“The bodies of all men are, indeed, mortal and are created out of corruptible matter; but the soul is ever immortal and is a portion of the divinity that inhabits our bodies.” …Jewish Pharisee Flavius Josephus (37 to 93 CE) in Jewish Antiquities
The belief in reincarnation goes back thousands of years in such Asian religions as Buddhism and Hinduism, as well as other cultures around the world. The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Indian Sanskrit, and Greek and other ancient writings suggest a basic and profound belief in reincarnation.
Reincarnation involves the spirit entering a body at the point of conception (or later), living a life and after a period of rest and reflection, the return of the spirit into another body, and so on. The purpose being to grow in spirituality with each new life until one is acceptable in the eyes of God and can return home with Him for good.
Hindus believe the soul enters a body at conception, while early Australian Aboriginals believed that the spirit, which would enter into the body of a newborn infant, came from a “transcendent realm they called Dreamtime.” The parents to be were “aware of the spirit’s desire to incarnate before conception. The Yoruba tribe of West Africa believed in it even to the extent that it occurs within families.
According to anthropologist Colin Turnbull, the Mbuti pygmies of central Africa believe the soul exists “in a non-physical state for long periods before conception, while the Cherokee Indians believe a soul chooses the family in which to be born based on the lessons one needs to learn. The Celts, Teutons, Gauls, Druids, Eskimos, Incas, Hawaiians, Japanese and more have accepted the concept of reincarnation.
However, in the western world where people pride themselves on their rationality, it is not widely accepted, especially among devout Christians. However, a close examination of the Bible reveals many primarily ‘veiled’ statements that refer to reincarnation. In Ecclesiastes 41:8-9, Solomon refers to those who disobey Hebrew dicta by saying that if you have “forsaken the law” and “if you be born (again), you shall be born a curse.”
In the Old Testament, it is prophesied that Elijah would return prior to the coming of the Messiah. Jesus said John the Baptist, who came before Him was Elijah, (not someone like him but truly his spirit). In other words, Elijah was reincarnated as John the Baptist. John denied this since he had no memory of a prior life.
In the New Testament – Matthew 11:11-15 – Jesus made it clear: “This is the one…there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist… And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Early records indicate that the Christian church originally believe in reincarnation, with souls eventually returning to the “oneness of God.” However in 545 A.D., Emperor Justinian put an end to this belief and “forced the ruling Cardinals to draft a papal decree.” The Anathemas against Origen (part of the Fifth Ecumenical Council) stated: “If anyone asserts the fabulous preexistence of souls, and shall assert the monstrous attached to the restoration which follows from it: let him be anathema (put to death).”
Origen was a theologian who wrote about the preexistence of the soul about 250 A.D. He taught that since Jesus Christ came from God and was “the Son of God,” the same was true of everyone, as Jesus stated before the Pharisees when He was arrested. The Emperor, with assistance from the Cardinals saw this as a major threat since believers might view him as expendable, not pay taxes or even disobey the church.
Although the emperor demanded that belief in reincarnation be deemed illegal, Pope Vigilius felt it was “consistent with the teachings of Jesus.” The Pope “refused to sign a papal decree condemning Origen’s teachings” and as a result, was arrested. However, on the way to jail he escaped.
The famous seer, Edgar Cayce made a prediction in one of his readings that he would return and be reborn in 1998. He suggested that he would be a “liberator” of sorts. Wynn Free became obsessed with the idea that David Wilcox was the reincarnation of that man and wrote a book entitled The Reincarnation of Edgar Cayce? which was released in 2004 with input from Wilcox.
Wilcox is a filmmaker, researcher of ancient civilizations and lecturer, who has a special interest in consciousness science, and new paradigms of matter and energy. He claims that since childhood, he has had strange dreams, out-of-body experiences and contact with a higher intelligence. Currently, he is working on a Hollywood film entitled Convergence, which he has said “unveils the proof that all life on Earth is united in a field of consciousness, which affects our minds in fascinating ways.”
Free noted a number of reasons why he held this belief. Cayce said he would return to Virginia Beach and Wilcox was told by a voice in a dream during “twilight sleep” that he should return there from upstate New York in 1997. Since then, many people have stopped him noting their very similar appearance. According to Wynn, Wilcox receives many profound messages.
The Reincarnation Experiment – Promoting Scientific Reincarnation Research
Pope Arrested for Believing in Reincarnation
The Return of Edgar
Tibetan Buddhist teachings on Reincarnation
Part 2: Hamilton woman uses regression to heal past life trauma
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