10 things everyone should know about reincarnation

Around the world, many people—perhaps the majority overall—accept a belief in reincarnation as part of their religion.

Not many people in the West believe in it, though. In fact, many scoff at the very idea and regard it as nonsense.

This is largely because in the West we are enamored with the benefits of scientific knowledge and increasingly sceptical of the old religions—rightly so, in my view. The knowledge science provides can be systematically checked to ensure that it is valid and reliable. This is why it is of such great value.

But it is not necessarily the only source of knowledge that is valid and reliable.

Besides, what science can see is limited to that which is physical and objective. Reality itself is not necessarily so limited. If we limit our understanding of what reality can be to just what science can see, we are leaving ourselves half-blind.

A wealth of information is now available from a wide variety of sources which, despite their differences, give surprisingly coherent and mearningful insights into the nature of the soul and its evolution.

Thanks to a combination of channelled teachings, insights from near-death experiences, reports of hypnotic regression, transpersonal experiences induced by meditation, breath-work or psychoactive substances, after-death communications, and even scientific research into children’s spontaneous descriptions of their past lives, it is now possible to put together a very clear picture of reincarnation.

Regardless of the medium (no pun intended), the message is consistent. Whether one regards such information as factual knowledge or as loony nonsense depends upon one’s openness to non-physical sources of information.

Interestingly, in light of this accumulation of knowledge, we can now see that even within those Eastern cultures that believe in reincarnation, many people’s understanding of it is confused by all sorts of religious doctrines that are just plain wrong.

So, here are ten things about reincarnation which I think are valid and reliable and which I believe everyone—East or West—would benefit from knowing:

10 things everyone should know about reincarnation

1. The soul exists.

  • The soul isn’t just a myth or an illusion or a relic of pre-scientific superstition. All human beings are a combination of physical, mortal body and non-physical, immortal soul.
  • Your soul is the absolute essence of you — the only true answer to the question, “Who am I?” It is who you always are regardless of how you feel or what you believe or how you perceive yourself.
  • From the body’s perspective, the soul is the conscious, animating life force within it. From the soul’s perspective, the body is a vehicle for inhabiting the physical world and experiencing physical existence.
  • The soul is pure consciousness, pure energy, pure being. It exists on a timeless, non-physical level of reality. It is a piece of Spirit or God or Source, a spark of divine light and love, a fragment of absolute perfection.

2. The soul evolves.

  • All souls are on a mission to evolve (grow, develop) through their own experiences and efforts.
  • To evolve as a soul is to become increasingly self-aware and self-capable as a unique expression of Spirit.
  • By evolving, the soul changes in its level of beingness and consciousness, from new-born innocence to greater and greater levels of love, power and wisdom. In effect, that which is created rejoins the Creator — after eons of evolution.

3. The soul evolves most effectively in physical form.

  • Evolution of the soul comes about through individual experience and choice.
  • A soul evolves most effectively by facing and making choices as a separate individual, making choices big and small, and experiencing the effects of each choice.
  • To do so, the soul incarnates — that is, the soul fuses with a physical body for a whole lifetime, from birth to death.
  • By doing so, the soul gets to experience being physically limited and physically separated from others and from all-that-is. This is actually an illusion, a trick of the senses, as the soul itself is never really limited or separate. But the illusion creates enough desire, fear and other pressures to cause the soul to experience conflicts and dilemmas and to make choices. It also puts the soul’s own perceptions, feelings and decisions under the microscope, as it were.
  • The experiences and choices of a lifetime serve as lessons for the soul once the life is completed. After death (the soul’s exit from the physical realm), the soul and its guides review what happened during the life and what lessons can be learned from it.
  • The soul not only reviews its own experiences and choices but also discovers the effects of its own choices on others during the life. For example, the decision to steal a sum of money at one point may have caused the victim significant hardship and anxiety.
  • The soul learns that all choices have experiential consequences, not just for the self but for everyone involved.

