Your continued donations keep Wikipedia running!    


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"Past Lives" redirects here. For the 2002 Black Sabbath album, see Past Lives (album).

According to Hinduism, every living being is an eternally existing spirit (the soul or the self). Upon physical death, this soul passes from one body to another in accordance with the laws of Karma and reincarnation. Image copyright BBTI
According to Hinduism, every living being is an eternally existing spirit (the soul or the self). Upon physical death, this soul passes from one body to another in accordance with the laws of Karma and reincarnation. Image copyright BBTI

Reincarnation, literally "to be made flesh again", as a doctrine or mystical belief, holds the notion that some essential part of a living being (or in some variations, only human beings) can survive death in some form, with its integrity partly or wholly retained, to be reborn in a new body. This part is often referred to as the Spirit or Soul, the 'Higher or True Self', 'Divine Spark', 'I' or the 'Ego' (not to be confused with the ego as defined by psychology).

In such beliefs, a new personality is developed during each life in the physical world, based upon past integrated experience and new acquired experiences, but some part of the being remains constantly present throughout these successive lives as well. It is usually believed that there is interaction between predeterminism of certain experiences, or lessons intended to happen during the physical life, and the free-will action of the individual as they live that life.

This doctrine is a central tenet within the majority of Indian religious traditions such as Yoga, Vaishnavism, Jainism and Sikhism. Buddhist concept of Rebirth, a major part of Buddhist philosophy, differs from the Vedic based traditions, teaches that our "self" (soul) does not reincarnate (see below). Many modern Pagans also believe in reincarnation as do some New Age movements, along with followers of Spiritism, practitioners of certain African traditions, and students of esoteric philosophies.



Belief in reincarnation is an ancient phenomenon; in various guises humans have believed in a future life since the ancient Egyptians, perhaps earlier, and ancient graves containing both people and possessions may testify to beliefs that a person would have need for their treasured possessions once again despite physical death.

In brief, there are several common concepts of a future life. In each of them either the person, or some essential component that defines that person (the soul or spirit) persists in continuing existence:

  • Reincarnation in human form.
Successive lives on earth, usually including a belief in a passage through the spiritual world or inner planes between death and rebirth. This is the most common use of reincarnation (also called "rebirth"). In many versions, eventually there is the potential to escape the cycle, e.g. by joining God, or achieving enlightenment, some kind of self-realization, a spiritual rebirth, entering a spiritual realm, etc.
Beings die, and are returned to this or another existence continually, their form upon return being of a 'higher' or 'lower' kind depending upon the virtue (moral quality) of their present life. This presupposes interchange between human and animal souls, at a minimum; plants and stone may be included, as well.
  • Last Day
People live only one life. After death, they may return to the earth or be revived in some final Judgement, or at some final battle (eg the Norse Ragnarok). They may go to heaven or hell at that time, or live again and repopulate the earth. This is an apocalyptic vision of the future.
  • Related to these, but no longer including a return to embodied form, are beliefs in an Afterlife
People live on this earth, and then live in some kind of afterlife for the rest of eternity - variously called heaven (paradise) or hell, or the Kingdom of the Dead, or some higher plane, or similar. They do not return to earth as such.

Beliefs in reincarnation or transmigration are widespread amongst religions and beliefs, some seeing it as part of the religion, others seeing in it an answer to many common moral and existential dilemmas, such as "why are we here" and "why do bad things sometimes appear to happen to good people". Reincarnation is therefore a claim that a person has been or will be on this earth again in a different body. It suggests that there is a connection between apparently disparate human lifetimes, and (in most cases) that there may even be covert evidence of continuity between different people's lifetimes, if looked for. Proponents claim this is indeed the case, whilst critics tend to reject the notion due to its metaphysical implications or non-acceptance by science due to other possible explanations of the phenomenon not yet eliminated from consideration. Such evidence tends to be of three kinds:

  • Tradition commonly holds that certain people (such as the Dalai or Panchen Lamas in Buddhism) can be identified by looking for a child born at a specified time after their death, and by certain signs and knowledge that such a child has of their predecessor life beyond the norm. In the case of Buddhism there are well defined tests of such a child.
  • In Western culture, regression or near death experience has at times provided what are claimed to be past life memories, some of which can in theory be verified, and some of which might be tested for fraudulent claims. Some aspects of these tend to be quite consistent in some ways (beings of light, messages of love and peace, etc), a factor which to some people lends credence to the idea, and to others supports that "something" is going on but without certainty what that might be.
  • Last, for many people, the evidence is internal and empirical, personal belief or experience. This may not be proof as such, but to them, qualifies as sufficient evidence to believe it.

Though some claims to recall past lives have been documented and tested in a scientific manner, mainstream science does not accept reincarnation as a proven phenomenon.

Reincarnation in various religions, traditions and philosophies

Philosophical and religious beliefs regarding the existence or non-existence of an enduring 'self' have a direct bearing on how reincarnation is viewed within a given tradition. There are large differences in philosophical beliefs regarding the nature of the soul (also known as the jiva or atma) amongst the Dharmic Religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Some schools deny the existence of a 'self', while others claim the existence of an eternal, personal self, and still others say there is neither self or no-self, as both are false. Each of these beliefs has a direct bearing on the possible nature of reincarnation, including such concepts of samsara, moksha, nirvana, and bhakti.

Eastern religions and traditions


Main article: Samsara

In India the idea of reincarnation is first introduced in the Upanishads (c. 800 BCE - ), which are philosophical and religious texts composed in Sanskrit. The doctrine of reincarnation is absent in the Vedas, which are generally considered the oldest of the Hindu scriptures.

The idea that the soul (of any living being - including animals, humans and plants) reincarnates is intricately linked to karma, another concept first introduced in the Upanishads. Karma (literally: action) is the sum of one's actions, and the force that determines one's next reincarnation.

The cycle of death and rebirth, governed by karma, is referred to as samsara. The ideas of reincarnation, karma, and samsara are found both in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. In all these religious traditions, ultimate salvation is liberation, moksha or mukti from the cycle of death and rebirth. In Buddhism, this liberation is often referred to as nirvana. Other Bhakti traditions regard liberation from samsara as the beginning of true spiritual life, which continues beyond nirvana freed from the worldly nature.

