You know those binge viewing sessions you go on from time to time? Like when I watched all three seasons of Downton Abbey in one weekend (my ass still hasn’t quite woken up from that marathon)?
Well, when you’re needing a shot of something spiritual on a rainy weekend, here are my picks.
MADE IN HEAVEN (1987) This is one of my all time favorites. Timothy Hutton stars as a young man who dies while saving some folks in a car accident. In Heaven, he meets his soulmate (Kelly McGillis). To me, this is a wonderful representation of what Heaven might really be like. It’s a great love story, and has some awesome cameos from Neil Young, Tom Petty and Ric Ocasek of the Cars.
THE GIFT (2000) The awesome Cate Blanchett as a backwoods psychic. The way her “visions” are depicted is pretty cool. Her character was inspired by actor Billy Bob Thornton’s mother, who was a psychic.
WHAT DREAMS MAY COME (1998) A visually stunning depiction of the Afterlife (both good and bad). I particularly appreciated how Hell is shown not as a place of devils and pitchforks, but as a nightmare of one’s own creation.
GHOST (1990) Come on, ladies –a classic, amIright? The way Patrick Swayze has to build up his mental powers in order to manifest things in the physical world is pretty accurate. It’s hard for spirit to show themselves or make things happen. And just like in the movie where Demi Moore “feels” him around her, that’s how it goes down.
OdaMae’s newfound abilities to communicate with the dead is similar to what really happens to many mediums: they’re like the only working cellphone and lots of dead folks want to talk to their loved ones through them.
But that scene where Patrick takes over Whoopi’s body to dance with Demi Moore? Um, sorry – I still kept seeing Whoopi.
Recently, I read a woman who lost her son a few years ago. I can’t even imagine that kind of pain. So I was not at all surprised when she asked if there was a chance that he might reincarnate while she was still alive, and they might connect again. Let’s discuss.
Reincarnation fascinates me. And it makes total sense to my hyper-logical brain. I just can’t believe that everything that makes a person who they are just goes away when they die. The force of personality is not organic, like a piece of old bread. It’s much more than that.
Physics tells us that energy cannot die, it can only turn into something (or someone) else. So I believe that when we pass, our spirit-energy goes to the Summerland to take stock and reassess. It’s like the Mother of all Debriefings.
Let me break it down: you spend some time there, looking over what you learned in your time on Earth. You hang with your ancestors. You get really good at badminton or origami (even if you couldn’t fold a newspaper to save your life, when you HAD a life). Then you decide to return to Planet Earth, bringing back some memory of what you learned the last go-round.
You hope to move the needle on your soul’s evolution, by being smarter, wiser and more loving in this new life. It’s your chance to move up a grade, as it were. Eventually, you “graduate” and can decide to permanently hang on the sweet side, although many evolved souls are opting to return to help the rest of our sorry asses out.
That, to me, is how I understand reincarnation.
I’ve read that we used to come back every 200 years or so. But as our civilization has “sped up,” the process is much more frequent. So does that mean someone you love will return in your lifetime? Sometimes. But that doesn’t mean that they will necessarily show up in your neighborhood. They could be running a pedi-cab in Sri Lanka.
The other thing is, that when we reincarnate, we do bring some of the knowledge of our past lives with us. But we have a hard time remembering it – and the people that were there with us (another reason for not waiting around for them). I’m going to reference one of my favorite movies, Made In Heaven with Timothy Hutton and Kelly McGillis. It’s a great romantic film, but the way it depicts Heaven and returning to Earth is spot on. Check it out.
Anyway, we’re back to take on new experiences; to be burdened with the entire memory of our past lives would make our heads explode (not to mention, make it really hard to decide what to put on in the morning). So while there’s a certain spiritual “overlay” of what we’ve been through, as with all our lives, we have free will to use it moving forward. Or to completely forget it and go off the rails.
Here’s an example. Early in my spiritual development, I met a guy I was cah-razy for. Naturally, after I got home from our date at the bar, I used one of my new skills and did his numerology chart. Now, according to numerology, each of us has up to 11 Karmic Lessons to learn. In some lifetimes, we may only have one or two; in others, a boatload of them.
Anyway, I was stunned to see that Mr. Yummy had NO Karmic Lessons. Zero, zip, nada. This was a curious thing, because he turned out to be the biggest tool on the planet.
You would think someone with no Karmic Lessons in their chart would be really spiritual like Ghandi or Jesus. But you would be wrong. I was completely stumped, until I learned that, just because you come into this life with a clean slate doesn’t mean you exit with one.
There’s that pesky “free will” thing again. My hunk may have reincarnated after years of deep study in various medieval monasteries. But in this life, he clearly had abandoned any vows of celibacy and sobriety. And reading. If he was someone’s long lost sweet grandma that they hoped to see again, they were gonna be waaaaay disappointed.
One thing to keep in mind is, the experience of losing someone is part of our growth as humans. Grief is a powerful teacher. The understanding that we can and will connect with them in the spiritual realm is another lesson. To hang on to the hope that you’ll see someone again in the flesh keeps you from moving forward. Don’t put your life on hold for them.