Why good things are, well, all good

- Troy Bernardo (The Philippine Star) - August 26, 2012 - 12:00am


By Dr. Sylvia Jacinto

77 pages

Available at National Book Store

MANILA, Philippines - The answers to all the questions we’ve ever had about life, particularly those we were too afraid to ask, can all be found within ourselves. This is the crux of what Dr. Sylvia Jacinto wants us to learn from her book entitled, Why Good Things Happen to Bad People and Vice Versa. An autobiography, research paper, and self-help manual all rolled into one, Dr. Jacinto’s book chronicles her journey from misery to happiness, weaving through various belief systems from all over the world, until she finds herself on a wide runway of self-discovery, where she finally takes flight.

She does this all in 77 pages.

Consider this book as a fast forward ticket toward awakening, a Free Jail Pass from the prisons we have built around us. We don’t have to spend days, and dollars, booking into ashrams, retreats, and spiritual centers the way she did — she has done it for us. She has culled through many books, read through many authors and spiritual leaders, and condensed her research into this remarkably easy read. So easy, in fact, that we often forget that she has actually written about her life and the troubles that got her to where she is today. This was a woman who went through her own trials and managed to leave a major bulk of them behind her, without that bitter aftertaste.

She tells us how she did it.

In mulling over the questions that plagued her spiritual state, which is basically the title of the book, she was able to synthesize all the modalities, seminars, and therapies she had experienced, into one undeniable cause: reincarnation.

There is no debate on reincarnation. It simply is presented as a fact of life. Dr. Jacinto presents her research to validate its existence: footnotes from experts on the subject from all over the world, her own curious life experiences, and even an entire section on the phenomenon’s references in the Bible.

“Good karma means good action. It leads to good karmic reaction,” she writes, referring to Jagad Guru’s Reincarnation Explained, published by The Science of Identity in 1989. “Bad karma means bad action. It leads to bad karmic reaction.”

During her journey, she realized that “the negative events that were happening to me were my karmic reap from my negative deeds in my previous lifetimes.”

It’s an explanation she counted on when examining her own life of having lived in the service of others. It’s the missing piece in her personal puzzle. But see, the good thing about the past is that it is no longer here; therefore, we don’t even need to know, or be attached to the knowledge of, who we were in the past, where we’ve been, and what we’ve done. We simply have to do what Dr. Jacinto did — to accept her “suffering in this life with a loving heart and full acceptance.” 

It sounds so simple, yet many of us refuse to do it.

First, many among us don’t believe in reincarnation. Not only is it ignored by the Catholic church, but even more disturbingly, many of the self-declared faithful are content with being unquestioning, blind followers. Never mind that this institution is known to have been stretching the truth for years.

Even if people believed in reincarnation, not many would be willing to face themselves in the mirror and acc ept responsibility for their own lives. It is, after all, much easier to play victim, to blame others for our misery, thus relieving ourselves of the burden of actually running our own lives.

Second, the Catholic Church is often judgmental of those who do not adhere to its teachings. For example, things aren’t really good or bad; they just are. We attach these adjectives to the situations we find ourselves in, based mostly on how the church would characterize what is, or isn’t, acceptable as good.

Third, the Catholic Church tends to disempower its flock by promoting guilt, fear and punishment. It focuses on the suffering Christ, making its followers believe that suffering is akin to martyrdom. It’s okay to suffer; the Church seems to say, because Jesus suffered on the cross.

But see, God is ineffable love; therefore, punishment isn’t in God’s vocabulary. People tend to humanize God, making Him like us, molding Her into what we’d like Her to be. God is God. God doesn’t take sides. No one person, group or institution has a monopoly on God’s message. And really, be wary of those who speak for God on God’s behalf. God can very well speak to us in whatever form that we would understand.

Dr. Jacinto’s book shows us that if the Church focused on the Christ Consciousness, which unlocks our divinity, then we would all know better than to believe in such corrupt concepts like original sin, eternal damnation, and literal interpretations of the Bible.

We would realize that our souls are lit by the same light and love that is God; and God does not make anything incomplete. Therefore, we just have to tap into our souls to find out everything we ever wanted to know about our lives. This is what Dr. Jacinto refers to when she urges us to seek our answers within — find our own truths for our souls contain them. No man on a pulpit can ever tell us what we should and shouldn’t believe.

The earth is our school; our bodies are our uniforms — that includes everything from genetics to ways of thinking, race to weight issues. If we fail to learn in one lifetime, we come back in the next, bringing within our souls everything necessary for us to get it. This is the purpose of reincarnation, put simply. Whatever happens in our lives rests squarely on our shoulders. All of the events we have caused, or intended to cause, result in an effect, usually unintended. That’s just how karma works. Nothing is truly good or bad, for those adjectives are subjective. A bout with cancer, for example, is automatically construed as bad, when in fact it is actually a blessing, if it allows people to awaken into their vastness.

Yes, in the end, things always happen to people because we cause all of these things to happen. We author our own lives through our habits, ego cycles, and life patterns. God has given us freedom of choice, so God does not interfere. Dr. Jacinto asks us: Who do we listen to: the noisy, insecure egos in our heads or the peaceful, tranquil souls in our hearts?

That choice will make all the difference in our lives.

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