Saturday, August 25, 2018

SURVIVAL OF CONSCIOUSNESS: REAL OR A FANTASY?


NOTE: See the August 30 post for a shorter, edited version.


IS SURVIVAL OF CONSCIOUSNESS REAL, OR A FANTASY?
© 2018 by Edward R. Close

Conservation of Mass and Energy
One of the most basic laws of science, discovered by Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov in 1756, is the conservation of mass. Around 1850, James Clerk Maxwell intuited that there must be a natural mass-energy equivalence. Other 1800-1900 scientists, like Max Von Laue, James Prescott Joule and Lord Kelvin agreed that this must be the case, and in 1905, Albert Einstein provided the theoretical basis and the mathematical proof, defining the equivalence of mass and energy with the simple equation E = mc2.

With the discovery of Gimmel as the third form of the essence of reality, the conservation of mass, energy and consciousness is a logical extension of the law of conservation. The mathematical logic of the Calculus of Dimensional Distinctions applied to quantum physics in TDVP, reveals the fact that the existence of a universe as stable as the one we experience proves that consciousness is primary. Therefore, TDVP suggests that we must conclude that the essence of mass, energy and consciousness is conserved in all processes in the universe. What does this mean for human consciousness. For you and me?

CONSERVATION OF THE ESSENCE OF REALITY
AND THE SURVIVAL OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Conservation of Consciousness
Because the essence of reality, whether manifested as mass, energy or consciousness, is conserved, it stands to reason that the essence of your consciousness and whatever progress toward enlightenment and Cosmic Consciousness you may have achieved in your lifetime is not lost. The question, and it is a very important one, becomes: how is the consciousness of the soul conserved, and in what form? It is likely, in my opinion, that the physical, intellectual and spiritual aspects of consciousness are all preserved in the DNA in which your being is encoded because the organic compounds that make up DNA have very high levels of gimmel content.

If you are not one of the estimated 1.5 billion people on the planet who believe in reincarnation, I am not asking you to believe in reincarnation. I’m asking you to look at the question of survival with an open mind. Put whatever you may have been taught by your parents, your religion or mainstream science, and whatever you think you know, aside for a moment, and look at the evidence. Are human souls reincarnated? More than half, about 51% of the world’s population believe in some form of survival of consciousness after the death of the physical body, and about 24% of  Christians in the US believe in reincarnation. But belief and knowing are two different things. How can we prove or disprove the hypothesis of the survival of consciousness and/or the reincarnation of souls?

What does mainstream science have to say about it? For those scientists who have accepted the metaphysical belief system of materialism, the answer is that no form of survival is possible. But if one is a scientist, one must recognize that materialism is a belief, not science. The belief that the universe would exist as it does with or without consciousness does not rise to the level of a scientific hypothesis because a scientific hypothesis must be subject to proof or disproof. The belief that the universe could exist without consciousness cannot be proved because proof depends upon repeatable evidence of observation, measurement and logic, and no reality can be observed, measured or thought about without the existence of a conscious observer. Quantum experiments show that consciousness is directly involved in the way reality manifests in the real world. As physicist John Wheeler said: “No phenomenon is a real phenomenon until it is an observed phenomenon.” Furthermore, the discovery of gimmel has proved that no reality could have evolved out of a big-bang explosion without the involvement of non-physical gimmel acting as a conscious organizer of stable atoms.

On the other hand, the hypothesis that consciousness survives the death of the physical body is a valid scientific hypothesis because it can be tested and proved or disproved. The evidence for it is more logical, well-founded, documented, and convincing than the evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson, or any particle of the particle zoo, other than the electron! Dr. Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia and many others since, have documented over 3,000 cases of children who have remembered past lives, not just in families in places like India, where virtually everyone believes in reincarnation, but also in families, here in the US and other countries, with no belief in reincarnation. The scientific evidence is actually overwhelming, but reincarnation, if it exists, cannot be the simplistic thing that people who try to disprove it, take it to be. The common arguments used against it here in the West are based in belief, not science, and they are easily debunked. I’ll address some of the most prevalent ones here, but first, I must provide a little background.

HOW REINCARNATION BECAME HERESY IN THE CHRISTIAN WORLD

The Interpretations of the Teachings of Jesus of Nazareth
Survival of the essence of the soul, or human consciousness is one of the simplest, yet most obscured and misunderstood ideas there is. One has to pursue an unbiased, open-minded study of the history of the organized religious and political institutions of this world to understand why and how ideas regarding the survival of the soul taught by Jesus and others have been distorted and obscured. The roots of Christianity, for example, are found in the spiritual practices of the Judeans of whom Jesus was one, over 2,000 years ago. Today’s Christian institutions profess to embody the teachings of Jesus, who was born in a Jewish community in the area we call the Holy Land, and, if the history pieced together by Jewish and Christian archeologists and Biblical scholars is correct, he affected the world we inhabit today in many important ways.

It is well-documented that the rebirth of souls was a basic belief of Judaism before the time of Jesus, and there is no evidence that Jesus discounted or rejected the idea, nor did any of his followers who lived during his lifetime. In fact, in documents quoting Jesus, we find oblique references to the reincarnation of Elijah, Elisha and others, even in the highly redacted and altered versions of the scriptures that we have today. Once you realize that the scriptures we call the Bible today have been heavily edited by non-believers in powerful positions in the political and religious institutions of the past, and changed multiple times to suit their political and philosophical agendas, you can begin to see how some of the original teachings of Jesus were distorted and, in some cases, even deleted from the scriptures we have today.

The Roman Catholic Church claims that St. Peter was the first leader of the Catholic Church, because the name Peter means rock, and Jesus said “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church”, but it is very unlikely that Peter was ever actually part of the Roman Catholic Church during his lifetime because Peter, like Jesus, was a Jew, and he was crucified in Rome, by Romans, in 67AD, during the reign of the Emperor Nero. He was crucified in a horrific manner in the public square in Rome because he was identified as the Jewish leader of people following the anti-Roman teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

The teachings of Jesus challenged the Olympian religion of the Roman state, and after the Emperor had Peter crucified, he replaced him immediately, according to Church historical records, with Linus, a Roman, and the early Christian church was renamed the Holy Roman Church, and was controlled by, and part of the Roman Empire. It is obvious to any objective observer that this was a political move by the Emperor and the Roman government, to ensure that they could control of the followers of Jesus. Groups that became known as Christians formed a rapidly growing branch of Judaism, that was seen at the time, by both Romans and orthodox Jews, as a radical Jewish cult.

