Why? Because it’s fun.

Inspired by a recent post by Dr. Bruce Charlton, here are three possibilities for some kind of reincarnation compatible with what we know about reality.  In other words, at least possibly compatible with the truth that the spirit does not merely ride the body like a waldo.  As Dr. Charlton says, “once a spirit has had a body, the body cannot afterwards be detached from that spirit without some maiming, some irreparable damage.”

None of these speculations are guaranteed to be true, or even ultimately possible.

Rare Resurrection to Mortality

Here’s BC:

Now – what this seems to mean for reincarnation is that it has to involve ‘the same’ person coming back. I think this is entailed, because the body would (I think) have to be remade from the surviving spirit – in something I imagine to resemble a complementary process.

A reincarnated human would, I take it, have to be re-born to human parents – and if a post-mortem spirit was indeed reborn in this way he would need to be provided with a new body that was nonetheless in some essential way the same body he had before – not necessarily the same in appearance, but the same in some essential fashion; because otherwise he would remain maimed; and also otherwise because if he had a different body when reincarnated, then he would not be the same person somehow reborn, but someone fundamentally different.

Lazarus and others were resurrected to a continuation of their mortal life.  I believe something similar happens to children who died: they are resurrected as mortal children in the Millennium.

We do not know what the principal of the continuity of the body is.  The traditional Christian efforts to preserve the body in burial, our rite of dedicating the grave, and Joseph Smith’s description of the ideal case of resurrection happening at the actual grave, suggests that the principle of continuity is tied to the actual physical substance.  But we know that this cannot be entirely literally true.  Over time, the physical substance of one human body becomes part of another.

In the absence of more particular information, we can speculate that perhaps a body could be brought back to mortal life at some stage of bodily existence other than the one in which it died.  In other words, that an old dead man could be resurrected to mortality as a baby or even a fetus.

Damnatio Memoriae

Insisting on sin means breaking communion with God and the exalted.

No one can remain in the community of the exalted who hasn’t rejected each and every sin. Rejection doesn’t mean having fully overcome it. It could be an admission that the sin is a sin and a determination to overcome it though it takes aeons of time. That would be enough to allow the unit of meaning to not be sinful and not contrary to participation in the community.

On the other hand, the sinner who in the future would grow to a desire to overcome his sin and then would overcome it, but who doesn’t will to end it now, cannot be in communion.

The thing is, the sinner may need that communion. We all know, even in trivial things, that without our friends coaxing us, there are things we never would have done and liked. Like the song says, sometimes we’ll walk the line for other people when we wouldn’t walk it for ourselves.

Perhaps the defiant sinner can be put in another community where he can grow to that desire. But perhaps not. Perhaps he is so constituted that it is only in the company of the people he cannot now be in company with that he would grow. Such a person would be damned, and it could be said of them without qualification that this life was the time to prepare to meet God.

The only alternative would be something like re-incarnation. Even then, I have the intuition that the reincarnation would not allow them to retain or eventually recover the loves and friendships of their past life.  If your past life weren’t cut off, you would end up just returning to your vomit like a dog.

So the original life must ended, judged, damned. It is gone.

In other words, perhaps spirits can be incarnated again but only if the original incarnation is undone.  We may speculate that it is possible to undo a spirit’s ties with a body–but then the incarnation is as if it had never been, and the memories and growth experienced there are also undone.

There is a strain of Mormon thought that holds that the ultimate destiny of Satan and his angels is, unique in all creation, to cease to exist.  Perhaps what that means is that their continuity is interrupted.  Their spirits are reset and all their past life and choices are as if they have never been.  Tabula rasa.

Multiple bodies

My spirit’s interface with my body can occur in more than one spatial location.  My arms are not in the same spot as my legs.  Similarly, my spirit’s interface with my body can occur at more than one time.  I am me today and tomorrow.  My spirit cannot interface with my body in every location and in every time, or else I would not have a body.  A body by definition having limits.

We already know that a spirit can link to a body with temporal gaps.  That is what resurrection is.

Is it possible that the spirit can have a body that has spatial gaps?  In other words, that a spirit can have what we would see as more than one body?  I doubt it, but it may be possible.

If so, reincarnation would seem to be not a punishment, but a way of providing more and enhanced experience.

Anyhow, purely for fun, my biddies.  Don’t erect any part of your faith on this unsolid foundation.

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