Second time around?

Second time around?


Ever experienced déjà vu? Ever felt that you’d been somewhere, done something or met someone who you’d met before, only the chances of this were improbable or zero?

What about periodic tinnitus (“ringing in the ears”) that doesn’t continue, a kind of “buzzing” when you talk with certain people, especially some you might term as “high-energy” individuals?

One scientific conjecture to explain déjà vu is that one hemisphere of the brain recognises something milliseconds or nanoseconds ahead of the other hemisphere – but enough to “spook” our conscious mind into feeling we’ve “experienced” a moment of “having been there before”.

all religion touches... the loving, respectful, tolerant part of [us] that wants to live in harmony with others

Well there are also those who’d say this isn’t the first time you’ve walked this earth. And that, despite any religious beliefs you have, that our “soul essence” is reborn, at some time, into a new body.

This may sound very “New Age” but the concept is several thousand years old. Today we think of Celts as the Irish and Scots, but the Celts and their fiery temperament in fact migrated from Saxony across Europe and the near East. They believed in an eternal cycle of life/death/rebirth which confused the heck out of the Romans, for example. Julies Caesar recorded that the Celts were fearless warriors because death in this earthly plane meant rebirth into heaven, while they greeted birth with sadness, because it meant someone had died in heaven.

Some say the Celtic belief in eternal life may even have enhanced early Christian teachings, as one of the first kingdoms to adopt Christianity was Galatia (as in the New Testament Letters to the Galatians). Galatia was a variant of the Celtic name for their homeland, Galatea, which survives in other places they settled (Galicia in both Spain and Hungary). Remember, it was not until the Council of Nicea in 325AD that the Church formally agreed on the divinity of Jesus and also unified Christian doctrine. Nicea was in a neighbouring province to Galatia.

Religion, sadly, tends to be divisive rather than unifying. But just humour me for a moment and suppose, just suppose, that all religion touches (or should touch) the loving, respectful, tolerant part of ourselves that wants to live in harmony with others. Now add to that the idea that Buddhism’s belief in reincarnation recognises something that other religion may overtly deny while actually endorsing in a different form. For example, Christianity acknowledges that those who truly seek forgiveness may pass on, but only until such time as the Second Coming unites them and all the repentant in heaven under God. In effect that is a cycle of rebirth – just not as quick or repeated as a Buddhist believes, because Buddhism uses the idea of reincarnation to explain a search for enlightenment, which is a state of grace. Christianity proposes that the singular acts of forgiveness and repentance, through faith, guarantee a future state of grace. The trains effectively go to the same place, we’re only debating whether there are stops en route.

I have had the strongest feelings, right through my life, that this isn’t my “first time around”. I can’t remember the first time I felt this but certainly when I was as young as 12. Things seemed SO familiar so often that I felt I had little choice about turning left or right – I was still going to end up at some predestined place. I just felt, now, that this introduction might set the scene for what I write next.

This article continues here: Second Time Pt.2

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