Reincarnation is essentially the belief that a soul in the astral planes / spirit realm / heaven chooses to inhabit a corporeal body in a cycle of birth, death and rebirth in any number of physical lifetimes --- the purpose being to experience lessons and work out mistakes and bad deeds from previous lives by being the recipient of what one was supposed to have caused in a past life. Such beliefs are part and parcel of two major world religious dogmas, Brahmanism / Hindu and Buddhism. These sources have in turn influenced various modern western religious / philosophical paradigms such as the New Age and Counterculture movements. Even many people who don't consider themselves religious think there might be something in it.
Be that as it may, popularity or antiquity are not always synonymous with truth or worth. In this day and age we can examine established doctrines such as reincarnation in the light of Kosmon --- where long held beliefs are no longer blindly accepted as the basis of reality, but can be sifted to their core. The worth of old traditions and beliefs which have held man captive for millennia can be measured against a range of spiritual, social, psychological and philosophical standards now accessible since oppressive religious / cultural enforcement diminished over the last several centuries.
NO. Like various religious doctrines that condemn non-believers to death or hell for sins or even merely for disbelief, the concepts and rationales of REINCARNATION don't stand up well to scrutiny. While the precept of karma tries to mimic natural justice, its purpose is to uphold the doctrine of reincarnation. It focuses on a tit-for-tat kind of cause and effect, which supposedly explains the deserved circumstances of one's supposed reincarnation, but it lacks the wisdom that the complexities of human nature and destiny deserve. Nor does the karma / reincarnation doctrine encompass what is now common knowledge about how people learn and progress, instead this duo mimic the dysfunction of a prison system were the focus is punishment --- adding punishment to punishment, resulting in a perpetual state of imprisonment within its institution. This is where the gods, saviors and "incarnated" teachers of such religions get to prove their supposed divinity and enlightenment by saving souls from the "cycle of rebirth". They premise that the odds against man are so great he cannot free himself, nor other avenues for man to become free other than by "returned souls" incarnated into flesh to save him. Why does this sound so similar to the other major world religions? The doctrines of Karma and Original Sin both condemn man to spiritual helplessness, both have their Gods, saviors and saints for man to worship, obey and call upon.
The evidence of the past indicates that if anything, man is on a path of progression. Despite cycles of darkness, humanity moves forward, improved and ever more enlightened. The nature of humanity means that man must progress as a species, a society, a community, a family, an individual, --- or regress! There is no stasis for mankind.
Any philosophy or religion with sufficient truth acknowledges man's impetus is to progress, but a greater religion is one that nurtures and supports real progress. To more fully understand progression requires knowledge of the system and order within which it occurs --- Oahspe reveals that system and order --- Resurrection implies more than simply a forward direction, but an expansion, rising and transforming, growing and unfolding in the perfected spiritual and physical form all men and women have seeded in the soul. From the beginning of one's entity, each individual is set on a journey of Eternal Resurrection --- first as a mortal, and then as an immortal soul:
Oahspe, Book of the Arc of Bon. 27/28.26-30.
Te‑zee, the king, asked: Tell me, O Chine, What is the origin and destiny of man?
Chine said: The Ever Present quickens him into life in his mother's womb; and he is then and there a new creation, his spirit from the Spirit Jehovih, and his body from the earth; a dual being [Corpor and Spirit] the Father creates him. His destination is everlasting resurrection; in which matter, man can have delightful labor as he rises upward forever and ever.
The king asked: If Jehovih is creating all the time, will the firmament not become too full of angels?
Chine said: A thousand men read a book, and yet that book is no fuller of ideas than at first. The corporeal man is not divisible, and so, fills a place. Thought, which may be compared to the soul, is the opposite of this. Ten thousand men may love your flower‑garden, yet your garden is no fuller because of their love. Exalted souls in the upper heavens are without bulk and substance; and even so are the regions they inhabit, as compared to corporeal things.
In the above, the king gives voice to one of the main misconceptions of reincarnation. That is, to the immature in spirit the concept of finite space (as experienced in the corporeal condition) is projected onto the spirit realm. Chine, however, gives a wonderful analogy illustrating the subtlety of the Es condition which is not bound by the limitations of corporeal existence.
