A better title could be: The reasons I do not believe in reincarnation. You might ask, so what? Well, since I want you to read the rest of the article, I will state the reasons for that.
The first thing that comes to mind is that this is an immoral process. The second is that it is also useless. It does not seem to lead anywhere. What it stands for is not carved in stone, and there is not a logical reference system to support such an extreme interpretation of life.
For the record, I have written again about this topic and in fact this post is an updated post of that article.
But first, let’s see what we are talking about. Which word expresses exactly what it means? Are you sure you chose the right one? Did you mean reincarnation or metempsychosis? Is it Incarnation or is it something else? The reason I ask is that I believe that all this is a Gordian knot, and I do not know who or when this mess was created.
I do not imply that there is any kind of God behind it. The Divine Power, which is the correct expression when we talk about God, is not a person with passions, so we will do well not to confuse him with our own emotional instabilities. We are the ones that made this hot mess.
But what exactly do we mean?
If we believe we have a soul that will take a break and return to another body when it is done, then we are talking about metempsychosis. If we think that there is a higher force that “descends” and borrows a body, then perhaps we are talking about Incarnation. Finally, if this something higher goes up and down for its own reasons, then we are probably referring to the term reincarnation.
One thing is for sure, the body after its death becomes dust and we shouldn’t believe that it will be reconstituted from dust and become a body again. In addition, as recorded from the thousands of testimonies of those who remember their past lives, everyone seems to be a great historical figure in this process. John, Nick etc, who they think were once Alexander the Great, must come to terms that there was only one Alexander the Great. These dozens of his current incarnations do not fit in any model of possible memories.
I just mentioned a bad word. Memories. If a man is his memories, we have a problem. Do we remember all the events in our present life? I doubt it. So which memories will I be able to carry and use in the next one?
Now we should take a closer look, since whatever is happening, it certainly can not be immoral. But first let me give you an example of what I characterize as immoral. Children who, for no reason, suffer and die at a very young age. How is that explained, and please, don’t tell me that someone else has to take a lesson? I find the whole “lesson” thing extremely annoying. A drunk driver who hits and kills an innocent child, does not give his poor parents any lesson and he will not be reborn just to atone. Lord have mercy!
Some claim that the one who learns the lesson is the victim itself. I need an extra dose of mercy, please. What could young ones who have been abused possibly have done in a previous life, to suffer so early in this one? This compensatory belief is for the naives, to say the least. And unfortunately, almost all theories, i.e., metempsychosis, reincarnation, etc., like to use it.
Let us first deal with Metempsychosis. There are somewhere souls waiting supposedly. Do they exist out of time or are they born somewhere else and in order to become something, they have to come down to Earth? What can Earth offer in a creation full of stars? Unless this is the reason they do not really care which body they will inhabit. It is enough for a poor male to fertilize an equally poor female so that a pure and immaculate soul finds its way… Really, what will it do? Souls cannot be born, because what is born dies. And the followers of that theory say that if the soul fucks up that opportunity, it will be reborn again.
From this theory, we can only keep the scenario that the so-called souls exist in a higher level of existence, created since the creation of the world, and take part in a process that is very difficult to understand.
So, if we reject the ascent and descent of souls, we move without understanding it to the second theory, that of reincarnation.
Same as before! Something from above descents again and again. By simply removing the word soul (psych) from the term, we allow more freedom in the process of choosing what comes down. Most people here use the term Ego or Divine Spark, but without explaining why, regarding the repetition of the act. What is the reason for that? The immoral and the unjust remain the same.
If we wish to remain rational, we must rule out the process of going up and down. This is a pointless waste of time and trust me, waste is not a characteristic of creation.
The only idea that remains is that of Incarnation. Here things are better if we can understand what is embodied. My opinion is that what inhabits a man is a divine spark which, for difficult to understand reasons, chose this process. It experiences the individuality of the reality here and turns it into a ‘Lesson’. Up there, it is a personality, part of a multifaceted whole. Here it becomes an individuality. What is learned, therefore, is what it means to be an individual person.
And when the person dies, the spark will return to the ocean of sparks and become a persona, a face, again. The same spark is unlikely to go anywhere again. It is even more difficult than getting a drop from the ocean and, after throwing it back into the ocean, being able to get it back. The one who wins the “lesson” is the ocean of sparks.
So, the question that remains is, do we really need that restart or did we invent it just to avoid the seriousness of our lives? And of course, what is the purpose of such a process, is perhaps the most serious question that should concern us.
There is little that I can tell, since from the title, I have already stated that I have no answers. But I can say with relative certainty that the ultimate lesson of life can not have the character of a micro-political strategy. To be clear, if the purpose of life is the deification of man, then what he takes with him can not be the experiences of how a car works. Nor how you can deceive someone, and so many other meaningless info that have to do with the daily life experiences.
Eventually, a man has to focus on this question in his life. If anyone has found the answer, I would very much like to know since I am still looking for it.
Many years ago, I started translating a book by Sri Aurobindo and the following excerpt is the introduction to his book.
… The theory of rebirth is almost as ancient as thought itself and its origin is unknown. We may, according to our prepossessions, accept it as the fruit of ancient psychological experience, always renewable and verifiable and therefore true or dismiss it as a philosophical dogma and ingenious speculation; but in either case the doctrine, even as it is in all appearance well-nigh as old as human thought itself, is likely also to endure as long as human beings continue to think.
In former times, the doctrine used to pass in Europe under the grotesque name of transmigration. It brought with it to the Western mind the humorous image of the soul of Pythagoras migrating, a haphazard bird of passage, from the human form divine into the body of a guinea-pig or an ass. The philosophical appreciation of the theory expressed itself in the admirable but rather unmanageable Greek word, metempsychosis, which means the insouling of a new body by the same psychic individual. The Greek tongue is always happy in its marriage of thought and word, and a better expression could not be found; but forced into English speech, the word becomes merely long and pedantic, with no memory of its subtle Greek sense, and has to be abandoned. Reincarnation is the now popular term, but the idea in the word leans to the gross or external view of the fact and begs many questions. Ι prefer “rebirth”, for it renders the sense of the wide, colorless, but sufficient Sanskrit term, punarjanma, “again-birth”, and commits us to nothing but the fundamental idea which is the essence and life of the doctrine…
What can we say we have concluded? A life that we must spend wisely so that when the time comes, we will be counted on the list of those who did not waste it unnecessarily.
One last thing, let’s say the icing on the cake. We must reject the dualism that characterizes us and identify ourselves as beings with the spark that dwells within us. Man is not the summation of matter, soul, and spirit. This is the carrier. Man is the Divine Spark.
Let’s start not only think like that, but act like that.
PS. An approach to what the word ‘soul’ (ΨΥΧΗ) means for the Ancient Greeks can be found in the writings of E. Tsatsomiros. Using the interpretation of the letters, as I have understood it, we could say: The minimum that moves (ΦΣ = Ψ) which is contained in a material container (Υ) comes from an act of division (Χ) of the Deity (H). Those bloody Ancient Greeks again!