"Do you believe in reincarnation...?"

Mmmm, so often asked. Yesterday's conversation at an art auction preview viewing went like this.

"Charles, in your talks and book you hardly mention the topic of reincarnation"....... "May I ask.. Do you believe in reincarnation?"

The questioner was a middle aged lady (I have problems guessing ages - especially women - so middle age to me may be anything from 35 to 55).

I smiled politely, as the question itself is so steeped in illusion that I could but turn the question back upon the questioner.

"Do you believe in reincarnation?" I asked.

"Oh absolutely ... I certainly believe in reincarnation....." The lady then went on and expounded her belief for about ten minutes mentioning the Buddhist and Hindu teachings and even the early Gnostic Christian hints on the subject. She then stopped half way through a sentence and asked "So am I on the right track here?"

"You previously used the words "certainly" and "absolutely", now you ask me if you are on the "right track" Are you certain or is there some doubt?

"I want your opinion on the subject", she replied a little flustered.

"You have obviously read much on the subject - would one more "opinion" make any difference?" "Would my opinion help cement your certainty and repress those lingering doubts for a little longer?"

"So you won't answer me ... It's just that I thought you may help me in my search....."

"Madam perhaps you should enquire into the question itself...."

"I don't follow ... What do you mean?"

"Can that, that is unchangeable, total and beyond duality "die"? "Ask yourself, can something which cannot die be reborn?" "You say "I believe in reincarnation". "Who is this "I" that needs to lean on this absurd belief system? (To me of course all belief systems are absurd.)

"But Buddha believed in reincarnation.." She replied exasperated.

"Buddhahood or enlightenment is the supreme state realized. It is beyond duality, ego and certainly belief systems." "When Siddhartha became Gautama Buddha there was no longer an "I" to hang onto a "belief" system. Once Buddhahood or enlightenment is attained the "I" is no longer and the maya of reincarnation evaporates - as do all illusions once experienced as illusion."

"I came for confirmation and you seed doubts in my mind."

"Who is this "I" that came for confirmation and who is this "my" that thinks it possesses a mind?" "These are the only two questions needed until enlightenment. Why do you impose such severe limitations on yourself and then make a struggle via belief systems to transcend them?

"So you are telling me I won't be born again."

"I am telling you that this life is an illusion - a dream that you will some day awaken from - your thousands of past "lives" were mere illusionary dreams and you will go on dreaming until that, that is having the dream, realizes itself as pure and total consciousness."

"So you are telling me I am pure consciousness - totality."

"Who is the observer who realizes that it is pure consciousness?"

"God you are hopeless..." I should have known better than to ask you anything."

She left my company at least smiling..... and in thought!

Alas the human race will stay in conflict until all belief systems are dropped as unnecessary and immature baggage. Knowing is not believing. The mind is but thoughts. Stop the thoughts - one stops the mind.

No mind - no ego. The real "I" then becomes the ever constant witness - the observer of the unchangeable. To observe - to experience is to "know".

Belief systems are mere intellectual concepts granted special "validity" - created with dead past thoughts interpreted through one's conditioning. Belief is of the mind and ego and changeable. "Knowing" is of the heart. Yet we kill for these manufactured belief systems. "I believe in my concept of God, of freedom etc". Isn't it better to "Know God or freedom"? Can we ever "know" God whilst we hold onto our mental concept of God.

Masters come to shake us out of our contentment and illusion so that we awaken. Yet instead we create a belief system from their witness and go on killing each other with words and deeds. Must we who are created in the image of God be so insecure? Must we who's true nature is infinite being and bliss, continue to set our own limitations of ignorance and suffering?

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