©2002 Joan Estelle High

The dictionary defines reincarnation as to be re-born into a new physical body.
Many religions of the world such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Sufism and Theosophy teach the rebirth of the soul into a physical body. 
The ancient Egyptian practiced embalming of bodies to delay or prevent reincarnation. 

Pythagora, Buddha and even early Christian sects believed in reincarnation. Central to this belief is the idea that we are individual souls or even plural soul inhabiting a body. This soul is able to separate from the body  and it does so sometimes when we are asleep. 

The soul has been represented by different cultures in various forms. In India the soul is shown sometimes as a snake and in Germany the soul was sometimes represented by the image of a mouse. A butterfly is used in many countries from Ireland to Lithuania as well as in the orient such as China and Japan. A dove is a common symbol of the soul as are other flying birds ranging from duck, ravens, owls and hawks. 

Greek writers in the 6th century BC spoke of man being re-born from soot. Plato is quoted to have said the soul is immortal, the number of souls is fixed and that reincarnation occurs regularly. He followed in the path of Pythagoras and later schools of thought continued this idea. The idea of reincarnation is found in Roman literature. Virgil works the idea in his account of the underworld. There are some traces of reincarnation in Jewish literature by Philo and it is incorporated  in writings of the Kabbalah. The Kabbalah (  doctrines of oral traditions) goes back to the 11th or 12 century but it is known to have existed back in to antiquity. 

In Egypt Kabbalism was in existence in the late 800's . The Kabbalah purpose was to connect God and the Universe, account for the existence of evil and help in achieving perfection in this life. The Kabbalist attained a mystic communion with God and that is what attracted the medieval church to it. 

It is interesting that some of the new age material seems to relate back to Kabbalah thought. Especially about emanations proceeding from God as rays of a luminary. God being incomprehensible can only be known through His actions. The desire to be known and to create is co-eternal with God  and this was the start of the first ray and succeeding ones. The ten benefits are named  The Crown, Wisdom, Intelligence, Love, Justice, Beauty, Firmness, Splendor, Foundation and Kingdom. The "Gilgulim" or metempsychosis or reincarnation was adopted by the Kabbalist.

Note* A friend in Israel sent me some additional information on the Kabbalah. He says that the Kabbalah is a very old spiritual science whose principles were written thousands of years later in The Book of Zohar (The Book of Splendor.) This book was written in the Amareen language not in Hebrew. This language was common to all people living in Israel, Syria,  Babel, part of Egypt exactly like English is common today all over the world. 

Early Gnostic sects believed in reincarnation during the 1st century. The Manicheans in the 4th and 5th century believed in it  while the theory was repudiated by the orthodox Christians. The Manicheans were a major rival for Christianity in the fourth century. St. Augustine was a member of this group before he changed his beliefs. 

In the middle ages the sect known as Cathari embraced the idea of reincarnation. They were wide spread in Europe in the 13th century. The believed in two powers one good and one evil. In the end the " good" would win out and all men would be saved. They  saw the evil Satan as god of this world. This world then was the only purgatory and hell. (
I have often said I died and came here) They didn't think Christ's kingdom was of this world. They believed that man was the result of a war in heaven where Satan and his angels were cast out. They did not see death bringing freedom from this flesh body unless man becomes a new creature, a new Adam which they thought Jesus Christ was.  They held that man must pass through an other cycles some time as a human  but sometimes as an animal. Coming back as an animal was similar to the Egyptian belief in  transmigration of the soul.

In conclusion: greater minds than mine have pondered this question of reincarnation. I personally believe it is a possibility. I believe in the law of Karma (Hindu word) meaning what you sow you will also reap. Whether I believe in reincarnation or not doesn't matter. The results of right living are the same either way. If you do good you will find good either in a next life or in what you conceive heaven to be. I let the running of the universe to the powers that be. Reincarnation suits my sense of justice, it explains evil in the world, it gives me hope that I will get my turn at a better life and the knowledge that if I try hard enough I might not have to come back. (except as a volunteer. )

I  have threaten to chain my self to the pillar in the house of God so I won't go forth no more

By Joan Estelle High 

I don't want to go around again, I want off the wheel of life.
I am tired of this sinful world with it's worry and it's strife.
When I leave this earthly plane and exit to the "promise land"
I hope it's there that I remain and not have to go around again.
No I don't want to go around again, around and around again.

I'll be a pillar in the house of God. There I will make my home.
With a robe of white and a golden crown, I never more will roam.
He will wipe the tears from my face and take me by the hand.
I will never hunger and never thirst there in the "promise land".
I hope it's there that I remain and not have to go around again.
No I don't want to go around again, around and around again.

I will rest my weary spirit and  I will stroll the heavenly shore.
I'll bathe my self in the light of God and not go forth no more.
I'll sit my self at the feet of the King, sing praises to His name.
I know that it is where I belong and He's the reason that I came.
I hope it's there that I remain and not have to go around again.
No I don't want to go around again , around and around again.

If one day I hear my name, called by the Master's voice so dear.
Asking if I would go back down again, would I be a volunteer.
I then will really have to  say,  Dear God, I hope you understand.
I would rather just stay right here with you in the "promise land".
I hope it's there that I remain and not have to go around again.
No I don't want to go around again,  around and around again.

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