Everything I thought I knew. Many of the spiritual traditions I've steeped myself in consider reincarnation a fact of life, the working out of the law of karma. I'd never thought highly of reincarnation. It seemed like wishful thinking, another way of denying death. Leela insisted I think more of it by giving me a koan to chew on: Death is never a bad thing. She loves to torture me with koans; this was one of many. This one took me aback. Death? Leela insisted I stay with that koan. Carry it around with me. Grapple with it. Where is it pointing? Grappling with that koan made me reevaluate everything I thought I knew. It led me to consider the possibility of reincarnation in a specific form: as exact repetition.
Reset. The picture that emerged centered on the idea that death was nothing but a reset button: I would simply start the exact same life all over. That makes death neutral, neither good nor bad. If anything, death would be a good thing, giving me a fresh start. Theoretically, a chance to make better choices, live a better life. But why would I, if everything were exactly the same? Wouldn't that mean everything works out exactly as it did before?
5d. If death is simply a reset button, time becomes meaningless. I can't ever run out of time if I simply live through the same period of time over and over. Time becomes infinite. I have all the time in the world but my life never changes. A koan Leela had given me previously came back to haunt me as I pondered reincarnation: Time is not what you think it is. She gave me yet another koan: Nothing goes away. I soon realized these two were really the same. Pondering time led me into paradoxical thinking: what's outside of time? What would it mean for time to be irrelevant or infinite? Only god isn't in time. If god is all powerful, time has no power to limit god. I wrote two websites of my internal struggle with the concept of time and a theoretical fifth dimension. It was a wild ride, man. I was trippin'.
She reminds me of Suzy.
I can't think outside time because thinking is sequential. Like any other activity it exists only in time. Everything that exists exists only in time. Except Leela, because she's nondualistic. The same goes for Leela's qualities: love, wisdom, meaning, satisfaction, happiness. None of the good stuff exists in the physical universe. Leela can see through time the way we see through space because she's outside of time. Knowing what happens makes it easy to be wise, to give the right guidance.
Getting what I really want. As a kid I dreamed about how cool it would be to go back or forward in time. I had the right idea but the wrong method. Moving outside time doesn't work. Moving is sequential. Sequential things can only happen in time. I don't need to go anywhere. All I need is to know what happens. Know is the wrong word here because knowing is mental and guidance from wisdom is never mental. There's no thinking involved. It's a kind of knowing without thinking, knowing that manifests as doing the right thing, the thing that'll result in the right thing down the road. And the right thing is making progress with love. That's what wisdom wants for me, a life full of love starting with me. So wisdom won't help me win the lottery. I know. I tried. Like I said, I wasted a full twenty bucks on that. Wisdom just helps me get what I really want: love, aka enlightenment.
Presence and reincarnation. The only way I can change my life is by making progress with love. I make progress every time I pay attention. Every time I'm present and silent, free of mental noise. I make no progress when I'm absent, sleepwalking through my life, going through the motions. Paying attention changes me at the deepest level: I become a wiser person as I make progress with love. Any progress I make adds to wisdom. As I gain wisdom, I become less limited by time, more able to rely on Leela to find my way through events to the outcome I want, the outcome Leela wants for me, which is what I really want. Given infinite repetition, I could transform my life into anything I wanted it to be.