There was no such entity as the Catholic church at the time of Peter’s execution in 67AD. The term “Catholic” comes from the Greek word καθολικός, meaning universal, or “of the whole”. It was coined by the Greek theologian Origen around 200 AD, some 130 years after Peter’s death. From the time of Peter’s execution, the Popes of the Holy Roman Church were either appointed or elected by Rome, and until the end of the Roman Empire, Popes were either Roman or Greek, controlled by Rome to give the Church credibility in the eyes of Roman citizens.

For several hundred years, Christian teachings included numerous references to reincarnation, as they had from the beginning as a dissenting sect of Judaism. Origen, a Greek born in Alexandria, was the most prolific Christian writer of the third century AD, producing more than 6,000 treatises on Christian philosophy and theology, including commentaries on the Hebrew Bible and the teachings of Jesus recorded in scriptures that became known as the New Testament, as well as several other scriptures later rejected by the Catholic Church as too Jewish or too pagan. He wrote about reincarnation in two of his major treatises as follows:

"Each soul enters the world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defects of its past lives. Its place in this world is determined by past virtues and shortcomings."    
- From Origen’s work: “De Principalis

"Is it not more in accordance with common sense that every soul for reasons unknown - I speak in accordance with the opinions of Pythagoras, Plato and Empedokles -  enters the body influenced by its past deeds? The soul has a body at its disposal for a certain period of time which, due to its changeable condition, eventually is no longer suitable for the soul, whereupon it changes that body for another."  - From “Contra Celsum

Origen was, and still is, to this day, highly regarded as one of the most important Christian theologians of all time, and a founding father of the Catholic Church. So how did some of his writings about the teachings of Jesus, especially the belief in the survival and continuation of souls get so vociferously eliminated from Church doctrine? The answer may surprise you: It was not a Pope nor any member of the Catholic priesthood who banned the doctrine of reincarnation from Church dogma, it was Justinian, Emperor of the Roman Empire.


By the year 500, the power and influence of the Roman Empire was beginning to fade. The Emperors of Rome, like the rulers of many civilizations before them, had gained their power by use of brute force and violence, and had maintained it by force, claiming that the line of emperors were direct descendants of the gods, i.e., in this case, Zeus and company. They used their wealth gained by killing, conquering and converting the peoples around them to slaves to perpetuate and glorify their gods and images of their emperors as descendants of the gods. But, in the end, they were only human after all, and their absolute power gradually became absolute corruption.

The Emperor Justinian was a clever, well-educated and thoroughly ego-driven evil man, also known as Justinian the Great, and he would even become known as Saint Justinian in the Eastern Greek Orthodox Church. But, his stated goal was to “revive the Roman Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the historical Roman Empire”. In his mind, the decline of Rome’s influence in the western part of the Empire was due in large part to the ascending influence of Christian teachings, as disparate anti-Roman groups, mostly descendants of the Jews, who had been dispersed from Judea around 600 BC, had coalesced under the teachings of a Jew who claimed to be the Jewish Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus the Christ was becoming a mythical legend, challenging the divinity of the line of Roman Emperors. Justinian was smart enough to see that he couldn’t openly declare war on the offending churches, so he cleverly plotted to undermine their influence and integrate them into the Roman theocracy.

By the time of Justinian, the decadence and debauchery of the rulers of the Roman Empire had been well-known for hundreds of years, and the ranks of the Judeo-Christian Religious Sect had also been steadily growing during the same period of time. He carefully studied the writings of Origen, the most influential of the Christian theologians, and picked out a list of ideas found in Origen’s writings that he could use to subvert the teachings in the western provinces and integrate them into the Roman theocracy.

Justinian’s Anathemas Against Origen
Justinian realized that some of the teachings of the followers of Jesus constituted a serious threat to his power; e.g., according to Origen, Jesus had said: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's”. And “All are sons of the most-high God”. And Origen had also written: "Each soul enters the world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defects of its past lives. Its place in this world is determined by past virtues and shortcomings." Such teachings were in direct conflict with what Justinian saw as his divine right to rule the world, so he seized on this statement and related ideas in Christian doctrine, as documented by Origen, that undermined the Roman ruler’s claim of divinity. If people were led to believe that by being virtuous, they could rise to the level of an Emperor, i.e., to the status of a god, or sons and daughters of God, then the Emperor’s power would be seriously threatened. He decided that he must declare this idea to be heresy and take strong measures to stamp it out. The anathemas, an edict that he prepared for this purpose, read in part:

"Whosoever teaches the doctrine of a supposed pre-birth existence of the soul, and speaks of a monstrous restoration of this, is cursed. Such heretics will be executed, their writings burned, and their property will become the property of the Emperor."

In 553 AD, the Emperor called for an immediate assembly of a Council of the Church Fathers to ratify the decree, but the meeting of the Council was opposed by the Pope. The Emperor then cleverly forced several Eastern bishops to attend a secret meeting where he presented his ‘Anathemata’ to them, condemning much of Origen’s writings. He prevailed upon them, under threat of death, to sign the decree. The meeting with the bishops prior to the Council was a bold ploy to undermine the Pope’s power and promote the ban on the teachings of Origen. The scheme worked. An official meeting of the Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church was held on the fifth of May 553, and the Pope was forced to accept the decree, allowing the Emperor to issue the ban as if it were imposed by the Pope, the Council of Bishops and the Catholic Church.

As a result, throughout Europe and the Middle East, a group of monks educated as scribes were hurriedly put to work, urgently expunging all references to the pre-birth existence and transmigration of the soul from all of the existing versions of Biblical scripture, so that Christian dioceses throughout the land would not risk the wrath of Justinian, which they knew was a very real threat. The purge of references to rebirth was very thorough, and where it could not be eliminated without destroying whole passages vital to the teachings of Jesus and the Judean prophets, it was re-worded to imply a spiritual rebirth, not a physical one.

In this way, the ban on the belief in reincarnation was brutally forced into Church doctrine, and no attempt was made to rectify Justinian’s self-serving actions until after the participants in the Council of 553 had passed away and even the memory of the fact that belief in reincarnation had once been part of Church doctrine had faded from the consciousness of the Christian world.

