Quick. Which would you prefer:
1. Life after death, based on the notion of reincarnation (rising up or falling down the food chain depending on good or bad deeds in this life), or
2. The all or nothing of heaven and hell.
Though of Christian sensibilities, I’ve always much preferred reincarnation for chiefly one reason: it is so inclusionary.
Christianity has always struck me as arrogantly human-centric: my dog hasn’t much of a chance of getting to heaven (but probably as much a chance as I do).
But with reincarnation my dog might be my fallen great-great grandfather who is heading onwards and upwards, and because she’s such a great dog, upwards still. I like that.
I was sent a link to a wonderful Sikh site called Project Naad — Infinity through Simplicity. Nice, ah, Infinity through Simplicity. As good is the meaning of Naad: ‘the essence of all sounds.’ I will read through the site over time.
My first step was to read about the Sikh take on Life after Death. Here is the Summary on a brochure of that name:
There is a case to be made for reincarnation being a common unifying thread throughout all World religion. Far from being exclusively an exotic ‘Eastern’ doctrine, reincarnation can be said to be part of the Western tradition as well. Furthermore, when we consider that many of the great luminaries of ancient Greek civilization such as Socrates, Plato and Pythagoras, and also others who were involved in the various mysteries, were firm believers in reincarnation, then the idea of reincarnation really lies at the foundations of Western civilization.
It is a healthy trend that today and in recent times, belief in reincarnation is on the increase. This trend has been particularly pronounced in industrialized Western countries. This trend encourages the hope that perhaps in the future, the idea of reincarnation will become the dominant doctrine concerning the nature of eternal life.
Wouldn’t it be great to do it all again as a better you?