Have you heard about reincarnation and all the stages of birth and death? I love reading about it and I have found some fascinating information which I’m sharing in this post.
The word reincarnation derives from the Latin, literally meaning “entering the flesh again.”
The Law of Reincarnation gives a soul the choice to come back to earth if there is anything unresolved or incomplete at the end of a lifetime that the soul wants to take care of.
Our soul is given this option to accelerate our learning process and achieve greater levels of consciousness.
Rebirth is a key concept found in major Indian religions and in ancient Sanskrit texts of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. In Judaism, the book of Zohar, first published in the 13th century and containing the wisdom of the Kabbalah, discusses reincarnation at length.
In the Buddhist approach, life and death are seen as one whole, where death is the beginning of another chapter of life. Death is a mirror in which the entire meaning of life is reflected.
Tibetans divide our entire existence into four continuously interlinked realities:
2. Dying and death
3. After death
The Tibetan Buddhist tradition has concentrated more attention on helping the dying person cross the borders of death than any other living religious tradition.
In the West, the work of the late Michael Newton Ph.D., provides one of the most comprehensively researched sources of information I have found on reincarnation, what happens to us when we die, what transpires between lives, and how we planned every detail of our future reincarnation on Earth.
He is considered a pioneer in uncovering the mysteries of life after death through the use of hypnotherapy regression techniques.
Michael Newton held a doctorate in Counseling Psychology, was a certified Master Hypnotherapist, and was a member of the American Counseling Association. He was a hypnotherapist for over 50 years and a Life Between Lives (LBL) therapist for over 40 years.
Dr. Newton discovered, via hypnotic age-regression techniques, that many of his patients were able to recall past-life memories as well as the planning time spent between reincarnations.
With the help of his patients, Dr. Newton has documented in detail all the stages of death and birth.
His findings can be found in his bestseller books: Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives; Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives; and Life Between Lives: Hypnotherapy for Spiritual Regression.
The stages of death and birth
The steps outlined below reflect a summary of the decades of work that Dr. Newton and many other researchers and authors have revealed.
All authors have noted similarities among patients’ descriptions of the afterlife, ultimately putting together a picture of the process the soul goes through from the moment his physical body dies to the moment he is reborn, which I have summarized as follows.
*Note: Most authors use the term “subject” for their patients or participants. I am not sure if every person they regressed was always a patient or a participant in their research. For the purposes of this post I have kept the same nomenclature of “subjects.”
Most subjects recall looking down at their body and seeing people mourning over their death.
They also recall their frustration at their attempts to talk to living people who don’t respond.
The subjects report seeing a tunnel and a pull toward a light, and a euphoric sense of freedom and brightness around them.
When reaching the light, they see beautiful visions, music, and scenery, and they are greeted by what they describe as luminous beings, usually guides and deceased family members.
Everyone who dies is able to make a decision as to how they wish to go on living, and where.
If they say, “Yes, I will die,” the soul will continue its journey to the spiritual realm. The silver cord, which is an energy cord that connects the soul with the physical body, is severed and ceases to exist.
If they say “No,” the soul will be sent back to the physical world instantly, arriving a nanosecond before it “died.”
This might look like a near miss, a sudden remission, a near death experience (NDE), or a surprising recovery.
The timing and circumstances of death are always perfect, although it might not seem that way at the time.
We will choose to die when our life on Earth is complete, when we have accomplished what we came to do, and when we have experienced all we came to experience. We make this decision based on many factors, but feeling “complete” or not is the main one.
Most subjects report staying around their loved ones until after their funeral.
During this stage, the soul will shed any regret, sadness, or traumatic memories from its previous life by going through what subjects describe as a “shower of light.”
This renews and restores the soul’s vibrancy to its original form.
Not every soul needs a shower of light.
3. Past Life Review
Our souls choose how they wish to review the life they just exited in a number of settings, usually a library.
