Audrey Niffenegger · My Memories of a Future Life · The time Traveller' sWife

I don’t believe in reincarnation

I don’t believe in reincarnation. I’ve spent my whole life making up entire worlds, knowing exactly where they came from and knowing how to make other people believe them – myself included.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t see the phenomenon of reincarnation as a wonder. Certainly it is. It is an unlocking of the imagination, the fabled 90 percent of our incredible brains that we can’t explain, that lies unused and gives us immense capacities for art, music, love, endeavours like going to the moon, harming each other (unfortunately), healing each other.

Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveller’s Wife, says she doesn’t believe in the supernatural, but she believes it makes great stories. Reincarnation is one of the ways we try to understand this unkillable sense that we all contain something far more than what is already explained. And I think that makes terrific stories.


7 thoughts on “I don’t believe in reincarnation

  1. Hi Roz,

    Same here. I don’t believe in reincarnation, but agree subjects like this make for great stories. It’s like fantasy, but a bit better, because it’s next to real life. Believers in these things can relate to them. And skeptics have nevertheless heard of them in real life, so it will still interest them as well.

  2. Sally, you’ve summed it up beautifully. I’m not that interested in fantasy, but I love these fringe areas. The Greeks and the Romans had their gods – we have this incredibly rich, imaginative modern folklore. And examining these subjects doesn’t mean you have to demolish them, treat them with disrespect or ruin the sense of wonder. In the end it’s all about how rich we are as humans.

    You’ve hinted on the other blog that you have a brush with reincarnation too – care to elaborate a little here? As much as you feel able to, of course…

    1. Do you mean my take on reincarnation in my novel? Well, I suppose I can say this much: I have three characters, not one, that are reincarnated – and they’re from the same circle of friends in their past lives. But in the present, they live far apart and don’t even know about each other. The story is (partly) about their accidental discovery of one another and their attempt to find out why they’ve been brought back together.

      1. Sounds as if it’s full of rich possibilities, Sally. People brought together by mysterious means… you can’t go wrong. And congratulations for being able to summarise it ad hoc like that. It took me about six weeks to write my blurb materials.

  3. To be frank Roz, that’s only a summary of the reincarnation angle. I think I’ll probably spend just as long getting my blurb right, if not longer! 🙂

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