What is Reincarnation
As I have said many times in other essays, I don’t believe we have a soul because there is no evidence for it and no convincing mechanism as to how it works and what it is. You can’t measure it or detect it. Yet most people I meet are convinced they have one.
Now there has been a study done that suggest that as soon as you die you lose 21 grams of weight. The problem is that the study was poorly done and highly bias. Even air has weight, so a person’s last breath might account for a few lost grams instantly. The immediate loss is commonly thought of as due to gasses.
But there is a persistent reporting of past life experience, or having a memory of an experience or familiarity of place one could not have experienced or had never seen in their life time. We could put it down to the way the brain works, creating associations on its own, but that is not a completely satisfactory answer for a number of reasons. My mother is a case in point. She was born in Belgium and had moved to Canada when I was 18 months old.
She had always had a fear of water. She was never sure why.
It happened that one day we decided to go to Fort Henry in Kingston Ontario. She had never been there before. But when she went into the building she said she immediately recognized the place and even knew where a lot of things were. She also looked out in to the Saint Lawrence River from there for the first time, and told my father that she had the feeling she had drowned there.
Now, my mother is a down to earth person, not prone to fantasy, and she was a devout Catholic who never would have thought of reincarnation seriously before that experience. But after that, she became convinced that she probably had been reincarnated.
There are hundreds of stories like this. Some wacky, like people who think they were famous people in their past life, and some just plain strange. Are all these people delusional? Could be. Or it may be that there is an explanation for this phenomenon.
Up until Einstein and the realization that matter and energy are the same thing in different form, the soul was thought of as pure energy, and matter was thought of as base and weak. After we discovered that energy and matter and the same thing the spiritualists changed their tune, telling us now the soul is not energy or matter, but something else. Something divine.
So as I was saying before, if the soul was energy there should be a way to detect it. Many people have tried and failed to do exactly that. The way energy works is that when something dies, the atoms which comprise it go off on their on their own or in small groups and join other systems. This dissipation is typical. But if a soul is energy then there has to be a way to keep energy together without the confines of a body. Yet no one has come up with a mechanism for that. A standing wave has been suggested but they last seconds, or perhaps even minutes, but they are not permanent.
Now it is true that energy cannot be destroyed nor created. So the energy that is you will live on for eternity, just as it has existed since the beginning. The water you drink may have been drunk by an ancient Roman an ancient Chinese Emperor, a cave man, and perhaps not just one but all of the above.
Essentially all we are is energy in a particular configuration due to the Higgs Boson and mass.
Now, we are losing energy every day, bit we eat and drink to replenish it. None of the energy you were born with are still with you today unless you way to young to be reading this. Every seven years you have lost all the cells in your body and have replaced them with new ones.
So in effect you are constantly reincarnating over your entire life. It is not the reincarnation some might like to think of, but never the less it fits the bill.
The food you eat and the air you breath are also energy. So you are eating and breathing small bits of energy that have probably been part of many human systems.
Could it be that this energy is encoded by the people plants and animals who owned it at one time?
What does that mean? Well, we know for example that we can record sound and images on magnetic tape and play them back in a VCR. I know there are CDS and Hard drives etc, but the reason I am choosing VCRs is because they illustrate the point. The strange thing is you can also record on many other mediums including solid rock.
We know we can send information on energy itself in the form of radio waves and TV signals. So we know we can encode information on energy or send information on it. It’s not farfetched, it’s fact.
If then the human can leave traces of him or herself behind on the energy that they are, it might well be possible that a human brain could read that snippet of information and consider it to be its own thought or a memory of its own experience. In that way the experiences themselves would have reincarnated so to speak, rather than the person who lived them.
Now it might not be the same with animals that we eat. We don’t often hear of people thinking that they were once a dog or bird or insect or cow. But that may be due our brains not being in sync with other than human type thoughts. And usually, of course, the events that stand out as memory from someone else or another time are often the recounting of traumatic events, or events that so far out of place that we can’t help but notice them. There may be many others we just ignore or relegate to fantasy and imagination triggered by something. But if the thought or idea or even the memory were mundane enough we might not be able to tell where it originated from, inside us or imported from an outside source.
This could also explain a lot of hauntings. That is to say that perhaps the human brain can record traumatic experiences in the material in a room for example. Those experiences might then be played back by what some call the susceptible mind. The mind that picks up on these feelings with relative ease. Even images may be recorded or the human mind may pick up things and translate them to images.
I am not saying these ideas are reality. It’s just a hypothesis I’ve come up with over the years. In other words there is a lot of work to do on the subject and I do not have the money to fund the science needed for a definitive answer one way or the other. But it is an interesting question and I would like to see physics and neuroscience work on it together.
Whatever the answer is, there is no need to jump to the conclusion that it’s all about souls and coming back whole with no real memory of your past life except for small bits and pieces. I think the reality will be far more interesting and far more informative.