The great dharma wheel is nothing more complex than that. The big mystery in life is that there is no mystery.
I will discuss the metaphysical aspects of reincarnation. Even in the modern creed of science they state that energy can neither be created or destroyed. It can only change form. Every element in our bodies, as well as the energies that are at play in our being that we call consciousness, are never lost, but they also never stagnate. Information seems to be lost in science and in metaphysics, because it goes out into an endless sea of its kind. Mind into mind, spirit into spirit, matter into matter. Even the materials that go into birthing a new human being didn’t originate with us. They are recycled.
Now in this sea of infinite possibility none of it is ours. We can’t tag some part of all that is and say “this energy/matter belongs to me“. We participate in its formation, its actualization. It exists to permit an expression of something that cannot be embodied in a single way, thus the seeming duality and contradiction of things.
Is this recycling what you would call the circle of life? Yes. You do not recall past lives usually because they are a phase. Only one crest in the constant wave that is you. They loose the focus of immediacy.
Part of the problem is that the physical memory is destroyed, so you have to tap into the soul’s memory. Another part of the problem is that past lives involve changes of gender which grosses out most people. Hmm, brains do in a sense crystallize and encode things in a limited organic way, but the memory that permits the next incarnation extends from previous energies forming what some call a morphic field which doesn’t manifest in a strictly biological form.
It’s my belief that the soul can in no way be compromised, and that incarnation isn’t a debasement of any spirit. It is a natural manifestation of the spirit, and the souls memory is written into the world itself. Nothing is gained or lost. Physical existence is a very necessary stage in the soul’s development.
As in tendencies more than images? Exactly. The spiritual realities are so complex that often times any physical manifestation is sort of like a dream image. It’s metaphor, because that’s the best matter can do.
What kind of form would that be, a spirit or an elemental perhaps? Ah yes, spirits might seem very complex. If they try to manifest in a way visible to the biological brain and senses, they often seem distorted or confusing, or with more effort they simplify themselves. But even that form is still a metaphor of their true identity.
I heard a Buddhist master say what you carry with you from life to life is your habitual attitudes and tendencies? The “spirit” can be said to be what moves you. So I would agree, but I would say it’s a necessary thing.
A different frame of reference? Yes, indeed. Much about consciousness is mutable. In dreams we can appear to be things very different from what we are in body. I would say this isn’t illusory. So much is a reflection of a deeper truth, and any fixed view is more in the way of illusion.
No goal to obtain? It’s all the cycle? Well, is maturation a goal? If you ask a young child they might say yes. There is in a sense a maturation of spirit. It just has nothing to do with biology.
Perhaps milestones along the way? Yes, there are indeed milestones.
Different goals for each as to their need? Yes, because we arise as a natural differentiation of the greater potential of the universe. So even before we express (also known as incarnate), we express to display potentials. Potentials that are ours. We have a place and purpose, and from life to life though much is mutable like a dream, there is a theme or spirit that remains consistent. We chose the theme before we entered into this reality, and we are either acting in harmony with this spirit or against it.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.