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The Cycle of Life: Exploring Reincarnation and Karma

The Cycle of Life: Exploring Reincarnation and Karma
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The ancient philosophers believed in reincarnation, Virgil, Ovid, Pythagoras, Empedocles. Plato wrote, “by making the right use of those things remembered from the former life, by constantly perfecting himself in the mysteries, a man becomes truly perfect.” Those of the western school of science and philosophy believed and included their beliefs in their work, Kent, Lessing, Hume, Goethe and Schopenhauer. Emmerson said, “the soul is not born, it does not die, it was not produced from anyone, nor was any produced from it. Schlegel wrote, “is nothing less than the ladder of resurrection which, step by step, leads upward, or rather is carried from the abyss of eternal death up to the apex of life.” Poe wrote in Eureka. “We walk about amid the destinies of our world existence, accompanied by dim but ever present memories of a destiny more vast, very distant in the bygone time.” “We live out a youth peculiarly haunted by such dreams, yet never mistaking them for dreams.” “As memories were known then.” “During our youth the distinctiveness is too clear to deceive us even for a moment, but the doubt of manhood dispels these feeling as illusions.”

The Yogi philosophy of India follows different paths, leading to the unfoldment of the highest principle in man, the soul. These paths comprise, Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga and Karma Yoga, the way of physical well-being. Raja Yoga, the way of mental development. Karma Yoga, the way of work, the path of action. Gnani Yoga, the way of wisdom. Bhakti Yoga, the way of understanding the absolute creative power of the universe. The famous British biologist Thomas Henry (1825-1895), believed the concept of reincarnation to be as valid as the doctrine of evolution.

As the Yogi Philosophy teaches, man is composed of seven principles:

The physical body – the spirit – the astral body – prana – the intellect – the spiritual mind.

Man is a being of many experiences, he has embraced many lives and will embrace many more. From each lifetime he carries his experiences through to the next although he has no conscious memory, other than flashes, or spill over images and feelings. Man is a creature of change, he must embrace and adapt to a life in a constant state of flux, within all man’s lifetimes exists characteristics of the past lives he has lived. A residue of each lifetime is carried over, a small part of the character is carried through. Life undergoes constant change, we are all aspiring to spiritual consciousness and a realisation of the soul.

Within Yogi philosophy, the belief is that the Real Self is hidden in the lower forms of life, in the lower forms of human life, within the sheaths that shut the light out. When the real self awakens from its sleep, it views the world as it is and recognises itself in reality, rather than in the dream state which is illusion. The soul is in a constant state of development.

The current life that is being led is a lesson, and each person living represents someone who lived aeons ago under another name, in another life, in another country. This person lives in different surroundings, looks entirely different, but is essentially the person from long ago in a new form. This new form sometimes brings with it baggage from former lives, and instincts which will enhance the present life, and present form. The character, and traits that we are born with, have to be embraced and adapted to in our current lifetime. Traits and tendencies we are born with are sometimes exaggerated or subdued, depending on the type of life that we are leading. These traits can either have a positive, or negative effect on us, depending on how we manage them.

Sometimes certain traits or abilities, can remain dormant, then at a particular point in life awaken, affecting how we conduct ourselves in the world. Some people feel as though they have awakened, and begin living their life in an entirely different way, as nascent thoughts, feelings, and abilities, surface at a specific point in their life. When we die we go to sleep, we then awaken in a new place, in a new form, with an entirely different sense of being and dynamics. The residue of past lives is carried through in a greater or lesser degree, depending on what your spiritual karma is.

The ancient Egyptians believed that unless the body was mummified, it was subject to death and decay, they believed the ka would live after the body died. In Hermetic works, the eighth sphere is identified as the Milky Way, this is believed to be the ultimate goal of the soul. In Theosophy, the eighth sphere is called the planet of death.

Essenses of Arkashea, is a group with a heritage dating to an ancient order founded by Pharaoh Akhenaten, in the year 1354 BCE. The original Egyptian order has survived secretly over the centuries, they published their teachings in 1993. Arkashea refers to the history of what each individual has done during each incarnation. The Essences explore this history with the goal being to become free of Maya (illusion), thus gaining self-realisation.

