One Soul, Many Bodies: The Case for Reincarnation

WIKI - ReincarnationAllan Danelek, New Dawn
Waking Times

What happens to us when we die? It’s a question everyone eventually asks themselves at some point in their life. It transcends racial, social, political, economic and gender lines, making it the one question common to all human beings whether we like it or not.

Yet ever since the first men and woman began pondering their mortality a hundred thousand years ago, the answer has eluded us. What does happen when we die? What becomes of our soul, our mind, our personality – our very essence? For that matter, do we even have such a thing as a soul, or is it all an illusion we have created to give ourselves a sense of permanence and the hope of immortality?

The rationalist answers this query by proclaiming that since we are nothing more than a collection of cells and our brains simply tissue encased within a mantle of bone, nothing can happen to us when we die. The essence, personality, mind – soul – or whatever we wish to call our consciousness, ceases to exist, endowing our time on this planet with no more meaning than that which we choose to give it during our brief sojourn here. This is, of course, the position of the atheist, which is what makes atheism, in my opinion, so easy. It requires nothing because it offers nothing, which strikes me as a fair trade.

To most people, however, this answer is unsatisfactory. It suggests that we are little more than some great cosmic accident and that, consequently, our life has no ultimate purpose, forcing us to contemplate an existence without meaning in a universe that, despite all its beauty and splendour, has no more significance – or ultimate permanence – than a flower that briefly blooms in the spring only to wither and die after a few short days of vibrant life.

I suppose there are people for whom such a prospect is acceptable. It does, after all, tidy things up and make life simply a little game we sentient beings like to play for no particularly good reason other than because we have no choice. Yet something deep within the human heart knows better. We instinctively understand that we are more than the sum of our parts, which is why most people believe their personalities will survive their physical demise in some form and will continue on long after their bones have turned to dust. This, of course, brings us to our second option, which is that the personality/ego/true self/whatever you want to call it does survive the demise of the body to exist – at least for a time – as a separate disembodied consciousness. If this is the case, however, the next question that logically follows is what happens next?

Some believe, for example, that we become ghosts – little more than disembodied spirits aimlessly wandering the Earth, capable of perceiving the physical realm but unable to interact with it in any meaningful way. They can even point to various evidences to support this contention, from reported hauntings to automatic writing, séances, and apparent disembodied spirits caught on film.

While I personally have no problem with the idea of ghosts, I don’t think existing as a disembodied consciousness is truly a viable long-term option for what happens to us. Ghosts always struck me as being transitory; beings stuck on the Earth plane for a time only to ultimately move on and so essentially vanish from our physical realm. As such, even if we are to become ghosts, it will be, at least for the vast majority of us, a brief experience and not our eternity. I suspect we all eventually move on to ‘greener pastures’, so to speak.

Now, however, is where things get more interesting. Most people, regardless of whether they believe in ghosts or not, believe that the essence of who we are – our “soul” if you will – goes some place. Heaven is the favoured destination for most; a place where our conscious personality, no longer shackled to the limitations and burdens of physical existence, survives within a perpetual state of bliss and joy throughout eternity. Some add to this by also embracing a belief in hell; a perpetual state of torment for those who turn to evil and so are doomed to exist forever within a conscious state of agony, regret, and fear.

Both positions, however, suffer from the same problem, and that is that they see our time here on this planet as but a blink of the eye of eternity, with the decisions we make – or fail to make – while in the body having profound and eternal ramifications. Unfortunately, this reduces the physical world to little more than a cosmic hatchery that exists only to birth new souls, each of which will spend a short time in it before winging – or, potentially, plunging – to their ultimate destiny.

While admittedly this idea does manage to make this single life of paramount importance, it also forces one to wonder why a physical realm is necessary at all. If the physical universe exists merely as a vehicle for our creation, why couldn’t the process be circumvented entirely and we be created directly into the spiritual realm – as was supposedly the case with God’s angels?

Why all the unnecessary pain and hardship of a physical existence – especially if there exists the very real danger that we might earn hell through our misdeeds – if the spirit realm is the only destination that awaits us? In such a context, physical existence seems not only pointless but, in many ways, even hazardous.

So where does that leave us? If no Heaven and if no Hell, then what’s left?

There is a third position to consider. It is one that until recently has been largely ignored in the West but has been embraced by literally billions of people around the world for thousands of years. It is the belief that this physical existence is neither insignificant nor transient, but instead is perpetually ongoing. It is the concept that our soul lives on not in some ethereal Eden – or Hades – somewhere, but realises perpetual existence through a process of continual rebirths into the physical realm, making our time on this planet not one single, brief experience, but a repetitive process realised through literally hundreds of lifetimes. It is a timeless belief – one that predates both Christianity and Islam by many centuries – and one that is known by many names in many cultures. It’s been called rebirth, regeneration, transmigration of the soul, even metempsychosis, but is perhaps best known to us today as reincarnation.

Upon first consideration, especially to those who haven’t given the idea great thought, reincarnation may seem to be a foreign or exotic concept, especially to the Western mind steeped in the scientific method and drenched in two thousand years of monotheistic religion. It is something for Hindu holy men to ponder, or New Agers to embrace, but nothing that seems particularly relevant to most Westerners today.

