There are two common versions of it. In one, after death you go to another world, where you are rewarded for your good works/punished for your lack of same, and life goes on eternally there. In the other, after death you come back to this world, to live again and die again, and so an ad infinitum or ad Nirvanae.
The one camp seem able to conceive of another world, but expect that life there will be fundamentally different. The other have decided that future lives will be pretty much the same(barring progression of the soul), but provide only the one world.
(Perhaps it was Ruth Nichols' Song of The Pearl which inspired me along this next track; maybe it was a first-season episode of "Star Trek: Voyager". Only my brainwasher knows for sure.)
So, let's say, when you die, you go to another world. Fine. Let's say that this world is different from ours. Fine. But let's say that life in this other world is pretty much the same as ours. You come into it as a baby, you grow up, you go through puberty, and you eventually get old and die. What happens then? Same thing, different world.
Maybe you remember what happened to you last time. Maybe you don't, or at least not until you pass puberty. (Or while. That'd make it fun--along with everything else, you get memories of a previous life in an entirely different world.) Maybe only a few people remember. More likely it varies from world to world.
How different are these worlds? They could be alternate versions of our own reality, maybe something we could conceive of in fiction. Or the statement above about "life being pretty much the same" is misleading. Life as floating globes in a protoplasmic soup, trying to avoid camouflaged matter-sinks and create more of ourselves than our neighbours, or life as triangles and lines in Flatland, or life as complex cellular automata in a game of Conway's Life(or would that shatter our illusion of free will?), might be similar only in that life is finite in time.
Endless variations could be imagined. Do the worlds go in a cycle? Does everybody from one world go to the same next world, or come from the same previous world? Do those who remember try to map out their past travels?
Perhaps it isn't cyclical. Perhaps we all started out in one world, and have been racing forward ever since. Some of us were content to live for as long as we wanted, and ambled slowly forward through the worlds, already well-populated by the time we got there. Some of us took the faster route, living short lives, probably ugly and brutish ones, coming to the frontier quickly, to die at each other's hands and go on even further. How would the first person in a world appear? From what?
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The Den of Ubiquity / Aaron V. Humphrey / email@example.com