This is the general understanding of reincarnation today, which came from the east. A different understanding comes from The Holy Bible— the Sacred Text of the west.
The soul, by definition, is the vital principle in man credited to the faculty of thought, emotion, and action. The soul is unique to each individual because none of us have the same exact experiences in life, which determine how we think and feel; thought and emotion. The eastern concept of reincarnation teaches that the soul of an individual can return again and again for the purpose of reaching total enlightenment or perfection. Here the body experiences a physical death followed by a physical birth as the soul is transferred to a new body. Fact: energy is either transferred or transformed. The east teaches transference of the soul-energy. Here’s the problem with this incomplete concept. Our soul, through the painful things we saw, heard, felt, and experienced throughout our life took on negative and destructive energy. If our soul-energy is not transformed during our time here on earth, our unhealed mental and emotional energy will be transferred, passing over into the spiritual realm (“in heaven as it is on earth”). If we are to accept the eastern concept of reincarnation we must accept that the infant comes into this world in an unhealed mental and emotional state, otherwise what would be the purpose of the soul’s return, which according to the east is “to reach enlightenment.” So now, the poor soul that has taken on a new body not only has the burden of the negative and destructive energy of the previous life, but the burden of the negative and destructive energy his soul will carry through the painful experiences of this life. To have a complete understanding of reincarnation we must incorporate what the Sacred Text of the west has to teach us on the subject.
The Holy Bible teaches spiritual reincarnation through a spiritual death and rebirth that takes place while we are in the physical body. To reach spiritual enlightenment or perfection does not require the soul to experience many past lives through many bodies. But rather to experience the past of this life in this one body. Jesus said we must “become as little children,” which takes place through the transformation of our mental and emotional (soul) energy, through which we return to the state we lived in as little children; pure in thought and emotion— the state in which we were born. The transformation of our mental and emotional energy is the spiritual rebirth of our soul within our body. Transformation is an act, process, or instance of transforming or being transformed. It is the process through which we become a new creation as our “first heaven and earth” (formed through false perceptions and beliefs that carry negative and destructive energy) passes away (Revelation 21:1). This passing away is the spiritual death that precedes the spiritual birth of a new creation; “a new heaven and a new earth,” symbolizing a new mind and a new heart, which being formed through the light of truth carries no negative and destructive energy; the soul reaching “enlightenment” or “perfection” in one lifetime. This is the teaching of the Sacred Text of the west.
The east is associated with the spirit, and the mind. The west is associated with the word, and the heart. Spirit and Word, which constitutes christ; the healing power of the heart. East and West
You have probably heard the expression “mind, body, soul” or “mind, body, soul, and spirit.” The truer or more complete expression would be “mind, heart, body,” as these make up the soul: the vital principle in man credited to the faculty of thought, emotion, and action. Through the application of the healing process given to us in the Holy Bible our thoughts and emotions are transformed, made pure, our actions following, as Jesus taught us through his cup and platter parable, instructing us to clean the inside of the cup and platter so the outside of them becomes clean. The inside of the cup symbolizes the thoughts of our mind and the inside of the platter symbolizes the emotions/beliefs of our heart. If they are made pure, our actions will be pure; finding a healthy balance. The “spirit” in the latter expression is the power or energy that works through the mind, heart, and body; through the soul. Through this transformation process the holy spirit is revitalized. “The last Adam was made a quickening spirit…” The word “quickening” means “to (re-)vitalize, make alive, give life.” And with the revitalization of our portion of God’s holy spirit comes the regeneration of God’s word (Matthew 19:28), which forms our new heaven and earth, the word regeneration meaning the act or process of creating anew. As man enters the third day he is given one last opportunity to revitalize his holy spirit through the conception of truth in his heart, returning it to the pure state in which it was received at birth. A new mind and a new heart equates to a new soul, in which dwells a new spirit (Psalms 51:10). A new soul formed inside of this old body, as opposed to the eastern belief of an old soul entering a new body.
“Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? … Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias (Elijah) and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets… Matthew 16:13, 14. But I say unto you, “Elias is come already,” which was for the benefit of the Jewish scribes, who understood that Elijah must come before Messiah, the “two witnesses” of “spirit and word” throughout biblical history being Moses and Aaron, Joshua and Caleb, Elijah and Elisha, and John and Jesus. Jesus is teaching us that it is not the soul, which is the person (e.g., “seventy souls were lost”) that returns. It was not Elijah the soul or person that would return, but the spirit of Elijah, which rested upon John the Baptist, while Jesus possessed the spirit of Elisha. “And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood upon his feet.” 2 Kings 13:21. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection.” So now, through the Word of God, we understand that it is not the soul that takes on a new body, but a body that takes on the spirit of one that has come before. During a past-life regression, my sister saw herself as Queen Sheba. She took it to mean literally, when in truth, it was the spirit or idiomatic expression of Queen Sheba she took on. Any knowledge of a past life should be used to understand the past of this life.
Written by Sandra L. Butler © 2015