although i never really believe in reincarnation, the same way i have with heaven and hell. out of nothing in mind to say, i answered, "i think i am a penguin in my past life."
she then gave me a 'huh?!' look and asked me, "why?"
"because i think i was a frustrated performer."
"how can a penguin be a performer?"
"because of its fur. if you'll look at it, it looks like a tuxedo coat. and if you'll ask for another question i'll be forced to bill you."
then i read a line from a book that states, the more man achieves knowledge and rationality over the things around him, the lesser his religious faith becomes intact.
although i am not a religious person, i can't say that i am an atheist. i consider myself more of an agnostic or a non practitioner. for me, as long as science still cannot answer everything about life, then my believe for a god is still there. but as i have mentioned about in my previous posts, my being agnostic is anchored more upon the very institution itself propagating its doctrines. it has been a long time struggle for me, not to believe that there are biases, alterations and even falsehood in the dogmas of it.
a year after, i found myself conversing with mugen regarding the same topic over a couple of mucho mugs. i told him that i really don't get the idea why there should be the concept of soul and past life, if you'll not remember or carry over anything in your succeeding life. so what if you'll know that you have known that you are an old soul and if you were a grasshopper before? how would this affect the way you live your life in the present? if live or soul is just cycling over various time and space, then what will our purpose be? where and what is the finish line?
for me, the concept of reincarnation is the same difference with the concept of heaven and hell. whereas, each individual is conditioned with rewards and punishments. if you do what was instituted as "good", you are promised to go to heaven or get a "better" status and body in your next life. if you live the otherwise, it is expected that you go to hell or have a more remorse condition from what you currently have.
excuse me for saying this, but in my opinion (only), i believe that this relation is the blood life of all religion: to condition and control their followers. and without it would mean the break down of the very religion, morals, mores and even one's culture, where religion is rooted.
nonetheless, one should distinguish religion per se from an institutionalized religion. religion per se is the nature of an individual towards his spiritual faith or to whatever he believes in in life. institutionalized religion, on the other hand, is the faith established in one self with the help of the social institutions around him. although both share the same impact to one's spiritual self, it greatly differs on how we relate ourselves to others.
but then i wondered, what if there is such a thing as a genuine faith? what if there is indeed truth in all of these? what if it is worth believing?
then i finally realized that my perception towards institutionalized religion clouded my stand towards religion as a whole over the years. i miss the picture of myself praying. for me, it is like talking to one self and igniting something inside (probably this is what they call soul---not necessarily something that are misty or what we see in the movies). i miss giving thanks to whatever i have achieved every night. i miss asking guidance and will to overcome hardships. and i even miss those days, walking along streets without the feeling that i am actually alone.
the next morning, i felt that i just had one of the deepest and lightest sleep i ever had for a very long time. believe it or not, the first thing that i actually did when i woke up, was to smile. i was smiling because of the idea that nothing in my believe actually changed. but i was able to finally brought my faith back.
here, in me--- again.