Reincarnation – Historical references
Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that the soul or an aspect of a living being, starts a new life in a different physical body or form, after each biological death, thus having many past lives. Reincarnation is also tied in with the concepts of karma, past lives and soul age and it is often called rebirth or transmigration.
A belief in reincarnation or metempsychosis was originally held by the Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras, around 590 BC, while in a museum, he remembered his armor from a past life. Socrates and Plato had similar beliefs. There are indications however that the idea was present many centuries before, during the Orphic times. The Orphic teachings are a Hellenistic mystical religion, thought to have been based on the teachings and songs of the legendary Greek musician Orpheus. The idea of reincarnation, has been around since that time.
Reincarnation is the basis of many modern religions and is also found in many ancient cultures and tribal societies around the world. Today, this is part of the Samsara doctrine of cyclic existence, a central tenet of all major Indian religions, namely Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. In recent decades, many Europeans and North Americans have redeveloped an interest in reincarnation and many contemporary works mention it.
The Fate of the Soul—Metempsychosis (Reincarnation)
The earliest evidence makes clear that above all, Pythagoras was known as the expert on the after-death fate of our soul, and the one who initially introduced metempsychosis to Greece, according to Dicaearchus. Ion of Chios (5th c. BCE) says of Pherecydes of Syros that «although dead he has a pleasant life for his soul, if Pythagoras is truly wise, who knew and learned wisdom beyond all men.» Heinrik Hellwig in his book «Theories of reincarnation in the history of philosophy – ancient perspectives» tries to make sense of this phrase and interprets it as «Although Ion says nothing of multiple reincarnations, his remark could be interpreted as suggesting that, if the soul undergoes a cycle of multiple reincarnations, its experience in between bodies is pleasant in Pythagoras’s view.» Here Pythagoras is again the expert on the after-death life of our soul.
According to Dicaearchus, in addition to the immortality of the soul and reincarnation, Pythagoras believed that «after certain periods of time, the things that have happened once, happen again and nothing is absolutely new». This doctrine of «eternal recurrence» is also attested by Aristotle’s pupil Eudemus, although he ascribes it to the Pythagoreans rather than to Pythagoras himself. The doctrine of reincarnation thus seems to have been extended to include the idea that we and indeed the whole world will be reborn into lives that are exactly the same, as those we are living and have already lived.
Κarma & Reincarnation
Traditionally, reincarnation is the developmental process of the soul, whereas, through its many and recurring lives, increases the depth of its awareness and consciousness, which is the soul’s ultimate goal to begin with. In other words, the more lives you live, the more experience and knowledge you collect and the more opportunities you have to learn, grow and expand and of course to resolve past life issues, often called karma.
Karma, therefore, is the «force» generated by a person’s actions through their perpetual transmigration from life to life and the ethical consequences it generates which determine the nature of the person’s next existence. For instance, if you lived the life of a pauper in one life, you might choose the life of a rich person in the next one, simply to complete the knowledge or experience cycle and gain a more rounded point of view and understanding regarding money and its power.
Karma, however, does not have a punishing role, but rather is based on the principle of cause and effect which serves as an opportunity to complete unfinished lessons. This «growth process over many lives» leads to soul maturity and expansion, which is the capacity to connect with the divine and to experience enlightenment, or wholeness.
Each life, is a complete cycle with its own goals and purpose, very much in the same way that a school year is. Once we finish one year, we don’t need to go back to it again. However, we may expand on our previous knowledge, by gaining greater experience and perspective on a particular subject. In other words, we are always fine-tuning our knowledge and understanding.
The nature and extent of these karmic energies and unresolved issues can be forceful when they accumulate. Often, they can seep through from our past lives, to hinder and dominate our current or next lives. Their influence can be felt in the form of unexplained and nonsensical negative programming, blocks and interferences that might possibly result in depression, anxiety and chronic illnesses. For this reason, we use the energetic healing modality of GrecoDow®, to research these influences, clear the accumulated negative energies and heal our life stories.
Teacher & Consultant of Alternative Therapies
Founder of GrecoDow® Educational Systems