Joyce Kramer: The Cycle of Life 4
The Case for Reincarnation
I thought all of you had been doing some thinking as we go along in our study and giving consideration to the cycle of life. Because it’s important as we continue to upon life itself, to see it as this process, an ongoing process and not something that just stops at a given point and starts at a given point. That is an evolving process. And this means that we are always involved in it. It’s easy for us as human beings, when we go through some difficult experiences in life, to somehow believe that this is the end. That this is the most difficult thing we’ve had to face. That our world is going to fall apart as a result of it and so on.
And yet, if we are able to begin to look at what’s happening as a part of the very process of life, and often as cleaning out the old to get ready for something better, we can handle the difficulties that come to us with a great deal more ease. As we consider the way that the soul travels as we had on your chart last night, the movement or flow between dimensions, between the physical and the spiritual, knowing that the death on the physical is the birth on the spiritual, that the death on the spiritual leads to the birth on the physical. So there is a moving process that souls go or follow.
We try to [inaudible 00:01:49] through this process to continue to gain, to grow, to come ever close to the expression of this divinity that is within. We have many opportunities to express our divinity. We have many opportunities for growth and unfoldment. In addition, we find that through the soul’s return to earth, there are new opportunities for developing the latent powers and abilities and talents that lie within. As people begin to grow, we do find that sometimes they start getting a little frustrated because they feel they do not have time to develop all the talents they would really like to develop.
And I suspect that if you would look deep within yourself, you will find some area of interest right now that you have done nothing about and yet there is this deep feeling of wanting to at some time in the future. We return to our previous process of rebirth and continue to work out our course towards God, to grow ever more into that image and likeness of which we are created. In the doing of this, we find that we develop character. We take upon ourselves greater qualities with each experience that we meet and we face and overcome. Many of you have read the books by Raymond Moody, Experiences through Death and Back. The book Life After Life and Reflections on Life After Life. And there are now some others on the market as well.
But these are descriptive of the experiences that people go through when they die. They do not stay dead, but come back to life. This is why we have their experiences. But he tells the impressions that these people have. The different impressions that people gain as they go through this process. And they differ a great deal. For some, it is a time of peace and tranquility, simply a resting. For others. It is a time that they feel freer than they have for a long time and often feel free of the body itself. And in many cases, the person felt that they were looking down at their body and yet not in the body itself.
There were some people who reported experiences somewhat like going through a tunnel that was rather dark, but with a warm, bright light at the end. There were others who reported seeing someone that they knew, some deceased friend of the past. There were those who described sound such is the sound of a gentle wind. But one thing that they all seemed to agree on that it was almost impossible to put their experience into our usual words. That something had happened within them, that they couldn’t really adequately describe. And isn’t this true of many of the experiences that we go through in life that are very meaningful to us?
It can be a very moving experience within our own soul. It can touch upon a great deal of beauty and a great deal of love and lots of good feelings. But what happens when you try to tell someone else about it? Often, you can’t really relate it in the way that they are able to feel the way that you feel about it. And this shows the very inadequacy of our words in expressing the feelings and particularly deep soul experiences that we go through. There were, in some cases, just as you find and have been reported, many instances of people who go through near deaths, such as through drowning and so forth. Where felt they saw their whole life pass before them very quickly. It was like a review of what they had gone through in a particular life experience. Seeming to take a long time and yet usually taking only a matter of seconds.
In the book, Reflections on Life After Life, Dr. Moody mentions some work with those who had come near suicide. And these people reported that they went through more of a gray zone where things weren’t really too comfortable, that some of them felt they were seeing other people who were sort of wandering aimlessly around.
And certainly, it is a shock to the soul to go through something as suicide. And because so often with a suicide, the intention is really not to kill themselves, but in many people, it is the hoping it will go to a certain point and end there. And then, when surprisingly enough, it works the soul often goes through a shock because there are many reasons that people attempt suicide. And sometimes it’s to manipulate others to get their attention and for various other purposes. And certainly, the disturbed mind is usually very much apparent in the near suicides.