So, are You the Reincarnation of a Person Who Lived in the Past?
I can’t answer this question for you. You will have to search your consciousness and determine the answer to this question for yourself. My wonderful soulmate Jacqui has had memories of past lives and, due to recent revelations while hospitalized, will serve as a messenger for many as never before. As for me, in deep meditation, I see the essential consciousness of several people, at least six or seven, who lived in the past, surviving in my consciousness, but, the person I am today is a composite of the basic spiritual nature of people of the past and the changes wrought by the experiences of this life. It appears that many of the personality traits, habits and minor characteristics unique to their lifetimes faded with the demise of their physical bodies and brains. So, my conclusion is that I am the sum total of spiritual experiences of numerous past and present lives, with a current cultural overlay fashioned by my personal experiences in this life, - not the simple reincarnation of a person or persons who lived in the past. It is also my impression that the infinite intelligence underlying reality may be drawing forth new souls as older souls learn the lessons of this Earth life and move on. I believe that this is in general agreement with Origen’s documentation of the teachings of Jesus.
Arguments Against Reincarnation
With this brief historical background, let’s look at the most common arguments put forth against the reincarnation hypothesis by some Christians, Jews, Muslims, Agnostics, Atheists, and Materialists today. Interestingly, the belief that reincarnation cannot be possible is one of the few things that some members of all of these groups might agree on - but for quite different reasons. Before we get into the arguments against reincarnation, some general observations are in order.

First, arguing that reincarnation does not or cannot occur, is an attempt to prove a negative. It certainly is not impossible to prove a negative, but it is generally much more difficult than proving a positive proposition. It is also a difficult and even dangerous position to defend logically because you may have dozens of reasons why you believe reincarnation does not happen, and you may be able to spend hours explaining each one of them very articulately, but it only takes one indisputable example to prove you wrong. As William James famously said: “If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn't seek to show that no crows are white; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white.”

Second, there are Christians, Jews and Atheists who do believe in reincarnation, but most devout Muslims will tell you that a Muslim cannot believe in multiple reincarnations, because the Koran only allows one, and that, according to the Prophet Mohamed, happens on Judgement Day. However, some Muslim holy men who claim to have attained enlightenment, teach that reincarnation does happen. One such holy man explained to me that Judgement Day is not just one day for all souls but occurs for each soul at the time of each death. When I asked him about the verses in the Koran that seem to dispute that, he said: “The words of the Prophet Mohamed, may He rest in peace, are for the common man, not enlightened saints.”

Third, Atheism and belief in reincarnation are not mutually exclusive. An Atheist can believe in reincarnation as a natural process that may occur without requiring the existence of a god. So even within groups that generally do not believe in reincarnation, there are people who do believe in reincarnation. With that, let’s turn to the arguments against reincarnation. There are plenty to be found in books and articles, and on the internet.

Faith-Based Arguments
Faith-based arguments are usually not scientific arguments because they do not begin by considering reincarnation as a hypothesis to be proved or disproved. They start with the assumption of superior knowledge, by basing their argument on specific scriptures, such as verses of the Torah, Koran or Bible, which they consider to be the Word of God. Unfortunately, arguments presented in this manner are circular because they have already assumed the negative conclusion they seek to prove. Such arguments are simply arguments in defense of a point of faith, and therefore can be accepted or rejected, depending on whether or not you share a belief in the dogma of the presenter’s faith.

It is not my intent to belittle anyone’s faith, or to dismiss their arguments against reincarnation because of it, but such proofs must be considered in their proper context. The person who presents faith-based arguments is relying on what he/she believes to be unimpeachable authority. Because I am writing in American English, and because I live in a place and time where Christianity is the prevalent faith, I will first put the Bible, the written authority upon which Christians rely, into its historical context. In other words, let’s look at how the Bible, in particular the King James Version (KJV) and its many modern re-interpretations, came to be what they are today.

The Origin and Evolution of English Versions of the Bible
Arguments depending upon the belief that specific scriptures are the infallible word of God should be viewed with some skepticism, because, as we’ve seen, the elimination of the teachings of Origen, arguably the brightest of the early church theologians, by the Roman Emperor Justinian’s ban, has changed the content of the Christian Bible substantially. And, if we accept the claim that the scriptures upon which the New Testament is based were originally the word of God, spoken by Jesus Christ, a truly Enlightened Being, then we still must recognize that it has come down the ages through the lenses of many less than perfect human beings.  For example, the King James Version of the Bible, revered by the fundamental Protestants of the hill country where I grew up, as the infallible word of God, was authorized by King James as the head of the Church of England in 1604. But, the King James Version was not the first translation of the Bible into English from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. It was, in fact, the fourth.

The first English translation of the Bible, called “The Great Bible”, was commissioned by King Henry VIII, hardly a model of Christian virtue. After his first wife, Catherine proved unable to bear him a son, Henry requested that the Pope allow him to divorce Catherine and marry his mistress. The official position of the Catholic Church was that divorce was a sin, so the Pope refused. In response, Henry renounced the Catholic Church and married his mistress. He then proceeded to close all of the Catholic monasteries in England, seize the Church's assets and establish the Church of England with himself as its head, and in 1536, as an act of defiance, literally thumbing his nose at the Pope, he authorized the translation of the Bible into English as the official Word of God, an action strictly forbidden by Rome. Henry continued to do whatever he pleased, producing children by various wives and mistresses, trying to obtain a male heir, and he imprisoned and tortured anyone who opposed his actions, even executing many, including two of his six wives.
The second English translation of the Bible, now almost forgotten, was the Geneva Bible, produced in 1557 to1560. This version of the Bible came about when Henry the Eighth’s only legitimate son, Edward VI, died after only six years on the Throne, and his older sister Mary became Queen of England and Ireland from 1553 to 1558. Mary was Catholic, and in order to re-instate the Catholic Church in England, she heavily persecuted and executed many English Protestants, earning the title "Bloody Mary”. More than 800 English scholars fled to Europe to escape her Catholic wrath. They gathered in Geneva Switzerland in 1557 and proceeded to produce a new Protestant version of the Bible. 
The Geneva Bible reflected the thinking of a movement of the time known as Calvinism, just one among several emerging protestant sects, including the Lutherans, Presbyterians and Episcopalians. The Geneva Bible was considered to be a threat to all Christianity by the bishops of the Church of England because it replaced the government of the church by bishops, with government by lay elders. After Bloody Mary’s death, her half-sister Elizabeth became Queen. She was a Protestant and as Queen, the head of the Church of England. With her blessings, the bishops of the Church of England, denounced the Roman Catholic Bible and the Geneva Bible as heretical and produced their own version, which became known as the Bishops' Bible. Produced under the authority of the Church of England in 1568, the Bishop's Bible succeeded Henry the Eighth’s “Great Bible” as the official Bible of the Church of England. The Bishop’s Bible was substantially revised in 1572, and with minor changes in the spelling of some Hebrew names in 1602, it was used as the base text for the King James Version (KJV) of the Christian Bible completed in 1611.
If this were anything but the Bible, no one would imagine that the KJV could possibly be the unaltered word of God as given to the Jews in the Torah and the unaltered Gospel as spoken by Jesus in the form of the New Testament. The KJV is a version of original Christian and pre-Christian scriptures, filtered through several secular interpretations, and all of them that occurred after the scholarly interpretations of Origen, who from all reports was a deeply spiritual man, were for political purposes and ego-based agendas whose instigators were far from virtuous.

