Let's discuss reincarnation.
Of all the various afterlife notions I've heard, I like reincarnation the best. Wer're going to make mistakes, that's a given. so I can get behind the idea of multiple chances to grow and learn from our mistakes over numerous lifetimes. You'd also get the chance to come back as something you weren't before. I'd be curious to give it a shot as a woman, or black, or whatever -- it's all part of the learning and growing experience.
So, yeah, reincarnation sounds like a good deal and I'm intrigued by it.
Sadly, like all the other ideas of life beyond death it comes with no evidence to support it so I'm forced to dismiss it as unreal regardless if its appeal. I'm a pragmatist, I'm not going to believe in something just because I'd like to.
The work of Ian Stevenson very much supports reincarnation. It is incorrect to say that there is no evidence. You might not be persuaded by the evidence, but there is evidence.
I lean toward thinking that our identification as a separate self in a body is nothing but illusion, and that any previous life as a body was also an illusion. Just because I share memories with a dead person does not necessarily mean that I AM that person. What it suggests to me is that we are all one entity as viewed from a cosmic perspective. In that sense, reincarnation might be something akin to remote viewing.
I do not think in terms of afterlives. There is only the eternal present moment, immortal by default. Time is only a mental prop, and without conscious awareness the concept has no meaning.
“Heaven did not hand down the word ‘time’. Man invented it. . . . If there are problems with the concept of time, they are of our own creation . . . as Einstein put it ‘Time and space are modes by which we think, and not conditions in which we live.’ ”30”
— The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes by Donald Hoffman
There is a basic epistemological problem with this idea. Life forms in the world/universe basically has no limits. To come back as some individual life form basically says we are taking a life from another entity. As usual anthropomorphism at play. We need to get over the idea we are the be all and end all of life.
Just another belief system to curtail death anxiety. I'm not sure what I'd learn to help me from making mistakes if I came back as a banana slug. We have one shot at life, and I think it's quite possible to grow and learn from our mistakes in one lifetime.
That one was and is still a hard concept for me to grasp and accept as a "hindu".
Suspend all your disbelief for a moment and hear me out ... I can take you to the edge of it and you can sit at the precipice as I do in contemplation.
The world that you and I think is around us really isn't reality. It's actually the construct in our minds composed of the signals our senses send to it and the prior knowledge it has within. That's fact. There's no such thing as "brown". There is light that reflects certain vibrations off of a particular material and our minds recognize as "brown". This is the same for all senses: sight, touch (tactile sensations creating signals), hearing (air vibrations vibrating little hairs), taste (chemical reactions creating signals), and smell (molecule shapes creating signals).
The actual signal that is sent occurs in our brains as electromagnetic wave or particle propagation. Thus every signal is based on potential. Some at physical point of contact and some at a distance. But even at a distance it starts as potential. And that potential has the same properties as light. No mass thus not affected by time and space. That potential arrives instantaneously - but as we construct it in our minds it appears as 186,000 miles/sec. Always. No matter what our relative speed to it. That's because it's already here. Everywhere it is going to be instantaneously. That's Einstein.
As awareness we "trip the switch" on the EM propagation if we have the right receptors. Then in our minds the signal transfer happens as work units. That is awareness. It converts potential to a signal that the mind uses to construct reality. It also guides this body (through free will) into other fields of signals that last for a time beyond the moment. This is where the reincarnation stuff begins to fall in for those who believe in Sanatan dharma and the vedas.
According to their beliefs awareness is actually the field of space or substratum across which those signals "float". Free will guides us through it and we are subject to the signals our free will makes us encounter - be they light from a distant sun or a smell or a lifestyle wrapped up in discord. All of those signals are, as EM components, vibrations. At different frequencies. At different wavelengths. At different intensities. Much like harmonious octaves some frequencies "get along" and some are discordant.
The theory goes that the life we lead carries some discordant vibrations that keep awareness in a clump around them to be a pocket of unique existence until those waves of vibrations cease. Like air turbulence during a flight. Only by ridding ones' self of such discord may rebirth be avoided and the blissful existence of pure awareness be enjoyed. This is where they tie in morality and all that bullshit that I disagree with ... or I try to disagree with.
With bad karma (discordant vibrations) in this existence we will keep being reborn until we can simplify our lives enough and clean up our act enough and learn enough to get past this illusion and back into the awareness whole. I have a lot of objections to this theoretically as well as philosophically. But I continue to read and learn.
At my hospital , we have a volunteering program :
Nobody Dies Alone .
24/7 volunteers are making selves available when death is approaching fast and there is no family or friends at the bedside .
The job is very easy . Show up , hold the man's or lady's hand , your soon to be dead human is out , not awake , gasping for breaths . The program is not huge , neither has many volunteers .
Interesting thou , the NICU is packed w volunteers who are willing to rock , sing , or just hold the constantly crying crack and heroin babies . The new life gets always more sympathy . More affection . The old and near death get the left overs , but hey , death is a scary thing for all of us , reminds us that we could be next on line .
I make self available for both , but I am not good w babies .
I don't know what to say to them . The older folks , u can see their face and try to guess their past , there my big mouth goes on and on , I don't care if they can hear .
Not once I wondered if there is anything after death for them . Or for me . My mind is taken by the life that is about to go " poof ! now . Was a good life ? Well how good could had be if u have to die alone , u know ?
The chaplains and other critters are always make a presence in such hours . There is always some cross , some picture of Jesus , something always in the room to promise enternal life . I see no big difference btwen them and the reincarsination / " I ll be back "boys and girls .
I hear the same words really : " I don't want to believe that I ll die . Some how , a piece of me or all of me , is going to be alive again ".
All I know , is that when a human dies , someone makes them ready for the morgue at the hospital . If very lucky , someone will " re live " w organ donation . That's all I know .
And that this life here , ain't that bad . Can we make it worth and not worry about next , next , next .