Eternalism is a natural belief in the immortality of the soul. The Etherian Religious Society of Universal Brotherhood, is a society formed in 1965 in California. It teaches that all forms of life, on all planes of existence, are related, it believes that love is the unifying life force and that through love eternal life can be achieved.

The etheric body is the psychic body (the body double), the etheric body is responsible for the animation of the physical body. When the etheric body separates from the physical body, death follows. Once the body dies the soul’s consciousness centers on the etheric body, this state can last anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks. At this point, either for minutes or weeks, there is a state of limbo. The etheric plane is where the etheric body exists between the physical and the astral planes, it is influenced by the Moon and other celestial bodies.

Hypermnesia is the condition of heightened recall, those with this very unusual ability are able to remember things forgotten when they are under hypnosis, and during free association. Hypnoamnesia is the ability of the subject who is being hypnotised, to remember what happened, while in a trance state.  Hypnotic age regression allows the subject to relive events of a past life, and during this type of hypnotic trance the subject is completely unaware of his, or her, present life. During these session the person will adopt the speech, mannerisms, and characteristics of the former life, often speaking in a language, or accent they are unfamiliar with in their regular lives, even their handwriting changes.

Another type of regression called pseudo-revivification, leads to the subject, while in a trance state, reviewing scenes from their past life, but in this instance they still retain a connection and awareness of their present life. In Mahayana Buddhism, the Buddha is regarded as an incarnation of the celestial Buddha Amitabha. The Dalai Lama and other great religious figures, are regarded as repeated incarnations of various celestial beings. These Tibetan figures incarnate repeatedly.

In Hinduism the individuality of a soul is part of a sheath that surrounds the soul, and it must dissolve away if liberation from rebirth is to occur. If one individual life is a series of thousands of lives that a person has lived, and will live, then each lifetime has a unique quality and relevance and a semblance of it will be carried through and become part of the whole.

In Japan it is thought the intermediate period between death and rebirth is thirty-three years. The Western belief differs. Plato wrote that there were seven generations between each rebirth. The founder of Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner believed that the longer a person lived in their most recent lifetime, the longer the period of rest between the next incarnation. Steiner believed that the soul uses the first three, to three and a half days after death to review its past life, before discarding the physical body for the astral body. Steiner also believed that the soul had to reside in the astral world, the equivalent of one third of whatever number of years it most recently spent in a physical body.

The greater the spiritual evolvement of the person, the longer the time spent between rebirths. The time can range from a few years, to thousands of years. The time spent between lives is to give the soul a resting period between the traumas of death and rebirth, and a rest after the trammels of life in a physical body.

Irrational fears that people harbour in their current life are attributed often to past life incidents, and when these people are regressed they are able to describe a past life that explains fears in their current life. Jivanmukta is a person who in this lifetime has attained liberation, therefore will not be subject to further rebirths because their karma has been reduced, and they have rid themselves completely in their current lifetime. These people are not required to take human form again. Karma is the universal law of cause and effect, this means whatever we do in our current life, we will either pay for or reap the benefits of in the next lifetime. Many people wonder why at times very bad people seen to glide through life unphased and unscathed, and why good people suffer. This is because karma is not always served in the current incarnation, but is dealt in future lifetimes.

Buddhists look at karma as having four causal constraints that may influence a person’s life for better or worse. The four causal constraints are, seasonal phenomena of winds and rains, heat and cold, physical constraints such as heat and cold. Physical organic constraints such as germs and seeds, constraints of mind or psychic law, which includes all psychic phenomena, and constraints of what Buddhism regards as natural religious laws, as well as laws of nature such as gravity.

There is a belief in place of site karma, the understanding is that certain places, homes or cities, have their own karma connected to the actions of their inhabitants. This would explain why we have such a difficult time in some places in which we live, we are experiencing the history of the environment. Sometimes when someone is having a difficult time where they are living, they find that when they move to a place with more positive historical karma life becomes easier.

Vocational karma, is when someone enters into a career or work environment, where they appear to need little or no training, they just seem to have an innate understanding of what they are required to do. In these circumstances it is believed that the person has carried through the knowledge from a previous incarnation.

People at times carry over karmic trauma, this is where a dramatic or frightening experience is carried over in their memory affecting them in their current life. Often regression helps people in this situation, and once they understand that what they are feeling or remembering, has nothing to do with the life they are leading, they are able to heal and function more effectively without the carry over residue.

