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Reincarnation by Constantinos Patsalis
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Reincarnation by Constantinos Patsalis

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  • 1. Reincarnation Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life's actions. This doctrine is a central tenet of the Indian religions and is a belief that was held by such historic figures as Pythagoras, Plato and Socrates. It is also a common belief of other religions such as Druidism, Spiritism, Theosophy, and Eckankar and is found in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Siberia, West Africa, North America, and Australia. Although the majority of sects within the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate. The word "reincarnation" derives from Latin, literally meaning, "entering the flesh again". The Greek equivalent metempsychosis (μετεμψύχωσις) roughly corresponds to the common English phrase "transmigration of the soul" and also usually connotes reincarnation after death, as either human, animal, though emphasising the continuity of the soul, not the flesh. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation Reincarnation is the belief that when one dies, one's body decomposes but something of oneself is reborn in another body. It is the belief that one has lived before and will live again in another body after death. The bodies one passes in and out of need not be human. One may have been a Doberman in a past life, and one may be a mite or a carrot in a future life. The belief in past lives used to be mainly a belief found in Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. From a philosophical point of view, reincarnation poses some interesting problems. What is it that is reincarnated? Presumably, it is the soul that is reincarnated, but what is the soul? A disembodied consciousness? http://www.skepdic.com/reincarn.html
  • 2. Natural life is cyclical. Day fades into night and turns back into day as the sun rises. One season gradually gives way to the next. Over the passage of time, new generations are born and old ones die. The continuous succession of birth, death and rebirth permeates nature even though our own lives seem linear. So it's no surprise that some ancient observers looked at the seeming linearity of human existence and decided that life, like the natural world, might actually be more cyclical than linear. Multiple religions, philosophies and movements adopted this belief in cyclic life, or reincarnation. Reincarnation, also called transmigration or metempsychosis, is the concept that the soul, or some aspect of the soul, is reborn into new lives. Depending on the religion or philosophy, the soul can appear incarnate in humans, animals or plants as it works its way toward an eventual escape from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Most religions that believe in reincarnation consider it the path to purity and salvation. Reincarnation is widely accepted by the major Eastern religions -- most prominently Hinduism and Buddhism. It also has a history in ancient Greek philosophy. However, for people more familiar with the major monotheistic religions -- Christianity, Judaism and Islam -- the idea of reincarnation seems foreign and maybe even a little strange. That's because Christianity, Judaism and Islam conceive of time linearly. Life is simply a short step that determines the quality of an afterlife. For those who believe in only one life followed by an eternal afterlife, reincarnation is like an unwieldy marathon run by relay instead of a short, concise sprint. http://people.howstuffworks.com/reincarnation.htm