The KJV’s twisted past was completely unknown to most of the fundamental Christians in the USA of my childhood and teen-age years (1936 – 1955), and probably to most of the Protestants around the world. I remember statements of some of the good people of the hill country where I grew up when told about the history of the translations of the Bible, were asked how they knew the KJV Bible was the original word of God. They said something like: “Yes, Priests, Kings and scholars may be less than perfect, but the changes and interpretations were guided by God and God would not allow his word to be distorted. The KJV is the only true word of God.” I thought: “Why would God choose power-hungry politicians, murders, ego-maniacs, atheists, adulterers, and sinners of every sort to shape His word, instead of honest scholars and spiritual people?” But, I didn’t say it, because I knew what their answer would probably be: “God works in mysterious ways!” There just is no arguing with that kind of logic!

The Koran, the Holy Book of Islam
A brief look into the history of the organized Roman Catholic and Protestant Bibles has shown us that any argument for or against reincarnation based upon specific wordings in the Latin or English versions of the Bible are questionable, and the same can be said for arguments against reincarnation by Muslims based on verses of the Koran. The root word of Koran (in Arabic القران) is either ‘Q’ar’, meaning to collect, or ‘Q’ara’, meaning to recite. Both of these roots seem to fit the facts of the origin of the Koran because the Islamic Sacred Scriptures were not written down by Mohamed, but recited from memory. Several years after the Prophet died, his followers began jotting their memories of the recitations they had heard on camel bones and scraps of paper, and at some point, they were collected and hand-copied and bound into the form of a book.

According to Muslim belief, the revelation of the Koran (also spelled ‘Quran’ in English to approximate the guttural sound of the Arabic consonant) began in 610 AD, when the angel Gabriel (Arabic: جبريل, Jibrīl or جبرائيل, Jibrāʾīl) appeared to Muhammad in Hira Cave near Mecca, reciting to him the first verses of Sura Iqra (al-`Alaq). Throughout his life, Muhammad continued to recite revelations until his death in 632. The Quran as it exists today was compiled into a book format by Zayd ibn-Thabit and other scribes under Uthman, the third Caliph, a political leader of the Islamic Caliphate, a theocratic government, sometime between 644 and 656. This was about 100 years after the reign of Emperor Justinian of Rome, and about 450 years after Origen of Alexandria translated the original scriptures of the Torah and the collected sayings of Jesus and wrote his interpretations of the scriptures, much of which became the basis of the Christian Bible as it began its torturous transformation into the Bible we have today.

Faith-based arguments are not scientifically valid arguments. They can be accepted as true only if the tenants of the faith in question are accepted, either on the basis of personal experience, or by accepting the authenticity of someone else’s experience and the authority of an institution established by them. So, as a scientist, I must remain skeptical of such arguments. This doesn’t mean that I reject the teachings of Jesus. I certainly do not. On the contrary, I believe Christ Consciousness is real, and that it is the only road to Cosmic Consciousness. But, faith is not a basis for proof, believing is not knowing, and science must prove the reality of something before announcing it as truth. A scientist cannot accept a concept as indisputable truth based on someone else’s experience or belief. A scientist must have direct proof. Without direct proof, an idea, however appealing, is just a hypothesis; a theory to be tested, nothing more.

Unless you have direct two-way communication with Christ, you have no proof and must rely on hear-say and very questionable authority, because Jesus, like Mohamed, wrote nothing down. Neither did Gautama Buddha. Isn’t this remarkable? Is it possible that the founders of three major world religions were illiterate? No. They wrote nothing down because they knew that words in any language, misrepresent and distort as much as they reveal. Their revelations of the truth were much more complete, and on a much deeper level of consciousness than can ever be conveyed in words. It was their inspiring presence and extraordinary spiritual energy that convinced their followers that they knew the Truth, as much or more than the words they spoke. So, let’s leave faith-based “proofs” behind and move on to non-sectarian arguments against the idea of reincarnation. Can science prove or disprove the reality of reincarnation?

Non-Faith-Based Arguments
The most convincing non-sectarian arguments against reincarnation come from those scientists who are materialists, atheists or agnostics. These groups are not mutually exclusive, but they are not synonymous either. A materialist can believe in God as a higher intelligence emerging from an evolving physical universe, and an agnostic, by definition, accepts the possibility of the existence of a higher intelligence, but remains skeptical until he or she sees proof. Atheism, on the other hand, is the completely negative position that there never was a god, is no god, and never can be a god. Obviously, this is a belief, not a scientific hypothesis, because it cannot be proved or disproved.

Rational arguments put forth by materialistic, agnostic, and atheistic scientists boil down to two positive statements:
1.     Reincarnation produces an unreconcilable paradox of numbers
2.     There is no credible evidence


Is There a Paradox of Numbers?
The fact that there are many, many more people alive on the planet today than at any time in the recorded past, is given by some skeptics as an argument against reincarnation, and at first glance it may seem like a good argument. However, on closer examination, it does not eliminate reincarnation as a logical possibility because even if there were only a finite number of souls, say 10 billion, the assumption that all of them would eventually be on the planet at the same time is unwarranted. Also, many more people have died during the recorded past than exist on Earth today, so it is logically possible that everyone alive today may have lived before. So, there is no paradox of numbers.

