I'd never really explored the concept of reincarnation, as a theory it always seemed a little too 'convenient' to me. Not that I would disrespect in any way those for whom reincarnation was a belief. But coming back again in another body? Well, it always felt a bit too much like wishful thinking.
Yet there has always been something I never could explain and that stirs the strongest feeling in me, albeit fleeting, and it's a difficult one to describe to those who haven't felt it. It's so transient and impossible to grasp when it happens.
Sometimes when I see a scene, perhaps in a photograph, on the television or even in a dream - for me it's usually a shoreline all strewn with seaweed and rocks, (but it has also been a tiny cobbled street) - I have an overwhelming sense of knowing that place, or a place just like it.
Now it's not just a simple case of deja vu, that's something I know well and it's definitely not that, no it's something that tugs at my innermost 'gut' feelings, a surge of recognition that leads to a longing for this place I remember. A place that I have never been. And it's always puzzled me.
This has happened to me far too many times to be dismissed as a brain blip or imagination. This is a very real experience, indeed something so vivid and poignant that it produces a wave of emotion akin to going home after a long absence.
Whether this is somewhere I remember from a previous life I couldn't say of course but I think it is definitely somewhere my soul yearns to be. I like to believe I will see it and reach it and then I will know I am home. Wherever that home is.
Interesting to me is the Jewish mystical (Kabbalistic) take on the whole reincarnation thing, it's hugely complicated but basically the Kabbalah teaches that Gilgul (the 'transmigration of souls', the closest thing to reincarnation to which the scholars refer) does not involve the return of the actual person, but simply the re-using of (parts of) the soul. So these fragments of the soul are 'recycled' and each of us may have elements of other souls within us. That, it seems to me, is why we may have received memories from other lifetimes.
So the memories that I recall so intensely in these fleeting moments of recognition, when I see my coastal scene or that cobbled street, do in a way make sense to me. And I have always believed, or hoped, that one day I will arrive at this place that I remember from some other time or dimension.
And what of the faces I recall from dreams? Those people I meet and interact with in flights of the soul during sleep. Are these too fragments of some remembered time?
I have always been drawn to the sea and yet in spite of searching my whole life, I have never found the scene that I recognise and remember, the one that I can 'feel', the place my very soul seems to yearn for - that particular shoreline is so very evocative to me and the memory so strong that I know when I do arrive there it will be so completely overwhelming and so fulfilling that I will have no reason to continue, to go any further. I suppose it's my final destination. Or I may have to face the fact that the yearning will continue beyond this life, in another body, seeking, searching, remembering until such a time as the journey is done and I can stop looking.
So, for now then I suppose this wandering spirit will just remember and wonder - and hope.
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