by Lucy Dahill, Sydney, Australia
There is a belief I have found that I now see far more clearly, and that is that we are led to believe everything has a start and an end. Everything in existence is set and established according to my reaching a certain point. Let me give you an example: the day starts and ends, the year starts and ends. Within that, my life starts and I learn to do things, to crawl, to walk, to repeat the alphabet. I learn to do good, to please, to be happy, to do school, college and university. I start work, I start relationships and somewhere inside me I am waiting for them all to end, for my life to end.
My straight line is based on success and completion. What a shock to fail – to have to repeat. That would mean I was going backwards. If life goes in a straight line with birth on one end and death on the other, then if I am not going forward, if I am not improving, if I am not doing things, then surely I am going backwards. Hold on a second, that would mean I might die without being recognised for what I did. If no-one recognised me then what would be the point of life? I lived believing that I only have one life and I have to make it count.
Where does this belief come from? Is it just an innocent part of life – the ‘having a purpose’, the ’improving ourselves to make us more employable’, or is it a drive that impels us to be constantly on the move and at the mercy of someone else’s approval? It cannot be innocent because it feels like a curse. It keeps me constantly on the move with no allowing for stopping and stillness except in sleep – exhausted sleep. ‘Stopping’ feels indulgent, lazy, costly – I could find ‘a better use for my time’, ‘no-one recognises me for sleeping’ and ‘life might end tomorrow’.
I made decisions to work as hard as I could and to be good at it all, yet however many boxes I ticked, however well I did, there always seemed to be more to strive for, the recognition never quite satisfied the longing inside me. It was exhausting, how long could I go on like this – was it to be till I came to the end, till I died – surely THEN I would get a well earned sleep from all this trying and doing – wouldn’t I? I could see the gift of this ‘one life’, this start and end from my exhausted point of view.
Then I went to a Universal Medicine workshop and Serge Benhayon reminded me of a teaching I had always known to be true – the science of reincarnation. I have never been afraid of dying. I always felt like I would be going home. I remember picking up from somewhere that you come back to balance the karma, to ‘right the wrongs you have done in a previous life’. But in that workshop I suddenly realised that we are just going round and round, there is no start and end, you don’t leave anything behind. The microcosm of the start and end of the day is just a snapshot of the macrocosm – the start and end of your life… or indeed, many lives. So I had to ask, as many others in the workshop did – what does that mean for the life I am currently living?
It was exhausting and overwhelming just to contemplate. I had a mental download of all my underlying anxieties… would I get more depressed because I couldn’t escape from all that I actually wanted to leave behind? Would it expose that actually I was not really living how or what I wanted to live? Or would I simply fall apart without the structure of a day, a year, a lifetime – without the rest? How serious could this questioning get and, to be honest, I questioned if it was helpful. Should I not just stick with what I was currently living (the ‘one-life’ approach)? But it was too late – I had to contemplate it.
I pressed the pause button. For the first time in as long as I can remember I stopped the train.
I noticed that this conditioning of everything starting and ending stopped me completing things and stopped me feeling like I needed to commit or to have any responsibility – I could see my pattern of ticking boxes to move on to the next level or task or day or indeed life. If all that was needed was a tick, then did it matter how I was doing it, or what I was doing to get it done? My teacher didn’t mind as long as I got my assignment in, my boss didn’t mind as long as the client didn’t complain.
Yet if reincarnation was true it meant that it wasn’t about ticking boxes, because if I wasn’t going anywhere then everything mattered and how I did everything mattered. If I abused my body to get something done like pulling an all-nighter or drinking a gazillion cups of coffee, then I was going to be coming back to the hangover of that the next day, and with my new eyes I could see that the same applied to the pace I was living my life – if I gallop through this one in nervous energy then I would be dealing with the monstrous hangover from that in my next life. If I wasn’t going anywhere then I had a responsibility to myself.
I quickly came to see that I was comfortable in the lack of responsibility aspect of pretending we only had one life because it meant I could blame someone else for my not being good enough, for my not achieving and, in the end, I could just walk away from it. Considering life as one continuous repeat, seeing the simplicity of working and living together meant I had to be responsible for what and how I contributed to what we were living and doing in our family, in my house, in my work… and it was not going to change till I did. It was responsibility but it was also love. Love for myself and my family, friends, everyone I come into contact with.
So what would my day look like if I was coming back to the same day tomorrow?
