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Reincarnation: Naw! You can't even leave in the first place.

Updated on November 20, 2011

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!


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    • chelseacharleston profile image

      chelseacharleston 6 years ago

      I'd like to applaud your...bravery lol. Loved the 'matter bank' line!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      We are kindred spirits, Bell Bob

    • bell du jour profile image

      bell du jour 6 years ago from Ireland

      Ha ha ah no I'll leave you alone.....just wanted to read some of your work as you always so kindly read mine and leave some very insightful comments. I enjoyed your article even if I don't agree with everything you say!


    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Gee, Bell, you're going to be my bete noir following me around and acting in a disapproving manner! Well, I got broad shoulders!


    • bell du jour profile image

      bell du jour 6 years ago from Ireland

      Hi Bob, I enjoyed this article and you write very well, but I have to agree with Spirit Whisperer, you are basing everything on the physical body which as SW says is indeed just a vehicle in which to carry the essence of a person. When we talk about re-incarnation we talk about a person’s soul being reborn not their body.


    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Enjoy your tea Bob and be sure to chew well! :)

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi SW I am just digesting your erudite article on this subject and appreciate your comment R

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      Diogenes you have written another thought provoking hub here and done justice to quite a controversial subject my humble opinion. I do, however, notice that you seem to base your argument on the assumption that we are our bodies. Maybe I have misunderstood. In my opinion we the body is physical manifestation of our true essence and each time we "come back" the form, where we locate, the parents etc are all reflections of our vibrational energy. The body is the vehicle we use in this existence but there is an awful lot more to us than just the body.I also believe that we keep coming back because death does not free us from the illusion the ego has made up for us and to which we fully subscribe. I do believe that it is possible to wake up from the dream and I have written extensively about that. Thank you for writing this hub and please continue to challenge us as you do with your great hubs.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Quester. True. We don't really know what goes on in their minds; we hardly know how to communicate with them in any meaningful way. I imagine whales and dolphins may have a great time philosophizing! Bob

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Martie: Thank you for this interesting and informed comment. Life...shame it isn't a bit longer; I cry for my little male budgie, his wonderful song woven all day - and he will only live for a handful of years. Our complex and all important lives, a nano-second of time...Bob

    • profile image 6 years ago

      regarding your comment about man being the only creature who is concerned with our own death - not sure we can absolutely rule out some of the other animals. Then again, perhaps they have learned to enjoy the day . . .

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 6 years ago from South Africa

      Diagones, I am boots and all on your page with this. I could not have said all of this better – and of course not, as you are the more experienced journalist. One thing is for sure, I am going to miss me.... Oh, of course I will not be able to.

      I will certainly live on in the genes of my offspring, as my ancestors are living in me... without even knowing it.

      The stories of those who allegedly remember previous lives do stir our logic reasoning. But I can’t remember my previous lives, except what I have lived in this specific life of mine. If my atoms and particulars manage to become a sperm or ovaria again – like steam becomes water again - I will never be me again. The chance that I will remember me is about comma 00001 percent. So.... why not merely try to make the very best of this life I am living?

      We worship ourselves, therefore we want/need to believe we are going to live forever as glorified beings without any deficiencies.

      BTW – steam becomes water again... ice becomes water again, but ashes don’t become fire again....

      Thanks for this thought-provoking hub, and I’m glad you’ve published it in spite of your decision to ‘retire’.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      It really doesn't matter what you, i, or any one else believes. We will never know the truth. So we speculate and dream of a life hereafter to ease the fear of death. We can only hope that our sentience continues intact, in some fashion or another after the material part of our lives are gone and lost somewhere in time.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi 'Star...whaaa? Some awful disease? Or madness has at last enveloped me? Nice to see you anyway...Bob

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I think you've got it!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      yusefblack: Thanks for cheery and sensible comment...Bob

    • yusefblack profile image

      yusefblack 6 years ago

      Hey... nice hub. To me it's not about believing or not believing, it's more that I like the idea, i like it because it gives a whole other dimension that we cannot understand, makes it loads more interesting.... Cheers

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Moonlake. You love life and all the wonders in our world,, I can tell by your hubs. maybe it's just cause you want to get back to Arkansas!? But I don't think you have much to worry about in coming back...but we just don't know do we? Bob

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 6 years ago from America

      Once I'm gone don't want to come back. So I'm hoping reincarnation doesn't exist.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi Will, Thanks for visit...Bob

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Hi, Bob,

      I have more respect for those who believe in nothing at all, than I do for those who dismiss, for instance, Christianity, as ridiculous, but do believe in astrology or witchcraft.

      Or reincarnation.


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