Monday, February 23, 2009
Never Say Die (Reincarnation 2.0) Or not!
There are clearly more theories about what happens after you die, than ones that explain what happens before you are born. Where do we come from? Here's my friend Calvin's great question, "What are we?!" Both these questions point us in the direction of metaphysical origins. The physical process is easy enough to understand (if you are unclear on this, think back to your sex ed. classes, if this is new material, than most likely; you are either the most advanced 1st grader on planet earth, or living at home with your aging parents - NDNM "no date-no mate.") This question of origin is usually met with some outlandish scene involving heaven, angel-singing-harp-carrying beings, losing a bet or contest-being sent back to earth...no really intelligent theories get put out there. (At least not in modern western civilization.) Plenty has been said about the pre-life origins of humans, many traditions incorporate the concept of reincarnation-life before life. I myself have spent considerable time toying with that notion of recycling. It occurred to me that there were other novel approaches to be found within the MWI framework of theories, which might better explain this mystery. Every single theory that I have heard, read or considered revolves around the concept that we are finite beings (at least our bodies, and ourselves as individual souls or lives) living a unique life that is lived out within a system thats surrounds us. Each individual has a finite body that is conceived, born, grows to maturity, ages and dies (Very few people would dispute that.) And yet, there is another possibility that has not (to my knowledge, and I have looked a bit) been proposed. Reincarnation suggests that we live again, in a new body, in a new life, with the same old soul - minus the conscious memory. There are millions of texts that do a much better job at explaining the whole process ("Good Life, Good Death: Tibetan Teachings on Reincarnation by: