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Friday, October 24, 2014

Reincarnation. Yes? No? Maybe?

Reincarnation. Yes? No? Maybe?

It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to the supernatural—witches, ghosts, monsters, vampires, shifters. I want to talk about another supernatural phenomenon: reincarnation.

You don’t hear much about reincarnation nowadays, but back in the 1970’s the occult was all the rage. Along with that came interest in reincarnation. I always thought being reincarnated meant you came back as an animal. Not so. Although there may be a belief out there that says we are reborn as animals, I didn’t encounter that in my readings. If I were to come back as an animal, I want to be a spoiled housecat like my very spoiled diva cat. To feed my interest in reincarnation, I devoured books by Edgar Cayce and Ruth Montgomery, two experts on recurring lives.

Here’s the definition of reincarnation from  Being reborn in another body. Several religions, including Hinduism, believe that the human spirit returns to Earth in different forms again and again as it strives for perfection.

The object of being born again is to make up for past sins, aka karma, and try to live a better life than the last one. When a soul reaches perfection, think Mother Theresa, that soul goes to its reward in heaven and isn’t reborn again. Here’s the definition of karma from the Urban Dictionary: the Buddhist belief that whatever you do comes back to you, e.g. if you do something good, something good will happen to you, and vice versa.

When a person dies, his/her soul goes to a spiritual plane, think Purgatory. That soul has a guide who reviews that person’s past lives and determines what the person must do in the next life to atone for sins and wrongs and attain perfection. Then the soul is reborn as an infant. Young children will sometimes remember their past lives, but that goes away as they get older.

One of the theories being tossed around in those heady, riotous 1970’s was that many of the Vietnam War protesters were the reborn souls of men who had died in World War 2, and that they didn’t want any more wars. Interesting to think about.

When my son was three or four, he used to tell my husband and me that when he lived with his “other daddy” he had a black dog that lay at the bottom of the stairs. My son has had only one daddy, and we’re a cat family. We’ve never had a dog. I got chills every time my son told us that story. As he got older, any memories he had of his “other daddy” and the black dog left him. I think it’s telling that my son never said his “other mommy,” which makes me think he recognized me from being with him in a past life.

A friend once told me that when her little brother was three years old, he’d tell the family stories of living in Paris, France, in the 1700’s. He’d describe the sounds of the carriage wheels and the smells of the city. How would he have known that, especially the smells? He couldn’t even read.

Things have happened in my life to make me believe reincarnation could be real. When I was a small child, my grandmother had paintings of scenes from Ancient Rome hanging in her house. I’d stare at those paintings and know what it was like to live there. I still remember the familiar feeling and the happiness I got when looking at those paintings. Around the same time, I used to have dreams where I was dressed in flowing Roman clothes and standing in a garden decorated with Roman statuary. To this day whenever I see a wooden door in a stone wall leading to a garden, I get chills. In a past life, did I live in Ancient Rome and did I have a garden with a wooden door? I love anything to do with Ancient Rome and read all I can about it. It was a very brutal time in our history, yet, I feel it was a happy time for me.

On the other hand, I hate, absolutely hate, the Middle Ages. I rarely read Medieval romances. I think I lived a very bad life then. Of course, most of us can say that. Unless you were of the nobility, you lived a particularly harsh life in that dark period.

Some years back, I toured an old house a friend had just bought. I’d never seen that house before. In the basement was a “vault” room, a place where the original owners stored their money and jewels. As soon as I entered, I knew without a doubt I’d been in that room before. Has this ever happened to you?

Once, when my son was a toddler, a friend invited a group of us to her house to have our fortunes told by a psychic who did past life readings. A fun evening. I brought my son because my husband was working that night. Without my asking the psychic anything about my son, the man looked at him and told me that my son had been my brother in a previous life and he was with me in this life because I needed to teach him a lesson. I haven’t figured out yet what that lesson is. At the same reading, I showed the psychic pictures of my husband and also my ex-husband. He couldn’t get a reading on my husband, but he told me I’d been with my ex in another life and I’d done something bad to him. I had to make it up to him in this life. That could explain so much of what I went through with my ex and why I put up with the things I did.

People will say they were a queen or a Pharaoh or some famous person in another life. The reality is, if reincarnation is true, most of us lived ordinary lives of quiet desperation.

One of the tenets of reincarnation is that you must do no harm to another living creature. If you’re in business, ambition is good, but you must not hurt others in your rise to the top. This is wonderful advice no matter your beliefs.

If you’re of a more scientific bent, my memories and experiences, as well as the memories and experiences of others, could be what Carl Jung called “the collective unconscious.” Here’s the definition: (in Jungian psychology) the part of the unconscious mind that is derived from ancestral memory and experience and is common to all humankind, as distinct from the individual's unconscious. In other words, my memories of Ancient Rome might be in my DNA, passed down through the ages from my Italian lineage.

There are times when I want to believe in reincarnation. It’s comforting to know we are given another chance to get things right. They say in each life you’re surrounded by the same people. It’s also comforting to know your loved ones will be with you in your new life. At other times, I feel tired and don’t really want to do this all over again. What about you? Have you had experiences like mine? Things you can’t explain. Are you a believer in reincarnation? Or are you a person who rejects it and thinks it’s nothing more than the collective unconscious? Or are you a maybe like me?

