Reincarnation is the belief that when the biological body dies, the soul or spirit is reborn in another body or form. The idea of reincarnation is part of the doctrine of cyclic existence and is a primary tenet of the major Indian religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism. However, it is not limited to the Eastern cultures of the world. The belief in reincarnation stretches as far back as ancient Greece where it was held by Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato, and it is practiced in many tribal societies including those of Australia, Siberia and South America! And while the mainstream branches of Judaism, Christianity and Islam do not believe in reincarnation, groups within these religions such as the Kabbalah, the Cathars, the Druze, and the Rosicrucians do believe.
There are ten things everyone should know to understand reincarnation.
1. The soul exists. It isn’t just a myth. It is a part of you, the answer to the question, “Who am I?”, and remains the same regardless of your perception of yourself. The soul is the consciousness of the body, giving it life. It is pure energy, existing in a timeless, non-physical reality.
2. The soul evolves and its mission is to evolve, learn, grown and develop as it goes through its journey. It is trying to become more capable and self-aware so that someday, once it achieves nirvana, it will rejoin its creator.
3. The soul needs a physical body because it is in a physical form that it achieves the most growth. Growth of the soul comes through making choices and having experiences. In order to do that, it needs a body so that it can physically exist in a plain where choices have consequences. After the death of the biological body, the soul then gets to look back over its choices, learn and grow. Through this the soul will evolve!
4. Reincarnation gives the soul the chance to experience everything. No soul can achieve complete enlightenment unless it has had the chance to experience all options, all sides, and all consequences. The soul will be reborn over and over until it has experienced all possible options and outcomes.
5. Souls are free of all biological and social constructs. They do not have genders, races, or nationalities. A soul will reincarnate as everything at one point or another.
6. The soul will stick to one species at a time. Once it has evolved past a “lower” life form it will not return to it.
7. Lifetimes are pre-planned, giving the soul the chance to choose which experiences it wants to have so that it can fill the gaps in its knowledge.
8. Karma is not about justice or retribution, but about equality. What happens to one soul, must be returned to another soul so that all souls have the same chances and experiences. Karma only applies to conscious choices, not accidents or happenstance.
9. Reincarnation has both a beginning and an end. There is no endless wheel of death though the journey may take hundreds of lifetimes for the soul to achieve enlightenment. Once we are in our spirit or soul form then we are able to see the path and pick our next lifetime and its experiences.
10. The soul is not in a rush to achieve enlightenment and finish its journey. For the soul, life is all about the experiences and living them to the fullest. Our souls are not in a rush to get to the finish line. They literally want to stop and smell all of the roses.