James Jr. WW2 Hero on left KIA ~ James Leininger III on right
“I knew you were going to be good parents when I saw you both in that
Hotel in Hawaii.” ~ James Leininger (Age 5?)
The above line is what young James Leininger said to his father at the age of 5 or 6. James is the most documented case of “Past Lives” and “Reincarnation”.
On this Mothers’ day, it makes me wonder if we had a choice to pick our parents, or if it was just James that had a choice. This is part of a discipline called “Theosophy”. The difference between Theology and Theosophy is that the latter explains the “How” behind the what.
In the documentary, the father of James is initially a skeptic/Bible thumping evangelical that “believeth not”. Most Christians that do not believe reincarnation is real do so because of the parable of Lazarus and Abraham’s bosom. In short, Lazarus is a poor man who lives a righteous yet poor life and then there’s the man of wealth. Both die and move to the next realm. Of course the rich man who is a non-believer is in the lake of fire and can see Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom. (Let me explain). The term “In Abraham’s bosom is like that first time you walk through the door of your home after 12 weeks of Basic military training, and Dad is there to welcome you home by greeting you with a big hug. Ya know those hugs where you wait to see who lets go first? To make Hell worse, the rich man finally sees Abraham and believes and asks to go back just to warn his family members. Abraham replied, naw, if they wouldn’t believe while you were alive, they still won’t believe. Hard core Christian believers believe that means, one life per customer. And from a physical mortal position, that’s true. But can the rich man come back in a poor man’s body with no recollection of his past life?
Let me give you a couple of verses to consider. In Matthew 16:13, why did Jesus ask his disciples: “Who do they say I am”? Peter’s response in Matthew 16:14 is simple, he said: ““Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” OK, John the Baptist is just wrong. He baptized Jesus. Are we to believe that JTB and Jesus shared the same spirit? I’m not buying it. But many of the Jews thought Jesus was an old testament Prophet. My point is, in the first century, reincarnation was an accepted belief.
The next verse is even more convincing as it comes from the mouth of Christ. Flip the page to Matthew 17:10. I’m going to paraphrase. After Jesus had confessed He was the Christ; his disciples asked: “Then why do the scribes say Elijah must come first ?” here is the New American Standard Version which is the KJV minus the “Thees” and “Thous”.
” And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.
Christ’s disciples believed that Jesus was saying, the old Prophet Elijah had returned in the body of “John the Baptist”. How else can you interpret that last line? In keeping with the parable of Lazarus and Abraham, it wasn’t Elijah that came back to life. It was John the Baptist with Elijah’s spirit. Just as James III thought he was James Jr. He wasn’t. He is James III with James Jr’s soul. No memory of much after the age of 4 or so. Do you ever wonder why little children often have “Imaginary friends”? Pediatricians say that most people cannot recall their childhood prior to the age of 4. Is this because the younger we are, the closer we are to our last incarnation?
So this makes me wonder. Do we have a say in being reincarnated? Do we get a pre-incarnate look at what our life is going to be like? Perhaps we get a look at the circumstances we’re born into. Perhaps not. Why would an intelligent spirit choose to be an Ethiopian slave? The comedian “Father Guido Sarducci” once said that many nuns were gangsters in former lives. That’s why they enjoy inflicting pain on the kids. On the other hand, if you’re looking at 70 years in south Chicago or eternity in Hell, one looks much better than the other. If it means saving lives while risking your own; or Hell, the answer is pretty easy.
I’ve always felt we were born into our situation, (rich or poor) to get the spiritual knowledge that being in that position could give you. I’m not talking about mental knowledge or conscious knowledge, but the feelings that build the character you get from getting kicked around in life. You get to understand what it’s like being poor. Maybe if you arrive in the after life with a grudge because you tried your hardest but were still poor, you come back as a Rothschild only to see the drawbacks of wealth. (Loss of privacy, feelings of guilt, always having to wear and say the right things). I learned many years ago that if you can’t be happy when you’re without money; you’ll never be happy with money. I said that during a knee arthroscopy and the Orthopedic surgeon I was working with who was bringing in 3M a year (was) replied: “You said it”.
