A still from this very strange commercial
You never know when you're going to strike a nerve. I was doing some reading on reincarnation and blogged about it previously. The subject is something I keep meaning to go into greater detail about, but it keeps getting shoved to the back burner. It's long been a subject of interest for me and something that has a personal interest as well.
I was reading the chapter on the subject in Colin Wilson's The Occult and was struck by the resonance of case studies on reincarnation, some of which I was familiar with from other texts. I'm not commenting on their veracity per se, I'm commenting on their narrative power, which is rather immense.
One thing I did find interesting is that Wilson went from discussing reincarnation to a brief essay on UFOs, a segue-way I found particularly interesting given the fact that the two topics seem incongruously linked (you'd think UFO people would be all about ascension).
Yet the notorious UFO cult Unarius is just as much about reincarnation as it is flying saucers, and the Heaven's Gate cult believed that they would reincarnate on the Hale Bopp saucer. As Mike Clelland noted in the comments, there's plenty more where that came from.
But I suppose I was blogging about reincarnation because a model for it had occurred to me a short time ago. It struck me that human beings were judged to be alive by their ability to generate heat, and that perhaps that this heat was that elusive thing we call spirit, itself a kind of conscious radiation.
Since basic thermodynamics teaches us that heat rises, it occurred to me that this heat/spirit would come into contact with the power of the Sun, and that perhaps the Sun itself was not only conscious, but the author of all consciousness within the solar system. A "broadcaster of souls," as I called it.
This was simply an intuition. I don't even know if such a thing could be tested for. But in these days where terabytes of information can be attached to laser beams-- focused energy, after all-- the model didn't seem so far-fetched.
Following that model it then struck me that, reincarnation or no, living creatures are like stations in a network and the network is Solar Consciousness. Everything we can touch or test is made of Sun, why wouldn't it express Sun? In the end, everything we accept as our reality is mostly a function of necessity of physical life- cars, houses, clothes, language- not of consciousness itself.
We simply think of the Sun today as some giant light bulb in the sky but science tells us it's the source of everything we really know (I'll refrain from commenting on our speculations about other solar systems simply because they're ultimately based on a latticework of guesses and don't let anyone tell you different). How can we have consciousness- however you describe it- ex nihilo?
Doesn't it make more sense that we are a reflection of consciousness? After all, it wasn't so long ago that we didn't realize that plants had consciousness. Why stop there?
This needn't even conflict with someone's religious beliefs because we are talking about a system here, not who or what is necessarily operating it.
Anyone who's had a powerful psychedelic experience realizes that our daily consciousness is but a veneer, and that deeper layers of consciousness lie beneath (not all of which are especially pleasant), many of which have been ascribed to plants, or to the Earth itself. If we ascribe consciousness to the Earth, why not to the Sun from which it came? After all, the Sun produces music, doesn't it?
What greater signal of consciousness could you ask for?
I realize I'm going into a bit more detail here than I did in the previous post. The post before was really a reflection on personal experience but that's not what most people seemed to tune into. The mention of the Sun in relation to reincarnation was almost an aside, just a passing mention of a possible mechanism for this transmigration. But it certainly seemed to strike a very deep chord, provoking a number of fascinating replies on the connection between the Sun's mysterious power and the survival of bodily death.
Of course, this really brought me back to the origins of this blog and the work behind it, the Mystery religions- whose chief concern was the fate of the soul following death- and Sun worship. There were a number of Mysteries but as time went on the Solar mysteries seemed to take power and precedence, eventually become chief among religions in the Roman Empire.
Of course Sun worship was brought into Rome through foreign evangelists, but chief among these were the Syrian sun cultists who came to the Eternal City with the so-called Syrian Emperors, who were in fact descendants of the Phoenicians with their mysteries, both great and small (Ba'albek, for starters).
Many of the "New Mythologists" argue today that the Christianity of Rome was itself just an elaborate form of ritualized sun worship, a compromise between Roman sun worship and Asian Christianity.
One thing that should be noted is that many of the Solar Mystery cults preached a ritualized form of reincarnation in which the adherent was slain to the world and rose into the precepts of the cult. That the beliefs of the world were no longer valid and were to be rejected.
It's interesting to note that among the intellectuals of their time you saw much the same kinds of rationalist and skeptical belief systems, as well as the same kind of mindless hedonism and narcissism, that we see today. That is precisely what these cults rejected and abhorred, in the most militant and often gruesome ways you can imagine.
All of which is to say that even back then you had the Sun and reincarnation linked in a very powerful and profound way (not to mention UFOs- no, really). It struck me that plasma-- which I've written about in depth in relation to UFOs-- also relates back to the Sun. There seems to be a taboo against looking into such connections. 500 years ago you'd be accused of witchcraft, today you'd be accused of "pseudoscience", which is just a fancy synonym for the same thing.
The link between the Sun and these greater Mysteries was all consuming to me a few years back. For a number of reasons I drifted away from that particular path of inquiry, but maybe because there were questions I found myself getting hung up on. The ancient Sun cults were not dilettantes and were not dabblers, they were some of the most hardcore bonecrushers of the ancient world.
Something compelled them, something beyond our secular understanding. I still haven't figured out what exactly it was. (Either way, I think you should take strength from their example. The smart set were all about Epicureanism and Stoicism and other kinds of proto-atheistic thoughtforms. They probably looked down on all those superstitious maniacs too).
What authors like Angus argue however is that the Mysteries faded because their arcane cosmologies were too esoteric for popular appeal. People preferred the simple appeal of Christianity. I would argue this is a political argument, since the Isis cult was as populist as Christianity, and didn't die but was in fact simply absorbed into the Church.
When shopping for salvation, Angus seems to argue, the simplest explanations are usually the most compelling.
I'm not selling salvation but I can't think of a simpler model for the immortality of the soul than the one I laid out here. Now, please note that I'm not going to talk about karma and rising and falling along the levels of attainment there. Wilson cited a scholar who dismissed reincarnation because it negates compassion, by arguing that one's karma is earned by actions in a past life. I agree- that all smacks a bit too much of priestcraft for my liking.
All I know is this simple intuition, this stray realization, got me to think a lot more seriously about reincarnation than I've had in years. Maybe having some kind of reasonable model -- with at least a veneer of science-- is what I needed all along.
Now, about those flying saucers...
NOTES: I wrote about animal reincarnation back in 2007 when our beloved cat Mary seemed to reappear in an nearly-identical form as a kitten. Since then this new incarnation (who we call Fruit Wrinkles) has only become more eerily like the previous one, favoring the same spots in the yard and generally behaving and carrying herself in a startlingly-identical manner. I believe that event and circumstance shape our personalities in powerful ways so Fruit Wrinkles was quite different in her youth (Mary had kittens shortly after her first birthday) but as time goes by the similarities are amazing.
It did occur to me that they could be related but there's no way of proving that and their origins are such that it's extremely unlikely. What's more remarkable is how Fruit Wrinkles just seemed to drop into our lives as if an inevitability. I don't expect this to be anything but an anecdote to most people, but it's rather stunning evidence for us personally.