In the previous instalment, we explored Near-Death Experiences (NDEs). However, due to the increasing length of the post, I didn’t explore the criticism of NDEs.
NDEs are extra-dimensional phenomena reported by those who’ve been clinically dead and subsequently resuscitated. Whether they were dead for minutes (heart-failure), hours (frozen in icy climate), or days (coma), all NDEs report a strikingly similar sequence of events.
However, only 20% of those who revive from clinical death report an NDE. This may be for multiple reasons:
- a patient may not have had an NDE;
- a patient may not remember the NDE;
- a patient may keep the NDE to themselves due to disbelief, embarrassment, reputation or doubt.
NDEs pose two possible explanations.
The first explanation favoured by most sceptics is that the NDE is because of brain chemicals at the time of death. They believe the NDE is a mental hallucination and an evolutionary mechanism to reduce suffering.
However, now that you have the background from previous posts, you’ll recognise the inadequate explanation of that statement. The following is why I believe the sceptics are wrong:
- While the brain’s neurochemistry would change at death, it doesn’t explain why a brain would need to produce such an experience. After all, the patient is already unconscious, dead and not suffering; why would evolution require an alternative reality experience after death?
- The brain chemistry doesn’t explain the consistent experience across all NDEs despite religious or cultural background. Staunch atheists, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhist, Hindus all report the same sequence of events. One would expect a biased and culturally centred experience if it was an individual’s mind creating the dream.
- The brain chemistry doesn’t explain the disembodied observation and knowledge of the medical staff’s actions, thoughts or speech. Many NDEs claim they travelled involuntarily to different locations at the speed of thought, often able to observe and accurately describe what someone else was doing, wearing or saying at the time of the NDE.
- The brain chemistry doesn’t explain the patient’s encounter and knowledge of previously unknown deceased people. Dr Eben Alexander’s account of meeting his unknown deceased sister is a case in point.
- Lastly, and most importantly, if a patient is clinically dead, then how can the patient have any consciousness to see the hallucinations?
The second (and most probable) explanation for the Near-Death experience is an awareness of a previously undetectable higher dimension. A higher dimension is congruent with both theoretical physics’ discoveries and spiritual traditions’ claims throughout history.
This would mean that a higher, more sophisticated civilisation exists beyond ours.
Are You Real?
Interestingly, this brings up another popular theory gaining ground among physicists. For a while now, physicists have postulated that what we consider as reality is no more than a holographic simulation (click this link to watch this phenomenal debate between physicists, researchers and philosophers).
As unreal as it may sound, our 3D reality being a higher dimension’s simulation would explain and tie a lot of theories together.
• It would explain the disembodiment at death and the consequent perception of a higher dimension.
• It would explain the evolutionary gaps among species.
• It would explain advanced technology found at prehistoric sites.
• It would explain the mathematical nature of our universe (if something can be calculated, then it can be programmed since mathematics is a language)
• It would explain the existence of DNA as source code.
• It would explain and unify quantum mechanics’ and Newtonian Physics’ apparent differences
• It would explain reincarnation
• It would explain the evil in the world as a construct
• It would explain ageing, sickness, suffering, desire and impermanence.
• It would explain how and why we function on auto-pilot 99.9% of the time.
• It would explain how and why we’re daydreaming or perceiving non-material thoughts most of the time
• Most importantly, it would solve our deep nagging sensation that there’s something beyond the veil.
If you’ve ever played a simulation game (like The Sims, Civilisation, Second Life, Starcraft, Warcraft, or even Tamagotchi), you can imagine that just as we construct, run and interact with the digital simulation of game environments, civilisations and entities, a more advanced, higher-dimensional civilisation could be literally playing the game of Earth life through our 3D bodies.
In the simulation analogy, we could be a higher-dimensional entity ‘playing’ a fully immersive, virtual reality experience via our 3D body; bound by its genetic code and 3D physical laws. At death, the ‘game’ is over and the player (us) returns or awakens to their true reality.
This could also explain the familiarity and sense of Home all NDEs experience when they “return” to the higher dimension, and their unanimous resistance in returning to the body.
I admit that this notion sounds outlandish and in the realms of science fiction, however, it is in a highly probable field of possibility. Specifically, because our senses are limited to perceive three dimensions, while many more are theorised to exist by physicists.
Just as you (a 3D being) can create, simulate and play through a 2-Dimensional character in a game, why couldn’t a 7th Dimensional entity (a Soul?) play the game of Life through us? Moreover, rather than be alarming, its probability is quite liberating. It would explain away why Nature is so brutal, and help us to endure and understand absolute lifetime misfortune.
Whether you believe that 3D Earth Life is a simulation you exit at death, or that soul disembodiment at death is a spiritual event (different words but same concept), or that all this is rubbish and nothing will happen at death, it doesn’t fundamentally matter. We will all be facing death and ultimately finding out. Stick with whatever rocks your cradle and makes sense to you.
However, if you find yourself terrified of your Deathday anyway, then that’s your immediate, tangible proof that your current belief doesn’t make intuitive sense—you don’t believe it. It may mean your belief is more about how you want to identify yourself, and be identified as.
In instalment eight (Summary), I reasoned the series’ argument with the conclusion that after death, my Consciousness (not my identity) would “wake up” elsewhere—on Earth, on another planet, or in another dimension. Consciousness after physical death is a natural conclusion following from the understanding that we are essentially Consciousness itself.
Reincarnation from a state of Consciousness is a fundamental tenet in most Eastern religions. Unbeknownst to most, some branches of Christianity also posit reincarnation. After all, Jesus’ resurrection is essentially reincarnation into the same body by Christ. I believe if you read the New Testament with fresh eyes, you’ll come to understand Jesus’ parables in a very different light.
While different religions use different words from diverse cultures, fundamentally they all point to the same concept, process and source—You’re more than your body, Earth life is an illusion, and at death, you’ll transcend.
So, what does reincarnation mean?
Re-in-carn-ate literally means to fleshify again; to materialise into another flesh/material form.
It doesn’t mean that my identity will continue elsewhere. My identity as ‘Jorge’ dissolves with my body.
Remember how we explored Consciousness being the force that observes and guides all matter (energy) into its many different and continual transmutations? While your physical atomic body feels static and complete, your body is continually changing, losing and gaining matter every second.
However, because You are the Consciousness that observes through your identity, You (not your identity) can’t cease to exist. Consciousness is that which transcends, organises and observes through all matter; including Yours.
Let’s imagine if you can, that you are the water in the entire ocean.
As the sun rises to its highest point, its heat causes some of your water on the surface to evaporate up into the air. As your evaporated water particles rise higher and higher, the temperature starts to cool. Due to the temperature drop, you now start to condense into mist. As the mist grows in size, you grow into the shape of a cloud.
A light wind blows you across the ocean, over land and eventually over the mountains. You’ve accumulated a lot more water by this stage, and instead of being a light fluffy cloud when you started, you’re now a huge and heavy cloud, ready to let go of all that water.
Lightning flashes across the sky, connecting heaven and earth as the first drops fall. Soon, a few drops turn into torrential rain as you start to disperse and fall towards the ground. You’re collected by the river and gently flow back into the ocean from where you came.
But soon, the temperature will rise again coaxing you into another journey.
In the cloud (reincarnation) analogy, ocean water is Consciousness. The sun’s heat is the energy that facilitates the conversion from dispersing Consciousness into a concentrated form (the body). The cloud starts off light and small and over time grows in size and density; just like your body and mind. At a certain point, your Consciousness can no longer support its physical form. As your form and shape disintegrate, your Consciousness flows back to its source to materialise as something else.
While you were a cloud, you felt separate from the water below, never understanding you were made of the same water. As a conscious body, you feel separate, distinct; never understanding your consciousness is the same Consciousness you arose from.
If Consciousness is the whole, then a body is a container for the whole. We could say a body is a concentrated locus of the whole. A body, then, is Consciousness incarnate. And if this is so, then every species—plant, animal, person—is an incarnation of the one whole; the one Consciousness!
Therefore, it’s inevitable that if you are a concentrated part of Consciousness itself, upon physical death, your Consciousness recognises its source, and eventually reanimates as something else. Your reincarnation may be here as another human, animal or plant on Earth; who’s to know? However, it’s also likely you’ll materialise on another galaxy altogether in a completely different life-form, to play a very different game.
Karma, is a Sanskrit term which generally means action and the inevitable consequences of that action. Every action creates ripples of re-actions; some are immediately seen, most are not. From a personal standpoint, Karma brings attention to be mindful of every word and action we ripple to those around us and ourselves. On a deeper level, we can recognise that we are the direct karma of our family tree. We don’t just have our parents’ genes, but their parents, grandparents and so on.
However, Eastern religions add the concept of karmic punishment to personal reincarnation. That is, your current incarnation (Life) is a direct result of your past life’s actions. Therefore, your next incarnation will be a direct result of this life’s actions. (This implies a soul)
I believe karmic reincarnation is eastern religion’s concept of hell as a means to motivate the public to behave. Just as the popular idea of Christian Hell was borrowed from Dante’s Inferno, I believe karmic reincarnation was adapted for the same purpose.
The reason I think this, is because personal karmic reincarnation makes no causal or spiritual sense, and is self-contradictory.
If You are pure Consciousness, and your identity is no more than a physical illusion which ceases to exist at death, then how can “you” be punished or rewarded by Consciousness after death?
But that’s not all. Let’s assume this contradiction is true.
How can someone have hope of being benevolent if someone is born with brain dysfunction? Furthermore, if someone’s born with psychopathic brain dysfunction, is that karma from the past life? If so, how can one evolve if each subsequent bad reincarnation is a direct result of their bad past incarnation?
