Reincarnation: How it Works and the Signs of it

Reincarnation: How it Works and the Signs of it

The limitations of our human mind make it incredibly difficult to imagine eternity. For our life to endure without a beginning or an end, seems unfathomable from our personal vantage point of space and time. Despite this, reincarnation is a cornerstone of many traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism and is reflected throughout the art of Islam’s Sufi tradition.

What is Reincarnation?

Reincarnationists believe that mere atoms and molecules cannot explain humans, with their wealth of emotional and creative capabilities. Reincarnation presupposes that consciousness is an energy distinct from and superior to the matter composing the physical body, that there is a higher-order entity involved in each living being’s transmigration from one material body to another.

But what or who is it exactly that becomes reincarnate? From the theosophical point of view, spiritual evolution extends through repeated reimbodiments or reincarnations, not only for human beings, but also for animals, plants, all things; from a sub atomic level to the realm of galaxies. It is believed that although there is a finite number of human souls, only a small percentage of these are incarnate at any given time. The rest are believed to be undergoing various after-death states, some of which may last much longer than a lifetime spent in the physical realm.

How does heredity fit into all this? According to theosopher John P, Van Mater, there is no chance involved. The reincarnating ego or soul, drawn to its prospective parents, obtains only its “expression” from the gene pool provided by them. This means that though each child inherits the genetic possibility to re-embody all his/her particular strengths or weaknesses, the incoming soul already contains these unique potentials, these therefore may be similar or different from either or both parents.

But if each soul’s unique pattern is shaped by and formed around the incarnating energies which seeking its own expression why don’t we remember our experiences from past regenerations? The general explanation for forgetting our past lives is that it frees us to make different choices within each life cycle. We can quite literally start over in our new life situation and our relationships with others because we are not carrying any past baggage so our new life is not solely determined by our past experiences.

Probably the most important argument for reincarnation is karma. Each soul’s karma is believed to result in its rebirth. The purpose is for the karma to be realized or fulfilled, which determines the circumstances of the next incarnation. The law of karma is that of cause and effect. Actions are punished or rewarded depending on the deeds we perform in previous lives. It is held that karma is meted out with mathematical procession and good and bad circumstances will result so that every single thing we do will be punished or rewarded accordingly, on both a qualitative and quantitative level. Many believe that this explains the broad range of inequalities we see between humans. According to the law of karma, there is no forgiveness for past misdeeds, only karmic debt, which is paid off in subsequent lives. As karmic debt accrues, it may take several life times to balance out.

Despite the nature of forgetting past lives, it is often claimed that previous life experiences can contribute to present health issues, personal likes and dislikes and fears and phobias, often without us being fully aware of their origins. Psychic medium, Hans Christian King, has been communicating for over forty years with souls waiting to be reincarnated. According to King, it is quite common for family and close friends to reincarnate together on a regular basis. Animal lovers will also be happy to know that animals are an important part of our soul family and will often continue to reincarnate within the same family groups. King explains that all creatures have a destiny, and animals return with us to enhance both our growth and their own.

Some Apparent Signs of Reincarnation

Many people believe that hypnotism is an effective process for helping a subject relax and enter a deep, suggestible state of mind where memories that are inaccessible to the conscious mind are stored. Some hypnotists claim to use past life regression therapies. This entails the alleged journeying into a subject’s past lives while they are in a state of hypnosis.

Those skilled in the field of hypnosis are careful to ask their subjects open-ended questions during past-life regression, to ensure that they do not make suggestions to the subject. Accounts made by a subject under hypnosis are recorded and researched in an attempt to validate them.

According to Ian Stevenson, reincarnation researcher at MD, Virginia University, hypnotic regression is not an accurate tool for assessing former lives due to its inability to separate subconscious fantasy from genuine past memories. Despite his dismissal of hypnotic regression, Stevenson has spent more than forty years researching psychic phenomena and reincarnation. He claims that the most promising evidence for reincarnation come from young children who are able to describe previous lives. When Stevenson first started studying such accounts, he quickly noticed that many of the children bore birthmarks which were supposedly connected to traumatic incidents they experienced in a previous life. Along with this evidence, he presented medical documents compiled after the person’s death, as further proof. Less than half of the deformities could be explained by genetic factors, viral infections or chemical causes.

In his book Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation, Stevenson recounts investigations of reincarnation covering more than twenty countries. Most of the accounts are from children aged between two and five. A large proportion of the accounts describe how the death occurred, and many are violent endings. Interestingly, of the 210 cases studies, Stevenson discovered that most of the birthmarks were remarkably similar; appearing as small areas of skin which was puckered and had either to little or too much pigmentation. Of the birth defects he discovered, most were of rare types. There was usually a correlation between the birthmark and the type of wound experienced by the deceased person.

This raises a number of questions regarding how the phenomenon of reincarnation works. If we are to assume that the memories of a former life are accurate, how are the unusual marks on an infant’s body caused in such a way that they would correspond to the abnormalities on an adult body in a former life. Stevenson was quick to notice that in many of the cultures he studied, relatives of the reincarnated child explained this phenomenon as a taking place in a dream. During the dream, someone who has died appears to a mother and tells her they will be reborn to her. These types of dream are common throughout Indians in Alaska, Burma and Tibetans.

In the Western world, children’s account of supposed past lives are usually considered to be creative flights of fantasy at best and either lies or signs of mental disturbance at worst. However, ongoing research continues to shed more light onto the subject and more and more scientists are being to do some serious rethinking of reincarnation’s implications.

This article is written by Corinna Underwood for Mind Power World: http://www.MindPowerWorld.com