4. The soul undergoes the full range of meaningful  experiences and choices by reincarnating.

  • One lifetime is not enough to experience the whole gamut of life circumstances and to make all choices. For example, the soul needs to experience life as both male and female; as both victim and perpetrator; as both student and teacher… Hence, the soul re-incarnates many times over in order to experience the full spectrum of life.
  • Being human again and again, each time with a different body, different life circumstances and different relationships, enables the soul to experience the full range of possible perspectives and relationships and all the lessons that these entail.
  • Through many different human experiences, the soul gradually becomes more self-aware, gradually discovers more of its true capabilities (love, power, wisdom), and gradually learns how to overcome the illusory limitations of being physical.
  • Generally, the soul learns best through a “compare and contrast” process, not through blind repetition. Hence any given lifetime may be completely different in some way from the last one. (From the soul’s point of view, there is little value in repeating the same kind of life again and again — unless, that is, there is a specific lesson within that lifestyle which has yet to be learned — in which case, Groundhog Day is an excellent metaphor).
  • Each human lifetime is an opportunity to learn specific lessons. One lifetime, for example, might focus on learning greater self-responsibility while the next might focus on being kinder to others. If in one lifetime the soul experiences being a man with a lot of power over women, say, it would then be of value to contrast that with the experience of being a powerless woman.
  • The soul has no preference for one side of the equation or the other, since both sides help draw out different aspects of the soul.

5. The soul has no nationality, creed, race or gender.

  • There is no such thing as a Jewish soul or a Chinese soul or whatever. We are just souls, and as souls we are free to experience the whole variety of human cultures across the planet.
  • We choose our birth location, race and nationality to suit our purposes for any given lifetime. Sometimes race and creed are a deliberate choice; at other times they are merely incidental to what the life is about.
  • Because the soul learns through a process of “compare and contrast”, one who has just experienced a life as (say) an Israeli soldier might decide to be (say) a Palestinian orphan in the next.
  • There is no such thing as a male soul or a female soul. Gender is a biological phenomenon, not a spiritual one. Human beings are of two sexes and so we have to choose which one to be before each life begins.
  • Because we want to experience, compare and contrast all possible perspectives, we will choose to experience lives as both men and women. We can be male or female as often as we please. We can be male in one lifetime and female the next. Or we can be male for ten lifetimes and female for the next fifty lifetimes. It is all a matter of choice. Even if we have a strong preference for one gender, we will still tend to incarnate as the other gender every now and then, just to maintain a balanced perspective.

6. The soul sticks to one species at a time.

  • Contrary to certain teachings, the souls of human beings reincarnate only as human beings.
  • That’s not to say we did not experience life in simpler life forms before that. But at some point in our earlier evolution, we selected the human species as our vehicle of choice (no pun intended) to evolve as self-aware individuals.
  • The soul’s mission is to expand in consciousness, and there is no value for the soul already at the human level in experiencing life at a “sub-human” level of consciousness. There may be rare exceptions where a soul who is normally human experiments with being a dolphin, say, but as a rule we do not return as insects or cows or blades of grass or what have you. We are spiritual beings on a human journey, learning to be ourselves through human experiences, human relationships and human choices.

7. Each lifetime is pre-planned.

  • Before taking birth, the soul (along with its guides in spirit) will decide what experiences and choices the life should include.
  • The appropriate circumstances and relationships will be chosen and set up with the cooperation and agreement of other souls who will be involved.
    • For example, let’s say the soul wants to experience being compassionate towards children. The soul may decide that the life to come should include its own childhood experience of abandonment by the mother. This would help drive the personality in adult life to want to help abandoned children. Another soul will then agree, out of love, to be the mother who abandons this soul in childhood.
  • Most major events in life are pre-planned: the birth, the family, the school, the relationships, the career and so on. This includes deaths, accidents and illnesses. There is, however, plenty of room for unplanned things to occur. The choices we make on the ground matter far more than “destiny”.
  • The body is also chosen by the soul before birth. Souls are aware of which foetuses are viable and which are not, and which are going to be terminated before birth. (Hence, abortion is not really ‘murder’.)
  • Some lifetimes are explicitly set up for the soul to undergo a particular learning experience (such as being a teacher, for example), while some are actually undertaken for the benefit of others‘ learning experiences.
    • For example, we might opt to live a life as a much-loved child who suddenly dies while still young, purely in order to help another soul undergo the experience of tragic loss.

8. There is a law of karma…

  • … but it is not like many people think it is.
  • If soul A kills soul B in one lifetime, then in a later lifetime soul B will kill soul A. That is the effect of karma.
  • But karma is not (repeat not) about cosmic justice or divine retribution. From the perspective of Spirit, there is no need for cosmic justice because there is no such thing as cosmic injustice.
  • Karma is really about learning through “entanglement”. If I do something in physical life that violates your free will, we become entangled. We both feel the lack of equilibrium between us. It’s like we have become tied together by a rope. The only way to restore equilibrium is to undo the entanglement—by having you violate my free will in a similar way. That way, we both know from experience what it is like to be both the violator and the violated.
  • Souls tend to commit karmic acts in the early stages of their reincarnations when they have less experience of human existence.
  • Typical karmic acts are: murder, rape, dismemberment, imprisonment, abandonment.
  • In all cases, one person imposes something on another against the other’s will. There is no karmic entanglement for acts that are accidental or not by choice.

