A Brief Explanation of Reincarnation

Posted on 08/30/2010
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One of the most widely held beliefs in the world, is the concept of reincarnation. As many as one-in-five Americans believe that reincarnation is a real thing, and many more believe partially in the concept of endless lives, moving through time.


Reincarnation is believed to occur when the soul of an individual, leaves the body after death and comes back into Earth in a newborn body, which does not have to be that of a human. Many call this the transmigration of the soul. Within Southeast Asia and India, reincarnation is a commonly held belief in such religions as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism (which uses the term rebirth) and Sikhism. Even druids and Greek philosophers in the past have considered the concept of reincarnation. These days, reincarnation and its belief in, has spread to the Western World, in many different parts of the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and more.

Where Did It Come From?


So, where did the concept of reincarnation emerge? Is it an old belief system, or relatively new when compared with the major religions. To find the origin of the concept of reincarnation is not easy, but there was discussion about reincarnation going on as early as the first millennium BC, roughly 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. The concept of reincarnation within India may be much older however.

Within Greece, Greek philosophers often believed in reincarnation. Plato said that all learning is but recollection, which we can assume to mean that we are recalling our past memories, rather than learning something new. Pythagoras even went so far as to state that he could remember his past lives. Naturally, both in Greece and India, there were plenty of attempts to find a way to get knowledge of past lives and many early Buddhist texts mention techniques for recalling a person’s previous lives. In Tibet, the Tibetan Book of the Dead was developed on a science of death and rebirth in what is called Tibetan Buddhism.

Flash-forwarding a few thousand years, past the middle ages, we come into the early 20th century where reincarnation become an interest in Victorian England in the 19th century, and by extension America in the early 20th century. In 1900, Theodore Flournoy published a past-life recall in his investigation of Helene Smith, a medium. At the same time, Carl Jung was writing a thesis based on the same concept where he stated that the importance of persistence of memory and ego in psychology studies of reincarnation. It did not take long before hypnosis was used as a way of recalling past memories in individuals.

Later on in the 20th century, Ian Stevenson published 2,500 case studies from around the world of children who were able to remember events of their past life, all the way to when they died in their past lives. Stevenson theorized that birthmarks and defects on a body corresponded with wounds that a person received in a past life. He also stated that phobias relating to the current individual probably stemmed from whatever killed the deceased in a past life.

Case Studies of Reincarnation


In 2002, an article was published in Oriental Women that told the story of a boy named Tang Jiangshan who could remember his past life. According to elder reports and testimony from his parents, Tang stated at the age of three that he was not their child, but a man called Chan Mingdao, whose father in that life was a man by the name of Sandie. He stated his home was in Danzhou, which was by the sea. He mentioned that he was killed by a sword and gun during the Cultural Revolution and even more amazing, he could speak the Danzhou dialect extremely well. The dialect was nothing like his own hometown dialect. It was also reported that the boy had sword scars on his waist, which were apparently left over from his previous life. For several years, Tang urged his parents to take him to his previous life village, when they did take him he walked up to a man called Chen Zanying, an old man he then called Sandie. The told Chen that he was Chen Mingdao and after he died he was reincarnated. He recognized his older sisters and younger sisters and others from the village. He was also able to talk at length to these previous life relatives about his experiences.

In 2006, a book called Children Who Remember Previous Lives was published by Ian Stevenson and in the book the story of a young British boy named Cameron Macaulay was recounted. At the age of six, Cameron would talk about his old mother, former family and the house he lived in, which was white and stood by the bay. He talked of the Isle of Barra, a place he had never been. He would talk at great length about his childhood on the island, about his relatives, how his father died and more. Cameron would state that he missed his mother and brothers and sisters, and he was able to explain that within the white house, there was only one toilet. Often Cameron would cry for his mother and become very sad, often talking about looking at the planes landing on the beach of where he had lived. Constantly, he begged his actual mother to take him to the Barra, to which she eventually agreed. Arriving in Barra, Cameron found the family he said he belonged to, who lived in a white house along the bay. Once he got into the house, he found that no one he remembered was in the house anymore, and the former owner had already died. Sad, he still knew everything about the house and even showed his mother the window where he watched the planes land from.

President Lincoln is often cited as a person who was reincarnated before and after his life. While many think he was reincarnated as John F. Kennedy, many also believe that he was reincarnated as Charles Lindbergh. In the mid-20th century, and Indian yogi pointed out that President Lincoln was reincarnated as Charles Lindbergh. He described several similarities between the two men, including their friends, personalities, living environments, physicality and spirituality. The Indian yogi went on to say that President Lincoln would have been against the Second World War, as Lindbergh was. The yogi also feel that in a previous life, President Lincoln was himself a yogi and he is so revered these days because of the immense amount of karma he built up. The yogi details how the experience of being a yogi helped Lincoln, and the experience of being Lincoln helped Lindberg.

Author: Craig Baird Copyrighted © paranormalhaze.com

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