Most believers in a life after death believe in reincarnation. That has always been so.  The doctrine says that after we die we come back in new bodies. It is believed that we all lived before. Reincarnation is usually taken to refer to returning in a human body. Transmigration is the doctrine that you can come back as an animal.

Reincarnation and the doctrine of karma, that the suffering and good you send out of you returns to you later perhaps in a new incarnation, do not have to go together. You can be randomly reincarnated without karma. But anybody that wants to believe in reincarnation likes to hope that karma exists for they want to work for a good incarnation the next time round. Reincarnation with karma is a frightening doctrine. It is ten times worse without it for you could come back as an AIDS baby and most people in the world are in a bad way.

Karma is a vile doctrine but perhaps it is untrue and we have chosen to be here?

Some think that when we are in the midst of unhappy lives now, we must not have chosen to be human and that since we survive death we must be subject to some law of reincarnation that forces us to be on earth instead of in some heavenly happiness.

But perhaps the mind which may exist without the body develops in the womb and then lives on after the death of the body without reincarnation.
It could be that we don’t know anything at all but sense that there is a body available when we are in between incarnations. We then may struggle for the body and the winner gets incarnated in the body or the early bird catches the worm. Perhaps there is a terrible war going on all the time in the spirit world with ghosts fighting it out to get into a body.

Maybe we want bodies and choose them ourselves. Perhaps it is worse being outside the body than in it which makes us willing to come back to earth in a new body after death. Perhaps being disembodied is a painful and lonely experience. Perhaps we are driven by this pain to take the bodies. If so then there is no karma for it could hold us back to get us to pay off our debts of suffering. It is ludicrous to imagine that the mind is separate from the body and suffers without it. If a body had no senses or nerves the mind wouldn’t be able to suffer. If you are separate from your body then your body is not you but an accessory.

Death is really nothing if we live on. Reincarnation cannot explain death. It would be easier and wiser to let a person live on in the one body and wipe their memories or some of them at various long intervals.

Reincarnation is no consolation for the one who fears annihilation at death for when you won’t remember your past lives when your next one starts so you might as well have had none at all.




Yoga is prayer in action.  It hold that exercise can be a tool to help you realise that you are actually the creator of the universe.  Yoga is a tool for handling the need to escape repeated incarnations.  Some wonder if running down the value of the body or losing sight of it gets people to control their bodies and lives better. If that happens then it is in spite of the belief not because of it. The belief is still bad and declared bad by how you have to be a step ahead of it.  If you are a yoga practitioner and see yourself not as a body but as having one that may lead you to caring for it like a piece of property.




The Bible says in the book of Hebrews that a man only dies once.  Jesus said John the Baptist had come in the spirit of Elijah. This is thought by some to refer to reincarnation. But the Bible says Elijah never died so that is out. Spirit means breath so that takes the mystery out of the text. It means John came with the ethos and in the ethos of the ministry of Elijah. Elijah was a man and had a spirit. The fact that Jesus came so close to reincarnation language and rejected that meaning shows he is against the doctrine.  The doctrine is totally absent from the Bible and Christian tradition.

The Handbook of Christian Apologetics argues against reincarnation thus:

It is denied by the Bible and by the Churches.

So what? You Churches think you know it all. You think you are something special. The Bible banned belief in reincarnation yes but said nothing to justify its claim to know it was wrong. It just says it without saying how it knows.
It would mean that the incarnation of Jesus was just an apparition.

This is not true as Jesus was supposed to be God or the Son of God. The options for him were different from ours. For example, he rose again. The book contradicts this assertion with the next point it makes that it also pretends undermines belief in reincarnation.
It would mean we incarnate as well as Christ and take away from the uniqueness of his incarnation.

Nonsense - for he was supposed to be the revelation of God. And he said we are not God. Jesus if he was God or the Son of God would be unique regardless of whether or not we engaged in incarnation or reincarnation.
It is supposed to imply that God made a mistake by putting us in bodies

Not necessarily, when he does it once he could do it again. The book is using a straw-man approach. It wants to pretend that reincarnation goes with the idea that being in a body is a terrible thing for the body is a prison in the soul. When God makes a body for a baby in the womb and the baby is lost before three months you don't see any mistake there. Some consistency would be nice! If God makes mistakes we are not allowed to see it. We must demean ourselves by failing to look.

