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MARTHA SEZ: Reincarnation and rain storms

August 9, 2019
By MARTHA ALLEN , Lake Placid News

What if all of this past life stuff is really true?

I am surprised how many people believe they have lived other lives. Close associates in this life, they say, were also attached in past lives, but with the roles mixed up. Over the course of many lives, they might have been connected as siblings, mother and child, lovers or enemies.

The other day I was sitting in a little restaurant in Keene Valley, drinking coffee and watching the rain course down the window glass, thinking, wouldn't it be strange if we all kept meeting up again and again like people in a small-town cafe -- same cast of characters, having gone through all kinds of scenarios, related to each other over time in all kinds of ways? And here we all are again, not realizing, united this morning by coffee and pastries and the rain pouring down outside, reading our papers, companionable, between lives, awaiting the next drama, like out-of-work BBC actors waiting for their next part.

We all have to just keep coming back to earth over and over again until we get it right, according to what people have told me. What goes around comes around; this is called karma. Those who have lived many lives, and have presumably wised up in the process, are called old souls. They are nearing completion of their rotation here on this physical plane. When they have mastered all of their requisite life lessons they are liberated from this cycle and enter Nirvana, which I think must resemble heaven.

Of course, everyone who tells me about reincarnation assumes that he or she is an old soul. At the same time, these people have their doubts about others. I have never heard anyone claim to be a new soul just starting out, like a kindergartner on the first day of school. Sometimes believers come very close to bragging about old-soul they are, and have to stop themselves. It isn't very enlightened to tell people how enlightened you are.

The rain was the tail end of one hurricane or another. This has been a particularly bad summer, in the United States and all around the world, for heat and catastrophic storms. According to Smithsonian magazine, "Last Thursday, August 1 (2019), the Greenland ice sheet experienced its largest single-day volume loss on record, sending an estimated 12.5 billion tons of ice pouring into the ocean ... the amount of ice collectively lost on Thursday and Wednesday ... would be enough to cover Florida in almost five inches of water."

I was outside in a big tent when a thunderstorm swept through Keene Valley. Looking out at the scene, I was fascinated by the crashing power of the deluge, driving rain and pelting hail. The wind whipped the rain into dense white spray, like a snowstorm.

The thunder was deafening; the lightning was flashing almost synonymously with the thunderclaps. It occurred to me that the tent was surrounded by 150-foot pine trees and might not prove to be adequate protection. I ran into the nearby house just as lightning struck and split one of the pines. The realization that I could have been killed in that instant was intense, for a while.

In everyday life, all kinds of details seem important, from the price of gasoline to the kind of coffee we're drinking. When disaster affects our lives, priorities change with lightning speed. We become aware of what is truly important, for a while at least.

We ask, how can we allow global climate change to continue? How can we do nothing about gun violence in our country?

Meanwhile, other people go about their daily business, oblivious. The poem "Musee des Beaux Arts," by W.H. Auden, illustrates how suffering takes place:

"While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along; In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry, But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on."

We all have our stories, maybe the same old stories we have been telling each other for life after life.

Except for you new souls.

Have a good week.



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