Science is by definition, a search for truth. To determine whether an idea is true, false, meaningless, or beyond our ability to determine, a scientist must first frame it in the form of a hypothesis that may be falsified, like William James’ statement “all crows are black”. We can do that with the question of whether reincarnation is a reality or just wishful thinking with the following hypothesis:
The consciousness of an individual sentient being is wholly produced by that individual’s physical body and brain, and cannot exist without them.
If this hypothesis is true, then when the body and brain of an individual cease to function, or when they are destroyed, by whatever means, the consciousness of that individual is simply gone. It can no longer exist, period. But, as professor James pointed out, there is no need to look at all of the arguments that may be made supporting this hypothesis. If there is even one counter example, the hypothesis is invalid.

Evidence for Reincarnation
The strongest rational argument for reincarnation is based on extending the logic of the laws of cause and effect and conservation of substance, which apply to mass and energy, to include consciousness. The discovery of the existence of the impact of consciousness as gimmel in every stable structure in the universe establishes the link between mass, energy and consciousness, suggesting that consciousness is subject to conservation and cause and effect. But the final establishment of the reality of reincarnation depends on the documentation of indisputable evidence.

Scientific Evidence
The largest body of scientific evidence of the transmigration of souls is found in the life’s work of Dr. Ian Stevenson (1918-2007). Dr. Stevenson was a professor and research psychiatrist at the University of Virginia School of Medicine for 50 years. He was Chair of the Department of Psychiatry from 1957 to 1967, the Carlson Professor of Psychiatry from 1967 to 2001, and a Research Professor of Psychiatry from 2002 until his death. He was also the founder and Director of the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies.
Dr. Stevenson is internationally recognized for discovering and documenting evidence that memories and physical injuries can be transferred from one lifetime to another. He traveled extensively over a period of 40 years, investigating approximately 3,000 cases of children around the world who recalled having past lives. His meticulous research revealed evidence that children who recalled past lives also had unusual abilities, illnesses, phobias and familiarities which could not be explained by the experiences and environments of their current lives or heredity. The following is a summarization of one of the cases investigated and documented by Dr. Stevenson.

The Case of Swarnlata Mishra
Swarnlata Mishra started talking about memories of a previous life when she was 3 years old. Her memories contained many details that enabled Dr. Stevenson to locate the family of the deceased person she said she remembered being, and in the course of the investigation, she remembered more than 50 specific facts that were verified. Her case was different than  many of Dr. Stevenson’s investigations in that her memories were happy memories rather than memories of violent and traumatic events, and they did not fade away as she grew older.

Swarnlata Mishra was born in Pradesh India in 1948. When she was just three years old, she told her father about her previous life in the town of Katni more than 100 miles from their home. She related many details of her previous life in Katni. She said her name was Biya Pathak, and that she had two sons. She recalled details of their home in Katni, including the following: It was white with black doors fitted with iron bars; four rooms were stuccoed, but other parts were less finished; the front floor was of stone slabs. The house was in in the Zhurkutia, District of Katni; behind the house was a girl's school, in front was a railway line, and lime furnaces were visible from the house. She added that the family had a motor car (a very rare item in India, even in the 1950's, and especially before Swarnlata was born). Swarnlata said Biya died of a "pain in her throat" and was treated by Dr. S. C. Bhabrat in Jabalpur. All of these details, written down when Swarnlata was three, and they were verified later when Swarnlata was 10 years old and they actually traveled to Katni. Until then, the two families were unaware of each other’s existence.


After learning of Swarnlata’s claims, In the summer of 1959, Biya’s husband, son and eldest brother traveled to the town where the Mishras lived with the intention of testing her to see if she really was a reincarnation of their Biya. They enlisted nine strangers to accompany them to the Mishras’ home to pose as friends or family members that Biya had known well. Ten-year-old Swarnlata quickly picked the real family members from among the imposters and stopped in front of Biya’s husband, lowering her eyes as Indian wives do in the presence of their husbands. Many other factual verifications in this case, hard to explain by any theory other than reincarnation, are found in the case files and in Dr. Stevenson’s book, “Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation”, University Press of Virginia. Also see “Children Who Remember Previous Lives” written for the layperson, McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2001.

Could this case be a “white crow” disproving the hypothesis that: The consciousness of an individual sentient being is wholly produced by that individual’s physical body and brain. If you accept the work of Dr. Stevenson, a scientist whose work in other areas is not questioned, with the same level of skepticism exhibited by a particle physicist reviewing the evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson, then you would have to say that it is. Critics of Dr. Stevenson’s reincarnation investigations like the phrase “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” made popular by Carl Sagan; but just how extraordinary does the evidence have to be? I submit that for most of the critics of the study of reincarnation, no amount of evidence will ever be enough, because, their objections are not scientific, they are belief-based, derived either from a religious faith, or from a belief in simplistic scientific materialism. Dr. Stevenson documented some 3,000 cases, most of which are very difficult, if not impossible to explain any other way.

Why is reincarnation considered to be an extraordinary claim? How can something that is a fundamental belief of 1.4 billion people (Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Taoists, Sikhs, and Shinto followers) be “extraordinary”? It is considered extraordinary mainly in western cultures, but, according to data released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life from a 2009 survey, 24 percent of American Christians believe in reincarnation.

Credible Evidence from Adults
Dr. Stevenson’s files on reincarnation primarily contain cases of children who report having memories of past lives. The reason Dr. Stevenson focused on children is easy to understand. As a scientist born, raised and trained in a society and scientific community that largely rejected the idea of reincarnation on the basis of religious dogma and/or materialism, in order to undertake a serious Investigation of the reincarnation hypothesis, he had to behave as a true skeptic and allow the possibility that the hypothesis might be in fact, either true or false. If true, the most likely place to find evidence would be in the newly born. As a medical doctor and psychiatrist, he knew that the clarity of the memory of an event generally fades with the passage of time; and therefore, if it is possible that some people live more than one life, and if it is possible that some memory of past life events stored in the brain of the deceased can carry over into the brain of the newly born body, then it is most likely to surface shortly after birth, and to be expressed by the child as soon as he or she begins to talk.

If such memories occur, they are likely to fade with time, and become categorized as dreams by the individual and others, as the body and mind go through the overwhelming stages of growth, including the emotions of puberty, and the influences of other people. Also, an adult may suppress or exaggerate such memories, depending on his societal conditioning and beliefs. As a scientist, Dr. Stevenson was breaking new ground for western science, so he could not allow preconceived beliefs or opinions about why, or how reincarnation might occur, affect the investigations. This explains why Dr. Stevenson focused primarily on reports of other-life memories by children. But, are there adults who claim to remember past lives?

