I don't know what happens after we die. I'd love to know, but I don't figure I'm going to know and that's okay. It does make it awkward when we're talking about the yoga sutras though. My thing about the sutras is that they are applicable to modern life, they aren't some archaic weird thing. And then it gets to the parts about past lives and reincarnation and it goes wild and then it seems to be an old text that's hard to relate to.
Unless I consider that the reincarnation is something that happens in this life on an ongoing basis. That works for me and is in fact, how I experience my life more and more, now that I've got more and more life in my past!
I've been talking to a couple of people about this recently and it seems that it does fit when it comes to past relationships. Sometimes it is like they happened in another life. One person told me she bumped into her ex-husband on the street. It wasn't long before she got that odd feeling like she'd known him in another life because she certainly didn't know him in her current life. Someone else said she'd like it if her recent ex would get out of town so he'd be out of her way and his ghost would leave too. I get it.
The way I've always operated is to be integrated so there aren't past lives in my current life, but of course, I can't help it. There are ways I've been in the past that no longer continue. There are people I've known in a former life. But for the most part, if allowed, I don't like to have ghosts haunting me. I want to be clear and complete and free to be wherever I want to be without being afraid I'm going to run into someone who's going to change my day.
I've also been working with the idea that if I want something in my life, the thing is to give it. Like an apology for instance. I heard again today that "you can't get carrots at Canadian Tire," and I know me wanting an apology is definitely not going to get me one. However, I can give an apology and then an apology would be present. It was hard and I could see where I'd been really not at all willing to apologize for something I did just about two months ago. I'm right, the other person deserved it, why on earth should I be the one to apologize, that's crazy, blah blah blah.
Well, I sat down and typed an email and apologized for what I did, for my reaction to the news, for how I behaved. I gave what I wanted to receive. Not in order for me to get an apology back - I don't expect one (I did get a response though). However, I wanted a proper apology to be present (as opposed to the kind that go, "I said I'm sorry! I messed up. I made a bad decision! I'm sorry!") and the only person who was around to give one out today was me, so I did it. When the thought hit me I totally resisted it. I did not feel sorry one little bit. But I thought about it and wondered what I could apologize for and I found more than one thing that I did that I realize had an impact and could be acknowledged. And I feel a lot better. Not back to full freedom, not the new incarnation, but I can sense I'll be born again into a new life and it's not that far off.
So if reincarnation is just me being born again every month or every few years, I get it. It makes sense. The teachings are something I can use in this lifetime, in all of these incarnations of me.