Month: December 2007

In 2008, be nicer to your neighbours

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The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, urges the world in general—and China in particular—to show more compassion in the year ahead

As we face the challenge of ever-expanding populations, increasing demands for energy and food, as well as huge disparities in wealth, we have to embrace globalisation and accept people from all countries as neighbours and collaborators, not rivals. In this interdependent world, war is outdated. Destroying other countries brings no benefit, but creates humanitarian suffering, trade disruption and environmental problems that everyone must bear.

In 2008 there will be efforts to put an end to ongoing violent conflict in several parts of the world. The drive to achieve economic growth will also go on, while awareness of the perils of climate change and the need to protect ourselves from its unpredictable effects will become more acute. This will surely focus attention on the powerless and dispossessed, who will be the first to suffer and the least able to help themselves.

People need goods and services to meet the essential requirements of existence, not to mention those things that bring dignity and comfort to human life. Yet for all the innovation and creativity of our economic activity, we have not succeeded in securing these essentials for all human beings. The yawning gap between the “haves” and “have nots” is going to create a great deal of suffering for everyone.

We watch, hear and read every day about breathtaking manifestations of affluence, alongside deaths due to starvation, poverty, malnutrition, and preventable or curable diseases. Shouldn’t we ask ourselves whether something is wrong with our choice of goals or our motivation, or both? I believe we have to find ways of bringing compassion to bear in our economic activity.

Compassion and love are fundamental to relations between human beings. Therefore the interdependent society in which we live has to be a compassionate one, compassionate in its choice of goals, and compassionate in the pursuit of those goals.

When we focus only on our own requirements and disregard the needs and interests of others, we are likely to provoke hostility. This is especially true when we view our own happiness and needs predominantly in terms of material wealth and power. All human beings yearn for freedom, equality and dignity, and have a right to achieve them. Therefore, in today’s shrinking world the acceptance of universally binding standards of human rights is essential.

I do not see any contradiction between the need for economic development and the need to respect human rights. The right to free speech and association is vital in promoting a country’s economic development. In Tibet, for example, there have been instances where unsuitable economic policies have been implemented and continued long after they have failed to produce benefits, because citizens and government officials could not speak out against them. And it is the same elsewhere.

A middle way for Tibet
We praise diversity in theory, but too often fail to respect it in practice. If someone is different from us, we are inclined to interpret the difference in negative terms and perceive it as threatening. The Chinese government’s attitude to the people of Tibet is a case in point. Naturally Tibetans love their own culture and their way of life as best suited to their distinct environment and situation, but whenever they show active interest, respect or faith in it, Chinese officials regard their urge to preserve their identity as a threat to the unity of China. Such an inability to embrace diversity is a major source of dissatisfaction that can give rise to conflict.

The Chinese leadership places great emphasis on harmony: an excellent goal. But in order to achieve it, there must be trust. Trust flows from equality and compassion. Suspicion creates restraint and is an obstacle to trust. Without trust, how can you develop genuine unity or harmony?

I believe we can find a way for both Chinese and Tibetans to live together with dignity, freedom and in the spirit of good neighbourliness. I am convinced that we can achieve a “middle way”, if we engage in a process that respects our differences and acknowledges that we have the ability and the means to solve our problems and help each other.

In 2008 close attention will be focused on China as it hosts the Olympic games. I feel strongly that as the world’s most populous nation, with its long history and ancient civilisation, China deserves this privilege and honour. However, we must not forget that the Olympics are a free, fair and open contest in which athletes of all recognised nations, no matter how small, are welcome to compete on an equal footing. Freedom, fairness, openness and equality are not only the principles enshrined in the Olympic games but among the highest human values, a measure against which all nations should be held to account.

in The Economist

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New Year’s Resolutions That Work

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Do we really even bother to write New Year’s resolutions anymore? I mean really write them. As in sit down, categorise our life and goals, plan some desired outcomes .. blah, blah, blah.

