IS REINCARNATION POSSIBLE?
I am agnostic and have always been so. I do not recall any point in my life that I have believed in God or denied the existence of God. God’s existence seem a possibility and his nonexistence also seem a possibility, but which is true? I do not know. Not knowing anything for sure I study things and even after studying things I still do not know anything to be true or not.
I am divorced and my three kids are away. I live alone. I read a lot. I read, think, and sometimes write. I do not care much for television because I know that it is distraction, folks are given all sorts of entertainment and distracted from really thinking about anything in detail, so I stay away from television. Oh, I have a television in my living room, but I seldom turn it on, except when there is supposed to be a big deal going on in the world and I want to see what the pundits are saying about it.
So, this evening, November 7, 2021, I am sitting on my couch and, as usual, listening to classical music and doing nothing else. My mind began roaming and focused on the possibility that reincarnation is possible. Why is it possible, I began thinking, and after about an hour of this line of thinking, I walked to my tabletop computer and typed the thoughts that came to my mind.
EINSTEIN, PODOSKY AND ROSEN’S NOTION OF SPOOKY ACTION AT A DISTANCE
In 1935, Albert Einstein and two of his colleagues, Podosky and Rosen performed a thought experiment in which they posited what is now known as the spooky action at a distance, aka instantaneous communication of entangled but non-local particles. They authored a paper saying that it is scientifically possible for two particles separated by trillions of miles in space and time to communicate and react to each other instantaneously, as if there is no space between them and time is only in the now, not past, present and future.
In 1962, an Irish Physicist called John Bell, working at CERN, near Geneva, Switzerland, produced what seemed to him equations for non-local communication, now called Bell’s equations or Bell’s theorem.
In 1982, a French physicist called Alain Aspect performed an experiment that shows that entangled particles, when separated and placed miles apart from each other tend to respond to each other as if there is no space and time between them. Subsequently, many other physicists performed experiments demonstrating that entangled particles do indeed communicate non-locally, instantaneously.
OUT OF BODY AND NEAR- DEATH EXPERIENCE
When my mother died, I was clinical depressed. I loved my mother and could not accept her death. So, one Sunday morning, I laid on my bed wishing to die and be with her. A girl friend was sitting in the room, playing solitaire on the computer that is always by my bedside. She was also talking to me, as if she is trying to talk me out of any thought of harming myself.
Suddenly, I was aware that I was by the ceiling and looking down on my body on the bed. I looked up and it was pitch dark. There was a point of light in the mist of that total darkness. Curious, I decided to investigate the point of light. I began flying towards that light in what I could only say is the speed of light. As I got to the light everything became light.
I looked and saw a world that looked like our world except that everything in it was made of light and is infinitely beautiful. I saw people, animals, trees, houses, space and time, stars, planets and they all looked light in form; you could look through each of them.
While marveling at the sheer beauty of this world, I became aware that my beautiful mother, “Saint Teresa’ as folks called her, was holding my hand and I became incredibly happy.
She talked to me, not by opening her mouth but somehow, she was communicating to me, and I was responding to her; it was like both of us could read what each other is thinking and responding to him. Neither of us opened our mouths, but we were in human forms, both in light forms.
After walking a distance, she said to me, Ozodiobi (she and my grandmother, Mather, were the only ones in the family who called me Ozodiobi, everyone else called Tom or Tommy or Thomas), your father and I were not rich, but we managed to give all of you excellent elementary and secondary school education and sent all of you to college. It would be nice if you send your three children to college before you choose to come over here and live here.
I paused and said, okay, mother, I will go train my children through college. I was instantly back in my body. The thought of going to go train my children and being in my body was instantaneous; there was no space and time, not even a second separating them. So, I was back in my body.
When I was out of my body, my German psychologist friend had thought that I was dead; she said that there was no movement from me as she talked away without me responding to her; she did what she had to do to make sure that I had not kicked the bucket and thinking that I had a heart attack she called 911 hoping that they would come in time and revive me. They did come.
I told her what happened and she, being an atheist educational psychologist, told me to get out of here. She asked me what I have been smoking or drinking.
I do not smoke, I do not drink (I used to have a beer every few months during the summer months), and I have never done drugs in my entire life (beside the two times when I smoked marijuana when I was at college).
I felt offended that she thought that I took drugs. She could sense anger in my voice and got up to leave the room. By the door, she said, tomorrow, we ought to make an appointment for you to go see a neurologist to see if you are developing brain tumor that made you have the vivid dream you just talked about.
Her skepticism notwithstanding, the salient point here is that I left my body and travelled through a region of darkness and saw light and eventually entered that light world and saw a world of light forms and talked to my recently dead mother and she encouraged me to go take care of my children and my affirmative response to her suggestion returned me to my body. This episode may well be mere visual and auditory hallucination; whatever it is, I am not sure.
However, as a mental health professional, I have talked to hundreds of psychotics, and they told me about their hallucinations; they tended to seem irrational in their behavior but at no point did I seem irrational during my out of body episode.
I was born at Lagos, Nigeria and went to elementary and secondary schools in Nigeria and after secondary school went to the USA.
I saved up my money and during my first year at graduate school at UCLA, during the summer I went to London. I got into a plane at Los Angeles, California, and it flew over night and in the morning, I was at Heathrow airport.
Without being consciously aware of what I was doing, I behaved as if I had come to a familiar territory. From the moment that I entered the train to take me to Victoria station, in downtown, London, I was aware of everywhere we passed, especially in the older part of London.
I got out of Victoria station and walked around and knew exactly where I was going. I spent several hours walking around, as one who had gone to a far country and returned to one’s old home and is checking it out to see if things are still the same.
