Past lives” and “Transmigration of souls” redirect here. The drawing illustrating how the soul travels to any one of the four states of existence after death depending on its karmas, according to Jainism. Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that an aspect of a living being starts a michael newton journey of souls pdf life in a different physical body or form after each biological death. In recent decades, many Europeans and North Americans have developed an interest in reincarnation, and many contemporary works mention it.
The word “reincarnation” derives from Latin, literally meaning, “entering the flesh again”. Rebirth is a key concept found in major Indian religions, and discussed with various terms. Kabbalistic Judaism, found in much Yiddish literature among Ashkenazi Jews. The origins of the notion of reincarnation are obscure.
Discussion of the subject appears in the philosophical traditions of India. The Greek Pre-Socratics discussed reincarnation, and the Celtic Druids are also reported to have taught a doctrine of reincarnation. The ideas associated with reincarnation may have arisen independently in different regions, or they might have spread as a result of cultural contact. Hinduism’s Rigveda makes references to reincarnation in the Brahmanas layer.
The texts of ancient Jainism that have survived into the modern era are post-Mahavira, likely from the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE, and extensively mention rebirth and karma doctrines. The early Buddhist texts discuss rebirth as part of the doctrine of Saṃsāra. This asserts that the nature of existence is a “suffering-laden cycle of life, death, and rebirth, without beginning or end”. In early Buddhist traditions, Saṃsāra cosmology consisted of five realms through which the wheel of existence cycled. However, the ancient Vedic Rishis challenged this idea of afterlife as simplistic, because people do not live an equally moral or immoral life. Early texts of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism share the concepts and terminology related to reincarnation. They also emphasize similar virtuous practices and karma as necessary for liberation and what influences future rebirths.
Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism disagree in their assumptions and theories about rebirth. The reincarnation doctrine in Jainism differs from those in Buddhism, even though both are non-theistic Sramana traditions. A 2nd-century Roman sarcophagus shows the mythology and symbolism of the Orphic and Dionysiac Mystery schools. Early Greek discussion of the concept likewise dates to the 6th century BCE. Authorities have not agreed on how the notion arose in Greece: sometimes Pythagoras is said to have been Pherecydes’ pupil, sometimes to have introduced it with the doctrine of Orphism, a Thracian religion that was to be important in the diffusion of reincarnation, or else to have brought the teaching from India. The Orphic religion, which taught reincarnation, about the 6th century BC, organized itself into mystery schools at Eleusis and elsewhere, and produced a copious literature.
An association between Pythagorean philosophy and reincarnation was routinely accepted throughout antiquity. In the Republic Plato makes Socrates tell how Er, the son of Armenius, miraculously returned to life on the twelfth day after death and recounted the secrets of the other world. In later Greek literature the doctrine is mentioned in a fragment of Menander and satirized by Lucian. Virgil works the idea into his account of the Underworld in the sixth book of the Aeneid.
It persists down to the late classic thinkers, Plotinus and the other Neoplatonists. In Greco-Roman thought, the concept of metempsychosis disappeared with the rise of Early Christianity, reincarnation being incompatible with the Christian core doctrine of salvation of the faithful after death. Some early Christian Gnostic sects professed reincarnation. The Sethians and followers of Valentinus believed in it.
Manichaean monasteries existed in Rome in 312 AD. The Pythagorean doctrine prevails among the Gauls’ teaching that the souls of men are immortal, and that after a fixed number of years they will enter into another body. The belief in reincarnation had first existed amongst Jewish mystics in the Ancient World, among whom differing explanation given of the after-life, although with a universal belief in an immortal soul. Today, reincarnation is an esoteric belief within many streams of modern Judaism.
The practice of conversion to Judaism is sometimes understood within Orthodox Judaism in terms of reincarnation. According to this school of thought in Judaism, when non-Jews are drawn to Judaism, it is because they had been Jews in a former life. Such souls may “wander among nations” through multiple lives, until they find their way back to Judaism, including through finding themselves born in a gentile family with a “lost” Jewish ancestor. There is an extensive literature of Jewish folk and traditional stories that refer to reincarnation. 12th century in Europe, several reincarnationist movements were persecuted as heresies, through the establishment of the Inquisition in the Latin west. Christian sects such as the Bogomils and the Cathars, who professed reincarnation and other gnostic beliefs, were referred to as “Manichean”, and are today sometimes described by scholars as “Neo-Manichean”.