Is Rebirth Relevant?
As I become more of a skeptic everyday, I’ve been re-contemplating concepts, theories and teachings I’ve read and heard. One thing I keep coming back to is rebirth and or reincarnation, whatever you choose to call it. I’m starting to look at it all in a different way, without the goggles of a tradition or something a teacher may have told me. Doing so, has felt like the training wheels are coming off a bit.
To be honest, for a while I was feeling it necessary to have a teacher. Things started changing though, as you know from a previous post, things started to get stale and feel like I was just going through the motions. It didn’t feel real, and the goal that was set didn’t seem like much of a goal, never mind an end. As I slowly slid down the wall, like a piece of melting cheese on a hot summers day, my mind was analyzing the things I have been taught, and thought that I understood as concrete. But, as we know, nothing is concrete or permanent. It feels great to be stepping back and looking at things fresh again.
I’ve always understood rebirth to be some sort of substantive thing, like with the Dalai Lama’s and all. I even thought there was no way around it, this had to be the way things were done and when we die, our “energy” and karma is reborn. That’s it. I mean, they, the Tibetans, go through the rigors of finding a child based on clues the person who had died either told them beforehand, or left in notes, etc. Once that child is found, a series of tests is given to see if that person recognizes certain items that belonged to the previous incarnation. It’s been done for a long, long time, it has to be the truth, right?
I’m not saying it doesn’t happen at all either, I do believe, to an extent, that something is expelled from the body and is reborn. What it is, I am not sure. What I am starting to believe though, is there is no “full reincarnation” and the recognition these “reincarnates” have of the items are based on traces left behind in the energy/ mind streams that continue or. When I die, Nate is not coming back. Maybe some part, or trace, will. But, as a whole, Nate will be dead. Or, it could be pure coincidence, like I said I don’t know.
The way I am looking at things now is not based on faith that these things exist because we are told they exist, but in more of an investigative manner. Rather, I am looking at the teachings on a basis of what is necessary and what is not. Does knowing whether rebirth is true help you or I right now? I don’t think it does. And, as a matter of fact, as we spend a lot of time worrying about it does it not hinder the practice of right now anyway?
Buddha was not interested in any of the metaphysical stuff. For instance, he was not the least interested in such things as creation, he believed knowing whether or not it existed was irrelevant. When we peel the onion back, we see that there are many things that could be considered irrelevant. Understanding, or better yet, trying to understand rebirth right now, has no relevancy. That’s at least my story, and for now, I’m sticking to it.