How satisfying has your life been? 3



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Recently I read an article about reincarnation – the belief that after we die, we are reborn at another time and place and live another lifetime.

Buddhists believe these lifetimes continue until we eventually reach enlightenment which is oneness with the universe or nirvana.

Some believe we can be reborn as other species and there are numerous other beliefs, some more irrational than others, unless of course you are a true believer in which case none of it is irrational.

What bothered me most is that I don’t want to come back. The thought of having to go through life all again frightens me. Why? Because I have had a wonderful life and any new life might not be as wonderful.

What if I was born a female in India, a Moslem in some backward country in Africa, or with autism or one of the other ailments that steals one’s life? What if …. I think you get the idea.

Psychologist, Erik Erikson, one of my favourites, posited a theory of psychosocial development in 1959 that he said has eight distinct stages. It became known as the Eight Ages of Man.

Since then, other psychologists have added to the theory, criticised it and discussed it, but it still has value as a work of considerable substance.

According to the theory, each of us passes through the eight stages and the last stage, when we are about 65 or older, is the stage of “Ego integrity versus Despair.”

In Erikson’s words: “It is during this time that we contemplate our accomplishments and are able to develop integrity if we see ourselves as leading a successful life. If we see our lives as unproductive, feel guilt about our past, or feel that we did not accomplish our life goals, we become dissatisfied with life and develop despair, often leading to depression and hopelessness. Success in this stage leads to the virtue of wisdom. Wisdom enables a person to look back on their life with a sense of closure and completeness, and also accept death without fear.”

I believe I have attained the Eighth Stage and although I have had a wonderful life, for which I am grateful, I don’t want to come back.

Has your life been wonderful or a disappointment and disaster? Will you take the journey from which nobody returns without regret, or would you like to return for another go?

Robin Henry

Robin is a retired adult educator, and human resources specialist with a background in the Air Force and Policing. He lives at Alice Springs in the Territory, but spends much of his time travelling. He is a prolific writer and runs several blogs.

  1. I have memories of living before, including as a slave being run down and killed by men with dogs, and being the sole survivor of a shipwreck. In this lifetime I have hepatitis C froma blood transfusion, bronchiectasis, depression (apparently I was born with a chemical imbalance in my brain). and numerous other illnesses. I’ve been told that my next life will be a good one. Hopefully I’m coming back as a cat belonging to one of my children, that would be an easy life!

  2. Throughout my life I have had nightmares of being a young teenager carrying a basket of flowers ( wearing a long frock with a pinny over the top) when a herd of horsemen dressed in silver coloured armour came galloping up the street & around the corner of the buildings where I was. The dream always ends there, I don’t remember any pain or anything afterwards – but certainly when I was young this dream happened at least once a week – now I am sixty, it doesn’t happen that often. I truly believe that we do come back to this earth many times – not quite sure why.

  3. Earth is like a nursery school – our spirits incarnate here many times in order to learn lessons of life, OR, at some stage, we may choose to cease reincarnating, and continue learning in the realms of spirit. Basically, what we do today creates what will happen in the next life – the law of karma, or cause and effect. Although having said that, If we are born into a difficult life here, it may not be compensation for something we’ve done wrong in a past life, it may just be that our spiritual selves need to experience those challenges in order to polish the diamond of our essential selves! I believe strongly in reincarnation and karma – it makes sense to me!

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