Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reincarnation

Plato believed in reincarnation. Of course, he was living in a small, stable, population, so he could speculate about it. I've always been skeptical, because the theory (doctrine? dogma?) of reincarnation can't handle population growth very well. If humans began with Eve about 200,000 years ago, then where did the "souls" that transmigrate originally come from? And where do they come from today as population continues to grow worldwide?
But what got me thinking about the whole thing again is the question of how the concept got started in the first place. At what point did one person say, "Our souls move from person to person. When you die, your soul goes into some newborn"?
Someone had to make that hypothesis. I wonder what caused her or him to do so. If we could see into that first instant when a person had the idea, we might get an idea of what it is that makes the concept of reincarnation so persistent, despite there being absolutely no evidence for it (Forget hypnosis and "channeling." They're bogus.)
Did that first theorist see his or her mother in the eyes of a newborn? Did a young man show the characteristics of an ancestor? Did a young woman act like her dead grandmother?
Reincarnation as a doctrine gives us lots of avenues for speculation and creativity (One of my favorite novels, Ursula LeGuin's The Tombs of Atuan, is based on reincarnation), but as far as it having any logical or scientific basis -- it ain't there.

4 comments:

S. Sorbello said...

I have a blog with a lot of information about reincarnation that you might find interesting.

http://discoverreincarnation.blogspot.com/

雅竹 said...
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Anirudh said...

In Bhagavad-Gita Lord SriKrishna says to Arjuna:
“I taught this immortal Yoga to Vivasvan (sun-god), Vivasvan conveyed it to Manu(his son), and Manu imparted it to (his son) Iksvaku. Thus transmitted to succession from father to son, Arjuna, this Yoga remained known to the Rajarisis (royal sages). It has however long since disappeared from this earth. The same ancient Yoga has this day been imparted to you by Me, because you are My devotee and friend, and also because this is a supreme secret”.
At this Arjuna said: You are of recent origin while the birth of Vivasvan dates back to remote antiquity. How, then, I am to believe that you taught this Yoga at the beginning of creation? Lord SriKrishna said: Arjuna, you and I have passed through many births. I remember them all, you do not remember.
1. Radha Soami Faith was founded by His Holiness Param Purush Puran Dhani Huzur Soamiji Maharaj on the prayer of His Holiness Huzur Maharaj who later on became second Spiritual Head of Radha Soami Faith. The prime object of the Radha Soami Faith is the emancipation of all Jeevas (Souls) i.e. to take the entire force of consciousness to its original abode. There is a tradition of succession of Gurus or Spiritual Adepts in Radha Soami Faith. I am one of them as is evident from the following facts or ….
“My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state.
HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab. Sarkar Sahab later on became Fourth Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith.
Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ (Agam Geet yeh gawan chahoon tumhri mauj nihara, mauj hoi to satguru soami karoon supanth vichara) but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.”

On both your houses said...

Hmmm. I don't know how to respond to the second comment, since it's basically a sermon based on a text that I have difficulty following. Ms. Sorbello, I thank you for your information. After visiting the web site and others, I find that the evidence for reincarnation still consists of stories of the Bridey Murphy category, which are mostly the result of wishful thinking. People believe in reincarnation because they want to or need to or just gotta. I still hold that I wasn't here before, and I ain't gonna be here after.