It all sounds a bit much, doesn’t it.

And kinda corny anyway.

Besides, nobody keeps resolutions! They’re almost made to be broken.

Maybe the reason you never succeed in your NY plans is you don’t deserve to.

I’m not saying you don’t deserve success.

But seriously – do you really expect to lose the weight, become fitter, find a partner, write a book, run the Kokoda trail backwards, or whatever else spells ‘success’ to you

WITHOUT CREATING A PLAN?!

Seriously?!

As Anthony Robbins would say – ‘You gotta MAKE it happen!’

Even those people who seem to be perpetually lucky don’t really just have success smack them in the face. They live their lives in such a way that they see opportunities everywhere, and they truly get out there and give it a go.

Are you one of them?

Why not?

Maybe it’s worth a little more than a laugh with your mates this year.

‘Bet I won’t make it past January’

‘That’s nothing, last year I didn’t even make it to January 2nd!’

Ha ha.

You know what they say. And if you don’t, well – I’ll tell you.

‘Fail to plan and you plan to fail’

Ah, so true. Spoken through my many years of wisdom of course! Kidding.

But really – it does make sense, doesn’t it?

And I’ve certainly noticed that the goals I really think about, plan out, and truly believe to be possible, are the ones that come to fruition.

I challenge you to prove me wrong. After all, do you really want to hit the end of another January (or worse yet – next December) knowing that you still haven’t gotten around to (why not dream!) creating a new you?

Here are my tips to doing just that.

1. Visualise – yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before. Maybe there’s a reason. It works. If you can’t see yourself doing something – or having it – or being it – how can you ever really believe in your ability to achieve it? And if you don’t believe it – you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’ve already made up your mind. Probably already made up some excuses too. So visualise. In detail. Write it down, or draw it, or think about it daily, or tell everyone you meet. Just do it.

2. Believe. You gotta believe to achieve! But sometimes it’s not that simple, is it? How do you believe in your ability if you don’t, well, believe?! Here’s two great options. First – start telling yourself that you will be (in shape, a non-smoker, happy, energised, wealthy, you get the idea ..). Do it every day – preferably both written and verbal. Sooner or later the message really does sink in, and you start to ‘create your own reality’ by living as though you already are that person.

3. The power of now. This kinda builds on the last step. Believing in your ability to succeed is only part of the picture. What if you believed that you already were successful? Take getting in tip-top shape. If you were already there (and apart from maybe a celebratory blow-out initially!) wouldn’t you exercise most days? Eat well? Look after your body from the inside out? So – what would happen if you started doing that now? Start believing as though your goal already is reality. Write it, say it, shout it from the rooftops – but do it in the present tense.

4. Ask why. If the power of now is part 2 of belief, then this is part three. I got this idea from Jim Labadie, a mentor I work with in the States. It’s all about affirmations. Except Jim calls them affirmations – ’cause you’re forming your future. It goes like this. Rather than telling yourself (or writing) that you are (insert goal), you ask yourself ‘why’. Why am I so happy? Why am I the fittest person I know? Why do I have such a loving relationship? If you ask why, your brain has to figure out the answer, Eventually. Especially if you ask why frequently. And sooner or later you’ll start to follow through on that solution. Whether you realise it or not.

5. Plan. This one’s a little simpler than the rest. I don’t mean easy. Because you still have to follow the plan! But it’s crucially important that you have a plan. Three steps are usually enough. Start with something you can do today (no need to wait till January 1st). Next step should be a little bigger, and maybe involve some set-up – hiring a Personal Trainer, buying a book on Changing Your Thinking. Finally, choose something that’s more ‘big picture’. Example – following through for a month. Make sure you plan a reward for the end of that month! You might need to re-do your plan monthly, as it will be bound to change or become more detailed.

Its easy to say you’ll sort things out next year. But it’s funny how quickly a year can pass.

Make 2008 one that you remember with pride. Life is Now. Press Play.

