The Great Delusion
Mahatma Ghandi called reincarnation a "burden too great to bear". The countless millions of Hindus and Buddhists down the ages would agree with him. It is, however, their karma, and they believe there is nothing they can do about it. They are resigned to a monstrous tread-wheel of punishment for eternity, and their only salvation is via the meditation of yoga (or Zen, the Buddhist equivalent).
Eastern reincarnation is about dying and returning to earth in another form, either above or below your previous status, depending on how good or bad you have been in a previous life. If you are a woman, you have no chance of salvation for that is reserved only for men. A woman's only hope is to serve her menfolk and in so doing earn the reward of being reborn as one of them.
"The most foolish male," according to one eastern saying, "is more intelligent than the most intelligent female."
One branch of Hinduism slavishly follow their gurus -- god-men -- who claim to reveal the shortest routes to salvation. These invariably involve a range of meditations to transcend the suffering of a wounded continent. The quick ways of salvation include walking around naked, or blindfolded, or drinking the urine of cows (the animal which symbolises the female divinity of Mother Earth and Mother India). For the really dedicated, sex is banned. This is perhaps just as well for they also plaster their hair with cow dung. Having done all this, the Hindu believes he will still not escape the ever-grinding Wheel of Samsara (reincarnation). However, he hopes that these additional sufferings will increase his capacity to meditate away the hunger pangs, disease and further suffering. Som gurus maintain the meditation can make a hungry person a "happy hungry person."
Reincarnation paralyses the initiative of millions. Those imprisoned by it rarely strive for social improvements or justice, for that would then deprive people of their karma -- a merciless law of consequences. The suffering is the consequence of a previous misspent life. It it is avoided in this life, it will only be piled up on to the suffering of the next life. There is no escape from karma. The only help acceptible are hints on how to improve meditation. Only the guru can provide this!
These Gurus have now come to the West, and millions of Europeans and Americans have accepted a revamped version of reincarnation. The very hell that has caused the grotesque sufferings and early deaths of countless millions has become an enduring part of the sophisticated Western man. Some opinion polls reveal that one in four people believe in reincarnation. This grotesque philosophy which ignores the matchstick legs and distended bellies of starving children has now hit the streets of every major European city. Even in small rural towns typical surveys reveal that 20-25% of the population believe in reincarnation.
The gurus, emigrating to the West, have introduced their philosophies with a calculated sensitivity to European and American cultures. They travel in their own planes, helicopters and Rolls-Royces to bring modern man a modern doctrine of reincarnation. There is, for instance, no distinction between male and female, as in the East. There is no mention of the grinding agony of Samsara, nor that reincarnation is the nearest vision of hell-like punishment man can ever experience this side of the real thing.
The guru's philosophy is clothed with scientific terminology and hailed as the missing link of evolution. New Agers take on board the idea on "conscious evolution", one of the main Western names for reincarnation. This, we are told, is the way to reach the next stage in our development. Conscious evolution is the road to Utopia and a higher level of existence. It is that which will ultimately make us one with the divine, or the "Masters", or the higher beings from outer space who have been guiding our planet through the dark eons on earth.
This form of reincarnation is sold in the West as another chance to make good; the way to true salvation, to great knowledge and enlightenment.
The Aetherius Society, which claims to have received its teachings from the Cosmic Masters while their founder, Sir George King, was in a positive Yogic Samadhic trace, is more honest about the true view of reincarnation.
"We do not just reincarnate as an individual soul into a new body each time," says Graham Wilson, the founder-director of New Life Designs, "but more as a collective consciousness of souls, which is why we have access to alot more information than we realise" (Gods of the New Age video, interview with Graham Wilson).
"People have lived thousands of lives as people before and they will live endless more lives," the society leaflet says. "Much as each day follows the other in one's life, so does each life follow the previous life and is determined by one's conduct in previous lives. We are given endless opportunities to learn and evolve." (Some Basic Principles, Aetherius Society leaflet)
Historical Cases of Reincarnation?
Ian Stevenson, one of the leading investigators of reincarnation, who was born in 1918 and is a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia, began his investigations in 1958 and has been widely quoted as providing substantial evidence on the validity of reincarnation. His writings form the basis for "scientific" discussions of reincarnation (Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, 1974).
