Thailand’s twelve month long period of mourning for King Bhumipol is now drawing to a close with spectacular cremation and exaltation-to-heaven ceremonies. One interesting detail one hears talking with Thais — a detail I have not seen in any news media report — is a rumour (“some say”, is how it is introduced) that the greatly loved king will return. Why? Because, the rumour has it, his work was not completed. He cannot come back as Rama XI (another has beaten him to that position) but he will return when born as Rama XII.
This rumour that one sometimes hears from face to face conversations with mourners may be inspired, I wonder, by a certain anxiety over the future.
Humans — the same today as they have always been, it seems. Returns, resurrections, reincarnations, messianic and millennial expectations. . . .