Is there evidence for reincarnation?

Just curious. Does anyone know what kind of evidence there is for reincarnation? I mean, is there something more than stuff like “I remember in my dream that I was this or that in another lifetime.”

I personally do not believe in reincarnation, but I find myself curious as to whether or not there is any solid evidence that supports it. I guess I’m wondering because I’ve been bumping into people who believe in it and I wonder why they do. I haven’t had the opportunity to ask them why they do yet.

Thanks if you can help.

I will admit that I have not done in-deph research, in the sense of reading books, about the doctrine of reincarnation, but I can muster up my best guess as to why many people believe in reincarnation. I live near a lot of forestation and over the years, the forests have changed. Trees have collapsed after having been struck by lightning, the water levels in the nearby river have gone up and down [depending on the rain fall], the river has widened beause of erosion, wild mushrooms grow on their own, birds feed on the berries and make their homes in some of the bigger trees, etc.

Nature has a way of transforming by itself. Just as the forest will change due to animal habitation, rain, human interaction and so forth, perhaps the human soul also evolves over time. If it is possible for environments with plant-like entities to change and evolve over the years, perhaps the human soul also changesd and adapts based on its circumstances.

A seed is not a tree, but it has the potential to become a tree. Likewise, a soul is not an enlightened being, but it has the potential to. Let me state in plain terms that I am not endorsing reincarnation; I do not believe in reincarnation. That was just my best guess playing as devil’s advocate.

There are certain philosophical ramifications that could go along with reincarnation, like the epistemology you would have as a believer in reincarnation. If a truth is true now, does that mean that that truth can change or evolve over time, just as souls change? that’s a question I would ask a buddhist or a hindu (both of which believe in reincarnation). If it is so that truth changes, was there a point in time where reincarnation was not true? Is reincarnation something that became true? is it an eternal truth or did mankind come to learn about it? so on and so forth.

Considering the earth’s human population is now over 6 billion, but has not been that populated historically, I say it’s just the opposite.

The evidence is that reincarnation does not happen

Hello John,

I personally believe in a version of reincarnation taught in the Edgar Cayce readings.  When you ask for proof exactly what type of proof would be appropriate for you?  What are your present views?  There is no proof that would hold up to scientific scrutiny that we have souls that are separate from are physical bodies which continue on therefore there is no proof for any version of the afterlife.

SW

I was a Buddhist in a previous life, so I used to, but I’m Catholic in this one, so I don’t anymore.

Interesting replies here. The best Christian explanation I’ve heard for reincarnation evidence came from a Singaporean Christian, who knew many Asian Buddhists and Indian Hindus there who had past life memories and reincarnation beliefs. This writer believed, as the church teaches, that we are not reincarnated, but that we have one life on Earth, and then go to Heaven or Hell. But he also believed that humans have an ancestral and “race memory” that links us to our ancestors, even from the distant past, and that sometimes people tap into memories of their ancient relatives or others, and believe that they are their own from previous life. He believed this explains the sometimes compelling evidence of detailed, confirmed memories that show up in young children from time to time. The writer had interesting ideas of why this occurs, including Jung’s ideas of all people being linked to a collective unconscious, containing thoughts and experiences from all of time. Maybe there is also a physiological basis for this we don’t understand yet. Mainstream science rejects the idea that learned knowledge can be passed on genetically, but maybe there is some mechanism by which thoughts and experiences can become encoded in our DNA and handed down sometimes.

Thanks for the comments everyone. You brought up some interesting points drac16. Thanks for that.

Marie, I’m not certain, but I think some that believe in reincarnation believe that we aren’t always humans. We can be plants or animals, too. So I wonder if someone who believes in reincarnation wouldn’t just say that population growth is due to more people coming back as a human versus a plant or animal. I don’t know. I’m guessing.

Superwimp, I agree with you that the soul and spiritual realm is outside the bounds of the scientific method. So I guess I was thinking more of decent philosophical proof or evidence. I believe in Jesus Christ and His authority and He clearly taught about the existence of the soul after death and Heaven and Hell etc. but He didn’t teach about reincarnation. That isn’t scientific proof…but Jesus’ life and authority are unlike any other person who has walked this earth. I think I was also maybe thinking of proof as being some of what rickpizzaro mentioned…specific memories that can somehow be confirmed.

