Jean teaches astrology, tarot & metaphysics. She is an author, ordained nondenominational minister, & member of the NJ Metaphysical Ctr.
What Is Reincarnation?
Reincarnation is the belief that the soul is immortal and that it continues on even after the body dies. This same soul can come back to Earth over and over again, in many different incarnations. It can play many roles, each designed precisely so that this soul can learn new lessons that it was unable to learn in a previous life. This soul remembers all these lessons and experiences of every incarnation, but only during the periods in-between its lifetimes on Earth. While the soul is in a person’s body it forgets the elaborate plans it made to experience whatever was planned for the current incarnation.
The Law of Karma Balances Our Lives
The law of karma, or cause and effect, comes into play as well. Any actions we take, or thoughts that we have cause more far reaching effects in other people’s lives than we ever could imagine. If we have hurt others, we must make up for that in other incarnations. By the same token, if we have made great strides towards becoming enlightened, we can come back and live a few lifetimes of peace and harmony. Every action has a reaction and the force determines one’s next incarnation. A person can reincarnate until they are perfect, and then be reunited with God, (or the Supreme Energy, or The All, whatever name you use for this Divine Energy) or can work as a light giver and still return to Earth to work with less enlightened souls to help them find their way.
Once somebody reaches all their Earthly goals, they will go on to other work and continue training in spiritual realms, as there is much to learn there too. But each and every person on the planet will be able to incarnate as many times as necessary to become a perfect soul. Time does not matter at all, since it is not linear. And no old man on a throne will judge you at the end, you will judge yourself. We are all our own harshest critics. I find the idea of reincarnation to make sense, especially in cases where terrible things happen to good people. At least if you can think that a person did something in a prior life that necessitates a balance their karma to move forward as a better person, it is easier to accept.
Death Is Not an End
Many people throughout history believed in reincarnation, which is thought to occur when the soul or spirit comes back to life in a newborn and different body. It is a central tenet in many Indian religions, such as Hinduism and Jainism. The idea was also common amongst Greek philosophers, Druids, and in our times is called by the name of Spiritualism. The word “reincarnation” is from Latin, meaning “entering the flesh again.”
In the 3rd century BC, Chuang Tze stated, “Birth is not a beginning, death is not an end. There is existence without limitation; there is continuity without a starting point. Existence without limitation is Space. Continuity without a starting point is Time. There is birth, there is death, there is issuing forth, there is entering in.” Plato argued that the number of souls must be finite because souls were indestructible. Benjamin Franklin held the same view. In the late 1800’s, The Theosophical Society embraced the idea of reincarnation, as did the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, makers of the Rider Waite Tarot Deck.
The biggest objection to reincarnation is that there is no evidence of a physical process by which a person can be seen to leave one body and enter another. Many have heard that the soul is attached to the body with a very thin silver cord, which breaks at the time of death. Inside the cord is all the information about every life the dying person has experienced. The cord is attached to the heart. I have been with dying loved ones and searched for the silver cord, but still have been unable to find it. Just as these ideas are hard to prove, other religious beliefs have to be taken on faith as well.
What Will the Soul Accomplish on Earth?
The Hindu Bhagavad Gita states “Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings, nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from childhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change.” Jewish mystical texts such as the Kabbalah also accept reincarnation, as well as many Native American Indian tribes.
Another source that gave me insight is Your Soul’s Plan by Robert Schwartz. This fascinating book cited several cases of reincarnation and gave me much to consider. Mr. Schwartz conducted interviews with subjects with the aid of a medium and her spirit guide. A person who can hear the non-physical beings speak are called clairaudient. Clairvoyance is the ability to visualize what happened, or will happen in the future. I have visions of what will happen in the future, and am also clairsentient, I “feel” what will happen when I read Tarot for people. There is also claircognizance, an inner knowing or psychic knowing. The main person here was a woman named Staci, and she was able to reveal remarkable things because of her clairaudient abilities, and her relationship with her spirit guides.
In conducting these interviews, Staci and Robert are amazed to find that each soul that spends time on Earth is here for a specific mission that they chose in advance. We chose our parents, and often we may have been their parents in a different life. We often have a deep and loving connection to the person we come back with to fulfill our goals, so sometimes whatever must be done to help their soul evolve is difficult for the other person to agree to do. Many of you are probably familiar with the healing work and sessions that Edgar Cayce did when he went into trances and his higher self knew what others had to do to heal themselves. This book described similar things, but instead of curing physical illnesses, they were looking at what kind of issues a soul might choose to experience back on Earth.
