Understanding Reincarnation

Baby with Pink Blankets


It is not possible for people to experience and understand all there is about life and its purpose in a single lifetime. By understanding and accepting that we have lived many times before, we can develop a sense of the continuity of life - past, present, and future. To know that we have lived as both male & female in different racial groups encourages us to have a more tolerant heart.

We become aware that our choices in previous lives are often the cause of our circumstances today. We are better able to deal with the difficulties and suffering in our lives. We also become more appreciative of the blessings and joys we experience in all aspects of our lives - grateful to God for the opportunity to reap the good that we have sown along with the bad.

Reincarnation also explains the great love and mercy that God has for his children. Consider the infant who dies at birth, or the child born with mental or physical handicaps. Or think of all the young men and women killed in wars and accidents. Indeed, they are part of a greater plan that allows them the opportunity to be born again and to live full lives to develop and share their unique gifts and talents with humanity.

Just because we can't remember our previous lives doesn't mean that we didn't have them. Many people have déjà vu experiences where they suddenly and seemingly, out of nowhere, feel that they have done something before, been somewhere before, or feel that they know someone who they just met. Many of us have also heard or known of children born with a special gift in music or science who became professionals at an early age. This is often an indication that the soul has picked up where it left off from a previous life, bringing with it talents and skills that are part of its service to mankind - its reason for being.

DREAMS AND REINCARNATION. Many people have dreams set in different time periods, where everyone in the dream is wearing clothing that was worn in previous centuries and where buildings and towns are completely different from the present life.

Dreams like this can mean that your soul is working out unresolved issues from a previous life that may have to do with a current life situation that may be causing you problems. 

KARMA AND REINCARNATION. Along with giving us a better understanding of our life's purpose, reincarnation makes sense out of the law of Karma, known as the law of cause and effect, or, as the Bible states, "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Karma is a personal boomerang-everything that we send out returns to us, for better or for worse. It would be impossible for us to "reap what we have sown" in one lifetime. If we understand reincarnation and the fact that we are responsible for our past and present actions, we become more inclined to forgive and forget those who have wronged us and ask forgiveness from those whom we have wronged.

* The ideas in this section have come from the many written and oral teachings of East and West and a variety of religious documents that have been researched over the past 30 years on the philosophy of reincarnation and karma. There are, however, two books that have been more important than any others: Quincy Hoew Jr.'s Reincarnation for the Christian (The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, IL, 1974; available through its publishing house and most online bookstores), and radio interviews taken from Elizabeth Clare Prophet's Inner Perspectives (The Summit Lighthouse Library, an imprint of Summit University Press, Corwin Springs, MT; available by calling 1-800-245-5445).