Reincarnation: Rebirth of the soul in another body.
Rebirth in another form; a new embodiment. Incarnate again.
“We live in a storybook-world of illusions. Everyone either makes up their own stories to explain everything or decides to believe someone else’s stories. Regardless, they’re all made-up stories.
In fact, I just made up this one…”
– Michelle UluOla
Back in my early 20s, I was introduced to the concept of reincarnation. Having been raised a Catholic, that was news to me. Decades of research and experience revealed how I’d been sorely misled by the teachings of my youth in innumerable ways, but that’s a whole ‘nother blog. Reincarnation provided me with an explanation for things I’d sensed as a child but had no frame of reference for at the time. Of course when it comes to spiritual beliefs, logic has to take a back seat, but I simply could not discount the conclusions drawn by wise people across human history from all walks of life and belief systems that point to the probability of reincarnation. There are library shelves filled with books detailing proof. It’s estimated that at least a quarter of the world’s population believes in reincarnation, including the Dalai Lama, so I’m traveling in the good company of well over a billion other people. And then, there are my personal experiences…
At age 27, I met and quickly fell in love with a gentleman who was chronologically 26 years my senior. Needless-to-say that raised eyebrows, but I knew beyond any doubt that “it was meant to be.” George was one of those fun loving, ageless people and it didn’t take long before family and friends warmed to him, especially once they saw how extraordinarily compatible and happy we were together. We were aware of the future consequences and it took some convincing on my part that he should not worry about them. I always felt that we’d known each other in a previous lifetime and had been reunited once again. We enjoyed 21 wonderful, regret-free years together before George made his transition in home hospice on May 19, 1998. He’d been phasing in and out of consciousness, and perhaps the other side, when we had what would be our last exchanges of “I love you.” Then I said, “Next time, wait for me; the timing was off this time around.” George smiled, nodded and responded, “I will” and drifted away. Over the course of several years afterward, he did send me signals from the other side—a story for another time. I’m sure there are those who will say that was a sweet romantic fantasy, but it had nothing to do with reincarnation. They can believe what they want.
A little more than two years after my husband departed for the other side, I began to experience a series of bewildering encounters. Over the course of five years, I synchronistically met and became close friends with over half a dozen people with whom I came to realize I shared past lives. The circumstances that led to our (re)connecting are irrelevant here—it would take a whole book to tell those stories. However in each case it was the same: there was an inexplicable, immediate familiarity, connection and affection as if reuniting with a long-lost, dear friend not seen in years, even though we’d never actually met (here) before. In fact, each person grew up and lived in locations far removed from mine. Throughout long conversations during which eyes peered into each other’s souls, many memories surfaced that were definitely not of this incarnation. At first, it was mystifying and a bit perplexing. But as time went on in each relationship, we came to understand that we’d known each other multiple times before, even recalling or knowing when and where. Once we were able to wrap our brains around that concept, we celebrated our good fortune of having been reunited. Then we discovered that our connections were so strong, we could communicate telepathically. Not all the time, but often enough that it was obvious and very cool! I talked about my experiences with each of my “old” friends, comparing notes between them and found that they’d also made similar reconnections with other people. It was as if we were weaving a tapestry of connections across time and space and they remain some of my best and dearest friends—I know we will continue to dance through time together. If I’d only had those experiences with one person, I might be able to shrug them off as my overly vivid imagination. But to have them with several people who simultaneously shared the same things with me validates my belief in the cycle of reincarnation.
In recent years, ideas about reincarnation have changed a bit as new discoveries have been made. Some philosophers and scientists agree that time and space are not what we perceive whilst living in the separation mindset of 3D. Physics seems to be pointing to time being “all at once,” and as such, what we call “past life” is a misnomer. Time is not linear; that’s an illusion, as is everything else. We are multi-dimensional beings living multiple lives. Well! Isn’t that a mind-boggler?!
That leads me back to what I wrote in a blog a couple years ago.
The older I get, the more I know two things for sure:
1) Nothing is as it seems.
2) And, I don’t know anything for sure about anything.
Of course, there’s only one way to know if reincarnation is real, and when it’s my time to find out, I’m prepared in case it is. It’s said that before we (re)incarnate, we meet with our soul group, guides and whoever else on the other side to discuss some semblance of a plan for our next life. For instance, we might choose a location, vocation, and lessons we want to learn for soul growth, along with our parents and other companions, perhaps “old souls” we’ve traveled with across time. If that’s the case, and I’m offered another go-around on planet Earth or elsewhere, I’ve made some Notes From the Field to My Higher Self based on an analysis of this lifetime:
— Remember the Prime Directive: you have Free Will—it’s your choice. Before agreeing to a new incarnation, make sure your next contract guarantees these points:
— You will retain full memory of all your other lifetimes and the knowledge accumulated during them—no amnesia or starting over from scratch again!
— You will have the ability to easily communicate via telepathy.
— You will have the ability to physically teleportate anywhere, anytime, at will.
— You will have the ability to manifest whatever you want, when you want it, but only with conscious intent.
