Reincarnation is something I used to scoff at. I used to laugh at the possibility, growing up a not-so-orthodox Catholic. But things have since changed. There are 4 main reasons I now believe in reincarnation. One on its own might not be enough, but combined, it’s been a strong enough argument for my logical reasoning.
1) Dreams, Memories, and the States of Awareness
First, I want to say, do you remember existing when you were asleep? When you wake up, having no recollection of dreams or sleeping at all. It’s almost like you disappeared and reappeared in the morning. Just because you have no memory of existing at that point in time, does it mean you didn’t exist?
When asleep, the short-term memory part of your brain is inactive. This is why you can’t usually remember dreams. How about when you do remember dreaming – do you remember being in the dreaming state? It’s so vivid and real. It’s as though you are truly there, and very much conscious in the moment, but perhaps not aware you are dreaming.
You don’t remember you were dreaming, but you did. You don’t remember a past life, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. Memory plays a role in our daily lives, and helps us get by in the world. But memory isn’t who we are. We exist with or without it. We can exist without memory, as we all experience in our sleeping state.
2) Cases of People Remembering Past Lives
There are many cases of children remembering past lives. Children are innocent, pure, and I don’t think they have reason to lie (unless they broke mom’s glasses). And there are some that have strange memories that they shouldn’t have.
One such case was about a boy remembering many things about WWII. He knew things about planes, how they work, that Americans were fighting the Japanese, and many other things a young child wouldn’t know. His parents tested him and kept finding he had memories to the point of pin-pointing exactly who he was. There’s a news report on it, which I’d recommend watching. You can find it on Youtube, but I’m sorry I forgot what it’s called.
For me, I think that children aren’t fully immersed in our world. They are still being taught all of our mental constructions. In a way, they’re free to think differently. Why do children get obsessed over certain things? Why do some children have irrational fears of random things? Are these memories from past lives coming through somehow? Maybe not necessarily as memory as we traditionally view it, but in another way, deep down in their inner nature, there may be some kind of imprint.
3) The Nature of Children
I was never really exposed to young children growing up. My extended family lived across Canada and our family didn’t really have any friends with young kids. But now I have a nephew and a niece. I still remember the first time I saw my nephew as a newborn. It was the turning point that made me believe in reincarnation. I can’t really put my feelings into words, but looking into his eyes, I saw somebody. A spirit. A soul. Whatever you want to call it. But I saw that he was more than just flesh and bone. He already had a way of doing things and even a personality.
And now, I work with kids on a daily basis. To be more accurate, I work with babies 0-3 years old. This has been a completely new experience for me and has made me learn a lot about the nature of people.
New babies have a look in their eyes. It’s kind of like an obliviousness to everything that’s going on. But they are also paying very close attention to absolutely everything. They’re like sponges, soaking up the world around them. They taste, hear, watch, smell, and are curious about everything. I feel like this is our true inner nature – to be in awe and wonder about everything.
4) The Nature of My Own Mind
One book in particular got me onto the path I’m on now, introducing me to Eastern Philosophy. It’s called the Power of Now.
At the time, I was experiencing panic attacks, and panic disorder – a terrifying experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. My mind and thoughts, a former friend, had become my own worst enemy. And I couldn’t escape. Finally, I randomly bought the book on a whim at the recommendation of a friend long ago while traveling Asia.
It talked about you and your mind being 2 separate entities. You being different from your brain. And he could prove it through a small experiment. He guides readers to “watch their thoughts”. You, the observer, watch your thoughts drift into your mind. You can actually see thoughts come without you actively thinking them. It’s as if your brain is on autopilot. It allowed me to quiet my terrifying thoughts and eventually free myself from my panic disorder.
Ever had a moment where you watch something so simple as leaves blowing in the wind or snow falling from the sky and think, “Wow, this is amazing”? To feel profound bliss at something seemingly simple? When you watch your thoughts and when they eventually stop for a moment, you can get this feeling. To me, this is our inner nature or soul. In Buddhism, it’s called your Buddha nature. And I believe that this nature can go beyond our physical body, that it can exist without thought or our brain. I believe it because when I quiet my mind and empty it, I still exist.
All of these things combined have led me to finally believe and accept reincarnation. What are your thoughts on any of the above?