Some Famous People Who have professed belief in Reincarnation
The list of 25 famous people below is only a partial list, consisting of  quotes that are readily available from public statements and published writings. There are many more who believe in reincarnation as completely logical, or from direct experiences remembered in this life.

Benjamin Franklin
When I see nothing annihilated (in the works of God) and not a drop of water wasted, I cannot suspect the annihilation of souls, or believe that He will suffer the daily waste of millions of minds ready-made that now exist, and put Himself to the continual trouble of making new ones. Thus, finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or other, always exist; and, with all the inconveniences human life is liable to, I shall not object to a new edition of mine, hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be corrected.

Henry Ford
I adopted the theory of Reincarnation when I was twenty-six. Religion offered nothing to the point. Even work could not give me complete satisfaction. Work is futile if we cannot utilize the experience we collect in one life in the next. When I discovered Reincarnation, it was as if I had found a universal plan I realized that there was a chance to work out my ideas. Time was no longer limited. I was no longer a slave to the hands of the clock. Genius is experience. Some seem to think that it is a gift or talent, but it is the fruit of long experience in many lives. Some are older souls than others, and so they know more. The discovery of Reincarnation put my mind at ease. If you preserve a record of this conversation, write it so that it puts men’s minds at ease. I would like to communicate to others the calmness that the long view of life gives to us.
- The San Francisco Examiner, 1928

General George S. Patton
American World War II general spoke of memories of a number of past lives There are numerous reports of General Patton talking about being reincarnated.  He believed that he had always been a warrior in one form or another. During World War I, he told his mother that he had been reincarnated.  Later in life, he said: “So as through a glass and darkly, the age long strife I see, Where I fought in many guises, many names, but always me.

Paramahansa Yogananda
The founder of Self-Realization Fellowship wrote in his Autobiography of a Yogi”:
“I find my earliest memories covering the anachronistic features of a previous incarnation. Clear recollections came to me of a distant life in which I had been a yogi amid the Himalayan snows. These glimpses of the past, by some dimensionless link, also afforded me a glimpse of the future.”

Salvador Dali
The famous Spanish artist remembered several of his previous lives. He spoke of being St. John of the Cross in a previous life: “as for me, … I am also the reincarnation of one of the greatest of all Spanish mystics, Saint John of the Cross. I can vividly remember my life as Saint John . . . of experiencing divine union, of undergoing the dark night of the soul . . . I can remember many of Saint John’s fellow monks.

Shirley McLaine
On her website, Shirley says: “When I walked across Spain on the pilgrimage called the Santiago de Compostela Camino, I encountered myself in a former life. I discovered a part of me that lead to a greater understanding of myself. I also realized the karmic importance of some of the people that have been close to me in this existence. These realizations, and numerous others, have helped, inspired and added to my whole being. They have assisted in my better understanding myself and those around me. It doesn't matter if this type of realization is imagination or if it is memory. It is a truth that I have experienced on some level, in some form of reality and I embrace it as a gift from the Divine.

Three quarters of the Earth's people believe they have lived before and will live again; thereby enabling their Soul's journey a continuous learning experience. Stories abound regarding how people find each other again - for good or otherwise.”

Sylvester Stallone
Sly Stallone is sure he had at least four past lives, and he experienced a gruesome end in one of them. In an interview early in his career, he said, “I’m quite sure I lost my head in the French Revolution.” His success with his screen persona Rocky Balboa  may have something to do with Stallone’s claim that he was actually once a boxer who was killed by a knockout punch in the 1930s. 

John Lennon
“I’m not afraid of death because I don’t believe in it. It’s just getting out of one car, and into another.” 

George Harrison
"Friends are all souls that we've known in other lives. We're drawn to each other. Even if I have only known them a day., it doesn't matter. I'm not going to wait till I have known them for two years, because anyway, we must have met somewhere before, you know."

Edgar Cayce
According to those who knew the ‘Sleeping Prophet’ and studied his readings, “Edgar Cayce found that the concept of reincarnation was not incompatible with any religion, and actually merged perfectly with his own beliefs of what it meant to be a Christian. Eventually the subject of reincarnation was examined in extensive detail in over 1,900 Life Readings.”

Mark Twain
From his autobiography: “I have been born more times than anybody except Krishna.”

Carl Jung
"This concept of rebirth necessarily implies the continuity of personality. Here the human personality is regarded as continuous and accessible to memory, so that, when one is incarnated or born, one is able, at least potentially, to remember that one has lived through previous existences, and that these existences were one's own, i.e., that they had the same ego form as the present life. As a rule, reincarnation means rebirth in a human body.
"What happens after death is so unspeakably glorious that our imagination and our feelings do not suffice to form even an appropriate conception of it... The dissolution of our time-bound form in eternity brings no loss of meaning."

William James
Renowned American psychologist and philosopher, William James delivered a significant science-based lecture, called "Human Immortality", at Harvard, in 1893. He later expanded his concepts to specifically include reincarnation. On this he wrote:
"... I am the same personal being who in old times upon the earth had those experiences."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The soul comes from without into the human body, as into a temporary abode, and it goes out of it anew it passes into other habitations, for the soul is immortal.,, It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from site and afterward return again... Jesus is not dead; he is very well alive; nor John, nor Paul, nor Mahomet, nor Aristotle; at times we believe we have seen them all, and could easily tell the names under which they go."

Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau wrote in "Letters":
"I lived in Judea eighteen hundred years ago, but I never knew that there was such a one as Christ among my contemporaries."

Jack London
London, author, best known for book “Call of the Wild”, wrote:
"I did not begin when I was born, nor when I was conceived. I have been growing, developing, through incalculable myriads of millenniums. All my previous selves have their voices, echoes, promptings in me. Oh, incalculable times again shall I be born."

Walt Whitman
In "Song of Myself", the famous poet wrote:
"And as to you, Life, I reckon you are the leaving of many deaths, (No doubt I have died myself ten thousand times before.)"

Albert Schweitzer
"Reincarnation contains a most comforting explanation of reality by means of which Indian thought surmounts difficulties which baffle the thinkers of Europe."

Thomas H. Huxley wrote in "Essays Upon Some Controverted Questions":
"I am certain that I have been here as I am now a thousand times before, and I hope to return a thousand times."

Voltaire
"It is not more surprising to be born twice than once; everything in nature is resurrection."

