Unorthodox Thinking

A few months ago, I watched a documentary on Turkey, the country, not the bird. The premise was this guy who is an American professor, who frequently visits Turkey to follow in the footsteps of St Paul. He has visited the sites that St Paul preached the gospel 2000+ years ago.

Turkey has a very long human history, since it’s at the crossroads of the world, between Europe and Asia. It’s been ruled by many empires, and most of its archeological sites have yet to be explored. It was interesting to watch, since I’m into that stuff, but what I wasn’t expecting from the documentary was coming away questioning life.

About midway through the program, the camera panned over a hilly, rocky, windblown landscape littered with ancient ruins. Roads paved in stone, Roman columns, and ancient dwellings were nestled into the tall grasses and weathered bent trees. It was your typical Mediterranean landscape. I was floored.

It all looked so familiar. I felt like I had walked those roads, purchased items at the markets, and knew the lay of the land intimately, more so than I know Decatur. I literally began weeping for a past life that I was suddenly remembering. There I was, watching a dry documentary, crying like I had just watched the ending to “Marley & Me”. I always get a sinus infection after watching that movie.

Not only did I know the land in every detail, but I remembered who I had been. I can’t explain it, but it’s not the first time an image from Turkey has made me feel that way.

There was another image of an ancient arched doorway of an old storefront, that I felt like I had walked through hundreds of times.

Yes, I know this sounds kooky, and no, I don’t care that it does. It’s how I felt.

Is reincarnation real? Did I live in Turkey thousands of years ago? Were memories from an ancient ancestor imprinted into my DNA? A funny thing that happened after this, is that out of the blue, I found out that I do have Turkish DNA.

I love exploring all these possibilities. I think there is so much more to life than what we’re seeing or have discovered. I think one day we’re going to find out what life was all about, and go, “Oh, that’s why!” “That’s what this was all about!”

So, of course, I had to do some Googling and YouTubing to find out what is the thinking on reincarnation. I’ve learned a lot. I don’t know what’s true, but I found out that many religions, even Judaism and early Christianity, believed in reincarnation. Reincarnation is also the only religious belief that science kinda backs up.

There’s the Law of Conservation of Energy, which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It simply changes to another form. And then there are documented cases of those, usually kids, who have remembered past lives with quite a bit of convincing evidence.

One thing that perplexes me is that I sensed that my past life had been wonderful and fulfilling. That’s why I cried. It’s not like I came back to repay past sins, or because life had been unsatisfying.

Honestly, this life feels more like that. This life has been aggravating and restless. I can’t get no satisfaction.

Judaism teaches that our souls are notified in heaven when we will be conceived. There’s a 40-day warning to get us used to the idea of coming back into a human body, and that we choose to come back. We chose the life that we have. Yes, we only have ourselves to blame.

So, that gets me wondering why did I choose this life and this body? When registering, did I go table to table, like at a high school registration, and pick out the details? I chose to live in this time, in Decatur, of all places, and marry that guy? Did I choose this face because I thought it would be more of a challenge? What was I thinking!

Sometimes I think this life has boiled down to working, sleeping a little bit, and paying stupid bills. It might be appropriate to post on my tombstone, “This life was sponsored by Ameren.” I should be buried in one of those NASCAR jumpsuits with the logos of all the corporations I’ve helped make rich.

This life has been unsatisfying. Period. And, soul mate, where the hell are you? I’m getting tired of doing this alone. Yeesh!

Religions that believe in reincarnation also believe in “soul groups”. So, it’s believed that we come back with the same people, over and over again. The people who are most significant in your life today, were significant in past lives. Your soul mate is your soul mate, and it doesn’t change from one life to the next. It’s possible to have different kinds of soul mates. Some are friends, or close family members, fewer are much more intimate and undeniable soul mates.

Does that explain why we sometimes instantly connect with some people, or fall in love at first sight? And what about those people who are a pain to us? Those that rub us wrong, and make life more difficult, what is their purpose? We chose to come back with them?

I don’t know what I believe, but I think there’s a purpose to it all. I sure hope that we’re not here as a fluke and will cease from existing the moment we die. And I surely don’t want my life to be about Ameren or the cable bill.

If I came back to learn anything, I’ve learned that I should have skipped some of those registration tables, and signed up for volleyball or the glee club instead.

It’s getting late into life to believe I’m going to turn this around, but I remember going to my biology teacher in high school to collect my final grade of the year. He handed it to me on a slip of paper and said, “You pulled it out of the fire at the last minute, again.” I had been flunking, but finished with a “B”. Maybe there’s hope for this life after all, or maybe I should just wait for the next time around.

It is fascinating to wonder.

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