Despite the enlightenment that Chine brought to the people of his time, misconceptions continue to influence religious paradigms and world outlooks of the majority of humankind today. Various versions of reincarnation draw upon a notion that the spiritual part of the universe is already complete with souls who have always existed, or alternatively new souls mysteriously appear in heaven to then repeatedly incarnate on the earth until they no longer need to learn the lessons of earth life. Taking advantage of idol-man-worshipping inclinations of the lower grades, various reincarnation doctrines invent benign gods and teachers who voluntarily incarnate as a sacrifice to help those stuck in the cycle of reincarnation. Invariably, those identified as such either enjoy power and adoration in their earth life, or get it after death like a saint is canonized in Catholicism.
Reincarnation beliefs are similar to various other major religious doctrines with their earth-centered universe. With the growth in knowledge since the Renaissance, the earth as center of the physical universe was purged from man's concept of universal cosmogony. However, among the world's people, the heavens and other spiritual aspects of existence continued to languish in their old religious robes. Consequently the relics of such earth-centered perspectives continue to shape the ideas of spirituality, heaven, and the afterlife, even among many who consider themselves progressive thinkers. Not only does reincarnation conjure souls circulating from heaven to earth and back again over unspecified millennia, but somehow the rest of the universe is no more than a backdrop with scant relevance to even the most progressed of souls.
This anachronistic world-heaven view situates reincarnation in the same class as medieval superstitions of a devil who resides underground with a pitchfork and horns, or the second coming of a man-god sitting on a throne in heaven. For many centuries, the various religions misguidedly cherished and enforced such fallacies upon all within their power, thus belying any claims to being kindly, wise shepherds of human progress or spirituality. Moreover, the source of many such fallacies goes beyond their mortal adherents, originating with the lower grade spirits who inspire unknowing mortals. Oahspe reveals it is from such earth-centered, earth-bound spirits who do not seek resurrection, but choose instead to remain in the lowest heavens or on the earth engrossed in the affairs of mortals, that the false doctrine of reincarnation originates.
Oahspe reveals that earth has true Gods, Lords and angels who work above and beyond the lower class of false gods and their angel servants whose doctrines entrap and enslave mortals and newborn spirits. Those high raised beings tend to the system and order of unfolding life within all that is. Earth is just one of countless nurseries where man is born and raised to follow the resurrections up to Etherea, the infinite heaven within which the universe of corporeal stars exist.
Oahspe, God's Book of Eskra. 26/14.9 - 15.
Angels who engraft themselves onto mortals, becoming like a twin spirit to the one corporeal body, shall be known as reincarnated spirits. But where such spirits usurp the corporeal body, as of an infant, growing up in the corporeal body, and holding the native spirit in abeyance, such spirits shall be known as damons (which was the origin of that name) [i.e., demons - ed.].
Spirits who inhabit mortals in order to live on the substance mortals eat and drink, and often absorbing the strength and life of mortals, shall be known as uzians (vampires). Nevertheless, these shall not include fetals.
All the foregoing, who are not in the way of resurrection, shall be called drujas. ||
Now, behold, there were millions of angels in those days who knew no other life, but to continue engrafting themselves on mortals. And, when one mortal died, they went and engrafted themselves on another.
These were the fruit of the teaching of the false Gods, who had put away the All Highest, Jehovih. They could not be persuaded that etherea was filled with habitable worlds.
And they professed that they had been reincarnated many times; and that, previously, they had been great kings or philosophers.
Some of them remembered the ji'ay'an period of a thousand years, and so, hoped to regain their natural bodies and dwell again on the earth, and forever. Hence was founded the story that every thousand years a new incarnation would come to the spirits of the dead.
Although it is
shown in Oahspe that the origin of reincarnation belief came from the drujas
(low grade spirits) that inhabited the lowest levels of the spirit world and
the habitations of mortals,
there is nevertheless significant responsibility for its promulgation by the
mortals who enjoyed advantages for their own self's sake. Indeed, the doctrine
of reincarnation has been widely used as the foundation for justifying social
and material inequality. Manifested as birthright classism, many
reincarnationists believe that because of good deeds in previous lives the
higher grades of souls get born into higher social classes having material wealth
and social / political power; but the lower grades who were bad in their past
lives get to live unfortunate, miserable lives, usually servants to the higher
classes. Such doctrines not only kill off social consciousness as a virtue
among the people, but the more fortunate can easily believe themselves
justified in denying any responsibility to lift and assist their fellow man.