Arthur Schopenhauer
"Were an Asiatic to ask me for a definition of Europe, I should be forced to answer him: It is that part of the world which is haunted by the incredible delusion that man was created out of nothing, and that his present birth is his first entrance into life."

Napoleon Bonaparte
The “Little” Emperor believed that he had been born many times. He is reported to have discussed who he had been in previous lives with many people. Napoleon died in 1821. Twenty-eight years later, Adolf Hitler was born. Both men tried to take over Europe using the same methods, fought Russia to a loss, and were defeated in nearly the same way. Both were also considered to be the anti-Christ during and after their lives by many people. Could it be that Hitler was his next incarnation?

Cicero
A Roman Nobleman (106 B.C. - 43 B.C.) who is considered one of the great philosophers of that time. In his composition, "On Old Age", he wrote:
"The soul is of heavenly origin, forced down from its home in the highest, and, so to speak, buried in earth, a place quite opposed to its divine nature and its immortality... It is again a strong proof of men knowing most things before birth, that when mere children they grasp innumerable facts with such speed as to show that they are not then taking them in for the first time, but remembering or recalling them."

Josephus
 (Well-known Jewish historian from the time of Jesus)
"All pure and holy spirits live on in heavenly places, and in course of time they are again sent down to inhabit righteous bodies."

Jesus of Nazareth
Perhaps most stunning of all for Christians, is evidence that Jesus believed in reincarnation. We know from the writings of Origin and others that Jesus spoke about reincarnation and that it was recorded by his followers. But these records were banned from the Bible by the Roman Emperor and others for philosophical and political reasons. Under the edict of Justinian, monastic scribes expunged overt references to reincarnation from the scriptures, but some reincarnation references by Jesus that could be explained as special circumstances, were left in. For example, from Luke 9:18 – 21. [My comments are italicized in brackets]

And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, whom say the people that I am?
They, answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.

[This is a clear reflection of the fact that the Jewish people in Jesus’ time believed in reincarnation]

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.”
And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing

[Jesus was asking these questions in order to establish with his followers that he was the Messiah predicted in the Jewish Book of Prophets.]
And in Matthew 17:10-13:
And the disciples asked him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” But he answered them and said, “Elijah indeed is to come and will restore all things.  But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also shall the Son of Man suffer at their hand.”  Then the disciples understood that he had spoken of John the Baptist.

[A clear reference to the reincarnation of Elijah as John the Baptist. And the statement that “Elijah must come first” (before the Messiah) is referring to the prophecies in the Tanakh.]

In the Old Testament (Extracted and translated from the Hebrew of the Jewish Tanakh):

And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by the River Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee.” And Elisha said, “I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.”
And he said, “Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.” And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it.
(Second Kings, 2:9)

[Elijah was reincarnated as John the Baptist. Could it be that Elisha, with twice the spiritual power as Elijah, was reincarnated as Jesus?]

In Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, we find the prediction:
Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. (Malachi 4-5)

[It is no coincidence that the Jordan River played a central role in both the elevation of Elisha by Elijah and the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. In the scriptures, the River Jordan symbolizes the crossing of a barrier and the transcendence of Spirit over matter. I visited the spot where John baptized Jesus in 2010, and have memories of standing on the banks of the River Jordan in more than one life.]

In addition to the texts that became the Christian Bible, texts written around and shortly after the time of Jesus by a group called “Gnostics” also recorded the sayings of Jesus, but because they contained some things the religious institutions of that time did not want propagated, they were banned as either too Jewish on the one hand, or too Christian on the other.

Gnosticism (from Ancient Greek: γνωστικός, gnostikos, "having knowledge", from γνῶσις gnōsis, knowledge) is the name given to the ancient religious ideas of Jewish-Christian groups in the first and second century AD. The earliest Christian sects from the time of Jesus believed in the Gnostic doctrine of emanation from one eternal Source: the idea that all individuals have their origin in God, and all have, in their inmost being, an eternal spark of God. They believed that the material world is created by emanations from God, and that there exists within each human body a Divine spark that can be gradually liberated in the course of lifetimes by the attainment of gnosis, i.e., true knowledge.

Gnostic Christians taught that periodic saviors of the world, from Krishna to Christ, were able to rekindle the divine spark in those in whom it had gone out. But organizers of the political doctrine that became the basis of the Catholic Church held that man was created by God as a physical being, not a spiritual one. Man, therefore, has no intrinsic connection to God, no divine spark through which he can reach God according to Church doctrine.

Rejecting the part of original Christian teachings that held that the soul is spiritual and immortal, an idea that Church Fathers like Clement of Alexandria and Origen documented, misguided Church theologians developed the concept of creatio ex nihilo, or creation out of nothing. This belief in something from nothing is reflected in the belief in the big-bang theory of the origin of all things as originally posited by physicalists.

Thanks to the Emperor Justinian, and the Catholic Church that accepted his decree designed to suppress ideas that elevated the potential of the consciousness of human beings to cosmic consciousness, that doctrine persists to this day. The New Catholic Encyclopedia says:
"Between Creator and creature there is the most profound distinction possible. God is not part of the world. He is not just the peak of reality. Between God and the world there is an abyss....To be created is to be not of itself, but from another. It is to be non-self-sufficient. This means that deep within itself [the soul] is in a condition of radical need, of total dependence.... It means to accept the fact that the world has no reality except what the Creator thinks and wills." (Emphasis added.)

In other words, according to institutionalized Church doctrine, there is not, as the Platonists believed, a great chain of being linking the creation to the Creator and enabling the creation to return to the Creator. There is no divine spark inside each heart. God created everything to run on its own, without any further involvement on his part. This dogma allowed the Church to promote itself as the only path to salvation of the soul.
 
But, this enforced doctrine of the Church contradicts several Biblical passages like Psalms 82:6:

 “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
John 10:32-34: When a mob threatened to stone him,
Jesus answered them, “Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?”
The Jews answered him, saying, “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”

Jesus replied, "Is it not written in your Law: 'I have said you are gods' ?

Jerimiah 1:4-5: Concerning the pre-existence of souls:
Then the word of the LORD came to me saying:
“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”.

Conclusions Regarding the Reincarnation Hypothesis
The weight of evidence, in terms of the number of highly intelligent people, past and present, who believe in reincarnation, and the numerous cases of remembered past lives with validated details, far outweighs the anti-reincarnation dogma of the Catholic and Protestant Churches that are based on non-Christian ideas institutionalized purely as social and political agendas.

