Reincarnation Speculations Commercial, Unauthorized Actress Shirley MacLaine turned past-l

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Reincarnation Speculations Commercial, Unauthorized =================================================== Actress Shirley MacLaine turned past-life searcher gave a boost to various Eastern concepts about spiritual life with her book and TV movie/biography, "Out on a Limb". The idea about going "out on a limb" means that most Westerners feel a certain loyalty toward Judeo/Christian beliefs but, although more people are making the research into reincarnation, most do not want to openly admit this inquiry into what has been considered taboo amongst Western intellectuals and the Western church. Interest in reincarnation is reportedly growing in the US. According to Paul Galloway (Chicago Tribune, 5/17/87, "The Search for Past Life"), there may be as many as 1 out of every 4 Americans who believe in reincarnation and that that percentage may be going up, not down. However, the versions of reincarnation as propounded by many so-called reincarnation experts is being done in a hodgepodge, speculative and motivated manner. Galloway reports on an affair called, "Remembering Your Past Lives" seminar sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the nonprofit Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) which took place at the O'Hare Expo Center on April 25 and which attracted 217 past-life searchers. In that meeting, they were closing their eyes, trying to get in touch with what they were doing a few centuries ago in their previous lives. That people accept the notion of getting in touch with previous lives important is another cheating and exploiting business among physic entrepreneurs. Although according to the science of Krishna consciousness we have passed many lifetimes in different incarnations, there is no benefit to make the research into past-life activity. The message of Krishna consciousness is that one is living his life in the same manner as a person is living in a house that is on fire. When the house catches fire, we don't have to make the research about how the fire started but we immediately act to get out of the burning house. Similarly, we should take to the understanding that this present life is meant to get out of ignorance about God and surrender unto him immediately rather than spend useless effort in trying to research past-life activity. However less intelligent persons become enamored by these godless self-interested activities and become the exploiter and exploitee in this recent New Age phenomenon. Apart from just over-emphasising the importance of past-life research, ARE is promoting speculations contrary to the authorized principles of Bhagavad- gita. Spokesperson Lynn Sparrow, 33, preaches that there is no downward transmigration of the soul into lower species of animal life. She speculates that, "Except early in time, we have not been involved in the bodies of animals. As spiritual beings, we became so fascinated with life in this planet, and we began experimenting with animal forms. But we kind of made a mess of it. At that point, the Creator began releasing us from our mistakes; he created the human race through evolution." It is a fact that the Western mind is spiritually naive and falls for anything if it is packaged, marketed and advertised attractively. But the standard approach toward knowledge is to accept the authorized version of the authorized sources of transcendental knowledge such as the bona fide guru and the authorized books of knowledge and not trust anyones and everyones subjective speculations. Shrila Prabhupada often noted that bogus religious teachers of all descriptions satisfy their foolish followers by unauthorized talks and falsely selling the kingdom of God without following the principles of God consciousness. This philosophy, that the transmigrating soul has no opportunity to become trapped within an animal body, is false. The human form of life, according to Krishna consciousness, is an opportunity to use the facility of advanced intelligence. Prabhupada would say that the human is known as a rational animal, but if you take away his rationality, he is simply an animal. An animal is expert at satisfying his desires to eat, sleep, have sex and defend, and if the human being concentrates on the same, he is actually no better than the animal. Only when one gets a body of a human can he make the extra attempt to understand who is God and what is the relationship between himself and God. However, in modern society, mostly people are so misguided that they neglect this rare opportunity to use their God given intelligence and labor hard day after day for the facility of eating, sleeping, sex and defense. Consequently, they declare that God is dead, there is no God, you are God, I am God, or they speak some nonsense and pass it off as religion. Therefore, they pave their way toward animal life where they can continue to have the same opportunity for animal propensities having missed the chance to use their good intelligence in the human form of life. Some may uselessly argue that the soul presently occupying a human body does not transmigrate downward into animal bodies. It is a fact, although it is not natural, and it indicates that the human frivolously wasted his life on animalistic activities. The natural sequence is for human beings to advance in knowledge about God and reach the goal of life by gaining some tangible realization about the presence of God through the process of devotional service. Nobody thinks it appealing to become degraded enough to occupy the body of an animal. Neither is it very safe simply because animals are given no protection nowadays. They are slaughtered mercilessly for food, tortured for often unnecessary laboratory research or otherwise exploited for fur, etc. It is the strict law of nature that those humans who cause harm to innocent creatures also reincarnate to experience the same suffering; thus divine justice is served. Krishna exclaims in the Bhagavad- gita that, aham bija-pradah pita (Bg 14.4): "I am the father of all the living beings." In that way, all the living entities are given protection by God and have the right to live according to God's plan. In the material world one living being is food for another living being, and we see this law carried out violently in the animal kingdom. In the human form of life, man is meant to minimize the violence of this law