In this stage, it appears that some less evolved souls, who have committed murders and other crimes, will analyze their actions with their guides and decide on a new path (reincarnation) almost immediately.
Typically, this happens because the soul is very eager to make amends and heal its karma.
The majority of the pioneers in this work allude to a further review done with the “elders” (or “wise ones”). The elders are described as loving and kind, and never judgmental.
The feedback the soul receives is on the basis of his original intent with his choices, as much as his actions. His motivations are questioned but not judged or condemned.
After the soul has completed the light shower, and has reviewed the life he just left, souls are collected and projected out to their final destinations to meet up with their soul family.
Their soul family is made up of souls who are at a similar stage in their evolution and with whom they have shared and will share earthly lives with.
Once he meets up with these souls, they usually compare experiences and learn from each other.
We keep reincarnating with our soul family members over and over, playing various roles with each other, such as husband and wife, brothers and sister, parent and child.
5. Life Selection
Once the soul has reviewed his prior life, has spent time with his guides and soul family members, has decided what he wants to work on and feels ready to reincarnate, he moves to a large sphere of light where he is able to choose his next life path.
Most subjects recall being in what looks like a huge cinema with large screens.
The soul is able to see multiple paths and determine which path would be the most appropriate.
He also has the ability to fast forward through the timeline to see critical events that will happen.
Some souls will choose greater challenges to experience. Often the hardest tasks we set for ourselves begin in our childhood.
Spiritually and intellectually, we seem to pick up where we left off. We are not a blank page when we are born.
All our efforts to improve, grow spiritually, become a wiser and a better person, or excel at any discipline (music, sports, art) are recorded and retained in our soul, building on them from lifetime to lifetime.
No effort is ever wasted.
This is how child prodigies can be explained; the soul appears to be able to download information and talent into the developing physical body and mind.
After the soul chooses the life path he feels is perfect for his next reincarnation, he then meets up with the souls who will play key roles in his next life.
With the assistance of these souls he will do extensive planning, create synchronicities that will guide him throughout his lifetime, and he will make agreements to assist the completion of the lessons and tasks he will set out to master.
Higher-level guides also help to plan out specific symbols that he will see or hear, which will trigger certain thoughts and actions at specific times.
Have you ever met someone for the first time, a person who will become important in your life, like a mentor or a spouse, and you felt at ease and a connection straight away?
You might have been intrigued by their eye color, the necklace they were wearing, or some other physical aspect. You might have just felt they were right for you.
Those are the cues we prepare before we arrive, so we can recognize each other.
7. Rebirth (Return to Earth)
Subjects report traveling back to Earth through the same tunnel in which they left, entering the mother’s womb.
Upon birth, the Veil of Illusion (amnesia) drops again, although not completely.
Many children remember past lives and have imaginary friends. For most people, all of that remembrance dissolves by the time they are about five years old.
Some people wonder why the Veil of Illusion drops and why we need to forget our true origin.
I have read varying points of view on that question, but basically it comes to this: If we remembered our origin and every detail of our life plan, coming to Earth would be the equivalent of sitting an exam when we already knew the questions.
If you know your partner is going to die suddenly in his 40’s, you will not be faced with the grief and shock and subsequent strength and healing that you might achieve if you were expecting it.
Although we might forget, it doesn’t mean that we have to face Earth, and our undesirable experiences, all on our own.
Not only we have our soul family members with us (who might or might not be supportive depending on the role they are playing), but once born everybody is assigned at least one spiritual guide who will assist the soul while living on Earth.
In Dr. Michael Newton’s words (Journey of Souls, Fifth revised edition, Chapter 3)
“I find it interesting that the old-fashioned religious term of having a “guardian angel” is now used metaphysically to denote an empathetic spirit. To be honest, this is a term I once denigrated as being foolishly loaded with wishful thinking and representing an outdated mythology at odds with the modern world. I don’t have that belief anymore about guardian angels.”