I can easily understand this perspective for it is one I held myself for the first forty years of my life. And the truth be told, it is an Eastern concept – one in vogue more than four millennia before Christ was born and a belief held to by nearly two billion of the world’s population today – making it one of the oldest and most enduring belief systems known to man. In fact, it may be the original post-mortem belief among early humans who probably considered the idea when they began noticing strong similarities between recently born offspring and their deceased ancestors. Perhaps the mannerisms or interests a child displayed reminded one of a deceased loved one or a birthmark mimicked that found on a long-dead grandparent, leading village elders to imagine that the dead ancestor had returned a second time – a not unreasonable assumption in cultures that naturally assumed the soul to be inherently immortal.

Unfortunately, Westerners have traditionally had a tendency to consider foreign or primordial religious concepts as primitive and so reject them out of hand. However, this perception appears to be slowly changing as reincarnationist beliefs have become more prevalent in the West, especially in the last fifty years, and is becoming increasingly popular to ever growing numbers of people.

A Lost Western Tradition of How the Soul Returns

Of course, unbeknownst to most people, reincarnation has always been a part of Western thought. The prospect that the soul repeatedly returns to the flesh flourished in ancient Greece almost three thousand years ago and may have played a far more important role in our development as a civilisation than traditional histories have led us to believe. Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and Pythagoras all taught and believed in some form of rebirth, the foundations of which were later adopted by the great Roman philosophers Ovid, Virgil, and Cicero, along with a host of other great thinkers of antiquity.

In fact, reincarnationist concepts were so prevalent in the centuries immediately preceding the birth of Christ, that they played a major role in many of the “mystery” religions of the Mediterranean; religions which were themselves to become the template for other later mystical faith systems of the region. Reincarnation, then, far from being a purely foreign concept was, in fact, widespread and may have strongly influenced the shape and thrust of Greek and Roman philosophy.

Even more of a surprise to many people, however, is the fact that reincarnationist concepts were also part of some of the more mystical branches of traditional Western religion, from the Sufis of Islam to the Gnostics of the early centuries of Christianity, and even within the Hasidic and Kabbalist traditions in Judaism. In fact, at times it virtually flourished and, especially in the case of Christianity, almost became the predominant belief system during the first few centuries of the Church’s existence until it was forced underground by the more traditional, non-reincarnationist branches of Christianity. Its proponent’s writings declared heretical and burned, the concept was so successfully suppressed by the Church of Rome that few Christians today even realise it was ever a part of their own faith.

Why was it suppressed? The obvious answer is because it threatened authority. Western religion is largely dependent upon the belief that man is destined to “die once and then be judged” to maintain control. In promising multiple rebirths, however, reincarnation renders the proclamations of the Pope or the Grand Mufti or whomever was the ruling head at the time transitory and, the truth be told, irrelevant. As such, reincarnation threatened the Church’s very livelihood, making it a very dangerous idea that had to be either suppressed or labelled as heretical in order for the Church to maintain its power base. As a result, the concept remained largely unknown outside of Asia for probably seventeen of the last twenty-one centuries.

Its revival in the West was imminent, however, with the arrival of the Age of Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. Once the long forgotten writings of the ancient Greeks again became available and one could hold to previously forbidden ideas without forfeiting their lives, such once forbidden concepts as reincarnation became increasingly popular, especially among the intellectual elite of the era. Amongst those who held to some form of multiple rebirths are such notables as Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Voltaire, among others.

Interpreting What it Means to Reincarnate

However, since its reintroduction into the Western consciousness, reincarnation has undergone a transformation. It is no longer the unending “cycle of life” wheel taught by the Hindus and Buddhists, but has become a “school of higher education” designed to bring us to ever greater levels of spiritual enlightenment. This is why when a Hindu or a Buddhist and their fellow Western reincarnationist talk about the subject, it often appears as though they are speaking two different languages. This is because in some ways they are, which is where the confusion comes in.

To the Hindu, the soul is essentially stuck in a never ending cycle of rebirth which can never be broken due to the continual need to balance one’s karma. In effect, with each incarnation into the flesh, the human personality – a by-product of the underlying soul that birthed it – accumulates a degree of bad karma that must be worked off in order to restore balance to itself. Some of this karma can be worked off in life in the form of good works, but this is seldom sufficient to work off the entire debt, which must be accounted for in the next life by having the soul take on an incarnation that may be more difficult so the ongoing karmic debt can be worked off.

On rare occasions, a life may be so exemplary that the person might be born into a higher station (or caste in Hindu parlance) but as a rule, bad karma tends to outweigh good karma and, in being continually accumulated through each lifetime, adds to the growing debt that remains to be balanced and so perpetuating the rebirth cycle. (Of course, if one accumulates too much bad karma, they may not be reborn as a person at all, but could come back as an animal or even, in some teachings, an inanimate object such as a stone. This belief is called “transmigration of the soul” and is also a major element of Hindu teachings.)

Buddhism, on the other hand, while understanding the process of reincarnation in much the same way as does the Hindu, differs in that it teaches that the cycle of rebirth can be broken through achieving nirvana (literally, enlightenment), at which point the cycle is broken.

Enlightenment means essentially to be become aware of one’s true nature and to the realities contained within the Four Noble Truths as articulated by Gautama Buddha over two thousand years ago. These are: first, to be alive is to suffer due to the imperfection of human nature and the world around us; second, that the cause of suffering is attachment to transient things (in effect, craving or desiring things); third, that one can learn to let go of these attachments; and, finally, that the process of achieving enlightenment is progressive and may itself extend over many lifetimes.