Karmic romance is when lovers are reincarnated and meet in their current life, there is a strong and overwhelming understanding and chemistry between the two people. Often there is no logic associated with these relationships, and the couples are carried along by a tide of emotions they have no control over, along with the familiarity they have towards each other. The tribal and shamanic people, the Koryaks of Siberia, believe that every person is the reincarnation of one of their ancestors, and the newborn is given the name of their ancestor

Jach Pursel, channeled an entity named Lazaris in 1974, this entity described itself as being part of a group being that exists in another dimension. Lazaris said that what we think of as past and future lives, actually exist simultaneously with our present life and that the lives overlap.

In Hindu mythology, there is a group of beings known as “Lords of Karma,” The belief being that intelligent and sympathetic beings are in charge of karma, and have the power to modify karma for individual human beings. Theosophists believe that the Lipikas, keep the akashic records updated, the Lipikas are associated with the four guardians of the cardinal direction.

The over-soul personal, is the consciousness that collects and integrates all the experiences of an individual’s past, present, and future lives. The personal over-soul, is a greater identity than that of the current self. There are as many over-souls, as people currently living, it is believed that when a person remembers a past life, they are actually reading from their personal over-soul.

Some believe that the soul chooses who its parents will be in the next life, and the parents are chosen in some cases to complete unfinished business. In some instances children feel entirely comfortable and in step with their parents, and in other instances they feel at odds their entire life. The soul of the child decides what it wants to experience. The parapsychologist James G. Matlock, believed there were four categories of past life memories, the first informational, this is the ability to remember dates, names and events, this is emotional and personal. The second is imaged memory, this is where a living person remembers people and places, associated with a prior living person. The third is behavioral, this is where there are strong similarities between the deceased and a living person, in habits, mannerisms, likes and dislikes. The fourth memory category is physical, it involves scars, birthmarks, and deformities a person has that are the same as those of a person who died, prior to the person’s birth. When someone has a strong past life memory there is usually one of the four categories present, there are rarely four.

There are several past life meditation practices that stimulate past life recall, the ability of the right brain to access the subconscious is involved, as this is where past life memories are stored. During meditation the person concentrates, and visualises, while they use their creative imagination. A past life therapist explores past life scenarios while the subject is under hypnosis, through this they look for relevance to present physical dilemmas, or situations. Past life therapy began in the 1900?s, and can be very helpful, especially when an individual has unexplained and irrational memories, images or fears, that cannot be attributed to their present life.

Plato, along with many classical philosophers, believed that during the fall of souls from the Ogload (sphere of fixed stars) to the earth, each soul passed through the seven spheres of the celstial bodies, taking on the negative spiritual characteristics of each of those spheres. Once the soul was ready for release from the cycles of metempsychosis, its ascent had to retrace its descent, and in doing so had to shed whatever negative characteristics it had previously acquired. If it didn’t do this, it was unable to complete its journey back to the kingdom of pure light (Milky Way). Plato believed in the immortal soul.

The philosopher Plotinus (205-270 CE), believed in the karma like law, of reward or punishment, believing those living unproductive or unkind lives, will find themselves in the bodies of vegetables. While those who have lived a life of licentious gratification will be reborn as beasts, while the virtuous beings would once again be born in human form. Plotinus taught that the soul didn’t suffer, only the outward shadow, which he said is what acts out the plots in the world. Those with an understanding of plurality of existences, believed that the soul has a series of existences, whereby a soul has two or more existences simultaneously (parallel lives).

The planet Pluto is referred to as the governing body for reincarnation, astrologers believe that the subconscious is the treasure house of the psyche, and this is supported by the fact that around the time Pluto was discovered, depth psychology became fashionable. It is also believed that Pluto governs the pineal gland and its third eye psychic properties.

Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy, believed that the population of humanity is dependent on the number of souls wanting or needing to be reborn at any one time. He also taught that besides the large pool of souls waiting to be born, there was an increased number of former embodied souls wanting to be reborn. The souls who in the past experienced more primitive conditions, were less eager to immediately return to embodiment, but as humanity has evolved, souls are more eager to re-enter the earth plane.

The teaching of predestination, means that the fate of the soul has been determined long before physical death, even prior to birth. There is a Greek term, psychopannychism, which refers to the soul upon corporeal death entering into hibernation, until an awakening at their future resurrection. Psychopoms is a Greek term, referring to a conductor of souls to the afterworld.

