Preamble: Most of this post is from the comments that I wrote on Sumit's review on the book "Coming Back: The Science of Reincarnation". Since, I kind of liked the comments that I wrote, I decided to string them together as a post.
The question that I asked was how do you define reincarnation, if soul and mind are indestructible, how can they be reincarnated (be born again)? Isn’t time and our three-dimensional linear perception of time (present, past and future) an illusion? Since there is no way to differentiate "past life (lives)" and "future life" without having a reference point of time to begin with, doesn’t the theory of reincarnation itself stand moot? Classical science is all about experimentation and observation in the space-time continuum and hence it can't explain something that is not bound by that. Re-incarnation or for that matter most of meta physics operate on the ketheric plane (a.k.a. the sahasrara/crown chakra or the higher mind) which is outside the physical body. The only thing that is destroyed with our linear perception of time is the physical plane that we live in(or the chakras that operate within our body), the point of reincarnation doesn’t even arise; you can’t reincarnate something which was never destroyed to begin with.
So then what is reincarnation? Reincarnation is the manifestation of the higher mind by (re)connecting with the lower mind (physical plane). Actually, the connection always happens the other way round, the lower mind has to (re)connect with the higher mind.
Reincarnation (based on above definition) in some form or the other does happen and we all go through it (it’s just that most of us don’t experience it as we are disconnected from our higher mind). Our life learnings (we are all here to learn) can be broken into two categories: 1) Growth, 2) Evolution.
We grow by learning something new everyday or learning the same thing in a new way, this learning lasts a lifetime and is associated with lower mind. But then, there are certain pieces of puzzle that we just can’t solve no matter how much we try, dots that we just can’t connect, wounds that we just can’t heal, this is the learning process of our higher mind and this is how our higher mind evolves and since the higher mind is not bound by space-time, it can obviously span lifetimes.
Trivia: astrologically, the evolution process is associated with the Moon’s Node (Rahu and Ketu). Looking at the moon’s node placement (by house and by sign) one can find the lessons that we need to learn in this life-time...more on that later.