I have had visions that I have been other people in other lives (back to the Renaissance and even the caveman days; don't recall any overlap of time i.e. being two different people in the same era). I don't know if its reincarnation in the strict sense maybe it was sliding down my ancestor's life lines or active imagination. One of the feelings that incited this are running into people I met in another life. Always seemed to be human not a gopher or anything...although I would like to be a cat for a bit if it didn't have fleas and wasn't "fixed".
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Originally Posted by Edgar
Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"
No. I even agree with buddhism on a lot of things, and was much surprised to find that buddhism doesn't actually believe in a soul per se.
I always give the example of the robot/computer (which is funny, because even as a kid I used to do it [being a big fan of computers] and eventually found out lots of people use the same example) to justify end of existence. Our body is like a machine and so is our brain. It needs its power supply. If you disassemble the parts of a computer, you can't say you have a computer in your hands...and it certainly doesn't work. The part must be aligned a specific position to work. Thing is, our cells are not always as durable as metal.
Anyone who has experienced false memories, hallucinations, dreams etc...can appreciate how "remembering a past life" might be possible.
I don't believe I have a soul that is independent from my body. But even if it was....and if reincarnation was true....if your consciousness is reset once you reincarnate...what's the point of worrying about it?
I believe in having an impact on the lives of those that are close to me..and that I will live on in their memories...and maybe even be transformed into life lessons passed onto someone else (our kids being the easiest example).
Coriolis, that may be, but to some people (and in terms of clear evidence) that's like saying Harry Potter likes recycling: meaningless info (based on conjecture) about a probably fictional character.
I'm with the whole you die and then you are dead thing.
THINGS THAT SEEM POSSIBLE IN TERMS OF EXCEPTION:
1) Obviously, mass and energy are recycled among different beings. As we all know, only a very small percent of the actual matter and energy that made us work as a child is still with us (well, none of the energy, and only the brain part of the mass). There is, however, no reason to assume this has any bearing on your consciousness continuing to flow non-stop, so nix this altogether.
2) Reincarnation or something like it seems like it may be possible if time is circular (that is, the universe re-collapses and then restarts, in which case I'll be me, writing this message, infinite more times (and I suppose infinite times before)). I don't think there's a lot of evidence for this.
3) I guess if time is infinite, then one day the matter and energy that makes up my brain will one day reunite to create another one (in infinite time, all possible combinations would logically occur and occur infinite times). I don't know if that means anything, I certainly wouldn't recall this life even it was 'me', and it would be waaaaaay down the road. Which means even if this has some bearing (which we have no reason to assume), Napoleon and Jesus are still dead and not the dudes at the local mental institution.
4) And if time operates like space, by which I mean we perceive it as linear but even as we leave one moment that moment does not disappear, it is just vacated but continues to exist, then I guess something sort of like immortality must exist. Again, there's probably not much reason to assume this is the case.
IN CONCLUSION: I'd believe in reincarnation before the afterlife.
As a buddhist version of hell in which people who have not reached enlightenment become trapped in a cycle of birth, death and rebirth it resembles Christian ideas of purgatory, that seperation from a heavenly state is the consequence of sin and ignorance requiring purification. Although I acknowledge it is not the same thing, buddhists not being deists and Christians not believing that purgatory is a worldly or temporal state but an otherworldly one.
People can undergo drastic changes, of course, and sometimes these changes are so drastic that a person almost seems to have been reborn. But if you're asking me whether I expect to be in a car crash one moment and looking at the world through the eyes of a cow, the next, the answer is no. It isn't that it couldn't happen; it's just that there are other, far likelier possibilities.
[ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]
No I don't, but the idea sounds rather attractive. I've often wondered what it would be like to like a life as another person or another living creature. I've often wished to just start over again on a clean slate. But no, I don't believe in any sort of afterlife, including reincarnation.
5w6 or 9w1 sp/so/sx, I think