By Katrina Eden in Ezine Articles

Katrina Eden is a CHEK trainer and Metabolic Typing Advisor in Australia. Make up your mind to press play on life with Katrina and ‘Play Life’.

Winter Solstice

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The Pagan celebration of Winter Solstice (also known as Yule) is one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world.

Ancient people were hunters and spent most of their time outdoors. The seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives. Because of this many ancient people had a great reverence for, and even worshipped the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from the word for this wheel, houl, that the word yule is thought to have come. At mid-winter the Norsemen lit bonfires, told stories and drank sweet ale.

The ancient Romans also held a festival to celebrate the rebirth of the year. Saturnalia ran for seven days from the 17th of December. It was a time when the ordinary rules were turned upside down. Men dressed as women and masters dressed as servants. The festival also involved decorating houses with greenery, lighting candles, holding processions and giving presents.

The Winter Solstice falls on the shortest day of the year (21st December) and was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. The Druids (Celtic priests) would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months.

It was also the Druids who began the tradition of the yule log. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year.

Many of these customs are still followed today. They have been incorporated into the Christian and secular celebrations of Christmas.

Anger at ‘satanic’ Coca-Cola ad

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Prosecutors in Russia say they are studying a complaint accusing Coca-Cola of insulting Orthodox Christian beliefs in an advertising campaign.
They say the complaint was lodged by 440 residents of the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod earlier this month.

It accuses Coca-Cola of blasphemy through using adverts with images of Orthodox churches and crosses, some of which “were even put upside down”.

Coca-Cola officials say the ads are aimed at promoting Russia’s culture.

‘Satanic’ ads

The complaint against Coca-Cola was lodged on 11 December, said Irina Monakhova, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office in Nizhny Novgorod, about 400km (250 miles) south-east of Moscow.

She said prosecutors were now investigating to determine whether there was any legal case to answer.

The protesters – mostly Russian Orthodox Christian believers – allege that Coca-Cola adverts in Nizhny Novgorod are insulting to their beliefs.

“Coca-Cola uses all these Orthodox symbols in a blasphemous way by placing images of Coca-Cola bottles inside the pictures,” the complaint said, according to Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency.

“Some images are deliberately turned upside down, including the crosses,” it said.

An inverted cross is considered to be one of the symbols of satanism.

Coca-Cola officials have defended the company’s marketing approach, saying it was promoting Russia’s cultural heritage.

in BBC

Millions celebrate Christmas Day

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Millions of Christians around the world are marking Christmas Day – the traditional day of Christ’s birth.

In the West Bank town of Bethlehem, the Biblical site of Jesus’ birth, thousands of worshippers gathered to celebrate midnight Mass.

Local officials in Bethlehem say double the number of pilgrims have visited this year compared to last.

In Rome, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated a special Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, watched by thousands of pilgrims.

Those who were unable to join the congregation filling the church watched the Mass on giant video screens in the square instead.

Nazareth Nativity

A new floodlit Nativity scene was officially unveiled in the square in front of the basilica.

This year the larger-than-life-size statues of the baby Jesus and his family have been placed in a Nativity scene set not in a Bethlehem stable, but in a room in Joseph’s house in Nazareth.

Vatican officials say the change was made to illustrate the notion that Jesus was born everywhere, not just in Bethlehem.

In his sermon Pope Benedict urged people to find time and space for God, the needy and the suffering.

On Tuesday at noon (1100 GMT) the Pope will deliver his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” Christmas message to the world from a balcony overlooking St Peter’s Square.

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Tourist revival

In Bethlehem fears about security and Israel’s West Bank barrier – an imposing eight-metre (24-foot) concrete wall separating the town from Jerusalem – have discouraged potential visitors in recent years.

During the second Palestinian uprising, which started in September 2000, tourism collapsed.

But with the relative stability of the last two years, tourists and pilgrims are returning to the town in larger numbers.

