Mamoru Oshii’s ‘Ghost in the Shell’, presents an era in which information can be moved without any restrictions because it can be freely distributed via a network that is like an Electronic Brain. In this time, how can the identity of the self be guaranteed if the Electronic Brain is hacked and memory, one of the representative functions of mental activity, is manipulated? In the work, a puppet master, in the form of a computer program, becomes aware of itself at some point when it acquires vast amounts of information. And it insists that (s)he is a live creature.
How can individual beings be defined when the movement of information (or memory) goes beyond their boundaries due to developing technology? The work also asks questions about the regulation of species reproduction. The director pportrays beings as Ghosts. And then presents the procreation of races that passes on the characteristics of individuals, as a merging of Ghosts. The birth of a new existent being through this convergence resembles reincarnation, an important theory of Indian philosophy, including Buddhism. Therefore, this study first analyzes Ghost as an entity and examines how Ghosts can be interpreted within reincarnation theory.
Results Findings show that Ghosts seem to be closer to the perceptual faculty suggested by Buddhism than the immortal soul (ātman), and it is deduced that there is a similarity to the action of the consciousness of the past life or the action of the antarābhava (中有).
In addition, it is suggested that this work can be interpreted as a type of reincarnation theory based on the fact that the existing, which arises from the mergence between Ghosts, cannot remember its state before the mergence.