Reincarnation: Naw! You can't even leave in the first place.
What would you like to be in the next life?
You still here? I heard you left!
If you ask many people what great mystery of life they would like answered, it may be whether of not reincarnation exists.
Whether we return at all, in what form; as we are now or in some completely new arrangement of atoms and molecules?
Of course, reincarnation suggests we leave and go somewhere else which, under the laws of known science, is impossible.
Remember at school? You can’t destroy matter, only change it into something else, ultimately, pure energy. Also, without some expellant, it’s hard to see how “you” could escape the confines of Planet Earth.
I listened to a program on British TV today where a panel and guests gave their opinions on reincarnation, varying from the rigid religious stance, to that of those that thought the whole thing was a nonsense.
Strange that, as far as is known, we are the only animal which concerns itself with its own death (apart from defending its life), and certainly the only creature meditating as to whether we get a second bite at the cherry.
This is because of our huge cortex and it’s gift of complicated reasoning powers. Yet, as far as this riddle is concerned, no one has come up with the answer.
It would seem the only thing we really loose upon death is the ability to perceive ourselves as “we are.” In other words, the mind. If we accept as we must that our bodies will survive the transition and breakdown of its component parts: instead of Tom, Dick and Harry, (as well as Jane, Anne and Paula) these will just be a miasma of particles swirling around: atoms forming with existing substances and making new molecules, both organic and non-organic. Depending on whether we are buried - and where - or cremated, our bits and pieces will take myriad journeys to their new forms and formations.
But “we” shall still be here, albeit spread to the four winds and the seven seas.
This means that before long our trillions of component particles will be included in the creatures which crawl, walk or fly, including those humans who come after us. And in everything that exists in our world.
Of course, this isn’t much help to folks who say, “Hey, I like me as I am and, by jiminy, I’m going to come back just like that again!”
Apart from the scientific impracticality of this, what about the 6 billion or so souls that are still serving their first stint as Homo sapiens, where do all the reincarnates fit in, unless it’s the same lot being continually recycled, and that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, does it? (Why is the population increasing?)
Actually, I’m a great believer in reincarnation as I am…not that I’m that great, but I could be so much worse - better the Devil you know! Of course, I don’t believe in it at all as the god-fearing folks do.
But the concept of the matter-bank appeals to me. It’s a consolation as death gets ever nearer that at least my poor old bod will be refreshed by the funeral pyre or the attention of disinterested worms and bacteria. I’m old, yes; I have wrinkles, various pains and can’t maintain a woody longer than it takes to say “open sesame!” (addressed to a pair of legs). But my atoms, electrons, neutrons, protons and all their tiny building blocks of matter are not old once released from the confines of the flesh, they can hurry off like rats escaping a doomed craft and get to building anew, bless ’em all.
And who can say…listen, this is important. Who can say that in the infinite depths of universal time all the little components which once made up Diogenes won’t find themselves back together again!? Think about it. There would be so much “time” as we know it between “me” and “me” again, our world would have been destroyed by our sun’s super-nova, the universe would have come and gone maybe a thousand times …and maybe we have found a better way to keep our money than in in a bloody bank!
Reincarnation? No, just a cosmic sharing of the building material by all life and non-life for evermore.
Now our erudite scientific community can tear me to pieces!