Reincarnation

re·in·car·na·tion

ˌrēənkärˈnāSH(ə)n/
noun

the rebirth of a soul in a new body.

a person or animal in whom a particular soul is believed to have been reborn.

a new version of something from the past.

Reincarnation is when the soul, which is seen as eternal and part of a spiritual realm, returns to the physical realm in a new body. A soul will complete this cycle many times, learning new things each time and working through its karma. This cycle is labeled Samsara.

Reincarnation in Hinduism is not limited to being born as human. You may have had prior lives as animals, plants, or as divine beings who rule part of nature. If it has life, then it is part of the cycle. Remember that the next time you crush a bug or step onto the grass, which could be your great uncle or future grandchild.

The Egg by Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty. “Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.” You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.” “So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.” “Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back. “I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“I’m Jesus?”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.

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A Glossary of Igbo Words

1. ndicbie
– elders

We wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for ndicbie, so let us give thanks by showing respect.

2. iba
– fever

The nurse said you may not come to school tomorrow because you might infect your classmates with iba.

3. efukfu
– worthless man

Choose your friends wisely by avoiding an efukfu.

4. nno
– welcome

Children should never lose the practice of saying nno to people they meet.

5. kwenu
– a shout of approval and greeting

Everytime I ask if my friends want pizza, I always get kwenu in return.

6. ochu
– murder or man slaughter

I still can’t swallow the fact that my friend committed ochu.

7. inyanga
– showing off, bragging

He never gets tired of making inyanga with his new shoes.

8. uli
– a dye used by women for drawing patterns on the skin

I wonder how they make uli.

9. tufia
– a curse or an oath

I don’t believe the existence of tufia.

10. obodo dike
– the land of the brave

One day, I will finally set foot in obodo dike.

Japanese Aesthetics: Ensō

Wabi Sabi

-finding beauty within imperfections
-acceptance of the cycle of life and death
-beauty of things humble and simple
-beauty of things unrefined and unconventional
-invisible to the vulgar eye

Enzo-Symbol

Ensō is one of the most common subjects of Japanese calligraphy even though it is a symbol and not a character. It symbolizes strength, elegance, the universe, and the void; it can also symbolize the Japanese aesthetic itself. There are two common symbol for zen enso’s. One is a brushstroke of a closed circle. The closed circle represents the totality of experience and life. The other is a brushstroke of a circle with one small opening. The open portion of the circle represents the imperfection found in all things, and suggests to stop striving for perfection and instead to allow the universe to be as it is, imperfect. It simply shows that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. through what seems like an unfinished and inconsistent brush stroke of a circle.

What I Think of Subway by Etsuro Sakamoto

I recently studied a Japanese poem entitled Subway, written by Etsuro Sakamoto. Here is the poem:

Everyday I step into a coffin
With strangers.

Nailing hurriedly,
My own coffin

I go toward the city
To be buried alive.

The poem is entitled subway because the word coffin, located in the first line, pertains to a subway because when you enter a subway you are surrounded by strangers or people whom you’ve never met before. The writer used the word ‘everyday’ to bring emphasis that the man is doing this on a daily basis. It made a big contribution to the meaning of the poem because it help the readers understand that the person is living life like a cycle or routine. A subway also has a route of its own and everyday the subway just goes around just like his life, it never changed nor contained excitement or thrill. He lived a life full of dullness, boringness and gloom, therefore he felt his life was already lifeless. He felt dead. In the second couplet, you can see that he is nailing his own coffin that symbolizes he was rushing his own death. His destination, the city contributes to the fact that he wants to die, since internally the city buries him alive. In the city, he only feels stress and restlessness and he wants to end his life knowing when he dies, he finally acquires peace.

I can relate this poem to a Japanese ritual namely, Seppuku. Samurai committed seppuku for a number of reasons, including personal shame due to cowardice in battle, shame over a dishonest act, or loss of sponsorship. Often times samurai who were defeated but not killed in battle would be allowed to commit suicide in order to regain their honor. Seppuku takes place when a samurai has lost his battle or any other thing that caused him extreme shame, dishonor or defeat. The samurai would simply use his short sword or dagger to disembowel himself, and then a kaishakunin would decapitate him. He’d rather kill himself than to struggle the rest of his life in the hands of his conquerers. Just like the man in the poem he wanted to end his life because he thought his life was not worth living due to the stress and struggles that he feels.

Here is a link on Seppuku: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zar65GaOoc0

About The 5th State of The Nation Address of Pres. Benigno Aquino III

The 2014 SONA does paint the status quo or current state of the Philippines. SONA is not allowed to be filled with lies. What has to be said is the truth only. Yes it showed how the Philippines improved throughout the year, but is it enough? We should be happy for our achievements but are our problems all gone. Lets not think that were doing fine and theres no room for improvement since we’ve improved so well based on the 2014 SONA. Yes it states facts, but was everything really mentioned in the speech or was it sugar quoted. Did they hide all the bad news and mistakes they’ve made and only decided to show the good news? So yes it is the truth but maybe not everything.

The issue about the rice hoarders interests me the most. This not just happening with rice in the Philippines also with garlic and other crops as well. People would hide and hoard these crops until the supply is low enough to cause an increase in the price. When the price has increased then the people would slowly sell and make available these rice but now in much higher value. The president proposed his plan to stop this and it was to import rice from other countries. We will import enough rice until the supply is high enough to cause a decrease in value causing the hoarders to have no more point in hoarding. Most hoarders would think no, they can’t stop us. But the way Pres. Aquino handled and threatened the hoarders was in a very leader manner. I hope his plan will work so that Filipinos everywhere will have an easier access to buying rice.

