A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon

Reincarnation: do you believe in it?

If your looking for the quick answer, skip down to the last paragraph, otherwise here’s a deeper look at today’s prompt.

The title, Karma Chameleon doesn’t lead to the question posed. Karma is an action or deed that is part of the cycle of cause and effect. If you choose to go to the bar and drink to excess on Friday night, you might suffer on Saturday, and be sick and not get much done. Do it on a Tuesday night, and on Wednesday the boss may decide, that you are not the type of employee that gets the promotion he was considering you for. If you always go to the bar on the weekends, soon your social circle will revolve around those people, and your paychecks will never seem to be enough. Some of your other friends, will drift away, as they pursue other interests in life. A Chameleon is a type of lizard, some species of which can change their color to blend in with the overall color scheme of the environment they are in. If we take the chameleon aspect and apply it to humans, we don’t have the ability to change our skin color from say brown to white, however we can be social chameleon’s and adapt to the people we are associating with. The mob that tore apart Vancouver after the Stanley Cup finals a few years ago, is an example of people being chameleons, the same as other mobs where people, blend in by joining in with the mischief, and not follow what society calls norms of civilized behavior. It doesn’t matter which path you follow, Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Muslim, Jainism, Buddhism, or any other, none advocate being one way at the temple, and another when away from the temple. Yet many people change when they enter a building of worship, and revert back when they leave, to return to the everyday world.

Reincarnations to most people in the world, means to most people, that after death, your soul begins a new life. Depending on the religion it could be as an animal, human, or spirit. In Buddhism there is no eternal spirit or soul to travel from one body to the next after death. Rather there is a stream of consciousness, that connects one life to the next. There are different views as to the chance of our next life being human again, with the Tibetan schools saying it is very rare. Buddhist’s using English,  tend to use rebirth or re-becoming to describe this process. Reincarnation is the very rare event, where the person is born with innate knowledge of their past lives, such as the case of the Dalai Lama. A little aside, rent or buy the 1997 movie, Kundun which will give you insight into this process, as well as an insight into the 14th Dalai Lama‘s early life.

So to answer the original question, yes I believe in reincarnation, and rebirth. However so do most people on this planet, the difference is in what form. Christians,  believe you come back in a different form, to live out the remaining part of eternity in heaven or hell. However that is something for the future, today is what, we have, how will we choose to live it?

Today’s Daily Prompt

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10 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon

  1. Thank you for the longer explanation. I find understanding other ways of thinking about life and “purpose” fascinating. Great post 🙂

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt – Karma Chameleon – Having karmic problems? Why not “Re-Ink Your Re-Inc” today before it’s too late – we’re waiting for your call! | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  3. Have added “Kundun” to the list, thanks for the recommendation. Great post!

  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon « From the C-Sweet

  5. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon … The answer is in your faith | Fasting, Food and other musings by determined34

  6. Very clear description of the difference between re-birth and reincarnation..

  7. Pingback: IN HER OLD AGE « hastywords

  8. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Karma Chameleon « The Musings of Lady Gwendolynn

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