The notion of nirvana was further promoted (see Advaita Vedanta) following the advent of the great Hindu sage Adi Shankaracharya. In some schools of Hinduism, the idea that stilling one's karmas (actions) and becoming at one, harmonious, with all would free one, ultimately, from reincarnation, became a central tenet. For Hinduism this state both exists and does not exist so that it may be likened to a dream-state, unreal in every sense. Thus from both perspectives, reincarnation cannot be likened to the re-appearance of the spirit or person within a physical body which inhabits an objective physical world rather, the perception of the world alone exists as a manifestation, around the conscious being, and this is maintained as an act of mind only. To be trapped in Samsara then is to be held by ignorance of the true nature of being, in a self-created world of error. As such, this is really nothing other than a dream.

Many paths are offered toward this state of liberation or “heaven” and most are generally initiated by proposing this life to be “real”. This of course means that past-lives are also to be seen as real. However, significant progression on any such path soon causes this initial, every-day concept of “reality” to wither away. As unity with the god-head is approached, the essence of being is recalled with the result that the previously perceived “reality” vanishes as unity is achieved.


Since according to Buddhism there is no permanent and unchanging self (identify) there can be no metempsychosis in the strict sense. However, the Buddha himself referred to his past-lives. It can be inferred that these existed only in the world of the mind and that this is furthermore exactly the same state as is perceived by the one experiencing (or immersed in) the cyclic manifestation of Samsara.

Buddhism never rejected samsara, the process of rebirth; however, there are debates over what is reborn.

In addition to the anatta, Tibetan Buddhists, also believe that a new-born child may be the rebirth of some important departed lama. In Tibetan Buddhism, the substance that make up the impermanent "self" (skandha) of an important lama (like the Dalai Lama) is said to be reborn into an infant born nine months after his decease. This process is said to occurs after years of crystalization of the skandhas through mental cultivation. And when the body dies, some of the crystalized skandhas (which normally dissolves at death), is said to attach itself to the consciousness. So that when the next rebirth occurs, the new person will have some of the old characters. This belief, however, does not contradict with Buddha's teaching on the impermanent nature of the self.

The Buddha has this to say on rebirth. Kutadanta continued:

"Thou believest, O Master, that beings are reborn; that they migrate in the evolution of life; and that subject to the law of karma we must reap what we sow. Yet thou teachest the non-existence of the soul! Thy disciples praise utter self-extinction as the highest bliss of Nirvana. If I am merely a combination of the sankharas, my existence will cease when I die. If I am merely a compound of sensations and ideas and desires, whither can I go at the dissolution of the body?" [7]

Said the Blessed One: "O Brahman, thou art religious and earnest. Thou art seriously concerned about thy soul. Yet is thy work in vain because thou art lacking in the one thing that is needful. [8]

"There is rebirth of character, but no transmigration of a self. Thy thought-forms reappear, but there is no egoentity transferred. The stanza uttered by a teacher is reborn in the scholar who repeats the word. [9]


In Jainism, particular reference is given to how devas (gods) also reincarnate after they die. A Jainist, who accumulates enough good karma, may become a deva; but, this is generally seen as undesirable since devas eventually die and one might then come back as a lesser being. This belief is also commonplace in a number of other schools of Hinduism.

Western religions and traditions

Classical Greek philosophy

Some ancient Greek philosophers believed in reincarnation; see for example Plato's Phaedo and The Republic. Pythagoras was probably the first Greek philosopher to advance the idea.

We do not know exactly how the doctrine of metempsychosis arose in Greece; most scholars do not believe it was borrowed from Egypt or that it somehow was transmitted from ancient Hindu thinkers of India. It is easiest to assume that earlier ideas which had never been extinguished were utilized for religious and philosophic purposes. The Orphic religion, which held it, first appeared in Thrace upon the semi-barbarous north-eastern frontier. Orpheus, its legendary founder, is said to have taught that soul and body are united by a compact unequally binding on either; the soul is divine, immortal and aspires to freedom, while the body holds it in fetters as a prisoner. Death dissolves this compact, but only to re-imprison the liberated soul after a short time: for the wheel of birth revolves inexorably. Thus the soul continues its journey, alternating between a separate unrestrained existence and fresh reincarnation, round the wide circle of necessity, as the companion of many bodies of men and animals." To these unfortunate prisoners Orpheus proclaims the message of liberation, that they stand in need of the grace of redeeming gods and of Dionysus in particular, and calls them to turn to God by ascetic piety of life and self-purification: the purer their lives the higher will be their next reincarnation, until the soul has completed the spiral ascent of destiny to live for ever as God from whom it comes. Such was the teaching of Orphism which appeared in Greece about the 6th century BC, organized itself into private and public mysteries at Eleusis and elsewhere, and produced a copious literature.

The earliest Greek thinker with whom metempsychosis is connected is Pherecydes; but Pythagoras, who is said to have been his pupil, is its first famous philosophic exponent. Pythagoras probably neither invented the doctrine nor imported it from Egypt, but made his reputation by bringing Orphic doctrine from North-Eastern Hellas to Magna Graecia and by instituting societies for its diffusion.

The real weight and importance of metempsychosis in Western tradition is due to its adoption by Plato. Had he not embodied it in some of his greatest works it would be merely a matter of curious investigation for the Western anthropologist and student of folk-lore. In the eschatological myth which closes the Republic he tells the story how Er, the son of Armenius, miraculously returned to life on the twelfth day after death and recounted the secrets of the other world. After death, he said, he went with others to the place of Judgment and saw the souls returning from heaven and from purgatory, and proceeded with them to a place where they chose new lives, human and animal. He saw the soul of Orpheus changing into a swan, Thamyras becoming a nightingale, musical birds choosing to be men, the soul of Atalanta choosing the honours of an athlete. Men were seen passing into animals and wild and tame animals changing into each other. After their choice the souls drank of Lethe and then shot away like stars to their birth. There are myths and theories to the same effect in other dialogues, the Phaedrus, Meno, Phaedo, Timaeus and Laws. In Plato's view the number of souls was fixed; birth therefore is never the creation of a soul, but only a transmigration from one body to another. Plato's acceptance of the doctrine is characteristic of his sympathy with popular beliefs and desire to incorporate them in a purified form into his system. Aristotle, a far less emotional and sympathetic mind, has a doctrine of immortality totally inconsistent with it.

