Wednesday, April 29, 2009

But I Don't WANT to be Reincarnated

Last weekend I was home in Michigan to celebrate my dad's retirement. One of the gifts he received was a book about making the most out of this next phase of his life. I flipped through it and paused at a section that discussed how many people have to come to terms with their fear of dying once they stop working, as "getting older" and "retirement" obviously go hand in hand.

The authors said that they have psychologist friends who have helped thousands of people get over their hang-ups about death through the power of hypnosis. They explained that these thousands of patients often speak about their past lives while in a trance-like state. I can only assume their point was that once you realize death may not be "the end of everything," but rather just one experience in a never-ending loop of lives, you're more likely to stop worrying about kicking the bucket and start enjoying your golden years.

However, I had exactly the opposite reaction. I don't think I'd want to live any more lives. Don't get me wrong -- I actually believe in the concept of reincarnation... it's just that I'm not sure I like it. Let me be very blunt: if you're reading this web site, that means 1) you can read (duh) and 2) you have access to a computer that's connected to the Internet. That puts you in a very, very small percentage of the earth's living population. Odds are, if you come back as someone else, you're not going to have it so good. In fact, compared to what you've got going on right now, your future life is probably going to be pretty darn crappy.

So thanks for thoroughly freaking me out, retirement book! I've got a few more decades until my husband and I can stop working, and now I get to spend them fretting about coming back as some unlucky soul without a supportive family, wonderful friends and a cool dog.

Great. Just great.

- e

10 comments:

river said...

hi e! if you don't find reincarnation far-fetched, then you probably believe in karma too. being generous, patient, not harming other beings, not lying, all these will help ensure you have a good life in the future.
couldn't help sharing :)
(i'm buddhist.)
peace!!!

river said...

also, if you REALLY don't want to be reincarnated, you don't have to be, but it's a LOT of work. you don't have to publish these. :)
:)

Lani said...

LOVED the perspective! Your're absolutely right...the odds are NOT in our favor.

drew said...

Thats why life is so depressing. Just gotta enjoy the time you have.
But think, if some cultures are correct, and you can be reincarnated as any creature, imagine coming back as an eagle or a bird that can soar the skies and really not care about human issues. I wouldnt mind that so much I dont think...

Katie Kat said...

Ha ha! That's a good point that I never even considered E! I don't think any of us figure we'll come back as something LESS than what we are now! Except if I could be a cat. That'd be cool. Only a cat owned by someone who really cherished it... or a Cheetah... one that wasn't about to become extinct... oh, nevermind! :)

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way...I was kinda hoping it would all be OVER WITH when I die and the thought of having to come back and go through grade school and high school and all that crap again...YUK! Dang...I guess it reall NEVER ENDS after all....sigh

Anonymous said...

I dont even want to be reincarnated or not. I think a loving God should give us the choice of being erased. I mean if we dont want to exist at all, what kind of a loving god wouldn't honor our wishes. I dont remember signing an existence form and if I did, i should have the free will to retract it and be sent to peace on all levels, not just here in this life.

Kait said...

my grandma told me of a reincarnation experience. I've heard of others, but most of the one's i hear from people are one's where their lives were cut short. I really really hope (& i've prayed to god about this) that if i could be given the choice, i would not like to come back. we identify ourselves with our body, kind of hard not to. maybe if we live a fulfulling life we won't have to return. it would also be scary that you may not come back with the souls of the people you love, husband, parents, etc. I would not want to be without them. maybe if God understands that these are your true wishes he'll let you continue to be with him. Maybe most of the stories of reincarnation are one's of lives cut short because it was very traumatic & stays with the soul or maybe because reincarnation is only given to those who didn't get to live out a full life.

Nick Klamecki said...

I totally agree with this post. I want the best possible deal after death, and reincarnation is NOT one of them, I believe. I would rather have nothingness (not nothingness while knowing nothingness, I mean real nothingness like being knocked out.)

Just look at nature, there is simply not enough room in the human population for everyone to have it great. Its technically impossible. So why would I want to go downward on the scale from what I have now( which isn't totally great anyways. But I'm very healthy with good longevity.)

I think any other way of thinking is just denial, or naive, or fantasy.

Nick Klamecki said...

I don't want the system of reincarnation. I want something better.