In sharp contrast, to many Western reincarnationists, the purpose of rebirth is to learn the lessons we need to learn in each incarnation in order to advance to the next spiritual level which, while having some similarities to the Buddhist concept of slowly achieving enlightenment over a number of incarnations by practicing the Buddha’s Eightfold Path (right view, right intentions, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration), is actually quite different.

The Buddhist does not believe that one is “learning” new lessons with each lifetime, but simply applying the principles contained within the Eightfold Path until craving, ignorance, delusions and its effects gradually disappear as progress is made towards enlightenment. To the Western mindset, attachment is not seen as the source of the problem (though it does generally acknowledge that an obsessive attachment to things can be detrimental to spiritual growth).

Another significant difference between Eastern and Western concepts of reincarnation have to do with the perception of what it is, exactly, that is reincarnating. The Hindu sees the soul – the divine essence of God – as being the generator of each incarnation, with the individual personality or ego a transient expression of that soul.

In marked contrast, the Buddhist doesn’t believe in individualised souls at all, but believes the sense of self is merely an illusion created by our own perceptions – a conscious “memory” if you will, conceived by our assumption that we exist separately. To the Buddhist, we are all a part of a larger, divine consciousness that has simply taken on the very brief “illusion” that it is separate. The Buddhists compare our sense of existence to the waves upon the ocean; just as a wave is a temporary phenomena caused by wind and currents, our personality is equally as transient and is, upon death, absorbed back into the divine consciousness in the same way that a wave upon the ocean is eventually swallowed up by the ocean itself.

In the West, however, the personality – or ego – is more robust and generally considered immortal. To many, the soul and the personality are considered essentially synonymous, so as a result, when we die, our basic personality – complete with all its memories, life experiences, knowledge, and traits – returns in another body to continue its existence. It may not have a direct memory of its past life – though some people claim to be possess the ability to consciously remember their previous incarnations – but it is essentially the same personality starting life over again in another context.

The personality may experience dramatically new surroundings – for example, it may experience one incarnation as an Indian girl who lived and died in the nineteenth century and then return as a Spanish man in the twentieth century – but it is still the same “person” underlying each “role.” Of course, the experiences and environment it finds itself in through each subsequent incarnation will affect the base personality in both subtle and sometimes substantial ways, but this too is a part of the process. This is why the Westerner sees reincarnation in the context of “lessons.” After all, the Indian girl was able to experience and learn only so much in her short time on Earth, mandating that she return again – this time as a Spanish male – to learn those things she either neglected to learn or hadn’t the opportunity to learn in her previous incarnation.

This makes spiritual enlightenment a type of “to do” list that needs to be checked off in its entirety before we can cease the process of rebirth. (What happens after that is equally open to speculation among Westerners: some imagine we come back as avatars or spiritual teachers; others speculate that we start the process over again on another planet, while still others maintain that we move onto other dimensions. Apparently, the options available to the enlightened soul are extensive.)

I wonder, however, if the truth is not a conglomeration of each of these perceptions? Clearly the Eastern concepts of a parent soul that births each and every individual personality has merit, as does the Buddhist belief in the transient, temporary nature of the ego that is birthed. And the Western concept that we reincarnate until we learn what we need to know also has some validity and seems to parallel in some ways the Buddhist idea that the cycle of rebirth ends upon achieving enlightenment – however one chooses to define the term.

I often wonder if we aren’t all looking upon the same phenomena and not simply seeing only those parts of it that speak to us personally. I suspect our understanding of the purpose for reincarnation is lacking in many ways and may never be entirely complete, though I also believe we are making progress in coming to a fuller appreciation for its complexity and sophistication. Perhaps one day East and West will come together and merge their different perceptions and in so doing, form a complete whole that answers everyone’s questions.

Of course, I recognise that such may sound like a contradictory process. After all, how can there be a soul and yet not a soul, and how can the ego be immortal and yet transient? To combine both Western and Eastern concepts of reincarnation would seem to embrace paradox, but I have found it is often within the complexities of paradox that the truth exists. In fact, it is only our limited ability to understand that makes these apparent contradictions paradoxes in the first place.

I wonder if they would still appear as such were we to find the capacity within ourselves to truly understand on a level our current mental capacity does not permit. On the other hand, perhaps understanding these concepts is not done at a mind level, but on a spiritual level, which is a difficult place for many people to go.

Maybe in the end we were never meant to fully understand how reincarnation works, and that may be where the adventure really begins. Perhaps the question of what happens to us when we die was never meant to be answered but merely explored, for it is in seeking – not necessarily finding – the answer that growth can take place.

It may be, in fact, that it is only in abandoning our need to find the answers that we give them the ability to find us. In effect, we may be like the man who is so busy looking for treasure that he fails to realise he is searching for it within the bowels of a gold mine. Were he to but look up and see the treasure that shimmers all around him, he would realise how silly his fervent quest had been all along. Perhaps we need only do the same.