Groundhog Day! I found that it is actually much more amazing than the negativity of my ‘one life’ outlook. Another day is another opportunity to experience what it is like living from the yumminess of not ‘doing’. I blacklisted multi-tasking and embraced just doing what I could in a day without tiring myself out. I even started giving myself breaks. I gave myself permission to have lunch, to have a shower without thinking about what I had to do next. I had to remember to have fun – because I love having fun, I love being playful and I thought that all had to stop when I grew up. I started practising being in the moment. I built routines, rhythms, space in my day that changed my approach to bedtime and my sleeping. I found that very slowly I came to feel a whole different side of me. A side I had suppressed for as long as I can remember. I am actually fragile, tender, strong, very loving and actually very organised – not the frazzled mess I believed I was. I have much more fun with my family and friends, they all welcomed the departure of ‘try-hard Lucy’ and are quick to remind me if she comes to stay again. Bizarrely it has created much more space in my day and I have an ever-expanding relationship with Time!
I am learning what it means to be open, to let people in. To show them who I am and not need them to like me or approve of my choices. In order to be OK with that, the most important point for me is to continually ensure that my choices are not at the expense of another.
I feel like I am learning so much about life – I am back at school and will learn forever… because the more I choose to see, the more I am aware that I have only chosen to see such a small part of all there is to see! Believing in a start and an end meant I was always making my way to the departure lounge. It put pressure on me to do as much as I could to have a good resume! Re-incarnation to me was a gift, like taking off a pair of glasses that had a pre-determined picture inside them which meant that everything I saw, I saw through that picture. Once they were off I looked again, and saw something totally different. Once I had started asking questions about this picture that I had always thought of as ‘the way it is’, I started seeing situations, people and places with so much more love.
To re-incarnate or not to re-incarnate, does it really matter which is true? No, not really. I know I want to be responsible in everything I do, say and think. If I don’t come back then I will have lived with more responsibility to myself and others, and if I do come back then I will be able to say ‘OK here I am, where do you need me this time?’… You never know, I may even come back as a scientist to prove reincarnation once and for all!
So what about today? Today I am committed to working more, to my relationships more – in fact to everything I thought I would run away from. How strange to take a moment to appreciate that everything that sent me into overwhelm when I thought there was a start and an end – everything I was desperate to get away from – I now choose. All the difficulties were the opportunities for my greatest healings.
Shakespeare didn’t say ‘To do or not to do’, he said ‘To be or not to be’. Mmmm – methinks he had a point. Now, that is my question – and my choice.
305 thoughts on “Reincarnation: Does Everything Start and End?”
Lucy I have always been fascinated by reincarnation. It was a thing openly mentioned or talked about as I was growing up in the Indian community. Often the bad experiences were the repent and yet, the so called good that occurred for a person, was seen as a good fortune for that person. But what wasn’t discussed was that it was much more than that, it was more about how we lived responsibly. This living with more responsibility came through Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, and I understand more about this cause and effect of living with this responsibility.
Life is much more different when we consider not just the quality we live in and with, but the impact it has on another. That is a huge responsibility without making or sounding it to be such an arduous task. There is more to life than just us…
Re-incarnation and the word Responsibility go hand in hand – and the funny thing is that although we balk at the word responsibility and we resist embracing it in life, once embraced our life enriches in ways we would never have fathomed!
Groundhog day sounds like a curse, but it is the greatest divine gift to get to come back to do it all again but this time completing the task in front of us with the utmost grace, gentleness and true love that we are and that we are from. A task indeed for there is much to re-imprint.
I loved this reminder Henrietta, it is the opportunity to redo and undo what we have done – simple…
Thank you Lucy for this awesome blog on myth busting of living in a linear way. I too know that there are too many things that feel familiar so I cannot write off this life as just one life to live, and I know deep inside re-incarnation is a fact for me. But I do not prescribe by certain notions of re-incarnation that state that we come back as a grasshopper or a centipede etc. We come back to clean up the mess that we have left behind, in other words to complete what was left incomplete.
What a difference whether we see life as a linear progression or a circle. And I can feel how much complexity we come up with to fight this most amazingly loving science.
I love the word ‘hangover’ in this context – it applies not only from one life to the next but also from evening to the next morning, from morning to afternoon, from one hour to the next, to everything that we take along with us as we go around in cycles, big and small.
It is in the being not the doing and so much of life we are addicted to doing the right thing and of course the not so right. So when we understand that we are “to be or not to be” it exposes us because we are the doing and in the doing not having a focus on our connection to our essences, which is the true being who is divine in essence.