All south, and east Asian religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Daoism and Confucianism,  believe in the cyclical nature of reincarnation. The ever repeating nature of the birth and death of the universe, and the interplay of Yin and Yang forces. The orthodox Western traditions teach a single future resurrection of the dead. In traditions of cyclical time, human society goes through cycles of good and bad periods.

Pythagoras, Plato and Voltaire were supporters of rebirth, so were Thomas Edison and Sir Humphrey Davy (English chemist) and W. B. Yeats, also well known actress Shirley Maclaine, who has written books on the subject.

There are many who believe that rebirth leads to moral perfection, which cannot be attained in one lifetime. Many believe that reincarnation is part of the natural physical order, and that consanguineous rebirth occurs when a person is reborn into the same family group as in a previous life. Some people believe that the soul has control over its rebirth and chooses the body, and life situation in which it will be reborn. Others dismiss this entirely asking the question, why would people choose such difficult lives if they had control over their destiny? Rebirth groups is to do with the same sets of souls reborn simultaneously due to karmic ties, these ties necessitate a continued interaction with each other.

There are those who believe in non-backsliding rebirth, this is where an animal soul may evolve into a human soul and attain human rebirth, and once human it can never revert to an animal soul, or be reborn in an animal body. Buddhism teaches that once a person takes the three refuges (the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha) the individual can never fall into anything less than human birth.

Rebirth proximity occurs when the soul reincarnates within a small geographic area. The belief among some American Indians, is that people will be reborn into future generations of their own families. Among the Inuit, and Northwest Pacific Coastal American Indians, it is believed there is simultaneous rebirth. This is the possibility of a soul being reborn into two or more entities at the same time. In many tribal societies it is believed that there is an immortal soul which goes from birth to birth, until the soul attains salvation. Another belief of tribal societies, is that the immortal soul is reborn eternally with no ending of rebirth.

In 1963 the well known writer Jane Roberts channeled an entity called Seth, Seth described himself as a fragment of a larger entity. Seth described having many lives on Earth, including a life on the lost continent of Atlantis. Seth said that he had evolved to such a degree, physical form was no longer necessary to him, and that past, present, and future lives exist simultaneously. There are soul groups, these are families of souls, with individual members which support each other through the reincarnation process. There is a rare happening referred to as soul intrusion, this is where part of one person’s soul somehow manages to intrude into another person’s soul. This happen when one or both of the souls have experienced trauma of some kind. Complementary souls, travel through lives together and have similar temperaments and personality, often reincarnating as twins or triplets. In some instances a soul will choose and claim a future body, ensuring that another soul does not take the form they have chosen.

The most romantic reincarnation belief is soul mates, this signifies a relationship of two souls who interact over many lifetimes. The Greek myth written about in Plato’s Symposium, tells the story of the division of all the primordial souls into pairs, which seek to find and reunite with one another. This ties in with the instances of love at first sight, whereby on first meeting each other, soul mates recognise each other in their new lives.

There is a phenomena called walk-in, this is where an alien soul or being takes over the body of a person who is about to die. There are thousands of walk-ins living on Earth, usually they are enlightened entities, a few are extraterrestrials. These walk-ins are benevolent entities here to teach mankind, their task is to spread a spiritual message.

In 1945, Unarius Academy of Science was formed, Unarius believed in reincarnation, karma, lost continents and non-apocalyptic UFOism. Certain behavior patterns people are addicted to which have come about through no rational cause in the present life, can be attributed to behavior patterns developed in a past life. Repetition compulsion, refers to a subconscious behavior, whereby the individual repeats patterns over and over during several lifetimes. There are souls who are part of rescue circles, they are mature souls who meet with those who have died suddenly, and are in a distressed and confused state. One universal belief, is that living on the earth plane we are being taught in the “School of Life,” and that we are here to learn as much as we can, and to experience suffering and joy. When we die we are greeted by a family of souls who are welcomes, they have evolved beyond the astral plane and are there to meet and guide disembodied souls, helping them in their transition. No matter the behavior of the soul on the Earth, each entity is treated in the same way when they are welcomed by these compassionate beings, who offer unconditional love to everyone.


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