Is awakening a way to avoid reincarnation? Liberation from the wheel of birth & death?

Who knows?  There is no way to tell what will happen after we die.  The desire to be and to experience is the root cause of reincarnation (further being and experiencing), so it may be possible that when there is no longer the desire to be or to experience…it will all cease on its own.

I don’t really care either way.  I don’t care if the individual game continues or not.  I don’t care if all sense of being is done at the end of this life and there is no more experience.  I don’t care if some personal “me” continues on into another life and there is more experience.

Really, if you are looking for awakening to escape something (like reincarnation)…that too is reinforcing the illusion of a “me”.  Trying to avoid or escape is something that can only be done by a “me”.  What is there to avoid or escape?  You are That.  There has only been That.  What outside can be found in nonduality?

The world does not end with the death of this body/mind.  Nonduality is not that this world is a dream in such a way that at the death of this body the world is no more.  That would really still be a form of individual “me” and egocentricity.  That would just be another way of saying the world revolves around “me”.  There are billions of human body/minds on this planet alone.  Over 150 thousand new human body/minds are born each day and over 60 thousand human body/minds die each day.  As long as this continues, the game continues.  And you are all of That…not this single incarnated being.

Liberation is less about escaping the wheel of birth and death, and more about realizing you are That…and That includes the wheel of birth and death.  There is no separation…no other…so you would have to be the wheel of birth and death as well.  If you are the wheel of birth and death, why would you try to escape it?  You are it…why try to escape yourself?

So you see…being concerned about reincarnation is still attachment to an individual “me” and a denial that you are all of That.  It is attachment to the identity of a wave and denying what you really are is the ocean itself.

In June of this year, I wrote a post called, “how does reincarnation fit with nonduality or doesn’t it?”  I had mentioned that in Indian philosophy, there is the idea of multiple sheaths (i.e. bodies). There is the physical body, but also several more subtle bodies (i.e. astral, mental, etc.). In a way, it is like a Russian nesting doll. When we die in this life (i.e. physically), we drop the outermost doll shell. What remains continues on a more subtle plane of existence. In Indian philosophy, the idea is to escape the wheel of birth and death by dropping all the sheaths/shells.

However, from my own experience and understanding, I don’t care if all of the egoic sheaths of this body/mind are escaped or not…because there are billions more on this planet…and what I really am is all of That.  What happens after the end of the life of this body/mind is of little concern or interest to me.  If it continues…OK by me.  If it ends…OK by me.  For I am That…which is all birth and death and beyond it all.

Love says ‘I am everything.’ Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.’ Between the two, my life flows.

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

This is a great pointer…for what you are…for what I am…is everything and nothing.  For That which is everything and nothing, does the continuation or ending of this specific body/mind/subtle sheaths/”me” really matter?  This is why I said earlier that I don’t really care either way.  I don’t care if the individual game continues or not.  The fact that the game continues at all for anyone is because this is what the Self wants.  The Self wants to play being you in your life.  As this is what the Self really wants…who is trying to avoid it or escape it?  There is no escape…you are the Self…you are That.

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eputkonen

Modern-day house-holder yogi and lover of what-is; living in peace, contentment, and joy.

3 thoughts on “Is awakening a way to avoid reincarnation? Liberation from the wheel of birth & death?”

  1. Over 150 thousand new human body/minds are born each day and over 60 thousand human body/minds die each day.  As long as this continues, the game continues.  And you are all of That…not this single incarnated being.
    I don’t keep count of anything, infinity is an incomprehensible number. When I was 10 year old I got a hair cut I stared into the reflection of my self reflecting a mirror from behind back into a mirror in front the images got smaller and smaller until they reached the vanishing point, I was looking at non graspable reality.

  2. Eric,

    Thanks for your wonderful website.

    Your answer makes perfect sense and seems to be the general feeling of current teachers, in contrast to certain older/deceased nondual teachers who apparently used this as a motivational tool. Reincarnation, or hell/purgatory for that matter could only be of concern to a separate self.

    Where the confusion lies is that I see this fear in most religious people who are definitely convinced that they are a “me”; on the other hand, I also see this level of nonchalance/fearlessness in others who also have a very strong ego sense of a separate self. Maybe they’re faking it.

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