According to the supposed purposes of karma and reincarnation, improving the
conditions of the less fortunate interferes with karma's work and the progress
of the souls of the afflicated, which is to render socalled
justified lessons to be learnt. A sad situation indeed and a contradiction of
the very progress believers claim. ,
Interestingly though, a beneficial offset within at least some Buddhist sects and the Hindu culture is a prevalence of vegetarianism and a reluctance to kill animals because of the belief that an animal could be the reincarnated form of some dead relative. But sadly, in many cases, the same possibility does not seem to extend to their less fortunate fellows. In any case, enlightened man would respect the life of all the living regardless of personal relationships, and honor the fraternal bonds of humanity through the One Great Spirit, Creator and Father / Mother of All. And in truth, it would be good if people of all religions could do this. For, while it is true that reincarnation is often used as a prop by rulers, yet something similar could be said of all of the established religions --- that they each have their props, some of which are shared also. For instance, since all contemporary religions are rooted in the past, earthly rulers as god or godlike incarnations did not start with Buddhists who worship their religious rulers / teachers --- "God" Kings also existed long before in the slavery-ridden, highly stratified Egyptian and Persian Empires. And the westerners also have their deified kings, such as their Savior / King of Heaven with his earthly popes, emperors, kings, and state-sponsored religion.
Oahspe, Book of Knowledge. 37/3.11.
Es (highest expression of angels) speaking to upward aspiring man): I tell you, O Tae, it is through model and emulation that any man is raised up.
Without freedom there is no responsibility, with freedom comes responsibility. In the measure of Seffas (enforced culture) whose time is now past, one overarching objective of the angels of Jehovih was to bring man to willingly and voluntarily accept responsibility. At first man, being of imperfect wisdom, had to be commanded to be responsible; later, after the tetracts (a type of gateway to evil inspirations) were placed upon man's shoulders, he learned why it was better for sake of his personal freedom that he be responsible. But alas, instead of listening to Jehovih and His angels regarding that over which he should be responsible, man fell to listening to the beast in that regard.
Man thus set up systems and orders designed to be leveraged for the benefit of the beast. Yet despite learning from the ensuing bruises and long-term pangs, man clung tenaciously to the idea of enforced obedience, that is to say, enforced responsibility. For, man had discovered that the more freedom a person was given, the less obedient that person would become to a beast-inspired leader. The beast's response was to impose responsibility, and failing that, to destroy the disobedient. For, if there is one thing the beast fears more than anything is the loss of its power.
Accordingly, as most religions are set up to deal with the beast-man, it should not be surprising that beast-man rulers used the doctrine of reincarnation to ensure obedience from those within their domain. Karma was one such tool within the dogma of Reincarnation, used to ensure obedience and hence responsibility.
The doctrine of Reincarnation depends upon its handmaiden --- Karma, which is supposed to be based upon the "natural laws of cause and effect". But Karma is not a synonym of cause and effect. Everyone has experiential knowledge of actual cause and effect --- by our own experience and memory of previous experiences we learned not to touch a hot stove, or pull the tail of a feisty cat. Many of us have already learned that kindness begets kindness and we sow what we reap. Through the course of life there are many opportunities to learn greater lessons as we reflect upon the events of our lives and see where our choices brought us.
As we ponder upon these things, we learn to forgive ourselves and others for any mistakes. Some wish to reap forgiveness by sowing it, yet other reasons also inspire. For instance, not only can we trace cause and effect back to our parents, then to their parents, and so on, but because we love our children and we see them make mistakes due to our own flaws as role models, so we learn to forgive them, and by extension, forgive all people because they too are recipients of flawed role models. True responsibility --- which will prove itself to be the only acceptable mode of responsibility in Kosmon --- cannot be enjoined, but must be taught through model and emulation. But according to Karma, one is "sentenced" to physically experience what one caused others to experience, echoing the old, worn-out adage "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". But even worse, it supposedly occurs within the context of successive lifetimes, without access to experiential memory which could have otherwise helped one to make wiser decisions and so provide a means to climb up out of ignorance and destructive behavior.
According to the most common reincarnation doctrine, after a lifetime of experience, suffering, loving, learning --- all this knowledge is somehow hijacked from the individual's memory so that one will begin again as a new born infant to learn more lessons (how many times must a man learn to walk before he can walk like a man). How, then, have some people remembered details from another person's life who lived in the past as though it were their own, when the rule is you must not have access to memories? Well, the great variety of explanations put forth by reincarnationists only proves that the storyteller's inventiveness is not lost upon those who tweak the doctrines of false religions for their particular agendas, and others who try to rationalize events according their particular beliefs. However Oahspe describes engrafting spirits as low grade spirits who call themselves reincarnated:
Oahspe, Book of Judgment. 32/4.11.
