“I am Paul from Bicol. I am a fan of mysteries and the supernatural. That is why I found gold in your writings. I have read several of your books and I always read your articles in the Inquirer. I guess what made me like your works is the way you present ideas in a very simple manner, such that even people like me who find literature boring rediscovered the habit of reading.
“I wrote to you because I have several questions about reincarnation. First, if a man kills himself, will this add up to his karmic debt? Second, do you believe that there is really such a dimension as hell? If you answer in the negative, how do you explain St. John Bosco’s experience of hell?
“Third, is it true that man repeatedly commits the same mistakes he made in previous incarnations? Is it possible to avoid such fate? Lastly, according to the doctrine of reincarnation, man gets to choose what his next life would be like. Then, is it possible for us to choose to be born in an extraterrestrial world for our next incarnation?”
Thank you for your very kind words about my works.
Before I answer your specific questions about reincarnation and karma, I would like to state here that the following are merely my opinion, and are not meant to convince anyone about the truth of reincarnation, if it goes against his or her religious beliefs. We can find hints of belief in reincarnation in the Christian Bible, but as the American psychic and prophet Edgar Cayce said, “One can read in reincarnation in the Bible, and another can read it out again.”
Now, “if a man kills himself, will this add to his karmic debt?” My question is, to whom does he owe a karmic debt if he kills himself? Who does he inflict harm on?
This question cannot be answered in general terms. Karma is the universal law that adjust effects to their rightful causes. Edgar Cayce defines karma as, “simply meeting one’s self,” meaning “we meet the consequences of things done in the past.”
During the early days of the American-Indian conflict, cowboys were known to have killed themselves rather than be caught alive and cruelly tortured by the fierce Indian tribes. Japanese pilots during World War II went on suicide attacks (or “hara kiri”) to inflict harm on their enemies. Muslim terrorists detonate bombs wrapped around their bodies that kill not only themselves, but dozens of innocent people, as well. Gen. Angelo Reyes committed suicide when his honor and integrity were questioned by senators.
Consequences of suicide
Do all these cases of suicide carry the same karmic consequences? I don’t think so. We should look into the specific circumstances or details of each case before we can answer this question.
“Do you believe in hell?” My answer is no. There is no such thing as hell. I, of course, expect a barrage of protests from religious conservatives with this reply. I don’t believe in hell as a permanent state of punishment for wrongs committed by man, because if the purpose of God’s creating human beings is for them to return to and be with him after perfecting themselves through a series of lifetimes, then the concept of hell is inconsistent or incompatible with this purpose. It is self-defeating, isn’t it?
If you create something in your own image and likeness and give it free will and then banish it permanently if it exercises that will against you, aren’t you contradicting yourself? Why did you give it free will in the first place?
That’s why I can’t believe in hell. Besides, how can a soul, which is non-physical, burn in the fires of hell? I have not heard a priest explain how this happens.
Another reason I can’t believe in hell is the concept of divine justice. According to Christian belief, if one commits mortal sin, he goes to hell. Now suppose I kill one person intentionally, with full knowledge and premeditation, then I have committed a mortal sin and I go to hell.
Now let’s say that Hitler kills six million Jews. That’s a mortal sin. Therefore he also goes to hell. Where is divine justice here? I might as well have killed 10 million people, and my punishment is the same.
When I asked this question of a friend, she said, it’s not the same because, “Hitler will go to a place in hell that’s hotter than yours.”
Now, how do I explain St. John Bosco’s experience of hell? My reply is simple. These experiences of a so-called hell could be projections of one’s fears brought about by centuries of mental conditioning about the horrors of hell. These experiences or visions may not be real. They could be merely creations of his own mind which appear very real to him.
Have you ever seen a person hypnotized? Even with a mere suggestion that a cold pencil is a red hot iron, the hypnotized subject will experience real burns on his skin if touched by the pencil.
“Is it true that a man commits the same mistakes he made in previous incarnations?” Yes, if he does not learn his lessons. But no if he does. You see, theoretically, each incarnation is progressive. One gets better with each incarnation, but because of free will, one may choose to do the wrong things and therefore may regress.
“Is it possible for us to choose to reincarnate in an extraterrestrial world?” Yes, Earth is not the only planet where life exists. There are thousands, if not millions of stars, galaxies, planets in the expanding universe.
The next Basic ESP and Intuition Development seminar will be on July 9-10, 2011 from 9am-5pm. For reservations and further details, call tel. no. 810-7245; telefax 8159890; or cell phone no. (0920) 981-8962; email [email protected] visit our website www.jimmylicauco.com