By: Steven R. Walker
Original Edition: August 13, 2004 Current Edition: June 6, 2009
Welcome, and thank you for taking your time to read this. Please understand that it is not my intention to change your mind, convert your beliefs, or cause any arguments or malice.
I originally wrote this for personal use. During my own research and studies, I discovered that writing papers on various subjects I was interested in, helped me to keep my own thoughts in order. It helped me from straying off on tangents, and if I did, it was much easier to correct myself in writing.
Eventually, I decided to share my findings with other people, like yourself, for two reasons. First, for positive feedback that might help me reword or edit portions that might not seem as clear to you as they are to me. Second, for negative feedback. If someone disagrees and has a legitimate argument, then I want to know about it so I can address that. After all, my original intention was to discern basic truths on various subjects. If someone could find fault in my reasoning, assumptions, or logic, then I want to know what that is. The goal is to be truthful to my own mind and spirit.
I would be lying if I said i don't take pleasure from positive feedback. I've spent a lot of time and effort in research and writing this paper and others. With that being said, I also realize that it is just as important for the reader to exercise their own research and studies. Therefore, when studying matters of the spirit, such as the bible, it always helps to understand how the present bible came to be in the first place. Knowing history and utilizing groundbreaking works that others before us have already paved is invaluable. However, just as anything, when we learn something new, it is important not to take anyone’s word as complete truth without factoring in your own personal experience. Truth is relative to experience.
Fortunately, we each posses our own mind, spirit and body, by which we can use logic, common sense, and discernment to make wise choices and decisions. Wisdom is the application of knowledge, and knowledge is gained through experience. Of experience, the most valuable is direct personal experience. The reason for this is that when we each experience something for ourselves, it then becomes an automatic “known” to us.
Many of us make decisions based on faith and beliefs. But in reality, as much as we may believe something to be true that cannot be seen or has not been personally experienced, whatever that thing is, it is not truly “known” to you. That isn’t to say that faith and belief in something isn’t true, it may very well be. But it may very well not be true either. So, until it is an absolute “known,” our personal faith and beliefs are based on trusting another persons experience, words, or actions without having a personal direct experience. This is why I am compelled to study, learn and write as much as I possibly can, especially when it comes to matters of the spirit. After all, what other subject in life could be anymore important?
In The Beginning
I always thought reincarnation was a fascinating subject. There have been numerous scientific studies of people who recalled events from a past life. Unfortunately, such studies have been ridiculed, falsified, and/or generally dismissed by not only the scientific community, but of course by mainstream religion.
Naturally, mainstream and fundamental Christianity dismiss such claims because of the obvious contradictions to their accepted beliefs, faiths, and tenets. However, when I was first introduced to “Born-Again Christianity” many years ago, one of the first things that I began realizing, was that there were many parallels between fundamental born-again Christian beliefs, and other mainstream, and not so mainstream religions of the world.
The very term, “born-again,” is in itself something that could be easily seen as having a correlation with Reincarnation, because after all, to be reincarnated is in essence, to be reborn. Of course I know that the accepted meaning and interpretation of “born-again” has nothing to do with reincarnation, as is commonly understood in modern Christianity and their various churches. But that wasn’t always the case.
Interestingly enough, today’s Christianity, along with its many denominations is one of the few religious beliefs of the world that do not believe in, nor address reincarnation. A simple study of world religions will easily show that most others do, at the very least, address the idea, even if there isn’t a clear-cut answer or agreement with such a premise.