“Between 25 to 35,000 pilgrims and tourists are going to be around today and tomorrow – twice as much as last year… Today we have about 60 to 70% of the normal tourism and pilgrimage to the city,” Victor Batarseh, the mayor of Bethlehem said.

“This year is much better than the last seven years for tourism,” local shopkeeper Jacques Aman told Associated Press. “The atmosphere is better in general. There is relative calm, from the security standpoint,” he added.

But the BBC’s Bethany Bell says there are still far fewer tourists than there used to be before the uprising and that many of those celebrating outside the Church of the Nativity were local people.

There was still a heavy police presence, and before worshippers arrived bomb squads swept cars and buildings for explosives.

Message of peace

Christmas carols played to a crowded Manger Square, in front of the Church of the Nativity – built on the site of the stable where Jesus is said to have been born.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a Muslim, joined the midnight Mass in Bethlehem and emphasised that not only Christians were celebrating the festival.

“The new year, God willing, will be a year of security and economic stability,” he said.

“We pray next year will be the year of independence for the Palestinian people,” he added.

Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the Catholic leader in the Holy Land, called for peace in the Middle East as he led the Mass.

“This land belongs to God. It must not be for some a land of life and for others a land of occupation and a political prison,” he said in a sermon delivered in his native Arabic.

in BBC

Calatrava la Vieja, el principio de la milicia de Dios

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Sobre los soberbios muros, poderosos durante tanto tiempo a contener el violento oleaje de alarbes invasiones, abre surcos el labrador para cubrir tanto abandono y olvido con la corona de flores y espigas de la fecunda naturaleza. ¡Efímera condición de las obras humanas!”. Así concluye la historia de un castillo, el de Calatrava La Vieja, según cantaban los historiadores de la época. Ruinas y escombros del lugar que vio nacer la más importante Orden de caballeros, quizá con la de Santiago, que ha dado España: la Orden de Calatrava.

Este nuevo ejército religioso fue sucesor y heredero de aquel que llegó hasta el mismísimo Jerusalén y que acabó sus días entre intrigas de reyes y Papas: el Temple. Los templarios, en 1200, abandonaron la plaza, Calatrava la Vieja, que hacía marca entre la España cristiana y la musulmana, ante la eminente amenaza sarracena. Entonces, ante la súplica del monarca –Don Sancho–, un abad y un monje crearon un cuerpo religioso-militar que despertó al final, al igual que sus antecesores, el recelo de las más altas instancias.

Luchas árabes

Cerca del actual Carrión de Calatrava, los musulmanes levantaron una fortaleza militar para defender el importante camino que unía las ciudades de Toledo y Córdoba. Un gran castillo en el que hoy se están haciendo excavaciones arqueológicas y que aguanta aún la huella de la época árabe. Fue, dicen las piedras y las crónicas, una plaza al más puro estilo musulmán, que contó con mezquita, baños, tiendas… y sobre la que existen escritos que ya la mencionan en el año 785. El Guadiana –siempre el agua– se observaba desde las almenas, y su poder, aun cuando ya está bastante derruido, se aprecia entre sus restos. Una primera lucha interna entre el poder árabe de Toledo y Córdoba llevó al castillo a la destrucción; luego fue el emirato de Córdoba el que volvió a apuntalar sus muros y convertir Qal’at Rabah –como se conocía en época árabe– en una ciudad amurallada, convertida en una isla en medio de la meseta castellana por la construcción de un foso de agua que rodeaba todo el recinto.

Llegan los cristianos

La plaza, estratégicamente vital para la reconquista, la tomó por primera vez el rey Alfonso VI, en 1147. Tres años después la fortaleza fue otorgada al Temple para su defensa. Según consta en la propia prospección arqueológica, ésta fue la primera edificación templaria en el reino de Castilla y León. Rápidamente, los nuevos moradores levantaron una iglesia, con ábside en forma de herradura, un poco inclinada hacia un lado, que simboliza la cabeza de Cristo desvanecida en la cruz.