The work of Dr. Ian Stevenson
Dr. Ian Stevenson, former Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and former chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, dedicated most of his career to finding evidence of reincarnation.
He accumulated what is probably the best-known collection of scientific data that appears to provide proof of reincarnation. He investigated many reports of young children who claimed to remember a past life
Stevenson conducted more than 2,500 case studies over a period of forty years and published twelve books, including Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation and Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect.
Stevenson claims to have found over 3,000 examples of reincarnation which he shared with the scientific community.
The work of Dr. Brian Weiss
After reading the work of Dr. Newton, I became very interested in the subject of reincarnation, and I found that one of the pioneers of this work is Dr. Brian Weiss.
Weiss graduated from Columbia University and Yale Medical School and is the former Chairman of Psychiatry at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami.
In his bestselling book, Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy that Changed Both Their Lives, Dr. Weiss explains his astonishment when one of his patients began to recall past life traumas. During one hypnosis session, his client introduced spirit guides who had been her soul therapists between lives
Dr. Weiss explains that bumping into these past life traumas opened a can of worms for him because he didn’t want to feel ridiculed by his peers; however, he felt he needed to share the message with the world.
Dr. Weiss was Chief of Psychiatry and had already published 37 scientific papers and book chapters in his field. He said that it took him four years to write about what happened, to garner the courage to take the professional risk of revealing this unorthodox information.
In his own words:
I knew that no possible consequence I might face could prove to be as devastating as not sharing the knowledge I had gained about immortality and the true meaning of life.
Since writing Many Lives, Many Masters, Dr. Weiss has also published several more books on the subject of reincarnation and life after death.
If you wish to explore further the possibility of life after death, you might also want to read the testimonies of people who have experienced a near death experience.
There are many books about reincarnation and life planning.
In addition to the books mentioned earlier in this post, you might also enjoy reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche.
This is an excellent book on Tibetan traditions and their insights into life and death.
Near-Death Experience (NDE)
If you wish to explore further the possibility of life after death, you might also want to read the testimonies of people who have experienced a near-death experience.
In most cases, the testimonials follow a common theme which can be summarized as follows:
1. Feeling of peace, no pain, and no fear. Suddenly, they see themselves floating above their bodies, feeling great and able to see and hear what is happening “below.”
In many instances, after they come back “alive,” they relay to their doctors and nurses the conversations they were having during their operation in the hospital or whatever the circumstances in which they were dying.
2. They are aware of another reality and see a tunnel, then a light in the distance, to which they are drawn. Some people meet their guides or other compassionate and loving light beings.
Most of the time, there is some kind of telepathic conversation between them.
3. At some point they remember agreeing to go back to their body, and in some cases they also remember the reason why; typically, they have something unfinished to do.
It can be anything from fulfilling a personal goal to supporting a family member.
Although some scientific communities provide reasons for NDEs – such as lack of oxygen to the brain which might result in hallucinations, excess carbon dioxide which might create the tunnel and vision of white light or epileptic activity in the temporal lobes – the striking thing is that once they recover from an NDE, they don’t go about their lives as they did before.
The NDE feels very real and usually totally transforms the person who experienced it.
They have less interest in obtaining material possessions but grow an interest in life and in all things spiritual, they feel a significantly reduced fear of death, and they worry much less over small things.
Overall, they seek a bigger meaning in life.
If you wish to read testimonies of people who have gone through an NDE, I recommend:
To close out this post I want to share a beautiful parable:
Life after delivery - a parable
In a mother’s womb were two babies.
One asked the other: “Do you believe in life after delivery?”
The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”
“Nonsense,” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”
The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”
The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”
The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”
The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover, if there is life, then why has no one ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”
“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”
The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists, then where is She now?”
The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by Her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.”
Said the first, “Well, I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”
To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”
The following are related posts which you might find useful:
Do you believe in reincarnation? Let me know in the comments below