A Follow-up to "Death, Reincarnation, and Guilt"
I knew my last article was on a loaded topic: reincarnation. I did receive some positive emails. But I felt that many of the comments on the article at my blogsite, via email, and in discussion with clients missed the central points of the article. This is a common phenomenon! I learned a long time ago that everyone reads through their own filters. But I want to clear up some of the issues that came up in the comments and then I’ll be done with it. When I write an article all I can hope is that the readers read it with the Holy Spirit and get something useful out of it for where they are now in their process, even if it’s not what I intend for them to get.
The point of the article was how the belief in guilt persists through the concept of reincarnation. As long as you believe in guilt the ego (personal thought system in your mind) will provide stories for your guilt, whether they are from this lifetime or from another. As long as you want to go in search of guilt in your mind it will provide stories from this lifetime or another lifetime. When you work out the guilt in your mind you will not be interested in these stories any more. The ego in your mind will still have them. But you won’t attend to them because you will see that they are not true.
Stories of guilt in your mind are not really the source of your guilt. Your belief in guilt gives rise to the stories. The value of looking at these stories is that they bring your belief in guilt to your conscious awareness. This belief takes many forms. But each time as you drill down to the source of guilt you will arrive at the same underlying belief: that there is a power outside and over you (a god) taking your measure and judging you. This, ultimately, is the only belief that you have to undo. It is what holds guilt in place. It is what makes you fear Truth. Eventually you will not be deceived by the many forms guilt takes. Instead when guilt comes up you will go right to undoing your underlying belief in a judgmental god. (My book, Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace, explains all of this in depth).
There are some who believe firmly in reincarnation and I have no doubt that, if they are willing, the Holy Spirit will use that belief in a way that will help them undo guilt now. But there is no reason to despair over the idea of reincarnation. Nor is there any reason to adopt the concept if it fills you with fear or does not make sense to you. The other important point that I made in the last article is that it does not take lifetimes to undo your belief in guilt. It just takes willingness now to look at guilt when it comes up naturally.
Sometimes when you study something like ACIM there are concepts beyond your ability to understand. If you cannot understand Eternity as timelessness or existence without a self then accept that you do not understand Eternity and True Being (God) yet. Understanding will come as you are ready to understand. You don’t have to adopt concepts that scare you or that do not make sense to you in the meantime. It is a more helpful practice to keep your mind open to the Holy Spirit. It will bring you the concepts or experiences that you need to understand. (And, yes, for some it may be reincarnation but not if it scares you or does not make sense to you. If you feel despair you are listening to the ego, not the Holy Spirit!).
The concept of reincarnation was used by the Voice she called “Jesus” to motivate Helen Schucman to be a channel for and scribe of ACIM. When you read about a person’s specific experience with the Holy Spirit (or “Jesus”) what you want to take away is that they were answered, not necessarily what they were answered. The Holy Spirit speaks to your mind and the unique way it works. It meets you where you are in the process. (For more on this: http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2007/06/one-limit-to-holy-spirits-guidance.html and http://acimmentor.blogspot.com/2012/05/ask-what-makes-course-different-from.hml).
For those who have had past life experiences but who are made fearful by the concept of reincarnation I offer you two alternative ways of looking at those experiences. The first is that as each of us in our seeming-individuality are figures in the “dream” of one mind then past life experiences are really just “memories” of other dream figures in that one mind’s dream. In other words, you did not personally live those lives. You are just remembering something in the collective dream. This is why many different people can have past-life experiences of being the same historical person.
The other view is one that comes from my own experience. I, too, have had past life “memories”, three in total, two of them under hypnosis over 20 years ago. Right away I recognized that they were analogies for what I was experiencing at the time. For example, while I was dealing with what I perceived as a painful rejection one of the regressions revealed how in a past life this same person had “stabbed me in the back” and killed me. The “memories” in these regressions seemed to me to be just like a dream I have at night that produces analogies to what I am experiencing awake. They were stories from my subconscious built around my feelings.
Beyond specific stories for guilt the concept of reincarnation reinforces guilt by emphasizing your identification with a self. It can therefore only come from the ego, which is the thought system for you as a self. The concept is an attempt to give an attribute of Reality – immortality – to the ego to make it seem real. For this reason even if the concept is helpful for some temporarily it will eventually fall away when they recognize it as an obstacle to complete peace.
Learn about the books The ACIM Mentor Articles, The Plain Language A Course in Miracles, 4 Habits for Inner Peace and Releasing Guilt for Inner Peace at www.acimmentor.com.