If we posit that there is no difference between a baby who dies at or near birth and then is born a second time, then we might say this baby reincarnated. In which case it didn't really die; it merely postponed living a bit.
And a complication here is how much has to change in the process of being assimilated into a functioning part of ones culture. Each one of us is removed a unique distance from the time when we might have expected to come back virtually the same as when we died.
The most primitive culture would produce the least distance, and perhaps place the least importance upon the distance, so that its baby would be most complete in its eyes. Maybe there, the sense of death is not so palpable at any age.
And at the other end of the cultural spectrum death takes away a great deal from the society. Some of us never stop studying, researching and contributing. Many of us, given one more day than we actually do get, would have contributed enormously on that missing day! ---it would have been our biggest day. A devastating setback!
And the genetic traits of the baby mean so little. He still has to get all that back, if we want to say that we do reincarnate; that such is what the genetic trait implies.
But we are looking at this a bit superficially so far. If we were taking Picasso as an example, is the trait that would reincarnate his contributions?
We would be going on about his paintings (contributions), while in fact he would not miss them himself; he would miss tobacco, women, food and luxuries that have nothing to do with art. For him painting was printing money; it was fame, being socially sought after, and a social pretext: models.
If what he wanted from his work becomes the main attribute of the trait, then painting was just a trick like riding a monocycle. The means of success would be a minor part of his social pattern. Sure, getting rich on an art-background distinguishes itself somewhat socio-emotionally from other means, which would be a minor particle of the trait.
And this detachment from product is not the case with other species. If a bee can build, the bee wants that building. It doesn't have a trait; it has hardwired precision building skill.
So let's say there is an artist who paints what he actually just can't bear to part with. His walls would glare at him for giving them up. He doesn't try to paint them; he just does; they come from his brush as a gift to himself. Would this be an artist with a mere particle of art in his trait, or would this be an artist born, if he came back as a baby?
Think how far obedient learning can take you. It can get you money, romance, respectable family-responsibilities, etc. It's detachment! Doing this gets me that. Success.
Consistently the fact is that one obeys for some other reason than what one achieves, no matter how difficult the achievement! It's a success-process, not a passion (though it may be politically advisable to be thought of as passionate about it, relying upon how obediently others believe; how predictably they prefer the detached version of a person: his carefully managed image).
Obedience is action by proxy. The person exploiting the proxy also doesn't create, through that proxy. Even he merely produces. In order to have a proxy, human development must be stifled enough that the person submits, so therefore neither person can create.
They are both deferring conception and action to a part of their minds that is just as disinterested as it is interested (like particles and antiparticles balancing out to nothing) so that to evade the present becomes the natural order of this master/slave activity, as well as to deflect awareness of oneself, manage Privacy of Self so that no ones opinion pollutes how one rationalizes exploiting people (messianic delusion: if other people did this to these people, it would be absolutely disgusting, but I'm sooo special! ---the more abuse one suffers during the years one can't recall directly but must rely upon disinformation from parents for, the more special said disinformation gives one to be; and one doesn't know anyone else is special so there is no disinformation-competition or -comparison, but only its reflection in the degree of immorality of social-climbing means).
Actually being creative (as opposed to successful) to oneself, as it is done by other species, doesn't happen as action by the obedient and privately motivated part of the brain. It happens in what, in our species, we might call "the baby brain", where the brain is utterly untutored and incapable of serving as a proxy or accepting directions.
This is that frustrating part of the brain where we perceive people as they really are, so no one can stand to allow it to develop in children. Everyone has that Privacy of Thought and Thinker which that thinker assumes is special, beyond compare; perception is the one Nemesis all adults agree on ---without caring why (Private!).
Obedience and only that is what is permitted to develop. If we obey enough the system will convey us so far that we become "free", "independent", "individualistic" ---proxies!
Imagine for a moment that what I'm going to describe next is actually true.
Death extinguishes only the impressions behind which Private Self lurks!
People regard you as you affect to be, even the ones who have seen you under extreme duress! That part of them, looking at you that way, is what will die when they die. That was the happy part, happy because it made you happy! ---and therefore got less grief out of you than otherwise; mothers exceed our grief-tolerance before we can crawl, so we are terribly averse to it!
The (subconscious) part that was as disgusted with you as you would have been of them had you caught them at the same stuff, getting away with it all (as you have done and expect to go on doing), was not happy with you. It was suicidal!
If that's everything that dying extinguishes, then, if we penetrate these impressions, such as finding the lurid, virtually caged, hostage behind the impression of The Passionate Physicist, we are removing a slice of our own death! ---and moving ourselves congenitally beyond the reach of more gullible courtships; into the future of human evolution.
And if we remove every impression, maybe all of them at once, the creative evolving mind will become complete for being actually real and true up to this day (rather than a day before history, like some gorilla; and even then, only at birth, before the first trauma or fit), and all of that will become a baby at death!
So "Intelligent Life" is mortal; Perceptive Life is not.
Edited by behavioralist, 16 November 2012 - 06:10 AM.