I believe that all human beings have a soul and that these souls experience reincarnation as many times as it is necessary to accumulate knowledge and awareness of all that human life has to teach us. As a soul matures from life to life and within any single life it expands its awareness of the nature of being human and the nature of the world around us. Once it has achieved the inculcation of all the lessons of physical life, the soul no longer needs to be incarnated and it evolves to a higher plane of existence.
Whether this plane is what we now call heaven or not, I cannot say but I am absolutely certain that the ultimate purpose of life is to grow and thus add to the totality of experience in the universe and to eventually reunite with the Universal Creator. I believe that just as the universe is expanding in physical reality, the entirety of conscious existence is growing and adding to the total of all that has been created.
Since I was first in school until today, I have never believed in heaven or hell as it is preached then or now. Rather, it never made sense to me that any person was, in one lifetime, so good as to deserve an infinity of rewards nor that anyone was so bad as to deserve an infinity of punishment. I have always believed that karma was the universal mechanism for relieving the burden of sin and destruction and that through it all souls will eventually reunite with the Creator. I believe that every significant act of intentional harm to others creates an imbalance and a debt for our souls to repay the souls that are harmed in this life or another. When the debt is repaid, that part of the imbalance is righted and that until all such debts are repaid, the souls will be bound to a physical existence with all it’s attendant difficulties.
I have been asked about the souls of truly evil people and I believe that while they may need to be on this planet longer than most, they will find opportunities to make amends to those souls whom they have harmed as well. For example, a Nazi prison guard who is personally responsible for the deaths of thousands in one life may in the next become a doctor who saves thousands, a fireman who saves dozens of lives or a pilot who safely lands a doomed plane. There are innumerable ways for the cosmic books to be balanced and return choice to a soul whose choices were once taken away by you in another life. For most, karma is created one soul at a time. For example, perhaps you falsely accused someone who was executed based on your testimony. You might fall on a grenade for this person or stop him from falling off a train platform to save that life and return or preserve choice for that souls current life.
I believe our souls recognize those whom we have had relations in the past. There are those whom we meet and form either instant attractions or instant dislikes even though there are no immediate or “reasonable’ explanations for such a feeling. I believe we will meet many souls over and over again like threads crossing in a tapestry and that each meeting will tend to be more positive as growth and maturation occurs.
These beliefs sustain me and always guide me on a path of creating the best possible karmic outcomes for my own future and those whom I meet. I consciously attempt to smooth or correct the trajectories of my actions before or, if necessary, after I have acted. Thus, like a serious practitioner of any religion on earth, I am actively involved with my own evolution and my own future and how soon I will be able to reach the universal goal and gift of unity with the Creator.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.