President Aquino indeed spoke an exemplary report. He was able to state the problems in the country and his solution for it and how the current progress of the problem is. Yes it was compelling. Who wouldn’t want to hear the achievements of their own country and the fact that our president is a good one because he was able to solve problems rather that create more.

I just thought that why didn’t he mention about the pork barrel issue. It is a trending topic in the country and not once did he mention it. And he also has been ignoring it but I think the pork barrel scam is one of the main problems of the Philippines and the Filipinos as well.

My mom was very impressed by the videos shown of the students who were able to graduate and work through TESDA. She said that its causing a change in mindset and lifestyle of a student. From a student who can’t afford and only dreamt of studying to actually studying through the TESDA scholarships. TESDA also helps them get into jobs in order for them to make money on their own. I share a mutual feeling about it. I’m very blessed for the education I have and would love if everyone can experience it too because everyone really deserves and has a right to good education.

 

 

 

Don’t Be Such A Worm

The following sentences are a summary of a short story entitled “Footnote to Youth.” Dodong was having an argument with himself whether he will tell his father about his desire to marry the girl she loves named Teang. He eventually decided to tell his father when he got home. Quoting from the story, “The ground was broken up into many fresh wounds and fragrant with a sweetish earthy smell. Many slender soft worms emerged from the furrows and then burrowed again deeper into the soil. A short colorless worm marched blindly to Dodong’s foot and crawled calmly over it. Dodong go tickled and jerked his foot, flinging the worm into the air. Dodong did not bother to look where it fell, but thought of his age, seventeen, and he said to himself he was not young any more.” In this particular section of the story, worms are mentioned. In the latter part of this blog I will explain why the story and my blog is entitled such.

Carrying on with the summary, Dodong thought of himself as a fully grown and mature man at the age of seventeen. He reached home in time for supper. Once his mother left the house he finally had the nerve to inform his father about his decision. He asked his father for consent or blessing. His father did not agree with the idea at all but still respected his decision and let him marry. The story leaps into a scene where he is outside away from his wife, Teang who is currently giving birth to their first son. He was so embarrassed about that. But even though after six years they now have 7 children. Now the story narrates on Teang’s POV. Quoting again from the story, “Teang did not complain, but the bearing of children told on her. She was shapeless and thin now, even if she was young. There was interminable work to be done. Cooking. Laundering. The house. The children. She cried sometimes, wishing she had not married. She did not tell Dodong this, not wishing him to dislike her. Yet she wished she had not married. Not even Dodong, whom she loved. There has been another suitor, Lucio, older than Dodong by nine years, and that was why she had chosen Dodong. Young Dodong. Seventeen. Lucio had married another after her marriage to Dodong, but he was childless until now. She wondered if she had married Lucio, would she have borne him children. Maybe not, either. That was a better lot. But she loved Dodong…” She did not want it either. But love prevailed. One night Dodong asked and wanted answers. He said, “One of them was why life did not fulfill all of Youth’s dreams. Why it must be so. Why one was forsaken… after Love.” He had no response for he was not talking to anybody. When his first son Blas came home one night and asked him if he could marry a girl. Dodong didn’t want him to marry for he was too young just like him when he was seventeen. But just like Dodong’s father he gave permission and felt extremely sad and sorry for him.

 

Footnote to Youth. Why was it titled that way? Did it even have any connection to the story. Actually the title was pertaining not the the story but to the youth of the Filipinos. A footnote is usually found in papers and is used to give additional information. It is a footnote, a message or a lesson to the Filipino youth. The setting is obviously the Philippines and the name Dodong is very Filipino as well. So what is the footnote, what is the message the writer is trying to deliver to the youth. In my opinion, it is trying to show the effects or is functioning as a warning of making wrong decisions in our youth. Life is very long and that is why we have a period in time where we are young, where we can make mistakes and learn from them as well. But why didn’t Dodong let his son learn from his mistakes? His mistake of believing he was a man, his mistake of rushing manhood during his youth. He was impatient and blinded by love. He followed his heart but never used his mind. The only thing he pondered about was how to deliver the message to his father but he never thought about the future or the consequences of his actions.

A portion of the story, “He wanted to ask questions and somebody to answer him. He wanted to be wise about many things.One of them was why life did not fulfill all of Youth’s dreams. Why it must be so. Why one was forsaken… after Love. Dodong would not find the answer. Maybe the question was not to be answered. It must be so to make youth Youth. Youth must be dreamfully sweet. Dreamfully sweet. Dodong returned to the house humiliated by himself. He had wanted to know a little wisdom but was denied it.” He was expecting an answer and never got one. He believed it was really not intented to be answered. It shall not be answered so that the cycle of life that he believed in would not change. And what is the cycle of life that he believed? He thought that during “youth,” “love” must come and ruin the whole thing and break the person’s heart, then after that comes “life,” the realisations of how clueless you were and now you have to stand your ground because it was your choices. I believe thats why he did not refuse Blas so that he would commit his own mistakes and regret and learn from them but in the end his actions during his youth mirrors his adulthood just like Dodong because his son did the exact same thing he did.

Now I titled my blog this way because a portion of the story states, “A short colorless worm marched blindly to Dodong’s foot and crawled calmly over it.” Worms don’t have eyesight. Its in their nature to just crawl and crawl no matter how much danger they’re in. They just crawl not knowing what will happen and being unaware of the results of its actions. Now its a bit of a metaphor since Dodong also blindly marched into marriage and parenthood. So don’t be a worm. We have eyes we can see and analyze. We should not rush things but carefully think things through. We all make mistakes thats part of life but mistakes can haunt you forever so its best to think before you do anything.

Read the short story here ——> Footnote to Youth by Jose Garcia Villa