by eating only vegetarian foods and milk and then offer this foodstuff to the Lord. That is the religious way of living at the cost of even the lives of plant life. In the Vedic culture, animals were never used for food or exploited in any way because the science of karma, or the laws of nature where taught and followed even by the heads of state. It is the attempt of the Hare Krishna movement to try and educate especially the leaders of people to take to understanding these laws of God so that people may be saved from the degradation of reincarnation into the animal species of life. Shirley MacLaine's "guru", J. Z. Knight, is a spiritual channeler who allows a spirit known as Mr. Ramtha talk through herself while she is in trance. Ramtha, born in Atlantis 35,000 years ago, proclaims that everyone is God and is capable of creating any reality one desires; if not now then in a later incarnation. This philosophy, according to the Krishna consciousness philosophy, is recognized as impersonalism and is the most dangerous philosophy one can indulge in. This philosophy declares that everyone of us is as good as the Supreme Lord but in reality it is actually another feature of the atheistic doctrine. When the living entity foolishly thinks himself as one in the same as the Supreme Lord, he creates an offense to the Lord and cannot make any progress in understanding the relationship between God and himself. For anyone who is engages in this philosophy, it is as good as spiritual suicide. Such doctrine kills the dormant devotion toward God that lies deep within the heart of the conditioned living being. Prabhupada describes the mentality of the mayavadi impersonalist like this in a letter dated 17 October 1967 to his disciple Pradyumna. "The last attack of maya [illusion] upon the conditioned souls is impersonalism. There are 4 stages of attack of maya; viz.: 1[st] stage is that a man wants to be a protagonist of religion, 2) is that man neglects religiosity and tries to improve his economic development, 3) is to be protagonist of sense enjoyment & when a man is frustrated in all the above mentioned stages he comes to 4, which is impersonalism, and thinks himself one with the Supreme. This last attack is very serious and fatal." This malady is commented upon by Robert Burrows, editor of publications for the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, a watchdog group supported by some evangelical and fundamentalist Christians that keeps tabs on New Age groups and practitioners. He says, "When we look to ourselves for answers instead of to God, there's a bit of a paradox here. I believe this trend represents another drop in the downward spiral of the culture. G. K. Chesterton said that when a man ceases to believe in God, he doesn't believe in nothing; he believes in anything. On the surface, the New Age message seems to exalt humanity. Ultimately, I think it debases humanity." The fate of the impersonalists is that they ultimately try to become one with God and thus they may even become one with God by merging into the brahmajyoti, or the spiritual light emanating from the transcendental body of the Supreme Lord. Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, created all the minute spiritual souls so that they may enjoy a personal relationship with Him and enjoy together eternally. When the spiritual beings, out of their own free will, decide to enjoy separately from God, they come to the dark material universe where their pure God consciousness is covered by the illusory energy called maya. In this diseased condition of life, the living entity may see the defects of the material situation and falsely declare himself as one with God. The Supreme Lord even allows such a soul to merge into His bodily rays, but such merging is temporary and is not considered true liberation or salvation. In the merging condition of life, there is no activity for the impersonalist has already falsely assumed that God Himself is impersonal, without form and without activity. The condition is similar, says Prabhupada in one lecture, to a child who, after becoming frustrated with the world, foolishly decides to crawl back into the womb of the mother(?) Naturally, the parents want to enjoy the company and association of the child, but the child wants to again become one with the mother out of ignorance. So God allows such merging, but after some time, the soul again desires to become active and thus he again takes birth in the material world only to engage in mundane welfare activities like opening hospitals and schools, etc. Such mayavadi impersonalists have no idea of the real spiritual life which is to be a servant of the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, and enjoy eternal bliss in His association. Their difficulty is that they are materially motivated and do not wish to surrender and acknowledge their subordinate status. Why should they become servant to God? they consider. They shall become one with God(?). Such New Age speculators are simply making a mockery of the laws of God by exploiting others' interest in reincarnation. And the people who are coming to take this word jugglery also want to be cheated. Reincarnation is one of the facets of the laws of nature which are controlled by God. To know about God is not the business of a foolish person but only the very sincere and intelligent can know something about the laws and nature of the Supreme Lord. The fact that Western culture is firmly entrenched in scientific research does not easily allow the natural devotion for God to take place. On the contrary, the dependence on empirical knowledge is very much conducive toward atheistic philosophy because God and the existence of the soul cannot be proven by laboratory experiments. In this way God always proves that He is more intelligent than our cleverest scientists by remaining outside of their intellectual grasp. The cheating philosophy being spread by these New Age groups is another feature of the Kali-yuga or age of irreligion. In this age, mostly people are wanting to be misled by false religious and philosophical ideas. Again, the Vedic literatures like the Bhagavad-gita and the Shrimad Bhagavatam provides the basis for understanding nonsectarian bona fide religion. In this connection Prahlada Maharaja states (SB 7.5.31): "Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Vishnu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries."

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