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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 non-

sustainable.

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Bibliography

Michael Newton, Journey of Souls

Michael Roads, Journey into Oneness

Journey into Nature

Jane Roberts, Seth Speaks

The Seth Material

Brian Weiss, Many Lives, Many Masters