states that the spirit, through the vehicle of the soul, comes to the Earth plane many times, in order
to experience physical life, under a variety of circumstances and
conditions. To some, this represents a grotesque cycle in which
the soul becomes trapped; others look at it as a wonderful, divine
plan which offers an opportunity to expand in our awareness and
to correct that which needs to be corrected. Perhaps it boils down
to whether one sees a glass half empty or half full.
every culture has had, as part of its teaching, a belief in reincarnation.
In the twentieth century, it is undeniably accepted among most religions
of the East. In the West, mainstream religions and churches shy
away from any discussion or belief in the cycle of rebirth. Modern
Spiritualism, at least that segment of it espoused by the National
Spiritualist Association of Churches, denies, as fantasy,
the doctrine of reincarnation. Yet, recent surveys indicate clearly
that the majority of Americans, including Spiritualists, do believe
then, arises: who is correct? Proof of reincarnation is a very personal
matter; what may constitute proof for one may have no credence to
another. This is true of most religious and spiritual teachings
and doctrines. Faith, perhaps even more than knowledge and proof,
is what strengthens the soul. This does not lessen the importance
of knowledge and understanding, but faith in that which simply cannot
be proven is what nurtures wisdom. It is our decided opinion and
a very integral part of our religious and spiritual teaching that
reincarnation is a fact.
purpose of life upon the Earth plane is to master, through experience
and involvement, the lower (personality) nature and, thus, become
guided and influenced by the higher, or soul, aspects of the divine
spirit within; this, in turn, is guided by the almighty Spirit of
of reincarnation relates very strongly to questions concerning life
and death: when were we, as spirits, created; how long and where
shall we continue to be?
beliefs concerning life and death are as follows:
plane is the sum total of all that is. We are created at or
around the time of conception, and we cease to exist at the
moment of death.
created at or around the time of conception, we are born onto
the Earth plane, we pass from the Earth plane through death,
and then we live in some other realm of Spirit for eternity.
Life, now and after death, is and shall always be. The nature
of life after physical death is subject to much debate by those
who hold this view.
eternal, both in the past and in the future. We were created
at a point in time which is timeless, and we shall always exist.
We come to the Earth plane once, in order to experience what
it has to offer. After physical death, we live in other realms
of Spirit, gradually evolving in our consciousness and in our
oneness with God.
identical to that noted above, with one exception: we are given
the opportunity to be born onto the Earth plane more than once,
in order to evolve an understanding of this plane to the point
where we no longer need physical incarnation. From there, life
continues, in other realms of Spirit and Creation, as a continuous
evolutionary process toward oneness with God. Those who adhere
to this view of life generally agree on the nature of life encountered
after physical death.
Is It All
teach and accept the doctrine of reincarnation as a natural part
of the life-death cycle. Those from the East would consider us to
be spiritually bankrupt for even questioning the reality of this
doctrine. We, in the West, however, tend not to accept things unless
they can be proven or at least scientifically demonstrated. This
tends to create problems when it comes to reincarnation.
three basic arguments against the doctrine of reincarnation:
It is not
back as a different person, thus reincarnation is not a fact.
there be a cyclic return to the Earth plane?
Let us look
briefly at each of these arguments and see if we can shed some light
Proven: It is correct to say that reincarnation has not been
proven scientifically; it probably never will be. But then again,
how many of our spiritual or religious teachings and doctrines have
been? To state that a theory or teaching is not true because current-day
science cannot prove it, is to state that the laws of the Earth
plane represent all the laws that exist within creation; this, of
course, is not correct. In considering reincarnation, we are dealing
with an aspect of the soul; thus, spiritual laws must be considered.
All laws of the spirit, which have stood the test of time, point
directly to the reality of reincarnation.
has, nonetheless, undergone some serious scientific investigation,
primarily through the research of Dr. Ian Stevenson. Through various
techniques of hypnosis and life regression, Dr. Stevenson and others
have been able to confirm that certain people are able to offer
direct information concerning past lives; information which they
have no way of knowing (at least from the current earthly life)
and which can be verified. This type of information is often obtained
Body; Thus, No Reincarnation: This is perhaps the most perplexing
argument against reincarnation. Opponents of reincarnation who fall
upon this argument state that if a person does come back to the
Earth plane, he or she does so in a different body, with a different
brain; therefore, a different person is involved, and that person
has not technically experienced reincarnation. This represents a
strictly materialistic viewpoint and does not take into consideration
that our bodily forms are merely material cloaks used by our souls.
The fact that we change coverings does not mean we change the spirit.
"Clothing makes the person" is a cliche based on illusion,
in this and in other worlds.
Many opponents of reincarnation share a common sentiment: why would
the soul come back? What does this accomplish? The situations
which surround the soul change with each life; therefore, how
does this allow us to deal with past circumstances? First, we must
come to understand that, even though ages come and go and environments
change, we have been struggling with the same problems and circumstances
for eons of time. We are all seeking to attain a clearer understanding
of ourselves and of God and attempting to become closer and more
at-one with God and with each other. The basic human condition changes
very little. How we deal with it is constantly changing. God's plan
and our plan with God remain stable. How that plan happens to be
unfolding, at any particular moment in history, differs with people,
places, conditions, and, of course, time.
evolution does continue, unbroken and uninterrupted, even though
we incarnate into different bodily forms, surrounded by different
people, and occupy our time differently. Again, it is the soul which evolves toward oneness with God,
creation, and its own spirit. In effect, when
we incarnate is of secondary importance. What is of importance is
that we move onward in our journey and know that we do come to the
Earth plane, from time to time, as part of that journey.