Reincarnation is supposed to say that souls are imprisoned in bodies which contradicts what we know about mind and body being interconnected.

But if we have souls now and they are not in prison this argument isn’t necessarily right. We fight for life - we don't act like imprisoned souls.
Reincarnation is supposed to blame evil on the body.


Often it does not. It may blame it on our acts. And even if it did blame the body who can prove that it is not the body’s fault? The reincarnation doctrine can be reformulated to avoid blaming the body. You might suggest that we could be reincarnated because the body is the best thing we can have with all its flaws.
Reincarnation is rejected by the book because it says we come back to learn which makes no sense when the memory is wiped at conception.

But that presupposes that we need the lessons of the past life in this life which is not necessarily true. The wiping could be necessary for we will know too much. Perhaps when we need no more incarnating we will remember all and it will all fit into a whole picture that will show the reasons why the memories were wiped. No two situations are the same so maybe that could be the answer to the problem of people coming back to seemingly learn the same things over again. It could be that we have vocations in each life. That would mean we are here to develop certain virtues for this life that won’t be looked for in the next.
Our memories are wiped all the time during life and we tend to remember inaccurately. If that isn't a problem in this life, why should memory loss stand as a refutation of reincarnation?

The book dismisses the evidence for reincarnation, memories of past lives, as being caused by telepathy or demons.
The existence of telepathy is only a guess not a scientific fact. The talk about demons is just a game to scare people away from reincarnation.
The witness of thousands people we can talk to and interview and get to know when they testify to a return from the dead is ignored. The Handbook believers favour the testimony of a handful of men we know little about like the apostles. That irrationality and unfairness is what I would call trafficking with demons.
The next problem posed by the writers of that awful book is why reincarnation is necessary.
They reject it for no answer has been thought of. Then think of one however complicated. You can’t prove something wrong just by finding no reason for it.


There is no scientific explanation of how memories of our past lives could stay with us. Real or not, they must come from some psychic power if they really exist. That means we never have any real reason for thinking they are really our memories. Maybe we picked up the information psychically?
The trouble is that fraud or cannot be eliminated when a person seems to remember a previous incarnation!
Reincarnation is a guess. It has no rational or philosophical or scientific basis at all.  It gives no proof that murder is wrong.  If murder is sending a person away into a new life that is not murder but getting rid of them.  And karma which usually travels with reincarnation is not a harmless concept.  New Agers in London once reasoned that the Nazi monsters who murdered Jews were being reincarnated as modern Israelis and this was about "karmically balancing former hatreds".  Melanie Phillips told us that in her book The World Turned Upside Down.  Reincarnation and karma are not bread and butter and is better for them never ever to have been believed than for them to be believed and hurt so much as one person.  That can be said of any religious idea.

AFTER DEATH – WHAT? Fred Pearce, Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham
ETERNAL LIFE, Hans Kung, Collins, London, 1984
GOD AND THE NEW PHYSICS, Paul Davies, Penguin Books, London, 1990
HANDBOOK OF CHRISTIAN APOLOGETICS, Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli, Monarch, East Sussex, 1995
JEHOVAH OF THE WATCHTOWER, Walter Martin and Norman Klann, Bethany House Publishers, Minnesota, 1974
IS THERE LIFE AFTER DEATH? Paul Kroll, Worldwide Church of God, Pasadena, California, 1988
MIND OUT OF TIME, Ian Wilson, Gollanez, London, 1981
OCR Philosophy of Religion for AS and A2, Matthew Taylor, Editor Jon Mayled, Routledge, Oxon, New York, 2007 
LIFE AFTER DEATH THE WONDERFUL FACTS, Alan Hayward, Christadelphian, ALS, Birmingham
REASONS FOR HOPE, Ed Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
TEACH YOURSELF PHILOSOPHY OF MIND, Mel Thompson, Teach Yourself Books, London, 2003
THE AFTER DEATH EXPERIENCE, Ian Wilson, Corgi, London, 1987
THE DEVIL HIDES OUT, David Marshall, Autumn House, Grantham, 1991
THE LIFE OF ALL LIVING, Fulton J Sheen, Image Books, New York, 1979
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HEAVEN? Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Publishers, Oregon, 1988

The Web
Case of Reincarnation Re-examined by Joe Nickell. This refutes the reincarnation claims of Jenny Cockell.

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