If there is one concept which upon analysis immediately strikes an empirically minded person as absurdly inconsistent with the totality of facts we
have about how nature works, it is the Christian (and Catholic) doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead. For example, how many humans are going to be
resurrected upon the Earth if this is indeed the case? If we count from merely the year 1 CE, we're already talking about some 48 billion dead people
waiting to be reborn on Earth when the Messiah comes. If we are more adventurous, we may include the last 50,000 years, and that would be 108 billion
human souls waiting to be reborn. Since anatomically modern Homo Sapiens have been around - based on fossil records (and sciences like archeology
likely to be rejected by religious people more committed to the sweet soothing calm of dogma than the newness of recent facts supported by reality)
since around 350,000 years ago, we may amplify that number to some plausible postulate like 150 to 200 billion human souls.
So lets say that since modern homo sapiens have arrived on the Earth (and we can even be more realistic, and pinpoint the emergence of self-awareness
and the soul/existential concerns back to homo erectus 1.5 million years ago), we're talking about hundreds of billions of individuals persons
waiting to be resurrected from the dead!
But of course, Catholicism and orthodox Christianity, as well Judaism and Islam with similar beliefs, adumbrate the world into a form that fits nicely
with their bureaucratic agendas. Presumably for Christians, only Christians will be resurrected; for Catholics, only those who follow the Holy Roman
Catholic Church are resurrectable. For Jehovah Witnesses, this number shrinks to a very nerve racking 144,000.
What a cruel world to live in.
If the above discussion strikes one as deeply arbitrary and inherently unpalatable, because it basically says you only live once, and not only that,
but that only certain people will be resurrected while everyone else who fails to meet some arbitrarily defined criteria merits eternal damnation,
that may be the whole point.
There is something stress inducing in drawing such constraints around reality in the way Catholics, Christians, Jews, and Muslims do. Reality loses
all its empirical dynamism and becomes a linear process from some set point in time to some undetermined but impending future which will have God
"judge the living and the dead". Its stressful being a Catholic, a Christian, a Jew or a Muslim, having to believe that reality is this
unaccommodating, this demanding, and punishing even where it seems that neither you nor I seem to deserve this harsh treatment.
Think about the power that such a doctrine gives a person or group of people interested in controlling the mind of others. Compare this one time to
live doctrine with the concept of reincarnation. With reincarnation, existence is a flowing continuity in both horizontal-ecological and
vertical-existential directions. How we live today is a function of how we lived in a previous life. Choice exists in every now, and in every now we
can enact the wisdom that comes from being a function of symmetry dynamics within our material bodies, otherwise known as the "golden rule". We can
pay attention to the experiential realities of others and empathize with them, thereby improving their experiences of being and reality, or we can
step roughshod over them as we project our own needs and ignore the middle way which allows us to reconcile our own needs with the needs of others.
Love is the hub which determines reincarnation dynamics, and it also determines the quality of the bodies, families, and societies we grow into. None
of us know a world of Eden because such a world entails that everyone be filled with the knowledge of God - i.e. the knowledge of How Reality
The following chart tries to capture some of the reoccurring structure that can be seen in the progressive evolution of the Universe in
terms of the concept of Threeness.
In this scheme, every individual is simultaneously a function of the singularity it derives from - the Godhead, or what we may term "The Father";
every individual is also a human being, living in time, or what we may call "The Son"; and every individual is a function of the ecological dynamics
inherent in the self-organizing Cosmos we grow from, or what we may call "The Holy Spirit". Whether or not this is the orthodox interpretation of
the Christian trinity (it isn't) it's an interpretation that is far more consistent with the facts of what we are, how we work, and where we come
From this perspective, reincarnation makes a whole lot of sense. Humans are souls, and lets say there's a limited number of them associated with this
planet (leaving open the possibility that other planets have their own souls with their own histories). Lets say that number is something around 8
billion, give or take a few hundred million. Every one of these souls has lived at some time during the 1.5 million year history since the human self
has evolved from Homo Erectus. We have so many histories all of us; some of us have reached epochal status as chieftains, only to follow up that life
as a slave, and then a slave, and then a commoner. There is an economics to reincarnation that has to do with the surplus of good you've experienced
and how you've come to experience it, and the amount of pain you've endured and how you've come to endure it. This is a process which combines
chance, necessity and a little bit of free will. The organization of these processes is not nearly as mysterious or transcendental as it may sometimes
be represented. For example, we are already possessors minds that are organized from symmetry dynamics between brains; and the brain, and body is
always interacting with a world. All of the acts we engage in are recorded and registered in bodies, and these bodies both live and at the same mete
out the facts of karma. We can harm another person and post-facto,
that may have been a function of necessity; but it was also at the same time
an act of free will which we chose to enact.
This means that we have some negative necessity coming our way.
The traditions of Rome and of Big Men since time immemorial have been dark, dangerous and depressing. Few matters are as terrifying and intimidating
as knowing how Rome and other cults which worship power run things. These men (in principle its about maleness) are dedicated to power, and in being
dedicated to power, they are driven by the same sorts of facts that have organized the theories of aboriginal peoples all over the world. The
professor of Archeology at Simon Fraser University Brian Fraser has written three magnificent books: Shamans, Sorcerers, and Saints, 'The Power of
Feasts', and 'The Power of Ritual in Prehistory', all of which detail the way elites have used food, and territory to amass more and more power for
themselves. Indeed, Fraser see's todays world of social complexity to be a direct descendent of this very same process - which hasn't stopped, and
has now reached its zenith in todays Neoliberal world order.
Is the resurrection of the dead not a brilliant control tactic to keep people tense, afraid, unsure, and above all, out of their own heads, reflecting
on their own experience of how reality works? To believe...