Many of us in the Northern Hemisphere have Samhain on the brain for this entire month. I'll quibble about what date it 'should' fall on, but I did that in April of '09 about Beltane, so I'll give it a rest now.
This time I'm up for talking reincarnation. Why? Bbecause I'm wonder how folks figure to contact their ancestors when so many neopagans believe that everyone reincarnates. World population being what it is, how many old souls are currently between incarnations and available to be contacted? And why do folks think that the same people who weren't the sharpest tack in the box when alive are suddenly going to be fonts of info now that they're dead? But, back to reincarnation......
I touched on reincarnation a bit before, in last years post http://www.fernsfronds.blogspot.com/2009/07/strawberry-in-jello.html. There I talked about the soul and what initiation might do to it, and if that was good or bad.
But now I want to talk about how neopagans have the ever so Western view that reincarnation is all rosebuds and unicorn farts, while in Asian countries - where belief in reincarnation was far more common that it was in Europe - it was seen as being pretty awful, something to get out of as soon as possible. Life wasn't pretty for most of the world. Heck, life still isn't pretty for most of the world. Getting out of it, whether to the afterlife of any sort or to the relative oblivion of Nirvana, was a grand thing.
But here we neopagans are. Mostly we're in Western countries, with Western sensibilities. And most of us just LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of reincarnation. Why is that?
So I looked at modern western life. Anyone reading this on a computer in their home is among the top 1% elite of the world. You have a home. You are literate. You have a computer in your home. You have electricity. Etc. Yeah, I think that being part of the world elite colors our view of reincarnation.
Reincarnation including a rather 'evolutionary' view here in the West, 'clearly' anyone Elite enough to be reading this must have been quite the ubermensch in the past life, eh? How else would you have earned this? And, since we're all already so enlightened to have earned this, certainly WE aren't going to be facing a life of starvation, misery, etc in our next lives, either. Fear the next life? Don't be silly. WE won't be born in a slum in India. WE won't be working the garbage heaps in Rio. We will born in a clean environment, be educated, have enough food, have the right number of chromosomes, etc.
After all, we have evolved. We have learned all the lessons we needed to learn by being poor/3rd world/whatever. So WE have no worries. Clearly THEY still have lessons to learn. Not us.
PS = we REALLY need a dedicated font for sarcasm.