A beginning and an end are man-made through their limited mind that cannot see beyond its self-made borders.
And the beginning and end story suits us as long as we dont want to take responsibility for how our life has turned out to be.
Many choose to not be responsible for how they live, ‘I quickly came to see that I was comfortable in the lack of responsibility aspect of pretending we only had one life because it meant I could blame someone else for my not being good enough, for my not achieving and, in the end, I could just walk away from it’.
I choose to be responsible for my life, in how I live, ‘I know I want to be responsible in everything I do, say and think. If I don’t come back then I will have lived with more responsibility to myself and others’. The short film ‘An American Attorney in London’ comes to mind when thinking of responsibility, and accountability as it presents how we live in life and what we do behind closed doors impacts others regardless.
I cannot imagine that I would only have one life, this current life with birth as the beginning and death as the end. What would be the purpose of that for an eternal being?
A convenient ‘get out of jail free card’ is the one life approach, but there is only so long one can fool oneself with this and also lead other off the path too. When you begin to see life for what it truly is, then there is little delay in cleaning up what one has been sent here to clean up so that we can get back to tending to what and where we really need to be.
Yes, Lucy, we really do not have anything to lose by being responsible and living life to the full, whether we re-incarnate or not, but I do love the energetic law of cause and effect because it reminds me that every thing and every moment matters.
Being responsible is also love, love for myself, family, friends, and everyone I come into contact with, ‘Considering life as one continuous repeat, seeing the simplicity of working and living together meant I had to be responsible for what and how I contributed to what we were living and doing in our family, in my house, in my work… and it was not going to change till I did.’
Being in the fullness of me and feeling what to do in each moment has been a revelation to me, I no longer trudge through life trying to get by but embrace all that is on offer this time around.
The discussion about beginning and end takes one path if we consider form and a different one if we bring formlessness into the equation. We are both but we reduce the discussion to the former and from there conclude that there is always a start and, by definition, that it has to be an end. We may get trapped in this way of thinking from the beginning to the end. The key for us to free ourselves from it is to decide to end it (meaning ending the grip it has on us). So, we need to apply the linear way to be able to transcend it.
Being comfortable with the irresponsibility of thinking this is just one life…if we live this way we can do, say and think what we want, we hold on to our right the do what we want without considering the consequences for others. The more I deepen my understanding of what we are leaving behind for another to walk through the more I see and feel how much more loving it is to live knowing we will be back to walk through what we have chosen not to notice.
I think when we live focused on life in a linear way we can create ‘end points’ that we hold as being more important than all the moments leading up to them and in that we create a dis-harmony as we’re negating the whole we are eternally a part of and how each moment is of equal importance…
It is a great point you write Lucy that everything is predetermined to reaching a point. It is the biggest distraction. I can think of a couple like once I am in a relationship I can settle and be all the love I know I can be INSTEAD of, being all that love I know I am right now including loving me to the bone .. and work is something similar — I have to know so much before I can land my next career progression job.
It’s a lot of joy renouncing this and attending to these things I want by acting and living it now and, its interesting because there is tension I feel straight away .. hmmmm. This tension is outside of me though or is it? It is my own tension of not choosing it.
I love the idea of Groundhog day… we get to go round and round with an unending opportunity to feel what our decisions were like yesterday, what supported us and could be repeated, and what did not. It makes so much more sense then the linear approach to life.
Showing decency and respect to all we do is sharing how to live with a deepen True responsibility for what we do and this will one day be the foundation that will bring us to a deeper understanding about reincarnation. Then as You have shared Lucy, for I understood this and felt the same for most if not all of my 65 years that! “I have never been afraid of dying.” And we eventually will all come to the same understanding.
Revisiting this blog I can see such deeply embedded behaviours that come round again and again and again to be re-evaluated and assessed – are they needed any more? To consider we are a tick box reduced the lessons on offer.
Tick boxing does indeed reduce the lessons on offer to just a to do thing, rather than a divine opportunity to grow and evolve.
In the end we can only come back to ourselves and all that we have lived. We have such great responsibility to be all that we can be in the world.
‘Re-incarnation to me was a gift, like taking off a pair of glasses that had a pre-determined picture inside them which meant that everything I saw, I saw through that picture. Once they were off I looked again, and saw something totally different……I started seeing situations, people and places with so much more love.’ Beautifully said Lucy.
