Posts Tagged ‘reincarnation’

Life is Like a Pachinko Machine

September 12, 2008

A pachinko machine is a flipper-less Asian pinball machine, smaller than the ones in the United States and played vertically. The playing surface is round at the top and covered with glass to keep the ball in play and to protect the intricate array of flashing lights and small metal pins sticking out from the surface of the board. At the bottom, below the lever, there is a container holding a large number of small steel balls.

You flip the lever and one of the balls flies up the right side, pressed outward by centrifugal force until gravity begins to affect it. Just past top center there is a rubber knob designed to stop the ball and set it in play. The ball strikes the knob, reverses direction, and then it pauses – momentarily reflecting the scene below – before bearing downward to encounter the first pin. Now firmly in command, gravity insists that the ball bounce off the pin, either to the right or left. Obviously, the ball cannot choose its own way. That choice is made on its behalf by the physical laws of nature and the other mystical powers that be.

Unlike the ball, people have the power, perhaps even the obligation, to make choices. It is said that only two things are certain in life: death and taxes. I think it should be death, taxes and choices. Remember: If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice. Whether you are a steel ball or a person, choice is inevitable.

That brings me to my point. Life is like a pachinko machine. Rushing in from where I was before, thrust in perhaps, I am born into the world. At first I am controlled by outside forces, but as I grow older I am confronted with a choice – my first choice. Perhaps it is something simple like: Do I choose to get the toy for myself or cry until mommy gets it for me?

As inconsequential as that decision may seem it is really a fork in the road, a metal pin under the sheet of glass. If I choose to get the toy myself, that decision leads me here. If I choose to cry until mommy gets it for me, that decision leads me there. Soon, other choices lead to other decisions as the ball relentlessly percolates down the board.

In a pachinko machine, sometimes the ball finds a way to score a million points before getting to the bottom. Sometimes the ball doesn’t score a lot of points as it finds a less-traveled path from pin to pin. Sometimes the ball falls through a trap door in the playing surface, wins the jackpot, and goes back to the container – bypassing the rest of the board. There are an infinite number of paths, each with a promise of its own. That is the nature of pachinko and of life.

But no matter what path you take, you always end up back in the container – waiting for another play, another chance to choose.


The Purpose of Life

December 17, 2007

Assuming God created us, why did he decide to put us here in the material world? Assuming God exists in a spiritual realm, why even create a physical world at all?

The reason may have something to do with the definition of eternity and the intrinsic characteristics of time.

There are two conflicting definitions of eternity. One says that eternity is the endless passage of time, a state in which there is time without end. The other says that eternity is the absence of time altogether, a state in which time does not exist.

Why is this important? For two reasons:

First, because time inevitably produces change. If God is unchanging, he must exist in the absence of time. The only way something can never change is if it exists in an eternal present, with no past and no future.

The second reason this is important is because time is necessary for change to occur. If people have free will, we must exist in time so that we can experience the results of our choices. We must have not only a present, but a past and a future as well, so that we can change from what we were into what we will become.

My belief is that we are the creations of an unchanging God and given free will to choose to accept him or not. Because he exists in an eternity in which time does not exist, he created a universe in which time does exist, separate from his own, a place where people can evolve into perfect spiritual beings.

We are first created in the unchanging spiritual realm, are then born into the physical world to live a life which is really just a series of choices, we enjoy or suffer the consequences of those choices, we grow or decay as spiritual beings, and then finally we return to the spiritual realm where we choose whether or not to do it again, over and over until we finally perfect ourselves and become fully-functioning members of God’s family.

Therefore the purpose of life is change.

NOTE: This is a repost of my very first blog entry and it got no comments so I thought that I would offer it up again now that traffic to this blog has increased.