In my next incarnation...
Recently I was interview by a cycling journalist for a book he was writing. We got on well, and the interview became more of a prolonged chat. He didn’t have any particular religious/spiritual inclination, but he was sympathetic and intrigued by my spiritual life, and was asking how it related to cycling.
At one point he asked a good question. 'Do you regret not being a professional cyclist? You have all the attributes to be a good Tour de France rider.'
Like all good journalists seeking an interesting answer, he was flattering me somewhat. But, put at ease after such a long chat, I answered very honestly.
I just said “No. I have no regrets, because if you really want to have an experience, you can do it in a future incarnation” So maybe in my next incarnation I will be a professional cyclist and ride the Tour de France. I will just pray to God to have the same weight and build, and perhaps a little bit more power!"
I don’t think it was the answer he was expecting. It’s easy to forget ideas such as reincarnation are not so prevalent in society. Perhaps I should be more circumspect, but mostly, I do prefer just to say it how it is.
Reincarnation really does change your perspective on life. There is less fear on missing out - you can always do it next time.
“At the age of four perhaps we had a desire, and at the age of fifty we have not yet fulfilled it. We may have fulfilled only a few desires out of countless desires which we have had in our lifetime, so we must incarnate again in order to fulfil our unfulfilled desires and also to do something for God.”
- Sri Chinmoy. http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/lbl-7
With reincarnation, there isn’t the same horror of death - you can always meet your loved ones again. It also makes you more thoughtful of the legacy you leave. Whatever you give to the world - will undoubtedly come back to you - either in this life or the next.
Even if someone had said I could be guaranteed to have won the Tour de France in this life, I would not wish to change the pattern of this life. To spend time with your Master in the physical is the greatest boon. It would have felt a supreme waste to have missed those precious moments and years for some temporary, essentially meaningless outer glory.
It also helps that the life of a professional cyclist is incredibly hard. Whether I (my soul) wants to do it a future incarnation I don’t know. At the moment, I’m happy just to watch it on the TV, and enjoy this life for what it’s worth. There’s no point spending all of your life, plotting your next incarnation.
Though in a 90 years time, if you spot a very thin, 6ft 3 inch professional cyclist with great devotion to Sri Chinmoy - you might just be able to guess what he did in his last incarnation!