The cycles of life allow us the amazing gift of re-imprinting and expanding our living way.
Why do things happen in life as they do? Is it just pure coincidence? Is there even any such thing? Is life about doing more or leaning how to be in all we do? Great article Lucy.
Every day is a new opportunity with the offering of a new way to live life. We can make deep and lasting change if we so choose.
Yes and we can see how the way we live can support another, not just by what we do, or say, but by the reflection we offer. If we live committed to life and to living it in a loving way then that inspires another to see it is possible to live that way themselves – even if we never talk or actually meet.
What an amusing and perfect analogy: “If I abused my body to get something done like pulling an all-nighter or drinking a gazillion cups of coffee, then I was going to be coming back to the hangover of that the next day, and with my new eyes I could see that the same applied to the pace I was living my life – if I gallop through this one in nervous energy then I would be dealing with the monstrous hangover from that in my next life.” Whether it is the day repeating, whether it is a year or in fact an incarnation we are constantly being offered another chance. These and the many other cycles we have on our planet are the greatest support for us to learn about the responsibility of living the truth and love of our essence.
Yes totally and by the grace of God we are sometimes offered stop moments to get us out of our pattern of behaviour to look afresh at what we have taken as our normal. I can see how many of these I have been offered. So much grace and love in one repeating cycle.
If we are honest we can all feel that this life is not our first one. So what then makes us think it is our last? Knowing it isn’t means, as is shared above, that we have the opportunity to take responsibility for how we live this one. A much needed quality if we are to even begin to touch the sides of illness and disease that we now have as a world wide plague.
We can all feel that some patterns and behaviours are older than this life as they are so hard to shift, even with the best of intentions and all our resolve.
‘All the difficulties were the opportunities for my greatest healings’, I found this to be true. In my most challenging times, I learned so much about myself, and haven’t understood the lesson or lessons, I have grown so much in the process. And I did learn to ask for support.
The beauty of groundhog day is it offers the constant opportunity to re-imprint our past behaviours or choices with those that represent who we really are.
Yes, no judgment, simply another opportunity to have another go.
When we see life as cycles, reincarnation just makes sense, it’s just another bigger longer cycle we’re all part of, and of course it asks of us a different level of being and presence, for after all if we’re in a cycle we’re going to come back around to meeting what we’ve left behind and everyone else meets it too, so we are responsible to us and in this we are responsible to the all.
Yes and this responsibility is a privilege not a curse. Really, when you stop to consider the divine order we live within and the tension that calls us back to the love we are from, it is the most extra-ordinary blessing.
To actually stop and consider the cycle of life, that it continues and is a great reminder of how much disregard we live in when we think that there is only one life, when we realise that this is but one life of many we have a responsibility to prepare ourselves for our next life, and that over many lifetimes we are continually given opportunities to make more loving choices which gives way for more lessons to be learned over the space of each lifetime.
Spot on Sally – seeing life as only one life and nothing more is a convenient way to not clean up one’s mess.
‘Making it count’ may means two totally different things. If you do not believe in re-incarnation, it means carpe diem. Let’s throw all the meat to the barbecue and have fun with it. If you believe in re-incarnation, it means, let’s use this life well to heal and advance us. So we do not have to repeat so many difficult things. What you do in the name of let’s make this life counts is totally opposite, depending on your own understanding of life.
Yes and it is so important to delve into how we feel and how we then move without being told what to do by another and taking it on without being discerning.
Many see life as the strait line you describe, and often there is some relief in believing it will one day come to an end, the constant struggle and striving forwards, at the point of death reaching our final resting place – the saying ‘I’ll rest when I’m dead’ being an epitome of this thinking. I remember when I first heard of the potential of reincarnation, of coming back again and again I was horrified – what, no end? No peaceful oblivion where i can cease to exist and in doing so, not have to have responsibilities and need to be or do anything? For in the cycle or rebirth, there is inescapable responsibility and a never-ending commitment to life, to evolution – not to doing, but simply to being and returning to who we truly are.
So true Rebecca, in the cycle of rebirth there really is no point in exhausting yourself because you are going to come back to do it all again, so you may as well take your time and lay a fiery footprint to inspire on your return 🙂
I agree Lucy – we often give up towards the end of our life, wanting to kick back and lay down responsibility, but how does that set us up for the next phase of our cycle?
I love the feeling of joy in this blog Lucy… the joy of understanding true responsibility and lightness of being it brings.