Monday, October 19, 2015

Previously Me

From around the ages of 5 to 7, my mother had this annoying habit of refusing us kids the chance to get out of bed in the morning on weekends when we were dying to get up and watch cartoons. The rule was that we had to wake her up and ask her permission first before we could turn on the tv. And if she said "no," then we'd have to return to our beds and simply lie awake there until she deigned to get up herself and grant us our freedom. Problem was, my mother was a very heavy sleeper and a notorious late riser. She sometimes didn't wake up until just after noon!

This was extremely frustrating to me, obviously, but it also allowed me time to sit in bed for hours and ruminate on life's big mysteries. No, seriously, I spent a lot of time in my head in those early years when my mom was still alive and oversleeping on weekends. At that time, I only just recently became acquainted with the concept of God, and that his scary long-haired, mustachioed son had been murdered and nailed to wood planks for something that was supposed to be good for all of us. 

Dudes! WTF, seriously? Jesus!

Seemed crazy to a kid like me in those days ... but then, I already knew by that point that the adult world made no damn sense! So I just filed this away among more crazy shit adults believed in that didn't seem to reconcile with my uninformed view of the world around me.

So, hence, while I would wile away the Saturday morning hours in bed, I would attempt to make sense of said world in my own precocious way. Many of my ruminations have long since been forgotten. Or, in some cases, my conclusions were too embarrassing for me to want to admit to nowadays. Such as the morning I thought to myself: Is baby shampoo made from real live babies?

But sometimes my mental wanderings lead to more ... philosophical territory. Such as the morning I tried to understand what happened to people when they died. Informed, no doubt, by the passing of my youngest brother a year prior; and also fueled by the recent indoctrination, on mother's decree, of us kids into the Catholic church (something we were not born into, since her own upbringing was Presbyterian) -- I can see now why it was supposedly so important to little 5-year old me to ponder this concept. Where did we go after we die, anyway?

In my little mind, I imagined a ghost like figure rising up from the deceased body it had just inhabited, and heading toward the sky where I believed God was supposed to live. I think I had seen this allusion once in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, and so the visual vocabulary was already imprinted on me. Up and up the ghost of the dearly departed would rise, and then an old man sitting on a cloud would lift up a finger to stop its ascent, before pointing back down the opposite end of the cloud to the Earth spinning below. And down that spirit would plunge ... down, down, down, returning to the ground where a baby was just being born. And into that baby the spirit would dissolve, and the newborn's eyes would open to the world for the first time.

Now, everyone I tell this story to these days think that I'm full of shit! That a little 5-year old boy, without any knowledge of other world religions, could have possibly thought up the theory of reincarnation all by himself.

And yet, I say to this: where in all that did I just say I invented the concept? Given the fact that more than one culture on this planet firmly possess the belief system that our souls are engaged in a constantly moving wheel of birth, life, death, and rebirth: did it ever occur to anyone that a child with a significantly curious and open mind might just tap into something that, to him, is just an obvious forgone conclusion? That, perhaps, he was just awakening to a realization that should have been as natural to every other human being as the sun rising each morning?

For me, I thought I figured it all out. And it wasn't until some years later when I was a 'tween of about 11 or 12, that I discovered other, more ancient, peoples had already beaten me to the punch! And that this so-called theory of mine was in fact called "reincarnation."

Something quite like this.

Scary, no? It makes me think that maybe, just maybe, there may be some truth to all this.

And if so, then what about our past lives? Do we have them? And if so further: is it possible to remember them?

I honestly don't claim to know the answer for sure (heh, heh), but I suspect it might be true.

But I'm also crazily intrigued by the possible lives my particular "soul" has lived. I can't quite put the finger on why exactly, but I get this sense that my soul has been wandering this planet for a very, very long time. It's a feeling I've had since early in my childhood. I've always had this "world weary" heaviness in my heart, like as if I've been through the ringer and back again -- and this was clearly before even all the major bad shit that was yet to happen to the younger me in this current lifetime occurred.

So what have I done in my previous lives. Who was I, and did I lead mostly good lives instead of bad over the millennia? I do get the feeling that, before this life, my soul hadn't been in circulation for centuries. Like as if the last time I was human was back when the center of the world was still in the Middle East. Who knows, maybe I did something so bad back then that I had to spend the next 400 to 500 years as various forms of insect before I could eventually work my way back up to human form. Exciting, eh?!

Was I a feared marauder of villages?

Who knows? It's possible! And maybe that will be a blog post ... for another time, eh?

And what about you? Do you have an old soul? Or do you feel like a Spring chicken in this game of (eternal) Life?

Let me know in the comments!

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