In later Greek literature the doctrine appears from time to time; it is mentioned in a fragment of Menander (the Inspired Woman) and satirized by Lucian (Gallus 18 seq.). In Roman literature it is found as early as Ennius, who in his Calabrian home must have been familiar with the Greek teachings which had descended to his times from the cities of Magna Graecia. In a lost passage of his Annals, a Roman history in verse, Ennius told how he had seen Homer in a dream, who had assured him that the same soul which had animated both the poets had once belonged to a peacock. Persius in one of his satires (vi. 9) laughs at Ennius for this: it is referred to also by Lucretius (i. 124) and by Horace (Epist. II. i. 52). Virgil works the idea into his account of, the Underworld in the sixth book of the Aeneid (vv. 724 sqq.). It persists in antiquity down to the latest classic thinkers, Plotinus and the other Neoplatonists.

Judaism and Kabbalah

Classic works of the Kabbalah, Shaar ha Gilgulim ("Gate of Reincarnations") of Arizal or Isaac Luria, describes complex laws of reincarnation gilgul and impregnation ibbur of 5 different parts of the soul. It shows many references of reincarnation in the Hebrew Bible (the Tanach).

The notion of reincarnation is not openly mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. The classical rabbinic works (midrash, Mishna and Talmud) also are silent on this topic.

The concept was elucidated in an influential mystical work called the Bahir (Illumination) (one of the most ancient books of Jewish mysticism) which was composed by the first century mystic Nehunia ben haKana, and gained widespread recognition around 1150. After the publication of the Zohar in the late 13th century, the idea of reincarnation spread to most of the general Jewish community.

While ancient Greek philosophers like Plato and Socrates attempted to prove the existence of reincarnation through philosophical proofs, Jewish mystics who accepted this idea did not. Rather, they offered explanations of why reincarnation would solve otherwise intractable problems of theodicy (how to reconcile the existence of evil with the premise of a good God.)

Rabbis who accepted the idea of reincarnation include the founder of Chassidism, the Baal Shem Tov, Levi ibn Habib (the Ralbah), Nahmanides (the Ramban), Rabbenu Bahya ben Asher, Rabbi Shelomoh Alkabez and Rabbi Hayyim Vital. The argument made was that even the most righteous of Jews sometimes would suffer or be murdered unjustly. Further, children would sometimes suffer or be murdered, yet they were obviously too young for them to have committed sins that God would presumably punish them for. Jewish supporters of reincarnation said that this idea would remove the theodicy: Good people were not suffering; rather, they were reincarnations of people who had sinned in previous lifetimes. Therefore any suffering which was observed could be assumed to be from a just God. Yitzchak Blua writes "Unlike some other areas of philosophy where the philosophic battleground revolves around the truth or falsehood of a given assertion, the gilgul debate at points focuses on the psychological needs of the people." (p.6)

Martin Buber's collection of Legend of the Baal-Shem (Die Chassidischen Bücher) includes several of the Baal Shem Tov's stories that explicitly discuss concrete cases of reincarnating souls.

Rabbis who rejected the idea of reincarnation include Saadia Gaon(סעדיה הגאון), Hasdai Crescas, Yedayah Bedershi (early 14th century), Joseph Albo, Abraham ibn Daud and Leon de Modena. Saddia, in Emunoth ve-Deoth, concludes Section vi with a refutation of the doctrine of metempsychosis. Crescas writes that if reincarnation was real, people should remember details of their previous lives. Bedershi offers three reasons why the entire concept is dangerous:

  1. There is no reason for people to try and do good in this life, if they fear that they will nonetheless be punished for some unknown sin committed in a past life.
  2. Some people may assume that they did not sin in their past life, and so can coast on their success; thus there is no need to try hard to live a good life. In Bedershi's view, the only psychologically tenable worldview for a healthy life is to deal with the here-and-now.
  3. The idea presents a conundrum for those who believe that at the end of days, God will resurrect the souls and physical bodies of the dead. If a person has lived multiple lives, which body will God resurrect?

Joseph Albo writes that in theory the idea of gilgulim is compatible with Jewish theology. However, Albo argues that there is a purpose for a soul to enter the body, creating a being with free will. However, a return of the soul to another body, again and again, has no point. Leon De Modena thinks that the idea of reincarnation make a mockery of God's plans for humans; why does God need to send the soul back over and over? If God requires an individual to achieve some perfection or atone for some sin, then God can just extend that person's life until they have time to do what is necessary. De Modena's second argument against reincarnation is that the entire concept is absent from the entire Bible and corpus of classical rabbinic literature.

The idea of reincarnation, called gilgul, became popular in folk belief, and is found in much Yiddish literature among Ashkenazi Jews. Among a few kabbalists, it was posited that some human souls could end up being reincarnated into non-human bodies. These ideas can be found in a number of Kabbalistic works from the 1200s, and also among many mystics in the late 1500s. A distinction was made, however, between actual Transmigration and this form of reincarnation; the non-human subject had its own soul already, the human soul simply 'rode along with' the rock, or tree, or giraffe waiting to be 'elevated,' that is, to be raised to a higher level and to gradually approach the level of human again. The cow eats the grass, elevating the soul within it, the soul rides with the cow a while until a person eats the cow, and then the soul is elevated to the max. Rabbi Chaim Vidal, when asked how he came to be the foremost desciple and sole transmitter of the teachings of his teacher, the great Issac Luria, credits, not study or mitzvot, but his diligence in blessing his food: "For this way I elevate the souls therein. These souls then become my witnesses in the Heavenly Realm, and empower me to receive even greater revelations."

"Over time however, the philosophical teaching limiting reincarnation to human bodies emerged as the dominant view. Nonetheless, the idea that one can reborn as an animal was never completely eliminated from Jewish thought, and appears centuries later in the Eastern European folk tradition". [Simcha Paull-Raphael,Jewish Views of the Afterlife, p.319]

While many Jews today do not believe in reincarnation, the belief is common amongst Orthodox Jews, particularly amongst Hasidim; some Hasidic siddurim (prayerbooks) have a prayer asking for forgiveness for one's sins that one may have committed in this gilgul or a previous one.


Many Gnostic groups believed in reincarnation. For them, reincarnation was a negative concept: Gnostics believed that the material body was evil, and that they would be better off if they could eventually avoid having their 'good' souls reincarnated in 'evil' bodies.