As an extension of its natural progression, why be born that way if that birth would only bring pain on others? Is the punishment meant to be for the person born that way, or the people that come in contact with him? If so, then isn’t that Karma purposeful, providential, and therefore, outside our control?
Alternatively, if the karmic reincarnation is good, and the person has a natural affinity for charity, goodness and compassion, then how can that be judged as genuine free-will karma for the next life? Aren’t they just born that way, and therefore, irresponsible for their good nature?
And I’m limiting this inquiry to humans. How does Karmic punishment apply to animals and plants since the same Consciousness flows through them?
You either have pre-determined Karma dictating your reincarnation, which means you don’t have free-will. Or you have free-will and pre-determined Karma can’t exist.
The problem with religious pontification, is it assumes everyone was born with the same blank slate in the same blank environment. But you know that’s not true if you’ve ever had or been around children. People are born with pre-built characteristics.
- Some are naturally happy and energetic, and others are melancholic.
- Some are self-centred, others are other-centred.
- Some are bright, others are dull.
- Some are naturally curious, others are reserved.
- Some are dreamers, others are doers
- Some are artistic, others are practical.
- Some gravitate towards virtue, others towards deception.
- Some incline towards cruelty, others towards compassion.
Oftentimes, these traits appear very young, and persist despite opposing environmental conditions. For example, when a negative environment doesn’t tarnish the child’s innate joy and optimism. Likewise, a caring and fortunate environment don’t stop some from gravitating towards pessimism and bitterness.
Often, we mistakenly blame our disposition on our childhood influences. Yet, if we ask people who knew us when young, we’ll find out we’ve had our current disposition all along from birth. Looking at our young, non-posing, natural photos usually reveals the same information.
But being born with the right traits isn’t enough; what if the environment is destructive, or not conducive to a child’s proper development? Can the resulting adult be entirely to blame?
Think of the worst person you know. Now picture being born as them—you have their genes, their disposition, their conditioning, their daily life experience and outlook. Now tell me honestly, could they be any different than what they are?
Could you be genuinely different than what you are?
Even the fish will feel stupid, if it’s judged on its ability to climb trees.not Albert Einstein
Some people are dolphins, others’ whales, and others are sharks. If you’re a dolphin, don’t think too highly of yourself, you had no choice. If you’re a shark, don’t berate yourself too much, you had no choice either. Of course, Life colours your personality along the way. But even that implies you’re being coloured by Life itself.
Our only respite is by actively using our free-will to choose environments, activities and people that will inevitably influence and change us for the better.
I believe the basis for the golden rule “treat others, as you treat yourself” is ultimately this: your neighbour is no more responsible for their innate personality than you are for yours. Nevertheless, the same core Consciousness animates them, as it does you.
Treat them accordingly with perspective and understanding. You don’t have to like them, you don’t have to associate with them, but it may help to understand they can’t be like you any more than you can be like them.
This is something I’ve struggled with all my life and often forget. But when I do remember, I can’t stop smiling 🙂
The commonality among all of us is: the Consciousness that sees you through me, is the same consciousness that sees me through you.
You may have doubts about reincarnation despite the scientific and reasoned evidence I’ve provided over the series. After all, what real proof is there? Funnily enough, quite a bit.
The most significant source of proof comes from very young children recalling vivid, explicit detail of their past life. On further investigation, parents and researchers find the person their child refers to, and match details of the past life immaculately to the child’s recollections.
Children remembering their past lives is an excellent form of anecdotal evidence because very young toddlers wouldn’t be capable of imagining or memorising obscure facts. They often show interest in their previous incarnation’s tastes; they’ll have an aversion to what may have been their previous cause of death; they’ll identify their past incarnation’s social and familial circle; they’ll remember vividly how they died or who murdered them.
Normal material explanations blaming the brain for the child’s recollections are deeply inadequate and non-sensical. Most of these children are pre-verbal or possess rudimentary vocabulary, yet, they can name obscure and difficult descriptions of past incarnation’s life.
Specific incarnation memories imply a soul which reincarnates. This is also congruent with the simulation theory and most religions.
Secondly, it may not be a soul per se, but an etheric memory remnant that the child’s undeveloped brain is picking up. I say undeveloped because it’s still at very early stages of neural wiring. Our brains finish full development at around 25 years of age.
You may remember from previous posts that our perception is limited by our neural network. But if the network is compromised, then we would perceive a lot more.
Perhaps you’ve noticed how babies’ eyes seem to be looking at, and following something around a room; even if what’s in front of them is empty space and a blank ceiling or wall (cats do the same). Their brains are not fixed yet, and I have a very strong feeling they can perceive higher dimensional states. Once the brain heads towards completion, coupled with parental conditioning, they fixate on the 3D reality.
Perhaps then, all of us once able to see full reality, lost the ability through conditioning. Perhaps we’ve just forgotten what was once as real and vivid as these words on your screen.
Stay tuned for the next and last post of this series.
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Also published on Medium.