Imagine a brand new Etch-a-Sketch, with nothing written on it. No marks to erase. A blank screen waiting for your personal touch. This is like your soul before it took on the first incarnation. There was no mark, no karma to erase. Full of endless possibilities. Then your soul takes up habitation in a physical body. As you live your life, it is like writing your name on that Etch-a-Sketch. When you complete your name, your soul leaves that body and you spend some time pondering what you created. Then your soul enters a new body. But sometimes, that needle that scrapes off the silvery powder to create teh designs moves without a trace and you have no idea where you will start writing your name this time. And many times, you are unable to see where you wrote your name last time.
This happens again and again and again. Each time, when you happen to write over your name from a past life, the area that you write over seems to come a little easier for you. Piano virtuosos have probably written over that area of their life many, many times. The great thinkers of our times have probably written over the same areas of their life many times. And sometimes, the Etch-a-Sketch gets dropped and what was once cleared is covered up again. These may be areas where you feel frustrated or have difficulty learning something.
Eventually, after enough name writing, you will find you have cleared the screen and you can see all the inner workings of the Etch-a-Sketch. The apparently magical appearance of what you wrote is revealed as being a logical, precise well ordered "machine"....There are no extra pieces and each part has a specific purpose. And you can see that the machine will not make mistakes, that if something didn't turn out the way you thought it should, it was due to some "error" on your part. Or perhaps misperception would be a better word.
Reincarnation is the same way, I think. We return again and again until we understand the inner workings of this universe in which we live. We each keep the same Etch-a-Sketch, so we don't come back as dogs and bugs and rocks. They each have their own Etch-a-Sketches too. Adapted for their use. Our goal is to achieve that understanding that we are part of the great cosmic Etch-a-Sketch. We are the rods and gears and levers and knobs and each and every one of us has our part to play in creating this universe by how we act and think and speak. That our actions each and every day, our thoughts, our words, our deeds, are what creates this constantly evolving universe in which we live.
For me, reincarnation is only logical. If the entire age of the universe, (assuming that it was not created with age as some believe) were compacted into one year, Jesus was not born until Dec. 31, at 11:59:45 pm. The average lifespan is the cosmic equivalent of .4 seconds. There is so much to learn, so much to do. To be expected to accomplish this in one lifetime seems a bit overexpectant of the creator of this huge Etch-a-Sketch. I do not use my belief in reincarnation to shirk my responsibilities or to excuse my behavior. I don't say, "Oh, well, I can do what I want this life and pay for it next one." To do so would be to shake up that screen and cover over what I have already learned. And it was hard enough learning it the first time! I sure don't want to have to learn it again.