There was another study recently that has taken place by a professor of psychology at the University of Connecticut. And he studied the reports of about a hundred more people who had gone through these experiences through death and back. He classed them into five different stages, depending upon what had happened to the individual. The first stage was the stage of tremendous happiness. That although all body sensations were gone, there was still the feeling of a very deep joy. The second stage was when they noticed the detachment from the body. That they were no longer with the body, were able to perceive the body, but not be at the body.
The third stage, and he seems to feel that this is sort of the way the further people move away from this life experience, that these are the stages that they go through. The third was the more peaceful type of floating but yet not into light yet, but into sort of a state of semi-darkness. Where it was not too apparent of exactly what was going on. And then the fourth was a movement into light. If they were previously in a tunnel, they came out of it into very brilliant light. And it was a sense of warmth, a sense of total wellbeing. And this seemed to be the stage that people would reach that they would resist the idea of coming back until, maybe, something would come along that would help to trigger off the desire to return to the body.
An instance would be with the person who remembered, maybe a mother who remembered that she had a small child that needed her. And just that memory as it came into mind would cause the desire to live and to return to the earth plane. And at this stage was where only a small percentage of those who went through this experience, those that he tested and talked to, went into what they called a world of light. That everything seemed bright and beautiful. And they also were aware of other souls who had moved on from the earth.
But as we give thought to this, it helps us to come to the awareness that perhaps death is not the frightening experience that we have often believed it to be. And therefore we can overcome some of the fear that has been prevalent regarding death. And this is important for each one of us because although if we do believe in reincarnation and the return of the soul, to the earth plane, there is still this interval of time between. And something happens immediately after death that is not involved with the return of the soul.
We want to think, for a little bit, about the concept of reincarnation. The more research that I have done, the more study time I have given to it, I feel that this basically is a teaching of all the great religions. It has been handed down through the ages. There are a number of reasons why we resist the idea of reincarnation. And one of them, perhaps as simple as that man has a great resistance to having to do much thinking for himself. And the concept of the heaven or hell is much simpler to subscribe to than reincarnation because the minute you talk about reincarnation you got to start thinking about what this really means.
It is believed that reincarnation was deliberately dropped from the Christian beliefs because of the need for emphasis upon individual effort and individual work. And if it was felt that people had all the time that they could have to do things that obviously, since they’re already sinful by nature, they’re not going to do anything. They’re just going to go through a state of lethargy and inactivity and would not be involved in the real and true process of doing the things that needed to be done.
And of course, because of this and people striving to live fully in, perhaps one life, we have come up with very much of a materialistic society with attention given primarily to material things. Because it’s like, “I must strive for them right now and get them because I don’t have much longer.” And this is a belief whether we even define it as such or not, if you observe the actions of people, you will see that this has some validity. The idea that I’ve got to hurry up and live because time is short.
And there’s nothing wrong with seeking to live well on a day by day basis but until people begin to understand the concepts of reincarnation and some of the purposes and reasons behind, there is a tendency to not be too excited about what’s happening now. Because we can take two different approaches to this idea of life. We can get lost in saying that, “Sure, I have lived before.” And we can give attention to what we have done, what we think we have done before and maybe what somebody else thinks we have done before and thereby avoid life. Or even endure life, because we think we’re paying a Karmic debt. Or we can move on the other hand and endure life because we think that we’re going to be rewarded for it later.
So we need to do some real thinking about what our individual particular belief about reincarnation is. One of the greatest defenses against the belief in reincarnation, or seems to be, is the fact that we do not often remember past lives. And people will say, “Well, if I lived before, surely I would know it.” And some people do. But one of the interesting things is when we start asking ourselves, “How much do we really remember about this life?” Don’t you find that if you are trying to search your memory or trying to bring something back to your remembrance, that often it takes them jogging your memory to even go back.
