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  • [WARNING: If you are close minded please skip this story about religions and reincarnation]

    This week I met a self proclaimed religious teacher when I volunteered to help someone with a video project. I am not looking for a teacher but I asked him a question anyways that has been tickling at my brain for a few months.

    "Nathan," I asked, "How long does a soul remain in a dog before it is reborn as a human?"
    "Why do you want to know about that?" He asked. "That seems like such a trivial question."
    "I want to know because I understand that the soul enters the dog and then can become human again. I don't know how long is the process."
    "I'm not judging you" He kept saying over and over through the conversation which means that he was judging me and finding me a bit shallow for not asking something more serious. Who cares about dogs.

    After giving me a few links to read, he finally admitted that he did not have the answer. He thought it was an answer that I could only find by having enough clarity of mind and connection to the records stored somewhere in the universe. One of those kind of answers. Answers that no one on earth seemed to have.

    Reading through the offered links, I read about a cow who gained enlightenment. It was rare but an animal could skip over being human and go straight to be with Buddha.


    Another link talked about a boy being reincarnated as a boy.


    Going to bed, I hoped some insight would drift into my mind like an exact number of years an animal soul remains in an animal before migrating up to another life form.

    Sleeping fitfully through a thunderstorm, I woke up this morning and saw that one of my trees was damaged. After sitting down and writing about her, I went outside into my garden and cut her down. I released her from this life as a damaged tree to find her next life as something else. If a cow could become enlightened why could a tree not become something else?

    In the process of releasing the tree and thinking about how she could be reborn, the tree fought back and struck me in the face.

    You could say it was just physics. I pushed on the trunk to release the roots from the ground and like a rubber band the trunk came back into its natural position -where my face happened to be. After shaking my head and taking a second to catch my breath, I patiently found each root holding her in place and sawed her away from her foundation.

    I stripped her of all her fruit and cut each of her branches off putting them into bags. I took the trunk and sawed it into pieces looking carefully at her rings before taking everything away to the recycle center to become the mulch for someone's garden. Her physical form became something else. A tree to mulch in a few hours.

    But does the tree have a soul? For months I have been thinking about how long a soul stays in a dog knowing that people would judge me for asking such a question. I'm catholic, I should not be thinking about dogs and reincarnation? But the question isn't trivial or apart from my faith. Having lived in Asia, I know that most religions have similar information told in different ways so I look at religions in general for my answers.

    I've read that and seen (while living in Asia) that Muslims do not like dogs and will avoid them. In fact taxi drivers in Singapore who are Muslim will not allow you in their car with a dog. There is a dislike of dogs that may have a valid reason if reincarnation means that a human soul may be placed in a dog. It means that the dog contains the soul of someone who has done something evil and is being rehabilitated. The human soul in most cases is submersed in the dog after a few weeks and does not recall being human. He is dog and lives as a dog.

    The evil event that occurred placed the soul inside of the dog like being put in a dishwasher to be washed off through penance? Through what? How long must the soul remain in a dog before it is allowed to resurface in a human?

    It is a question not answered by my faith because Catholics just talk about Hell but not about how long a soul goes to Hell. I know it isn't for eternity. Our planet has cycles and so the soul must cycle... it will not stay stagnant in one place unless it has broken free.

    After seeing dog souls in humans I know that a soul trapped in a dog can at some point be human again so how long will he stay in dog form to take on the soul appearance of a dog?

    This question about dogs is like the roots of the tree. If I remove the small questions, like those small roots, maybe the answer to the larger questions will come tumbling down so that I can look at it and take it apart and understand it.

    I don't mind being judged or smacked in the face as long as what I'm doing is taking me down the right path towards understanding the universe in which I live.
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