Teachings Reincarnation  

Positive and Negative Power
Yin and Yang



The soul never reincarnates, just our habitual thinking, our desires, our attachments that reincarnate. If we know the soul, if we are enlightened, if we know the connection with the whole universe, we are not reincarnated anywhere, we are always right there. We are never born, and never die.

From “The Soul Never Transmigrates”
News 59, Pearls of Wisdom
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Honolulu, Hawali, USA
March 28, 1993
(originally in English)

We are born from God, and we are one with God. No matter how long we have run around in the cycle of transmigration, thinking we are heterodox or orthodox, we have never left the Tao (the Truth). Heaven and hell are also in the Tao; they are only a little distance apart. Just like a wave in the sea. Sometimes, when there is a strong wind or when the earth moves vigorously, the wave will rise higher. Actually, it is still linked with the sea, still on the sea surface, still one with the water. It might think that it is great and no longer has any relationship with the water, yet when it falls down, it still has to go back to the water in the sea or river. This is very logical! Of course, the sea wave doesn’t understand these things. It just rises and falls innocently, so it has no karma, and will not have to transmigrate. It doesn’t know what is transmigration.

It is all because our mind is too complicated, thinking we are incurring karma, that we are separated from God, that we are sinful and lowly human beings. Then, we forget we are forever with God. If, after we die, we have no such concept about transmigration, and have no greed, we would float as if we were in the air, and definitely would not transmigrate again. We transmigrate because of our senseless concepts; we cling to the mind and keep trying to grasp anything that it desires. The soul and the mind are connected. In order to experience, the mind says, “We have not yet finished with our game!” (Laughter) Then, both of them have to come back. When the mind has learned all its lessons, and the souls is aware, then they will not come back to learn again. We are tired of this world even before we leave! We have enjoyed everything and have no more attachment. We have realized it thoroughly: we are tired of fooling around here life after life. Then this time, we definitely won’t have to come back again.

From “No More Transmigration”
News 67, You May Not Know
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Laiyi Center, Pintung, Formosa
October 24, 1993
(originally in Chinese)

Q: Some people go overboard in understanding reincarnation which sounds like myths. Please explain what does reincarnate after death? Knowing the personal “I”, the personality, body, environmental and cultural mind doesn’t reincarnate. So again, what does?

M: Oh! It is the personality that reincarnates. Reincarnation doesn’t mean we come back again in the same body, but our thinking, our desire, our attachment to something which could not be solved in the present life will come back again, packed together in another body, and that is what is called reincarnation. And so that body continues to enjoy, to suffer whatever was left behind, left over from this present life. Maybe in a different body, different shape of body even. Maybe this life we are black and next life we will be white, or yellow, or red. Or this life we are in this human body and next life we are in a different clothing of body like the animal clothing-body.

Because everything we think, speak, desire, and attach to, has energy, it formulates itself into a very concrete type of atmosphere and then that atmosphere evolves again in a different environment and different circumstance in order to fulfil, to dilute all these concrete forms which already exist. Everything existing must be destroyed, must be changed, must be fulfilled in one way or another. This is what reincarnation means.

For example, we see, we grow the flower, the plant, and the plant produces the flower, then somehow nature one day will destroy the flower because it has been in existence and then after sometime, it has to be dissolved. So if our thinking, our attachments and desires are not able to be fulfilled in this life, they have to be in the next. It’s very logical. It’s nothing mysterious. There’s no myth about reincarnation.

Q: Is reincarnation a choice of the soul or spirit, or is it something that will occur automatically without choice by the control and decision of the higher power?

M: We have choice and we do not have choice. For the average people, they have no choice. For the Buddhas, saints, Christ, they have choice. They consciously choose their parents, date of birth, the place of birth, and the date of death, date of leaving the world; they have choice. They are conscious in the womb of the mother already. They are conscious before they came to the world. They came by choice, they came to save the world, to help some of their friends, to help those who pray to them for help. They have choice. But other people, they are compelled to reincarnate by their own deeds, actions through the past life.

As I have just explained before, our thinking and habits form themselves into an energy and that will force us to come into a different environment, to fulfil and to eradicate if necessary. This already formed concrete energy has to be diluted.

From “Is God A Being Or A Non-Being”
News 51, Media Reports
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Berkeley University, California, USA
October 13, 1989
(originally in English)

Q: If life exists after death and people’s spirits come back to Earth, what are the procedures and the reasons?

M: Do you want to know about ghosts or do you want to know about reincarnation? There are two types of spirits that come back to Earth. The ones that come back without the body are called “ghosts” and the ones that come back choosing another physical office to reside in are called “reincarnated.” Actually, they are both reincarnated. There are many ways a soul can be reincarnated, not necessarily in this world and not necessarily in a physical or human body.