I remember somebody saying that our lack of memory of past lives is one of the blessings God has given to man. Because we often can’t handle even what’s going on in the one life, such as unresolved guilts and the worries and concerns that we have had during an experience. The example was given the woman who refused to forgive and forget her husband’s mistake that was made 20 years ago. What if she had a dozen mates and a dozen mistakes? The sense of guilt could be overwhelming, couldn’t it? And the sense of resentment and bitterness could destroy her completely.
But I do believe that there are only a few specifics of this lifetime remembered. But one of the things that you do notice if the soul is coming back to earth, you do have a different body. And this means that you have a different brain, doesn’t it? The different physical mechanism stored within the soul, deep within the subconscious, of course there is the soul memory, but it’s not as quick to come to the forefront of your mind.
You will find that there are people who have had very definite memories of the past and are very much aware of them. But remember that this has been something that has not been accepted for too long. What did they used to do to witches? They burned at stake, weren’t they? What happened when you came up with an unusual religious belief? You were not treated kindly, were you? So people learned to keep their mouth shut because of fear for their lies. And then when it no longer became a matter of so much fear for their lives, what’s the next thing you fear? Opinions of others.
Because you really don’t want everybody else to think that you’re a stupid or something. And when you start feeding back to the average human mind, something of this nature, don’t you find it’s often rejected? So we’ve learned to be very careful at those people who do have past life memories. Not all people, because some enjoy the attention it gets. But as a rule, most people, because of the lack of clarity perhaps, and because of the depth of the feeling associated with it, do not talk easily about their experiences.
It is important for each one of us, no matter what the experiences in the past, to realize that we have not lost the value gained by those experiences. That the experience itself was of less importance than the lesson learned by it. And you find that the strength that you built, The deep feelings that you had, the conclusions you came to, have all stayed with you. And they are a part of being that individual that you are today. So they’ve not been lost. Just as we, in our outer world, don’t have to recall all the details about everything we do. We just do them because we have learned so is this true about the experiences from past lives.
When you go out to drive your car home, you don’t stop and think about every detail regarding your driving the car home, do you? Or what it’s made up, all the mechanism and everything. We don’t stop and even think about it anymore than when someone decides to bake a cake, they really have to go through this long analyzing process. They simply do it because it is a learned thing. And we learn things in this life experience as well as we have learned in others.
There are those people who, because of maybe a curious state of mind or whatever, try to remember or either end up going to someone else who claims to be able to tell them about their past lives. A lot of people have been turned off by this sort of thing because nobody going back to someone to find out about yourself, really wants to find out that you were a pretty rotten person. You want to be Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, somebody that’s great.
And if you listen to people talk particularly in our part of the country where there’s a lot of emphasis on this, you’ll find there are a lot of people professing to be the same personality because of the desire to be noticed, the desire to be important. And this can almost, as I pretty close to made the mistake of doing, get yourself turned off with the concept completely because you don’t like what’s being done with it and the games that people end up playing regarding an idea.
Do you ever stop to think that if there is something that you really need to know from the past, that it will come to you? And if you are still at that stage where you need somebody to go back and start prying around, it’s very likely you don’t need to know and have nothing to gain from it. But when we are thinking of this intelligent spirit of God that works within us, it is able to bring to our mind, whatever we need to know whenever we need to now it.
And a lot of times the things that come to our mind, it makes no difference where we’ve learned the lesson or what we need to remember. It’s just the basic idea that comes to us. And where it came from in the past is a little significance because you will find that in your present state of awareness, there are some things that are very ordinary and very easy for you today, but you went through all kinds of problems to arrive at this place. The fact that you have arrived and are aware of it is of much more important than what all you went through in order to get here.
So we do need to think through our reasoning behind the seeking out to find specifics and times and places and so on. If we continue to look upon life as a school we will see each life as an opportunity for growth and to grow closer to God in our awareness. We find that in much of life, we go through times of primarily self-servingness where we are just as the infant comes into the world, we’re giving a attention only to our needs, our physical outer needs. Then after a period of time, we began to start giving attention to the mental needs. But it often takes many people a long time to get to that point that they even start thinking about taking care of their many mental needs.
