The definition of reincarnation is simple and yet very complex.
Exploring the Definition of Reincarnation
The easiest way to explain reincarnation is that it is the belief that you die and your soul is reborn into another body. This process is also known as the transmigration of the soul.
- Your body dies, but your soul lives on.
- Your soul returns to God.
- Your soul returns in a different body.
- The cycle repeats.
Purpose of Reincarnation
The evolution of the soul has one goal, to experience and grow from those experiences until the soul has learned all it set out to learn. Some souls choose to recall certain aspects, talents or skills learned in past lives that will aid in the current incarnation. Many believe child prodigies are such souls who have conscious and subconscious recall of skills learned in previous lifetimes. The personality, gender and looks may change from one incarnation to another, but the soul is always the same soul.
How Your Next Incarnation Is Determined
The third step in the soul's cycle is a significant one. This scenario often creates heated debates. Some believe that the return cycle is guided not by the soul but by the karma met and accumulated by the soul. Many others believe that in addition to human form, the soul returns in animal and plant forms.
Good and Bad Karma
The concept that there's good (rewarding) and bad (punishing) karma is incorrect, since karma is merely a process of cause and effect. The good and bad karma belief system is yet another form of religious interpretation that breaks life down into good and evil. If you examine this concept closer, you must ask yourself: If God created all things and all things must return to God, how can God create evil? This is where free will enters the picture and plays the most important role in the rebirth cycle.
Free Will and Reincarnation
Many people believe the soul undergoes a review process of its progression and growth when it's in-between incarnations.
Belief One: Each soul decides on its next incarnation with the assistance of spiritual guides. The soul can be advised, but ultimately, the choice is the soul's alone.
Belief Two: If the soul has evolved through numerous incarnations, it has earned the right to decide its next incarnation. However, if the soul has failed to learn the lessons for which it had last incarnated that choice is forfeited and the decision is made for the soul.
Free Will Circumvented?
There are several difficulties with the second belief. The most glaring one is the circumventing of free will. Many believe God bestowed free will on the soul expressly so the soul could exert free will and by that free will return to God. Only then could the soul join God as a true co-creator.
To suggest that anywhere within the soul's evolution process it can be denied to use its free will is impossible since even God doesn't interfere with the soul's free will. Therefore, it has to be surmised that each soul is responsible for its own choices and decisions to reincarnate.
The Soul's Choice
If you accept the concept that the soul is a part of God and is working its way back to God, the soul is much wiser than the human personality it's manifesting through. The soul typically chooses the necessary path for greater growth.
See No Evil
If all things belong to God, how can there be evil? The soul often creates what is recognized as evil when exerting its free will. The soul must learn and desire to exert its free will in a God-like way. Until that happens, the soul is considered rebellious.
Reincarnation, Progress of the Soul
There are varying beliefs about reincarnation that breakdown the soul's journey. The Hindu belief system encompasses all life forms in the reincarnation process for a more complete experience. The one underlying kernel that is shared by all reincarnation belief systems is the soul's ultimate destiny, the return to God as a co-creator.
A large percentage of religious belief systems embrace reincarnation as the natural order of the soul's progression, including:
- Esoteric Christianity
- Buddhism (Used as parables more than belief system)
- Taoism (Evolution of soul)
- Orthodox Judaism
Ancient Norsemen believed in reincarnation as do Native Americans and the Celts.
Science's Attempt to Prove or Disprove
Ever since Decartes' elevation of science in the 17th century, science is used as a barometer of truth and reality. Scientists attempt to quantify, prove or disprove the existence of the soul and, of course, reincarnation. Science feels it has sufficiently explained away near death experiences (NDE) as nothing more than brain chemical reactions. Love has been pared down to chemical reactions that mislead people into believing emotions are no more than physical response mechanisms.
What Science Doesn't Understand
What science fails to grasp is the force behind the physical reactions. If the soul exists, it uses the body as a vehicle to move through life and gain more experiences. To discount NDEs and love as nothing more than physical chemical reactions is like saying that a car stops because the brakes are applied. While the statement is true, it only explains the physical response of the car with no consideration of how or who has manipulated it to perform the physical response. In this case, of course, it's the driver. In the case of the human body, it's the soul.
It's All About the Journey
The important point of the reincarnation process is how the journey aids the soul in growing and evolving until one day the soul no longer feels a need to reincarnate. This definition of reincarnation concludes that the soul's incarnation cycle is complete. The soul is now evolved into a whole entity and ready to return to the Creator.