9. Reincarnation has a beginning and an end.

  • Contrary to certain teachings, we are not tied to a wheel of endless death and rebirth, to be saved only by renouncing the world and seeking spiritual liberation.
  • The whole journey of evolving through reincarnation begins with us at a certain level and ends once we reach another level. It takes (typically) well over 100 lifetimes. From first human life to last requires thousands of years, depending upon the availability of physical bodies.
  • In spirit, the whole path is clear to us and we know exactly what we are doing. Each lifetime is a deliberate adventure and is undertaken out of love and a desire to evolve.

10. There is no urgency.

  • Contrary to what many teach on the subject, there is no urgency for us to become enlightened, or to complete our reincarnational cycle.
  • It is not “better” to evolve quickly over a few lives than to evolve slowly over many lives.
  • Reincarnation is not a challenge to reach the end of evolution as quickly as possible.
  • We are not “caught” in the cycle of human death and rebirth.
  • The physical world is not a hell-hole to be climbed out of.
  • God is not wishing we would get a move on.
  • From the perspective of Spirit, there is no passage of time. Time is just a perceptual phenomenon for us while in physical form. Souls literally do not care how many thousands of years it takes to get from one level of reincarnation to another. The passage of time in human terms is, to the soul, irrelevant.

A final word

I would also add one more correction to certain teachings: souls do not normally reincarnate instantly after death. Usually there is a period of several years or decades between one life and the next, during which the soul recuperates, considers the lessons learned from the last life and plans its next one.

———

It should come as no surprise to learn that we have had a past life, or even many past lives. The only ones who haven’t lived a previous life are those at the very beginning of the reincarnational cycle. The only ones who aren’t coming back after this life are those at the very end of the cycle.

Reincarnation is the norm for all human beings. It is universal. It is what we are all doing here.
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Further reading

For a useful perspective on the stages of reincarnation, see –

You can also check out all my blogposts tagged “reincarnation” , including these popular posts:

– barry

415 thoughts on “10 things everyone should know about reincarnation

  1. I would like to know if we lose someone’s in this life, very precious to us, we would see him/her in the afterlife ?
    And…one more question….If I want to meet someone very much whom I knew in this life but he didn’t know me, will I have this chance in the afterlife ?

    • Yes. In the first case, there’s a good chance they will be one of the first to greet you during your transition into the realm of light. In the second case, there’s nothing to stop you contacting any other being, and there’s no reason why they would avoid or refuse such contact; your motivation for wanting to meet will be clear to them.

  2. Hello

    From ancient Greek literature we know that there is souls in animals and in plants but they are considered as different kingdoms who co-exist with us.

    The karma or emarmeni (in greek) is actually a trap. Consider yourself as a cruel person and in the next life those you tortured are torturing you know. Is it endless that traps you in? The key of success is be able to surpass that… say NO i forgive him I wish no involvement with this person again and I wish to go forward. If we accept to make someone pay for his Karma we fall into the trap of Karma in our next lives.

    Father created us from the same essence as his, it means that Father used the essence of a greater consciousness, what some call as the source (the global organism). Meaning in order to become Gods we have to evolve, we dont become one at the end (the definition of ONE is actually virtual)

    I only wish to know one thing and its not clear after reading several lbl and plr.. I am in this body now and I am that and that…I am sensitive, loving, hateful, etc… are we the same later on in our next bodies but a bit more evolved? Some books say YES – some other books say NO like they shed the imprint like snakes and that sounds strange, more like there is no need. This is not clear to me, to much newagers and if we are not the same and we shed away what we are now.. is it sound like a total shed of the spirit from our soul (spirit is what we are, soul is the essence but both are unite and the same)… if we shed away what we are, whats the point.

    so I want to decline the second belief about souls shedding their imprint(lives) its cruel and reminds me religious beliefs of their gods giving us bodies without spirit…zionism or judaism.

    • The essence of self is constant, eternal. The essence is a pure energy, spirit. For example, I am a Scholar in essence – my basic role is to absorb and integrate knowledge. What changes and evolves is the individual consciousness of essence, which is driven by personal experiences as an incarnate being. This is what is meant by soul age – essence evolves in consciousness. It evolves in a certain inevitable sequence, but HOW it gets there is totally open and always comes from its own choices.

