When we are younger, our parents explain the whole meaning of life. (Monty Python version not withstanding). We learn the basics. You grow up, go to school, college, work, marriage, family, then finally death. And all the crazy things in between.
The church then educates us on a deeper level. We learn all about our souls and how to protect and nurture them. Our soul almost becomes top priority over all those things listed above. Let’s start with what a definition of a soul is.
A soul in most religions, is thought of as the incorporeal essence of a living being. It’s the mental abilities of a living being to reason, feel, think, etc. to protect your soul so it doesn’t hit the fiery pit, your religion, whatever it is, gives you a certain set of rules to follow. (Some are a little more forgivable than others so read that rule book carefully and read the fine print too). A soul, despite what we know scientifically to be as just parts of our brain at work, is often thought of as a separate part of us. Like your heart. We may say something like, “That came from the heart,” all the time. It’s just an expression, but the heart is different from the soul. To us, the soul is separate from our physical bodies. We need this sucker to ride into the next body so we can be reincarnated.
In my house growing up, odd though I know we all were, we believed in reincarnation. Mostly when the bad things happened. We would smash a knee and say something like, “Come on god, really?” Was I Ted Bundy in my last life or something?” I always went right to Ted, I was young but I remember the day they flipped the switch. Horrible I know. But still true. I still say that all the time. I fall a lot, so you know, I get annoyed here and there.
So, Reincarnation, it is defined simply when you die your soul rides the white tunnel into new digs with a teeny tiny stop to swipe all your hard earned knowledge and memories. So when you think about it, who cares if you get reincarnated or not? I mean, we all aren’t Napoleon who was positive he was the reincarnation of Charlemagne. What fun is it if you don’t wake up in like Angelina Jolie’s body or something and be like, “Hells yeah!”
But if we aren’t reincarnated or shipped to the fiery pit, and it isn’t your soul sticking around, then what is it? My mother always thought ghosts were echos of life essence just doing whatever they would do if they were still corporeal. And every once in awhile we could see them. They passed through our plane. Sounds plausible to me, except for the fact some of those echoes stray from that routine and do crazy s**t like knock over dishes, shut off lights and maybe even reach out and touch someone. When that happens all bets are off and it’s time to call the priest.
And why do you call the priest? Because he knows and wholeheartedly believes that it’s a soul that’s trapped. We all for the most part want to believe that a loved one’s soul or essence that passed is still traveling around close to us.
So we all have to decide for ourselves some of these more fantastical beliefs. Do I believe in ghosts or souls being able to hang around ? Are my parents watching over me or have they reincarnated into my neighbors new dogs? I prefer to think our soul is separate and it hangs close to its former loved ones or in a loved, safe familiar spot. I’ll gladly pass up on reincarnation if my family needs my soul around. Besides, I’m pretty sure I was heading in to Peppermint Pattie’s body next time anyway.