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.