A friend of mine gave me a book that I am reading right now and the author keeps mentioning his belief in reincarnation but he never says why he believes it to be true. That probably prompted my initial question.

JohnLazarus, I can’t tell if you are serious or smiling behind your one-liner. But it made me laugh.

Hello John,
>>>I think I was also maybe thinking of proof as being some of what rickpizzaro mentioned…specific memories that can somehow be confirmed.<<<
The problem here is that if a past life can be confirmed then the information would have been available to the person claiming to have the past life memory.

  >>> I agree with you that the soul and spiritual realm is outside the bounds of the scientific method. So I guess I was thinking more of decent philosophical proof or evidence.<<<

 Where the rubber meets the road, the main difference between our beliefs, (I believe human souls only come back as humans) is most Christians believe there life on earth is a test, while we believe each life is a new opportunity to learn from our mistakes.  While we may forget the events of a particular life the lessons carry forward at a subconscious level.

 With regards to philosophical proof, were not in a hurry, since we apparently both believe we have a soul, what is the most logical with regards to when our souls came into existence?  Did we preexist as souls prior to our present life.  Does God create a new soul every time a woman becomes pregnant?

Ok…I think you touched upon one of my main questions. If we can’t remember our past lives then how can each life be a new opportunity to learn from our mistakes? We live our lives today and learn from our mistakes but only because we remember them and then do not make that mistake again (or try not to). :slight_smile:

You said the lessons from past lives carry forward at a subconscious level and that’s how we can learn from our past lives. But how do you know that is true? How do you know lessons from past lives carry forward at a subconscious level? Is there a good reason for someone like me to believe that that is true?

Since God created us, and we are body/soul composites, God created our souls. I’d have to look up what the Church teaches on this but logically, I don’t see why He would need to create us prior to our present life. I don’t see why He couldn’t just create our soul for us when our mothers/fathers create our bodies. So yeah, I’d say He creates new souls when a woman becomes pregnant. That’s off the top of my head, though, so let me double-check that.

Is there a particular reason you think God needs to create us to preexist before our lives here on earth?

Do you mind if I ask you what you think about Jesus? He is the main difference in our beliefs…because He taught about Judgement and Heaven and Hell. And I believe Him. But I don’t recall that He taught about reincarnation.

Reincarnation is a belief system just like the Christian belief in life in heaven after death or in hell or in purgatory.

Is there any solid evidence for the existence of heaven or purgatory?

Actually reincarnation is far more logical than the belief in only one life - now we no longer have to worry about what happens to those who die in infancy or those who are not qualified for eternal heaven (if there is such a thing) - according to reincarnation they will just come back for another life to try again.

On the other hand, if you believe in only one single life and that all unrepentant sinners go to hell for eternity, then your hell must be completely filled up with unrepentant male masturbators and unrepentant female contraceptive users - apparently that makes perfect sense to you,

I am sure superwimp has good answers to your questions, but won’t mind my adding my 2bits.

Although the human physical brain has no memory of past lives, the human soul remembers all the past lives and the lessons learned from them. The soul guides the human who is in incarnation such that each life is an improvement on the previous one - eventually making the person perfect and ready for liberation (or in Christian terms ready for heaven).

Because none of us can become perfect after just one life. Each one requires many, many lives before achieving perfection. And only the perfect can enter eternal heaven (if there is such a place)…

I think he did, except that it was expunged later on by people who thought it was a dangerous belief.

Thanks for your comments, openmind77, but I’m not sure they make sense to me. It sounds like you find the idea of reincarnation more logical just because you don’t like the idea of Hell…not because it is true. Honestly, Hell is one thing my Church teaches that I really wish wasn’t true…but Jesus Christ clearly taught it, so I believe it. I agree with you and I don’t like the idea of Hell either, but I can’t just not believe in it because it sounds bad to me. Jesus was unlike any other person to ever have walked this planet. His grave is empty. I have to listen to what He said. That may not be solid evidence…but He is a solid authority. Who else can compare to Him?

And I don’t worry about those who die in infancy…I trust in God’s mercy for them.

Since sin is what separates us from God, it does make sense to me that unrepentant sinners would be separated from Him for eternity…they’ve chosen that. He forgives repentant sinners and reconciles with them.

It makes less sense to me to say something like “I don’t like the idea of Hell so I’m gonna choose not to believe in it.”

