This article is further updated after a decade.
Originally published on July 9, 2010 as “Cloud computing as a theory of reincarnation”.
Through ages mankind has been intrigued by reincarnation and a general desire to know about our previous births. Whether we want to know about them is another question. A moot point is why we want to dig up the past with both pleasant and unpleasant memories. Yet human curiosity is unfathomable and desire to explore is very strong. Besides by knowing about the past birth we might be able to improve the present one.
Various theories about reincarnation have been provided in our ancient scriptures but most have been silent on what passes from body to body during reincarnation. Modern research has shown that reincarnation is real though why and how it happens has still remained a mystery. I feel modern technology of cloud computing might provide a possible answer.
Just like cloud computing where most of the information for personal usage is stored in cyberspace and accessed anytime with a combination of unique user id and password, it is possible that most of the deep memories of an individual, both good and bad, exist in knowledge space (KS) and can be accessed by an avatar.
It can be conjectured that knowledge space (KS) is where very concentrated thoughts, strong emotions, etc. are stored as memories. A very powerful emotion or deep thought is a very stable structure and hence can stay for a long time as a memory in KS. Thus KS is just like a virtual server of cyberspace.
It is possible that what transfers during the time of death is only the user name and password! If somebody wishes to and has the ability to then he/she can access those memories from KS. This is the basis of reincarnation. The transfer of unique ID from one body to another is by pure chance unless willed by the near and dear ones. Nevertheless great yogis like Swami Vivekananda who left their body by will have used the conjunction of planets to probably go to different worlds. For others this earth remains the abode for all incarnates.
Since the memories can be accessed from KS, an individual also has the ability to change them. This could be the basis of ancient philosophy of Patanjali who says that with Yoga and Sanyam a Yogi develops powers so that past birth Sanskars can be modified or destroyed to achieve liberation. This capability of changing deep memories in KS only exists with human brain because of its size. If the soul reincarnates into an animal body then those memories remain dormant till one again finds a human body and they can then be changed.
Sage Patanjali defines Sanyam as a deep thought in which a person contemplates and reflects on a particular object or subject very deeply and goes into almost a trance-like state. According to Patanjali, Sanyam on any subject or object helps to reveal its secrets and a yogi obtains mastery over it.
Energy wise the transfer of only user name and password from one body to another is efficient and makes more sense since a “switch” is easier to transfer than memories of a whole lifetime. Besides it allows us to shed the baggage of old memories and hence the new life starts with a clean slate.
Cloud memories in KS may have some subtle effect on the actions of the person possessing them. This may be the basis of Karma and the reason why almost all religions have stressed on doing good deeds so that past actions do not come to haunt you. It is almost like whatever you write on Facebook or other social network sites, always comes to haunt you. This also means that these memories are cumulative i.e. they accumulate through various births! However not all memories exist in KS but only very deep emotional ones do.
Since memories of previous births are in KS, by knowing them we may be able to resolve them. Resolution of these memories may help us live a fulfilling and happy present life and could be a reason why we are interested to know about our previous births.
Since the user name and password is an important part of reincarnation this could be the basis of ancient tradition of child naming ceremony practiced in almost all religions where the birth name is given based on the child’s horoscope.
How can we access our memories of past births? Only very advanced Yogis with practice of Sanyam have the ability to find about their own or others’ past births. Thus in a celebrated example, Shri. Ramakrishna the great Indian Yogi found out about past reincarnations of Swami Vivekananda by touching him on his chest.
Similarly Swami Vivekananda once described how by touching the hand of a disciple he saw all the past memories of the disciple written in black with blue sky as the whiteboard. With his knowledge and yogic powers Vivekananda could extract only the disciple’s memories from all others. This is just like the cloud computing where one can access the relevant information from the servers.
Nevertheless ordinary mortals can also develop, through practice, ability to access knowledge of previous births. Patanjali in his Yoga sutras says “By doing Sanyam on previous thought waves, one obtains knowledge of one’s past lives”. Buddhists believe that if one develops the habit of remembering dreams daily then one can start accessing earlier dreams and ultimately the memories of past births. Thus each one of us has the power to remember our previous births provided we develop a very powerful mind through Sanyam.
Similarly quite a number of children have been able to recollect their past births. Their unfettered but powerful mind with correct user name and password somehow has this ability. As they grow older their present personality and identity overshadows the older one and they loose this ability.
Just as through our writings, chats and e-mails we create a profile on social networks and in the cyberspace; similarly with our deep thoughts and strong emotions we can create a profile in KS. The more powerful a person’s mind is the bigger is his signature in the KS. This signature is further strengthened by people thinking about that person and hence a virtual temple for him is created in KS. This could be the basis of invocation of gods and deities practiced by mankind throughout the ages.
Similarly KS may also contain memories of advanced galactic civilizations and powerful minds and as earth and the solar system travels around the Milky Way, it may occasionally come across KS. This interaction may help in producing new discoveries and inventions on this planet earth.