Sin embargo, los arduos caballeros templarios no consiguieron defender la fortaleza y ante el numeroso ejército musulmán que amenazaba sus muros decidieron abandonarla antes de presentar la, a su juicio, inútil batalla. Entonces, el rey Sancho III reunió a su consejo de nobles y pidió voluntarios para defenderla. Fue, dice la historia, un monje y caballero, fray Diego Velázquez, el que convenció al abad de un monasterio navarro, don Raimundo, para que reclamara la fortaleza como propia. Nadie más habló, la plaza ya tenía dueño. Un suicidio, pensó el resto. Corría el año 1158.

Según las crónicas, don Raimundo de Fítero y fray Diego Velázquez reunieron en poco tiempo un ejército de monjes y caballeros de más de 20.000 soldados. La llegada de las ordas cristianas convenció a los musulmanes de hacer el camino inverso de los templarios y desistieron de intentar tomar la fortaleza. Calatrava La Vieja había sido salvada. Ahora tenía otros dueños.

La nueva Orden estuvo sometida a la regla de san Benito. Del aspecto espiritual se encargó el abad, Raimundo de Fítero, mientras que el militar era asunto de Diego Velázquez, que además de monje era un arduo guerrero. El primero tuvo que hablar con la congregación del monasterio de Fítero y con la abadía de Scala-Dei en Francia, de la que emanaba la autoridad de la congregación para atenuar los preceptos de una nueva Orden en la que armas y oración se daban la mano –algo no reconocido por el Císter–.

Pocos años después, en 1163, la muerte del abad en el castillo convento de Ciruelos y una difícil situación política en Castilla, acabaron con la “sublevación” de los guerreros sobre los religiosos, que no querían estar gobernados por un abad. Tras un periodo convulso, los monjes se retiraron de Calatrava La Vieja y marcharon a Ciruelos o a Fítero. Desaparecido también fray Diego Velázquez, nombrado abad de otro monasterio, la Orden tuvo por fin a su primer maestre, don García, cuya primera misión fue la de marchar a Francia a pedir reconocimiento y, en parte, independencia del Císter; y luego a Roma, donde el Papa, Alejandro III, concedió el 25 de septiembre de 1164 la primera bula que reconocía la creación, ya sí propia, de una “milicia de Dios”. La Orden de Calatrava era independiente.

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De Alarcos a las Navas de Tolosa

Llegaron entonces años de luchas, posesión de nuevas tierras y más poder. Dos batallas marcaron el destino de Calatrava La Vieja. La primera, la dura derrota de Alarcos. En 1195, Alfonso VIII, su ejército y caballeros provenientes de las Órdenes de Calatrava y Santiago, sufrieron una severa derrota a mano de los almohades. Mucha sangre de los calatravos se derramó en aquella batalla. Tanta, que la fortaleza que les vio nacer fue abandonada y recuperada por los musulmanes; y tanta, que la cruz negra que era emblema de la Orden pasó a ser roja, dicen algunos que en recuerdo a tanta sangre derramada.

Pero no desapareció la Orden; sólo se replegó. Mantuvo parte de sus posesiones y se rearmó, al igual que los ejércitos de Alfonso VIII. El rey, obsesionado con vencer a los almohades, declaró una guerra santa que apoyó el Papa. Había que expulsar a los musulmanes y para ello, en 1212, una gran ejército cristiano los derrotó en la célebre batalla de las Navas de Tolosa, lo que supuso el principio del fin de Al Andalus.

Antes de esa batalla, la cruzada cristiana tomó de nuevo el castillo de Calatrava La Vieja, en un asedio que, sin embargo, hizo que muchos cruzados europeos volvieran a sus casas defraudados por el pacto que hizo el rey Alfonso con los musulmanes. El monarca permitió una retirada de las tropas almohades a cambio de la fortaleza. El recinto, ya bastante deteriorado por las disputas, volvió a manos de la Orden que lo supo defender cuando quedó expuesto al olvido. Sin embargo, el tiempo se cobró su factura y los calatravos edificaron una nueva fortificación, más al sur, en el año 1218. Construida por los prisioneros musulmanes de Las Navas, nació Calatrava La Nueva, sede que ya nunca abandonarían.

in Akasico.com

Reincarnation: How real?

