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Reincarnation: A Critical Look A Tract Book By Anthony J. Fejfar © Copyright 2006 by Anthony J. Fejfar

I reincarnation a valid doctrine? Apparently, an early church council, The Council of Nicea, held around the year 400 A.D., did not think so. Although the Pope from Rome did not attend the council, and apparently only five bishops participated, a three to two vote defeated the idea of reincarnation in the Christian Church, at least for a time. (Most protestants do not consider themselves bound by Nicea, but rather focus on the Bible.) From a scientific point of view, Psychiatrist Brian Weiss, M.D., has written a book confirming the idea of reincarnation from a scientific point of view. (See, Brian Weiss, Many Lives, Many Masters). Additionally, Psychologist, Michael Newton, in his book, Journey of Souls, extensively discusses the reincarnation lives of his clients which were discussed while the clients were placed in hypnotic trance states. Other “new age” authors such as Michael Roads, Edgar Cayce, and

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Janes Roberts have used information gathered in trance states to confirm the concept of reincarnation as valid. Although Edgar Cayce asserted that the Bible contains numerous references to reincarnation, I choose to focus only on one passage. In the Book of Job, Job’s ten children are all killed when the house that they were having a party in collapsed. At the end of the Book of Job, after Job has been found righteous by God, Job’s ten children are restored to him. This either means that Job had ten new children who reincarnated, or alternatively, all ten were resurrected by God from the dead. I think that reincarnation is the less intrusive, more likely explanation. Assuming for the sake of argument that the concept of reincarnation is valid. One interesting question is the underlying purpose of reincarnation. There are several options: 1. random 2. Karma 3. Learning 4. Grace 5. experience While I will discuss all fiver options, I find the “Learning” option and the “Grace” option to be the most sensible and plausible.

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The “random” interpretation of reincarnation simply states that each person “bounces” from life to life, without meaning. There does not seem to be much that is very attractive about this interpretation. Many might prefer to simply die and go out of existence rather than randomly reincarnate. The second interpretation is the “Karma” interpretation. The Karma interpretation states that the lives which a person takes is based upon past Karma. For every cause there is an effect. As a person does, so it will be done unto that person. Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory are not “places” but rather represent “states of being” which play out in reincarnational lives which may be a life of Heaven on Earth, or, Hell on Earth, or something in between. This Karma interpretation is in my view, valid, and is the ground or baseline interpretation of reincarnation. Next is the “learning” interpretation of reincarnation. Once a person has reached a certain level of maturity after reincarnating, the person takes on “learning lives.” While “bad” Karma could certainly result in a person taking on mental or physical handicaps in a particular life, it is quite possible that a person could be using “good” educational Karma to take on learning experiences which develop the soul or spirit of the person. We should not look down on people with mental or physical handicaps. Often such a person could be an “advanced” or “wise” soul who is trying to develop attributes or experiences which can only be

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developed through taking on a handicap. Learning is a very sensible and plausible explanation for reincarntion. Grace is also a very sensible and plausible explanation for reincarnation. It may be that a “mature” or “advanced” or “wise” soul will take on a life or lives of service to others, as a priest, a nun, a minister, a teacher, a doctor, a lawyer, an author, a professor, a nurse, etc., etc. Although these lives may be lives of personal hardship and even sacrifice, they are undertaken either voluntarily or involuntarily as a matter of Grace, in the service of God and humanity. Because Grace in Christ transcends all Karma, it may be many lives of personal service and hardship will be required to bring a person’s “bad” Karma, back into balance. Additionally, some saints, with remarkably “good” Karma, take on lives of Grace, out of love, simply because they are saints. In my judgment, there are many reincarnational “saints,” on earth. The last, and perhaps most dysfunctional interpretation of reincarnation is the “experience” interpretation. On this view, all reincarnational lives are simply taken for the sake of experience, without meaning or value, or even education. This is the voyeur view of reincarnation, and I find it selfish, egotistical, and nonsustainable.

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Bibliography Michael Newton, Michael Roads, Journey of Souls Journey into Oneness

Journey into Nature Jane Roberts, Seth Speaks

The Seth Material Brian Weiss, Many Lives, Many Masters

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