Over the course of my life, I have studied many world religions and belief systems. As a child, I was brought up as a Christian Lutheran, who was later introduced and converted to a more evangelical stance, whereby, I accepted the idea of being born-again as an early teenager. Because of this, whenever I study other beliefs and religions, I use the bible as my baseline, simply because it was my original faith and belief. I recognized two truths that allowed me to do this without bias. One, portions of the Old Testament can be used as a historical guide, as well as a way to compare and contrast other non-christian texts. There are many parallels in other faiths and mythologies. Second, I have personally come to see a great deal of truth in the teachings of Jesus that are not normally discussed, understood or taught by mainstream Christianity. In fact, all of the pastors, preachers and teachers I have tried to discuss my findings with, either dismiss me, tell me I am flat out wrong in my understanding, have no answer, or get angry and accuse me of being in league with the devil.
Reincarnation and Confirmation
I recall a couple of stories in the news about people who claimed to have memories of past lives. One that was particularly interesting was that of a little boy who recalled flying in a plane that crashed. His recollection was very detailed; so much so, that eventually, through some diligent investigation, it was verified that the person he recalled being, and the story of his death in this other life were verified. Read the story
: (See attached if reading a hard copy).
Other similar stories are numerous and can easily be found these days with the technology of the Internet. In fact, anyone who really wants, can put some time and energy into doing their own research in the comfort of your own home. I would highly recommend this as I point out some little known historical facts.
First of all, in 553A.D. Byzantine Emperor Justinian (at the Second Council of Constantinople) had the teachings of reincarnation banned from the Christian scriptures. But he didn’t get all of them. There remain some very powerful allusions to reincarnation.
Carefully consider the following:
Matthew 17:9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead."
Matthew 17:10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
Matthew 17:11 Jesus answered and said to them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.”
Matthew 17:12 " But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands."
Matthew 17:13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.
If the words of Christ are to be taken literally and fundamentally, then it appears that John the Baptist is the reincarnation of Elijah. Fortunately, Matthew 11:7-15 not only supports this, but actually states that John the Baptist, is in fact, Elijah:
Matthew 11:7 As they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to see?A reed shaken by the wind?
Matthew 11:8 "But what did you go out to see?A man clothed in soft garments?Indeed, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
Matthew 11:9 "But what did you go out to see? A prophet?Yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet."
Matthew 11:10 "For this is he of whom it is written: Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.
Matthew 11:11 "Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Matthew 11:12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”
Matthew 11:13 " For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.”
Matthew 11:14 " And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.”
Matthew 11:15 " He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
That last line, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear
,” is quite captivating. Jesus was really trying to get this to sink in to our minds.
Note: The Kingdom of Heaven is seen by most Christians as a place that they will go to after they die. However, in my next paper/blog, I will show how this simply is not the case. The Kingdom of Heaven is not a place you see or go to; instead, it is within you, within each of us. This then helps to explain what Jesus was trying to teach and explain in Matthew 11:12. Are we all not guilty of trying to force what we think is right and proper on others at one time or another? We even try to do it to ourselves when we allow our egos to rule. Jesus was simply telling his disciples that the same was true back then.
In Matthew 11:11, Jesus was also pointing out that we are all equal despite what our egos constantly try to tell us. We are all interconnected and originate from the same source, just in different forms. Ultimately, everything is energy, and energy is everything. The Kingdom of God and Heaven is within each of us, equally. I will post "The Kingdom Of Heaven/God" as soon as possible. I just wanted to point this out to show that even though I am not a Christian, I do accept what Christ was really trying to teach everyone. It's unfortunate that Christianity, as a whole, doesn't understand his parables and teachings. Then again, Jesus already knew this was going to be the case.
Karma and Dharma: What Comes Around Goes Around
Because reincarnation is often associated with karma, some might wonder how does karma fit in to these ideas. The fundamental idea behind “Karma,” is that for every negative action we choose, because we do have free-will, we will have to live with the consequences and repercussions of those choices sooner or later; even if it means we pay for the negative choices in another lifetime. This evidence of karma is even found in the Bible in John 9:2-3:
John 9:2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, " Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
John 9:3 Jesus answered, " Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
Therefore, a man is born blind, but it isn't his fault, nor was it the sin of his parents or himself. How is it then that he was born blind? Could it be that this man was paying for his sin or “karma” from a previous life? Thus, this is what the "works of God
being revealed in this man means? This is certainly something to think about.
