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Reincarnation, Quantum Physics, and Spirituality – Todd Hayen (Is.20)

by Todd Hayen

Reincarnation has never been taken very seriously by the scientific community due to the insistence of our current scientific model that all events in the natural world take place within the confines of the Newtonian paradigm. Quantum physics has changed all of that, as we are just beginning to see the physical world in an entirely different light. Several eminent scientists of today suggest that it is just possible we have been looking at the problem from the wrong perspective. From the world-view of quantum theory, a new model of reincarnation has been developing. Combining these theories with the idea that time and space may simply be a human construct, reincarnation becomes not only plausible, but a naturally occurring phenomenon.

The concept of reincarnation has never fit well within the framework of classical Newtonian physics. From the materialist’s perspective of reducing matter to infinitesimal particles, limitations of the speed of light, and the axiom of local causation, the idea of a “soul” of nonmaterial nature “moving” from one carnate being to another during the death process finds no credibility. The ubiquitous problem of dualism raises it’s head once again and pronounces that such occurrences cannot occur in this universe. Professor J. B. Rhine, considered by some to be the “Father of Modern Parapsychology”, notes in a 1956 journal article:

“the continued advance of biology and psychology during the last half-century has…made the spirit (survival) hypothesis appear increasingly more improbable to the scholarly mind. The mechanistic (or physicalistic) view of man has become the mental habit of the student of science; and with the wide popular influence of science, the effect on educated men is well-nigh universal.”[1]

When examined with the “correct” physics, however, it is clearly seen that there is substantial support for the process of “soul” transmigration. The problem of material (the body) and nonmaterial (the soul) interaction is solved by the realization that they are both possibilities within, and mediated by, consciousness.[2]

Quantum theory, through it’s principles of uncertainty, complementarity, and most notably non-local action, has allowed the formulation of a theory of reincarnation that resides within the quantum definition of physical reality. The quantum monad, or the soul, can briefly be described as a mass of propensities and patterns composed of the vital and mental body’s quantum memory which consists of mathematical equations that have no “substance” or material foundation. Through non-local action this quantum monad transmigrates at the physical death of a body to “continue” a stream of consciousness into subsequent earthly materializations. This phenomenon sustains the process of collapsing quantum waves of potential, and thus the universal “first cause” of infinite creativity is realized and maintained.

In 1927 Werner Heisenberg presented the “uncertainty principle” which posits that the momentum and the position of quantum objects cannot be both determined with accuracy simultaneously. He thus was quoted as saying, “The idea of an objective real world whose smallest parts exist objectively in the same sense as stones or trees exist, independently of whether or not we observe them…is impossible.”[3]

This conclusion has staggering implications with regard to the Newtonian idea of a deterministic universe and clearly paved the way for other equally monumental discoveries through experimentation. One of the most notable of these was Alain Aspect’s experiments on the non local relationship of correlated photons conducted with his colleagues at Orsay, France. Aspect’s experiment showed that when two quantum objects are correlated, and one is measured and its wave function is collapsed, the other object’s wave function, even at a distance, is also simultaneously collapsed.[4]

This demonstration of quantum non locality put a rather formidable dent in the materialist’s worldview. Non local action, such as is seen with Aspect’s experiment, is a demonstration of a reality beyond our present understanding of a material world. Presented here is an instantaneous response, or “connection” between two objects that had no way of communicating through classical means. The communication or response was clearly instantaneous and thus faster than the speed of light, which in the Newtonian paradigm, is an impossibility.

This non local phenomenon has also been shown through experimentation to exist on the macro level as well as on the micro, quantum, level. Jacobo Grinsberg-Zylberbaum conducted experiments at the Instituto Nacional para el Estudio de la Conciencia using human subjects correlated through meditation. These subjects demonstrated simultaneous brain response across a distance as only one of the subjects was exposed to flashes of light.[5]

Clearly it is apparent, through these experiments and other equally substantiated evidence, that there does exist non local communication, response and data transfer, both on the macro and micro levels of physical existence. These new discoveries have paved the way for a scientific and empirical explanation for the theory of reincarnation and survival of certain aspects of an individual’s life experiences. Non local action and communication makes it possible for the transference and transmigration of these individual elements of sentient existence, which are certainly non-physical in nature, to another carnate being.

Image credit: David Haith – Photographer
Contact: visions1@virginmedia.com

Quantum Survival

What, then, does survive after death? If we are to entertain the notion that some part of us “lives” on, how do we determine what that part is and why it continues and the rest of us dies?

