Sunday, May 01, 2005

Can you explain reincarnation?

QUESTION:I just got through reading your book, We Live Forever, which is fantastic! Can you explain reincarnation? Do we keep coming back to earth to grow our spirits or can we go to other realms in the universe? Also, 'karma' means 'action/reaction.' But, didn't Jesus say through forgiveness we burn our karma? -- Beth

PMH Atwater's reply: No one can explain reincarnation, Beth. Many try, but none have been successful. The truth is we simply do not know how reincarnation works, even though there is ample evidence to indicate that "life after life" does occur. Something from us continues after death, and continues to take on different forms. I believe that "something" is the soul, and that it is the soul that animates us and gives us the creativity, the expressiveness, the spark of life that we have. The soul does indeed grow and learn and enlarge and expand, and it seems to do this through embodied experiences of various kinds. The soul is not limited in how it experiences itself, nor is it limited in whatever form it may want to take or where. This is the mistake many of us make in our view of ourselves and the life we lead. We consider issues from our own point of view, from the personality level, instead of allowing for the will of the soul. Like for instance, in choosing yes or no on the question of abortion, how many pregnant women do you know who first check with the will of the soul? The soul of the child seeking entry? You do this through prayer, through intention, through dreams or visions. What does the soul want? Then, what does the woman's soul and the man's want? If we focus on the shorter term (what we think we want as individuals), we all too often miss the wiser choice, the long-term or broader view that takes into consideration all parties concerned and what is best for the highest good of all concerned.

We merge closer to our soul's will, to that broader, wiser viewpoint, through the import of spiritual experiences, prayer, and through the commitment we make to live what we know - at least to the best of our ability. Spiritual/otherworldly/near-death episodes bring us closer to God or whatever you consider Source to be. That means we automatically become closer to who we really are and begin to take on the Soul's Will as our will. You've heard it said that people who have "knowing," who have awakened to their Higher Self, are more spiritual in their looks, mannerisms, and behavior. That is true. These people are merging with their soul - long before they die.

When I said the soul is unlimited in its choices and experiences, I meant what I said. I would refer you to my books: The New Children and Near-Death Experiences (Inner Traditions/Bear & Co., 2003), and Future Memory (Hampton Roads, 1999). Yes, we can live "elsewhere" and go "elsewhere." You will read of a very evidential case of this in the Inner Traditions' Book, that of a young boy in Argentina who said he came from the Sun as a way of saying he came from a spot far away in the Universe, and had to go through a series of "lives" on other planets as he drew closer to Earth, so he could learn how to function in the dense, slow-moving bodies human beings have. Both he and his brother share this same identical memory and drew pictures of the Universe and detailed how it worked when they were too young to know or have heard of such things.

If you consider simultaneous time, the theory that everything happens at once because only the NOW moment is real, then you have to question life-after-life as we currently understand such things - the concept of reincarnation. I know I have very clear memories of past lives, and did as a youngster. As an adult, I studied reincarnation from many aspects, became a hypnotherapist specializing in regressions into previous lives, had many spectacular cases including in-between lives, and then I died. During my third near-death experience, it is my sense that I was at the Center-point of Creation and witnessed the NOW moment, what it is, its dynamics, what it looks like, and how it seems to function. Since then I have no longer been able to embrace reincarnation as progressive, at least not progressive as we like to think it is. I know the process exists, but I can no longer accept the pat answers most writers and regressionists offer, even as examples or from their own case studies.

As concerns karma, forgiveness goes a long way in balancing that which is out of balance. Remember, karma is neither bad nor good, but simply means the "scales" are too heavy on one side of the balance "beam" versus the other (a metaphysical/mystical concept). You could have done excessive or great good in the past and are now reaping the rewards of that. We know about our debts, and the need to correct them and/or forgive them. But we seldom think about how we could invite into our lives the goodness others might have for us. Unfinished business is what we face as we near our death. Have you cleaned out your "closets" (that which you suppress or hide or ignore about yourself and your life)? The desirable way as we go along in life is not to let our debts or assets pile up too high - but rather be in the flow - allow what is unexpressed to reveal itself. What I have learned to do is to honor things, be in the grace of forgiveness and joy. I don't hassle details like I used to. It isn't as important what you did to whom and when as it is that you forgive past mistakes, make amends that might be needed, and enjoy the moment - all your moments - whether good or bad. Even just to breathe, sharing the air with others, is important and wonder-filled. Everything you could ever want to know or to be, is contained in a handful of soil. That's how compact energy is and how powerful our potential as a soul and as a human being becoming more at one with his or her soul. A handful of soil. Who would have "thunk" that something so small and insignificant could be so important, so powerful, so glorious. Well, me. Maybe you, too.

Many blessings,
P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D., Ph.D.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Soon to come out - a Grade School Book on near-death experiences - be alert for it. Here is the information I have about this book:

Title: "Near-Death Experiences"
Book Series: "The Unexplained"
Author: Michael Martin
Consultant: Linda A. Jacquin
Age Group: Third to Sixth Grade Students
Publisher Capstone Press, 151 Good Council Drive, P. O. Box 669, Mankato, MN 56002

Books like this in the school systems are very important. Please do what you can to ensure that your child's school has this book available and in their library. You might also check at your local community library to make certain they will have it, too. Thanks.