Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

Grieving For Atheists, Part 3

So I guess here’s where the Buddhist concept of reincarnation starts to make some sense. Mind you, I am not a Buddhist, nor do I have any desire to become one. I am just exploring my thoughts here…

I once studied with a music teacher for about 10 years before he died who was a very spiritual man. Not in a religious sense – more in a mystical one. He did believe in reincarnation, and I remember him once drawing a straight line on a piece of paper and saying “this is time, and all living things exist somewhere on this continuum.” But the line didn’t represent linear time, it represented spiritual development.

I remember when my sister committed suicide, he said something to the effect of “she’ll do better next time.” Meaning, in her next life, she would have a chance to develop spiritually to higher level. When he would tell me these things, I definitely felt he was trying to teach me some deeply spiritual truths, but I struggled to really believe some of it. I don’t think I was fully ready yet…

So, thinking about these concepts as I grieve the loss of my loved one, gives me some weak comfort. If physics tells us that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, and my experience tells me all living things are manifestations of energy on some level, then whatever dies isn’t really gone – it’s just been transformed into another form of energy.

Do I believe this enough to codify into my personal ethos? Probably not – at least not yet. I still have some thinking and living to do.

But the general idea does provide some small measure of solace.