And then we move into the spiritual. And yet all of our needs need to be met, but they should not become the object of our existence. Just like many people live only for fulfilling the outer physical needs and the fulfillment of the outer physical needs become the object of existence. That’s a pretty poor reason to exist if there’s not more to it than that.
But as we grow and move along in this school of life, we find that we become more concerned about adding the understanding that we have to our world about sharing the truth that we have been able to find with other people. And this is a method of service, is it not? Because first, our service, as we even began to give out of ourselves, usually our service first centers around fulfilling people’s physical needs. So we start their pattern just like we started our own. But then the further we grow in understanding, the more we begin to see that physical needs taken care of only is a temporary thing.
But if you teach a person and help them to understand the laws of life, they are able to take care of their own physical needs. This is why it becomes much more important to teach people and to help people grow in understanding than it does simply to enjoy giving handouts. Because that is very short term and continues to perpetuate the same thing over the years. It was last year, I believe, when I was here, went to Kansas City when they had one of the positive thinking rallies and noticed some statistics that one of the speakers gave. That in Los Angeles County alone, there were 39,000 people on welfare for the third generation.
Third generation. This shows you what we do to people when we accustom them to taking care of their physical needs without having to exert any effort on their part. And what are we doing in that way, but also impairing their ability to ever grow in understanding spiritually. So we’re not doing any helping, we’re depriving. There are a few honest cases of people who, because of disease or sickness or some type of disability cannot do for themselves. But this is not the greater percentage of people that we are having on welfare these days.
And we need to look at this from a spiritual standpoint and see what we are doing for people. Because it all grew out of this concept of doing good that great big me is going to do something for poor little you. So poor little you will stay right where you are. And we won’t put it that bluntly, but this is really what it amounts to, isn’t it? Because it still gives us the feeling of superiority and inferiority. Where if we are willing to help people to grow in understanding, then we see that they are able to move on the pathway of life also, just as we are.
So in our growth process, whether it’s through or in one life or in many lives, we are rethinking our attitudes towards service. Knowing that it is just as essential to give out and to share our knowledge and understanding with others as it is to receive. And in fact, it is the only way in which our knowledge continues to increase as when we use what we have by giving out of what we do understand.
Man has been given the opportunity to evolve into a higher state of awareness in each life experience. And we would say for the most part it compares very much with our opportunity in one life experience. We can make, of our one life experience, what we will. But because we do not think through what life is all about, sometimes we just don’t exert effort to make our life all it should be. Just as some people have found it easier to enjoy their problem or difficulty, even though it hurts than to exert the effort that it takes to get out of it. So we can go through many lifetimes, not exerting very much effort. And then we become what appears to be the victim of life. It’s not really, but you see, we are simply allowing ourselves to be acted upon just as a long thinking being.
And yet, since we do have an intelligent mind and the very spirit of God that is within, there is no need for this to happen. We should be constantly striving to grow in understanding. We should constantly be seeking higher values in our life. And if we are truly seeking, we can be assured that our growth will take place. But it takes energy, it takes effort, it takes persistence, doesn’t it? For often, it’s easier to get excited about spiritual things. And particularly when you get here for a couple of weeks.
You can get so turned on with spiritual things and all of a sudden, where do you find yourself? Back in the world, don’t you? And you don’t have all these supportive people around who think how great you are. And then it becomes easy to drop back to stop exerting the effort that is needful for spiritual growth. Our true inner growth toward God comes from effort and work and not from subscribing to a set of dogmatic beliefs. Just accepting a group of beliefs will never lead us toward God. But we have to be involved in work and effort.
Think of reincarnation from another standpoint. How do you see the possibilities or what do you see as the possibility for what happens to you after death on a long term basis? Because you don’t have too many alternatives that we seem to have thought up at this point.