I’d love to hear about your “unexplained” experiences.

In the spirit of the season, my scary, sexy shifter romance, with elements of suspense and reincarnation, is on sale for only 99 cents.

Nick Radford is a reluctant werewolf who’s been fighting the Beast within for nearly 500 years. He’s never killed a human, but the Beast is gaining strength and Nick may not be able to ward off his inner demon much longer. Kyla Yaeger is an elite were-hunter with a scarred past. Her life’s mission is to slay the werewolves who slaughtered her parents. Her quest has brought her to Maine where she's been summoned to destroy the werewolf terrorizing the quaint little village of Heavensent. The last thing she needs is to get distracted by her mysterious--not to mention hunky--new neighbor Nick Radford. By the time Kyla learns Nick is her target, she's already fallen for him, making her task of killing him that much harder. She is torn between her love for him and her duty to kill her sworn enemy. Nick fights his forbidden love for Kyla, knowing she is duty-bound to kill him. Kyla and Nick must join together to fight an even bigger threat--one that will destroy all humanity. Only by their combined powers can they destroy the evil and bring an end to a centuries old curse.


Lynda Bailey said...

Fascinating post, Cara!
I can't say that I've had any personal experiences with reincarnation, but I got chills reading about yours. Kinda creepy and so freakin' cool! ;)

Tina Donahue said...

Fascinating post, Cara. I'm fascinated by reincarnation. In fact, several of my romances revolve around the concept. :)

Sandy said...

Interesting post, Cara. I'm a maybe. I have been told I'm an old soul, and my hubby is a young soul. This means he has a lot to learn, so if reincarnation is real he'll be back. lol

vicki batman said...

Oh my Cara, an interesting blog. I don't know about reincarnation. I do know right after Handsome had been diagnosed with cancer (years ago), something passed along my shoulders and I heard, "It's all going to be all right."

Judy Baker said...

No experience here in reincarnation, that I can remember. I believe in the afterlife, but not really convinced in reincarnation, maybe the DNA part. Great post, chilling.

Anonymous said...

Would have been a great topic at our get together at Barb's! Really interesting post CM.....Marge W.

Gemma Juliana said...

Cara, you and I could talk for a week about this theme. I firmly believe in reincarnation, for reasons I can't post here (way too long and too many experiences) but yes, I believe. I also believe the DNA 'memories' and reincarnation are intertwined and meta-science will discover more about all this as our abilities evolve and we are more 'ready' for the knowing... Thanks for writing this fantastic article. I just bought your book, too. Can't wait to read (and review) it! Happy Halloween!

Cris Anson said...

What an interesting post! Your examples gave me chills. I love stories about reincarnation. In fact, I wrote a book with that as its theme. In Mercy and Redemption, Book 2 in my "Passion and Punishment" series, three strangers meet in an old cemetery where they're seeking their ancestors and eventually come to realize they've known each other before. And they have unfinished business. It was such a great theme to research.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Great topic, especially for Halloween. There are several books out there about reincarnation and using hypnosis to pull out the experiences of your past lives. The pyschic in your case sounds like he's on the money because that's what you hear in hynosis - it's about karma and the people close to us have been with us in other lives.

I do very much believe in reincarnation. I've had similiar "echos" or deja vu memories. If anyone is interested in reading a book try "Journey of Souls" by Dr. Michael Newton. You'll find it fascinating!


Cara Marsi said...

Thanks, everyone. I'm amazed at how many of you have had similar experiences and believe in reincarnation. There are such things as old and new souls as Vicki says. My husband insists he's a new soul and I can believe that. Marge, this would have been a great discussion at lunch yesterday, especially with all of Barb's Halloween decorations.

Gemma, I'd love to talk for hours with you on this subject. Thanks for buying my book. Cris, your post gave me chills. Steph, thanks for the book recommendation.

jean hart stewart said...

Fantastic post! I think all of us have unexplained dreams and thoughts. I've also been told I'm an old soul..I've had many reassuring voices come to me.

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful post! I'd love to think about my mom and gram being by me today. I've missed them so much over the last 20 or so years.

I have also been told I'm an old soul, even by my mom. And one thing that I hate is the idea that God gives us only what we can handle... I feel like I've handled enough thank you!

If I was reincarnated, I'm glad I've found my place as an author. I love bringing stories to life... I'll keep pondering this!

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks, Jean and Melissa. It is comforting to think you can reunite with your loved ones.

Jean, I love the reassuring voices.

Lynette Sofras said...

I read your post with great interest, Cara. Fascinating stuff! I'm particularly interested because reincarnation and past lives encroaching on the present for specific reasons are themes in my novel 'Unworkers', and writing this stimulated my interest in the subject. I don't know if I believe in it, but your experiences certainly give plenty of food for thought.

Afton Locke said...

Great post! I've had some interesting past life regressions. I think it's also possible for people who shared a past life together to either not end up together or even meet during some lives. Frustrating but inspiring.

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