      To learn lessons from reincarnation, the essence has to take on personality traits that will best enable it to interact with others in life. Or to be more exact, certain energies are emphasised while others are filtered out. For example, a Scholar like me could take on the goal of Dominance for one life. This would give me a streak of wilfulness, a slightly pushy edge, like a King. I might also add the mode of Repression, which would filter out my own energy and cause me to just fit in with the rest.

      After that life, when whatever lessons have been absorbed into my evolving consciousness, that personality would be shed and – after a bit of R&R – I would then pick a different personality for my next life – whatever would be appropriate for my current lessons.

  3. I have found this theory today and I have some questions. Since I was kid that I have an obsession with Angola and Lisbon in the 40´s / 50’s and 60’s. I never was there not people from my family but I feel I was there before, that I lived all my life there, but I can’t remember. When I see photos of Angola (mainly Luanda), or when I go to Lisbon, I always feel pain in the chest/heart. I feel I was there before, but I can’t remember. I like to see images of Luanda in those times and I feel like sad, and I also feel an urge to go there. I feel I was in those streets, but I really don’t have a memory of it, just a feeling. Do you think my past life was there?
    About your post, I didn’t quite understand what happens after. You said our souls have a limit of reincarnations, so from where they come and to where they go? In my next life will I be conscious like in this one? What I mean is, when I die, will things get dark or will I continue to think and exist?
    Is there a way to see my past life ? (can I do that alone?)
    Great post!

    • There are zillions of planets all over the physical universe being used this way. We happen to belong to a wave of souls who chose this planet and species as their physical vehicles, but if we end up making this one unsuitable for further evolution then we will simply redeploy to another one.

    • After you will research Flat Earth you will find that everything is a lie about the world we live and all those planets are based on theories there was a song “Space may be the final frontier but it is made in a Hollywood basement. And everything coming from NASA is CGI made on PC like movies and they are Satanic worshipers because NASA mean SATAN with red serpent tongue in the middle the fallen angel is behind them. So basically everything that happen today is to exclude God as creator.

  4. Thanks, Barry, so we don’t bounce around the many choices, we stay earth bound? Might be an incentive to finish while earth is still viable.

  5. Wonderful article! It is clear, concise, easy to read, easy to understand. It stays on point and is complete in explanation of reincarnation. Thank You.

  6. My Son is proof of reincarnation.
    Nole being my Son in a previous life lived in Egypt and would sketch fabulous places he had lived in Egypt. Nole was 3 when this came about and in Elementary school he carried a scarab which he considered his magical charm. Nole’s teachers were stunned by this, but I was not and I always encouraged him to believe his memories and cherish them. Nole is 37 now and deals in antiques and attends weekly classes in Physic Development. Needless to say I’m proud of my baby boy.

  7. Hi Barry,

    I was born with Lillian Disney’s Bday, my daughter has Walt Disney’s Bday, and my son has Raymond Disney’s Bday. I was born in Alameda Ca. Walt Disney Studios in Burbank is on Alameda Rd/Buena Vista Street. I was also born with the last name Donald..like the Duck.I decided to pick up a book on Walt Disney’s life because I felt I needed to learn more about him. We have had a lot of weird things that have happened to us over the years that I have documented but its too much detail to go into here so I will give you the short story. In the book I read in Marceline Mo there was a local meat Market Walt and his family use to go to called “Hayden & Anderson meat market”. I named my daughter Hayden with no knowledge of this. I actually named her after the composer Haydn but added an e because that’s what my intuition told me to when she was born. This past yearr we decided to get a puppy and answered an ad for a pug. When we got there we realized we answered the wrong ad and the dog ended up being a red Dachshund. He was so cute…we decided to get him and named him Walter. When we got home we decided to Google Walt Disney & Dachshunds because something told me this dog was not a mistake. A movie called “The Ugly Dachshund” I never saw or knew of was released on my fathers birthday Feb. 16, 1966~10 months before Walt passed away. My father has been dead for 14 years. It’s also very well known that Walt was associated with the freemasons (The DeMolay Chapter in Kansas). I found out Haydn the composer was a freemason through my research of Walt and I always see the number 33 everywhere. Especially on receipts which I have kept all of them. Walt Disney also had a polo injury that hurt his vertebrae. I had a slip and fall accident several years ago fracturing my vertebrae and almost taking my life. His daughter Diane also died of complications from a slip and fall accident in November 2013 and I had my accident in early March 2014. Is there any insight to this you can give me? My soul has been on a mission to figure this out. I feel there is a higher power at work here. The synchronicity in my life is almost too hard to believe.

    Thank You,
    Tiffany

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