Stephen Hawking has apparently claimed that humans have only one life each. That is, of course, correct. What then of reincarnation? Are we reborn on Earth, occupying a different body on each occasion? Those who reject reincarnation are surely ignoring or rejecting the evidence, as inconclusive as that might be, that some little children (up to about age 6) have remembered correctly their recent past lives. Closing one’s mind (or eyes) to that which one fears will not make it go away, will it?
Yet, reportedly, those who took over the newly-established Christian church (originally an offshoot of Judaism) decided that any belief about an afterlife (apparently held by peoples everywhere in one form or another) had to go: they would intercede between the individual and God, and not have past lives, the spirit world, or even the individual, influence the direction of life on Earth. That was, of course, nothing more than a power-grab! Theocratic control continues, although waning in influence.
The spirit world is rejected by those who claim a belief in the Old Testament, no matter that there is evidence that the souls of some former human beings have manifested themselves as beneficial spirits. I am one of the beneficiaries. Should we not, as intelligent human beings, judge the writings of other human beings, whether originating in the desert, or on mountain tops, or in some forested land, and whether of recent or historical origin, according to their relevance for life today, and also according to the open-ness of the guidance or knowledge offered?
Revelation may also have outlived its relevance. Ram Krishnan, a sage of Hinduism, might disagree. Look up his life and his commentaries.
Cosmic catastrophes had been denied until Velikovsky’s challenge. All change on Earth (and in the heavens?) was believed to be gradual. The disappearance of some species of life on Earth, or the sudden appearance of some new and complete forms of species, and the probable burial or drowning of early advanced human civilisations, most likely caused by cosmic cataclysms, tended to be covered by sophisticated denial. ‘Where is the evidence?’ is no excuse for a closed mind.
Lamarkism was accepted by Darwin. But, with the acceptance of gene expression, all biological change had to be genetic in their pathways. Now Lamarkism seems to be back in the form of epigenesis, which apparently bypasses the genome. Learning, leading to physical or behavioural change, might take many forms. Will the stakeholders reconsider?
Many church-goers fear death; so they have indicated to me. Some of them are not sure about what might happen after death; they would rather extend their lives, even through a regime if pain. How sad!
Is it fear or ego which leads some to ignore, even deny, any evidence or even knowledge which they find emotionally or ideologically challenging? Is an open mind that difficult to acquire and hold? I am reminded of a former colleague who said that his church denied meditation. The reason? That one’s soul departs the body during meditation, allowing evil spirits to enter.
At the highest level of Hinduism, it is believed that the human soul, that ongoing entity which occupies a series of bodies sequentially on Earth through reincarnation, resides in one’s heart. That may explain why some who have had heart transplants develop interests and likings which were not present with the discarded heart; a different personality may emerge. This is a fact.
I do hope that Hawking will return to Earth repeatedly, contributing his great mind to future generations, through widening his perspective to include neo-ethereal paradigms. For, it is said that learning is accumulative over lifetimes. So mought it be!