Like most people during the course of their lives, I’ve given a passing thought or two about what happens to the “soul” or whatever constitutes “me” after death. Since I’ve lived long enough to witness enough “bad things happening to good people” and vice versa, the obvious and “fair” way would be to come back again and again until we even things up a bit. Bad balanced by good.
Those who believe in reincarnation believe in karmic justice for people like Hitler and Stalin. (And O. J. Simpson, too, if he really is guilty. Only he knows for sure.) One can only wonder what kind or how many lives they will have to live in order to atone for their karma. It should encourage us all to live good lives and not cause harm to others. I’m not sure that it does, but it’s a good theory.
There are times that I know it’s more comforting for me to believe that the end will be final. No more. Nada. Think about it. Coming back as somebody else with who knows what kind of environment or parents? (For example, as a woman, I’d not choose to come back in certain parts of the world, and I don’t think I need to draw anybody a picture here.) I’ve decided reincarnation is a crapshoot I’d just as soon decline if I have my say about it.
Should a recent decision by the Chinese government catch on in the rest of the world, it’s a decision I won’t have to make anyhow. Rightly or wrongly, China claims control of Tibet and that includes their clergy who believe themselves to be continuously reincarnated. In August the government announced that, from now on these living Budhas must get prior permission from China’s religious affairs officials in order for their souls to occupy bodies in the future. In that way they believe the reincarnation process will be better managed. (And we know how well China manages things, don’t we?)
Being the procrastinator that I am, that lets me off the hook entirely. I’m the one who puts too many things off until the very last minute, especially things that require unpleasant decisions. So whatever process or transition my soul goes through when my life ends, it will happen or not at someone else’s direction. It’s not for me to decide or worry about.
Edvard Munch, who produced all those paintings of “Screams” had a healthy way of looking at death from what I’ve read. He said, “From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity.” Works for me!