The Gnostic Gospel of the Nazirenes - Chapter 69:

1. As Yeshua sat by the west of the temple with his disciples, behold there passed some carrying one that was dead, to burial, and a certain one said to Him, "Master, if a man die, shall he live again?"
2. He answered and said, "I am the resurrection and the life, I am the good, the beautiful, the true; if a man believe in me he shall not die, but live eternally. As in Adam all (1997 = are bound to cycles of rebirth) die, so in the Messiah shall all be made alive. Blessed are the dead who die in me, and are made perfect in my image and likeness, for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them. They have overcome evil, and are made pillars in the temple of my God, and they go out no more, for they rest in the eternal."
3. "For them that persist in evil there is no rest, but they go out and in, and suffer correction for ages, till they are made perfect. But for them that have done good and attained to perfection, there is endless rest and they go into life everlasting. They rest in the eternal."
4. "Over them the repeated death and birth have no power, for them the wheel of the eternal revolves no more, for they have attained to the center, where is eternal rest, and the center of all things is God."

Note: The text above is not from the original Gospel of the Nazirenes, which now exists only in fragments. Rather, it is the product of "channeling" and of recent origin.

The texts contains several parallels to the Gospels, which are, though, traditionally interpreted differently in their context:

"I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. John 11:25f RSV
Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. Revelation 3:12 (NIV)


Further information: Bible and reincarnation

Almost all present official Christian denominations reject reincarnation: exceptions include the Liberal Catholic Church and the Rosicrucian Fellowship. Doctrines of reincarnation were known to the early Church (before the 6th century A.D.), and believers in reincarnation claim that these doctrines were embraced or at least tolerated within the Church at that time. Two Church Fathers, Origen and Clement of Alexandria are frequently cited as supporting this. However, this cannot be confirmed from the existent writings of Origen. He was cognizant of the concept of reincarnation (metensomatosis "re-embodiment" in his words) from Greek philosophy, but he repeatedly states that this concept is no part of the Christian teaching or scripture. He writes in his Comment on the Gospel of Matthew: "In this place [when Jesus said Elijah was come and referred to John the Baptist] it does not appear to me that by Elijah the soul is spoken of, lest I fall into the doctrine of transmigration, which is foreign to the Church of God, and not handed down by the apostles, nor anywhere set forth in the scriptures" (ibid., 13:1:46–53).

Some reincarnation followers state that Origen's writings have only come down to us heavily edited 'to conform to Church doctrine', and some Origen's writings were later declared heretical by the Church (though Origen himself was not).

They also state that before the Church expurged what it considered his heretical ideas from editions of his works, other quotes of Origen were also recorded by early Church fathers that make it clear that he did indeed teach reincarnation. A discussion of Origen's relationship to reincarnation, including many more quotes, can be found at Kevin Williams' Near Death Experiences website.

Kurt Eggenstein claims that "Jerome wrote in a letter to Demetrius that among the early Christians, the doctrine of reincarnation had been passed on to the elect, as an occult tradition." He also gives a (supposed) quote from Gregory of Nyssa, saying "It is a necessity of nature that the soul becomes purified in repeated lives". The source and the translation are uncited. His book claims many more Christian authorities supported a belief in reincarnation.

In the New Testament, there are several passages that some people use to demonstrate that a belief in reincarnation was prevalent amongst those of Jesus' inner circle. He is asked if he is Elias, for example, in John 1:21; in Matthew 16:13-14 Jesus asks his disciples, ‘Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?’ And they said, ‘Some say that you are John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the other prophets.’ According to those people, such statements are only comprehensible if Jesus' disciples believed in reincarnation - although one can argue that this merely confirms that they knew this kind of belief, or that, even if the disciples held such beliefs at that moment, that does not confirm that Christ himself endossed it. Finally, in Matthew 11:13-14, Jesus says: For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. This can be understood in the light of the traditional Jewish prophecy that Elijah (Elias) would return one day, bringing on the Messianic age. John however denied that he was literally Elias John 1:21. And further, Elijah was transfigured and taken up into heaven (2Kings 2:11). Since he did not die, he would have no need of reincarnation to return again as prophesied by Malachi. However, the whole descriptive image of the transfiguration does not state that Elijah did not die, just that "went up by a whirlwind into heaven", and what this process of ascending to heaven implies to the physical body is not known in the mainstream theological study. On the other hand, the orthodox interpretation of Elijah's entering heaven in the physical body would contradict, among other passages, the New Testament's statement that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1Corinthians 15:50); unless "heaven" is considered not to be a part of the "kingdom of God" and that concept would contradict, among other passages, the preaching of John the Baptist "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:1-2) and the statement of Christ: "In my Father's house are many mansions" (John 14:2-3).

Matthew 19:28 states: "Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration (Greek -- pale-genesia literally, rebirth) when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." A more well-known passage from John 3:3 reads, "...Except a man be born again (Greek -- ano-then), he cannot see the Kingdom of God." The quote from John is sometimes translated as "born from above", and is the inspiration for the modern evangelical movement. Some readers interpret these passages to indicate reincarnation; however, Christian churches read them to refer to baptism or conversion, in a manner similar to what we know today as Born-again Christian.

In John 9:1, the discples put the question to Jesus, regarding a man who was blind from birth, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" The disciples appear to be citing two of the most plausible theories of the time: reincarnation, and sins of the parents (or, effects of parenting). This suggests that reincarnation was known to the disciples. Jesus's answer, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him" is open to interpretation, but it is apparent that he did not rebuke the disciples for suggesting the idea of reincarnation itself. In fact, one could interpret that he tacitly affirmed both hypotheses, while pointing to a third explanation in this particular case.

The Gnostic gospels include clear references to reincarnation, and it is clear that this early Christian (heretical) sect believed in this (see above). In the Gospel of Thomas, Nag Hammadi documents, passage #109 (Thomas O. Lambdin translation), we read: "The kingdom is like a man who had a hidden treasure in his field without knowing it. And after he died, he left it to his son. The son did not know (about the treasure). He inherited the field and sold it. And the one who bought it went plowing and found the treasure. He began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished." The "field" can be interpreted as our phenomenal world of sense experience; the "treasure" the essential Self; "inheriting" as reincarnating; and "plowing" as spiritual search and spiritual discipline.