Amit Goswami posits in Physics of the Soul that there are many archetypal contexts of mental manifestation such as love, truth, beauty and justice which can be considered themes of consciousness. We live our individual lives expressing these universally human themes and contexts in various ways. They become variant expressions in which these particular archetypal themes are experienced. If the context is lived properly and fully then that aspect of a person’s destiny and purpose is fulfilled.[6]

The purpose of reincarnation, according to Physics of the Soul, is to live through each human theme fully and satisfactorily as a result of our own individual creation. If we are not successful in manifesting these themes fully in one life, we live again and again in order to accomplish this feat. As we live an individual life we can only wholly explore a relatively small number of these themes. Through an individual life we gather up our propensities and patterns (individual karma) and store them for a future incarnation. Goswami explains succintly how this phenomenon unfolds:

As experiences are lived, the probabilities of quantum mental (and vital) possibilities are modified; they develop a bias toward past responses to stimuli, a process that psychologists call conditioning. I call it quantum memory because the memory of this biasing is contained not in the object as in ordinary memory; instead, the memory is contained in the quantum mathematics that the modifed possibilities obey.[7]

The classic memories of particular events that we experience within that life, and become that life’s “history,” die with our physical body, but the propensities and patterns we have accumulated as a result of conditioning (quantum memory) “continue” and are then mapped in another physical body at another time and place.

This collection of propensities and patterns, or souls or “monads”, are not separate entities or things that leave a body to then enter another body. They are, in fact, the context in which consciousness processes all of the energy and information created by an individual life. Individual and unique content is indeed created in this life, but it is always created within these contexts or themes.[8]  This is what survives death and through a nonlocal “process” transmigrates, or more accurately continues, through to another incarnation.

Reincarnational Data

Although the principle of reincarnation has had a difficult time establishing credibility with conventional science, the empirical evidence has been overwhelming. Many psychiatrists and psychologists have routinely encountered descriptive past life regressions from their patients under routine hypnosis. Brian L. Weiss, a graduate of the Yale School of Medicine and is Chairman Emeritus of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami says “There are psychiatrists who write me they’ve been doing regression therapy for ten to twenty years, in the privacy of their office, and ‘please don’t tell anyone, but…’ Many are receptive to it, but they won’t admit it.”[9]  Dr. Joel Whitton, professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto Medical School adds, “My experience with scientists is that if they’ve read the literature, they believe in reincarnation. The evidence is just so compelling that intellectual assent is virtually natural.”[10]

Ian Stevenson, a devoted and reputable scientist and scholar at the University of Virgina, has done extensive research with children who have demonstrated their experience with previous lives. Dr. Stevenson has devoted over 40 years of his career documenting the past life experiences of over 3000 children. He has done this without hypnosis as the children he investigates spontaneously remember a past life. Through his process of exploration he identifies the person the child has remembered and corraborates the facts with the physical evidence of the deceased person’s life. He has been very thorough in his research and through his meticulous methods have ruled out any possibility of fraud. Dr. Stevenson’s research has been touted as the most substantiated evidence for reincarnation.[11]  Stanislav Grof is another researcher who has conducted numerous experiments with subjects through regressive hypnosis and has gathered much data on past life experiences in this manner.

Near Death Experiences (NDE) are also a clear demonstration of non locality as it relates to reincarnation. Most NDEers have experienced a feeling of fearless peace as they float over their physical bodies. They then typically enter a tunnel where there is a great non-glaring light. At this particular time they may have a review of their past life and feel a oneness with all things. They are then told to go back—that their “outside” life is not yet completed. The typical autoscopic experience these NDE subjects demonstrate is again an example of the non local function of consciousness. Within the scope of this research there have been documented reports of individuals close to other individuals that were dying or ill who have experienced feelings of sadness or sublime relief at the exact moment their loved ones have died even though they may have been at quite a distance and utterly unaware of their passing.

Ethical and Spiritual Implications

What has seemingly been an intuitive reality within our own personal understanding has taken more than physical evidence to break through the dogma of conventional science. Where does reincarnation fit within a personal schema of spiritual awareness? For this author it sits neatly and clearly within the paradigm of wholeness and universal interconnectedness. Although this present theory of reincarnation is approached from the perspective of linear time and space as form it need not be limited to this perspective.[12]  If we are to perceive all life, consciousness and existence, material and otherwise, to be one and the same “thing”—the universal tied up within the particular—then we must perceive time in the same fashion. Clearly, then, what makes up our “beingness,” be it the quantum monad or any other microcosmic essence, is immortal and as such cannot “die” in the manner all material substance eventually decays, breaks down and ceases to exist in its previous particular form. Whether this “essence” then “moves” forward or backward within a humanly constructed concept of time is questionable. Although it is far simpler to explain it within these terms (within this construct of linear time) this explanation may fall short of reality.

Image credit: David Haith – Photographer
Contact: visions1@virginmedia.com

Ethically and spiritually the implications are far reaching. If we are to “live” within this construct of time and space, which certainly is necessary to achieve the expression we are destined to achieve (through the creative collapse of infinite quantum possibilities in a temporal spatial environment), we are then observed to move “through” this time ad infinitum. To what conclusion then? In my mind we are to express God in infinite ways. First intention is evolutionary. It is growth, forever expanding endless creation, resulting in a greater and fuller expression of life. As the limitations of the body necessitate an end to any particular material representation, then effort is made to create another, and then another, to allow the continuance of consciousness in its endless desire to express and create.

