"Reincarnation," I spent several weeks looking through books of the most beautiful poetry, the Bible, and sundry other works with an idea of garnering the wonderful expressions of faith in the immortality of the soul and of belief in the eternal law of rest and activity throughout nature. Yet there I was, a blank page before me! After agonizing on this state of affairs I suddenly asked myself: "Why do I believe in reincarnation, and what difference has it made to my life?"
To answer this I found equally difficult. The idea that I was a traveler through life, continuing with a journey through the ages, has always been with me. Looking at nature and at life's myriad patterns has been a confirmation rather than a proof of my innate faith in the "rightness" of things. Within myself I have always found, when I have allowed the steam of passion to blow away, a quiet guidance and gentle admonition that has brought me through life's travail wiser and always optimistic! With Job I cry "I know that my redeemer liveth."
Aside from immortality, why did reincarnation specifically make a difference? Perhaps most importantly it has been that the thought of many lifetimes in the company of friends and seeming foes has made me more ready to deal with and work at a solution to problems — not only with regard to other human beings, but also in appreciation of our home, this universe. Knowing that the litter I scatter with my thoughts and actions will ultimately have to be picked up by myself has made me voluntarily start on the arduous road of self-improvement.
The softening of heart has been the most gratifying of all. The recognition that we are all in it together, learning, stumbling yet making strides, cannot but leave a newer understanding. Not perfectly, but in our souls is being nurtured the seed of brotherhood, and joyously so. The road is always happier where there is a song, and the conviction that there is both time and space ahead of us can put music in my soul!
(From Sunrise magazine, April/May 1985. Copyright © 1985 by Theosophical University Press)