A number of Evangelical and (in the USA) Fundamentalist Christian groups denounce any belief in reincarnation as heretical, and explain any phenomena suggestive of it as deceptions of the devil, using the Bible as source for such claims. In fact, although the Bible never mentions the word reincarnation, there are several passages through New Testament that Orthodox Christians interpret as openly rejecting reincarnation or the possibility of any return or contact with this world for the souls in Heaven or Hell (see Hb 9:21 and Luke 16:20-31)

There are various contemporary attempts to reconcile Christianity and reincarnation. See:

  • Geddes Macgregor, Reincarnation in Christianity : A New Vision of Rebirth in Christian Thought
  • Rudolf Steiner, Christianity and Mystical Fact.


Mainstream Islam rejects the concept of reincarnation. Believing in reincarnation into this world, in such a way that it could be interpreted as a denial of resurrection may constitutes apostasy in Islam.

A very few sufi groups believe in reincarnation [1] claiming that this concept is mentioned in Quran 2:28:

"How can you deny God, when you were dead and God gave you life? Then God will cause you to die, and then revive you, and then you will be returned to God." (Quran 2:28)

The mainstream Islam rejects this understanding of the verse, claiming that it refers to the worldly human life and the consequent resurrection in the hereafter.

It is claimed by some sufi groups that the mystics and poets in the Islam tradition have celebrated this belief:

"I died as mineral and became a plant,
I died as plant and rose to animal,
I died as animal and I was man.
Why should I fear?
When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as man,
To soar with angels blest;
But even from angelhood I must pass on ..."
(excerpt from Masnawi, by Hazrat)

In his Masnavi, Rumi speaks about the "seventy-two forms I have worn".

Modern Sufis who embrace the idea of reincarnation include Bawa Muhaiyadeen (see his To Die Before Death: The Sufi Way of Life) and Hazrat Inayat Khan (see The Sufi Message, vol. V, part 3).

Reincarnation has also been used to reconcile the Quran's apparent identification of Miriam, the mother of Isa as the sister of Aaron and daughter of Amran, all of whom lived well before the first century CE.

Another verse of the Qur-an that may support the theory of reincarnation is: "Thou [God] makest the night to pass into the day and Thou makest the day to pass into the night, and Thou bringest forth the living from the dead and Thou bringest forth the dead from the living, and Thou givest sustenance to whom Thou pleasest without measure." (Quran 3:27)

Some verse of Quran that seem to discount repeated lives:

  • "From the (earth) did We Create you, and into it Shall We return you, And from it shall We Bring you out once again. (The Quran, 20:55)"
  • " 'And Allah has produced you from the earth, Growing (gradually), And in the End He will return you Into the (earth), And raise you forth (Again at the Resurrection).' (The Quran, 71:17-18)"
  • "Nor will they there Taste Death, except the first Death; and He will preserve Them from the Penalty Of the Blazing Fire. (The Quran, 44:56)"
  • " 'Is it (the case) that We shall not die, except our first death, And that we Shall not be punished?' Verily this is The supreme achievement! For the like of this Let all strive, Who wish to strive. (The Quran, 37:58-61)"


The Druze, who consider themselves part of Islam, believe that after death they come back as Druze again.

Native American Nations

Reincarnation is an intrinsic part of many Native American and Inuit traditions. Regardless of the actual religious beliefs and practices of today's Native Americans, with varying religious beliefs, the idea has survived for centuries. In the now heavily Christian Polar North (now mainly parts of Greenland and Nunavut), the concept of reincarnation is enshrined in the Inuit language. The survival of the concept of reincarnation applies across the Nations in varying degrees of integrity. The Nations are, of course, now sandwiched between Eastern [Native] and Western traditions.

Norse mythology

Reincarnation also appears in Norse mythology, in the Poetic Edda. The editor of the Poetic Edda informs the reader that Helgi Hjörvarðsson and his mistress, the valkyrie Sváva, whose love story is told in the Helgakviða Hjörvarðssonar, were reborn as Helgi Hundingsbane and the valkyrie Sigrún. Helgi and Sigrún's love story is the matter of a part of the Völsunga saga and the lays Helgakviða Hundingsbana I and II. They were reborn a second time as Helgi Haddingjaskati and the valkyrie Kára, but unfortunately their story, Káruljóð, only survives in a probably modified form in the Hrómundar saga Gripssonar.

Contemporary movements and thinkers

Modern thinkers

In the Renaissance we find the doctrine in Giordano Bruno, and in the 17th century in the theosophist van Helmont. During the classical period of German literature metempsychosis attracted much attention: Goethe played with the idea, and it was taken up more seriously by Lessing, who borrowed it from Charles Bonnet, and by Herder. It has been mentioned with respect by Hume and by Schopenhauer.


Main article: Spiritism

Reincarnation is the core of the doctrine of Spiritism, a tolerant new religious movement started in France in 1857. According to Spiritists the souls will reincarnate to perfect themselves toward communion with God.


Reincarnation plays an important role in the ideas of Anthroposophy, a spiritual movement founded by Rudolf Steiner. Steiner described the human soul gaining new experiences in every epoch and in a variety of races or nations. The unique personality and abilities, but also weaknesses, that every human being is born with are not simply a reflection of the genetic heritage -- though Steiner described the incarnating soul as searching for and even preparing a familial lineage supportive of its future life; a person's character is also determined by his or her past lives.

Anthroposophy describes the present as being formed by a tension between the past and the future. Both influence our present destiny; there are events that occur due to our past, but there are also events that occur to prepare us rightly for the future. Between these two, there is space for human free will; we create our destiny, not only live it out, just as we build a house in which we then choose to live.

Anthroposophy has developed various spiritual exercises that are intended to develop the capacity to discern past lives and the deeper nature of the human being. In addition, Steiner investigated the karmic relationships of many historical individuals, from Karl Marx to Julian the Apostate.[1]


Modern theosophy, which draws its inspiration from India, has taken metempsychosis (or rather reincarnation) as a cardinal tenet; it is, says a recent theosophical writer, "the master-key to modern problems," and among them to the problem of heredity. The idea of reincarnation is also part of the New Age culture.

Today, among newer movements, belief in reincarnation is widespread in New Age and Neopagan circles. It is an important tenet of Theosophy, and central to Spiritism, founded by Allan Kardec.

Toward the Light is an example of a contemporary work originating in the western world, which very detailed accounts for reincarnation.


See also the article Scientology beliefs and practices.