Messages Sometimes Come Through in Dreams or Visions
Many were brave souls who agreed to come back severely handicapped, so they could live a contemplative life and work on their spirituality. Some parents agreed to caring for their drug addicted children so they could learn compassion and love, and realized that even when they thought they were being non-judgmental, they really were not. So both parties involved in the lesson had something they needed to learn. All of this information is found in what is called The Akashic Record, a huge “library” with the information of every event that happened in every incarnation of every person’s life.
It is said if you meditate and work very hard at it, you may be able to get in touch with your own spirit guides, or even get guidance from your own Akashic Record. I meditate, but it takes a long time to get really good at it, just enough to block out your thoughts about petty, everyday things. Much practice and patience are necessary to be good enough to be able to contact your spirit guides or your Akashic Record. But it certainly is a worthy goal. Now, after a year of classes, I am starting to “know” about past lives of my own. If you feel an affinity for a certain period in history, or a place, that can be clue you had an incarnation then or there. I feel a strong affinity to Ireland and while meditating saw "myself" and a young man named Donal, and knew it was he who I had an incarnation with then. I had long, red hair, and we were watching horses running in a pasture. As the meditation went on, my late husband Louie's body went into Donal's, and I knew that Louie had shared that lifetime with me too.
My beloved, former Husband and I knew we had been together many times before, because we felt so comfortable with each other from the moment we met. Our son always was fascinated with the American Civil War, and is very psychic, now he believes he fought for the South. He has a large indentation in one leg, and varicose veins which are bad for someone his age, and knows he was shot and lost that leg in the incarnation. Sometimes it's just a matter of paying attention to your interests. A woman I met in a clairvoyant class was once a Witch, or a Priestess, high in her coven. She was burned at the stake, near a corn field, and even today she is paralyzed with fear and will not drive past a corn field, she will drive miles around it to find a different path to her destination.
You can be hypnotized to be able to reach the information stored in your subconscious, but be very careful who you go to, and make sure that it is someone with a good reputation and references. Now people have been trained to be able to help you regress to a Past Life by putting you in a light trance state, if being hypnotized is not your cup of tea. If you did experience a very traumatic event, you need a trained professional to work with you. Sometimes people do access their Akashic Record thorough dreams though, so keep your pad and pen handy, especially if you are having a really lucid or unusual dream, you will want to go back to your information and examine it later. A reoccurring dream is a message trying to get through to you, or you could also try visualization techniques with tarot cards or calming music.
Life Plans Are Made Between Life Incarnations
It appears from my readings that we all have at least one or two spirit guides that are always with us all through our lives, and if we are in danger, they step in to help us. Did you ever almost fall and feel a yank pull you back but not see anyone? It was one of your Guardian Angels. Angels can also be our departed loved ones. Lately my son is going through a very serious life problem, and he was close to my Mother, who passed on when he was seven. She was a heavy smoker, and I wake up some mornings and smell cigarette smoke. So I know she is here an watching over him. He also has dreams where he is sitting at the lake near our home with both his grandmothers, and they are giving him life advice, though so far he can't recall what it is. He is working a lot with crystals to help himself to remember more of his dreams. The mediums explained that before any soul is ready to return to Earth (and it can be from one year to hundreds of years, there is no time in their dimension) a “soul group” makes a life plan that may not include only you, but others in your life as well. In fact, we mostly go through many lifetimes with the same people who are part of our soul group, we all just have different roles in each life. This is one reason why you can meet someone and immediately feel like you knew them somewhere, you did.
Once the plan is made, it goes into motion. You may live many years of your life before the “crisis” or “incident” you planned happens. One mother felt she could not stand it if her son overdosed at such a young age, even though he lives, so they made the date years later. Even once all the planning is in order, the person has an “out” if they change their mind. This is what sometimes happens when a person has a near-death experience. Something bad may happen if they come out of it, but if they decide they cannot deal with it yet, they can die instead and come back and complete this plan in a different incarnation.
