How Belief in Reincarnation Fuels My Love for Life

Bryan Winchell
6 min readMar 19

A Personal Essay

Photo by ANNI GUPTA on Unsplash

I’m sitting on the top steps of the temple called Age 50, having just entered in January 2023, and it’s got me in a reflective and predictive mode. I’m asking myself two questions: “What has my life been so far?” And, to quote the coda from a favorite hard rock song of the late 1980s, “Where do we go now?”

I’ve heard from friends and the culture at large that many people become melancholy at this age, feeling like their lives didn’t live up to what they’d expected they would be. While I certainly have been through some serious mental and emotional challenges in my 40s — I think this is very natural and, in Jungian terms, part of the individuation process — I have never sunk for too long in the pools of regret.

My life is far, far from perfect and there are things I’d do differently, but I’ve come to realize that our missteps are our teachers and, well, if I don’t “get this life right,” I’m reasonably sure I’ll come back for another round. You see, I’ve felt reincarnation was just a fact of reality for much of my adult life.

Why Nature Suggests Reincarnation is Real

Even though I grew up in America in a liberal Christian household, it’s never been that hard for me to believe in reincarnation. It’s quite simple to me: Time works in cycles — from the minute to the hour to days to years to the movements of the planets — and at the end of the year, things like trees look like they’re dying only to “come back to life” the following spring.

In addition, every day we are awake and then we go to sleep — like a death at the end of the day — only to wake up anew the next day.

You see, I’ve always intuited that, at its core, this is a benevolent Universe and so it’s always struck me that such a place would not be so stingy as to tell us humans, “You get one crack at it and then you return to Nothingness, so make the most of it! Good luck!”

No, for me, it’s a pretty simple, obvious understanding and it’s made my life a lot more relaxed, giving me more of a sense of adventure and courage, figuring that if I do “mess up” this one, well, I’ll learn from it for the next time around.

Bryan Winchell

A Serious Fool who writes about: Personal/collective growth, politics, love of Nature/Humanity, Japan, podcasting, humor, and being a hippie in Service to Life.