Jeff Allen Danelek’s latest book The Case for Reincarnation: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Soul (Llewellyn, 2010) is available from all good bookstores or via

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About the Author

A native Minnesotan who currently resides in Colorado, JEFF ALLEN DANELEK has been working as a graphic artist and technical illustrator since leaving the Navy in 1984. He has been writing as a hobby for fifteen years, and enjoys presenting alternative theories on increasingly popular subjects dealing with the strange and inexplicable world around us. Danelek is regularly featured at seminars, conferences, and has been a frequent guest on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and the X-Zone with Rob McConnell. His books include The Case for Ghosts, Atlantis: Lessons from a Prehistoric Civilization, UFOs: The Great Debate, and 2012: Extinction or Utopia: Doomsday Prophecies Explored. His latest book is The Case for Reincarnation: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Soul. Danelek is also a novelist and instructor at Colorado Free University. His website is

The above article appeared in New Dawn Special Issue 14.

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  • Johan Hendrick

    yes Christianity did recognise re-incarnation in the beginning..but found if people left this life with knowing they born again..they really missed the whole reason for being in this place..of demons and lost saints..

    [the teaching place [the only place where true evil can live beside pure love..that other place needed to awaken passion of the earthy types..without being sort the sheep from the goats..the tares from the wheat] grow a passion for something that helps a soul through eternity ..but

    jesus main mission was to refute the ‘day’ of judgment..and the lie of some far off reserction day..that he achieved simply by returning from the astral realm..but back to the issues of the topic..the spirit realms current biggest problem

    re-incarnation first involves the process of dis-incarnation..this can be a long process …a soul degrading decent..of burnt bridges…but the only way to awake a lost soul to yearn for betterment for all..

    but before yet again pointing at the classic of gone west..[particularly pages 18-19-20]..then advising you to read the second book of the officers journey into the pits of re-incarnation [a womb like place that erases all traces [vestigial’s]..of your soul..

    i have read half the revealing of those who have looked into the nothingness and chosen to reject the light to become disembodied spirits haunting our souls because they chose to lose their own by refusing to enter de-light

    there is no perpetual hell..but there is ‘a hell’..indeed many hells..but to those in these manyfold hells they too are in heaven[believe it or not there are those souls who pain hurting each other killing abusing each other..and these too have their place..but

    we who know that hell avoid it or son escape soon as we resque an other from this delusion as well..see book two as the officer explores these manyfold illusive delusive hell’s many times

    as to what happens at the monent our soul energy sepperates from the dead meet..i induce you to read a love story..from beyond the grave..this is a soul who waits for his beloved in the astral realm..and thus has not enterd the light..and seeks to rehabitate his soul so he can enter the light with his soul refusing to haunt the living..

    its a great read..that even talks of ipods despite the words having been written 7 score years ago

  • Hello:

    I have come to the conclusion that Christianity was originally based on reincarnation. In that case, personal salvation would consist in choosing to reincarnate as Christ after one’s next death; as opposed to submitting to Karma and the eternal Wheel of desire and suffering. Die as a clueless meat puppet and be reborn again, take up His Cross and go to Heaven with Him, that very afternoon. Only through Christ can one attain heaven.

    Christianity was hijacked by weapon tyrants, and this reincarnation pathway to salvation was suppressed because it involved a perfectly free, perfectly individual, perfectly objective and miraculous choice which tyrants could not manipulate to further their monopoly of worldly power. Unlike current Christianity and other weapon religions and para-religious ideologies: psychopath playgrounds.

    Should these ideas intrigue you, please consult:

    As well as the other chapters of LEARNERS: On the Move from WeaponWorld to PeaceWorld

  • Hermies

    Good article, a nice overview. I seem to resonate personally with the essential tenets of Hinduism, that is that souls are recycled without end, until that soul is “perfect.” In other words, “forever.” And there’s no deeper meaning than that, and no matter how hard one tries, one cannot escape committing evil deeds in each incarnation, which will guarantee recurring return. If there were a God, he/she/it would be a major assohole. As their is no “personal” god, this existence we are aware if is just an unknowable cosmic phenomenon, we are all trapped in it, and nothing to do about it but resign one’s self to the grim fact of eternal existence. Maybe we are ALL demons, and this cycle of infinity is our never-ending punishment.

  • Joe

    The teachings of the “New Message from God,” a vast new revelation received by Marshall Vian Summers, does indicate that reincarnation is real. There is an extraordinary teaching entitled “What Happens After Death” that speaks about how after you die you may have an encounter with your spiritual family. The focus of this encounter is whether or not you fulfilled your mission in life. Another interesting thing is that soon after you die you are pulled away from your remaining family members on earth because it will be frustrating to be able to observe them and not be able to help them avoid mistakes etc. Later, you will be sent back into the world, or perhaps even another world, for another opportunity to learn and serve in some way.

    If you have not already heard of the New Message and are looking for something new, pure, and clear with a living Messenger, go to the website at

    • mothman777

      No, we don’t need to pay anyone $100 a month for some new ‘new’ revelation. He sounds like just another NWO scam artist.

      What can he tell us that we have not already heard that requires us all to give him $100 a month for God’s sake?

      The internet is totally free for him to use to reach people. Hey, maybe he can pull a Maitreya type stunt and take all the televisions over all at once to deliver his message, like ‘Mars Attacks’?

      Hey, why not come and look at my blog instead for free? (he he), I have got loads of good ideas for you to use and share between yourselves, and it does not cost me a penny to write for you, and nor would I ever dream of asking for a single penny from anyone either. See ‘Mothman777’s Blog’.

