Last Sunday, we discussed life after death in the adult Sunday School class that I teach. At my Unitarian-Universalist church, all beliefs are welcome, so we heard many thoughts about what happens to us after we die. Some believe that the body dies and we live on in people’s memories only; others believe we go to heaven forever; still others believe in some form of reincarnation.
I am one of those who believes in reincarnation. My beliefs in this area have changed drastically since I was young. I was raised in a liberal Protestant family and church where everyone believed that a soul goes to heaven for the rest of eternity. I was taught that we join our dead relatives and loved ones in heaven and once again enjoy their company. I believed that heaven was in the sky and you had to get past the pearly gates to get there.
One thing I could never embrace in Christianity, though, was that only those who believe in Jesus can go to heaven. I had many Jewish friends growing up, and I just couldn’t believe that a loving God would exclude some of His (yes, I believed that God was male back then) children. I remember arguing with Sunday School teachers about that. I now know there is a label for that thinking: I am a Universalist, or someone who believes that all of God’s children are saved.
In my thirties, I was introduced to the concept of reincarnation. The concept made eminent sense to me because 1) I believe that our souls, which are energetic in nature, do not die but continue to exist in a spiritual place (ie: heaven) and 2) I sense that some souls are more evolved than others. Reincarnation gives us a chance to learn soul lessons. Reincarnation allows for a non-judgmental approach to learning soul lessons - if we don’t learn them this time around, we can simply come back to another body or lifetime and get a second chance. I love the simplicity of it.
I continue to believe in reincarnation. It makes sense to me. It explains a lot.
What do you think?