I have made the decision to dedicate this year to the study of Eastern philosophy and spiritual practice, specifically Buddhism in its various forms.
In my initial studies, I have come across three concepts that are "foreign" to most Westerners that obviously give me pause. They are:
1. The concept of reincarnation is a "given" in Eastern philosophy. Without a belief in it, nothing that follows makes any sense.
1a. As a corollary to the above, some in the West believe in a form of reincarnation in which we "come back" to complete something left unfinished in a previous life... kind of like a linear soul transmigration. In Eastern philosophy, this is not so. Rather, reincarnation is not something positive, but a negative concept... something to overcome through achieving enlightenment or nirvana.
At this point, I have no idea where I stand on this issue. Part of me believes that it is possible; however, the logical part of me tends to write it all off as rationalization. My cynical side simply believes that "when you're dead, you're dead."