At the time of death, some people do not realize immediately that they are dead, so they hang around trying to talk to relatives and friends, getting frustrated, banging their heads and it doesn’t hurt at all, trying to eat something and getting very frustrated. Sometimes they try to cause trouble because they do not want to accept that they have left this physical world and still feel attached to the atmosphere of this planet. Just as we have ignorant people, we also have ignorant ghosts, but after awhile they will be removed to where they belong. Depending on their spiritual attainment, their level of understanding of the Universe, they will be placed in different places.

And the souls that come back choosing another physical body, it is just to further experience the phenomena of this world until they have had enough, and then they will go and reincarnate somewhere else, or stay in heaven, it depends. Some spirits choose to come back to this world immediately after they have departed, some choose to stay resting for awhile in between and then come later, some choose to stay somewhere else for thousands of years and come back, and some never come back here again. Actually, the soul is a part of God just as a drop is a part of the ocean. The soul is God itself, so it will know what it wants to do and it will decide at the time of so-called “death” what to do next.

It’s just that if we train ourselves, we train this mind, this physical instrument, during our lifetime, then at the time of death, the soul will depart more quickly. The body and the mind won’t struggle and we don’t suffer. We know exactly where we are going, which is directly to heaven, and we do not have to experience so much confusion because of the mind, not because of the soul. So in order to be an enlightened ghost, so-called ghost, we should be an enlightened human first, and then it’s easier.

Q: You told us previously about reincarnation, and that spirits can choose if they will reincarnate or not. They choose freely. What, therefore, is the law of karma and what are the lessons that we have to learn in each incarnation?

M: Actually, we don’t have to learn anything here. We just have to remember what we already know. And about the law of karma, whatever we do in this world will affect or come back to us, and some will follow us after this physical life. Of course, if we are not enlightened, it will follow us everywhere because the law of cause and effect is that whatever you sow, so shall you reap. But sometimes the effects don’t come quickly enough before we die, so they are still there and we must of course take care of that. At the time of death, the soul can choose to be reincarnated wherever it wants and that always stands true. But the soul is all-knowledge and all-justice, so if it knows that during the lifetime it has done something that is not favorable for a higher dimension, then he will, by himself, choose to be reincarnated wherever circumstances are suitable to iron out this debt, or this obligation. That’s why I said only enlightened persons have a higher or lower choice, as they truly can make a choice but unenlightened souls have not much choice.

From “Knowing God is the Only Virtue That We Must Acquire”
News 104, Master Says
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Athens, Greece
May 20, 1999
(originally in English)

We don’t reincarnate, but a part of our habits, our collective information reincarnates. So this part of us, which is called the intellect, or maybe the sixth consciousness, collects all kinds of karmic information. And then it recycles it again, like a Coca Cola bottle, or like some of the things in the United States now that they encourage people to recycle. It’s the same thing; our “bottles” are recycled. Each time they can be used, and they are still connected with other materials in this world, then we call it reincarnation; it’s just a kind of recycling. The Coca Cola substance inside doesn’t reincarnate, only the bottle does. Still, people can recognize that, or not recognize it. But the substance is still there, so they recognize it as recycled; we see it as recycled.

The things from which this bottle is made are not reincarnated; this is our real Self, our soul. Each time we want to experiment with new things, we bottle ourselves into a new recycled substance or subject; that’s it. But then again, we’re used to identifying ourselves with all this substance and information, so we say we reincarnate. But it’s not true. We never die, and we are never born. We have always existed; we are the witness of all things created and destroyed in this universe. We always are the witness. But then sometimes we identify ourselves with the subject that we witness and with the circumstances in which we witness it, so we suffer or we have joy.

Just like when we watch TV, and we forget that it’s only a movie, and we cry, or we laugh. We support this one, and we want to kill the other. Both of them have nothing to do with us, none of them are our enemies or friends, and none of them are real. But we hate that one: “Oh! That mustached one, he is a bad guy, kill him, kill him!” You sit in front of the screen, and you say, “Kill him! Kill that guy quickly!” Or “Get out, get out! He’ll kill you! Get out, quick! This way, this way!” Like the personage on TV or the screen will actually listen to us or hear us, but they don’t. They do what they have to do according to the director, not according to us. Therefore many of the movies’ outcomes don’t suit our taste; we want to change them. But what’s the use? If we change it, it’s not that movie any more. So the movie has to exist the way it is. Actually, we fool ourselves many times, and we can prove that every day; no need to talk about reincarnation, illusion or anything of this world, we can prove it.

