Okay, so that last entry was kind of short and rushed — it’s because I didn’t want to write about “consciousness as a non-physical, non-temporal phenomena” (although I might manage to write something a little more coherent at a later date). Rather, I wanted to write about something that requires that the consciousness hypothesis be true: one possible model of reality, given a non-physical, non-temporal consciousness.
Here’s the thing: if consciousness (or if you like our souls, ka, atta, the ghost in the shell) exists outside of space-time then there is no reason it can’t, through the physical media of the brain and body, interact with itself.
Perhaps what we call “reincarnation” is actually just a particular form of “preincarnation”, where the “you” now recognises or remembers a “you” that just happened to be in the temporal past? “You”, or your consciousness, could perhaps inhabit/associate with any number of bodies throughout time — and here’s the kicker — it needn’t be in a temporally linear fashion. So you die today, perhaps you incarnate fifty or 100 or 1000 years ago. Your consciousness keeps changing, evolving, growing, whatever, but there’s no reason it needs to happen from body to body down through the ages. If you see what I mean.
And if that’s possible, then why not incarnate within your previous lifetime? If the consciousness is outside of space-time, there’s no “exclusion” rule that says you can’t come back as your own brother, sister, mother, best friend, priest or milkman. You might wonder about some really, really good advice someone gave you at a pivotal time in your life — perhaps it was the reincarnation of you, making sure things went well? Or maybe the reason you seem to connect with some people is because they are you, and you are them, within fairly close “steps” of each other?
Taking this to the logical, albeit mind-boggling, extremes — perhaps all creatures are different “stages” in the evolution of the same consciousness. You are everyone, or will be. A singleton consciousness that can appear to exist simultaneously in many different forms/bodies, but only because “simultaneous” just means “same time”, and the consciousness exists outside of space-time.
What does this mean, if true (and prove it’s not!)? Well, probably the age-old maxims which religion and philosophy both espouse — respect everyone (there’s a good chance they are you, but with more experience); help everyone (they may be an earlier you, so you want them to do well); play nice, because whether you get upset or the other person does … “you” get/got/will get upset/hurt/maimed/blown-up/tickled!
I don’t know, it’s just a thought.