By the way, maybe you can answer a question of mine. I might be presenting this wrong because I don’t know very much about what people believe about reincarnation, but I’ve been wondering…does reincarnation mean we come back for another life to try again and try to improve from our previous life? If so, what determines our initial placement in our very first life? I mean, we don’t have anything to improve on in that first life because we haven’t had a life yet…have we? Just curious.

Thanks.

I agree that very few people can become perfect after just one life and that we do make progress (well, some do some don’t, I suppose). However, we believe perfection can be attained after death without needing another life…that’s why Jesus could teach about Hell. Everyone doesn’t reach perfection. I sure wish we all did, but Jesus didn’t think so.

Do you have any evidence that Jesus taught about reincarnation and it was later expunged by people who thought it was a dangerous belief? No offense to you, but without any evidence of that claim…it sounds like that, too, could just be made up.

Yes, the idea with reincarnation is that we improve in each new life from the previous one - i.e. become more perfect emotionally, intellectually, spiritually. There are rare exceptions - some evil people also improve emotionally and intellectually in each life, but they may actually regress or become less spiritual each life - these are the ones destined for hell. But these are ‘Hitler’ type of people - ordinary people like you (and hopefully me) will never be sent to hell for eternity (definitely not for something trivial as using contraceptives).

At our first life, we are probably born as savages in some primitive society, just slightly better than animals. This means practically all the humans in incarnation today have had at least several past lives - I don’t believe there is any educated person who is in his first life on earth.

“Although the human physical brain has no memory of past lives, the human soul remembers all the past lives and the lessons learned from them. The soul guides the human who is in incarnation such that each life is an improvement on the previous one - eventually making the person perfect and ready for liberation (or in Christian terms ready for heaven).”

How do we know the human soul remembers all the past lives and the lessons learned from them? What authority claims this? No offense to you, but that could just be made up.

(sorry for the messy post, still trying to figure out the quotes-thing)

Exactly, it could be all made up - just like heaven and hell could be made up.

But Hinduism/Buddhism/Yoga do teach that all memories of past lives (basically our karma) are stored in the causal body (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causal_body) of the person. The causal body is the vehicle of the soul on the earth plane (this may sound bit strange and esoteric).

Ok. So you have answered another question for me, you believe in reincarnation, but you also believe in hell. So everyone does not reach perfection…only some people do.

It looks like you do believe in differing degrees of sin. I agree with you that there are different degrees of sin. Here’s where I might differ from you, though. Who gets to say what degrees of sin (unrepentant sin, I guess) or which sins are trivial and which are not? It seems that you think contraception is trivial…do you think we all can decide for ourselves what is trivial and what isn’t? If you think that, can’t Adolf Hitler-types decide which sins, like exterminating humans, are trivial for them? If so, then absolutely everything could become relative and trivial, couldn’t it?

Again, no offense…but why should I believe that I was once born a savage in a primitive society? And why should I believe that educated people aren’t on their first life on earth?
That just sounds so made up to my ears…seriously, not trying to be disrespectful at all…I guess I would just like to know why I should even consider that as being true?

You are probably getting frustrated with me. Could you recommend a good book/author that explains sortof the basics of reincarnation. Like for a beginner to understand…nothing over my head.

This is what I don’t get. You expect to die a sinner and then do little stint in purgatory and before you know it, you are rubbing shoulders in heaven with Mother Teresa and Pope Paul? - I don’t think perfection is that easy.

Actually I don’t have any such evidence. I have just heard other people saying so.

However, we don’t have to speculate too long. The Christ will be returning to earth in less than a couple years. We will hear the truth from his very mouth before very long.

But Jesus Christ is different. Don’t you think? Different than anyone in Hinduism/Buddhism/Yoga. Who compares to him? I think Peter Kreeft might’ve said something along these lines, (I’ll paraphrase)…"There have only been two people who ever lived on the earth that were so amazing that people didn’t ask them who they were…but what they were. The Buddha…and he clearly said “Don’t look to me…look to what I am teaching”…and Jesus…and He clearly said, “I AM God”.

Jesus taught about Heaven and Hell and I don’t know of anyone who can compare to Him. Are you saying someone(s) in Buddhism/Hinduism displays the authority Jesus Christ did? Who?

I was eating a steak about a week ago with a friend & suddenly the discussion turned to our Grandfather’s ( both of whom have passed away ). Eating a steak and thinking about Grandpa - is there a connection?

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