I’ve always felt that I was a German Lüftwaffe Pilot in my previous life. (And a good one). I think I killed many. I also get memories of crashing my Messerschmitt into the side of a mountain. Is it any wonder that this musician had to spend the majority of his life in Surgery? Did I need to learn what it was like to put people back together in surgery? I was trusted to drill tunnels in your knee, or carve out a new tendon for your ACL, then sew you up at the end of the case.
When the government did away with paying general surgeons to assist, former Navy corpsmen like me were in demand. I saw my salary triple overnight. But who knows, maybe I’m that same “Ace” that killed so many British, Russian and American pilots before getting shot down, but with a better understanding and respect for human life?
God can do whatever He wants for whatever reason. Maybe not everyone gets reincarnated. Maybe the previous Ace needed some spiritual fine tuning and was worth saving with a little polishing.
In closing; let me leave you with one last bible verse. It’s the most profound verse in the book of Job. It comes from an innocent young sympathizer of Job’s named Elihu.
“God thunders with His voice wondrously,
Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.”
I get it. I don’t know crap about the intricacies or the extent of the God of our Universe. The God of Infinity. And even if it were taught to me; I wouldn’t be able to understand it.
Jesus said: “Love God and love your neighbor as you would love yourself””. Everything else is just STUFF. (Vanities, useless, fodder etc…) Also, honor your parents. Even if you were born to an alcoholic drug addict mother. God wants you to “Love” without a reason. That’s your sign of being born again.
I just know in reincarnation there is still death of one self and identity.
I agree. But the energy that powers the HBE goes somewhere. (I believe) We are not the total sum of our visual parts. Our conscious and subconscious minds are either in the HBE or both in/and connected to a collective that consists of a “Higher Power”.
I would agree that the ultimate goal is to reconnect with the higher power within this universe, but would say in examining near death experience, religion, and folklore the human conscious or soul remains a separate entity in experience to be part of whatever realm it travels. The metaphysics of reincarnation still remains a mystery to me as either a means of choice, repentance, fulfillment. Also keep in mind also in Buddhism there are multiple hells one may spend time in until the karma of past misdeeds are spent which then the person can leave and be reborn.
With All due respect to Buddhism; It does not resonate with me. To me Buddhism is the anti-science. My only reason to believe in reincarnation doesn’t come from James Leinenger or others claiming to have a past life experience. I tend to focus on the how and less on the why. Using the Christian Bible which, is amazingly accurate, it tells me that reincarnation was a popular belief in the first century. As you said, much of it can be the “Shirley McClain” dogma (paraphrased) of reincarnation where you can claim to be anyone in history you admired. Personally I feel I was a Luftwaffe Pilot in WWII. I don’t know who but I have suspicions. That doesn’t matter. If I was, it only explains why a talented guitarist like me, ended up spending the majority of his life earning a living in surgery with my hands being used to “cure” not kill people. But even that sounds to humanistic.
My belief is that Source Energy, (I prefer the term God) wants the non-perishable part of our existence to be salvaged if possible. I think if it requires taking this energy and putting it in a new earthly vessel w/o memory, so be it. But I don’t believe reincarnation is automatic. If you believe the Leinenger kid was reincarnated; where was his spirit/soul/life force for the 40 years after James Houston Jr. died?
Bottom line, the great Almighty can do anything. If such an entity is capable of causing something out of nothing, (Big Bang) It can do whatever it so desires. How it does it is fascinating. Why it does it is not worth challenging. Faith is the feul that powers the system. The gate to Hell is wide and many shall enter. The narrow gate is the way to the next level. That’s my belief and I’m sticking to it. Not that I haven’t examined the options like Buddhism, but my life in science (This time around)has taught me to test the waters. It made me a skeptic. As Jefferson said: “Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear”. I also admire: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
This has allowed me to function in my current tangible paradigm while understanding that there is a non-tangible paradigm shift that is imminent for everyone. I might be back after this life, or perhaps I’ll get to spend my time in a better place without ISIS or politicians that lie.
I don’t know or understand the metaphysical to what afterlife awaits but I’ll leave you with what a priest told me, “In Christianity, belief in God through Jesus is the path to heaven, but to those you have yet to hear the word or may be a good person that held no belief, have faith that a truly loving God will be just and merciful to them in allowing a chance or even a reborn to know Him.”