Wow, that's soooo...
There are many crazy ideas in Hinduism: the multitude of gods, the caste system that still strangles Indian culture (I hope you all remember my rant against caste-inspired honor killings), but what I find as an affront to rationality as well as my personal sense of enlightened self interest is reincarnation. The Bhavagad Gita (one of the BIG books of Hindu Sky Fairyism) speaks of this delusional idea.
Never was there was a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from childhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change". (2: 12-13)Well, I guess I'm not sober since it seems like a piss poor idea even if it was real. To me reincarnation offers one of the worst deals of the afterlife. I have to do the "right" thing in this world so that I can graduate to a better deal the next time around. And that isn't really me that's enjoying the fruits of my labor - it's some other guy or girl (no offense to anyone but I like being a guy) that I don't know. Sure they say it's my soul that's progressing. Let me tell you something, if I'm doing the work (and by I, I mean the personality writing this post) then I want to see results - in my life or at least in an afterlife where I am still me! Otherwise I'm doing what Dawkins (in the Selfish Gene) would call the Sucker's Deal. It's as if I'm grooming some other monkey and not getting groomed back.
There's another thing (and I know this is obvious but I'm on a roll) all these people who get past life readings? They're all happy about being a prince or princess in a kingdom from the long ago. Know what? I haven't heard of a lot of folk who were told something like, "You were a ditch digger, and after that you were a pedophile priest, and after that it gets much better you were a low-level HR manager." I'd like some useful information from my last life like, "Here is where the hidden treasure is", or "Hey, this is you from ancient Rome and I'm going to help out on this Latin test." So far I've gotten no help from my previous selves-they are off my X-mas card list.
I am going to leave you with this fact: 24% of Americans believe in reincarnation (from the original Julia Roberts article).
I'm going to figure out how to wrack up more debt on my karmic credit card...