But Ian Wilson, a British historian and author, in writing on the near-death phenomenon, investigated many of the widely known cases of reincarnation. He showed that many of the cases which Stevenson cited as showing evidence of reincarnation were suspect. Wilson tabulated, for example, Stevenson's data on the most publicised Indian and Sri Lankan cases. In every case the child claiming to have been reincarnated from a particular family was born into a poor family -- but the child was alleged to have reincarnated from a nearby rich family. The implications are obvious.
Numerous publicised cases of claimed reincarnation have resulted from the use of hypnotism on people who have "regressed" to former lives, in some cases even speaking in a foreign tongue, or describing detailed experiences in a different era and culture. The most publicised event in the United States was that of "Bridey Murphy" in 1952. Her story was essentially discounted in subsequent investigations (Wilson, op.cit., pp.38-39).
A similar but more complex case occurred in England in 1976. It was the case of "Jane Evans," and it was featured on BBC television. Upon being hypnotised, the 30-year-old housewife regressed into six previous existences. Regressed back to Roman times, she recalled a life as "Livonia", wife of a tutor to the family of a Roman legate, Constantius, in the fourth century A.D.
Jane knew substantial details of each life, but the most puzzling was her Roman experience. She gave details of individuals who could be, and were, checked historically for accuracy. She also named other Roman citizens who could not be found in historical documents of the period, but it was assumed these were lesser known figures who didn't make the history books .
One of those checking on the historic accuracy of Jane's story was Melvin Harris, a compulsive browser in second-hand bookstores. He stumbled upon Louis de Wohl's historical novel The Living Wood, published in 1947. The novel was devoted to the lives of Constantine, Constantius and Helena who lived in fourth century Rome. Moreover, Harris found the names of ficticious individuals whom Jane had named as being among her acquaintances in her previous life. (Wilson, op.cit., pp.41-47).
Jane's story collapsed after these and other discoveries. It appeared that she had read and forgotten the novel some years before. It is interesting that under hypnosis she could withdraw from her subconscious memory the details of the story.
Why Do People Believe in Reincarnation?
There are, of course, many reasons why people believe not only in such doctrines as reincarnation but in religion in general. There is, of course, a certain glamour when Shirley MacLaine describes her alleged previous existences (much of which Ian Wilson, incidentally, has shown to be a confused dialogue -- op.cit., pp.49-50). There are also those who, seeking for meaning in life or the alleviation of boredom, find the philosophy compelling and stimulating. There are many who, dissatisfied with their positions in life, seek consolation in the belief that they were someone important in a previous life. It is interesting that the vast majority of people who believe in reincarnation believe also that they were once someone important. The desire to be someone else, coupled with the innate ability of the human psyche to fantasise and believe its own fantasies, has led therefore countless millions of curiosity-hunters into a belief in reincarnation. The number of people who believe that they were once Napoleon Bonapart, George Washington, Florence Nightingale, and other men and women of fame, is astonishing especially as dozens have often claimed to have been the same person.
But the persistence of the attraction goes beyond Shirley MacLaine, curiosity seekers, those bored or dissatisfied with life, and others like them. Many, who believe in God, and who are trying to understand injustices and difficulties in life, find in reincarnation an easy explanation. Thus one European woman, known to this writer, was suddenly and devastatingly crippled with multiple sclerosis, having read several books on this subject, convinced herself that she had been a Chinese mass-murderer who had killed "his" own children in a previous life and was now paying back "his" bad karma in "her".
Near-Death Experiences (NDE's)
Many honest people have had mystical experiences that have led them to a belief in reincarnation. There are many thousands of people the world over who have had near death experiences (NDE's) where they have experienced a separation of spirit from body and actually entered into a heavenly dimension. Some (a small minority), as a result of their experiences, have become more inclined to a reincarnation perspective following their NDE's than before. And a small percentage of these become convinced that reincarnation is a fact.
There are two reasons for this continued belief in the possibility of reincarnation. The first reason has to do with a feeling by most undergoing an NDE that they lived before, and that they will continue to live in some other type of future life. The idea that they existed prior to this life was new to them (unless they were a New Covenant Christian or a Latter-day Saint), and some of them considered their feelings as evidence of a cyclic life phenomenon. Researchers themselves are confused by these discussions of a previous life and they somehow succumb to the same type of thinking.
