Friday, August 31, 2012

Pagan Blog Post - R is for Reincarnation

Growing up JW, I was taught to believe that the "dead are conscious of nothing at all." (Insert bible scripture here.) So when you die, that's it. No heaven, no hell, no purgatory. But there's hope of a resurrection after a whole bunch of stuff happens. This created some questions like, what if you die by fire? What about stillborn babies? What about aborted babies if you believe life begins at conception? JWs do not believe that the soul is separate from the physical bodies; if you are alive, then you are a living soul and if you are dead, you are a dead soul.

I'm not still sure of my views on reincarnation. I now believe that the physical self is different from the spiritual self. When I was JW, it was never fully explained how Jehovah would resurrect the dead. People would get a new physical body like Jesus apparently did. But this still didn't make sense. What about what makes me, me?

Some Buddhists believe in reincarnation; other believe in rebirth. These two concepts are not the same. Reincarnation implies that the soul or spiritual essence (what make you, you) endures and inhabits a new physical presence when the current one dies. Rebirth is when the "background noise" of the soul moves on and takes with it all karmic residue of the previous lives. At any rate, there is no holding place. As soon as you die, you are immediately reborn or reincarnated. Based on your karma stores, you may not even come back as human or even in the same realm that you are in currently.

Some NeoPagans / Wiccans believe that the soul goes to Summerland which from what I understand is some sort of waiting room. What Summerland looks like is anyone's guess but it's not good or bad; it just is. Souls that are done reincarnating stay there for eternity and assist other souls returning to the land of the living.

There is conflicting information on whether the ancient Egyptians believed in reincarnation. They certainly believed in the afterlife.

Well science doesn't exactly support reincarnation but hear me out. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. It merely changes its form. This is a known and accepted law of physics. It is also proven that the human body produces energy. The brain has electric impulses. Our memories are formed via electrical impulses and a whole bunch of other stuff that I'm not going to get into.

Since energy cannot be created or destroyed, what happens to the energy when our physical body dies? For the purpose of this post, I'm defining this energy as the soul. OK, so we have a lifeless physical body and a soul that is now homeless. Where does it go? Ah, the age old question. I like the idea of a holding place (Summerland) but I can't reconcile my essence going into another body without any prior knowledge of my current existence.

So, I can't say that I personally believe in reincarnation but my beliefs are constantly evolving. I do believe in an afterlife but beyond that, I have no idea.


  1. This is a subject close to my heart. But placing my feelings into words on this is difficult. I feel that we continue. That we are multi-dimensional and this life is us in this time and place and dimension. That the summer lands is another dimension inwhich we also currently exist. And as we reincarnate it is more like layers of clothing rather than a singular linear experience. Perhaps it is like looking at the center of a tree with all its rings. Each ring denotes an experience of time and place but the tree was there the entire that not quite it...but it is somewhat close

  2. It works kind of like this. What do you remember (actually remember, not told) from when you were 6 months old? 1 year? 2 years old?
    If you're like most people your earliest memories are from age 4 or 5. As you age the younger years fade away from your memories. You're still you but not quite the same you as when you were young.
    At least that's how I see it.

  3. I believe in reincarnation but still contemplating what "form" one comes back in. I know it's a very touching subject for one. I don't believe in Heaven or Hell but I do know there is a better place. A place of limbo as in Summerland. Great post sis!

  4. Hi Brenda. We talk on twitter. I am Wiccan and believe on Summerland where soul go to rest and then when the time comes they are reborn into new bodies buts its still the same soul. Our soul or Higher Self remembers all our lives and we pick specific themes or lessons to learn in each lifetime. That's how I see it and how it's been told to me. I feel it resonate in my heart.