Reincarnation is considered by some to be the greatest “unknown” scientific discovery of modern times. In the last chapter of Dr. Ian Stevenson‘s book entitled Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation (1967), he provides exhaustive scientific reasoning which concludes that reincarnation is the only viable explanation that fits the facts of his study. He considers every possible alternative explanation for his twenty cases of young children who were spontaneously able to describe a previous lifetime as soon as they learned to talk. He was able to rule out alternative explanations using one or more of his cases. Later research also bolstered his findings in favor of the reality of reincarnation. His study is also reproducible for any skeptic who doubts the validity of his study to repeat it for themselves. I believe it is only a matter of time before these findings are realized by the scientific community to be one of the great scientific discoveries of all time.
Many people would be very surprised at the tremendous amount of references to reincarnation in the Bible. The most compelling references in the Bible comes from the teachings of Jesus concerning John the Baptist and his former life as Elijah the prophet          . More can be found on the Reincarnation in the Bible page. Jesus is also seen in near-death accounts giving people the choice to reincarnate .
There is a misconception that many people have about reincarnation. Some Eastern religions assume that after death, people immediately reincarnate without inhabiting various spirit realms in between earth lives (see the image above). Near-death experience accounts affirm that we do not immediately reincarnate after death. The reason is because time does not exist in the spirit realms, and reincarnation is not a linear process.
Near-death experiencers often cannot describe the length of their journey in terms of earthly time. A single experience may seem like an eternity and, at the same time, it may also feel like it was only a moment. This is because the spirit realms are completely outside of time. It is for this reason that we can literally spend an eternity in the spirit realms before we decide whether we want to reincarnate to earth or not.
1. Reincarnation is not eternal
“One of the purposes of the life review is to make an informed choice between remaining in spirit or returning to flesh. Should we choose to merge completely with the light of God, we will never again be able to choose, on our own decision, to return to physical life. The decision to merge in the light is the best decision.” (Thomas Sawyer)
“We are to live on earth in such a way that we will not need to return to earth after death.” (Cecil)
“In time, we who are trapped in the cycle of birth and rebirth can once again come to know our original state and purpose, and regain our celestial birthright as a companion to God. In time we can again come to realize that the conditions in our current life is the result of our free actions and choices from past lives.” (Edgar Cayce)
“If a person dies and merges completely into the light, another reincarnation is improbable. However, it is more usual for people to have earthly attachments and not merge completely with the light. Such souls may have characteristics of their personality, which they do not want merged with the light.” (Thomas Sawyer)
“The law of karma demands that we meet every bit of our karmic debts. However, an even greater law exists, the law of forgiveness. If we wrong someone and that person forgives us, when the day comes that we approach God, we realize our memories which are incompatible with God, but forgiveness removes the barrier of separation. The law is so precise (what one gives one receives; no exceptions) that if we begin forgiving others, we begin to receive forgiveness upon ourselves. Unless, of course, we refuse to forgive ourselves.” (Edgar Cayce)
“Our attraction to worldly desires can hinder the free expression of our soul and only when they are no longer a hindrance can our earth incarnations be finished. The free expression of our souls happens when our wills become compatible with the thoughts of God. At this time, our conscious spiritual identity with God will merge with our soul consciousness (subconscious mind). This is when the soul merges with the light of God. The return of the soul is the return of the thought that God imagined and is becoming aware of being a part of all God and everything.” (Edgar Cayce)
“Some souls desire to return again and again to the physical state without spending enough time in spirit to evaluate and plan their next incarnation in the flesh. Any habit-forming pleasure, and they are endless, traps them into the cycle of rebirth over and over, until their appetites are finally put aside while they are in the flesh. The lust for money, lust for power, lust for sex, and other habits such as an unnatural craving for alcohol, drugs, tobacco, or any habit they are unable to break loose from, can keep souls earthbound. Some are so overly fond of the bodies they left behind that they are hardly able to wait for an opportunity to reincarnate and set to work indulging their new bodies. These souls will not be able to advance spiritually until they learn to give less thought to appetites of the flesh.” (Ruth Montgomery)
2. Reincarnation is instruction
a. Kevin Williams‘ theory of reincarnation
The purpose of reincarnation is education – particularly, learning the eternal lessons of love. Using the analogy of a school, my theory of reincarnation is described below. I describe stages of reincarnation and with each stage I use a “school analogy” to help clarify it. I consider this description of the mechanics of reincarnations as “the curriculum for the world-school we are currently enrolled in and the academic degree we are trying to graduate with”:
(1) We are born into this world with a mission to learn lessons of love for the purpose of becoming forever at-one with everyone and everything (God). Analogy: We begin a new grade in school with the goal of graduating and receiving a degree.