Now if only I can smuggle those notes across the veil with me…
Great thinkers throughout history have embraced and written about Karma and Reincarnation. Space constraints don’t allow for anything more than a smattering of examples here, but they’re good ones worth contemplating. For a more thorough treatment of the subjects, I recommend the book, Reincarnation: An East-West Anthology, compiled by Joseph Head and S. L. Cranston, and published by Aeon Publishing Company, 2000. It includes quotations from the world’s religions and over 400 Eastern and Western thinkers. Here are some thoughts on the subject by wiser people than me:
“The doctrine of transmigration has been secretly taught from ancient times to small numbers of people, as a traditional truth which was not to be divulged.” — St. Jerome (340-420)
“God generates beings, and sends them back over and over again, till they return to Him.” — The Koran
“The belief or the doctrine of the transmigration of souls is a firm and infallible doctrine accepted by the whole assemblage of our church with one accord, so that there is none to be found who would dare deny it…Indeed, there are a great number of sages in Israel who hold firm to this doctrine so that they made it a dogma, a fundamental point in our religion. We are therefore in duty bound to obey and to accept this dogma with acclamation…as the truth of it has been incontestably demonstrated by the Zohar, and all books of the Kabalists.”
— Rabbi Manasseh Ben Israel, Theologian and statesman (1604-1657)
“I believe I shall, in some shape or other, always exist; and, with all the inconveniences human life is liable to, I shall not object to a new edition of mine, hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be corrected.”
— Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The soul that rises with us, our life’s star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar.”
— William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
“I am a soul. I know well that what I shall render up to the grave is not myself. That which is myself will go elsewhere. Earth, thou art not my abyss! The whole creation is a perpetual ascension, from brute to man, from man to God. To divest ourselves more and more of matter, to be clothed more and more with spirit, such is the law. Each time we die we gain more of life. Souls pass from one sphere to another without loss of personality, become more and more bright.”
— Victor Hugo (1802-1885), from “Victor Hugo’s Intellectual Autobiography”
“It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again…Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and mournful obituaries, and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some new and strange disguise. Jesus is not dead; he is very well alive: nor John, nor Paul, nor Mahomet, nor Aristotle; at times we believe we have seen them all, and could easily tell the names under which they go.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) “Nominalist and Realist”
“We forget that we have been drugged by the sleepy bowl of the present. But when a lively chord in the soul is struck, when the windows for a moment are unbarred, the long and varied past is recovered. We recognize it all; we are not mere brief, ignoble creatures; we seize our immortality and bind together the related parts of our secular beings…Something there is in the spirit which changes not, neither is weary, but ever returns unto itself, and partakes of the eternity of God.”
— Charles C. Emerson [brother of Ralph Waldo Emerson]
(1808-1836) from “Notes from the Journal of a Scholar”
“It is mere idleness to say that I have not lived before – that the soul has no previous existence. You deny it – let us not argue the matter. Convinced myself, I seek not to convince. There is, however, a remembrance of aerial forms – of spiritual and meaning eyes – of sounds, musical yet sad; a remembrance which will not be excluded; a memory like a shadow – vague, variable, indefinite, unsteady; and like a shadow, too, is the impossibility of my getting rid of it while the sunlight of my reason shall exist.” — Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) “Berenice”
“Our deeds still travel with us from afar,
And what we have been makes us what we are.”
– – George Eliot (1819-1880)
“I think immortality is the passing of a soul through many lives or experiences; and such as are truly lived, used, and learned, help on to the next, each growing richer, happier and higher, carrying with it only the real memories of what has gone before….I seem to remember former states and feel that in them I have learned some of the lessons that have never since been mine here and in my next step I hope to leave behind many of the trials I have struggled to bear here and begin to find lightened as I go on. This accounts for the genius and great virtue some show here. They have done well in many phases of this great school and bring into our class the virtue or the gifts that make them great or good. We don’t remember the lesser things. They slip away as childish trifles, and we carry on only the real experiences.”
— Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) In a letter to a friend.
“Life is eternal, and Love is immortal, and death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.”
— Rossiter Worthington Raymond, (1840-1918)
“They will come back — come back again, as long as the red Earth rolls. He never wasted a leaf or a tree. Do you think He would squander souls?”
— Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)
“I adopted the theory of Reincarnation when I was twenty-six…Religion offered nothing to the point…Even work could not give me complete satisfaction. Work is futile if we cannot utilize the experience we collect in one life in the next. When I discovered Reincarnation it was as if I had found a universal plan. I realized that there was a chance to work out my ideas. Time was no longer limited. I was no longer a slave to the hands of the clock…The discovery of Reincarnation put my mind at ease…If you preserve a record of this conversation, write it so that it puts men’s minds at ease. I would like to communicate to others the calmness that the long view of life gives to us. Genius is experience. Some seem to think that it is a gift or talent, but it is the fruit of long experience in many lives. Some are older souls than others, and so they know more.”
— Henry Ford (1863-1947) From an interview reported on August 26, 1928 by journalist George Sylvester Viereck of the San Francisco Examiner
“We live as long as we are useful, and as long as it is good for us to live. Thereafter we die, which is another form of living, even as ice and water and rain and dew are the same thing in different aspects. When the appointed times comes, we return, as the rain returns to the earth it has left for a season…No man can escape the consequences of his own act, though it take him a million lives to redress the balance.” — Talbot Mundy, “:Om” (1879-1940)
“The idea of reincarnation contains a most comforting explanation of reality.”
— Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)
“As to me, I leave here tomorrow for an unknown destination.”
— The last line of the last letter from Ambrose Bierce, December 26, 1913
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION — please click on the red highlighted words in the text below to be transported to the site described.
If you would like to explore your own journey through time, I highly recommend the tools provided by Dick Sutphen. He’s an expert on past-life regression. I used his “Mind Travel” tapes to assist me in recalling and charting my past lives by recognizing the thread of mission that connects them. Since then, he’s produced several other, excellent audio products on the subject.
Reincarnation Facts and Resources – links to many articles on the subject
Wikipedia’s history of Reincarnation