Guest Author - Linda Joan Paul
For one to believe in reincarnation one would invariably have to believe in the existence of a soul. What then is a soul? Does the spark of life that drives the physical vehicle of the body originate from an outside source or from a purely physical functionality of the human brain? And, what is the difference between the brain and the mind? Does the mind exist outside of the human confines of the human body? If this is the case, can the mind be seen as the soul? When the brain shuts down due to injury or at the moment of death, does the mind continue on? If the mind does carry on after the brain shuts down where does it go?
Thoughts on reincarnation vary from belief system to belief system, but the common thread seems to be the concept or idea that the soul does continue on after the body dies. Some think that the soul goes to heaven and there it stays for eternity. Others believe that the soul rests between incarnations and when it is ready it finds it's way into a gestating human body or a newborn baby. Some even believe that this soul chooses where it will live and even itís parents-- based upon lessons which it needs to learn in any given lifetime. There are conflicting ideas about whether the soul always returns into the body of a human or if it can choose to reside in an animal body.
There is no concrete proof that the theory of reincarnation is true. Young children sometimes recognize people or places that they have not been introduced to in the this lifetime. People experience deja-vu, a feeling that they have been somewhere or done something before that does not relate to their current life experiences. Phobias, fears, intense longings to go to a place one has never been before, and an instant like or dislike for certain people are also a part of the argument in favor of reincarnation.
Is it possible that our soul does return as alternately male or female, into different societies, cultures and civilizations in order to experience eternal life more fully? Are we, in all actuality, immortals who shed their bodies like a snake sheds itís skin? If this is true, then why donít we remember our past lives? Is it because the knowledge learned in these past lives might influence the lessons we are here to learn in this lifetime? Could a soul fully experience ďlifeĒ as one gender, in one place, and in one body?
On the other hand, what if there is no soul? What if our experience here is just a series of synapses that keep firing off in our brain? When we die we are dead and that is that. We become fertilizer that allows other life to prosper. Isnít this a type of reincarnation within itself? What about ghosts? If reincarnation does exist, then why would a soul be ďstuckĒ in the world of the living rather than making the return journey? That is-- if ghosts do exist in the first place.
Just like other ideas and concepts that are regarded as spiritual truths, reincarnation depends solely upon faith and not factual evidence. I certainly donít claim to have the answers. Just like everyone else upon this earth, I will hopefully know the whole truth and nothing but the truth once I make that final journey into the unknown.