Every once in a while I have reason to mention that I believe in reincarnation.
When I admit this, I usually get one of two reactions.
One is, “So, you think you come back as a cow, huh?”
The other is, “Well, there is no evidence of that.”
There is no point in responding to the first. The questioner obviously heard something in 3rd grade and hasn’t informed himself or herself since then. Someone with that little curiosity about life is barely worth talking to about anything metaphysical, other than, “I’d like a metaphysical Coke with that.” LOL – try that one at McDonald’s or Burger King some day…
This is not about 3rd grade teaching by school marms.
We will define reincarnation as being about a soul coming back to live again in another body, for the purpose of increasing his/her/its soul development. I include “its” there because if the soul exists we don’t know whether has gender. The soul itself might, and it might not.
At the same time, no one has even come close to providing scientific evidence of the existence of the soul. And that applies to either 1-off lives or many lives.
Which brings us to the crux of this.
When someone asserts, “There is no evidence of reincarnation,” what is one to reply with?
The irony, of course, is that in a Judeo-Christian there is no scientific evidence of a Heaven, or God, or a Jesus, either. This question comes from someone standing on nothing, asserting that someone else’s nothing is not real.
No one has ever provided hard evidence for having had direct contact with any God o Jesus. Those who assert any such contact inevitably talk about them talking to God or Jesus, and then some moments or time later they get an impression of an answer. Anyone who has prayed has had such an impression – which might range all the way from, “Yes,” to “No,” and every “Maybe” in between. But as to evidence of a two-way discussion or even an abrupt “Good morning – good morning” interchange, there is none.
And yet an American, in his/her/its exceptionalism will assert that because someone else’s religion sends people back to the real Earth instead of to a never-before-experienced place they call Heaven.
From their perspective, this is like the discussion in “Stand By Me,” in which one boy asks the other, “If Superman were to fight Mighty Mouse, who would win?” I say “from their perspective” because they assume that reincarnation is a figment of people’s imagination, while their own never-experienced Heaven is a solid reality.
Neither one – Judeo-Chrisitanity, with its 1-time life and then Judgment for all eternity, or Reincarnation, with its continuing chances to learn and develop – has, at this time, any proof that will satisfy a hard scientist. Hard science is physics, chemistry, geology, biology. Soft science is psychology and similar fields of inquiry.
That does not take into account the studies by Ian Stevenson, about children who seem to remember past lives. Most hard scientists are either unaware of his work or choose to ignore it.
Oddly, while some soft scientists like Stevenson have inquired into evidence of reincarnation, there are no scientists looking into evidence of the Judeo-Christian God, or the existence of Heaven.
Thus, one pertinent response to “Well, there is no evidence of Reincarnation.” might just well be, “Can you please offer one link to a scientific paper proving that Heaven exists?”
So, where DO we go when we die? Do I have an answer myself?
No. I CHOOSE to think that we come back and live future lives. A Judeo-Christian chooses to think what they think, and I am fine with that. I am NOT fine with them challenging Reincarnation when their own religion is built on a vacuum. I don’t really care what they think.
I also don’t care whether someone can prove that Reincarnation is true.
Whatever is true is true, and what we all believe – one way or the other – won’t change the actual reality, will it? We might all become puffy little teddy bears and sit in kids’ toy boxes. If that is what is true, then it is. And my beliefs or someone else’s beliefs won’t change that reality one iota.
I CHOOSE to think reincarnation is real because it makes quite a bit more sense than one-life-and-out (or in). I choose to live my life thinking that a world can exist with SOME kind of reason behind it, rather than none.
And DO be aware that Christianity’s belief that one life (1 hour or 120 years) is all we get is substantially more illogical than Reincarnation. Would a God (or gods) powerful enough to create well-organized and self-supporting planets, as well as macro-organisms as complex as horses and climate and humans, create all that for nothing? Would such a powerful and obviously intelligent being have as the participants in such a world as this one play their parts and then just leave, never to return?
If Man is made in the image of their God, one would expect that the god-equivalents should have some of the same powers, and – above all – the ability to interact at some level (perhaps some high level) with the God that created those beings “in his image.”
That the personages within the Christian universe exist more or less the useful lifetime of a paper napkin. They are apparently some all but overlooked things that are used once and then thrown away.
If that is what Americans or Christians want their lives to be, who am I to disabuse them of such a worthless and ephemeral existence?
My ideas about Reincarnation have been developed over about 45 years, and the ideas are not simple like “one person dies and one is born”. My ideas are about how I MYSELF would make such a system work. Those concepts have taken decades to develop, and I am not going to delineate them here.
One part of it, though – for me and me alone – is that I think that if we build a better world NOW, then there will be a better world THEN in the future, a better world to come back to. THAT – whether true or false – makes a better world, and what is wrong with wanting that?
BTW, it would never occur to me to insult someone by asking them, “Well, do you have any proof that Heaven exists?”