While reincarnation is a difficult sell to many people outside the Buddhist framework, there appears to be a lot of talk nowadays in the collective unconscious as described by Carl Jung.
Some questions to consider in respect of our actions on future generations, and the actions of past generations on us:-
Do we leave a trail for our souls to follow in past lives and future lives? Books? Artwork? Music?
Which aspects of us are maintained in reincarnation?
Do we fulfil the role of every person and being to live in the history of the world?
Do we experience another’s life through emotional transference? Does this span the length of time? Is this what forms and reforms us as we die and rebirth? Being touched in profound ways by those who lived before us and in the present?
To say that ‘I will be buried and decompose and that is all’ is an understatement, even for the non-spiritual person. This does not account for every thought shared with another, every word written and every form of expression that affected those who will in turn affect others.
It is not the person that is left behind but their ideas, their essence and their impact. These things are incalculable, yet part of the cosmic dance. We have not yet considered how their DNA impacts the world it is absorbed into. Is this essence taken into nearby trees, worms and microbes? How does it affect them?
When we read something inspiring it evokes an emotion within us. It creates a spark of energy for us to go and do something.
This feeling metaphorically illustrates that we have just picked up a breadcrumb left by a predecessor. The poet, author, playwriter or lecturer has left signposts to us to continue the path of exploration.
It is the reincarnation of this idea, of this exciting feeling that the author has when writing it to the reader. It is happening thousands of times over, all over the world and each receiver of this wisdom has something to do with this information.
Perhaps it coalesces with other ideas of theirs to create something more novel and this the next step on this exploratory path. This is why it is important to share our ideas.
This idea was already a part of you, contained in the collective unconscious, and reading it, experiencing the art, and hearing the music is to remind this incarnation where it left off and to add to the path of discovery for all mankind.
We are persistently exposed to metaphors of reincarnation, through repurposing, whether it is the tree which is converted into the paper that holds these words, the leaves which mulch on the forest floor to feed the next generation of tree. I personally feel the presence of Carl Jung and Marcus Aurelius in writing these words — they are memes of various sources produced the next generation of consumer.
For some reincarnation is resurrection of entire past life knowledge, but for most of us we are feeling around a dark cave looking for these torches along the way.