This is the subject I have had the most trepidation writing about, mostly because there is such strong feelings about it. Reincarnation, seen by the West as totally conflicting with Judeo-Christian Theology, has been so misunderstood especially here where it’s been associated more with people who have rejected the commonly accepted theology of heaven and hell. It never-the-less deserves serious consideration partly because it is held as a credible view by a large part of the world.
I am not suggesting that anyone should believe in reincarnation. I am simply stating my understanding of it, and presenting it as an alternate way of viewing existence that may hold some answers for some.
One of the biggest held misunderstandings is that when one is re-incarnated it can be as an animal or a lower form of life. Humans can only be incarnated as humans. If the purpose of re-incarnation (and existence), is to evolve, the notion that being incarnated as a lower form of life is counter-evolutionary.
Re-incarnation very simply takes the view that the corporeal world is a school, a place where the (human) spirit is incarnated in the world of cause and effect for the purpose of learning and evolving to a level where they no longer need to be on this plane. Once the lessons from experiencing the impediments and obstacles (that are necessary for them to overcome) and attain spiritual evolution have been learned, the wisdom gained, the individual spirit is now ready to move on to another existence.
Some who have reached this level, choose to remain behind and again be reincarnated specifically to help the rest of humanity evolve. These are the adepts, the ones who have to some degree mastered cause and effect, but consciously choose to remain part of this plane and be incarnated again. This is a special sacrifice, primarily because when they re-enter this plane of cause and effect, they are not above creating additional Karma that may complicate their personal attainments. However if personal evolution is the only thing that one is searching for, then we have as individuals missed the point of what sacrifice and selflessness are.
Reincarnation goes hand in hand with KARMA. KARMA is the law of cause and effect while reincarnation is the vehicle by which karma is played out.
If someone creates karma in one lifetime, the karma may play out in another life, or over a series of lifetimes. Reincarnation allows the energy of karmic effects to play out until the spirit learns the lesson it needs to learn from the karma. Once the karma is resolved the individual (spirit) moves on perhaps to deal with some other karma.
This may not be a view that is consistent with heaven and hell as Christians and Jews know it. But it does explain many events in a person’s life that may not make any apparent sense. Certain fortunes or misfortunes that occur to people who may not appear to warrant them can be explained if one understands that karma that may have been created in a previous life is played out in another where the person’s current life doesn’t appear to warrant such events.
Déjà-vu experiences can also occur with circumstances, relationships, or places, where some feel instinctively familiar with these people and events, and be a result of having had previous lives together, positive, negative or both. Family relationships, close friendships or other kinds of feelings of kindred connections can all carry over from previous lifetimes if there are strong bonds between them or if there is karma to deal with.
I will leave it at this point, and come back to it at a later date.