      • Joe

        First, there is no requirement to give $100. Perhaps you are referring to the request that people DONATE to support the infrastructure of the Free School of the New Message, the publication of over 9000 pages of text and audio, a small office and sanctuary, a few paid staff, and other efforts. I suggest you read things closer and discern what you are really looking at before jumping to conclusions and making such claims.

        Secondly, there is a lot that is new regarding the New Message. For example, it is the only spiritual teaching in the world today that is provided a warning and an education regarding the reality and spirituality of life in the universe. If you would look closer, with an open mind, you would see that the New Message is providing a pathway so humanity can maintain its freedom and so YOU can reclaim your freedom and true relationship with God.

        • mothman777

          So, briefly, what exactly is ‘new’ and what is so unique about this message. Could you provide a précis here perhaps?

          • Joe

            I think it would be better for you to explore the New Message directly than to have a summary from me. Go to the website and explore the books, and special teachings, many of which you can listen to and hear the “voice of the revelation.” The New Message provides its own commentary in addition to the teachings and practices. “The Proclamation” is a short reading that does summarize the New Message’s major components and purpose though.

            The books of Wisdom are a good place to start for more in depth study.

            Thanks for asking. I hope you find something that speaks to you.

  • Phil

    Americans and their egos… What is so wrong with the natural way of things for you lot? Why can’t you just be content with the one life you have? The universe favours the atheistic position above all others, because it’s just common bloody sense. No god, no master, no ridiculous reincarnation fluff. We live, we die. Get over it and enjoy it. Who really wants to live forever anyway? Toughen up a bit, America.

  • AnonMLV

    I have found only one teaching that gets reincarnation correct and that is in any book written by Dr. Ernest L. Norman. “Remember that each of you has a psychic self, that you are only reflecting outwardly into a physical world a certain expression of the sum total of all of your psychic experiences and that you can truly be said to be a spiritual being, creating for yourself in your evolution a formed spiritual body which will enable you to live in higher dimensions.” Excerpt from “Infinite Concept of Cosmic Creation”

    • Anonymous

      Read the Bible for the truth.

  • Mick

    Before I had heard of reincarnation I had grasped the concept of previous lives so I bet it is considered by more people than would admit it. I was ten years old in the early ’70s when a friend and I went to watch Rod Steiger’s film about Napoleon. After a brutal battle scene my friend said it must have been hard in those days. I replied “Maybe we were there,” and he agreed.

  • There is only one Truth and many different variations. I have no problem believing that we are mad of pure energy and that we get recycled. I have no problem believing that we are all from the same source. I have no problem believing that there are 2 types of energy and one neutral buffer. I have no problem believing that this energy fluctuates with the natural occurrences with in our own planet, solar system, galaxy, surrounding galaxies, the Universe and the surrounding Universes.

    If we were never given words I believe we still would know inherently that we have the knowledge of darkness and light and the realm between along with the multiple dimensions that we traverse without limitations of time; a concept we only know because we are forced to accept limitations in this dimension.

    Religion is steeped in esoteric righteous rhetoric for the simple fact that by instilling fear there is control over the masses.

    I for one, do not think being reincarnated should stop anyone from wanting to be the very best they can be in any life they live. I want to go the light because that is where I feel most comfort, unfortunately there are those that feel the darkness suits them better.

    We all have the capability to gravitate in either direction and are made of both energy; yin and yang. We will always be attached to both energies though, but we will inevitably move on to another destination and the energy we feel most comfortable with will be the one we end up with.

    I believe what we consider to be ghosts are stuck in between; energy unable to progress due to the uncertain nature they were forced to deal with. They will move on eventually, but time is not measured the same way in that dimension; that is why some “ghosts” seem to be around for centuries in their flux.

    Because we do have words, there is many different ways to say the same thing; semantics.

    There is only one truth no matter what any of us believe; it is up to each individual to recognize what is their destiny.

    I believe I am an old soul that has lived many lives and will continue to do my part to help others achieve their rightful path; after all we are all soul mates, just different vibratory energy, attached in many ways and it is up to each of us to decide if the light or the dark is the path we choose.

    I choose the light.


  • dan

    @tony on a sunny day with a clear sky and the sun overhead if you put out ten cups of water and saw the reflection of the sun in each of them how many suns would there be? The reflection in the cup is not the sun and the appearance of greater numbers of individuals is a delusion, just as this life is a delusion. Everything we sense through the senses, the thoughts, the emotions, the intellect, all of it is a lie, delusion. The universe, the individual, and god are all mental constructs, as long as you believe in this, that you are an individual, the universe is real, you will remain. Going from life to life.
    The article talks about reincarnation but that isn’t quite correct. Tony dies and comes back in another body and remembers that he is tony, that is reincarnation, since tony has incarnated again. Tony dies and comes back, but doesn’t remember being tony, the memory of tony is gone, this is rebirth and that is what the article is about. That everything that believes that this is real is subject to rebirth, and will continue to be reborn as long as they believe, that is the truth of sanatana dharma. Ishvara, which is the incarnation of god as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva only exists within the veil of maya, illusion, as does this universe, and the individual that through the ego believes him/her/self to be the body. This existence is nothing more than a superimposition upon pure infinite awareness. The mind is addicted to the senses, to thoughts, emotions and is completely deluded by the projection of maya on awareness. Turning the mind inward through enquiry, fixing one’s attention inward, seek out the source of awareness. This awareness is called Brahman, the substratum upon which all this appears, pure infinite consciousness. This delusion will remain until one enquires into it, contemplates reality, one’s own being and becomes steadfast in Brahman. One doesn’t realize Brahman, that is one’s essential nature, rather what is realized is that all this is a lie. That all this is nothing but a dream and is empty.