Hypnotic Regression Therapy
The second reason for the tenacity of reincarnation belief may have to do with a different type of research, namely, research associated with hypnosis. Psychologists have, for some years, used hypnosis for different therapeutic and experimental purposes (Ludwig, Arnold M. Principles of Clinical Psychiatry, The Free Press, MacMillan, Inc., NY., 1986, pp.626-627; Gregory, Richard L. The Oxford Companion to the Mind, OUP, NY.,1988, pp.328-333).
Psychotherapists using hypnotism have "regressed" patients into previous lives. This is particularly true of "New Age" therapists. Recent work by others in this field has proved interesting. Raymond Moody, Jr., in his book Coming Back -- A Psychiatrist Explores Past Life Journeys (Bantam Books, NY., London, 1991) describes how he allowed himself to be hypnotised and regressed into nine previous lives. After that he conducted almost 200 hypnotic regressions on other willing subjects.
As a result of Raymond Moody's work he neither argues for the reality of reincarnation or against it (Op.cit., pp.187-190). He found regressive hypnotism to be useful as a method for revealing deepseated psychological problems in patients, but he was uncertain as to its usefulness as a method for discovering historically correct facts. He pointed out that "the mind likes to please and for that reason is highly suggestible. When given the opportunity, it will fill in gaps with great aplomb. And when given the focused leisure time that hypnotism presents, it will often occupy itself with self-made fantasies" (Op.cit., p.43).
Hazards of Hypnotism for Retrieving Historic Facts
Numerous scholarly studies have verified the danger of using hypnotism as a tool for reconstructing memories, either memories of this life or memories of a presumed previous incarnation. The unreliability of such hypnotically derived memories is sufficiently great that "the AMA (American Medical Association) has indicated that previously hypnotised witnesses should not give testimony in court concerning the matters about which they have been hypnotised" (Zilbergeld, B. Hypnosis Questions and Answers: The Validity of Memories Retrieved in Hypnosis, W.W.Norton & Co., NY., 1986, pp.45-46).
One of the reasons hypnotic subjects are not reliable purveyots of historic fact as because "the inclination to confabulate (make up information) and to draw inferences to fill in missing information is apparently greater in hypnosis, and, in consequence, can render the memory reports of hypnotised individuals deceptively more believable than normal recall" (Orne, Martin T.; Wayne G.; Dinges, David F.; Orne, Emily Carota. Reconstructing Memory Through Hypnosis, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; from Hypnosis and Memory, edited by Pettinati, Helen M. The Guildford Press, NY., 1988, p.47). This enhanced believability of the hypnotised subject can confuse even the therapist.
In addition to confabulating information under hypnosis, "there is evidence...that other exogenous sources such as books, movies, or special childhood and adult relationships may provide material that can be assimilated in a dislocated state and later be recalled under hypnosis as original material believed by the subject to be of personal experience. The most publicised examples of this have been reincarnation stories elicited during hypnotic age regressions" (Ganaway, George K. Historical vs. Narrative Truth: Classifying the Role of Exogenous Trauma in the Etiology of MPD and its Variants, December, 1989, p.209).
These scholarly studies are unanimous in their advice that hypnotism be used solely as a therapeutic tool and not as a method for attempting to determine factual historic information -- either recent or long-past historic data.
A New Covenant Christian Perspective
Non-speculative information can be obtained from the scriptures. In the New Testament, Paul said: "It is appointed unto men ONCE to die..." (Hebrews 9:27). Reincarnation doctrine is, of course, that we die many times, each time that we are reincarnated.
The Christian doctrine of resurrection is the antidote to reincarnation. Man lives one life and after than comes the resurrection and judgment (Hebrews 6:2; 9:27). Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself had to cope with those who denied a resurrection, in the form of the Sadducees. He told them, with patience and love, that they were in error because they did not know the Scriptures (Matthew 22:23-32). Yah'shua (Jesus) said that He was the resurrection (John 11:25) and He told His followers that He was going ahead of them to prepare a place for them (John 14:2). This did not entail an endless cycle of future lives. It is stressed that Yah'shua (Jesus) came once, for all (Hebrews 9:26).
