In order to even try to understand reincarnation, I think we have to understand what life is. I know I have said it before, (The following is entirely my opinion, belief, and experience!) life is not just some unkown or unknowable energy force existing in our universe. Life is the universe. Life is the cosmos! Unfortunately most living beings take life for granted. They are alive, life is but a journey from birth to death. It is that, to be sure, but it is so much more. It doesn’t just start with a germinated spore, a fertilized seed or egg, it pre-exists the spore or seed or egg. It is the raison d’être of the cosmos.
I realize this is an insufficient statement for most deep thinkers, you want proof of life. But unlike the human idea of a god which can never be seen or otherwise known, we experience being alive every day of our lives. We just don’t think about it per se, we are satisfied to have it, and do it, without having to acknowledge it. Why should we, it has been with us every moment since our births. Big deal, eh? But it is a big deal, and that is why we must learn to acknowledge it. Not worship it, just acknowledge it. And feel it in your body, because you can feel it. You know you are alive.
Yes, I have failed to meet the burden of proof. We cannot measure life, we cannot pull it out of ourselves, we cannot literally point to it. But we can measure its absence when it leaves us. Its corollary is death, and we know when a body loses life. That body no longer functions. So if we know death, we must also know life. What do you think?
If life is a big question mark, even though everyone and everything that has ever lived has experienced life, then what is death? At first glance, death is the taking away of life. In fact, if life appears from nowhere, death should return one to nowhere. That is logical. But life itself is not logical, is it? Can life really appear from nowhere? Who knows? But when you start to think about it, when you start to look at the realities of life, little clues begin to pop up that make us wonder…
Life itself comes in many forms, from viruses and bacteria, to plants, to animals. Each of those come in millions or billions of varieties, just on this Earth alone. And for now I am not going to discuss life as it may or may not exist on other worlds, we have no actual experience of life on other worlds. On earth, all life has the same building blocks, called cells. DNA, RNA, nucleii, cell walls, etc. I am not a biologist, I have limited knowledge of these things, and the molecules and atoms that make them up. But, basically, life as we understand it starts at the cellular level–in that we are all the same. Cells live, cells die. We are made of cells. We live, we die. We have at least that much in common. To say it another way, death ends our physical lives on Earth.
The Middle Ground: Reincarnation
Is physical life all there is? Many people believe life is only physical. Science can only look at the physical, what you can see is what you get. Religious folk, on the other hand, believe life is more non-physical than it is physyical. They, especially Christians and Muslims, believe in eternity, a perpetual life spent in Heaven or Paradise. But to what end? The idea of reincarnation actually predates the idea of heaven, and in its own way eternity lovers owe their beliefs to the concept of reincarnation. To be “born again” is to reincarnate, but through bad translations and lack of imagination, in my opinion, the concept was bastardized, disfigured, reworked until it came to mean one physical life, in which if you were “born again in Christ,” you got to advance to eternity. The rest of us, well, if they were not born again, or if they never heard of Christ, were condemned to an eternity in hell–a place of great suffering and pain. Not very charitable or hospitable of these neighbourly Christians or Muslims, I would have to say. Nor of their compassionate God! For a forgiving father figure, he turns out to be nothing but a tyrannical dictator.
My own journey away from religion began when I first came to realize that no matter what people thought of themselves or how good they “believed they were being,” maybe one in a million, if that, would end up in heaven. Especially if, the gods knows how, God knows every thought a person has, people keep on sinning whether they have been born again in Christ or not, showing they are not worthy of heaven, ever. Hell would be everyone’s eternal destination. So either there is no heaven or hell, or God the father is one true prick, without a gram of compassion in his entire being…
Most times when there are two extremes of thought, the actual truth lies somewhere in the middle. So what lies partway between science and religion? My answer is reincarnation. (I am not saying this is the only choice, but I believe it to be a good choice. My experience in a few week period of my life, which I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog, led me to this belief. For me it was real, and therefore true, but I am not asking anyone else to believe me. I am only asking you, the reader, to hear what I am saying.) If there is a reason for life, not even a purpose, just a reason, then reincarnation makes a lot of sense. And it explains something I have never heard anyone else ask: Why are so many people so different from each other, while still maintaining similarities in thought and disposition to many others, but never all others? But we are all macrophysically the same, are we not.
Reincarnation is a series of movements from knowing very little about life to knowing a lot about life. Each time a life becomes incarnate, it has the opportunity to regress, to stay virtually the same, or to progress. We cannot generally tell by looking at a living being if any of these three conditions is present in an individual–we have no idea what they may have been like before. Yet certain people we feel are older than others, having more wisdom than others, or more life experience. Why is that? And though I do not see this next feeling as often as I see the older being feeling, some people seem to be extraodinarily young. They are excited at anything new they see; they tend to believe anything absolutely anyone tells them. Even as adults they are very much like babies. Trusting, undiscerning, easily hurt, but quickly recovering. Young beings. Very young beings. Inbetween the young and the old seeming people, no matter their physical age, are the greatest numbers of people, people who act like many others, think like many others, and believe like many others. These would be those beings who have lived many lives, but have not yet determined if their lives have value. This is arguably similar to each individual as a whole–growing from a baby through teenagehood to adulthood towards seniority. And though these similarities exist, still there are so many different kinds of people who face life in so many different ways that others can see their individual characteristics. Let us call that our personalities.
Even those who believe in reincarnation differ greatly, Some look at it through religious eyes, while others through other kinds of eyes. I myself see it through experiential eyes–there are those that fight who they are, while others accept who they are. Literally, there are millions or billions of people alive at any time who are similar yet different, while others are just different. Everything seems to depend on experience, but still different people react differently to different situations, and different stimuli.
I am not saying this is evidence of reincarnation, but it could be….
So why don’t we remember past lives, or past learnings? Well, some of us think we do, but so few find it easy to believe, especially here in the west, that the majority reject it out of hand. In the east, where reincarnation is taught at a mother’s breast, the concept is much more acceptable. But no matter, there is still very little of what the scientific or religious communities would take as evidence, or beliefs, that reincarnation is a hard sell. Many want to believe it, for it takes the onus off living a saintly life this incarnation, but not so many actually do. Like heaven, it is a nice concept, not a sure thing.
So why can’t we remember? Can you imagine how complicated life would be if we could remember everything from past lives? Life would be unliveable. But, in my opinion, that is why we do not remember. Everything is built into us, all we have to do is need it, and it is there, already inside us.
This attempt at writing about reincarnation is woefully inadequate. I do not feel good about even publishing it. But I look at it as a start. Having got something down on paper is better than never having anything on paper. From here readers can ask questions, make comments, ridicule me if they like. But it is a start for communication. I hope you can appreciate my dilemma…