The first question I would ask is, “why would anyone want to come back?”
I have read many arguments with respect to the Biblical basis pro and con, and I can draw two conclusions, the Bible supports reincarnation, the Bible flatly denies the possibility.
Some of the arguments on both sides fail to recognize that God exists outside of time. For example, one person, opposed to the concept of reincarnation, asks, if the purpose of reincarnation is our perfection, then why after so many years of humanity existing on the planet, so we continue to hate and kill and maim and otherwise be nasty to each other?
Then another, who favors the view of reincarnation points out the following passage:
Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Both of these fail to recognize that God is outside of time and thus can know someone at anytime. If, when we are not in corporeal form, we are also outside of time, or at least not forced to progress one way forward through time, then people who reincarnate, if anyone does, don’t necessarily do so at a later point in time. They might even reincarnate and live lives in parallel.
At times I’ve even entertained the idea that we might all be incarnations of the same spirit. We might all be Adam, and Eve.
More than that, I’ve entertained the idea that every fundamental particle in the universe is really the same particle being reflected back and forth in time (in one direction it’s ordinary matter, in the other it’s anti-matter).
I believe in God, I believe he doesn’t want to send anyone to hell but he also doesn’t force us to be with him, we can be apart if we choose, and that is living without love, and that really I think is what hell is all about.
I’m not going to try to limit what God can or does or does not do based upon mans’ interpretation of his word, not even mine. I don’t know if reincarnation exists or doesn’t or exists for some like Elijah and John the Baptist and not others.
We don’t even know what spirit is. I do know that neurobiologists who believe they can explain consciousness by the patterned firing of neurons are missing a critical part of the picture, that of the subjective experience. They can explain how a particular firing of a neuron or group of neurons in the visual cortex can result in the perception of the color red, but they can’t explain why we experience red as we do, why a firing of this neuron results in the subjective experience of red, and that neuron as a 1khz audio tone.
Personally, I do not believe the brain is the seat of consciousness but rather an interface between this physical world and a non-physical spirit.
My beliefs are somewhat biased by a number of personal experiences. When I was younger, I used to have out-of-body experiences fairly frequently. I wanted to determine whether there was any reality to it or it was just imagined or something akin to a dream state. So during one experience I decided to go some place I had not been to but I could drive to easily, and so I made a mental note of my surroundings, wrote what I had seen down on a tablet, and then drove there and verified the accuracy of what I had seen.
That still doesn’t prove that consciousness is not an phenomena generated in the brain, but the ability to travel outside of one’s body and sense something remotely accurately suggests there is some non-physical component. Oddly, the out of body experiences pretty much stopped in my mid 20′s, around the time my first child was born. It was also the time I stopped smoking marijuana, but I wouldn’t go back to it even if it meant having out of body experiences again because it caused asthma for me and a lack of motivation and I eat too much without the munchies.
Of course someone who has messed up their live to the degree that I have could certainly wish for a re-run. If I could I’d go back and change my past, but that doesn’t seem to be an option. But then, if the many worlds theory of quantum mechanics is correct, there are an infinite number of me that have lived their lives in an infinite number of different ways, and presumably some of them haven’t made such a royal mess of things.
These days instead of focusing on what might happen after I die (or not happen as the case may be), I’m trying to focus more on what is happening while I’m alive and how I can make it better for those around me.
I’m frustrated by the lemming phenomena though. Collectively the way we treat each other, the way we treat the planet we depend upon, and the way we allow others to treat us is just abysmal. I wonder if the popularity of apocalyptic fiction, movies and books, isn’t a collective desire for God to come and hit the cosmic reset button.
This is kind of rambling but then this is my most personal blog. The thoughts here aren’t even half baked, they’re still ingredients being stirred. Every once in a while I dip my finger in and taste.
I put them out here because I think maybe they’re ingredients others can use for some good purpose, or perhaps others will add ingredients I can use.