There are two reasons why reincarnation is the fastest growing single philosophy in the West today. First, the Christian churches have failed miserably to get over the good news of true salvation in the death and resurrection of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). We have mislaid the truth that the sacrifice of Calvary has paid the penalty of man's sins once and for all (Romans 6:10); that nothing we can do can bring us nearer to salvation and God (Ephesians 2:8-9) -- not if we tried for a million lifetimes.
Secondly, man in his ignorance, and sometimes deliberately, has looked to others for help. Resurrection means that life is a once-for-all-time experience and for those not willing to trust in Christ for salvation the future is exceedingly bleak. Upward evolution through several lives seems much more attractive to the person who knows himself to be a sinner and not worthy of saving. Another chance in another life is hard to resist, especially if he can put off the moment when he must repent and change his ways. After all, we are basically a selfish race and we love to go our own way and be our own gods. Thank God that God is not as selfish:
Our Human Destiny
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, what whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of God's one and only Son" (John 3:16-18).
Unlike those who have allegedly had regressions into past lives, there are numerous testators past and present who have seen heaven and know the truthfulness of the Biblical message. This author is one of them. Some of these people have had near-death-experiences but others have seen visions whilst being fully conscious in their physical bodies. Others have left their bodies and entered into heaven, sometimes for many days. Many of these people weren't even Christians but became believers afterwards. Their testimony -- irrespective of their church denomination -- is the same: that Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) is the Saviour of mankind, the Life and Resurrection.
Heaven is such a vast place and there are so many people who have seen it that only a few short testimony extracts are reported here. Rather than select those which describe what heaven is like, I have chosen accounts that tell of the result of their heavenly experience in their lives. This is perhaps more important than the experience itself because it is a challenging witness to those who may never see heaven until after death and who must yet live out their lives here on earth.
Visitors to Heaven
"He (Yah'shua the Messiah/Jesus Christ) wants me to love everybody. It doesn't matter what religion they profess, what their race or politics are, what their skin colour is -- I must love everybody. I must treat everybody as He would. I have to serve them as He would. And...and the other thing that I have to do is gain all the knowledge I possibly can, and use that knowledge to help others. That's the whole reason we are here, to help each other" (Janet McClellan).
"I've seen a lot of people in my life who have everything in a material sense, and in a split second they have nothing. I've decided it's not what you have which matters but what you've done for other people...I think we should talk about (death)...people should not be afraid of it. It's a personal experience, a very choice experience, so much like opening up, sort of like a panoramic view. Death is more of a beginning than an ending" (Pauline).
"Truth remains the same regardless of human interpretation. I see alot of these near-death experiences being interpreted in an attempt to understand some of the more difficult questions that humans have. And that's a proper thing to do, to look for those answers. Which, of course, is what this is all about. But humans make mistakes, and the real truth is always there regardless of how we interpret it" (Forrest Hansen).
"We all have a purpose here on earth" (Margaret Amodt).
"We take with us into the next world the knowledge we gain here -- nothing more" (Kerry).
"They (the angels) told me that when I made a mistake, I should ask for forgiveness. Before I even get it out of my mouth, I would be forgiven - but, I would have to accept the forgiveness. I would have to believe in forgiveness, and I would have to know that the forgiveness was given. I should confess, either in public or in private, that I had made a mistake, and then ask for forgiveness. After that, it would be an insult to them if I didn't accept the forgiveness. I shouldn't continue to go around with a sense of guilt. And they told me not to repeat mistakes; to learn from my mistakes" (Howard Storm).
"Death is so much different than (people think)...it's nothing to be feared. It's an awakening to the natural state that we're supposed to be in -- this is the wrong state. The present life is the unnatural, the fallen state. I am placing an emphasis now on a relationship with Christ. Christ is more important to me now than worldly things, and even church things. It's like when I was in that garden (in heaven). All the things that I thought were so important, all the things I was doing, just weren't important at all. The main thing is doing right by the ones we love and have a relationship with Christ. I'm not so worried about sin now. I am not bound up in wondering: is this right, is that right? There is more a feeling of mercy, non-judgment, and acceptance than I thought there would be. Instead of being so worried about condemnation I feel as though I have been set free from that. Now I'm wanting to do right by my family. And I want to have a relationship with Christ -- out of a desire inside me, not because if I don't I'm afraid I will go to hell. I just want to. I've been changed inside" (Katrina).