Malachi 1:2-3 and Romans 9:11-13 both state that God loved Jacob, but hated Esau even before they were born. If you do not believe in reincarnation, ask yourself how you can hate someone before that someone is even born. A
nonexistent person, being, or even a thing cannot be loved or hated. Thus, in some form, both Jacob and Esau had to exist non-physically.
Karma is again address by Christ in Matthew 26:52: “…for all who draw the sword will die by the sword
." This is the essence of karma. These are the words of Christ; they should be taken universally, just as everything he said. Meaning, the essence of Jesus' teachings need to be viewed as a whole. Because after all, we know full well that people who murder other people do not always get caught, nor are they always murdered themselves. How then can this be accomplished if not without karma and reincarnation? The answer is simple, it can't.
This physical existence is dependent on its dichotomous nature. Without the negative, the positive cannot exist. Fortunately, there are other planes of existence that do not require time and space; therefore, the necessity to measure such things as good and evil do not exist either. In what we might refer to as a "higher" plane of existence or dimension, everything physical and non-physical is interconnected, one and the same, just in different forms. In other words, everything is energy and energy is everything, just in different wave forms.
In Mark 10:28-31 Jesus speaks of the rewards for leading a pious life. As you can see, these rewards could not be fulfilled in just one lifetime. Also, this is an example of Dharma, which can be viewed as the opposite of Karma, and translated as "The Law."
Mark 10:28 Then Peter began to say to Him, "See, we have left all and followed you."
Mark 10:29 So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's
Mark 10:30 "who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time-houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions-and in the age to come, eternal life
In other words, how can I possibly receive a hundred fold of what I give up in just this lifetime? If I give up my house or my family, I won't receive a hundred homes and families in return. This simply cannot be accomplished in one lifetime. Jesus was explaining how we are all interconnected. In this way, and through physical reincarnation, we eventually learn to recognize that all that exists is already part of us, just as we are part of everything. Everything is already within each of us. The common denominator is within each and every one of us. God is within. The Source, the fundamental energies that makeup all things corporeal and non-corporeal, is the binding force within. It is neither here, nor there; it is not a place you go, it just is.
Revelation 3:12 makes an interesting statement and observation too:
Revelation 3:12 “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name,.”
Could it be that Jesus is talking about overcoming Karma and abiding by the truth, or Dharma?” And how is it that “…he shall go no more out
How can a man go out no more (be born no more), if a man only went out once (was born once) to begin with? Finally, take a close look then at the final reward.
He that overcometh, Jesus will make him a pillar in the temple. This line of thought was also mentioned in Luke 20: 35-36 by Jesus:
Luke 20:35 “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
Luke 20:36Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection
“Neither can they die any more:”
obviously begs a very important question. How many times had they been born and died prior to them becoming equal unto the angels
I would like to restate that I have no intentions to change your minds, convert your beliefs, or cause any arguments or malice. I make and share these observations freely in hopes of simply discovering truth. I have no stake in what you believe or don’t believe. What really counts is what we each "Know," not what we believe. I say this because of one simple reason, a fact I discovered many years ago: "To Know something requires direct personal experience; whereas to believe something, requires accepting another person's experience."
With that being said, at the very least, I hope you can appreciate the time and effort it took to write this all out for your perusal on such an intriguing, and perhaps, one of the most important topics concerning life and all of mankind.
If you would like to read more about various verses in the bible that allude to Reincarnation, then take a look at the following site. Reincarnation
Thank you for your time, and remember:
“To thine own self be true…”
- William Shakespeare
Scriptures and References:
The Open Bible
By Thomas Nelson Publishers
King James Version
The Life Application Bible
By Tyndale House Publishers
New King James Version
The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of The Bible
By Thomas Nelson Publishers
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