Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Carlos' Renaissance

Thank you, Josh and Chuck of Stuff You Should Know, for podcasting on reincarnation, which led me to this silly platform but compelling story, which led me further to philosophy professor Dr. Robert Almeder’s commentary on Dr. Ian Stevenson’s forty-year research on the subject, which led me to Stevenson’s book 20 Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation.

This godless heretic now feels quite comfortable saying aloud that some people are, in fact, reincarnating. The implications . . . are staggering, and accepting this truth has been as spiritually revolutionary for me as my teenaged rejection of this ridiculous thing called God. I still think that last part is bullish. God, that is, but my understanding of what it means to be human has flipped onto its face then painfully turned its personified head toward Eastern immateriality, which is apparently centuries progressed past dreidels and burning crosses. That’s a fairly unqualified modifier as I don’t know shit about Hinduism or Buddhism but I have noticed that everything the Old Testament has spawned has been a steaming heap of political horse manure, garnished with earthly blood, corpses, and money.

Digression! What was I talking about? Reincarnation.

It’s absolutely flooring to consider because as you’ll come to understand by Dr. Almeder’s brief interview on Youtube (That’s right, all you have to do is watch and listen, you deadbeats, assuming you’re interested enough to clink on all the links that I’ve painstakingly assembled for your enrichment), for all our social and physical sciences, we just don’t know anything.

For instance, the first link is in regards to a boy, a little boy, with detailed memories of a man whose life ended when he was shot down by Japanese artillery during World War II. The occurrence first manifested with the boy’s intense interest in fighter planes. We all have interests but conventional thinking dictates that there’s a measurable reason for them. Perhaps your grandfather first introduced you to . . . basket weaving at a young age and as an adult you’re the Hugh Hefner of wicker; however, if the influence was never there, where was that first exposure? How did little James Leininger develop his attention for airplanes? How did James Huston, the pilot whose plane was downed, develop his? And how the shit did they end up with the same first name?! Let’s leave the psychological half behind for a moment and question the coincidence of how little Ravi Shankar, born with the memories of a murdered child, could have a birthmark that slit across this throat in the same location as the fatal wound of his supposed previous incarnation? And when superimposed, the images of James Leininger and James Huston bear an undeniable resemblance. This blending of the mind and body is perplexing in a way that I haven’t felt for a long, long time.

Now, you may be thinking that, as usual, I’m suffering an existential crisis, and I am, but I assure you that this time it’s completely justified because what I thought I knew turns out to only be dancing shadows on a cave wall. It reminds me of a comic strip I once saw in which a child picks up a rock and excitedly  presents what he thinks is a dinosaur fossil to the paleontologist-esque adult on the field with him. The pompous instructor patronizingly laughs at the boy, and with his hands, gestures bigger. The final frame reveals the child’s find as the last bone in the tip of a massive dinosaur’s tail, still buried as the pair walk away.

James Leininger meeting Jack Larsen, a pilot who flew with James Huston and believed the boy to be an incarnation of the first James . . . or perhaps the second as the boy always signed his drawings "James 3." Veeeeery interesting.


JennAventures said...

Interesting per usual.

I definitely believe in reincarnation-I think of trees who seem to die every winter yet year after year come back.
I just don't think everybody gets to reincarnate. That would be too easy -nature knows when you don't appreciate life.

carma said...

OK. I love that you have delved into this topic. I saw a kid earlier this year on The Today show - similar situation. You probably didn't see Brian Weiss MD when he was on Oprah doing that past life regression segment. This is one thing I would love to do someday. I have friend who has had it done and she went back in time - incredibly interesting. Of course, it may be a bunch of hooey but fun nonetheless. It is apparently a good therapy for those with "issues" so I'd be an ideal candidate :D Hope you are doing well!!

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