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Reborn as a Rabbit
Kevin: From the bottom of my heart, James, thanks for just being there. As that statement represents about 99% of my purpose of contact, I could just leave it at that and be about 99% satisfied. But as life seems to be eternally created by the quest for the fulfilment of that missing 1%, I will ramble onward…
It has recently occured to me that the spiritually-inclined people of our age group are perhaps thinking that we are all moving onward and making great spiritual progress as we loosen our grip on the many illusions of maya. I question, however, how valid an assumption this can actually be because it seems more likely to me that any spiritual attainment easily gotten is more likely to be the result of hard efforts of previous lives rather than the result of our modern, easy-to-do efforts in this life. Furthermore, it also seems to me that various spiritual attainments are really only taking place in the pipeline of time, which is meant to be understood as the natural time-related spiritual unfoldment of one’s being that can perhaps best be understood through the basic human growth and aging process.
James: Yes, Vedanta does not accept the idea of spiritual attainment in this birth or others. There is only karma and knowledge. If you know who you are you will not see yourself as a doer, and life will unfold effortlessly. You will not feel the need to attain anything, because you are already accomplished, i.e. you have gained everything that can be gained.
Kevin: More specifically, I am referring to how the all-powerful sexual desires are more easily kept under control, when their power is waning by the natural passage of time. This is not to be confused with actual spiritual attainments regarding these powers which would normally occur at a much younger age when these same powers are at their very strongest. Put another way, sexual restraint occurring relatively late in one life will have very little or no effect on the inherent sexual desires one experiences at a much younger age in a subsequent lifetime. This seems to have something to do with the timing of the ripening of the relevant karmic seeds that have already been planted in previous lifetimes.
James: This idea presupposes that the same person is reborn, but this is not how it is. Or if it is, it does not make any difference, because the memory of the previous birth is wiped clean when the subtle body transmigrates. It is my view that the vasanas reincarnate, i.e. bring about another body, and that the “person” is new insofar as he or she is born at a different place and a different time. The new “person” is a mental construct that develops out an interpretation of the interaction between the inherited vasanas and the new environment. If you are too sexy in the one birth, consciousness may cause you to be born as a rabbit in the next insofar as a rabbit’s body is more suitable for working out sex vasanas. ☺
Kevin: Lately I’ve also been investigating the apparent futility and exquisite irony of eternally searching for the perfect partner. It seems to me that no better example of duality can be given because, homosexuals aside, most of us are quite caught up in being one incomplete gender which is eternally looking for the inevitable and eventual completion through union with our polar opposite in the form of yet another incomplete gender. Two incompletes coupled together make for one complete person times two, right? Wrong! But so it goes. The exquisite irony is found in the fact that what one is really searching for is one’s own sense of separated self in the perfect physical form of yet another gender. I wonder what God thinks of all this. From His/Her viewpoint it must be obvious that the perfect partner for each and every one of us is none other than ourselves. But because the five senses are outgoing and we are caught in duality, we continually search outside ourselves, for ourselves, in others.
James: God thinks exactly like you on this one. The whole seeking business is motivated by the search for the self. It is only one’s self that one seeks. I am adding an attachment on this topic.
Kevin: If this is too difficult for anyone to understand, each person can always just try mentally switching genders and then imagine what you would be looking for in your own gender, which is now the other gender, because you have of course mentally switched genders. You would then be looking for exactly whom you would like to become, your own ideal person. And this is exactly what is happening when seen through the lens of many lifetimes experienced as each separate gender. We have all been creating the foundations of our own present limited gender by our sexual desires and fantasies of previous lives in the opposite gender. And likewise of course we are all creating our next lifetime of merely the other limited gender through our thoughts, words and actions toward our counterparts in this lifetime. That why Vedanta teaches to be very careful in all such matters.
My teacher always said that when I was looking for union with significant others I was really only falling in love with myself, so why bother with it anyway? Any comments?
James: I agree 100%.