Do you remember the first time you were introduced to the concept of our souls being eternal?
“eternal, adj. 1. endless, everlasting, infinite, unending, never-ending, interminable, unceasing, perpetual, ceaseless, permanent. 2. timeless, immortal, deathless, undying, imperishable, indestructible.”
That is the type of moment that is unforgettable. For those men and women old enough it ranks with the moment of hearing that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas, Texas. It is a moment that is high on the list of most memorable, alongside the events of September 11. 2001, for those who are younger.
For me it occurred when reading the fascinating “Conversations With God” three volume series by Neal Donald Walsch. When he was talking to God, whether you believe Walsch did or not, God told him that his soul, and every human being’s soul, is eternal and forever.
During that moment of awareness one is in awe of the life process and everything in this world. One’s way of looking at everything changes because of the unbelievable possibilities which come to our understanding. We look at the dogma and teachings of traditional organized religions which place fear into human beings through the descriptions of a real place called hell.
Hell is perhaps a place where we live when we are separated from the Creator, from God. Spiritual traditions have come to describe this separation in a number of ways. Could it be that one’s over-reliance on things having to do with ego, concern for self only, results in a hellish type experience? We may look at the conditions on Earth right now and receive confirmation of this.
We are thinking, speaking and acting according to one of two ways of perceiving life. Or one of three ways according to the Bhagavad Gita: The Threefold Nature of Faith. Lucid, passionate, and darkly inert. There is always freewill involved and we decide the thoughts, deeds and actions which we experience.
Traditional Christian belief is that we will decide whether we go to Heaven or hell as a result of our actions in this life. There is only one life to be lived, there is no reincarnation, and the choices we make result in eternal bliss in Heaven or eternal suffering in hell.
Eastern belief is different from Christianity as reincarnation has become accepted as a reality and our actions decide if we will remain on the wheel of birth and rebirth or escape from incarnating in the illusory world on Earth.
Other traditions hold beliefs that are similar but with minor variations. Some hold that there are many paths to God and that, as long as the intentions of men or women are good, all those various paths will lead to God.
The Native American spiritual leader Bear Heart pointed to a path that is all-inclusive. He called that path The Spirit Road. On The Spirit Road there are no Christians, Buddhists, Moslems, Sikhs, Native Americans or anything else. There are simply people who are aware of the oneness of all creation. This includes human beings, animals, plants and all things.
It is difficult to understand how there has been such phenomena as “religious wars”. Such terrible events with the killing of men, women and children in the “name of God” gives one a chilling, dark feeling that is the total opposite of the joy inherent in the experiencing of unconditional love and forgiveness.
“Religious war” is a term that does not make any sense. Every spiritual tradition has taught that it is a sin to kill, it is wrong to do harm to others, that we should forgive our enemies seventy times seven times. Yet we continue to see violence erupt because of spiritual traditions which cannot find a way to come to agree that we are all part of the oneness.
When we learn that our souls are eternal, whether the concept of reincarnation is real or not, there is no fear to announce that unconditional love and forgiveness will truly solve the problems that humanity has created through history. There have been many persecuted and even killed for daring to speak about these spiritual matters. What has become of the souls of these men and women who dared to speak and share the truth they had discovered?
They are here with us. In eternity.