And as you give time and consideration to the possibilities, I think, to me at least, reincarnation makes the most sense. And I tend toward those things that seem very logical, very reasonable. And that seem to have a degree of intelligence in the answer because reincarnation does give sensible explanation to many things in life. It would seem to me an awful waste if we only just lived one time. It would seem to me to be incompatible with all of our universal laws because even nature does better than that. Don’t you find this recycling process in nature itself?
Why should this be so different from in the life of man? I believe that reincarnation is logical because it gives opportunity for the progressive movement of the human soul. It’s easy talk to talk about having a soul, but we need to think about what it is and what’s happening. It’s not just enough for most of us to say, “Well, I know something happens after death.” What? It provides, certainly, a lot of logical explanations to questions that have puzzled men down through the centuries.
It seems to give a sensible, a sound reason for this belief in immortality. And certainly, we’ve been taught of the immortality of the soul down through the ages. If we believe that the spirit is eternal, that man continues to exist as all of life continues, then we need to ask ourself, “How is this possible? What are the possible ways in which this could happen?” The idea of reincarnation often explains a lot of human relationships, I think. Have you ever met a person that you immediately felt an affinity for and you really hardly knew the person at all?
Or on the other hand, met a person that for no logical reason, you simply didn’t want to be around. I remember reading the story of two little boys, probably about seven and eight who met for the first time. And both of them up to that point had been very peaceful, normal children. But when they put the two of them together, it was a continuous battle. And there was not anything in specific that caused it because they started fighting about a half a minute after they met for the first time. What was it that could cause some type of response of this nature because that’s illogical and unreasonable, isn’t it? Just to meet somebody that you’ve never known before and all of a sudden you want to hit them?
But you find many things of this nature happening. We also are very aware and probably some of you are aware of places that you’ve been, that you have felt like you’ve been there before. Have you ever had this happen? Or even a knowledge about a certain place that was very apparent at a given time and yet in your earthly experience this time you had no contact whatsoever, even through books. This is what causes people often to feel at home in strange places and with what would be strange groups of people because of the affinity of the soul that has gone through experiences in the past and then there is the feeling of being at ease.
If we believe in reincarnation, we find that it does give us a greater sense of meaning to our own particular life experience if we can see it in a larger perspective, rather than just this one time shot. Because it does make more sense as we see that even in this life experience, that we are evolving and growing. That our understanding is increasing. That our ability to overcome negative emotions, for example, usually increases as we go along spiritually. I think reincarnation is a very constructive, optimistic view of life. Because it shows faith in God and faith in this continuity of life that allows nothing and no effort to be lost.
And I do not believe that anything is really lost. And if we can understand it from that perspective and began to see it in relationship to this whole continuity of life, it encourages us to exert that effort to build character, knowing that all the good we build into our thinking and feeling is of lasting value. All the overcoming that we make of hates and resentments and negative emotion is a lasting thing. Our learning, for example, to become more peaceful with people and peaceful with other people, other different people, others than our own culture, other than our own race and so on.
This is an overcoming that we often need to make. And once we do, it stays with us. An English poet, John Masefield, wrote,
I HOLD that when a person dies
His soul returns again to earth;
Arrayed in some new flesh-disguise
Another mother gives him birth.
And it is true that we are growing and evolving as we come along. Haven’t you noticed that you’ll hear people say, in fact, I heard somebody and maybe in another class, say you notice how much smarter kids are today than they used to be? And we can contribute part of that to television and other things. But you observe children coming into the world, many of them with a greater understanding than even we had when we came in. This is what is responsible for progress in our civilization, isn’t it? Because not only do you see people as our civilization evolves, the standard of living is constantly being upgraded.
The value placed upon human life is much more today than it used to be. You are seeing an evolving process take place. But of course, we can look upon reincarnation and think, “Well, it’s kind of simple in theory, the idea of coming back but I have a feeling it’s very complex and detail.” And this is why we can’t go but so far in our understanding. We’d need to continue to look to search to seek to grow in understanding ourself of our particular place, our purpose in this whole cycle of life in which we are involved.