But of those who are below grade one, there are more than six billion, which comprises those angels who know nothing more than babes, though, for the most part, they were full-grown adults as to earth-life. Some are fetals, some are engrafters who dwell with one mortal during his lifetime, and then engraft themselves on another mortal during his lifetime, and so on, calling themselves reincarnated, and, in fact, knowing no other heavens, being disbelievers in the All Person and in my exalted kingdoms.
And so, since engrafting spirits can obsess mortals from infancy to the point where the natural spirit is held at bay, such spirits may well believe themselves to be reincarnated into another mortal body.
Some reincarnationists believe that physical resemblance may be an indicator of a past life. But within the great variety of individuals created, there are always resemblances occurring among not only people, but animals, plants, minerals and everything else under the sun. The study of types of people is the work of the Loo'is, who are angels that bring mortals together to bring forth offspring with particular qualities, such as the Iesu prophets. Form is determined by soul forms, and varieties of soul forms can resemble one another according to many complex characteristics. Wide-set eyes may be associated with tolerance and patience, whereas close-set may indicate quickness in temperament or determination, and so forth.
We also know that human progress does not hinge upon “eye for an eye” type experiences. In fact, rehabilitation is more effective by loving example and education than a focus upon punishment and deterrent.
And we know that all learning requires prior knowledge (scaffolding), we learn by building upon what we have already learnt. Therefore wiping out someone's prior knowledge would stop a person from acquiring not only more knowledge, but a progressive grade of knowledge. Who but a caricature in an improbable science / fantasy tale would agree to have a lifetime of memory wiped away, just to come back and start life from scratch again? Even the old who say: "Youth is wasted on the young" add the caveat: "Let me go back with what I know now, I will surely do much differently."
In any case, true life provides far more effective ways of learning than what is supposed to occur in the reincarnation-karma doctrine. We know from experience that what we receive includes the effects of what we put out, but it is not the only determinant of life circumstances. If it were the case, since we begin in helplessness and ignorance, we would be on a hopeless downward spiral from the start; instead, we are dependent upon those stronger, older and wiser than us to raise us to become like them.
From early infancy, humans learn mostly by example --- as children, we learned how to treat others by the way we were treated or what we witnessed others doing. As intimated earlier, we also learn vicariously because we are connected to others, especially with love and empathy --- so others' joys and sorrows also enrich our own experiences. As humans we have the capacity to imagine how we would feel if we were in another person's circumstances because we can transfer knowledge / experience onto imagined situations (fiction writers and movie makers depend upon this). And we have the potential to empathize with others because we share common feelings and have the capacity to spiritually connect with another. Everyone experiences good and bad emotions, as well as pleasure and pain. And so we can understand what another is feeling when they cry, sigh, smile, frown --- expressing sorrow, joy, anxiety, etc. We also have a rich language by wish we can communicate our feelings and thoughts to others and in turn hear their experiences. Through such interaction and real experience, all people are capable of understanding: "Do unto others as you would be done by" which has been the golden rule since humans became human.
But because such false doctrines as reincarnation, eternal punishment or hellfire were impressed upon people by oppressors who also deprived them of knowledge and learning, so such irrational ideas took root and became traditional belief systems. And if that punishment began with your birth, as would be the case with Reincarnation, and if you were consigned by Karma to be poor, so the only hope of improving your lot in life would be doing good and especially to obey the ruler so that when you died in this miserable present life you could hope to reincarnate as a person in better circumstances. Such, then, is a doctrine of bondage. But, in Kosmon, humanity has progressed enough to acknowledge inalienable human rights. And yet, many still labor under the influence of ancient doctrines that have long stripped away the natural rights of human beings and continue to keep millions in ignorance.
But those who have read Oahspe and the history of the major religions of the earth, know that despite all the control and social manipulation that various religions have wielded over their dominions through cultivating ignorance and enforcing false doctrines, their time eventually runs out --- and Kosmon is the time when man finally rises to the knowledge of his Creator and the higher way of His creations.
The doctrine of Reincarnation, which promotes itself as a doctrine of progression, has so many flaws that not all can be dealt with in a short writing. So let this suffice as an ending sampler: With the amount of poverty that has existed in the world since ancient times, according to reincarnation doctrine the rich should outnumber the poor by the millions by now. But they do not. No doubt apologists could invent some convoluted and shaded reasoning to justify their belief. But Oahspe goes to the heart of the matter.
