Reincarnation means "to be made flesh again." As a doctrine or mystical belief it suggests that some essential part of a living being can survive death and be reborn in a new body. This part is often referred to as the Spirit or Soul, the Higher or True Self, or the Divine Spark.
I was raised in a Southern Baptist home and continued in a fundamental religion until I was forty years old. You may be wondering how someone who was raised in such a dogmatic environment ever came to believe in reincarnation. I have to admit I was adamantly opposed to the idea when a friend of mine first mentioned it. She recommended a book by Elizabeth Clare Prophet entitled Reincarnation: The missing Link in Christianity. After reading the book, I saw with new eyes, the many references to reincarnation throughout the Bible and became even more curious.
Reincarnation was a common belief of the Romans during the time of Christ. Some people even asked Jesus if he was Elijah reincarnated. Jesus was siad to have told Niccodemos that he could not see the kingdom of God unless he was "born again" a sign that Jesus also believed in reincarnation.
Christianity has gone through many transformations over the years. The religion people in the U.S. practice today is not at all like it was in the beginning. Christianity began with the gentle, non-violent teachings of Jesus Christ for whom the religion is named. Jesus' teachings were in alignment with Buddhist, Tibetan and Eastern thought that did not adhere to religious or political authority but rather supported an individualistic, anti-materialist, non-political lifestyle. Jews who followed the teachings of Christ were just beginning to adapt the principles into their culture when non-Jews (Greek and Roman) began to adopt the religion as their own. The Gospels which give account of the life of Christ were written at least 30 years after the death of Jesus of Nazareth. Paul of Tarsus is one of the earliest founders of the Greek/Roman version of Christianity who penned parts of the New Testament. Paul's writings which espouse subjection of women and pay homage to pastors and church leaders actually oppose the early teachings of Jesus.
The compassionate and tender principles contained in the early history of true Christianity, started to fade as the Orthodox Church of Rome continued to develop a doctrine that would enable political rulers to enslave citizens and force the congregation to materially support pastors and obey them without question. The Nicene Council under the rule of Constantine compiled the New Testament which included Judaic-style works such as the letters of Jude and John. The New Testament excluded the Gospel of Philip because it exposed dishonesty and supported reincarnation. Many people today believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God, but as you can see here it clearly is has been altered. During the evolution of the text we now call the Bible, the teaching and belief in reincarnation was lost.
As I continued researching I found more information that seems to indicate that we are eternal souls with ongoing missions and that time exists only on earth. Scientist now support the notion of reincarnation by showing us parallel universes exist and that everything is happening simultaneously. When I learned this, it dawned on me that being in human form is only one way we progress spiritually on our path back to our Creator. For more on this fascinating subject see http://www.near-death.com/experiences/origen08.html
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