You were once the emperor of Japan

People who believe in reincarnation think they can determine who exactly has an old soul but I think that seems really arrogant.

Not only do people who believe in reincarnation think they understand the fundamental progression of existence, they also think they can know at what point each person's very being came into existence.

All religions have things about them that people outside their churches can't understand. That's OK. I don't mind.

People who believe in reincarnation are also usually kind and nonjudgmental of people who don't share their opinion of the purpose of mankind. This is nice.

Since they're especially nice to people they like, however, people who believe in reincarnation think those people's souls have lived incredible lives, gone on romantic adventures and usually had much more power and money then the other millions of people on earth at the time.

This makes you unsure of your life's purpose when you talk to them.

"Hello," you might say to someone who believes in reincarnation.

"Hello," that person might say. "You seem like an old soul. Are you interested in Japanese culture?"

The person who believes in reincarnation will say you were an emperor if you answer yes, which makes you believe you should do a lot of things you actually shouldn't be doing.

People who believe in reincarnation say things like this because they themselves believe they have a soul that's been in the bodies of great artists and rulers.

"Hey guys," you will never hear them say, "I just realized I was Joseph Goebbels in a past life."

People who believe in this kind of religion, usually middle-aged white people, can say they used to be really amazing people because they determine this by thinking of things they like.

An explanation for a former life lived is usually poorly reasoned, so I think there should be a soul identification registry and past life review committee to keep everything straight.

"I like flowers so I think I used to be Claude Monet," someone might tell the review committee.

"Sorry," the review committee chairman might respond, "that past life has already been taken by someone who enjoys mass-produced art."

I don't say this because I hate people of faith or fake religions like reincarnation. I am mad, however, that reincarnation won't let me inhabit different bodies whenever I want.

I think it could understand the fundamental progression of existence better.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at or 881-1212.


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