I have been reading and listening to a lot of Alan Watts lately and have recently changed my philosophy to Taoism. Turns out I have been one all of my life but just didn't know what it was called! :p Anyway, I was watching The Atheist Experience the other day on youtube (interesting discussions and I'd recommend checking them out) and there was a guy on the show talking about Taoism and reincarnation. To me Taoism fits into what I know about physics and astronomy and really reflects my view of the world, but I never felt like any of it suggested a spiritual reincarnation. I believe "reincarnation" is possible in a way. If the hypothesis about infinite universes or an endlessly repeating universe is correct then there is a 100% chance that "you" (the ego) will happen an infinite amount of times. Given infinite circumstances your specific neurons and "beingness" will be recreated infinitely, thus you will experience life repeatedly but won't have any memories or connections to other "yous." Anybody with a background in science, Taoism, or just curious about the topic?
Interesting hypothesis. I read the TAO of Physics many years ago and found it intriguing. Do you recommend a certain source on this topic? I tend to think of reincarnation as a trumped up version of our interchangeable atoms floating around taking on new lives and purposes after we die.
I've had a similar thought myself, though not through Taoism. Check out my Nexus Blog...Life After Death an Atheists New Point of View.
In theory I can see all things are re-cycled in the universe. But consciousness per incremental person? It's not just coming back as someone else who doesn't remember past lives like forgetting dreams on waking. But re-incarnation will snow-ball over the centuries into an enlightened person. Like blood amassing in a well fed tick on Dog. It is a supreme arrogance for the personal ego to carry such self-importance although it means everything and nothing over time which is why there is no accountability for the notion.
Outside of individuals I think the collective unconscious of man goes through its incarnations that squeeze past mere genes or circumstances. In that way our identities are glove puppets on it. Some energies must pool somewhere that get expressed beyond genes parenting environment circumstances etc...I'm thinking here specifically in the arts though.
I almost think this reincarnative collective is the ghost in the machine propelling theism. Why can't man say mankind has a soul and be done with it than invent Un-man.