The spiritual objective of life
The Asian religions preach the reincarnation and claim that we are given many lives to grow, to learn lessons, and, after absorbing all these lessons, we are free not to return to earth, not to be imprisoned in a material body in a life of suffering. The objective of life is to learn lessons to improve our spirits.
These religions, including Buddhism that does not claim to be a religion but a philosophy, affirm that we have to come to earth thousands times, even millions, to purify our soul.
A Western religion – Spiritualism as preached by Allan Kardec – also affirms the need for reincarnation to purify our souls. It claims that, before we reincarnate, we meet with master spirits and decide on a script designed to teach us some lessons in our life on earth. When we are born, we forget the agreement, and we are on our own. If we learn the lessons, we follow ahead. If not, we have to repeat that life. Therefore, Kardec preaches the same objective of life – the purifying of the spirit.
These religions that preach reincarnation claim that life on earth involves suffering, and we have to live thousands or millions of lives. Discouraging?
Paramahansa Yogananda, an Indian saint, came to the West to teach us meditation. He wrote a fantastic book that I highly recommend – Autobiography of a Yogi.
Yogananda affirms that, with the practice of Kriya Yoga, we can reduce drastically the need for so many incarnations, avoiding suffering. He founded an organization that is spread all over the world. SFR – Self Realization Fellowship teaches meditation and Kriya Yoga. There is an online or mail course. Click for more information on SFR.
From the Christian side, we can mention Meister Eckhart, a Dominican monk and a great mystic (1260-1327), who said: “Know that, by nature, every creature seeks to become like God. Nature´s intent is neither food nor drink, nor clothing, nor comfort, nor anything else in which God is left out. Whether you like it or not, whether you know it or not, secretly nature seeks, hunts, tries to ferret out the track on which God may be found.” Eckhart was persecuted by the Inquisition but died before the end of the process against him.
The problem is how to follow Meister Eckhart advice? There are several Christian monks that preach Christian meditation as our approach for a better life.
Meditation was used by Christians in the early centuries but was forgotten in the XVI century. John Cassian, a Christian monk of the V century, learned meditation from the Fathers of the Desert. The tradition was preserved in the Eastern Church as the Jesus Prayer, and in the classic book of the XIV century The Cloud of Unknowing.
After practically disappearing from Christianity in the XVI century, meditation was revived by Catholic monks in the XX century – John Main, Bede Griffiths, Thomas Keating and others – and is alive and influential in the revival of Christianity. Two organizations are helping to spread Christian meditation and doing an excellent job in the revival of Christianity. I see them as the new Christians.
The World Community for Christian Meditation – http://www.wccm.org
The Contemplative Outreach – http://www.contemplativeoutreach.org
I am Roberto Lima Netto, a writer who seeks to present, in easy words, the ideas of Carl Jung and of notable mystics and sages. I also write fiction, always trying to convey lessons of life. After all, Jesus taught us that the stories are the best way to present ideas. Some of my books are: The Little Prince for Grownups, The Jungian Bible, The Amazon Shaman, In Search of Happiness, and A Boy, a metaphor for life, all available in Amazon and Kindle.