The Church of Scientology, founded by L. Ron Hubbard, is another new religion that accepts past lives and holds that all beings are truly immortal, although in a variety of levels of awareness. The motto of their fraternal religious order Sea Organization is "We Come Back". Scientology does not use the word "reincarnation" to describe its beliefs, noting that "The common definition of reincarnation has been altered from its original meaning. The word has come to mean 'to be born again in different life forms' whereas its actual definition is 'to be born again into the flesh of another body.' Scientology ascribes to this latter, original definition of reincarnation." [2]

The first writings in Scientology regarding past lives date from around 1951 and slightly earlier. The controversy brought the subject to public awareness, and was followed by such cases (not related to Scientology) as Bridey Murphy in 1952. In 1960, Hubbard wrote a book on past lives entitled Have You Lived Before This Life and started a second called Where Were You Buried? that was never completed.

Much of the controversy involving Scientology arises from the logical extension of the concept of past lives to what is effectively eternity. In this context, past lives not only take place prior to Earth, but also in non-Earth civilizations, and even in universes prior to this one, where conditions and rules of existence can be different. One could even have past lives in civilizations where advanced technology was common and/or routine. Thus a person who once lived in a world destroyed by nuclear war could become upset living in a world where nuclear power has been re-discovered. Such events can also act as a template for future actions and reactions on a knowing and as well as an unknowing basis. Persons and cultures can act out unknowingly, as if in a script, the circumstances that led to unfortunate events in the past.

Scientology looks only to the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, its founder, for explanations on the system of past lives. Scientology does not assume that beings in the between life area necessarily have the best interests of the individual at heart (it varies), and that the path to increased awareness is not a guaranteed thing.

Scientology also holds that people are composite beings, and that the physical body can have a sense of awareness of its own (called the "genetic entity"), separate from the mind and the spirit, which memories from its own genetic line can be recalled by an individual, although this is not usually done. In Scientology the term that roughly corresponds to the concepts for spirit or soul is thetan.

Scientology does not consider the lack of awareness of past lives to be a good thing. It attributes the general amnesia of past lives to a variety of causes, including, but not limited to, pain, unconsciousness, lack of personal responsibility, and even the decision to forget what had just transpired.

Persons can unknowingly assume the personality characteristics of another person. Carried to an extreme, this results in people identifying themselves with famous and/or powerful individuals, even when the circumstances were different. Scientology Counseling addresses this problem as part of a larger body of procedures.

In Scientology counselling, knowledge of previous lives is not pursued for its own sake. Rather, awareness and knowledge of previous lives might occur while resolving a specific matter, such as an injury, etc., arising during counselling. Importance is placed upon resolving those issues which affect the individual currently, not when or where the past life took place. However, those particular details may become part of one's understanding as awareness improves in addressing these issues. General recall of past lives is addressed later, after one has attained the state of Clear, and is progressing through the Advanced Levels.

Edgar Cayce

American mystic Edgar Cayce taught reality of reincarnation and karma, but as instruments of a loving God rather than blind natural laws. Its purpose is to teach us certain spiritual lessons. Animals have undifferentiated, "group" souls rather than individuality and consciousness. Once the soul evolves through a succession of animal incarnations and achieves human status, it is not then reborn in animal form. Cayce's view arguably incorporates Theosophical teachings on spiritual evolution.

Seth Jane Roberts

In the series of books supposedly dictated to the medium Jane Roberts, "Seth" talks about reincarnation and life after death. Seth believed that time and space are basically illusions. Consistent with this view, Seth argues that only parts of each person incarnate (appear in physical reality). This last argument is part of Seth's view that man is a multi-dimensional entity simultaneously alive in many contexts.

Daheshism (Dr. Dahesh)

In the 20th century a Lebanese man named "Dr. Dahesh" (birth name: Salim Mousa El-Achi) claimed that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, and is has been said that to prove it he performed hundreds of miracles in front of prominent physicians, journalists, and ordinary Lebanese [citation needed]. Among his reported miracles were turning blank pieces of paper into currency, healing the sick, raising the dead, turning water into wine, walking on water, etc. Dr. Dahesh died in 1984, but has a religion called "Daheshism" with several thousand followers worldwide. According to Daheshism we all have 6,000 lifetimes on this and other planets, and that Hell and Paradise refer to lives on other planets.

The New Age movement

There are many people nowadays who allegedly "remember" their past lives and use that knowledge to help them with their current lives; this kind of occurrence is fairly central to the New Age faith. Some of the people who remember claim simply to remember without any effort on their part. They simply "see" previous times and see themselves interacting with others, occasionaly even different creatures besides people themselves.

Common variations on the belief

In recalling past lives, there are a number of variations that need to be examined, which are important to its adherents.

In the Urantia Book, personality survival after death does not always happen. Personality survival takes place among those souls who have divined the divine meaning and purpose and signification of their life, basically having evolved sufficiently to awaken some form of immortal awareness. Otherwise, death is a permanent affair. The cosmology of the Urantia Book is very complex, but is similar in some regards to the system seen in Theosophy. See the section of the Urantia Book regarding Personality Survival for much more detail[3]

Theosophical texts maintain that people are constantly evolving, gradually becoming one of the Ascended Masters. In this system, one may be incarnated anyplace in the chain of life, and this is often in connection with life lessons that need to be learned. One often meets with ones spirit guides, one of the Ascended masters, etc. in order to plan the major events for the next life. The element of karma in reincarnation is often seen as a system of divine justice. See also Elizabeth Clare Prophet for a modern exponent of Theosophy.

In many common new age beliefs, past life recalls involving lifetimes within the historical record (real or supposed, including legendary places such as Atlantis) are commonly accepted. It is sometimes believed that prior to that there was a succession of lifetimes in other lifeforms where one was working to become Human. This seems to borrow ideas from the Darwinian theory of evolution. Lifetimes outside the context of earth are rarely acknowledged.

Often, the doctrine of karma as commonly believed is seen to be a mechanism of divine justice, imposed or enforced by rules of the universe. One variation is what one does, comes back to you multiplied three fold.

In Tibetan Buddhism one finds the concept of the Six Worlds, where dependent on the quality of one merit or karma, one is re-incarnated as a citizen of one of the six Worlds, these being the world of Gods, World of DemiGods, World of Men, World of Animals, world of Demons, and the world of Hell. The advantage of the Human realm is that this is the only place where it is possible to achieve enlightenment, and so pass beyond the cycle of suffering. Incarnations in other realms and worlds are acknowledged, but usually this is considered so long ago that it is not very relevant.

