Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
I kinda shifted to reincarnation belief once I learned about it. It honestly made more sense to me, since as we learned in that dangerous science class energy can neither be created nor destroyed it can only be transferred.
If you imagine life as energy it makes sense. Kill a plant/animal, fuel your own life energy. Everything that exists draws energy from something. And when your vessel can’t keep up with the life energy inside it any longer it dies out (thus ensuring you stay in the cycle) and your energy goes back into play for something else to use.
I know some religions view this cycle as suffering. Maybe they are “body half dead” kinda people, or they have had a series of truly awful incarnations and maybe souls carry that trauma forward.
The idea of soul trauma isn’t new. We have myths of angry spirits/ghosts, and if you just imagine that plugged into a new body it kinda shakes out. However, and this is where my philosophy gets a bit twisted, I also don’t view any soul as a whole absolute.
I believe our souls are amalgams of the experiences of not only past humans but past animals, insects, and plant life too. After all, we absorbed their life force to feed our own - and as they say, you are what you eat. Moreover if you look at the proliferation of humanity and the rate at which we have destroyed life on our planet to make way for our own, honestly where are we getting all these new “human” souls from?
Imagine if you could do a 23 and Me check on your soul makeup. Maybe you are 10% old loyal farmdog, 15% peace loving 60′s hippie, 35% crazy viking warrior, 20% ant souls smashed all together when their hill fell, 12% jaded studio musician, and 5% majestic queen bee whose hive died out as the bees all disappeared due to global warming. All these past experiences contributed to the unique moment in the universe that is now you.
I believe some religions may teach this and I have much still to study on that front. But my own final take is this: try to reduce your soul trauma footprint. Not only for life in general - I mean, we can’t all eat farm-to-table so just do your best - but for ourselves and each other.
Make choices that reduce pain. Think of the future - don’t check out at death’s door because that revolving mechanism will only come back to kick you in the next life. Work for progress/change for everyone, if not out of the kindness of your heart than out of a sense of self preservation. Because next life you could be that homeless person with mental health issues. Or that mother crying over her dark skinned son on the news. Or a gender you really can’t identify as because your soul needs to express itself differently.
And never forget those are just the human lives. There are no guarantees you’ll luck out again in human form. You could end up a fat chicken on a factory farm. Or the dog euthanised at the shelter for being too violent. Or that cockroach killed by pesticide. Or the tree that was planted to replace the old ones, only to grow faster and be felled too.
Live your life as best you can. Because the sum of your experience - the good, the bad, the lessons learned, the battles hard fought, the miracles witnessed, the tragedies suffered, the beauty unearthed, and the breaths inhaled - all add up to this crazy world we live in.
And I will try to maintain a “body half lived” outlook on it all.