, among them gnosticism. But I find myself less attached to gnosticism; my theology feels like it only touches on some gnostic ideas but I’m feeling less enthusiastic about whether one can truly pursue an enlightened path exactly as I am, a libertine with indulgent tendencies.
I’m not sure quite what to believe. I don’t buy for a moment that what I saw of those lives- William, James, Jack, and Phil in particular- was some demonic deception because demonic deceptions don’t drive one to seek God. I know the channels by which these flashes came to me as my own channels, even as I know my own memories, my own thoughts, and my own will.
But were they lives I lived? And if we reincarnate what does this mean for our destiny at the end of days? I cannot believe that the universe will exist in infinity; neither scripture nor science would support that. Perhaps another universe would emerge from the Fifth Dimension at some point in time but when this one dies in its inevitable heat death, where will we be? What becomes of mind when there is no matter in which to manifest?
There was a thought I had, that these were souls with whom I shared some affinity, who in late 2012 entered my body in preparation for God’s Judgment- perhaps even to receive one last chance at redemption through me. But that raises serious questions, like “what did I do wrong last time?” What could any of them have done in their lifetimes that was more damning than anything I’ve done in mine? Are we not all creatures of Hubris?* And did I not call upon the name of Christ to be my deliverer many times throughout the ages?
While I breathe I will pray that the answers will come. These past few days I am immersed in hagiographies, scripture, and deep reflection. My Anglican vicar friend (whose acquaintance has been a profound blessing in my life) says it sounds to him like I’m living a deep mystery of the faith.
Deep mysteries have found me throughout my life but this is by far the deepest. My whole life- and perhaps many lifetimes before- now stand in contrast to what I feel. I don’t believe I have ever lived the life of a Christian saint but more and more I feel that life calling to me in a way that is ineffable and beautiful and more loving and complete than I have ever felt. It takes me to quiet places, plants thoughtful words on my tongue, and asks of me questions that only a lifetime may answer. This is possession, but it is possession by a powerful and awesome spirit in whom I am content.
*The Greek word used in the New Testament for “sin” is “αμαρτια,” which is the word Aristotle used in his Poetics to mean “hubris.” Thus I take τα γαρ οψωνια της αμαρτιας θανατος to be a reference to the deadly hubris described in Aristotle, painting the human being thus as a tragic figure with little hope of redemption except through radical divine love. Here sin is not what you do but your tendency to err on the side of ego, which accords well with my experiences thus far. But I could be mistaken.