by LJ Frank
Birth is not a beginning, death is not an end…there is continuity without a starting point ~ Chuang Tzu
Contemplating everyday things in my life I have questioned the logic of the proverbial reaping what is sown as things are reaped in a person’s life from which they never planted a seed. Things happen outside of us that affect us. I love it when a person directly responsible for an event affecting me says “we” all need to dig in to respond to that which they were directly involved in creating in the first place.
I recently met a person who said they knew me in a previous life. They explained in uncanny detail my concerns both in this life and what they said occurred in a previous life with my eyes, my dreams, hopes and relationships. Were they merely clairvoyant? What did they actually know? Is one life the seeds of energy planted for another life? Was Mahatma Gandhi correct in his assumptions about the nature of reincarnation? Was the 73 year old Hindu woman I met in India in 1971 right about me…she believed in reincarnation and had met Gandhi in the 1920s. I recall reading the astrophysicist, David Darling’s work Zen Physics, The Science of Death and the Logic of Reincarnation. I remain openminded and as a friend intimated, “why try to make sense out of it? Just breathe in the essence of the experience and smile”.
I have not always appreciated a specific event when I might have looked at it with a more discerning, compassionate eye. In one too many instances I uncovered a meanness of the human spirit – the words that leave scar issue, the needless competition, the desire to instill fear…the journal of hurt is ambiguous. Yet, I look at the marginalia and footnotes of that journal for scribblings of humor, happiness, joy, laughter, inner peace, and a fount of grace. The marginalia and footnotes of existence at times appear more arousing than the text itself. And I relish having a jaded imagination, for along with my memory it defines my humanity.
As an appendix, my mind is full of thoughts built on words and of which those words create fresh thoughts. I create words about beings and objects to be able to approach and access them, for the comfort of knowing. My mind’s conversations with itself have been fruitful.
The metaphor: In a solitary moment standing on the deck of a sailboat gives sway to my imagination, doubt, and courage. Temporarily stranded as the boat’s sails were torn by a storm and the engine was not responding to my actions to restart it. I was adrift. The boat was floating offshore over deep waters with no land in sight. I looked with intent towards the horizon at dusk and questioned my beingness as the night sky and ocean became one. By morning the engine sputtered and kicked in and I slowly made my way to a mist covered sandy shore as the seas began to rise.