Don’t forget, death is not forever, it is the period your spirit leaves the dead body and goes back to its spirit guides, until it is time to incarnate again. Death is a temporary state and not something to fear. There are no accidents, but we can learn from the things that seem like accidents, really synchronized by yourself so you could grow as a person. When a baby is born, the soul moves in and out of the body for the first week or two. If the birth procedure goes wrong and the child will suffer a birth defect, the spirit guides are there and have a “conference” with the soul, who can change their mind and not go into that body then, a different soul can go instead.
Be at Your Best
My teacher in Metaphysics class tells us “We are all spiritual beings, sharing a human existence.” I like that thought and hold it close to me. There is no hate or fear on the other side once the veil is lifted. In fact, the medium said fear was the most destructive emotion on Earth and caused people the most grief. Our thoughts and acts, no matter how small, make a big impact as well. One hermit sitting on a mountain meditating for peace will do more good than hundreds of angry or upset people marching in a peace protest. Why? The hermit’s emotions are good, peaceful and pure. The people marching are angry and just creating even more negative energy, even though that is not their goal.
So much of what I have read and heard at lectures has convinced me to believe I will be reincarnated someday, and have already been so. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. When I die, my energy, the essence of me, has to go somewhere. I believe in some kind of Divine Energy, which could be called God, or in Hermetic Philosophy is called The All. Everything is in the All, and the All is in everything. We all have that spark of the divine in us. We just have to work harder so its stronger than just a spark, if we want to help ourselves and help humanity.
Questions & Answers
Question: How can I know if I am on the final stage of incarnation?
Answer: This is a hard question to answer. Since you believe in reincarnation, then you probably experience situations where you meet certain people and feel like you knew then all your life--because you have,
just in other lives. We have known most of the people we are close to now in other lives, and feel the "pull" toward them. Except we will be in a different role now. I think I was my late husband's father in one life. Long story.
Do people often tell you that you are an "old soul?" Or that you are mature for your age? Are you able to empathize with mostly all people and not judge them, because you probably walked in similar shoes at one time? Are you very fair and open minded, patient and kind to others? These are all signs you have lived many lives, as they are characteristics that take much time and patience to evolve into being.
I believe too. I've read so much on reincarnation and retrieved part of my Akashic record, through meditation and working on it. Sometimes if you have an affinity for a certain country or profession, it's because of what you did in a past life. I have a friend who traveled to Japan once and got so interested in karate he devoted his whole life to teaching it in a traditional way, along with the culture and language. Clearly, he lived in Japan for a few lives. Also, the later Astrology signs show more highly evolved people, Pisces being the most so.
But I never found a way to know what exact stage we are in. The traits I mention mean a person who is farther along the stages than most. But time is not linear. I think I lived in ancient Egypt too and was in Atlantis before I went there (with my late husband). So you had lives centuries ago. Think about your interests and hobbies, that may give you clues about lives too. So will your dreams if you can remember them. If you know a good psychic who is real, they can "see" more. But as far as telling WHEN we are on the final stage, I think we won't know until we pass away the last time and live in the Spirit world. And even then we can choose to come back to the material world to guide others.
Question: I really want to know my soul's contract. How can I find someone who I can trust to do help me reveal my soul's contract?
Answer: You can ask around to find a clairvoyant you can trust or a person who does past life regressions. Authors like Carolyn Myss write about soul contracts, and she believes we can figure it our ourselves. Her book Sacred Contracts may be helpful to you. Sometimes we have intense dreams or experiences which answers this question. Or feel an affinity for what it could be.
Go to a clairvoyant if you find one, and just ask about your life. Try to ask about the person first. They will charge for their time, probably about $50.00 an hour. But that could be enough for you to see if they are good and if you feel you can trust them. Many of them know how to do past life regressions because what you decided to do in this life was decided before you were born into it.
Question: Is there anyone who believed in reincarnation who is also a devoted Christian? What if reincarnation and other important wordings were in the Bible, but were torn off to hide up the real teachings? May I ask are you a freethinker or in any religion?
Answer: I believe the Gnostic gospels were found in a cave in Israel in the 1940s and showed that some Christians believed in reincarnation. A lot of the Bible was hidden away and only what certain men wanted seen is what remains. You need to know the Bible was written by men, not God. Even some things Jesus said can be interpreted that way. I have read the whole Bible, but have also studied and written about many other religions. I feel Christianity is a religion which tries to control people with shame and fear. I am a nondenominational minister but feel that I am truly a Pagan.
