Each of us will spend a few short years on Earth, then be gone forever. Or will we? Is the feeling of déjà vu a clue that we have lived before? Many systems of belief incorporate ideas about reincarnation, a return to Earth to live again. For some, this simply means a generalized belief that something continues, some seed of existence, which extends beyond the life of the body. Others propose much more intricate explanations. Central elements do seem to be consistent however. The body is seen as a temporary dwelling, from which some spiritual essence escapes at death. (Though the Ancient Egyptians believed that the body must also be preserved for use in the next life.) The spirit or soul is then often described as undergoing some form of readjustment, reappraisal, perhaps including judgement. Aspects of the previous life, or lives will carry over into the next existence.
Some people believe that the spirit can be reborn into animal or even insect form, perhaps as a result of the person not having lived a good existence in their last life. Others believe that the soul can only be born into another person. In some religions, reincarnation is only a stage that the soul must undergo before attaining release from the endless circle of death and rebirth.
And what do we learn through this process? There is certainly some comfort in the belief that we don't have to settle for just one life, that we get another go at living well. Many people claim to be able to recall events from their last lives, and a thriving business has developed to assist people to "rediscover" previous existences.
Most Internet sites dealing with reincarnation, present specific religious standpoints, attempt to sell the reader a product or service, or perhaps both. http://iul.com/raindrop/ Raindrop by Terry Beard, is subtitled, "A treatment on death education for children of all ages." This site presents a short story to help explain death to young children. While not wonderfully well presented, it does offer comfort in the idea that there is something to follow death, another form of existence, and that love carries over into the next life.
So, what do you think? Do you believe that you have lived before? What evidence is there for this?
If you had some control over the process, what form would you choose for your next reincarnation?
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