Back from a bit of an hiatus during which I managed to catch a Nada Yoga workshop with Bhagavan Das (the fellow who convinced Richard Alpert to go to India to meet Neem Karoli Baba, as the result of which he became Ram Dass). If you have a chance to attend such a workshop, avail yourself, regardless of your spiritual bent (or lack thereof). He, quite simply, makes sense.
2:25 "Invisible is he to mortal eyes, beyond thought and beyond change. Know that he is, and cease from sorrow."
We continue to speak of the soul. So many important points are made. The soul cannot be seen with the mortal eye; it takes a different sort of eye to discern it. While you may sometimes feel as though a priest is who is staring at you is looking into your soul, if he is using his eyes, he is not. It is even beyond thought, you cannot simply reason out the depth of another's soul. Stay tuned for talk about samadhi. Once again, a soul cannot be changed.
2:26 "But if he were born again and again, and again and again he were to die, even then, victorious man, cease thou from sorrow."
Remember that, every time the body dies, the soul is reborn. Neither is an occasion for sorrow. If the soul has not achieved enlightenment, another birth, another opportunity awaits, so why grieve? Krishna is using the title "victorious man" to emphasize that Arjuna is a warrior, and that is his destiny.
2:27 "For all things born in truth must die and out of death in truth comes life. Face to Face with what must be, cease thou from sorrow."
According to Karma, he is born into a situation best suited to allow the soul to make good debt from previous births and begin anew. This is to be "born in truth" . To "die in truth" is to have died having followed your path, without suicide, needless suffering or murder, for example. Arjuna's path is as a warrior, and he is destined to fight the armies of his uncle. He needn't be sad about this because it will lead him toward life.
Think about how much needless suffering people endure in trying to cheat death, how they deny and fight against death when they could be happily spending time with their loved ones.
The Bible says, in John 11:26-27 "...I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he dies, he shall live.
And whoever is alive and believes in me shall never die..." It is quite similar, however, the Christian concept of eternal life (the term I will use to distinguish it from Hindu reincarnation) differs from reincarnation by a few very important points. First, eternal life requires belief in the Christian God, in this case, specifically in the form of Jesus. Secondly, this is not rebirth, but resurrection; not new life, but continuation of the old and is a finite process. Finally, the sins are washed away automatically by belief, not atoned for via the wheel of karma.
2:28 "Invisible before birth are all beings and after death invisible again. They are seen between two unseens. Why in this truth find sorrow?"
The soul exists in a binary state: seen and unseen. One and zero.
I have an ongoing debate with a friend as to whether zero is a number. She is an artist, not a mathematician. I am more scientifically oriented. Trying to explain that the soul exists after death is very much like trying to prove the physical existence of the number zero to someone who does not believe in the concept. Think about it some time. How would you describe "zero"?
Then describe a soul without a body.