I recently had a very interesting online conversation with someone who - from multiple personal spiritual experiences - believes in the reality of multiple human reincarnations.
That is not an unusual thing; but this person is someone who I have know over a long period of years to be unusually thoughtful, sincere, and insightful.
So I pressed him to consider an eternal timescale; and whether - from that perspective - repeating and repeating the experiences of a series and variety of mortal Men living this earthly life - was really sufficient.
Whether, in particular he could imagine wanting anything better: something better than mortal Men, and living in a world better than this earth?
His answer was no, he did not want anything more - this world, this "plane of existence" was the best he could wish for; even ideally he could want nothing more or better.
Regular readers will know that I have an extremely different set of beliefs and hopes; and that for me this mortal life and earth do not suffice, and cannot suffice. For me, to contemplate an unending series of mortal reincarnations in a world of always sinful Men and with the inevitability of decay and death; sounds like something more of a curse than a blessing.
I have characterized this in terms of the fundamentally entropic nature of this mortal life and world; and my desire for a life of eternal creation; that this mortal life is a vital phase between pre-mortal spirit and eternal resurrection - vital, but a phase nonetheless: therefore not something it would be good to remain 'in' forever.
This kind of consideration and thinking is something that I regard as very fundamental to the human condition; in particular with respect to the gift of Jesus Christ.
Salvation is aimed at people such as myself; but there are people such as my old friend - I think these people are actually rather rare, yet they exist - who want something positive (i.e. they are not self-damned hell-seekers; they are accurate discerners and foes of evil) that is nonetheless very different from what Jesus offers.
Another type of person who rejects both salvation and damnation is one who sincerely desires some kind of Nirvana state of blissful loss of awareness of the self, cessation of thinking, removal of the feeling of separation from the divine; and where the divine is understood in an abstract and depersonalized way.
I have often stated my belief that a large majority of those who profess this kind of oneness aspiration are insincere (ultimately, dishonest with themselves) as evidenced by their attempts to persuade others and argue their position. And as evidence by their behaviour of convergence with the evil totalitarians. In other words these 'mainstream' oneness advocates claim to be other-worldly and indifferent to this mortal life; but evidence the opposite in what they do and teach.
Yet I think it likely that there are genuine Nirvana-wishers (perhaps especially in Eastern societies) who reject the theosis - the desire for spiritual development towards full creative divinity - that is an essential part of Christianity; and the personal understanding of the world.
If what we assume about the ancient and ancestral hunter-gatherers, and their cultural equivalents in more recent years - is correct; they had a belief in serial reincarnation without end in 'this world' - and were fully-satisfied by this.
So it is perhaps not surprising if there are some people alive today who share this basic world view.
On the other hand; the destiny of Western Man as-a-whole is, by my understanding, towards Christian salvation and Christian theosis; and I am confident that (especially since the millennium) an increasing proportion of those who reject salvation are actually embracing damnation.
In other words; it seems clear to me that a large majority of those in The West who reject Christianity have actually taken the side of evil; and are either being dishonest with others when they claim they have not, and/or else dishonest with themselves - and have never thought sufficiently rigorously and truthfully to recognize the fact.
Yet even if I am correct and there is - as a strong generalization - only the two choices of Christ or Satan; nonetheless, each person is in fact unique, and came into this mortal life and earthly world as unique.
It would therefore be a mistake to suppose that all sincere and thoughtful people who reject evil will also want what Jesus Christ offers. It would be a mistake to assume that all individuals Must fit into one of only two categories.
On the one hand; I know enough about my old friend to regard him as one of the exceptions. On the other hand - I do not believe there are many others like him!
But then, I do not believe that many of the hundreds of millions of self-identified Christians in the world, are sincere in their professed belief.
It seems to me that extremely few "Christians" have asked themselves the right questions concerning what they most desire through an eternal future; and have genuinely considered whether what they want is the same-thing as what Jesus Christ actually offers to those who follow Him.