Does Make Sense!
The fact of
reincarnation makes more sense and is more in line with natural law
than the myth of it. Here are some reasons:
follows the universal Law of Cycles.
is a wonderful demonstration of God's grace and our ability to
correct that which needs to be corrected.
inconceivable that we can master the lower aspects of the
personality in one earthly lifetime.
helps explain the appearance of evil in a world guided by a
Let us take a
brief look at each of these:
Cycles: Everything in life follows the great Law of Cycles.
Seasons come and go. People are born and die. Trees follow a cyclic
pattern of life and apparent death. History seems to repeat itself,
until there is no longer a need to repeat the cycle. Why should we
assume that our earthly lives would not follow the same cyclic
patterns exhibited by the rest of creation? The cycle of rebirth is
one of many cycles in which we are involved. "Cycles within
cycles within cycles" is an expression used by Syrsha,
Rev. Stephen Fulton's spirit guide, to suggest the many cycles in
which we all live.
Grace at Work: What kind of God would say: "If you make an
error, too bad; suffer with it for the rest of eternity?" That
would be a cruel and mindless God. But God says quite the opposite:
"I know you make errors, and I shall give you every opportunity
to correct them and become a better soul, and someday we shall
reincarnation, we are given the opportunity to set straight that
which may have gone wrong. We are given the opportunity to come back
to the Earth plane and "relive" some of our experiences,
to see if we can react less to the thrill of the moment and respond
more to the prompting of the spirit. Through reincarnation, we are
given the opportunity to come back with another soul, or group of
souls, to make good that which may be bad, or to make even better
that which is already good. Through reincarnation, we are given the
opportunity to become all that we are capable of becoming, rather
than remain where we are. Reincarnation, as it manifests within the
great Law of Karma, is perhaps the greatest demonstration of God's
love for and faith in us.
the Lower Nature: The process of spiritual evolution involves
mastering the lower personality, that the higher aspects of the soul
and spirit may be free to express themselves. In order for us to
master the lower nature, we must rise above the temptations of the
flesh and personality and work consciously with the inspirations of
the spirit. The personality is deeply embedded within the Earth
plane. By this, we mean that the Earth plane offers the greatest
opportunity and potential for the lower aspects to dominate the life
of the individual. Where else are we able to deal with the
limitations of time and money? Where else is the bodily form of such
importance? Where else is the sexual appetite so powerful? The Earth
plane, with all its limitations, is truly one of the most expansive
realms of life. Now, that may seem like a paradoxical statement, but
life is so full of paradoxes. Consider for a few moments: where else
in Creation are we allowed to become fully engrossed within such
dense matter while dealing with our spiritual quest and journey?
So you see,
the Earth plane is truly a grand place; a place where we can, for
all practical purposes, have the best of both worlds: spiritual and
material. It is also a realm full of paradox. We use the material in
order to appreciate its non-reality, that we might then begin to
sense and work with the reality of the spirit. To consider that this
can be done in the span of a few short years is foolish, to say the
process of reincarnation, we are able to deal with the whole of the
earthly experience and reach a point where we no longer need these
experiences. It is at that point that we can say to ourselves:
"I no longer need to come back to earthly form." But even
here, evolution does not cease; we merely move onward to other
cycles and realms of life.
God in the
Midst of Evil: A question which will challenge one's faith
perhaps more than anything else is: how can there be such evil and
suffering in a world which is supposed to be governed by an
all-loving and all-forgiving God? An understanding of reincarnation
and karma sheds great light upon this perplexing question and offers
hope where there seems to be little hope. Through an understanding
of karma and reincarnation, we can see that it is because there is
such a loving and forgiving God that evil and suffering do appear
upon our planet. God could very easily intervene and wipe away all
pain, all suffering, and all form of negativity from our lives. But
in so doing, He would rob us of our greatest gift: the gift of
choice. We would, then, most assuredly be nothing more than puppets
on a string, manipulated by God.
But God is a
loving God; He allows each of us to become the master of our own
destiny. We are given the freedom of choice: the choice either to
live by divine law, or in opposition to it. Choice is very important
to us. Men and women have suffered and died, in order to defend that
inherent right -- or gift -- of the spirit. In this, however, we
shall reap the fruits of our labors and our choices. This is the Law
If we plant
bad seeds, the harvest will be bad. If we plant good seeds, the
harvest will be good. If we plant good seeds, but do not tend to
them, they will sprout and die shortly thereafter. If we plant bad
seeds, and then recognize that we have done so, we can dig up our
garden and plant good seeds. So, we have ample opportunity to
manifest good as well as evil.
explains why there is evil in the midst of a loving creation.
Reincarnation offers us a means of transforming that evil into good.
clarification on the difference between Spirit and Soul, you may
wish to read an article on the Spirit-Soul-Body
of this series: The Great Conflict.
information on this and other related subjects on the Journey
of Your Soul and Spirit is available.
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