Thereafter, I took a bus to Kensington, and checked myself to a Youth Hostel at Holland Park. The following day, I got up, took shower and continued investigating London and at no point asking anyone for directions.
I spent a month this way in London (and at Oxford and Cambridge) and decided to hop over to Paris and simply entered the train at Piccadilly station and a few hours later I was crossing the English Channel at Dover, in a hover craft; later, I disembarked at Garage Du Nord, Paris.
From the moment that I got out of the train station; I knew my way around Paris. I checked into a pension/hostel. The next day, I went to the usual tourist places, such as the Louvre, Arc de Triumph, Bastille square; the following day, I hopped over to Versailles and spent several hours walking in King Louis 1V’s chateau; in this magnificent house I walked like I was walking in my house! That is correct, at no point did I feel like a stranger, and I should have felt out of place in such grandeur given that I am an African.
I spent two weeks in Paris and hopped unto a train and was in Geneva, Switzerland, then to Florence, Milan, Rome and to Naples and after two weeks I had seen enough of Italy and I hopped unto a train and went to Venice, crossed into Austria, was at Vienna for a couple of days, then went to Germany, beginning at Munich, and was all over Germany, and from Hamburg got into a train and was in Scandinavia, in Copenhagen, Stockholm, then came back to Hamburg and from there went to Amsterdam, Brussels and from there back to Paris and to London.
I felt like I was in my old hunts. As I boarded my plane to return to Los Angeles, I reminisced on my summer stay in Europe. Why did I feel at home in that continent? I do not know.
Could it be because of the English Novels that I used to read as a kid. From about age ten onwards, my senior brother, Eugene, we called him Boy, he was eight years older than me and was completing secondary school then, on Saturdays when he is in town, he was away at a boarding school, Hussey College, Warri, would tell mother that he is taking me to Lagos (we lived at what then was called Apapa European quarters, for then mostly white folks lived there).
We would walk to the wharf, cross the Lagoon in a ferry and walk to several stores, particularly to CMS bookstore. He would buy English novels for me. Geoffrey Chaucer, Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, Thomas Hardy, George Elliot, Jane Elliot, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, you name any English novel and I read it as a kid. (Interestingly, I did not read American novels, except Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, as a child.)
So, I asked myself, were I familiar with London and Europe because I had read so many books centered on Europe that I felt familiar with Europe? I honestly did not know the answer.
At that point in my life, early twenties, I had no religion (I had stopped going to my old Catholic Church and simply declared me an agnostic).
I did not know what spirituality was and did not know anything about it until in my mid-thirties when out of curiosity I revisited religion.
I simply told me that it was spooky that I knew Western Europe, more than I know my own backyard, Lagos and my parent’s home, Owerri. Weird. There are many weird things in this world, and I did not worry about them.
So, this evening, for some reasons, I began trying to understand my experiences. I have had what folks call spiritual experiences.
Can you imagine you awake and suddenly was talking to your old friend that I called Joshua (Jesus Christ); we talked like old friends? I did not, and still do not see Joshua Ben Joseph as my Lord and Savior; he is just a friend and we talked like friends.
A few minutes into this vision I become aware that I am back to my room and wondered what that day dreaming was all about.
In the world of light forms, my mother suggested that I should go take care of my children and I decided to return to my body, to this world to be of use to my children. That decision instantaneously returned me to my body.
Could it not be the case that we were in a different state and decided to go experience life on planet earth and in body and that decision placed us in the body of a newborn child and we forget wherever it was we lived at before been born on earth and living as a human being?
I do not know for sure what is true; I am just engaged in correlational thinking; correlational thinking is not science; one can link two or more incidences and think that they are related when, in fact, they are not related.
The experiments showing that entangled particles, even if placed at the opposite ends of the universe, do relate to each other as if they are in the same spot, instantaneously, could prove that we are all one shared self with one shared mind and are in each other, could it not? I do not know the answer, I am just thinking.
One day, I was at Seattle, Washington, walking to Elliot bookstore, when my mind began judging people; it would say, she is fat and yorkie, he is overweight and a fat slob.
I stopped and stamped my right foot on the pavement, ground and loudly told my mind to stop judging people and accept them as they are. In that instant I was in the bookstore, a mile or more away.
How it happened I do not know. Did I suffer psychogenic fugue, a kind of amnesia and did not remember doing the walking to the bookstore.
I remember looking at my watch before embarking on the walk and not more than two minutes elapsed, and that two minutes was from where I began the walk to where I told me to stop judging people. It would have taken, at least, twenty minutes of walking for me to get to the bookstore.
No, I was not in an amnesic state. Something happened. I do not know what to call it but talking to folks about it, they told me about the concept of teleportation.
I choose to say that I do not understand anything for sure. I am agnostic. What really grabbed my attention tonight is that the concept of instantaneous communication and the fact that I felt at home in a continent I had not, until my early twenties, gone to, could be used as plausible argument that I could have lived in a different lifetime? I do not know for sure, but it seems plausible, does it not?
My training in the scientific method prevents me from accepting what is not observable, verifiable, experiment-able and, according to Karl Popper, falsifiable. Therefore, I choose to remain agnostic while entertaining the possibility that there is more to our lives than meet the eyes?
What do you think? Please share your thoughts with me. You can reach mere where you read this essay, or telephonically or through my email.
Please do not talk psychobabble for that is the world I lived in and if you stray into it, be prepared for me to assess you and tell you about whatever psychopathology you may have. I have transcended secular psychology, but I know it, so let us leave it alone and talk as friends.
However, if you have death wish, what Sigmund Freud called Thanatos, go psychological on me and see if you would not decompensate and run into the street, stark insane!
November 7, 2021