This article would be a book if we traced the origins of reincarnation theory back through every culture and epoch. Because of that and because of the inadequacy of language, we would do better to begin by considering incarnation and reincarnation by looking at the imagery and feeling that these words evoke.
The accepted use and definition of “incarnate” evokes images of something individual descending from one place, down into matter. This is spatial and temporal thinking unique to the human mind that most easily grasps 3rd dimensional realities of time and space. Most people will imagine incarnation as an individual unit of consciousness (that they call the “soul”) leaving it’s place and moving, like an orb of light, down to the earth sphere and then residing in and around the human body.
But what if there is another way of thinking about this?
Allow me to begin with two statements:
1. Just because a teaching is old, doesn’t make it true.
To highlight this, imagine that 10,000 years from now, a group of humans discovered the Georgia Guidestones during an excavation. Would you advise them to view this as ancient wisdom or truth given to mankind by sages? Or would you suggest instead that they consider the possibility that the stones were placed there by a billionaire with fascist leanings?
2. Anecdotal evidence and subjective experience are not proof of a thing.
This subject matter deserves to be handled both delicately and with assiduity. This involves the examination of both the origin of reincarnation theory (tracing backwards to the conditions of the epochs of which it arose) and its implications. That is, following the concept forward to its logical conclusions and implications. What does it imply about the nature of reality and the condition of the human-state?
Let’s try an exercise in allegory and imagination to view incarnation from another perspective.
In this exercise you are an observer, independent to the scene described:
Imagine that you are on a grassy knoll. There is no civilization around, only nature. The sky is clear and the sun is shining brightly. You are facing north, the sun is southwest, behind you, over your left shoulder.
Floating in the air a short distance from you are seven magnificent mirrors. These mirrors are not truly physical as they are also not truly mirrors but, for the sake of this exercise we will imagine them this way.
Each mirror is unique in its beauty. Each has a different frame and shape. The glass in each mirror is equally unique. There are waves and forms, areas that are concave, some convex and colours, beautiful arrays of colours.
You then become aware that over your right shoulder stand seven white columns. They are also unique in their height, circumference and shape but the material from which they are made (sand, limestone and white clay) is pretty much the same, although some variations are present. Unlike the mirrors, the columns are physical and subject to entropy.
For the rest of the story: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/10/28/reincarnation-trap/