    • mothman77


      If I put out ten cups of water under the sun, I am not such a dummy as to think that ten different suns are being reflected. You might get away with talking to a three year old like that though.

      Like I said before, if you were infinite awareness filling all of infinity, how could you possibly forget yourself? The mere idea is completely impossible.

      All the rest of your infinite substance, bearing the same single cosmic awareness without any division, timelessly and infinitely, would surely constantly maintain your enlightened consciousness as one, preventing any possibility of ‘forgetfulness’ arising in any area of your infinite substance.

      The only possible alternative is that, as you yourself forgot your own infinite Brahman nature (whilst experiencing it, duh), with you being the entire infinite Being, without any possibility whatsoever of there being any second individual present in such a single state of awareness, that all of the infinite mass of Brahman consciousness, being one without a second, would all become unenlightened in the very same instant, as your fall would be the fall of the whole.

      There can be no alternative to this reasoning. Your philosophy cannot be valid, as it is self-defeating.

      Your oneness with the infinite Brahman and your loss of consciousness would mean the simultaneous loss of consciousness of the entire infinite spiritual Brahman.

      You never were the Brahman in reality, though Krishna can give you that pleasant spiritual dream if you wish. But why not go higher and know Krishna in Goloka, whilst possessing the nitya siddha state of sarshti, sharing consciousness of infinitude alongside Krishna, and sharing the same potencies as He has?

      • dan

        “If I put out ten cups of water under the sun, I am not such a dummy as to think that ten different suns are being reflected. You might get away with talking to a three year old like that though.”
        How fortunate for you that you aren’t such a dummy. The point is about mistaking a reflection for reality, which is mistaking all the creatures human and non for being real, when only consciousness is real.

        “Like I said before, if you were infinite awareness filling all of infinity, how could you possibly forget yourself? The mere idea is completely impossible.”

        You are completely taken in by your senses. You think of Brahman in terms of size and quality, superimposing a misguided notion of brahman on the jagat, all of these things a product of ignorance, of maya. Maya has the power to veil, this veiling comes in two parts. The first is when hearing about the infinite supreme consciousness, that such a thing is not apparent, nor is the intellect capable to grasp such a concept,and is dismissed without a thought, the resulting ignorance is caused by the veiling power of maya. The second is the ability to grasp this concept and to enquire, yet brahman is still not forth coming, that is the second part of the veiling power of maya. To a materialist or one bamboozled by ignorance this idea would be completely impossible. Forgetting and remembering are functions of mind, the substratum of the mind is consciousness, it is the activating principle of mind. The mind turned outward towards the thoughts, emotions, and senses becomes fixed on the objects that have most caught it’s attention. For the ignorant, Brahman is not an object of the mind, ones attention is not fixed on the atman but rather on the products of maya, the power of maya, which is called indescribable by the discerning, and non existent by sages. The mind becomes overwhelmed and confused by maya and the atman is forgotten.

        “The only possible alternative is that, as you yourself forgot your own infinite Brahman nature (whilst experiencing it, duh), with you being the entire infinite Being, without any possibility whatsoever of there being any second individual present in such a single state of awareness, that all of the infinite mass of Brahman consciousness, being one without a second, would all become unenlightened in the very same instant, as your fall would be the fall of the whole.

        As said above you are superimposing maya onto the pure being of brahman giving it attributes, a sign of ignorance of the true nature of reality. You write of a descent or a fall, of all, again the product of ignorance, of wrong thinking and poor learning. There is no enlightenment or unenlightenment, this again the work of maya. Such terms are used when instructing those of low quality, like that 3 year old you mentioned above. Finally after a time such notions as a personalised godhead will fall away and the aspirant matures and becomes suitable for proper instruction.

        “There can be no alternative to this reasoning.”

        To those that are steeped in ignorance this is certainly so.

        “Your oneness with the infinite Brahman and your loss of consciousness would mean the simultaneous loss of consciousness of the entire infinite spiritual Brahman”

        There can be no loss or addition of consciousness, such notions are the result of ignorance of the true nature of reality, Brahman is, all else is delusion.

        “You never were the Brahman in reality, though Krishna can give you that pleasant spiritual dream if you wish. But why not go higher and know Krishna in Goloka, whilst possessing the nitya siddha state of sarshti, sharing consciousness of infinitude alongside Krishna, and sharing the same potencies as He has?”

        All is Brahman. krsna, a contraction of vishnu, is the product of dellusion, used by teachers to lead aspirants towards the supreme truth and discarded like used toilet tissue when the aspirant becomes mature enough to move beyond children’s stories.

        • mothman777

          Very crafty indeed. You state that my level of understanding is on the level of maya, I say the same about you.

          You say that Krishna is to be discarded as a piece of used toilet paper. Hell knows what you would do to other souls.