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on January 13, 2017:
Me too! If you read about Edgar Cayce, he was a devout Christian, who finally came to believe in reincarnation. Michael Newton writes a lot about the subject too.
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on January 13, 2017:
All good questions, Kendra. I know I had past lives because I feel affinities to certain places I never was in during this life. Do you feel really interested in another country, or feel really afraid of something? Those are both clues you must have had some kind of experience with either in a past life. Pay attention to your dreams too. When I met my husband, we felt like we knew each other before, we were so comfortable. We travel in "soul groups" of the same souls, and plan the next life together, so if you feel like you knew someone before, you probably did! There are people who do past life regressions without hypnotizing you, but I feel I have enough going on in this life. It makes it better that your soul continues, because you get to experience everything, and get to fix all the wrongs you did, or to experience good things you didn't. I think most people fear death a little, but the thought we go on is a little more comforting. It's said a silver cord is attached to our heart, and when we die, that is where the info for the Akashic record comes from. I have had experiences where I was right in the room when loved ones died, and I always look for the silver cord, but so far I haven't seen it. Thanks for reading my work!
Kendra from Lee's Summit, MO on January 09, 2017:
Great article, thank you for sharing that. I do believe in reincarnation as well but there is something that has always bothered me. It is very comforting to know that your soul will never die, that you will always have time to learn the lessons that you need to. What bothers me though is that I know I have had past lives and will most likely have more but I cannot remember anything. Isn't this why we are afraid of dying in the first place, because "you" as you know "you" does not exist anymore. Does it make it any better that your soul continues? When my body dies in this life time, my soul will go on but I will know nothing of this life I am currently in. That is very scary to me. Just as scary as dying and there be nothing after. Please help me understand.
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on November 25, 2015:
That is beautiful indeed! My husband has passed, but we know when our only child was conceived, and the mental picture you painted here made me feel happy. I have a copy of The Tibetan Book of the Dead, but have never read it. Maybe it's time to start!
I love all books. A friend was painting my room last year, and innocently said, "Why don't you get rid of all those books on the shelves, you would have so much more room?" Gasp, I almost died. Get rid of my books! I'd rather cut off my arm! I have a Kindle now, but certain books, the the one we are discussing, I always want to have in "real" book" form. Take care.
cheaptrick from the bridge of sighs on November 24, 2015:
There is an ending in the Bar do thodal(the Tibetan book of the dead) that I think you'll like.
After guiding you thru the trials and tribulations of passage to your next incarnation,you enter a great hall which is filled with couples making love.You develop an affinity and are drawn to a certain couple who will be your next parents at the very moment you are conceived in their lives.True or not...just beautiful.
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on November 24, 2015:
Life without reincarnation just doesn't make sense to me. I've been seeing new visions of other lives during my meditations lately. Nice to see you as always. Take care.
Jewels from Australia on November 24, 2015:
No arguments here, I've seen several using the regression technique. Understanding the links to this life's experience is key to unlocking so much information for the self. Certainly helps for transformation work. Go Jean!
Jean Bakula (author) from New Jersey on November 24, 2015:
Thanks for taking the time to read my hub and comment on it. I can't imagine how anyone could NOT realize reincarnation makes sense. It helps me understand why bad things happen to good people, and after a lot of meditation, I am remembering a lot more about my own self. Best Wishes.
Yes, it is hard to realize that time as we "know" it doesn't exist in a linear way, and all these memories and lives are happening at the same time. Thanks for stopping by!
Lana Adler from California on November 24, 2015:
Great hub Jean! I also believe in reincarnation, and although I have no conscious memories, I can pinpoint approximately the places and times where I've lived before. What's really mind-boggling to me is that if time doesn't exist, then all our lives, both past and future, play out simultaneously. What a trip!
Buildreps from Europe on November 23, 2015:
Wonderful article about this issue. You must have a great Metaphysical teacher if he says these kinds of very true things (I believe this is first coined by Teilhard du Chardin, who is a true divine spirit). Reincarnation is not even a belief. It is a fact. Same as 1+1=2. Thanks for writing this great Hub!