Re-incarnation

Have we lived before? Many people  have  considered this a  possibility.  Glimpses of bigger realities than that we have been taught exist, sometimes make themselves known only as strange insights or feelings. This is particularly true in the case of possible re-incarnation. When looking at all the reflections of ultimate reality that we are able so see, none are more intriguing that the feeling many of us get, that we have lived more than once. Could this actually be true? If so, this would put a whole new perspective on our understanding of reality. All I know is that from a relatively young age, I instinctively knew I had lived before.

What does religion say?

In our Christian religion I believe that re-incarnation is not officially considered as a valid concept. Although I do know that, privately, some priests believe it to be a strong possibility. The rumour has it that the teachings about it have been long ago suppressed. I do not know if this is true, but I do know that historically many gospels and texts where edited or burnt if they did not comply with the current thinking of the time.

Even so some traces remain. Many think that some Bible texts can be interpreted to understand that, for instance, the prophet Elijah and John the Baptist may have been the same person but born at different times. The idea of re-incarnation was anyway in existence at the time that the scriptures were written and I am told that there is no actual outright denial of the concept in the bible. Mainstream Islam also seems to reject the concept of reincarnation. Some Sufi groups do believe in it in some form though, I understand. Many “Eastern” religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism still accept reincarnation as the norm today.

The view of the ancients

Many ancient thinkers and philosophers took the concept of re-incarnation very seriously. For instance; In ancient Greece, the great philosopher Plato took it for granted that we all live many lives and choose before birth what type of life we want to experience. The concept was not new then, it was accepted mainstream belief for some cultures. Interestingly the ancient Egyptians believed in resurrection, not reincarnation.

The new age view

For many, so called,  new age believers and practitioners, the belief in re-incarnation is axiomatic. One of the main theories is, that we live different lives and play different roles to learn what it is to be human. Some times male, sometimes female, sometimes rich sometimes poor. Sometimes we are a soldier, sometimes we are an aggressor, sometimes victim. We try and play as many roles as possible to learn and grow. All past life lessons and experiences are stored on our eternal memories. We chose possible lives to enhance and expand our knowledge and understanding. Things done or not done in this life can affect the path of future lives. We go though lives hopefully learning and improving. We may be subjected to the forces  of Karma. Our actions may be recorded in something called the askatic record.  Our essence/soul continues without interruption in one dimension or the other. Life is one continual stream. We all experience birth death and re-birth until we are developed enough to be able to leave the cycle.

 

Probabilities

Is any of this possible? What could be the mechanism? Well, If our soul/essence is separate from our physical body, then the concept is not necessarily out of the question. Consciousness could, in theory, leave one body and return into another after death. Why cannot we remember all of this? Memory of past lives are said to being wiped with every new birth. You are literally re-born with no memories of who you might have been before. Without discussing now the questions of why this should happen, and where souls go between lives, the major question is does it actually happen? Is it an interesting reflection of a strange reality, or a figment of overactive imaginations?

Possibilities

The general evidence that this happens today, is of course generally anecdotal. Yet again I find that if you ask, even the most unlikely people, time and time again they sheepishly mention that they have often thought this was a possibility. They often give examples of seeing familiar places that they could not have been too before, or meeting people that they feel they have met before but could not have done in practice. There may be other explanations, of course, but there is just too much anecdotal evidence to dismiss the concept out of hand.

Aspects of reality

If we have all lived before, and may even be choosing our lives, this this opens up the possibility for many different  strange realities. Why should this happen? What could the real big picture possibly be?  Has anyone got any good ideas? It certainly hints at an organized  master plan of some sort, whether by a God or ourselves on another level.

 

 

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