Reincarnation: the doctrine that the soul, upon death of the body, comes back to earth in another body or form. Rebirth of the soul in a new body. 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. Here, the body experiences a physical death, followed by a physical birth as the soul is transferred to a new body.
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 enlightenment 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 or soul energy, through which we return to the state we lived in as little children; pure in thought and emotion. Jesus provides the instruction for returning to this pure state through his cup and platter parable. The “inside of the cup” symbolizes the thoughts of the mind. The “inside of the platter” symbolizes the emotions of the heart. We are transformed through the purification of our mind and heart. Transformation is an act, process, or instance of transforming or being transformed. The process through which we become a new creation, our “first heaven and earth,” formed through false perceptions and beliefs, which carry negative and destructive mental and emotional energy, passing away (Revelation 21:1). This 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 spiritual light of truth, carries positive and constructive mental and emotional energy, the soul reaching enlightenment in one lifetime. The soul consists of mental and emotional energy. The transformation of this energy is the rebirth of our soul in our body.
This is the teaching of the Sacred Text of the west on the subject of reincarnation.
“The last Adam was made a quickening spirit…”
The spirit is the power or energy that works through the mind and heart— through the soul. The word quickening means to (re-)vitalize, make alive, give life. Through this transformation process, the holy spirit is revitalized. 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 his soul to the pure state in which it was received. 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.
Jesus asks, “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.” Matthew 17:12
Jesus’ response was for the benefit of the Jewish scribes, who understood that Elijah must come before Messiah. But Jesus is also teaching us a very important spiritual truth. It is not the soul, which is unique to each person, that returns. It was not the soul of Elijah that returned. It was the spirit of Elijah, which rested upon John the Baptist, while Jesus possessed the spirit of Elisha.
“And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” 2 Kings 2:9
“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 that she took on in this life.
Any knowledge of a past life should be used to understand the past of this life.
Written by Sandra L. Butler © 2015