I’ll tell you a foolish story about myself. Yesterday or the day before yesterday, when I first came to Hawaii, they rented an apartment for me and our many staff members, like the ones who have to work close to me; also we have guests. It’s a rented place for ten days, not much, cheap, but very big and near the beach. I was thinking to invite you there, but I don’t know how to house you. It’s big, but it’s not that big! It’s big enough for ten persons, but not for thousands. So now, the relativity of our world: Sometimes we say, “Wow, it’s great!” But it’s not that great compared to other things. We are always in illusion until we compare it against another background; then we know we are wrong.

It’s similar with many practices. They practice, they eat vegetarian, they meditate and they are very good, but good to what point? Against our Quan Yin practitioners, they are just like half-cooked, half-baked cookies, for example! So, we know the good things and the great things in this world have their limits, compared to the Truth or the limitless almighty power of God.

Magic Mirror

Now, come back to my foolish story. I went into the room, fantastic, everywhere it had big mirrors, so I can see how pretty I am. (Audience laughs at Master’s “preening” gestures) And in the bedroom, there was a big mirror; I knew it was a mirror. Everyone immediately knew it was a mirror; there’s no fooling about that. In the bathroom, there were also two windows, and from the two windows, you could see through to the sea.

Then when I looked into the mirror, I saw four windows. And I kept thinking, “How come the sea is over there?” I thought my place was situated on the edge of the water, and was surrounded by the sea. So, I could see the sea in that window, and I could see the sea through that window. And I fooled myself for two days. Can you believe it? Until one day I happened to look out of the real windows, and I saw there was no sea over there. And I said, “How come?” I looked back to the wall again where the mirror was and said, “Wow, there is the sea!” And even then, I did not understand.

So, they say the sage is like the fool. Actually, afterwards I remembered, “Oh, yes, it’s the mirror!” But it was difficult to find out. You can’t believe it. Because I was not used to this kind of scenery, two windows became four, that I hadn’t seen before. And the sea was inside the wall. But it looked so real that I was mesmerized with the beauty of the sea through the windows and I forgot about the mirror. Really, I did! But it hit me like that: “My God! You are the Supreme Master, okay, but you don’t realize the difference between the windows and the reflection of the windows.” So, I laughed at myself, and had very good fun when I realized that.

But it surprised me that I didn’t realize it was a reflection from the window. It really surprised me for many days. How could I be fooled so easily? Just because I love the sea, I focused on the sea. And I thought, “Wow! You can see the sea through the windows; fantastic, we have four windows and on all four sides is the sea.” I was happy with the sea, and I forgot that it was an illusion. It’s not that I couldn’t find out, it’s just that I was too fixated on the sea.

So, similarly in our daily life, most people are fixated on the object of their beloved desire. And then they forget the illusion, they forget the magic mirror. It’s not that they can’t find out; when they are ready, they’ll find out. The Master will come, or they will wake up themselves. Actually when the Master comes, that means they wake up themselves. Otherwise, who can tell them they have it inside? Just like me: I have my eyes, the mirror is there, I can always find out, but then I am too fixated on the vision of the sea, and enjoying that. And it looked so real; I thought it was four windows. I’m telling you the truth; I’m not kidding you. I’m not telling a story to make a smooth gap between our lectures; it’s a true story. I am that foolish. Can you believe it? And now, you follow me! (Audience laughs) So be careful where you’re going with the mirror.

Reflection vs. Reality

We are fixed in our illusions up to now, or still, sometimes. Therefore, we can’t find the truth between illusion - the reflection or the shadow - and the real. So, we play up and down; we enjoy it. And sometimes we hit ourselves and we say, “How come?” It’s not there because it’s not there; it has never been there.

Similarly, our life is so real to us that we can not understand or believe that it is an illusion, that there is another real life, the true object of this shadow life. But when we close our eyes, we shut all our senses, and truly look for the real subject, then we realize, “Oh, there is a fantastic world, and that is real.” It feels good there, it feels real, and it feels better than over here. So, that’s when I look through the real window; the real wind is caressing my face, and all the trees outside are waving. Whereas in the mirror, it’s a little bit different. I discovered that the four windows are different. Because in there are no trees, and out there are trees. And then I realized, “Ah! This is a different reflection only, so the angle is different.” So, the reflected picture is missing some part.

Therefore in our real life, it’s the same thing. The reflection is never perfect, because of a different-looking angle. And now we are not satisfied; that’s that. You feel something phony about it. Then sooner or later, we will desire the real, and the reality will hit us. And then we know: There we are. That’s why we make mistakes; that’s why we stumble so far.

From “The Enlightened Witness”
News 117, Spot Light
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Hawaii, USA • October 22, 1993
(originally in English)


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