Have you ever observed small babies coming into the world or those who are just, maybe, a few hours or a few days old? Haven’t you ever seen one that looks like a very old, angry person? I had some experience a few years ago with a little boy. And I couldn’t believe this infant. He was the most unhappy looking little character I have ever seen in my whole life. If he dropped a Kleenex, he screamed. Everything, irritated him, everything. It didn’t matter what it was. And he looked like a very old man for about the first three months of his life. And he conducted himself in that way for longer than that.
In fact, his parents had to do a great deal of work, give a lot of time and attention to this child so that he could get to that point that he could enjoy the normal experiences of a child. What is it that would cause a child to come into the world like that had it not been for some soul memory and something that he was involved in his own thinking and feeling? But if you begin to observe things of this nature, you will find that differences, even in tiny infants, often give some indications that you have to observe. Don’t be judgemental and decide whether it’s good or bad. That doesn’t matter. But just the observation.
Another thing that happens with children, children often have memories of past lives. But you’ll have parents who put a halt to that because they think they’re daydreaming or that they’re being silly. For example, the little boy who resisted his mother tremendously, because he said, “You can’t tell me what to do. You’re not my mother, you’re my sister.” And this went through about the first four years of his life before he became at peace with the fact that this lady was really his mother. Is that perhaps a memory of a past experience? And how many little boys like their big sisters telling them what to do? Not very many. It’s a natural resistance, isn’t it?
We came across an instance several years ago of a child that the parents were having a great deal of problem with because every day when his father left to go to work, he was screaming to go to work. Well, at first this seems normal. A child is attached to the parent and he wants to go to work. But this became something that the screaming would go on for hours. And they tried everything that they could think of and everything that anybody else could think of to help to curb this. Nothing worked.
And it was a matter of fact that not only was he screaming, but he was really worried that he keeps saying, “Don’t you understand? I have to go to work.” Until finally, after trying a lot of psychologists, a lot of people, they came across a person who had some understanding of reincarnation, and began to spend time talking with his child. And evidently, the life experience that he had moved out of was very close. And therefore he had so much soul memory and an intense interest to get right back into doing what he had done before. And they discovered that it had been some type of engineering of which he was very, very knowledgeable. This is a four year old, having had no way to know anything about it in this life experience whatsoever.
And there are children who go through some resistance on this idea of coming back into this young body. And they have the feeling, the soul memory that they really shouldn’t be treated as a child. So we need to be alert to this sort of thing. If you will listen to conversations of children, you’ll often find them referring to something from the past. It may not be a specific incident at all. I remember being asked but I could never figure out where it came from, because this was before any awareness of reincarnation, “When are we starting to wear long dresses again?”
And this was at a time that little girls just weren’t wearing long dresses. So is this possibly an indication of the soul who had lived in a time where this was the thing that was done and it seemed strange to be wearing the little cute short dresses that kids normally do. I’m sure some of you are familiar with Walter Russell. He was written about by Glenn Clark as the man who tapped the secrets of the universe. A very unusual person that believed that with God working through him, he could excel at anything that he chose to do.
And about every seven years, he changed what he was choosing to do. And he excelled in many major fields. But he said, when someone was questioning him about his great ability in science, in music, in art, in sculpture, which were but a few of the things he was involved in. He said a great deal of work and a great deal of discipline in maintaining a consciousness of God through many lifetimes is responsible. Because in most of the things that he excelled in, he had had very little formal training during this life experience such as music and yet he composed some.
And certainly, we do find many different instances of people who have been very creative in this way who do not feel that it’s anything so unusual simply because they came into the world with a lot of the knowledge and understanding necessary. We have examples of this throughout history Of people that we have a tendency to term genius, don’t we? How does a four year old compose music? Mozart did. How do these children come in able to deal and to work with tremendously difficult mathematical problems and have had absolutely no training?
