I mentioned reincarnation in Yoga Sutras 1.6 and I want to clarify just what I mean. For the record. I think there are versions of reincarnation that work and versions that require givens I’m not willing to give (so easily). This is true of many religious words. In order to list some versions of reincarnation that I recognize (although to really distinguish between them one must define all sorts of words and quickly we’re in a quagmire)… Well, there’s no avoiding it.
The first regulating thought I have when I start to think about reincarnation is an inward admonition not to start reifying the ego or some other process. I want to make sure I see this in terms of energy (because that was something I was willing to give). What is the human psychological relationship to the concept of reincarnation? Does the believer become addicted to the idea (like so many believers their beliefs)? I want to be very sure I understand what’s what.
Reincarnation hinges on the generic idea of an essential, inward form persisting via many shed, (accidental?) outward forms. Then we can play games all day about what persists behind the scenes and bring in all sorts of supporting concepts and either end up with science or religion or a poem or something.
- Each soul is unique (and optionally immortal) and the body is a vessel for the soul and when the body dies the soul enters a new vessel until it gets to where its going
- Personality, or styles of being, is/are some factor(s) in the space of junk DNA (or something, you know, somewhere in there) and through our families weave so many evolving personalities. Through society, too, as families weave between borders. In fact, there are personalities weaving through our ancestry constantly trying to improve their conditions in this and their next life, or resolve bindings. All Cloud Atlas.
Well, that was actually easier than I thought. Originally, I was going to get into this and that detail, but that all sums it up pretty well. I’ll clarify one last time.
I think one form of reincarnation is likely, and I’ve a few hypothesis about how it works. Certainly there are personalities that run through families. I realize that is a statement that requires supporting data and I don’t have any. So bear that in mind. I’ll forge on, however. There are lots of different personalities, and the way the family unfolds and stays connected (like a protein, eh?) determines a good portion of the factors that bear on the emergence of one personality over another in an individual. The environment also plays a role, of course, just like a protein. The old, more regulated family clans probably provided a far more stable environment for long term cycles to establish (long term cycles are the cornerstone of harmonic emergence). The modern world, however, is far more chaotic. The expressed personality is often not prepared for the nature of things. Consider that 100 years ago 60% of the population was rural. Now it’s 25%. Consider the last three thousand years to be a whirlwind. Confusion, off-balance, lurching, resting. We’ve been moving far, and we know it, but we haven’t even broke stride yet. There’s a vast journey ahead.
I think I can recognize my face in the mirrors of history. Both recorded and unrecorded. As for memories of past lives in terms of sight, sound, touch… I’m very doubtful. I’ve never spoken with someone who claimed to have them, so I’m no authority, but the sorts of algorithms that I imagine would need to exist at the genetic level are difficult to concede without incontrovertible evidence. Is it possible to 7zip memories into genetic code? Yes. Does it happen? Lamarck! You ol’ scoundrel. Rearing your head in a discussion on Reincarnation. Figures. We just can’t seem to lay him to rest.