The apple seed one sows shall always yield apples and not mangoes. Juno, NASA had sent to the Jupiter in the year 2011 is now orbiting around the planet with near precision Scientists had predicted originally. Aren’t things seem perfectly in order in this universe? However, we all know that everything is in chaos when it comes to the sub-atomic or the quantum world. About 99% of the atom, the building block of every matter is made up of space and not a tightly packed solid unit it should be. We also know that this is on par with what the Buddha had preached many centuries ago. Matters we see and experience in our daily lives are in fact nonexistent on its own when we explore deep down as they exist about their surroundings and not by itself. By the same logic, our consciousness, mind, or soul also live in relationship with numerous other factors and not by itself. Hence our own outlook of being an independent and distinct entity itself is at fault and, when we cling ourselves to this false notion, act accordingly, the result is always endless suffering.

But I am not going to regurgitate the already known relationship between Buddhism and Science in this respect. Today, I will be exploring about the possibility of our mind or consciousness to reincarnate into more than two persons in our next life or that we exist in multiple numbers at the moment that many of the Buddhists believe in and its relationship to the quantum world. Countries such as Tibet and Bhutan has some of the most interesting stories to share about passing away of some High Lamas and then their coming back to this world as two or three reincarnates beings. For instance, 5th Jamyang Shepa Tenpey Gyaltsen, a highly realized lama in Amdo, Eastern Tibet is believed to have been reincarnated into two persons- the 6th Jamyang Shepa J. T Chokyi Nyima and a blue-eyed Caucasian gentleman in the West. Interestingly, some senior Lamas of the monastery even believe former US President Bill Clinton as the other reincarnate. We already know that the Buddha himself has numerous manifestations. While he is Avalokitesvara, the God of compassion, the Buddha is also Manjushri, the God of wisdom and the list continues. Buddhism believes that an enlightened being has the ability and power to reincarnate into several thousand beings and these multiple avatars could also reside on an unimaginably tiny particle simultaneously.

So, how does this phenomenon relate to the quantum world? Well, we are all aware of the famous double slit experiment that led to the discovery of dual nature of electron; particle, when it passes through single and wave when it passes through the double slit. Can electrons be traced at a particular location at a given time? The answer is ‘No’ as the waves manifest itself at several locations concurrently which are perfectly on par with the controversial concept of reincarnation of more than one being when an enlightened lama or a yogi dies. Also in the multiverse concept of ‘Many world theory,’ it is believed that many parallel worlds exist simultaneously. In layman’s terms, the hypothesis states there is an enormous, perhaps an infinite number of universes, and everything that could have happened in our past, but did not, has occurred in the history of some other universe or universes. Or in another word, there already is an infinite number of you and me in many different worlds, living their lives as we do here on this planet.

All these quantum theories and scientific hypothesis very strongly suggest that the possibility of reincarnating more than one person when one dies is in fact far higher than that of reincarnating just one. We are here, but at the same time, we are not here. Then where are we? We are everywhere, pretty much like the celluloid characters of the Hollywood blockbuster, The Matrix where they manifest in multiple numbers.

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Tashi Wangchuk

Writer is a Washington DC-based independent filmmaker and TV host whose works include feature-length films such as My Son Tenzin, Richard Gere is My Hero & India’s Doorshan commissioned film: Democracy in Exile among others. www. seykharfilms.com

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