Oahspe, Book of Sethantes. 05/8.8 - 9.
God said: On that hangs the highest testimony of the Person of Great Jehovih. He created man the nearest blank of all the living, purposely unlike all the rest and devoid of sense. Whereas, according to the order in the others of the animal world, a newborn babe should be already wise.
Jehovih says: I have provided all the living with certain paths to travel in; but man alone I created new out of all things dead and dissolved, and he shall grow forever. To the beast I gave an already created sense (so-called instinct); to man I allotted angels. And even these angels I have provided with others above them; and yet others above them, forever and ever. Thus the first of man, the newborn baby, I created a blank in sense and judgment, so that he may be a witness that even he himself was fashioned and created anew by My hand. Nor did I create him imperfectly, that he should re‑enter a womb and be born over again. That which I do is well done. ||
Imagine a world where you get lifted up into to a beautiful scene, more glorious than the previous, and in this new place all your senses are heightened. Eventually, after many seasons of engrossing and delightful discoveries and masteries, you begin to weary of the same old scene, only to find the time had come to be lifted up to an even more beautiful, comprehensive and awesome reality.
The idea of individual souls being recycled into successive physical lives cuts short the awesomeness of our Creator's infinite creation which has no beginning and no end. We are living in the act of creation every instant because of the Everpresent Creator. Compared to such static and constrained paradigms as Reincarnation or the 6-day creation myth; or even the religion of Science's "big bang" they offer nothing new at all after the initial "once upon a time". BUT REALITY IS WITHIN THE ENDLESS CREATION OF AN EVERPRESENT CREATOR CREATING SOULS WITHOUT NUMBER IN WORLDS WITHOUT END.
Oahspe, Book of Sethantes. 04/6.14 - 15.
There alighted upon the new earth millions of angels from heaven; but many of them had never fulfilled a corporeal life, having died in infancy, and these angels did not comprehend procreation or corporeal life.
And I said, go and deliver Asu from darkness, for he shall also rise in spirit to inherit My etherean worlds.
And now the earth was in the latter days of se'mu, and the angels could readily take on corporeal bodies for themselves; by force of their wills, clothing themselves with flesh and bones out of the elements of the earth. By the side of the Asuans they took on corporeal forms.
And I said: Go forth and partake of all that is on the earth; but do not partake of the tree of life, lest in that labor you become procreators and as if dead to the heavens from which you came.
|| But those who had never learned corporeal things, being imperfect in wisdom, did not understand Jehovih's words, and they dwelt with the Asuans, and were tempted, and partook of the fruit of the tree of life; and lo and behold they saw their own nakedness. And there was born of the first race (Asu) a new race called man; and Jehovih took the earth out of the travail of se'mu and the angels gave up their corporeal bodies. ||
Jehovih said: Because you have raised up those who shall be joint heirs in heaven, you shall tread the earth with your feet, and walk by the sides of the new born, being guardian angels over them, for they are of your own flesh and kin.
The fruit of your seed I have quickened with My spirit, and man shall come forth with a birthright to My etherean worlds.
As I have quickened the seed of the first born, so will I quicken all seed to the end of the earth. And each and every man child and woman child born into life I will quicken with a new spirit, which shall proceed out of Me at the time of conception. Neither will I give to any spirit of the higher or lower heaven power to enter a womb, or a fetus of a womb, and be born again.
As the corporeal earth passes away, so shall the first race Asu pass away; but as I do not pass away, so shall the spirit of man not pass away.
Suggested references to read in Oahspe for further study on this subject:
Book of Sethantes: 05/8.8 - 9
Book of Fragapatti: 20/22.9 - 12;
Book of Aph: 10/5.7 - 12
Book of Centa-armij: 22/12.3 - 4
Book of Wars Against Jehovih: 25/48.14 - 19; 25/55.10 - 12; 25/50.31 - 36; 25/51.11 - 12; 25/55.10 - 12
Book of the Arc of Bon: 27/26.42 - 50; 27/27.16 - 20, 25, 28 - 36
Book of Judgment: 32/4.11 - 13
Book of Discipline: 33/2.5 - 8; 33/3.30
Book of Saphah: 35/D.116
Book of Knowledge: 37/7.16 - 17
All Oahspe references are from the Standard Edition Oahspe of 2007