          So what are you doing here, since you are indirectly claiming that you are that Brahman which you claim cannot be forgotten?

          I suppose you can get away with that little bit of posing for a while, but you fool only yourself, and any other people unfortunate and foolish enough to take your views seriously.

          With your current attitude, you could not be accepted in the Brahman light consciousness anyway, as the requirement to enter that level of consciousness certainly does not require discarding Krishna as a used piece of toilet paper. I don’t think you are seriously interested in what you purport to believe in here anyway, and think that you are just playing trollish games.

          You never were the Brahman light, and never will be; no one can become that Brahman in truth, as that substance belongs to the personality of Godhead, Krishna, and is not your personal spiritual substance to wake up as. Gentler aspirants can only dwell within it on a temporal basis.

          One must still have appreciation for all aspects of the Supreme Being, and have a benevolent regard for all living beings. You say that Krishna is to be discarded like a piece of toilet paper. It is you that is going round the bend, not Krishna.

          Attitude is everything in spiritual life, and you, sadly, are descending very quickly into the darker planes.

          What could it possibly hurt anyone to culture a friendly and loving relationship with Krishna? Why the need in your mind to discard Him as a used piece of toilet paper? Something has poisoned your mind to feel like that.

  • jim

    David Berkeley stated it best when he hypothesized that there is just one evolving mind, that we are all part of, and Science is just agreed upon empirical data that helps keep us sane and able to enjoy the dream. What was not discussed in this article was the Western belief in transcendent levels of consciousness, like evolving to be the group consciousness of an animal species or becoming a planet or star or … .

    If you accept the axiom that something cannot come from nothing, then since Humanity has sentient consciousness and Free Will, then their creators, the Sun and Earth, must posses that as well. There are magicians who worship the Sun and Earth as our super parents, with much power to impart to those willing to go there. Maybe our destiny is to gradually become everything, until the white noise becomes the same as the black void.

    • mothman777

      The Vikings did in fact travel to India, trading and studying, and absorbed much of the Vedic wisdom, and this assimilation is reflected in their Scandinavian teachings about the Viking gods, which also have a Supreme God, variously revealed as Odin, Woden (the same, but spelled differently), and sometimes even Thor, a different God, just as the Hindus variously regard Krishna, or Shiva as the Supreme Lord God.

      The ancient Hindus and Scandinavians both made figurines found at archaeological sites, showing four horses drawing the sun on a chariot around the universe, and the ancient Vedic and Scandinavian writings also feature the fourth dimensional holy mountain Meru upon which exactly the same number of kingly holy warrior priests live, some 237,000 or so, I think, I cannot recall the exact figure here, but the figure of these kingly priests is exactly the same in both the Scandinavian and the Vedic writings.

      This supports to some degree the teaching that at one time, all the world shared the same spiritual path, before the beginning of Kali Yuga, and even now, some similar teachings survive scattered around the world.

      Ultimately, all physical matter is just the Supreme Lord Krishna Himself, keeping His true nature undisclosed to us here in the material world, until we are ready to re-enter into a full relationship with Him.

      In some rare instances, Lord Krishna does assimilate a soul to become one with Him, when that soul desires, so in these extremely rare instances a soul would indeed become what is the substance of all the material and the spiritual planets as Krishna Himself is, but that is not necessary, as in a fully developed relationship with Krishna, we are given the same mystical potencies as He has, as well as the same level of enjoyment as He enjoys, as we are all eternal parts of Him, the fullness of that becoming available in the highmost spiritual planet, Goloka.

      However, the maintenance of many individual souls produces continually expanding love, and this is the highest naturally occurring and optimal vibrational level of consciousness, whereas total integration of all souls into one would not permit the flowering of love in interrelationships, or a similar level of pleasure as is currently felt by all the individuals in Vaikuntha.

      Nonetheless, Lord Krishna provides the ‘white light’ Brahman level for those that wish to indulge the idea of all souls becoming one and losing their individuality, whilst having the perception of infinite consciousness on that level, but that is still just a dream, albeit taking place not on the astral but in pure spiritual substance, as individual souls still exist there and must eventually leave that state to reincarnate in this material world, or leave to ascend back into their original and true dwelling place, Vaikuntha.

      The merging with Krishna Himself though is actually a true merging of souls, and not merely an artificial given percept; being ‘one’ in the ‘white light’ is merely an artificial and unreal state of consciousness, a dream provided by Krishna to indulge the souls there.

      The notion that becoming one in the white light is our goal, with that having been our true origin, is in fact erroneous, as if we really had all been one, and ‘one’ had forgotten, then all of the infinitude of that one Being would also have ‘forgotten’ itself too. Simple though this statement is, advaitists never seem to get this; that is the effect of the complex nature of the veil of illusion over their minds.

      The Bhagavad Gita teaches that never was there a time when either Krishna or any of the other souls did not exist, all are eternal, and can never be destroyed, or killed. However, that basic understanding is modified a little on a more sophisticated level of teaching when we take into account how a soul can merge into Krishna on extremely rare occasions.

      It is reasonable to suppose, that another soul is then manifest from within Krishna to maintain the balance of numbers, like the correct number of petals on a flower, that being the natural resonance of that ultimate level of consciousness, expressed as form, form being the nature of consciousness itself on that level, a little like cymatics, where a specific frequency produces specific patterns.