(2) During our life, we are subjected to severe hardships for the purpose of soul growth. Analogy: During the school year, we must subject ourselves to difficult homework in order to learn.
(3) After death we have a life review to decide if we have earned the right to advance to a higher heavenly position. If we have earned that right, we can assume that position at any opportunity we desire. In the meanwhile, we can spend an eternity with family and friends then reincarnate to lower realms to help others progress if we desire. Analogy: When the school year is over, we then find out if we have earned the right to enroll in the next grade or whether we must repeat the grade. Either way, we then spend a long summer vacation at home with family and friends before beginning another school year.
(4) Some people have made such tremendous mistakes in life that, after death, they set themselves back some degree from progressing and need to experience a lower afterlife realm for purification before reincarnating for another earth life. Analogy: Some students flunk out so badly that they have to spend some time in detention and be sent back a grade.
(5) Because our ultimate goal is to be forever at-one with all things at a conscious level (the divine consciousness), we inherently desire more soul growth until we attain this goal. This goal is attained by leaving the realm we currently reside in (Death is the way people leave the physical realm – other realms have other ways.) and entering another realm we have earned the right to enter for the purpose of further soul growth. Analogy: Because our ultimate goal is to graduate, get a degree, and become co-partners in the God R Us Corporation, we leave home to go to school to earn our degree. Based on whether we have passed the grade from the previous school year, we enroll into a higher grade in school or return to the same grade from the previous year.
(6) People in the lower realms will be given opportunities to reincarnate to higher realms, including the physical realm, as many times as it takes for them to learn the lessons necessary to earn and advance to a higher position. Analogy: Students who flunked out of school the previous year will be allowed to repeat the grade until they pass it.
(7) It will take a lot of love and effort, but eventually everyone will be reunited – the Godhood will be restored as it was in the very beginning – a good time will be had by all – perhaps another Big Bang will happen. But until everyone attains at-onement, we will enter and leave many realms for our own soul growth and to help others in their own soul journey to permanent citizenship with God. Analogy: It will take a lot of studying and hard work, but eventually all students will graduate, get their degree, and join the firm. But after we graduate, if we choose first to become a teacher before accepting our position as a permanent co-partner in the firm, we choose to help other students (perhaps our loved ones) graduate as well. (Kevin Williams)
3. Factors influencing reincarnation
According to Amber Wells’ NDE reincarnation research the factors influencing reincarnation are:
- Individual choice (free will)
- Karmic patterns or ties to other souls
- Learning or enlightenment
“Life itself is a series of learnings. The lessons are universal, the two most important being truth and forgiveness.” (Amber Wells’ NDE research)
“The chief purpose of reincarnation is education. To this end we are born again and again on earth, not because of any external pressure, but because we, as souls, desire to grow.” (Amber Wells’ NDE research)
“It (reincarnation) is a universal process, and prevails not only in the human kingdom but also throughout the whole of nature. Whenever we find a living form, the consciousness of that form is also evolving, using temporarily for that purpose the physical form in order that it may gain physical experience. In each incarnation we have a different physical body, a different name, and may have different souls acting as parents, but these changes do not in the slightest imperil our individuality … Reincarnation is not an endless process, and when we have learned the lessons taught in the World-School we return no more to physical incarnation unless we come back of our own accord to act as Teachers of humanity or as Helpers in the glorious plan of evolution.” (Amber Wells’ NDE research)
“The spirit needs to embody itself in matter to experience it and learn. There are karmic patterns to learn lessons and to work spirit in matter.” (Amber Wells’ NDE research)
“The only way to bypass bad karma is to develop so much unselfish love that paying for bad karma will serve no purpose – much like a college student challenging a course he already knows.” (Arthur Yensen)
“If we do enough good works we will eventually run out of bad karma and only good things will happen to us, and vice versa. The goal of karma is to force us to learn life’s lessons whether we want to or not.” (Arthur Yensen)
“If we do not wish to reincarnate to the physical state to learn our lessons, there are schools in the spirit were we can learn them. However, learning our lessons in the physical state is the fastest way to learn them.” (David Oakford)
“We have lived and died many times. The reason we don’t remember our former lives is because our vast soul memories are not transferred to our baby brains at birth. All we know in this life is what we have learned, most of which is a partial memory of things we learned in past lifetimes. At the beginning of each lifetime, we are cleared of all past prejudices, learning blocks and wrong teachings, and are ready for a fresh start – just like a new term in school – and, like school, when we have learned enough of life’s lessons, we graduate and don’t have to come back to this earth anymore, except as volunteers to teach stragglers.” (Edgar Cayce)
“All of our karma has to be met. And yet, no one is given more than it can bear to carry. We are given the time we need to turn away from selfish ways and return home like the prodigal son. Reincarnation is not a way to avoid responsibility. It is a way to allow us enough time to correct our mistakes.” (Edgar Cayce)
“After death, when we are ready, we can choose to view our past lives for the purpose of instruction. (Betty Bethards)
Life is a cycle of improvements and humans are not perfect yet. Most people have this secret revealed to them when they die. (Dr. Frank Oski)
“At some point, our desire to advance will lead us to reincarnate. Our guides help us decide an incarnation that will help to achieve our goals. After a period of farewell with family and friends, we can meet with a great spiritual teacher (such as Jesus, Buddha, etc.) to give us strength. After this, we descend into the womb to be born again. We leave paradise not just for our own advancement, but to bring paradise to earth and God will light our path throughout our time on earth and bring us safely home afterward.” (Sylvia Browne)
4. Reincarnation is karma
Reincarnation and karma together explains divine justice and why some people are born into favorable conditions or are born into unfavorable conditions. Personality traits are also carried over from past lives.
a. Whatever we think, that thought makes an impression on the Universal Consciousness. Nothing is lost or done in secret. Everything is done within the Universal Consciousness, and the Whole is affected by it (as well as all others within the Whole). Reactions to past thoughts and actions become our destiny and karma. Our destiny is simply the rebounding effects of previous choices remembered by the soul. (Edgar Cayce)
b. “A man acts according to the desires to which he clings. After death he goes to the next world bearing in his mind the subtle impressions of his deeds; and, after reaping there the harvest of those deeds, he returns again to this world of action. Thus he who has desire continues subject to rebirth. He who lacks discrimination, whose mind is unsteady and whose heart is impure, never reaches the goal, but is born again and again. But he who has discrimination, whose mind is steady and whose heart is pure, reaches the goal and, having reached it, is born no more.” (Upanishads)
5. Some people reincarnate from hell realms
“Hell is a spiritual condition that some people are allowed to experience whose goal is to purge aspects of their personality so that they can participate once again in the cycle of reincarnation.” (Hindu NDEr)
“Without physical bodies, feelings of hate and fear are intensified as souls [in hell] vainly try to hide from their enemies. Their only hope is to reincarnate. Then unfortunately when they do, they may forget all about their torment in hell and again lead lives of greed and tyranny. This miserable cycle can continue forever unless they find salvation in one of their lifetimes. Such people really need a savior, since they are not able to help themselves. I’m sure Christ incarnated to help them because he said, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'” (Arthur Yensen)
“After death, people who accrued severe negative karma will enter a hellish realm for a short period. After they have reflected upon their actions, they will be allowed to reincarnate.” (Sylvia Browne)
6. The nature of reincarnation
“We prepare for future lifetimes during the life we live now.” (Edgar Cayce)
“We progress at our own rate to reach the light. If we do things that take us away from the light, then we are perpetuating our time here.” (Amber Wells’ NDE research)
“For the soul who wishes to ascend to the highest heaven, reincarnation is to be avoided.” (Apostle Paul, Apocalypse of Paul)
“A woman of breathtaking beauty (Jan’s Higher Self) appeared as I watched in awe, and even after the full materialization from pure light to visible, substantial form was complete, nothing was static … ‘Look into my eyes,’ she said with a gentle but commanding smile. As I did, I felt myself being absorbed … The eyes I stared into were mine, the eyes of my soul … As though looking into a kaleidoscope, I saw myriad lifetimes and experiences. Oh, the wonder of me.” (Jan Price)
“Because of our free will, we are able to inflict pain and suffering on others. When we die, we realize the mess we left behind from our previous life and we may decide to return to clean it up. By doing this, we don’t contribute to the combined mess that exists on earth by others.” (David Oakford)
7. Reincarnation is a process
“The process that determines the number of destinies a soul can chose from before reincarnating to earth is an astrological process based on the nine planets of our solar system that are physical representations of afterlife realms. This is the fundamental concept behind astrology: the position of the planets influence the destiny of the soul reincarnating to earth. However, free will is much greater than these influences. The planets only influence – they do not compel.” (Edgar Cayce)
There is a heavenly process which connects souls with bodies to be reincarnated. (Plato)
“The center of the earth is this great transmuter of energy, just as you see in pictures of our earth’s magnetic field. That’s our cycle, pulling reincarnated souls back in and through it again. A sign that you are reaching human level is that you are beginning to evolve an individual consciousness. The animals have a group soul, and they reincarnate in group souls. A deer is pretty much going to be a deer forever. But just being born a human, whether deformed or genius, shows that you are on the path to developing an individual consciousness.” (Mellen-Thomas Benedict)
“Reincarnation is not a linear thing. One of the problems in defining it is that there is no analogy to it. It is outside of time, yet we can’t help but think of it in terms of the past and the future, and this incarnation. The whole story is so big and so involved.” (Thomas Sawyer)
“As our souls draw closer to God, our souls become aware that some of our memories are not compatible with God, and since its ultimate purpose for being is companionship with God, our souls seek out opportunities to resolve these incompatible memories.” (Edgar Cayce)
“Between lives, with the great knowledge of our Higher Selves, we choose the next life we are going to live and how much karma we are going to meet and settle. For example, if we abused animals or people in one life, our Higher Selves would probably urge us to reincarnate into a situation where we would get abused to make us realize the misery we caused others.” (Arthur Yensen)
“Once we enter into the light and blend with God, we become God. Light can be divided into parts with each part remaining to be the Whole. Each part is wholly God. We are all a part of the light of God. When merging with the light, we cease to exist as a personality but every bit of our personality is available for reincarnation.” (Thomas Sawyer)
“The inner quality is there, the inner self remains, but the external aspect that may have seemed very strong is dissolved. Individuality isn’t the same there. We are the same as everybody and everybody is us. Our spirit is always ours. We are not the personality that we were on earth. In the other realm we are everything, light is everything.” (Amber Wells’ NDE research)
“Reincarnation involves returning to earth with aspects of our previous personalities and even aspects of other soul’s personalities as a new personality. The soul doesn’t evolve, the personality does.” (Thomas Sawyer)
“Between earth lives, we dwell in afterlife realms before deciding whether or not to reincarnate to earth. If a soul reincarnates to earth from an afterlife realm, the soul will manifest the influence of that realm through its physical representation of one of the planets in our solar system. All the planets in our solar system are physical representations of afterlife realms. Because of this, the planets exert an astrological influence on us. It is through these planetary astrological influences that we learn our lessons and are tested on earth.” (Edgar Cayce)
“Homosexuality is a natural human trait that is the result of a person of a particular gender reincarnating as a person of the opposite gender. Such people must adjust to their new gender and sexuality at an early age. Former girls who are reborn as boys may wish to dress as girls or prefer to play with girls rather than boys. Former boys who are reborn as girls may wish to dress as boys or prefer to play with boys rather than girls. Former men who are reborn as women will be attracted to women and will therefore be lesbian. Former women who are reborn as men will be attracted to men and will therefore be gay.” (Dr. Ian Stevenson)
“Dr. Stevenson’s research supports the scientific evidence that homosexuality is a natural human genetic trait and not a lifestyle or personal choice.” (Kevin Williams)
8. Reincarnation insights from NDEs
“It is a matter of personal knowledge from what the being with whom I spoke during my near-death experience told me about my older son, that he had had 14 incarnations in female physical bodies previous to the life he has just had.” (Amber Wells NDE research)
The following is a conversation between Jesus and Jeanie Dicus during her NDE:
He kind of grinned, I guess I was amusing him, and he answered, “You want to be reincarnated?” “Hey, give me a break,” I yelled (only I made no sound). “I just died. Don’t I get a chance to rest?” “Take it easy, hold on, it’s alright. You can change your mind at any time.” I gasped, “I don’t even believe in you and now you want me to reincarnate. Help!” (Jeanie Dicus)
“I saw four translucent screens appear (and form a kind of gigantic box around me). It was through this method that I was shown my life review. (Or rather I should say my LIVES IN REVIEW!) Without ever having to turn my head, I saw my past, my present, my future and there was even a screen that displayed a tremendous amount of scientific data, numbers and universal codes. I saw the beginning of my known existence as a Soul and saw that I had existed Spiritually long before this incarnation — where I am now a male human known as Christian Andreason! In Heaven, I undeniably saw that I had lived an innumerable amount of lives. Yet, what I saw went way beyond our comprehension of what we think reincarnation is. So, I am not exactly speaking of being born again and again on this planet alone. I saw that it is a big Universe out there and God has it all organized perfectly. Each of us is sent where we can obtain the best growth according to our Divine purpose.” (Christian Andreason)
“My whole life went before me of things I have done and haven’t done, but not just of this one lifetime, but of all the lifetimes. I know for a fact there is reincarnation. This is an absolute. I was shown all those lives and how I had overcome some of the things I had done in other lives. There was still some things to be corrected.” (Amber Wells’ NDE research)
“He said, ‘Do you want to stay or go back?’ I was very aware that this decision would be if I would stay in the heavenly realms or return to my life as Karen on planet earth. All of my being wanted to stay there in bliss, but ever since I was six, I knew that reincarnation is the natural fact of life, and now, I had the knowingness that if I chose to stay, I would have to reincarnate to earth again later. At the time, that was unacceptable to me. I didn’t understand then that earth is a boot camp and school for soul’s spiritual education, and as such, it’s tough. Nevertheless, I knew that I had to return and finish whatever mission I had to do here.” (Karen Brannon)
“From the other tunnels came souls preparing for reincarnation on earth. From above came souls happily reporting delights and visions of a beauty beyond words. From below came souls lamenting and wailing over a thousand years of dreadful sufferings, where people were repaid manifold for any earthly suffering they had caused.” (Plato)
“I had a lot of questions, and I wanted to know what they (the light beings) were doing why are you just kind of milling around here? And someone stepped forward … it wasn’t just one … I got information from a number of them … that they were all waiting for reincarnation.” (Amber Wells’ NDE research)
“They said that I originally came to Gaia to learn and share with others using the gifts that I have accumulated over several lifetimes.” (David Oakford)
Sandra committed suicide and had a near-death experience. The light gave her access to unlimited knowledge. She was told that she could remain in the light, provided she later reincarnate to re-experience and overcome all that brought her to the point of suicide. Or, she could be revived to live out the rest of her life and overcome her problems here and now. She choose to be revived. (Sandra Rogers)
A woman once consulted Edgar Cayce to decide whether or not to undergo a very high-risk surgery. After inducing an out-of-body experience, Cayce went through the tunnel and visited the Hall of Records where he read her record in the Book of Life. Cayce advised the woman to have the surgery because it would be a success. Cayce explained that the surgeons who were to perform the surgery were once Inquisitors in a past life who tortured and killed her because of her religious beliefs. Cayce explained that by allowing these surgeons to heal her, she would be allowing them to pay a karmic debt they owed her. She underwent the surgery and it was a success just as Cayce foretold. (Edgar Cayce)
Jesus had many incarnations on earth and we can experience full knowledge of all of them after death. (Edgar Cayce)
The following is only one of the Bible passages showing Jesus teaching reincarnation to his disciples:
“And the disciples asked him, saying, ‘Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ But he answered them and said, ‘Elijah indeed is to come and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also shall the Son of Man suffer at their hand.’ Then the disciples understood that he had spoken of John the Baptist.” (Matthew 17:10-13)