"Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are
convinced beyond doubt that they are right."--Laurents van der Post
Reincarnation, sometimes referred to as "multiple reincarnation" (MRI)
is the idea that the soul reincarnates through death and birth into
different forms and bodies until the soul becomes perfect and then can
become one with the great undifferentiated divine God.
Questions that can and/or need/must to be asked:
Who set up
this system? What is the purpose of this system? And am I caught up in
some ineluctable, eternal cycle of being reincarnated whether I want to
or not? Will I ever be reunited with the ones that were so meaningful to
me in my life? Do I ever even get my dog back, much more importantly my family
Supposedly there is this
"Great One" that set up this whole process because, well, because
of...why? Either people are pre-existing "parts" or "pieces" of the
eternal "undifferentiated one" that unintentionally broke off (a non-sequitor)
and took on physicality, or they are intentional new creations of this creator.
Doesn't MRI bespeak a Creator who can only solve some ostensibly indefinable problem
or create some ostensibly good thing by some incredibly messy, bizarre,
protracted and evil method?
Why doesn't MRI solve the problem of suffering but only increases and
Why doesn't MRI solve the problem of aging, dying and death, but only
exacerbates it by repetition, possibly for ever?
Why doesn't MRI solve the problem of the
tyranny of time?
Does MRI have facts and evidence that demand it? Doesn't the evidence that fits
it fit other belief systems equally as well or better?
MRI have a wonderful and inspirational revelation or demonstration
Why is MRI so very nebulous as to what to do to help or speed up the
I realize that the pertinent merit of this system of thinking is that this
life is not the end. Beyond that naked and singular concept, the merit of
this thinking escapes me. The best possible support for this line of
thinking (if it can be called thinking) is that it fits some of the
"mystical" experiences of past life memories, and these experiences have a
better explanation. Other than being "good" in this life and thus qualifying
to migrate in the right direction, why are we simply left as victims of a
system over which we have absolutely no control, input, personal value,
other than the concept that somehow we can plan our next appearance?
Can I reasonably and justifiably choose any other paradigm or belief system
that would be better, more satisfying, more comfortable,
less fearful, make the world a better place, etc.? I can understand why
one might go down this avenue ONLY if there were absolutely no evidence
of any alternative answers.
What is the primary evidence used for thinking such a thing as MRI,
and can it be better explained in some other way?
I, ostensibly one of the most open-minded and reasonable people,
have any memory or awareness of any past life? Why doesn't this violate the
principle of personal continuity? See:
of Personal Continuity
Given that I
have actually made such a mess out of this life, what has happened to
all the lessons learned, the wisdom gained by me in past lives? Where was it
when I needed it?
have no awareness of doing this now and no plan to do it, if I design or
choose my next life form, when do I do this? In between lives? And how
can I do this intelligently when I have no real knowledge of how the
future world or environment is going to be?
How is this
paradigm consonant with an ever increasing population of humans on
earth? How long has it been going on? And how is that compatible with
the current, rampant perversity, superstition, and confusion of the
this paradigm explain the elephant in the living room, evil? Does it
ever even offer us a chance to ascend above or eliminate suffering?
No matter in what form or how advanced I might be, will I not again be
exposed to evil, even if it is ONLY to be aware of or witness the
suffering of others? Do I ever get to graduate out of this grim cycle? And if
so, to what?
How is this
system of thinking 1) not violating and 2) capable of being supported by
my rationality, logic, and reason?
Text from Hindu site:
"Today, belief in reincarnation is gaining ground among many people
from all over the world and from diverse religious backgrounds. A few
reasons are worth mentioning for this development. Firstly, a great
mass of evidence has accumulated over the years in favor of
reincarnation in the form of personal experiences and recollection of
past lives with great detail. These people were able not only to
recollect their past lives, but also point out the places and the people
with whom they lived in the past."
Commentary: The "fact" that it maybe "gaining
ground" is hardly worth considering. Lots of other nonsense are "gaining
ground". The "reasons" can all be explained not only by the failure and
falsity of other belief systems and by the human search for SOME way
to believe that oblivion is not our destiny, but by the creativity of the
mind in the fabrication of details and events. This conclusion is based on
and around things that are known today about hypnotism, dreams visions, and
other supra-normal experiences.
"Secondly, hypnotic regression made it
possible for people to travel back in time in their subconscious minds
and unearth the hidden memories of their past lives."
Commentary: This is basically a recasting of the first reason
given. A close look at the accounts shows some disturbing aspects,
such as when the subjects talk in the language of their previous
lives, they do not use the dialect of the time but the modern one.
"Thirdly many people, endowed with psychic abilities, like Edgar Cayce, confirmed
beyond doubt that reincarnation was not just a theory or imagination,
but a real phenomenon that could be conclusively proved through psychic
means and even used to cure some physical and mental ailments."
Commentary: This is just and only a pretentious claim.
Negation of self identity and self worth
To speak of having past lives is a fundamental negation of self identity
and self worth. If I had a past life with a different name, family,
personality, memory, gender, characteristics, etc., it wouldn't be ME,
and likewise, any future life of such wouldn't be ME either. "I" am here
NOW, with infinite and eternal value! The real "ME" MUST have continuity.
Even if this continuity is broken by death, in any "resurrection" it must
be picked up exactly where it left off! All such spiritual paradigms that
fail this criterion violate this fundamental principle, and are rubbish!