Reincarnation, Free Will And The Future Author: Lonewind
In following the course of the current discussion on reincarnation and free will a thought has been persistently nagging away in the back of my mind. What if we are simply not looking at the whole picture – missing a critically large part of the concept while spending too much time looking back and not nearly enough, as in none at all, looking forward? Quite probably overlooking the surprisingly obvious should we step back and view the subject from a different perspective.
I have noticed that virtually all of the sources I have read over the years spent their time discussing past lives, karma, lessons to be relearned, old debts to be repaid, unfinished business to be taken care of, etc, etc. But there was a virtually complete lack of discussion concerning the future, and our personal preparation for it. I have since developed the very deep seated impression that the vast majority of us seem to regard a future life as some grey area of little importance which is casually allowed to be pushed aside by the pompously important and pervasive press of the here and now. That future being too remote and insubstantial to worry about at the moment. And I also believe that this is a fundamentally misguided approach – one that we all take unwittingly to a greater or lesser degree. Thereby ensuring that our next life my be surprisingly like this one – including all of the associated heartburn and frustration factors attached to not being or accomplishing something which is very important to our evolution as individuals.
Only a rare few among us seem to have a different perspective which guides them, occasionally consciously but predominantly otherwise, along a much different path. A path that, if you think about it for a moment, has a precedent in a relatively recent period of Western history. (I’ll expand on this point in a bit.)
I recently heard a comment on my favorite classical music radio station* that Mozart believed that he had been a musician in a great many previous lives and this was what gave him the ability to create his remarkable body of work with such ease and to perform it so adroitly. Interestingly, there have been a surprising number of composers of classical music who were brilliantly creative and demonstrated it at extremely young ages. And while I have never heard of one of them sharing Mozart’s opinion (remember the times they lived in!), it leads me to the conclusion that – quite probably – Mozart was absolutely right.
Think back along your life path and ask yourself this question: How many times have I met someone that seemed to have a natural, possibly even uncanny, “feel” for the way things need to be done in a given situation in their chosen field – or on occasion in a completely unrelated area? Those “go to” people who have an indefinable and unique talent for getting whatever done quickly and efficiently while the “degree people” or “management staff”** are thrashing around ineffectively. Where does this unique ability to know and understand instinctively things that so many of the rest of us struggle with come from?
In my current life I have had the privilege of knowing a small few of these people, working with and around them. And, while not all of them had the most pleasant of personalities, the experience has been both fascinating and very enlightening. These individuals have also seemed to be fairly evenly split on their ability to articulate the whys and wherefores of their creativity or were tongue tied and inclined to just a mumbled “that’s the way it needs to be” with no further explanation.
Based on these experiences and an awareness of cyclic patterns I have come to the conclusion that we all spend some indeterminate number of lifetimes, the number varying with the individual, exploring some specific field of interest or body of knowledge that appeals to our essential spirit. And that when we pass over into the summerlands that interest, curiosity and acquired knowledge travels with us and on our return to this plane of existence some of the essence of what we learned in that previous life returns with us. That knowledge may not manifest itself in an obvious manner, as in the example I used concerning the classical music composers earlier, but it will be there. It may appear as subtly as an innate ability to seemingly effortlessly grasp the fundamentals of a specific subject or group of subjects in school or the offhanded application of unexpected out-of-the-box thinking to solve some problem. Or it may be an unusual ability to master an extremely difficult and wide array of interrelated disciplines in a complex and dynamic field. Then again it may manifest as an “obsession”, i.e. an unexplainable and intense interest in travel, sports, art, science, a competitive environment or some other activity unrelated to what the insensitive, or insecure, think you should be doing.
And perhaps that is the clue that Mozart left behind for us to trip over in broad daylight – that some measure of the essence of what we know, as well as the essence of what we are, travels forward with us from life to life as we evolve as individuals into the future.
To accept that life is like a great wheel is to accept that as we go around the circle of life we are also completing a life cycle with each turn. Then by definition, each turn of the wheel is an individual lifetime. When we are born we are at the beginning of the day so to speak. When evening comes, our appropriately called twilight years, we prepare to rest for the evening so we may get a fresh start in the morning. And so it goes. From my perspective, a given lifetime is but a day in an indeterminately longer lifetime. And following this line of reasoning leads me to the conclusion that some essence of what we know follows us from life to life just as it does from day to day in a given life. The difference being that our knowledge on a daily basis in a given lifetime is vastly more detailed than the more general essence of specific knowledge that follows us through consecutive lifetimes.
And this leads me to another thought. I strongly suspect that most of us are dissatisfied with some portion of the direction of our lives to some degree and are looking for some way to do something about it at some level. And that’s where we need to follow our instincts, get to know and hopefully understand our “passion”, get friendly with all of those things we have had a long term interest in but kept putting on the back burner for some reason. While it’s probably not even remotely reasonable or practical for most of us to chuck it all and “do what you really want to do” that doesn’t mean that you can’t devote some time to studying those interests. Maybe take a few classes at the local college or adult education center, join a club of like minded people, go to the library or used bookstore and pick up a few recommended volumes. Immerse yourself in your newfound knowledge and see how well it fits. And if you’re not comfortable with what you’ve learned in your explorations then that body of knowledge is not for you at this time. Just be careful that you do not move on too soon or linger too long – keep in mind that the world is full of lousy teachers, opportunistic frauds, poorly written books and the most remarkable diamonds in the rough lurking in unexpected places (one of which might be hiding right in front of your eyes).
And here is where free will enters the picture. A bit earlier I mentioned that “rare few” who seem to be guided by a different perspective. I surmise that perhaps these people experienced a dynamic lifetime during the Renaissance Period when Europe was painfully shaking itself out of its self-inflicted dark ages, recently referred to as The Age of Religion, following the fall of Rome. A remarkable period with an explosive growth of knowledge, both rediscovered and new, infusing the European mind and immersing many influential people in some form of continuous education and discovery throughout their lives, or at least a substantial portion thereof. Following this line of thought to its obvious conclusion it appears to me that these people may have consciously, or more likely subconsciously, made the decision, a powerful exercise of free will in that period, to make the pursuit of knowledge a major influencing factor in their future lives.
And that is where free will is such a critical element of our individuality and growth. Free will is where the rubber meets the road.
If we choose to make continuous learning and education an intrinsic part of this life and all of our future lives we can confidently look forward to more fulfilling incarnations arching rainbow-like across our individual futures as we continue to follow our paths of growth around the ever-changing circle of life. Or you can choose to continue stumbling along blindly, not knowing your passion or purpose, and at some point in your next life you will ask, “Why me – what did I do wrong?” Just like you did in your last incarnation.
Footnotes: * My favorite classical music radio station – you can find them at http://www.KCME.org and they do webcast. A member supported source of classical music and jazz that operates 24/7. No, I don’t work there, just love the music.
** “Degree people” or “management staff” – not intended as a slap at those who have earned a degree and are serious about doing a good job. But is definitely and intentionally aimed at the insubstantial degree wavers and pointy hair bosses we all have suffered under.