Theosophical and other related beliefs systems explain the common inability to not remember past lives as a part of the divine plan, and that this is a good thing for a variety of reasons. Souls often appear before a group of beings who sit in judgement, to one degree or another, and who decide where the soul is going to go in their future incarnation. This group of beings is always presumed to be members of the Ascended Masters. Some more recent groups have taken a more sceptical view of this.

An interesting variation can be seen in the work of Author Peter Novak[4], who proposes that reincarnation is part of a larger scheme, where soul and spirit are two different entities, united as one during one's lifetime, and which separate at death, in a process he calls consciousness division or Division Theory. The division of consciousness is not considered to be a good thing.

One other variation, borrowing from the ancient Egyptian, can be seen in the essay The Western Lands[5] by William S. Burroughs, where the doctrine of seven souls is discussed. In this context, the idea is propounded that souls can die a permanent death under unusual circumstances, such as in a nuclear explosion.

Yet another view can be gleaned from The Nevers, where some "members" believe that their nomadic lifestyle is a result of their soul seeking out experiences to enrich its journey.

One item of note is that with the vast increase in population in recent centuries, the number of beings who have experienced the historic cultures of Earth would actually be in a minority of the beings currently incarnating on Earth. This means that they must be coming from some other set of circumstances. Different beliefs explain this in a variety of ways, although some are not aware of the issue

Research and debate

Scientific and other research into reincarnation

The most detailed collections of personal reports in favor of reincarnation have been published by Dr. Ian Stevenson in works such as Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects, which documents thousands of detailed cases where claims of injuries received in past lives sometimes correlate with birthmarks or birth defects.

Stevenson has spent over 40 years devoted to the study of children who have spoken about concepts seemingly unknown to them. In each case, Dr. Stevenson methodically documents the child's statements. Then he identifies the deceased person the child allegedly identifies with, and verifies the facts of the deceased person's life that match the child's memory. He also matches birthmarks and birth defects to wounds and scars on the deceased, verified by medical records such as autopsy photographs.

Stevenson believes that his strict methods rule out all possible "normal" explanations for the child’s memories. However, it should be noted that a significant majority of Dr. Stevenson's reported cases of reincarnation originate in Eastern societies, where dominant religions often permit the concept of reincarnation. In India - where this phenomenon is common - if a child from a poor family claims to be the reincarnated person from a rich family, this can lead to the child to be adopted by that family, a motive that has led to children making fraudulent reincarnation claims.[6]

As Stevenson himself said about the 2500 cases of children, who appeared to remember past lives, which he and his associates investigated: "My conclusion so far is that reincarnation is not the only explanation for these cases, but that it is the best explanation we have for the stronger cases, by which I mean those in which a child makes a considerable number (say 20 or 30) of correct statements about another person who lives in a family that lives quite remote from his own and with which his family has had no prior contacts. When we talk about remoteness, we don't necessarily just mean physical distance. We know that two families can live only 10 kilometers apart and yet they can be very remote because they belong to different economic and social classes." See the whole interview.

Perhaps the most significant anecdotal evidence in this regard is the phenomenon of young children spontaneously sharing what appear to be memories of past lives, a phenomenon which has been reported even in cultures that do not hold to a belief in reincarnation. Upon investigating such claims, Stevenson and others have identified individuals who had died a few years before the child was born who seem to meet the descriptions the children provided. However, Stevenson cautions that such evidence is suggestive of reincarnation, but that more research must be conducted. Stevenson's claims are not widely accepted by mainstream scientists.[7] Many examples can be found in Children's Past Lives - How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child(Bantam, 1997) by Carol Bowman.

Peter Ramster, a mainstream psychotherapist not believing in reincarnation[citation needed], has frequently used trance and hypnosis. He was struck by the number of patients who told about events which were not directly related to their current lives. At first Ramster thought these were just dreamlike fantasies, but he began to change his mind as an increasing number of patients gave details that could be verified.[citation needed] Four of these patients, house wives who had never left Australia and who, under trance, had come up with all sorts of details, and names of people and places that could not have been found in any published source[citation needed], were taken to the Western European countries where they said they had been living in the 18th and 19th century. Prior to their arrival, in 1983, Ramster and local historians searched archives, looking for and finding the names given in Australia. Similarly, villages and hamlets mentioned under hypnosis were found on old maps. Some of these settlements no longer existed, yet the names given turned out to be correct.[citation needed] The strongest case of all, according to Ramster, is Gwen McDonald who said she was Rose Duncan in Somerset, England, at the end of the 18th century.[citation needed] For instance, in Australia she had described in detail the location of a set of stepping stones to cross a brook, close to her parents house. In Somerset, Ramster and McDonald, accompanied by a Australian tv crew, easily found the place.[citation needed] The stepping stones were missing, but a local historian told they had been removed a few decades earlier. Between the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey (demolished around 1540) there were two stone pyramids, McDonald had told in Sydney. They are missing now, but historian Geoffrey Ashe, who had joined Ramsters team, confirmed that they were mentioned in Medieval sources.[citation needed] In Sidney McDonald told that she and others had taken a big slab from the floor of the Glastonbury Abbey ruins to their nearby house. The stone bore a number of significant, man made markings, which McDonald drew under trance. Following her description, the house was easily found. It now served as a chicken shed. With consent of the current owner, and filmed by the tv crew, thick layers of dung were removed and a stone was found, with detailed markings closely matching McDonalds drawing. In his book In Search of Lives Past (Sydney, 1990, ISBN 0 646 00021 7) Ramster writes: "I would venture the odds of achieving that by chance are enormous." And also: "Short of some other explanation to the contrary, I have personally come to believe in the truth of both life after death and reincarnation." His book contains parts of the transcripts of the tape recordings of his patients, including more than 20.000 words of what McDonald said. The investigation of the McDonald case was witnessed throughout by Dr. Basil Cottle of Bristol University.

Ramsters research has almost complety been ignored by the scientific community. Despite his finds, of which only a few fragments have been mentioned here, Ramster has alway been interested in explanations other than reincarnation.[citation needed] The very few psychologists who tried to provide one, suggested that the information provided by McDonald and others may have been genetically transferred to them.[citation needed] However, Gwen McDonald appears not to have had ancestors living in Somerset around 1780. Another Australian woman, Cynthia Henderson, spoke 18th century French under hypnosis, in line with her story of a life in Normandy that ended under the guillotine during the French Revolution. Ramster writes: "Her knowledge of French seemed to far exeed anything she might have been able to learn from a short period in classes at school. [Witness] Antoinne [Le Breton] was astonished. He said she spoke French well, as a Frenchwoman spoke it, devoid of any English accent. Furthermore, he said she spoke in a manner more in keeping with the 18th century, as some of her words were old fashioned." More about Ramsters work.