      Hare Krishna

  • baz

    you are to etherial get more earthy. what we all call indevidually ” god ” is in fact, what” Bagger Vance “, called ” all there has ever been or ever will be “, but god’s in spirit. we are god in the form of physical avatars doing everything god can think of that is pleasureable, good or bad. right now our bodies only last at most 120 years so god needs a constant supply. as we mature as a species and become more aware of past lives and our kinetic abilities, god may chance the rules. whatever we are, we’re eternal, so death is like taking a time-out to freshen up for the next task god wants us to do.

  • mohman777

    With reference to your understanding; “To the Hindu, the soul is essentially stuck in a never ending cycle of rebirth which can never be broken”.

    You would find reading about the Sikh knowledge of the eternal spiritual realm, known as Sach Khand deeply fascinating. This same realm is known to Vaishnavas, devotees of Lord Krishna, as Vaikuntha, an eternal spiritual realm in which all souls are normally situated without any beginning in time.

    Spiritual reality is an infinite mass of living souls that are themselves love, beauty and pure joy, that have not had to come into existence, as this is the ultimate reality, the state of things as they really are, beyond the beginning and the end of time.

    Time and the material world is recreated occasionally on a regular basis whenever a sufficient number of souls desire to experience an alternate reality to Vaikuntha, which is a mass of spiritual planets that are actually a variety of forms of Krishna Himself.

    No one is ever trapped forever in a continuous cycle of reincarnation, so no need to worry unneccessarily there. Being trapped like that would be a real nightmare.

    Our true nature is that we do not have an external body, but have eternal forms, that we can experience as part of our eternal soul nature on slightly differing spiritual levels in the spiritual world, thus in Goloka, the topmost planet, we would have two arms, whereas in the other vaikuntha planets surrounding Goloka, like petals surrounding the centre of a lotus flower, we could have a four armed form.

    In fact a soul has a variety of soul forms that are eternal within themselves, and which become manifest whenever we desire, in different types of transcendental relationships with Krishna, so we can be a flowering plant, a bee, a bird, a tree, a male or a female.

    The central and greatest soul in terms of spatial dimension, Krishna, acts as the nexus of all souls, the central and communal Higher Self, and the greater part of the self-cognitive function of each soul, as well as being the Lord God, each individual there being a demigod.

    Just as the eyes in this material body need the sun to function in this world, allowing us to see the false self, the external physical body, so the Supreme Lord, Govinda, also known as Krishna, is the eternal spirital ‘sun’ by whose light we can all perceive our true eternal inner natures and eternal forms, as well as the infinite beauty that is the expanse of Krishna Himself, who is both with form, His highest aspect, and without form, such as the spiritual atmosphere, the spiritual water and the spiritual ground in the Vaikuntha planets.

    As well as being the greatest of all souls in terms of size, Krishna also dwells in the heart of each and every soul for all eternity, so we are all like pearls on a thread, the thread being Krishna, according to the Bhagavad Gita.

    For a very beautiful description of Vaikuntha, that is held to be literally millions of years old, read Sri Brahma-samhita, which can be downloaded for free.

  • Tony

    The case against reincarnation would of course be mathematics. There are more people on this planet than there ever have been before, even before yesterday. Even if one supposed that one could progress from animal to human that still doesn’t work . Despite the fact that there are less species than a few years ago, there are many more animals wherever humans encroach nature (think cockroaches, rats, raccoons, etc.). All animals reproduce to a point that more than replaces themselves (ie. Fibbonaci equasion). Truth doesn’t contradict reason, especially not the universal language…math.

    • billybob

      Tony it don’t make the case for reincarnation wrong, it makes the belief systems about reincarnation wrong. Not everyone reincarnates just a small percentage, that actually develop their energy or soul body to a level that it will survive the death of the body, but then everyone needs some form of security to cling to because of their lack of knowledge about life, death and reality that is why they believe that everyone comes back and many believe they will ascend to some place and still some believe they will be raptured, when people dont know they assume then they make belief systems out of it, than they are trapped by those for the duration of their life.

    • JP

      You are basing your ‘mathematics’ conclusion on an insufficient data set.

      • Manj

        Well said!

    • mothman77

      But there are souls on every planet in the cosmos, in trillions of galaxies held within each of millions of different universes, and they migrate from planet to planet and not just from species to species.

      • Manj

        You took the words out of my month… most people think in limited terms that ideas, consciousness, etc.. cease to exist outside our planet… hahaha…

  • Interesting read. Thank you 🙂

  • Victor Gagnon

    Your article speaks with much truth but like many stories on how life works they are almost always borrowed by others and passed down from generation to generation. You know, tell a story and someone repeats that story and then someone else repeats it and along the way many speak of it as the truth when quite often they are half truths. There is always something missing or added to justify the knowledge. If one really has interest in how life works than one simply has to search and the truth will be known but you must have an open mind. Put aside everything that you know. It is out there but not in Buddhism, not in religion, not in Hinduism not in any “ism” or belief system but yet many half truths are there. It is extremely simple but man always likes to create his or her own story around the understanding and that is generally referred to as the personality some say Ego. This makes sense I understand it and therefore it must be true so I will speak of it as a truth but yet it is only a philosophy, one must experience a truth. Even the knowledge which I have learnt is simply a philosophy so these words would simply be my opinion. There is no truth to my words!

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