By Terry Plotkin
You live, you die and then you come back again. This is the Buddhist and Hindu belief system for the soul as it migrates from body to body, slowly evolving towards a higher state of consciousness. The atheist scoffs at such a theory and demands proof. They believe you rot in the ground. The end. The Christian dismisses the notion of reincarnation asserting you get one shot, and then it is Heaven or Hell for you depending on whether you accept Jesus or not. The atheist relies on reason for their opinion and the devout rely on faith. Neither group understands the other at all. Then there are a whole bunch of agnostic people who say maybe yes, maybe no to every theory regarding the afterlife.
The agnostics make some sense to me, as who can say with assuredly, while being intellectually honest, that they know what goes on after life? To the atheists who demands proof of life after life, I say prove that there it doesn’t happen, and to the Christian I say things are not that simple, and cannot defy logic that much, where God favors one religious group for believing one thing and condemns all the others. I feel we should have a little more respect for the deity than that.
As for reincarnation, I offer the following insight. I was at a party recently and was conversing with 3 sets of parents who had a total of 5 children. Each parent said that from their child’s very early days they knew what kind of person they were given to raise. The personality each child showed from the earliest days was consistent of who they were later. Each child was very different from the other even though some were siblings. I have heard parents say this many times before. Since they showed their traits almost from the beginning, it seems obvious that the environment in which they grew up was not the sole determinate of what shaped them. But to say all the traits were inherited stretches the imagination. The view that a child inherits a personality where, in the case of the group that I was speaking to, one child needed to be doing something at all times, or another one who basically asserted “get out of my way”, or a third who said,” I just say no”, or a fourth who seems born a fairy drifting in his own unique world, and the fifth one who took life in stride, was naturally happy, and knew exactly what he wanted to go for. These are not traits like hair texture or eye color that people do inherit. The personality traits referred to here seem much more like a conditioned soul who entered this world with ideas and tendencies that drive their personalities.
If true, this raises a host of big questions about the meaning and purpose of life and the modus operandi of the cosmic forces that shape it. It reveals that life is way more complicated than the atheist, Christian, or the scientist who studies the complex material world can fathom.