I love a parade…my father was in the Hershey Chocolatiers, Drum & Bugle Corps. I love that sound, especially the drums.
There wasn’t that kind of sound as Jesus entered Jeruselam on what we call Palm Sunday so long ago. Lots of cheering and waving of Palms. And on the other side of the city, the military ‘parade’ entering as a show of force, soldiers and weapons to show the people just who was in charge!
But we talked about those parades last year and what they meant.
Today we want to look at an entirely different idea, reincarnation. What does reincarnation have to do with Palm Sunday or Easter? Just wait, it’ll come.
How many of you believe in reincarnation? And when people raise their hands get a big smile on your face and say nice to see you again!
And, how many lives have you all lived so far? Who knows, right? Or maybe you say there is no such thing as Reincarnation. We’re talking about the usual definition of reincarnation here, right?
The word “reincarnation” derives from Latin, literally meaning, “entering the flesh again”.
It’s defined as:
- the belief that the soul, upon death of the body, comes back to earth in another body or form.
- rebirth of the soul in a new body.
- a new incarnation or embodiment, as of a person.
Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that an aspect of a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each biological death.
It is a central tenet of all major Indian religions, namely Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism. And the idea of reincarnation is found in many ancient cultures as well as in many tribal societies around the world, including our Native American Indians.
And there are instances in the Bible that lead us to believe that Jesus and the Isrealites believed too. For example: in Matthew 11:14:
“For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. Let anyone with ears listen!”
And again, in Matthew 17:12-13: “But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man is about to suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.”
Unity has no “official” position on reincarnation, but Charles Fillmore, our co-founder did fervently believe in it. In fact, he believed one could live forever, if we got all our ducks in a row, so to speak. He did grow his leg so both were even and wife Myrtle did heal herself of TB.
Was he getting a bit cocky?
He reminds us that the demonstration of eternal life can only be made in life, the soul and body working together. He believed we can only learn and grow while living and learning our Truths. And as these new Truths come to light for us, we move closer to the Light. And we all will come to the Light eventually.
From “Keep a True Lent”
“As the mind changes from error to Truth, corresponding changes take place in the body and the ultimate change is perfection and wholeness in every part. “
If our purpose as spiritual beings engaged in a human experience is to bring more of our spiritual energy into tangible expression, to achieve that new dimension of consciousness that Jesus calls ‘the kingdom of heaven,’ then it must follow that the process requires more than the limits of a single lifetime.
Think of the possibility that Jesus began a series of incarnations, beginning prehistorically and ending with His Jesus incarnation. “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) He was in the beginning with God.
Jesus’ teaching: that we all shall be made free from error in soul and body. But until this change in thinking is obtained, there is death. To give us the full benefit of God’s Kingdom, life is necessary. So, when we lose our body by death, the law of expression works within for re-embodiment, and we take advantage to regain a body. – This gives us further opportunity to demonstrate Christ life.”
Let’s take this a bit further…the whole idea of Easter for us metaphysicians is our crucifixion and resurrection. Maybe we can look at that through the lens of reincarnation…
We are to be ‘born anew’ as Jesus says in John 3:3, if we wish to see the kingdom of God.
Our crucifixion is the releasing of our old ways, our error thinking. Our resurrection is grasping the new thinking that realizing the teaching of Jesus are a part of our being. When we connect with that inner Being that is our true self, we are re-born.
We don’t have to wait until we die to return at a higher dimension of awareness; it can happen in the here and now.
It is by experiencing the negativity resulting from our old choices that we are encouraged to make new, loving choices going forward. And our choices can’t be forced or dictated—it is always up to us to recognize the Good and choose to align ourselves with its energy.
The reincarnation thought comes into reality when we see that to get where we want to be, in complete acceptance of the Teachings of inclusion, of Oneness, and peace and love might take more that the lifetime we are living. Few of us are able to fully accomplish that goal within the artificial limits of a single human lifetime.
We work and play toward that Oneness and know that we are one with our Creator.
We are all spiritual beings, who have come into human experiences in order to achieve
the new consciousness Jesus describes as the kingdom of heaven as the inevitable consequence of his earthly choice to remain focused, not on his lack and need, but on his true spiritual identity, his Oneness with the Divine.
Since we are spiritual beings, “death” has no true validity. We may seem to “die” from the perspective of one life experience, but in truth we continue onward as eternal, expressive, creative spiritual beings. The only sense in which we could be said to die spiritually occurs when we embrace the truth of the Christ Presence that is our true identity—the truth that Jesus taught and demonstrated through his own life, and by moving through the illusion of death to express his eternal Spirit.
We die to mortal illusion and mortal limitation when we embrace spiritual truth and set about expressing our own true Christ nature. That is, in fact, the “second coming of the Christ.” The Christ first appeared to us through the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. It appears a second time when we follow those teachings, release old ideas of limitation, and embrace our spiritual identity. And we will find that all of God—all of the infinite universe of Good—is eagerly waiting for us to remember and express who we truly are. How many human experiences—how many “Hero’s Journeys”—it may take us to reach that point of Christ expression is entirely up to us.
So, whether we believe in the Webster definition of reincarnation or whether we look at it as an opportunity to seek spiritual liberation through ethical living and a variety of spiritual practices and learning opportunities, there are lessons to be learned.
What are your thoughts on the subject?