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Reincarnation, a rebirth which involves a return to earth by the dead with the characteristics of his past, is still shrouded in mystery despite the empirical evidence often manifested in the near death experiences. How real is the belief? asks Olu Osunde.

When Ehimema 30 from Benin in Edo State came into the world like every other babies before her, the parents rejoiced to high heavens. But as the process of getting the new baby girl cleaned up continued, they expected that, at a stage, the shriek cry ought to subside or at least have a breaking point, but instead, the cry continued unabated till the next day stressing the baby beyond a tolerable level.

To save the situation, an elder in the family was called in, opening up a traditional process of calming the new born baby. On enquiry through divination, it was discovered that the non-recognition of the important position of the baby in the past world by members of the family some of whom she expected to call her name in the previous world, informed the unusual cry.

What the baby expected, it was discovered, was to be called Edede meaning old woman- a nickname she was called during her first coming and which, the divination revealed, she cherished so much.

Without hesitation or expression of disbelief, the father picked her up and sonorously called her the name repeatedly while intermittently cuddling her.

Within a few seconds and to the dismay of the people around, the baby stopped crying and the chant of praise God! rent the air.

As the situation became normal, the seer brought by the elder warned that the baby, at adult, must not be deprived of going to worship God in the church as according to him, it was part of her unfinished works in the past life.

To reincarnate is to cause to be born again in another body or form; to embody again in flesh.

In the African traditional setting, the belief is strong as contact is often made with the past in dealing with the problem of the present.

Within the traditional circle, the belief is enhanced by the seeming efficacy of the references they make to their ancestors in process of divination which often manifests in the response of the spirits of the dead to their request.

With such response of the spirits, the belief has been extended to include the potentiality of the dead to transform into another body and get born again into the same family he previously left to the world beyond. The indication of such reincarnation is often insinuated to reflect on the token of identity which the family of the reincarnate often claimed to recognise. With such recognition, the baby is thus given name that suggests or indicates that he or she reincarnated.

Example of such names are: Babatunde, Iyabo, Nore in Bini, Remilekun, Babajide etc. In the traditional setting, a lot of empirical facts derived from the experiment of having to inflict a bodily marks on a child branded Abiku has given credence to the belief in reincarnation.

In the rating of most of the traditionalists contacted, a child reborn several times could be identified with the return of the marks inflicted on him or her in the previous life. Such child usually with short span of life if not stopped spiritually according to them could continue to come and go tormenting the parents.

In the gospel of the Grail, although there are indications of their believe in such reborn, they however, made it emphatically clear that a reborn is only possible only when there is need for such person to return to earth to finish the job he or she left uncompleted.

Those who have completed their works on earth according to the Grail messengers have no business coming back to earth. To them, you come back only when your Sojourn on earth in the previous life was abruptly brought to an end. But in the word of Mr. Enoghownayeke Festus a traditionalist now a trainee pastor, “everything about being reborn or reincarnation is a ruse. Those they call by special names like Babajide are so called because their birth coincided with the death of their grandfathers or fathers as the case may be.”

Though it somewhat sounds odd to some Christians to discover that there are those amongst them who share similar belief with those they regarded as infidels believing that the bible says “it is appointed for man to die once and after death, judgement,” the conflicting issue of John being the reincarnate of Elijah poses another challenge.

For some Christians who believe in reincarnation, John that was beheaded in prison could not be saved by Christ because he was Elijah that reincarnated as John and got beheaded in fulfillment of God’s law that he who killed by the sword will die by the sword- a law some christians believe was contravened by John in his encounter with the prophets of Baal in his first coming as Elijah.

