Tuesday, May 24, 2011

LGBT in Light of Reincarnation

Be forewarned, I'm going way out there in this post. My beliefs about sexual orientation are bizarre even among the unorthodox. (Well, at least among unorthodox North American Christians!) My theory is uncommon but not entirely original; there are variations of this thought among those who research and believe in reincarnation.

We find very few clear descriptions of the world to come in the Bible but on one occasion, when the Sadducees present Jesus with a hypothetical situation involving marriage after the resurrection, Jesus shares some surprising information:

"At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven." (Matt 22:30)
Now, I have no idea what the angels in heaven are like in form or character but I'm going to make a few fun guesses. What if there is no marriage in heaven because there are no sexes? What if the angels, and our heavenly bodies, are androgynous? (I am aware that angels showed up as men in the OT but I don't think that is their true form; just one that made for good communication!)

Could homosexuality be an overstatement -i.e. a case of the pendulum swinging too far in the opposite direction as the soul struggles to overcome the male/female polarity? Or perhaps when a soul has incarnated as the same gender for many lifetimes it carries with it a sexual imprint, subconscious memories, making it difficult to identify with their new gender.

I'm not discounting the biological component here: sexual identity/orientation most definitely has a physical component, but what if the soul is the architect, the mind is the builder and the body is the temple? If that is the case then being straight, gay, bi or whatever isn't just an issue of anatomy/physiology, psychology or sociology; it runs even deeper than the typically understood influences of nature and nurture.

The irony here is that it seems I've come to the understanding that at our deepest level of being homosexuality (and all non-heterosexual sexual identity expressions) still 'miss the mark.' True, but I don't believe missing the mark automatically translates as sin. Let me illustrate: suppose two dark-skinned/dark-haired people living in a very hot climate give birth to a child who has considerably lighter skin and hair. From an evolutionary perspective the child has 'missed the mark' because the recessive fair-skinned/fair-haired genes do not offer as much protection from the sun. Likewise, non-heterosexuals are at an evolutionary disadvantage because they are less likely to procreate. From a purely physical perspective this is not ideal. However, from a spiritual viewpoint we can see that the overstatement, or the state of transition from one gender to another, is a necessary experience for the development of that particular soul.

In the end, when the human condition is no longer a necessary lesson, there will be no need to identify as gay or straight, male or female because we will all be reconciled as one. At least, that's what I believe.

4 comments:

Sandra said...

Interesting perspective that I hadn't quite thought of, though a friend came up with a very similar theory during a manic/psychic phase of her bi-polar disorder. Something I have been thinking of lately is the evolutionary benefits to all the "disorders" . There is scientific evidence that what we focus on as disease states also carry considerable evolutionary benefits. Of course, since I just crawled out of bed a half-hour ago, I can't think of any examples. But I have been wondering what the genetic "flip-side" to homosexuality might be. Okay, here's a kinda insignificant example. Left-handed people are a genetic minority that mathematically ought to have been weeded out of the gene pool over time. But lefties have consistently been about 10% of the population. Lefties also tend to be right-brain dominant, which puts them at an extreme advantage in creative, innovative, global, non-linear situations--a distinct evolutionary advantage to the community. Homosexuality also has been a fairly constant minority (statistically, not the popularity of lifestyle acceptability) over time, leading me to conclude that the genetic component must also have some aspect that serves the community.

Michelle said...

I think you might be onto something Sandra! I've had similar thoughts about illnesses and diseases serving us and meeting needs that would otherwise go unaddressed. Addiction quickly springs to mind. Without my own struggles with addiction I never would have come to this place in my relationship with God!

(And I'm glad to hear someone is on my wavelength -even if that person was completely manic at the time! I'll take what I can get. ;)

Otter said...

The advantages of homosexuality, from an evolutionary perspective, are plentiful enough: strengthening social bonds, providing a non-sexually-competitive stabilizer for family relationships... All of which suggests that heterosexuality and homo"sexuality" (a misnomer in my view) have different origins.

Certainly in a survival culture it's easy to see where homosexuality got its stigma. Sexual energy that was needed to raise food and children (for labor and the continuation fo the community) was essential.

Just a few random tangents. Nothing relevant to your excellent post.

diglotting.com said...

The irony here is that it seems I've come to the understanding that at our deepest level of being homosexuality (and all non-heterosexual sexual identity expressions) still 'miss the mark.' True, but I don't believe missing the mark automatically translates as sin. Let me illustrate: suppose two dark-skinned/dark-haired people living in a very hot climate give birth to a child who has considerably lighter skin and hair. From an evolutionary perspective the child has 'missed the mark' because the recessive fair-skinned/fair-haired genes do not offer as much protection from the sun. Likewise, non-heterosexuals are at an evolutionary disadvantage because they are less likely to procreate.

That is essentially the view of homosexuality that I gravitate towards; it misses the mark due to lack of ability of natural procreation but there is no personal culpability for the orientation (just as color-blind people are not culpable for being born that way).