To be reborn in a new body or a new form.
The doctrine of reincarnation the belief that the human soul or the spirit of an animal or plant can, after death, enter another human or animal body is an extremely ancient one, and can be found in the teachings of Egyptian religion, Greek philosophy, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Taoism, Theosophy, and the philosophies of Plato and Pythagoras.
Belief in reincarnation depends, of course, on belief in the soul. If we accept that man has a soul, merely housed in a physical body, it is not unreasonable to propose that it may survive death. But if it does survive death is, in fact, immortal may it not also have existed before birth' If time is infinite, it is surely surprising that a soul should have been created at a particular moment in it. Is it not more sensible to assume that immortality stretches both ways.
Although we associate reincarnation chiefly with non-Christian religions, the idea is not entirely foreign to Christianity. The Jews believed in the periodic return of their great prophets Moses was a reincarnation of Abel, and the Messiah was to be the reincarnation of Adam (the Samaritans believed that Adam was reincarnated as Seth, then as Noah, Abraham and Moses).
Several early Christian scholars were intrigued by reincarnation. Nor is the idea confined to the West. Many African tribes accept it: when a child is born to the Yoruba tribe, the first thing the elders do is look for signs that will tell them which ancestral spirit has returned wrapped in the infant's body. Several Australian aboriginal tribes (among them, the Warramunga, the Urabunna and the Tasmains) accept that the souls of men and women can exist in growing plants, as well as animals.
The Okinawans (among most Oceanic people) believe that human souls can exist only in human bodies: when the body dies, the soul remains in the family home for 49 days, then enters Gusho, the afterlife, whence within seven generations it must return to earth, inhabiting the body of someone who will be very similar to its previous host. The Amerindians share a belief in reincarnation in various forms the Maryland Indians held that white men were an ancient generation of Indians who had come to life again, and set out to seize their ancestral lands.
In Europe, a general belief in reincarnation was common in historic times, when the Finns and Lapps, the Danes and Norse, the early Saxons and Celts, Prussians and Teutonics held it. Modern Western man remains, on the whole, unattached to the theory although it strongly appeals to some.
See Across Time and Death: A Mother's Search for Her Past Life Children, Children's Past Lives: How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child, Discovering Your Past Lives: The Best Book on Reincarnation You'll Ever Read in This Lifetime, Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence for Past Lives, Other Lives, Other Selves: A Jungian Psychotherapist Discovers Past Lives, The Case for Reincarnation: Preface by The Dalai Lama, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect, You Have Been Here Before: A Psychologist Looks at Past Lives, The Search for Bridey Murphy (Video), The Search for Bridey Murphy, Aura, Altered State of Consciousness, ESP, Seance, Asport, Rappings, Automatic Writing, Findhorn, Glastonbury Scripts, Theosophy, Psychic Archaeology, British Society for Psychical Research, Parapsychology, Poltergeist, Spiritualism, Mesmer, Animal Magnetism, Clairvoyance, Telepathy, Remote Viewing, Fun With Hypnosis: The Complete How-To Guide, How to Hypnotize Yourself and Others, Hypnotism Made Easy, The Complete Book of Self-Hypnosis, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, The Tarot Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey, and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: (1) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (2) The Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition Handy Volume Edition, Oxford University Press; (3) Gochenour P., Mesmerism: a Theory of the Soul, Gale Group.
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