Monday, November 2, 2009


The thing that fascinates me about beliefs like reincarnation is to speculate on how they happen. I mean, you die as a human and you're reborn as a cucumber. In between, what happens? Let's say that in your version of reincarnation, there are strict rules. You are always reborn as a human. Whether you are reborn as a king or a slave depends on how you lived this life. So, I'm say, rich merchant good in this life, and I die. What happens? Do I go to a holding pen and wait until a proper kid is ready to be born? And how do I get matched up? Is there an accountant? A gatekeeper? Some one should be there to tell my soul, 'Number twenty, it's your turn." See what I mean?
But the common response seems to be, "It just happens," or "It's all in the mind of God." But things don't just happen, and even if it's in the mind of god, there are procedures, events in time, that have to occur. I mean, with six billion people in the world, dying and being born, it's a jungle out there. Someone is awfully busy. And if you factor in the possibility that I could be reborn as an insect, they problems increase exponentially.
So, it seems to me that people who believe in reincarnation have to accept a very big deus in a very complicated machine.


Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Reincarnation is at least a very interesting concept to investigate. To have it make any sense at all you are required to also believe in a cosmic consciousness and self-determinism.

On a historic level it reoccurs in cultures more frequently than some other beliefs if you take in all possible variants of "coming back." And admittedly we have to grant that most humans cannot accept the end of life and so have developed some belief system that allows it to move forward.

I do have a problem seeing you as a grasshopper, Ron. But I could look forward to seeing GW Bush as a worm provided I was an elephant.

bekkieann said...

Of course, my former religion did offer answers about where you go and how long you are there. I do recall there was a sort of holding place. But the end was toward resurrection not reincarnation. But sort of the same thing, I think. Still tricky to accomplish.

I recently watched a PBS program on near-death experiences where people are convinced they saw an afterlife. Some scientists, of course, say what was happening was nothing more than brain activity but which seemed like very real experiences. What is remarkable is the similarities in what people see, including small children who have no concept of an afterlife.

When my husband died a few months ago, I thought (probably like a lot of people do) that he would give me some signal as to his existence. But I experienced no other-worldly enlightenment as I stood by his side for another hour after he had died. And I've had no visitations as many others claim to have had from deceased loved ones. Of course it doesn't prove anything because it's just one person's experience. But the entire thing seemed terribly final to me.

I've been thinking recently about whether it is tragic when a person dies. I've come to the conclusion in my husband's case at least that it was his life that was tragic. His death was sad and untimely.

bekkieann said...

I failed to mention, but I assumed you understood, the "holding place" is for the spirit body which leaves the physical body upon death. The physical body stays on Earth and decomposes. Then the resurrection entails joining together the spirit and physical bodies again only this time in a perfect state that can't ever die again.

I do sort of like the idea of a spirit or essense sort of thing that goes on without a physical body. I don't care much for the rest of the dogma.

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

My father died after seven weeks in ICU. I would say at least four of those weeks were totally unnecessary as he wanted to die and Missouri would not let him. We finally threatened to have him moved to Kansas where his living will would govern and the doctors agreed to shut off life support. I chose not to be there because I truly felt his spirit had moved on already.

I went to the mall that day and shopped for a wreath, etc. Thinks my mother thought were proper for the memorial wake. I swear I heard the flatline sound in the noise of the mall and for a moment the world got terribly silent and slow.

My niece was three I believe and not allowed at the hospital so see her beloved Grandpa but every morning after his death for about a week she reported at breakfast things my father had told her while sitting on the end of her bed the night before.

And I had one of those experiences, Becky, when I was involved in my ski accident. I think I prefer to live in the question and not in the answer because we don't know enough to have the answers. I am not sure we know enough to pose the questions correctly.

On both your houses said...

Sorry, but I've got to do this. To be reborn as a hillbilly is "reintarnation."

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Well, Ron, that definitely lowered the level, but thank you for the apology before hand.