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Belief making things easier...you think?

onlyhuman
Posts: 102
Joined: Sep 2009

I just thought I'd raise the question...does believing in reincarnation make things easier?

First of all, I must say that I am but a carer of a cancer sufferer and so may not have had my faith tested as much.
My husband has been diagnosed with a nasty form of cancer and has been given a poor prognosis. I however don't fear the prospect of his death. Part of me (rational or otherwise) seems to think that I'll just see him in the next lifetime. I am Sikh and ingrained in what I grew up learning about faith is a belief in karma and reincarnation.

tell me I have not lost it!:)

My belief in karma does not mean that I think people deserve to get cancer...noone does. I dont really care who created cancer. It exists so we just have to deal with it.

I'd be interested in hearing what aspects of their faith (note....not religion) have assisted people in their cancer journey some what.

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 624
Joined: Nov 2005

is Christianity...my religion is the way I practice my faith.
I believe in a life hereafter. I believe we choose while we are in this life where we will go after our physical death.
I also believe that the next life and this one are much more closely connected than seems evident to us while we have our mortal 'issues' to deal with. Meaning the physical body and all that can and does happen to it. When we leave this body, we become free to experience and explore another plane which, for the Christian, is inhabited by Jehovah God and his angels.
Now, THAT is what got me through cancer (3 times) and a host of other things I did not particularly enjoy. Knowing that a better life is to come makes this one easier to deal with because I also believe that I am learning some very important lessons which will serve me well in enriching my next life.
I would not really care to be reincarnated back to this physical existence here again.
God bless.

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

I am talking about myself here, believing in reincarnation would not make it easier. Because once I leave I don't want to come back. There are better places to go.

I was not raised to believe in reincarnation but since I have grown up, I don't know. There is a lot I don't know. Now I am of no religion. I do believe in a higher power. When I needed help I'd pray for an angel to assist me. This seems to work for me.

There is a movie called Defending Your Life that I really like. I know it's just a movie but I like the concept. You are only sent back if you haven't learned to control your fears.

There is another movie called What Dreams May Come. It's rather sad in a way but it has the concept of choosing if you go back or not.

I know it's just a movie.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4665
Joined: May 2005

I think that believing in anything after this life is comforting for those who believe, that's why they created the believe to begin with (in my opinion). I think people do not want to just think that it's all over when we die, we need something to look forward to that is bigger and better than what we have on earth. Our lives here are often filled with pain and sorrow (and some good times too) but I think we want to believe that we will just have good times forever. I'm not sure if believing in reincarnation would make things easier though. I've often thought about reincarnation and at times it makes sense to me and I believe in it and other times I do not believe in it. I've thought that we keep coming back until we "get it right" whatever that means.

Many of us are brought up believing in whatever our culture says to believe in. Who is to say what is right and what isn't. I do believe in karma but I sometimes wish it happened sooner. There are those in the world who are just very nasty people and they seem to be doing OK. Here there are many of us who are not doing OK. I don't think cancer is a karmic thing, it's bad habits, bad environment, and bad luck.

So after all of this babbling by me, I do not have the gift of faith (yet). What gets me through the cancer is mainly my kids and my stubbornness I think.

Good post OnlyHuman, thank you.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4266
Joined: Jun 2009

A very interesting topic to be sure.

If one were to believe in reincarnation and combine with that with the theory that we all get sent back until "we get it right" then that would mean that there are over 5-billion of us on this planet who have not gotten it right yet - I don't think I buy off on that one.

What about the kids who live in impoverished situations around the world - what did they ever do to hurt anyone?

Reincarnation is certainly a "mystical idea" of how if we were given a 2nd chance, we could become something we were not the 1st time...but...

Now as for KARMA, I believe that is the CHANCE we all get after some event "awakens" our inner soul to try and become something better than we were before and this is tangible and more believable, at least to me.

Now, I agree with Phil, that there are many bad people here doing awful stuff and it appears that they are getting away with it with no problems - maybe so or maybe not.

And then the people that are doing good...well sometimes they could not buy the winning lottery ticket in a One-Ticket raffle, so go figure there.

What each of us can do is "pay it forward" and try to live and be better than we were yesterday and if rewards come to you for that, OK...if they don't, then at least you lived life as good as you could.

Very interesting topic and responses.

-Craig

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4665
Joined: May 2005

I think the purpose of reincarnation is to reach different levels of spiritual growth. I think that means living a life of wanting less and less. I can certainly see how there could be 5 billion of us who still want more and more.

Also, looking at the catholic church, how I was brought up, we are ALL born with Original Sin, "The account in Genesis 2-3 implies that Adam and Eve initially lived in a state of intimate communion with God. God warned Adam not to eat of the fruit of "the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil"". So their teaching, as far as babies go, is that if they are not baptized they can not enter heaven. So like the kids in impoverished nations, what did the babies do wrong other than to be born into a religion that excludes them.

I agree with your comment Craig "What each of us can do is "pay it forward" and try to live and be better than we were yesterday and if rewards come to you for that, OK...if they don't, then at least you lived life as good as you could." It reminds me of the Golden Rule.

Only Human, is there a part in the Sikh religion about reincarnation and coming back as an animal? Aren't cows sacred? Can you give some more input on this topic please?

Thanks
-phil

onlyhuman
Posts: 102
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Phil
Cows are sacred for the Hindus and since most Sikhs were hindus before Sikhism existed, the respect is still there. Plus I believe its an aspect of living with your neighbours. I grew up in Singapore and when we had parties at home we never served pork (as our Muslim friends would be affected) or beef ( so as not to make our Hindu friends uncomfortable ).
The Granth (Sikh holy book) only prohibits us from eating halal meat otherwise it states eat all meat or no meat at all.

I may be wrong but my understanding is that yes the Sikh version of reincarnation includes all animals.