Lending voice to those who are aversed to the belief, a lecturer at the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ibadan, Alhaji Ismail Oloye explained that reincarnation has no basis in Islamic religion.

He said, the spirits of those you see hovering around after death are those of Muslims who failed to adhere to the Islamic tenet that they bath with their underwear on while on earth.

According to him, a good Muslim must not bath completely naked because he or she would by so doing risk being possessed by the evil one who might get their spirits contaminated.

In Celestial Church of Christ, a white garment church, Asst superior Akolade explains that the recognition that the spirit of the dead could stray about instead of resting informs the extra-burial service the church holds after the burial of a member. “If the spirit of a dead member is seen anywhere whether in the dream, such weid appearances stopped immediately after such service he referred to as amissal.

Although the issue of reincarnation is still shrouded in mystery, what appears more real is near death experiences. There have been series of reports of some men for instance who died and were buried only to be seen far away from where they earlier lived and died living another life even with wives and children.

There was a case witnessed by this writer in Benin where an accountant, man of about 50 then, abandoned his flat for the church the night his dead father physically appeared to him in his bedroom wrapping around himself the white cloth with which he was buried about a year to the time of the incident. He ran to the church when he heard that the strange visitor had banged the outer door and disappeared into the thin air.

In similar circumstance, there have also been reported cases of a man’s spirit returning to his dead body after an accident.

Such repossession of one’s body by a departed spirit even when doctor had certified the person dead has continued to rekindle the belief in life after death.

In India, it is even believed that humanbeing can be a reincarnate of god or goddess as the case may be. For instance, a two-year old India girl born with four arms and four legs and who was recently operated upon is said to be a reincarnation of a goddess.

Relating how important it is to know one’s past life, some California Psychics say it can be valuable information for living a better life here on earth right now.”

The soul, according to them inevitably comes into this world with past life experience or memory adding that the ultimate benefit of knowing about our past life is to become self-aware.

Being aware of the past, according to Astrologer Rainbow is one way to look at the soul’s past behaviour in terms of fears, weaknesses and challenges as well as gifts and strengths. She said, “recognising soulmates, understanding how we were connected to a particular place or person can be helpful in understanding our relationships in this life time.”

According to her,” people contact me wanting to know why they cannot disentangle themselves from a bad relationship. As I look at the situation I can often see the Karmic link.”

“When you meet someone with whom you have a strong immediate connection or bond that is almost a guarantee of a past life connection,” explains Jesse a tarot reader for California Psychics. The connection can be for the positive or negative.” “Some people, she said are under the misguided idea that a soulmate is one who has agreed to be with them for the rest of their lives.” That is rarely the case.” She believes that a soulmate is actually a being who is here to help you embrace and transcend a part of your spiritual journey. Sometimes a soulmate can make you very angry and propel you into an area of life where you would never have gone adding that, in many cases, fears are leftovers from a past lifetime experience”.

To the Buddhists, their teachings “offers the most satisfactory explanation of where man came from and where he is going. According to their teachings, “when a man dies, the mind, with all the tendencies, preferences, abilities and characteristics that have been developed and conditioned in this life, re-establishes itself in a new being”. “Thus, the new individual grows and develops a personality conditioned both by the mental characteristics that have been carried over from the previous life and by the new environment”.

“The personality will change and be modified by conditional effort and conditioning factors, like education, parental influence and society but once again at death, it will re-establish itself as life in a new being”.

“This process of dying and being reborn will continue until the conditions that cause it, the mental factors of craving and ignorance cease”.

In the last 30 years, it is said that “some parapsychologists have been studying reports that some people have vivid memory of their former life. It was reported that Professor Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia’s Department of Psychology has described dozens of cases of this type in his books”, a situation which appears to be a further evidence of reincarnation.

The Yorubas like the Buddhists have strong belief in a bad person in the previous life reincarnating into animals or some inanimate materials. While the good come as human beings into ccomfortable life.

in Nigerian Sunday Tribune