A philosophy of reincarnation

Note: I don’t intend on having religious discussions on this blog. I don’t really consider it the place for them. However, I identify as what can best be described as an animistic, pantheistic, ancestor-worshiping, agnosto-pagan. On days I don’t claim atheism, that is. It’s gonna seep in regardless, so I’m attempting to describe the worldview to which I subscribe. Worldview, not religion. This is subject to interpretation and change. One size doesn’t necessarily fit all. I’m trying to avoid the psycho-spiritual babble and cliches, but there are always those people that will dismiss this entire post out of hand without getting anything out of it. You have been warned.

Read this slowly, and very carefully:

As I look more deeply, I can see that in a former life I was a cloud. And I was a rock. This is not poetry, it is science. This is not a question of belief in reincarnation, this is the history of life on Earth.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

You were not spontaneously generated. (For the sake of relevance, let’s dismiss the Big Bang theory for the moment.) Your molecules are not brand new and fresh from Wal-Mart. They are, in fact, used. From a planetary Goodwill. Everything your body is built from is second-hand. If you go back far enough there’s probably some elephant shit in there somewhere.

You are what you eat. You are what your food ate, and what your food’s food ate. Molecules are recycled indefinitely (they just sometimes get put on hiatus). Eventually, that rock will be broken down and its minerals absorbed by plants. Maybe after a few (thousand) years or so the very same mineral in another plant, or maybe an animal, ends up becoming a rock again. For a biotic example, food webs. Very complex.

Reincarnation, to put it simply.

Not past lives or immortal souls or any of that other fun stuff. It’s recycling on a planetary scale. And to borrow from Hermeticism, as above, so below. The planet recycles, so do I. Human-used resources, in my opinion, should be recycled, reused, or repurposed when possible. Dumpster diving, lending/renting, recycling, composting. A good reason to avoid plastics…they can be repurposed, but they don’t recycle easily. They also don’t decompose readily. They’re kind of like man-made rocks. They’ll get there eventually, but they’re in no hurry.

Found on the side of a Tazo bottle:

“PLEASE RECYCLE THIS BOTTLE. It deserves to be reincarnated, too.”

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2 Responses to “A philosophy of reincarnation”

  1. I’m glad you did a “best of” post.

    This post explains this idea well.

    • I hesitated at first, but then I recalled how useful “best of” posts are to me when I find a blog with an extensive archive. After 170+ posts, it can be useful to pick out the gems and display them somehow.

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