I believe in reincarnation not because I am hoping for a better life next time around or because I need to believe life does not end with death. I love life with all its ups and downs and good times and bad ( and believe me there have been lots of those recently)...its an opportunity for me to make a contribution, to do something only I can do with the talents I have been given. Reincarnation to me means the end of one life and the beginning of another. My life ends but my soul's journey continues and if for my soul to grow it is given a body of another form (i.e. an animal) so be it.

Regards
Sang

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4665
Joined: May 2005

That's such a wonderful outlook on life/death/reincarnation.

"...its an opportunity for me to make a contribution, to do something only I can do with the talents I have been given. Reincarnation to me means the end of one life and the beginning of another. My life ends but my soul's journey continues and if for my soul to grow it is given a body of another form (i.e. an animal) so be it."

This is great, thank you for your comment/outlook.
-phil

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

I, too, am a Christian. I don't know about reincarnation, but I do believe in life after death. I don't think there is one "right" religion. I think each of us must find our own way. God doesn't have any grandchildren, only children. A belief in God's love and the support of our community of faith has made caring for my husband and dealing with cancer easier for me. I can feel the prayers. I was raised in an atheist family and was baptized as an adult. I had one of those religious experience that brought me to the point where I knew in my head and heart that there was a God. My husband was raised Baptist and has been attending our United Church of Christ/Congregational church for many years. He has found his faith to be comforting and he knows where he is going. He is more versed in the Bible than I am. He also feels the prayers given to support us. As for our prayers, we pray for strength and peace for ourselves and others. Cancer is not a punishment. We also pray for the medical community and cancer researchers. My husband doesn't worry about dying. He just worries about leaving me. I don't know if any of this makes sense to others, but it does to me.

DennisR
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi,
I've always been a very spiritual person, though not particularly enthralled with most of the Modern practices found in churches.
Recent experiences, losses of loved ones, my own survivals, has shaken my own faith and beliefs and I find myself questioning everything I've always believed in.
I've begun studying some of the most famous Psychologists and Philosphers trying to find the answers I need. I just read about Carl Jung, a Psychologist sort of known for being an Atheist. Apparently that was a bum rap, because when he was confronted with teaching Atheism in the University, he stated. "I am not an Atheist or an Agnostic, I don't BELIEVE there's a God....I KNOW there's a God!" Carl went on to explain that he had had a number of experiences with what he described as ,"A power greater than himself", that came into his life suddenly and unexpectedly and that transformed his thinking, actions, and faith.
Einstein believed not only that that mankind had a soul, but that the spirit actually had mass and was therefor measurable in atomic weight. There are Scientific Studies being conducted now , known as Noetics, that are trying to prove that theory.
There are also actual recorded Death occurances during which people have stated that they traveled from their bodies to a different place, and returned voluntarily when revived. Interesting stuff. I just wish my Sister in Law would transcend herself back here long enough to tell me she's OK...If anyone could do it, she could. That's not a joke...I pray every day for the faith, or wisdom, or whatever, to KNOW the answer to that question, and maybe a few others, and put my mind at ease.
DennisR

Marcia527's picture
Marcia527
Posts: 2731
Joined: Jul 2006

I've read of accounts where that did happen. But I know that Houdini arranged to contact his wife if he could and after his death she never heard from him. My sister-in-law contacted me in a dream. I don't know what makes the difference. I've had enough experiences that I have no doubt there is a higher power. How to prove it is the problem.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4665
Joined: May 2005

friend of mine had an out of body experience after smashing into a tree while skiing out west. A few of them were skiing through the woods and he looked back for a split second to check on his wife and he slammed into a tree. He saw himself lying there while he was floating above the scene and heard people talking and trying to revive him. He saw the white light and all then thought "no way, it's not my time" and woke up with a jolt. He suffered a bunch of broken bones and a concussion and spent quite a while in hospitals. He's doing ok now but we have a strong bond between us since we've both had brushes with death. I believe him 100% that he experienced that without any doubt what-so-ever.

I admit I have no idea what happens, I don't think this is it and it's over but I don't know what will happen. I can wait to find out, it will happen in due time...
Thanks for your comments Dennis and Marcia

Shayenne's picture
Shayenne
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

...Have seen shows of people who have actually died and came back, and a couple people said that they were angry that they were brought back by the doctors, because they didn't want to come back to their bodies, what they saw was something better there then here, and they just didn't want to come back, I believe there is a Creator, GOD, and I believe our souls never die, we just go to a better place to be with our father.

Hugsss!
~Donna

DennisR
Posts: 148
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi Phil,
I didn't need to die in order to have my Spiritual Awakening, it happened when I was in a perfectly healthy frame of mind and body. I won't attempt to explain exactly what happened, except to say that an absolutely irresistable Power much greater than myself came into my mind and directed me to make immediate changes in my life, my actions, and my thoughts, that to this day I adhere to as closely as I can.
I've read every book and the works and theories of nearly all the great Philosophers and Psychologists in order to find an explanation for what happened to me nearly 45 years ago, but so far nothing has come even close to explaining what happened to me that day, except the Bible itself. Ministers and Pastors and Priests all seemed to become doubters when I told them about it as though only they had any right to such a communication, to the point that I just keep it to myself and have only shared the story with a very few close friends. (some of whom, I suspect, are worried I've gone off the deep end and am about to embark on a preaching crusade in the middle of our hunting trip or something.) Nothing could be further from the truth, I am in fact just in absolute awe of what was revealed to me that day and that somehow in some way, God wanted me to be a part of it instead of the stastic I was well on my way to becoming.
DennisR

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4665
Joined: May 2005

Dennis, that sounds like it was an incredibly positive experience. I don't think one would have to die to have an experience like you (or others) have had.
-p

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