"I know that there was life before this life, and I know there is life after death. I also know that this life is a testing period, kind of a school. And that the people on both sides -- in the life prior to this life (pre-mortal spirit life), and those that are living in the spirit world after having died -- are concerned about us and care about us. I think that the ones in the spirit world, after death, have more contact with us than those who have not yet been born. I know that our deceased relatives are alive. I believe that when we pray and invite them to be with us they are allowed to come, if they are worthy. In order for them to visit us we must invite them, otherwise they can't come. Finally, I know that the spirit world is so peaceful and calm, and we are all going to be so happy there, that if we knew what it was like...well, there is no way we would want to stay on earth" (Jean).
"It's just that there are no guarantees in life. Things change in a split second. I mean, it just took a phone call to tell me that my dad, my brother, and my husband were dead. Life goes so fast you can't take anything for granted. You don't forget the 'I love yous' and the flowers, and the letters. And you should try to be the best you can to people around you" (Joy Melvin).
"Death is a tragedy for those who are left behind. But death, as you indicated, is no big deal. What is important is living our lives so that we feel good about what we are doing for others and for our Heavenly Father. We should work to increase our faith in Jesus Christ, through personal revelation. We should obtain all the knowledge we can of the scriptures -- and true theology -- which presupposes that in order to know the truth we have to receive revelation" (Garry Gillum).
"My hope is that people will develop the love for our Father in Heaven and for His Son Jesus Christ, the kind of love that they have for us. You see, He loved me, He loved my children...He loved me enough, as involved as He is, to find us in our desperate time of need. And to extend that love to us in a very practical way. I asked (God) to please help us, I asked Him and He listened. I knew it was from Him -- absolutely" (Marcia Anderson).
These are the fruits of those who have entered the Kingdom of the True God, the Lord of the Resurrection, Jesus Christ. And it is by the fruits of a doctrine that we must ultimately weigh it by.
Reincarnation, by its very nature, is an egotistical, self-seeking philosophy and at total variance with the nature of the true God. It is an ugly, frightening doctrine because it is not rooted in love. The fact that it is sophisticated and is backed by a complex esoteric doctrine does not prove it right.
For every truth there is an opposite lie. For every realm of spiritual experience with the true Christ, there is an opposite realm of mystical experience with darkness. So many people who believe in reincarnation have had mystical experiences which they presume is in itself the seal of truth. But there have always been two kinds of mystical experience, the one from God and the other from unseen powers of darkness. And to complicate the issue, there are the legionary fantasies of unregenerate human minds.
The world is a battleground where light and darkness compete for ascendancy. Our life, as the scriptures and the testimonies of those who have crossed the veil into heaven testify, is a testing ground. We are here for a purpose: to choose between right and wrong, and in choosing right, choose the author of truth, the Master Yah'shua the Messiah (Lord Jesus Christ).
If you have been troubled by the doctrine of reincarnation and would like to know more about the purpose of life, please email us.
A Revelation from Heaven
The following is an extract of a revelation or Word of Knowledge received through the Presiding Patriarch of the Holy Order on the subject of reincarnation (OB 155). It was received in July 1989:
...I (Yah'shua the Messiah/Jesus Christ) am the Lord of the Resurrection, and the resurrection is the fruit of My work at Calvary, even as I have already spoken unto thee. I am resurrected, which meaneth that I have taken up My mortal body, and it hath become inseparably connected unto My Ruach (Spirit), never to be divided in death again. And I am glorified....
Consider, O man, the truth of Yahweh, which is plain and simple to understand: there is but one resurrection of a man, being in the likeness of his one spirit, which was made in the image of the Elohimhead (Godhead). And man receiveth but one body, in which body he shall be resurrected by grace, whether his deeds be good or evil, unless he is of Perdition and receiveth no resurrection at all.
