Stuart to me:
Have you heard what’s going on at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, North Carolina? Dr. Jim Tucker (child psychiatrist and researcher for the University in the Division of Personality Studies) is, in all likelihood, the foremost scientific authority on reincarnation in the United States. His job -his very unique job- is scientifically document young children who spontaneously recall previous lives. His research has produced staggering, inexplicable evidence for reincarnation. You should look it up. Also, have you seen the issue of What Is Enlightenment on Death and Rebirth? interesting stuff.
I mean, I think your take is plausible, but some of the data from U of Virginia is MINDBLOWING. There are scores of instances and accounts that simply defy any reasonable explanation (besides reincarnation, and not of the variety you described).
Personally, my take is that not everyone reincarnates, and it is a developmental issue. When some souls (essential voyagers) develop to a certain depth and fortitude, they acquire something akin to an “escape” velocity. Most souls just dissolve and are re-absorbed into the big subtle / causal atmosphere when they hit the furnace of excarnation. They black out, and dissolve. But, some do not. Bodhisattvas punch through that initial, disorienting membrane of experience minus the filters of corporeal layers, and they may be reborn consciouslly. Additionally, what the research shows is that traumatic deaths (murder, suicide, bizarre sudden accidents) seem to play a huge role in these reincarnation. 70% of the strongest cases are of children who were murdered, met an untimely death of a usually gruesome nature. That seems to short-circuit or disrupt the normal process, and somehow results in a much higher rate of reincarnation, which is where the most inexplicable evidence comes from, correlated in multiple criteria. Check it out. It’s pretty weird.
I will check out Jim Tucker – sounds interesting.
I think the problem that any belief in reincarnation represents to me is that it takes us out of the here and now. Give a human ego the tiniest hope of coming back – or going someplace like heaven… – and that’s what we’ll think about instead of cleaning up this planet…
In other words I could be completely wrong about all of this, and believe me I am not at all attached to my theory, but I think it is more useful than to talk about bodhisattvas and rebirth… we’ll all find out at some point…
i totally agree on the temptation to leave this moment, this life, these conditions, and caste our lot somewhere else. “oh, it’s my last lifetime, that’s when all this wounding happened…” or “in my next life, i’m gonna blah blah blah”. i like the way Alan Watts put it, “all past lives are this life. all future lives are this life.”