Reincarnation & the next step

November 7, 2014
Animas Should I stay here? But I could not do it. It was not my world, and there was so much to be done in the others. 
~Greta Wells in The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer

This is how I imagine the conversation we have with ourselves at death, as we contemplate moving on to our eventual next life. Because, of course, I do believe in reincarnation.

Let me clarify: I am not religious, as in go-to-a-church-and-believe-its-doctrine.  I am not Christian. Or a Jew. Or Buddhist. Or any of the major religions.  No affiliation.

But I hold a deep belief in the existence of a greater meaning to life and to life after this one. Life after death.

I think about these things a lot now, especially as I study hundreds of years of writing and research about the afterlife. And while my reading has taken a good bit of the fear of death from me, it hasn’t taken it all.

Why not? I wonder. Why wouldn’t I look forward to my next amazing life with enthusiasm?

Few of us do. We fight death tooth and nail, as if our life depends on it. Even if we believe our lives are bigger than what we’re experiencing in the here and now.

And then, I realize what it is:  What’s next is going to be unfamiliar. And while many of those who have visited the afterlife and come back report that at least in the first stages, our environment is more familiar than not (but in a super-real way), that won’t always be true. Because as we move through our stages of development what lies ahead is going to be strange and new, at least to our selves that contemplate it now.  That makes us a little uncomfortable. Not to mention our reluctance to leave family and friends. Even if we believe we’ll see them again.

Because, truth is, we’re not really sure.

These days I’m looking at the next step as a grand adventure, entry to a world I could barely imagine, although I’m sure I knew it once.  I don’t plan to travel soon, but when I do, I want to embrace the experience with all my heart and soul.

We’re here as part of our soul’s journey, but this isn’t the only part of the trip. No, there’s so much more, and as Greta Wells says in Greer’s book, there’s so much to be done in our other lives.

How about you? I’d love to know what you think about death and what comes next.

I’ve also got a few books to recommend:

The Top Ten Things Dead People Want to Tell You by Mike Dooley

Your Soul’s Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life  You Planned Before You Were Born by Robert Schwartz

Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss, M.D.

31 comments on “Reincarnation & the next step
  1. Nan Coty says:

    I was born into a Catholic family and have continued my life in that faith for all of my 50+ years, which makes my interest and discovery of Spiritualism somewhat of a conundrum. But I cannot deny what I’ve experienced in the town of Lilydale over the past 5 years- my connection with loved and friends whose souls have crossed over into the “next world.” I always cannot believe that my interest and participation in same makes be a “bad” catholic. I have been witness to many comforting and very spiritual experiences that cannot be explained as anything other than the existence of an afterlife- a soul’s further journey while still being connected to those loved on earth. I welcome death as part of my soul’s journey. I can only continue to learn and grow for as long as I can while I’m here and hope that i will have done the work and have given and loved enough during my stay in this world.

  2. Lisa Froman says:

    I’ve heard of a few of these books but haven’t read them. I think I’ll check out Top Ten things….

  3. I really don’t think about it. But if I did I’d want it to be like the movie “Defending Your Life” where you could eat anything and everything you want and it didn’t matter. Ah..chocolate and pasta!

  4. Laura says:

    One of the most humbling duties I’ve ever done as a nurse is helping a fellow human move from this plain of being to the next. The next…I’m not even sure I know what it looks like but I do know it’s there. Do we return in another guise or are we simply gone? I don’t know but I do know there are plenty of examples pointing to reincarnation. For me, not believing in such things as psychic phenomenon or reincarnation limits the power of that entity I call God.

  5. I’m not sure what I believe about this but the only thing that keeps me hopeful is that scene in What Dreams May Come where Robin Williams is greeted by his beloved dog in heaven. I have two of them waiting for me 🙂

  6. Cheryl says:

    I believe. Why? Because I am one of those souls who has died and come back. I know how wonderful the next existence is. It is so wonderful that I did not want to come back, but it was not my time yet…

  7. WendysHat says:

    Oh that book sounds interesting. I believe that there must be some sort of life after death but I will have to wait to find out! I’m coming back with pink hair!

  8. Carol: Great piece. I’m with you and Einstein. Energy doesn’t die. I also grew up a minister’s daughter, and have a great belief in God as love and spirit. I’ve never seen concepts like reincarnation as anything separate from the spirituality I learned from my father . . . but he was unique. I’ve had too many experiences to believe that we anything but eternal. Thanks for sharing this one!