No man or woman can deny this and call himself My disciple for these things are written plainly that even a child may discern them. For man there is but one life and one probation in which he is given to choose; and if he chooseth the right, he receiveth the resurrection of the just. But if he chooseth wrongly, rebelling against Elohim (God) and the Light which was given him at birth, he receiveth the resurrection of the unjust.
The doctrine of reincarnation is a doctrine of the devil....There are some who say that reincarnation is Satan's way of salvation, that a man may escape the wheel of rebirth by accepting Me as Saviour; that those who do not accept Me are born again and again, until they accept Me.
O the foolishness of carnal man! For a while thou believed this doctrine and wast caught in the lie, for if a man is born again and again until he accepteth Me, are not all men saved [equally] in the end? Never at any time hath the Father said that all would be saved in the end, for such denieth the Law of Justice. And if there is no justice, there is no mercy; and if there is no mercy, there is no love; for there is an Elohim (God) in Heaven....
There are bot two laws operating in this sphere -- the one of Satan and the one of My Father -- for Satan is the lawless one and is incapable of sustaining any law of rebirth, for he hath no power to cause even one soul to be reborn again.
The doctrine of reincarnation is the doctrine of Lucifer by which means he hoped to save all the souls of men if the Father would send Him as Saviour, for he was jealous and coveted the call of the Son of Elohim (God) who was the Son from the Beginning.
I am the Son, and I was in the beginning with My Father. Lucifer was never equal to Me in dominion and light but was a malak (angel). He hath neither the knowledge nor the power to tabernacle the souls of men, which power the Father would not give him anyway, for all that Satan toucheth defileth. Supposest thou that My Father would allow the enemy of all righteousness to defile innocent souls embarking on their journey into incarnation? What kind of an Elohim (God) would permit such a thing?
Satan hath no body and shall never receive a body, being forver damned as a spirit because of his rebellion of Heaven. He denieth the resurrection because in him there is no power of resurrection. For the power of the resurrection is an infinite atonement, which cometh only of infinite love, even the love of Elohim (God) the Father.
Satan cannot sacrifice for anyone, for there is not one particle of love within him. He stealeth Light from the earth by corrupting nature, both men and beasts, and from this stolen Light he worketh much evil. Yea, and he obtaineth Light according to the immutable Law of the Father, which is the One Law in all created things, only he worketh through the dark side, or mirror, which is the counterfeit law that Satan seeketh to bind men and women unto.
That man might experience opposition it was necessary in the Plan established by the Father that this was so, that evil and sin might have opportunity to flourish also, and that a man might choose for himself...
Those who believe in the doctrine of reincarnation do not believe in the resurrection of the flesh but in a spiritual resurrection of which they know not. The doctrine of reincarnation denieth the work of the cross and the [physical] resurrection.
The Son of man hath died once for all for the sins of man (Heb.7:27; 1 Pet.3:18; Rom.6:10). And man is appointed but once to die, and then cometh the judgment (Heb.9:27). Have I not told you these things before? Then why to ye believe the doctrines of the devil? If a man is appointed to die but once, shall he be appointed to die again, and again, and again? Such is the intelligence of fallen man, but it is foolishness unto Elohim (God).
Ye shall not receive any into the New Covenant who believe in the doctrine of reincarnation for it is as the serpent in Eden. Ye shall preach against it, for it is a doctrine of hell and is the doctrine of the antichrist, even he who is now in the world. It is born of a vain and devilish mind, which mind cannot know the works of Elohim (God).
Ye cannot say that ye are prisoners of the cycles of reincarnation and must receive Me in order to break out of them, for ye are prisoners only of your sins, and of he who is the author of sin who hath power over you. Ye cannot break out of something which is not, and never will be; therefore cease to trouble yourselves over such things.
Ye have but one life, and ye shall die but once; and after ye have died, then is the repentance which ye could have worked here at an end also, that none may procrastinate the day of repentance, nor postpone it unto another life, but receive their just reward. Is Elohim (God) unjust? Nay, then cease to deny His justice and His mercies, but work out your salvation in fear and trembling before the night cometh wherein no labour can be pereformed.
I am true and faithful, and he who cometh unto Me need never fear, not shall he be disappointed. Even so. Amen.
This page was created on 27 December 1997
Last updated on 28 December 2012
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