Another researcher is Dr. Brian Weiss, whose books Many lives, many masters; Through time into healing; and Only love is real, document cases he came across in his 11 year practice as Chairman of the Psychiatry department at Mount Sinai Medical Center Miami FL.. The latter book traces the histories of two patients of his, who independently during their separate treatments turned out to have past lives which dovetailed with matching descriptions. Dr Weiss now also runs past life workshops for interested parties.

One hypothesis that comes from the channeller Diandra is past life injuries are stored in the "cellular memory" of a person's body that can show as birth marks. These cellular memories can also be triggered this lifetime at the same age it occurred in a past lifetime.[citation needed] Diandra cites one example where she was doing a channelled personal session for a doctor that did not believe in channelling or past lives but came to the personal session because his wife wanted him to. The doctor started crying when Diandra moved into a past life where he died of a heart attack at age forty. The doctor revealed he was a heart doctor who had a heart attack at forty this lifetime.[citation needed]

Objections to reincarnation

Objections to reincarnation include: that personal identity depends on memory, and most people do not remember previous incarnations.

René Guénon and others maintain that Reincarnation is both a recent concept (created in the 1800 by Spiritists and Theosophists) and distinct from both metempsychosis and transmigration - detailed in his 1923 book "The Spiritist Fallacy".

Some scientists and skeptics, such as Paul Edwards, have analyzed many of these anecdotal accounts. In every case they found that further research into the individuals involved provides sufficient background to weaken the conclusion that these cases are credible examples of reincarnation. However, Edwards, who has been accused of being strongly biased towards materialism and therefore excluding the possibility of reincarnation a priori, fails to discuss the work of Peter Ramster in Reincarnation: A Critical Examination (1996). Philosophers like Robert Almeder, having analyzed the criticisms of Edwards and others, say that the gist of these arguments can be summarized as "we all know it can't possibly be real, so therefore it isn't real" - an argument from lack of imagination.

Critics claim that a large number of mental phenomena such as memory and ability are already accounted for by physiological processes and point out moral and practical inconsistencies in the various theories of reincarnation. Without conclusive evidence showing that reincarnation exists then the theory of reincarnation cannot be considered to be a valid theory worthy of formal scientific recognition and acceptance.

Some skeptics explain the abundance of claims of evidence for reincarnation to originate from selective thinking and the psychological phenomena of false memories that often result from one's own belief system and basic fears, and thus cannot be counted as empirical evidence.

David Bishai, a researcher at John Hopkins School of Public Health, has studied reincarnation against the backdrop of the explosive population growth at the end of the 20th century. Although he contends that it is scientifically impossible to dismiss reincarnation out of hand due to lack of data, he shows that with a world population of 6 billion a soul will be discarnate for a period of 30 to 712 years depending on the number of souls available. This strongly argues against the notion of immediate reincarnation.

Other theories put forward to explain the phenomenon

There are a number of small children who have reported having memories of past lives prior to their present life, and some also report being able to recall a time between lives (see books by Dr. Ian Stevenson, Carol Bowman, Dr. Jim B. Tucker, and Elisabeth Hallett). Some of these children claim that being reborn is not necessarily a punishment for past bad "karma", but rather an opportunity for a soul to grow spiritually. Additional lifetimes could give individual souls a greater opportunity to accomplish more for God, if that is a person's goal, and to develop better character traits. Eastern views of reincarnation vary and several parallels with this idea are to be found in certain branches of Hinduism and Buddhism.

If the Buddhist view of rebirth is consulted, then the transmigrated characteristics were merely a set of information datas that lacks any personality or soul. A comparison can be made to how a radio wave is sent through space until it is received by a receptor and decoded, the personality data might similarily have been transferred to another recepter, in this case that of the biological newborn. Some information might be transferred while others might be lost. Hence there is no limit to the amount of biological recepters that could imprint the previous characteristics of a diseased person. This means that population growth is irrelevant to rebirth.

See also





Scientific publications

  • Dr. Ian Stevenson, Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects ISBN 0275952835
  • Dr. Ian Stevenson, Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation, revised edition (This is a text aimed mainly at an undergraduate audience.) ISBN 0786409134

Related publications:

  • Jim B. Tucker, Dr., Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives ISBN 0312321376
  • Paul Edwards, Reincarnation: A Critical Examination ISBN 1573929212
  • Titus Rivas, published at the Journal of Scientific Exploration, U.S.A. 2003:
  • Three Cases of the Reincarnation Type in the Netherlands abstract

Emily Williams Cook, Bruce Greyson, and Ian Stevenson, published at the Journal of Scientific Exploration, U.S.A. 1998:

  • Do Any Near-Death Experiences Provide Evidence for the Survival of Human Personality after Death? Relevant Features and Illustrative Case Reports pdf

Pim Van Lommel, Dr., Dutchman, Cardiologist, Division of Cardiology - Hospital Rijnstate. Published 13-year study, at the world leading medical science journal "The Lancet" in 2001 (358: 2039-45), of NDEs observed in 10 different Dutch hospitals with survivors of cardiac arrest:

  • Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in the Netherlands www pdf
  • A Reply to Shermer: Medical Evidence for NDEs, 2003, www

David Fontana, Prof., Cardiff University and Liverpool John Moores University, UK, published at magazine "ParaDocs", Finland 2003:

  • Does Mind Survive Physical Death? pdf

Anabela Cardoso, Dr., University of Minho, Portugal, published at magazine "ParaDocs", Finland 2003:

  • ITC Voices: Contact with Another Reality? pdf

Neal Grossman, Prof., Ph.D. in The History and Philosophy of Science from Indiana University, and associate professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago, published at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) in 2002:

  • Who's Afraid of Life After Death? Why NDE Evidence is Ignored www.

Journal of Conscientiology:

  • Special Thematic Issue: Intermissive Period and Intermissive Courses, Journal of Conscientiology No. 26, London, UK.


External links

Personal tools