The idea that there might be a certain finite number of souls stems from the illusion of finite forms with beginnings and ends. Because we become identified with finite physical bodies, and inhabit them for a while, physical bodies that are born, grow, decay, and die, we forget that we are immortal souls. While, because there are a finite number of organic life- supporting bodies at any one given point in time, and there are a finite number of souls incarnate on the Earth, we forget that the matrix of Primary Consciousness from which we come is infinite, and can project any number of souls into the physical universe at any given time. But, is all this proof that you or I, or any person currently alive has actually lived before?

An Overview of the Reincarnation of Souls Hypothesis
Reading the writings of reincarnated souls that we have not met in this lifetime, and talking with those that we have met, we can begin to piece together a picture of how reincarnation works. The mechanism and driving force behind it is spiritual evolution, not physical evolution, and the logic of the mechanism is as mathematical and irrefutable as the dimensionometric mathematical logic that reveals the existence of gimmel, the spiritual aspect of physical creation.

There are ‘old’ souls, as we saw above, like Paramahansa Yogananda, Mark Twain, Salvador Dali, Edgar Cayce, the Dahli Lama, and there are ‘younger’ souls, like Sylvester Stallone and George Harrison, and there are many, many ‘young’ souls who do not remember past lives at all. The terms ‘Old’ and ‘young’ in this context, do not necessarily relate to time spent on this Earth, but to lessons learned. It appears that progression and regression in a given lifetime - or lifetimes, are the results of the desires, choices, actions, and focus of the soul in question.

The law of cause and effect, or karma, as it is called in Eastern philosophy, largely governs the physical aspects of reincarnation, including the when, where and how of birth, social and economic position in life and death, time after time, but has no effect on the spirit, the essence of Primary Consciousness, which is the heart of the soul. Finite expressions of your unique experiences may carry over from previous lives into this one in the form of birthmarks and other physical characteristics. Evidence strongly suggesting this is found in the case studies of Dr. Ian Stevenson, and the documented readings of Edgar Cayce. Deeper soul characteristics, including the level of enlightenment attained, are also carried over, but re not necessarily displayed for all to see in this lifetime.

If, in a previous incarnation, you attained sharply focused awareness, involving a high level of intellect and a deep level of compassion and love, you will recognize friends and foes incarnate in this life. This can be helpful in maintaining and improving your focus and awareness amid the challenges and struggles of this life. People who have attained high levels of success in past lives are more likely to achieve success in this life also because, at a deep level, memories of purpose, focus, and methods for attaining alignment with the laws of the universe are still there. Unfortunately, the same is true of bad habits. Just like physical patterns, psychological patterns persist unless steps are actively taken to change them.

Personal Experiences Suggestive of Past Lives
Disclaimer: As a scientist, I am, by definition, a professional skeptic. This means that I will consider the transmigration or reincarnation of human consciousness, including my own, from a past living body or bodies into current living bodies as a scientific hypothesis, something that may or may not have happened. Ultimately, reincarnation must remain a hypothesis, something to be proved or disproved by each individual. But, the evidence is strongly suggestive, if not overwhelming that many of us have been here before, with another name and face, and may return again until we have evolved spiritually to the point that we can  move on beyond the merely physical, into the much greater domain of the Cosmos.   

I will, on the other hand, stand behind the declaration of the existence of the third form, not measurable as matter (mass) or energy, because it has been proved to be true with mathematical logic and the empirical evidence of scientific data. This discovery supports the hypothesis of the survival of consciousness by extension of the law of conservation of mass and energy to include all three forms of the substance of reality. Certain experiences and memories may be strongly suggestive of reincarnation, but it is possible that they might be explained in other ways as well. For example: memories that appear to be from past lives could be somatic, i.e., memories of ancestral lives recorded in the DNA, that surface in the brains of descendants.

I have had a number of distinct personal memories and experiences that are suggestive of past lives, some of which I wrote about in “The Book of Atma” Published in 1977. My memories are suggestive of at least seven distinct lives in specific past time periods. Some have been validated by physical evidence, relevant information and unusual experiences in this lifetime. Still, they could be somatic memories of other human beings recorded in my DNA, that somehow, my conscious mind has tapped into. But I don’t think so. If asked what I believe regarding my experiences suggestive of reincarnation, I will have to say that I believe that my soul did not appear from nothingness on October 7, 1936, and will not disappear anytime in the future, because there is no evidence that anything appears and disappears without cause.

All of the laws of nature discovered so far, especially the laws of conservation of mass and energy, tell us that nothing is ever created from nothingness or destroyed absolutely, and that all things change and evolve. The idea of the existence of nothingness is completely illogical and not supported by the evidence of scientific data. The discovery of gimmel strongly suggests that the same is true for consciousness. It may change and evolve, but there is no basis to believe that it will ever cease to exist. In addition, the existence of the complexly ordered physical universe only makes sense, and has purpose and meaning, if the progress made in one life actually carries over in some form into the next life. I am convinced by the evidence of experience and mathematical logic that there is something instead of nothing because there never was a state of absolute nothingness. Without gimmel, the laws of mechanics and the second law of thermodynamics tell us that no structured universe consisting of spinning objects like electrons, protons and neutrons could ever exist.

The fact that I exist now as a conscious being, implies that I have always existed, and will always exist in some form, as indicated clearly in the Judeo-Christian scriptures, especially before they were redacted by the heavy hand of Justinian I, Emperor of Rome.

Post Script:
Jacqui plans to post messages regarding things both mundane and spiritual revealed to her during her near-death experiences on her YL Abundance site, and we will be posting together on this blog as well. This is a change of focus that may be distasteful to some who think scientific investigation and spiritual experience are mutually exclusive, a view sometimes held by both materialists and religious people. Everyone is free to accept or reject what we have to say, and, of course, to refuse to read anything we post if you please. But, in my opinion, rejection of ideas that do not agree with your belief system is a short-sighted and misguided attitude that inhibits intellectual and spiritual growth. Real science, e.g., should seek to investigate all real experiences and phenomena, physical, mental and spiritual. Excluding anything for consideration that cannot be fully explained as the interaction of matter and energy in space and time is unscientific and ignores most of the most important questions we have as conscious human beings. To reject ideas that are not consistent with your own materialistic, intellectual or spiritual belief system is an indolent choice, but one chosen by many, if not most people alive in the world today.
Comments and questions are welcomed.
Edward R. Close 8/25/2018

1 comment:

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