The beginning of incarnation of spiritual beings trapped in physical bodies has its origin in some Buddhist texts. There is even something mentioned in some ancient scriptures about alien beings with energy bodies that got themselves entangled in flesh and blood human forms as they developed material cravings on earth.
So for successive lives, we have been trying to evolve – to shed off our lower physical and energy bondage (collectively our physical, emotions and lower mental bodies) – by pursuing spirituality that would eventually lead us to rediscover our original light bodies. Some have been going through the process by adherence to organized religions while some have decidedly preferred to go solo on their quests. “All roads lead to Rome” and “Eighty-Four Thousand Paths All Lead To the Source.”- the sayings go. These are means to an end, but the end does not necessarily have to justify the means.
I am essentially a freelance Buddhist not affiliated with any schools but practicing on my own. I pray to Buddha and Bodhisattvas twice daily, and I try to follow whatever little I know about the Dharma as closely as possible in my day to day life. On the other hand, I also uphold certain Confucian values, being a Chinese, and practice some forms of Taoist meditations too. There is indeed a movement in the East that incorporates the three mainstream schools – Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist. Meanwhile, my western education background also pre-disposes me to Western Theosophical schools and New Age Movement – attuning my understanding of energy, their scientific interpretations, and the use of psychic aids like crystal and mineral stones.
Life is an unending process of learning, and it goes on even for successive incarnations. Meanwhile, I am open and receptive to all religions – individuals have their own rights to choose whichever path they want to follow, and we should not only accommodate but also respect their choice and feel uninhibited in our interaction with them.
By Anthony Leong