I believe in reincarnation, but I say that from a scientific standpoint. To me, it ties in with natural science and the history of earth, life, and the universe with evolution playing a central role (although that is not the focus of this thread). I take an enormous amount of pleasure and satisfaction (in a similar way that devout Christians find comfort in Heaven) in the fact that my body, life, and existence are the products and simultaneously driving forces for progression in this enormous and infinitely complex natural system in which we all live. The carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms in my physical body have been individually parts of so many countless natural wonders before they united to form ME that I consider "reincarnation" to be an observable, testable, and repeatedly provable process.

When my heart no longer beats and electrical impulses no longer power the higher thought processes and sentient existence I call my life, those beautiful molecules my body is composed of will re-structure themselves into all manner of other things.  When I hold a piece of granite in my hand, and think that one day some of the oxygen molecules in my decomposing body could evaporate with a gaseous water molecule, enter the upper atmosphere by riding an equatorial convection cell, travel to other continents, be precipitated during a pacific cyclone, be absorbed by the cellular respiration of some exotic zooplankton, be consumed by a baleen whale who then travels to the north sea where it dies and decomposes in a cold salty water mass off Iceland releasing that molecule into the water column from where it travels south in the North Atlantic Deepwater only to be pulled into a hydrothermal vent inlet 1000 years later in the north-western pacific where it bonds with an iron ion and is precipitated on the seafloor of the Juan de Fuca plate only to be subducted into the mantle where it eventually becomes part of a partial melt which in turn is driven into a fault where it slowly cools and crystallizes as a part of a feldspar encased within a plutonic granitic matrix, I smile.

 

This idea serves me quite well, not only as a way to pass time daydreaming about permutations, but quite honestly to satisfy all the questions I have about the hypothetical reason we are all here, I have my answers.  There are so many things in the natural world we as human beings have only just begun to explore that I find very little time is left over  to get excited about one prophet or another of a god or gods that have never revealed themselves o me and I strongly suspect never will.  It makes me sad that my refusal to agree with anyone else on a religious viewpoint would anger anyone, but this does seem to be a constant theme thought human existence.  The final laugh will come when we have evolved (perhaps only in a social sense) into a global society with the means and desire to completely and irrevocably eliminate all those who disagree with us, nature has a way of dealing with organisms that don't get along, I think I will like being a granite...