We are each given the opportunity to express God in our own individual, unique way. But it is also up to us to exert the effort, to use our talents and do and express in a way that we feel right and comfortable about. I believe that some people waste a life experience because they stay in a profession and an occupation they detest for several reasons. It could be for many different reasons, but sometimes it’s nothing but pressure.
Somebody’s father was a doctor so the family expects that the son is going to be a doctor as well. And so, they put these emotional strains and pressures that we talked about last night. They are there, or even if invisible, and there is an obligation felt to perform, even though the person could care less. And then because of our very strong materialistic beliefs, we often have people who stay in job situations that they do not feel comfortable with, that they gain little from except they get a two week paid vacation a year, some sick leave and early retirement. We don’t need to sell our souls for such as this.
And yet you only have to look around you and find people who are doing it. Because it sometimes is the easy way, isn’t it? It may make you uncomfortable, it may make you unhappy but yet it seems to be, for many, the easy way to assure that all the outer needs are being met with having to exert very little effort. As we think further along this idea of reincarnation, one of the traditional questions that always arises is that if reincarnation, if there is validity in reincarnation, why is it not mentioned in the Bible?
And we certainly do not find the word reincarnation anywhere in the Bible, that’s for certain. Remember that one of our so-called Church Fathers, Origen, came up with a great difficulty at the council of Constantinople because the belief in preexistence was denounced. Now, it was not all reincarnation, but the belief in pre-existence. Because he was a strong believer that the soul had existed before.
You find also, the tremendous whole that the state had upon the church having an effect upon the beliefs. And you must entertain those beliefs that are profitable to the state. And that enable there to be a certain element of control of the people. It is also felt that when such a belief as reincarnation is accepted by all of the people in any given place, that there’s no need to mention it as such. Just as we kind of accept the weather on a day to day basis, we may use it as a topic of conversation. But if we are writing, we’re not usually going to take time in each thing to tell what the weather’s like. We just know that we are involved in certain atmospheric conditions.
Malachi, the last of the old testament prophets prophesied the reincarnation of Elijah. He said, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the Lord.” And Jesus said, “Elijah has already come and you knew him not.” And he spoke of who? John, the Baptist. John, the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus. In another instance, we find a reference to an attitude of Herod. That Herod was perplexed. Some said that John had risen from the dead. Some that Elias had appeared, and others that one of the old prophets had risen again.
So you see there are references to this idea of some of the people coming back once again. There are certain other allusions to the idea of reincarnation if you want to look them up. Matthew 16:17, Matthew 22:42, Revelations 5:5, Revelations 22:16, Malachi 4:5. And there are some others you may find as you do some reading in your Bible.
I think we probably are long overdue in doing some more research on this idea of reincarnation and see how the evolution of thought regarding it has come down through the ages. Because there has been an evolution of thought. And in my opinion, it has had a very definite effect upon Christianity itself. And we certainly are finding now in more people, a different religious faiths who do believe in reincarnation.
Recently, I had a conversation with my neighbors and she is a very strong Catholic and he is very strong Presbyterian. And they were asking me a question. I said, “Well, I really can’t answer unless I tell you that I believe in reincarnation.” He says, “So what? So do I?” And she says, “So do I.”
So people’s minds are not as closed as we tend to think they are. But I think a lot of people are experiencing things somewhat like I did when this first came along in my thinking. I heard so many people play games with it that I wanted no part of it. And these were the people who were always somebody great and were explaining their inadequacies away because they were fulfilling their karma and all this sort of nonsense.
And all of us are guilty of allowing ourselves to be turned off by things that seem undesirable and unreasonable. But we do need to take the time to give some intelligent thought to the concept and to get away from just an emotional judgment. Because a lot of things relative to death and to the death experience itself as we talked about last night, we dealt with the emotional judgements that we make instead of intelligent judgements. Because of beliefs that have been handed down for so long.
We’ll be back in here again, I understand, on Monday. We’ll move a little further into some of the ideas of reincarnation and also continue moving into the concept of regeneration and back in our cycle to life itself because all of it is a part of the process of life. Thank you.