All, then, becomes a matter of personal choice, a divine exercise of free will. We determine through each incarnation what we see of our true selves through our experience of physical life. We go again and again until we, ourselves, are satisfied with what we have revealed of our true nature. Ian Stevenson comments:

There is then—if we judge by the evidence of the cases—no external judge of our conduct and no being who shifts us from life to life according to our deserts. If this world is (in Keats’s phrase) “a vale of soul-making,” we are the makers of our own souls.[13]

What then, does reincarnation look like without the constraints of linear time? If we do exist entirely in the moment—if all life, past and present, is here, right now, in its entirety, what does this imply? We can only comprehend time in the fashion that we do, as a sequential experience of events. However, if in reality, time as we know it only exists for our “convenience” of physical perception, then, in fact, all lives, past present and future, are available simultaneously. The effect is then neatly tied up in the cause. Although this may sound deterministic, it is in fact not. Determinism relies on linear time and sequence, which, in this model, is not part of reality. Reality then, in essence, simply becomes potential. It is only when we reach out and choose a particular possibility does it then come to be in the physical realm, in a manner which seems to imply sequential events. In this regard our soul does not necessarily transmigrate to another place and time, although this is invariably the only way we can comprehend it. We are “all” at any one moment, and “all” is within us at any one moment as well. During our “linear excursion” through physical life it is our purpose to reveal this “allness” of creation through each physical life’s individual expression.

Ernest Holmes, a metaphysician of the early part of this century and founder of the United Church of Religious Science says:

Man is an eternal destiny, a forever-expanding principle of conscious intelligence…the ocean in the drop of water, the sun in its rays. Man, the real man, is birthless, deathless, changeless; and God, as man, in man, IS man! The highest God and the innermost God is One and the same God.[14]

This God, then, IS the essence of all that there is. God, or First Cause, is then expressed in an infinite variety of ways through the endless cycle of birth and rebirth, but not with arbitrary purpose. Our “mission” is to endlessly create, always reaching upward and outward, to reveal the utter perfection that we hold deep within our being.

Interconnected Whole

Western science teaches us that within the brain our mind resides. This mind is purely an epiphenomenon of our brain—an emergent property. The new quantum physics gives us a way out of this obviously limiting and counterintuitive perception of what our mind consists of. Our mind is filled with thought, and this thought is an internal “event” in contrast to the external “events” of the world of matter and material things. Within this mind there is no micro/macro split; there is no means to divide the mind and thoughts up into smaller and smaller “pieces” of the whole. It is therefore indivisible and nonmaterial in nature.

But then how can this mind filled with thoughts, which appears not to be a material thing, interact with the material world? It does this through consciousness. Thoughts and the physical exist within consciousness as quantum possibilities. Through consciousness we create the physical world moment by moment.

David Bohm, the eminent physicist and theorist, discovered a phenomenon through experimentation that was later called Bohm-diffusion. He observed that electrons stripped away from atoms seem to behave as part of a larger, organized whole.[15]  This paved the way for his theory of wholeness and interconnectedness as described in his seminal work Wholeness and the Implicate Order.

Are we, indeed, wholly connected, and can science corroborate this fact? It is my belief that through the various discoveries and hypotheses presented here it is becoming very clear that this is the case. We are undoubtedly participating in an interconnected reality that clearly supports the views on reincarnation expressed in this article.

Within this paradigm the whole of reincarnation as a scientifically provable event resides. It is clear that what we perceive to be our consciousness (which is itself, a “no-thing”) and the “contents” of the quantum mind, resides in the space between quantum events. It is nonphysical in nature, “subtle,” yet the ultimate creator. It is the bundle of infinite possibility and potential that our physical reality is pulled from.

This surely does not “die,” just as any “potential” does not die. Certainly there must exist an impermanent physical body in order to continue the endless process of creativity and manifestation, but this quantum monad, this soul, this continuum of consciousness, moves from one physical form to another in an endless fulfillment of intention—the intention to express itself.


[1] J. B. Rhine, “Research on Spirit Survival Reexamined,” Journal of Parapsychology, Vol. XX: 124, No. 2, June 1956.

[2] A. Goswami, Physics of the Soul (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads, 2001), p. 142.

[3] W. Heisenberg, “The Representation of Nature in Contemporary Physics,” Daedalus87 (1958): p. 95, quoted by K. R. Popper in ref. 7, p. 42.

[4] G. Goswami, The Self Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World (New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1993), pp. 60-61.

[5] G. Goswami, Physics of the Soul, pp. 35-37.

[6] G. Goswami, Physics of the Soul, pp. 60-61.

[7] ibid, p. 252.

[8] ibid, p. 63.

[9] Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, On Children and Death (New York: Macmillan, 1983), p. 208.

[10] Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, On Children and Death (New York: Macmillan, 1983), p. 208.

[11] I. Stevenson, Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation, (New York: McFarland & Company, 2000).

[12] In this regard linear time is referred to in reincarnation’s definition of transmigration as a “movement” from one incarnation to another, forward or backward in time. Either way, time is still, within this context, perceived to be linear in nature.

[13] I. Stevenson, Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation, (New York: McFarland & Company, 2000) pp. 259-260.

[14] Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind (New York: Penguin Puttnam, 1998), p. 388.

[15] William Keepin, “Lifework of David Bohm,” Re-vision, XVI, 1 (1993).