Spook: Reincarnation

In her book Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, Mary Roach takes a look at the people who explore the possibility of life after death and their work, from reincarnation to mediums to near-death experiences.

In an early chapter in which the author tags along with an Indian doctor who investigates cases of alleged reincarnation, she accompanies him to the home of a man who meets a boy claiming to be his reincarnated son. She expects the man to try and reach his “son” through the boy, to verify the child’s claims:

“What I notice instead is that Mathan Singh, sitting chatting with his arms around the boy, looks profoundlly content. It occurs to me that it doesn’t much matter whether this boy does or does not hold the soul of the son Mathan Singh lost. If Mathan Singh believes it, and if believing it eases the grief he feels, then this is what matters.”

How much do you agree that this is indeed what matters? Is there any harm in believing this, regardless of the “truth” about an afterlife? Has the chapter on reincarnation influenced your thinking at all?

Interested in learning more? Here are a couple of books from the library to get you started:

Lifecycles : reincarnation and the web of life  by Christopher Martin Bache

Past lives: an investigation into reincarnation memories  by P.B.C. Fenwick

Symphony of your karma : healing destiny of soul by Rachel Madorsky

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