  9. I am constantly getting too many messages to ignore that there is something after death. I was raised Catholic and sometimes return to church for thought and prayer, but I am constantly searching for information and the journey is fun and comforting and well, I just like the journey with all those who are willing to discuss this. So yeah, death scares me sometimes because I ‘m not ready to leave those I love. But those who have left already are a presence I feel and won’t deny. Am looking forward to reading the books you’ve recommended! Great post

  10. I love the line “we’re here as part of our soul’s journey”. The more we open up and grow, the more valuable our journey is here.

  11. Bouncin Barb says:

    Hi Carol..I have to say that my beliefs are very much like your own. I don’t fear death but fear the unknown. To me, life is about the lessons we learn as we strive to get closer to the infinite power in the afterlife. I believe that there are many, many lessons and levels to be learned.

    Great post.

  12. Ruth Curran says:

    Opening yourself up to the possibilities of getting information via a means other than what we can sense (with our 5 traditional senses anyway) is both freeing and frightening all at once. I want to believe that we all have teams that show us bits of information in the form of energy. I have seen it happen in different stages in my life and have watched that intensify for those about to transition out of this world. I don’t know if that leads to after life or a new band on our energy continuum – just don’t know….

  13. Since April, I’ve read nearly 20 books on the afterlife, our spirits, spirit guides and what happens when we transition to the other side.

    My dad died unexpectedly in March. Three weeks later, I had a world rocking run in with a psychic medium who had a message from my dad for me. She knew nothing of me or him…and I didn’t know her from Adam. It was all so weird.

  14. Lana says:

    There’s so much that we don’t know – which is exciting and scary at the same time. I was raised Catholic too, but there is so much more to learn! Such a fascinating subject – although I’m not in any hurry to get definitive answers. I definitely believe in reincarnation, although I’m still unsure on how that fits into the whole picture. I always love reading these posts from you Carol.

  15. I work with Hospice patients and have been witness to so many who have left this world for another and I feel that while very sad for those left behind it is an honor for me to be that close to someone that is on their way to Heaven or some sort of grand adventure.
    The most difficult for me was my 44-year-old best friend and right before she passed she said she wanted to go and was only afraid that she wouldn’t know what to do when she got there.
    I definitely believe there is something for us after this life. I have also witnessed death to be a very peaceful experience, so I am not afraid. I don’t want to leave yet but no fear.

  16. Donna says:

    I know there is life after this life, I have had too many experiences to deny it. I am comfortable with death, but understand we are hard wired to hang on to life. We have to learn and grow as much as we can while we are here. I believe our family that has passed are our ministering angels who watch over us and protect us, warn us and teach us. We are never really alone. My belief has a great deal in common with yours as I believe we have lived before also

  17. Carol, I think I already told you about the call that came in on my phone on Christmas night on the 20th anniversary of my dad’s death. The caller ID showed my Dad’s name and the number we had when I was a kid. I don’t know if I told you about falling over in my apartment, feeling all the energy drain from me from the base of my skull, seeing the loving light… and then waking up an hour later with the knowledge that my friend in a coma had “changed.” She came out of the coma at the time this happened to me. I don’t worry about what may come. It will come.

  18. I loved Mike Dooley’s book. And I am a firm believer that there is so much out there, waiting for us. We are just a speck of dust in the universe—-the possibilities are enormous. I’ve had too many unusual and incredible experiences NOT to believe in an afterlife. For me, these experiences were a clear sign that there is so much more out there for us to embrace!

  19. with great confidence, I can say I will be in Heaven. I hope that your spirtual journey puts you on the path that will have you there with me.

  20. Joy says:

    I’m a Catholic-Buddhist. I guess that says a lot about how confused I can be. But one clear thing for me is that I CHOOSE to believe that this life is not the only one for us. Like you, I believe that this is Earth school and that our soul is in this present personality to learn what it needs to learn. Reading Gary Zukav influenced me a lot. Well, that and having a Buddhist ex-bf. Hahaha!

  21. I definitely believe in the afterlife and I think that there is alot more to it. I believe that there is that one person, that one true love and when we find them as you and I have that they are familiar for just these reasons. I believe that our soul recognizes them from the past. That it is a journey that we have taken together before and I am wondering you have found anything regarding this in your studies. I remember the first time I laid eyes on my husband in the 7th grade and him a freshman. Something kept drawing me back to him even though we were totally different but it is like I knew him although we never spoke. I moved on and he in different paths he married, I married never having spoken to each other but when we met again it was like lightening and we haven’t been separated since. It was like I was able to recognize that he was someone I remembered but didn’t if that makes since. I remember it was very confusing to me then but I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. We never spoke.

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