In order to function normally, a body needs three things: heartbeat, respiration and brain activity. But what of the life force? That’s something altogether more mysterious. I’ve never been convinced that heartbeat, respiration and brain activity produce life, only that they provide the necessary conditions for the life force to function in concert with a body. I can’t prove this, of course, it’s just a conviction I’ve never been without for as long as I remember back in childhood.
I know a doctor who believes that the life force is a fragment of the universal energy, and that when we die that fragment simply rejoins the cosmic soup. But suppose consciousness remains with the life force when it vacates the body, and suppose that consciousness retains the concept of individuality, which would seem likely. Then we have the concept of soul to grapple with.
People occasionally ask me why I’m so convinced of reincarnation, or whatever term a particular tradition cares to use. Maybe I’ll answer that in a blog post one of these times, but for now I’ll quote Edgar Allan Poe:
But it is mere idleness to say that I had not lived before – that the soul has no previous existence. You deny it? – let us not argue the matter. Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.