Matter and energy are conserved. This is a scientific law of old and of today. If they are conserved, then matter changes form and energy changes place.
What if then, all the subtle energy (consciousness) forms one huge pool, and then the subtle energy required for birth is pulled out of this one great pool? This wouldn’t explain why my subtle energy was attracted to my body, and yours to yours. The only way to explain where our energy goes is through the traditional science of reincarnation.
Reincarnation affirms that our subtle energy (souls) follow a train of action that is not blocked by death. Death merely reaffirms what we know about matter and energy – that matter will change form, and energy will change place. Death is the soul changing “house” or changing “clothing.” What reincarnation gives us is clear clues as to how our souls will move after death. It gives us no definitive answers, but it points the way. From ISKCON:
Why reincarnation? What’s the purpose?
The Vedic literature offers two answers.
First, we’re being given a chance to live out our desires. You want to fly? Take the body of a bird. You want to swim? Take the body of a fish. You want to drink blood? The body of a tiger. Fool around and have sex all day? The body of a monkey.
Second: We’re being given repeated opportunities to attain spiritual realization, break free from material entanglement, and resume our eternal nature in the spiritual world. The Vedic writings are meant to guide us in achieving
The KBH has held meetings on this topic and a couple of our members have expressed opinions about what a more detailed analysis would be.
First: what is the critical character of a person who will be reincarnated into the animal kingdom? Most likely, a defining characteristic of someone who has animal tendencies is the desire not to think. Thinking is what humans do like swimming is what fish do, or flying is what birds do. If a human expresses intense desire not to think, tries to silence others from thinking, avoids all discussions of politics, religion and other issues of importance, this person is most likely going take an animal body in their next life.
This question can then be further explored. What are the qualities of people who take the bodies of cattle, pigs, monkeys, lions, spiders…? For meat eaters, who was that person that you’re now eating in the form of “duck,” “salmon,” or “beef”?
We’ve already extrapolated that non-thinking, though generous women, can take the body of a cow – who cares not for who her farmer is or what he’ll do to her, but selflessly gives milk all day. People who eat lots of meat can also become flesh-eating animals like lions, tigers or bears. Bear bodies would be more suited for those who enjoy sleeping a lot. Bodies of city rats would be good for those who enjoy thieving. Bodies of dogs would work for those who enjoy oral MIPS. Bodies of spiders would work for women who enjoy ensnaring men, stealing their prana, and then “devouring” them. Mosquitoes that bite are another type of female as well, who have the worst blood thirst while in pregnancy.
Below the animal kingdom, actually, is hell. It is not known if the Vedas discuss hell very much, but it is discussed in Buddhism. Hell is not eternal as in literally forever and not-ending. However, it does last millions of years and lifetimes. Humans can reincarnate into a body in hell, where they are tortured by demons and cooked by intense heat. This is like the forming of diamonds, which require great heat and pressure to become hardened. This process will eventually harden that soul until it is ready for life in the animal kingdom again. Then from the animal kingdom and thousands if not millions of lifetimes again, the chance to be human arises.
A common question is that if everyone is reincarnating, why is the population increasing? The answer the Vedas give to this question is that life is not limited just to this earth, nor just to human kind. The Vedas say that there are 8,400,000 kinds of animals on the earth alone. Then there are other planets and a whole universe out there that is filled with consciousness (and this may not be visible on any material level from our perspective).
If you have more questions, there is a FAQ at this address: