Sunday, March 02, 2008


Websters dictionary of the English language defines Reincarnation as the re-birth of a Soul on earth in a new body after death. That goes to suggest that for reincarnation to take place, one must first die. It also suggests that the experience must be manisfested on the body. Thirdly, it points to the fact that it is the 'soul' that reincarnates. Based on this premise, one would have sharply responded that this is a non-issue since the death phenomenon is merely an illusion, which is to say, there is no death, neither could there be any reincarnation since it is the former that gives rise to the latter. When the subject of pre-existence is brought up, sometimes there is the inclination to think that it implies previous existence in the flesh, whereas man doesn’t live in the flesh even now. You will never understand the fact of man’s pre-existence so long as you believe in time. Divine consciousness is from everlasting to everlasting. But that is now. A single statement by Jesus Chist the Master Physician will elucidate this argument further, "Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had before ever the world was." (John 17:1-5). Life, not only that of Christ Jesus, has no beginning and can never come to an end through what is called 'death'. One moment of divine consciousness will wipe out centuries of false belief. I would therefore urge my reader to maintain an open and unbiased mind until we get to the conclusion of this discourse.
This subject has evoked a lot of controversy oner centuries. There are more than four schools of thought that have propounded varying theories; most presenting only a physical manifestation as their evidence.
The Indians of Sikih and Hindu religions are said to hold the belief that a human soul can reincarnate into a cow or bull, hence the level of veneration and kind treatment they accord these animals.The elephant is treated as a sacred member of the Indian household because of the same belief that it might be one of their reincarnated ones. Their ceremony of cremating the body of dead people speaks a lot.The fire is to burn off all dross material as with cleansing from accummulated sins while the sprinkling of the ashes to the ganges is symbolical of final purification to facilitate the reincarnation process. If one were to follow the evolution theory, it would sound absurd that a 'soul' that has evolved through the lower stages from apes to human should degenerate to a level lesser than human. Let's leave that part to evolutionists for now.
Christians are divided on this issue, with less than ten percent timidly harbouring some notion favourable to the phenomenon known as reincarnation. This insignificant number of believers hinge their argument on some New Testament passages of the Bible where the disciples of Jesus asked Him who had sinned, that a young man would be born blind. (John 9:2). It is argued that this question reveals that the Hebrews of that age did believe that actions of men in any cycle of earthly existence contributed in determining the nature of their next level of reincarnation. Fortunately, Jesus could not corroborate that belief. He would rather turn their attention to the fact that such occurences only provided an opportunity for demonstration of the healing power. Another passage of interest is the last Book of the Old Testament, Malachi 4:5 which says, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." At the time of that promise, Elijah had long passed on from physical existence. Therefore, it stands to reason that he was meant to reincarnate in another form to fulfill the promise in Malachi. This text is further supported by another encounter between the followers of Jesus Christ and their Master when he enquired of them who people say he is, and they answered - Elias, John the Baptist, Jeremias or one of the prophets. Christians try as much to avoid discussing these texts in-depth to avoid being labelled "infidel."
Another belief which is strongly held by majority of Africans even before the advent of western forms of religion has it that people can have a rebirth manifested in the physical realm up to seven incarnations. Their only proof lies in some character traits exhibited by a newborn baby. Another almost convincing evidence borders on physical appearances closely identical to that which had been noticed on some departed family members. This belief is so strong that some people would name their new born child after the one suspected to have reincarnated him or her. They would look out for certain behaviours and would easily try to match some coincidental gestures as proof of divine return of a loved one. Such souls are always treated with the utmost respect lest they depart prematurely in protest for being despised.
The fourth premise upon which I wish to consider this subject derives from the writings of a nineteenth century Metaphysician whose names appears on the American Women Hall of fame for her revolutionary discovery. Reverend Mary Baker Eddy writes in her ground-breaking exposition, Science & Health with key to the Scriptures, "As a man falleth asleep, so shall he be after death, until probation and growth shall effect the needed change. Mind never becomes dust. No resurrection from the grave awaits Mind or Life, for the grave has no power over either." (ibid. Page 291 lines 22 - 27). This interpretation is derived from the Book of Ecclesiastes chapter 11 verse 3, "In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be." Hers is not an argument in favour of or against reincarnation. She speaks in what the Scriptures call "a new tongue" as with the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. She is speaking of deathlessness as she succinctly explains on Page 289 of the same Book, "The fact that the Christ, or Truth, overcame and still overcomes death proves the 'king of terrors' to be but a mortal belief, or error, which Truth destroys with the spiritual evidences of Life; and this shows that what appears to the senses to be death is but a mortal illusion, for to the real man and the real universe there is not death-process." She concludes that "God's universe (including man), is spiritual and immortal."
I have searched the Scriptures and have found that Mary Baker's argument coincides with the first description of man as "created by the Word of mouth proceeding from God" as recorded in the Book of Genesis chapter 1 verses 26 and 27. If God made man in His own image and after His likeness, and God is a Spirit, therefore, it follows that man is spiritual and deathless. God is not an anthropomorphic being. How then can we believe in the death of that which is deathless? For reincarnation to take place, according to the proponents of that ideology, man/woman must first die. This can not be a possibility since death, as we know it, does not exist.
We must learn to believe in Life which is eternal and the real, more than we believe in what is termed death, which is only a passage from one stage of mortal existence to another, not much different from a clown leaving the stage to reappear and mix up with the audience at the lobby, wearing a gentleman's atire and looking like any other person in the crowd. Unrecognised by the crowd, he still moves in their midst, carrying within his memory all the tricks that made him a focal point some few moments ago on stage, although unable to register the same impression as he moves along doing other activities of ordinary life.

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