Are you fascinated by reincarnation beliefs but unsure what to really think of it all? Check out these common misconceptions. It might make a believer out of of you!
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I’ve always been curious and enchanted by reincarnation beliefs. I would read a novel or watch a fictitious movie about it, but I never truly researched it - until now. I’ve spent the last year studying the subject, and I wanted to share some of the common misconceptions I’ve come across. I think more people would be open to the idea if they knew the information I’ve discovered.
There’s no way to prove reincarnation beliefs, of course, so I can hardly claim to be an expert on the subject. I’ll also be the first to admit that I have a lot more to learn. I literally have a stack of books I still want to read on the subject that are staring me down as a type this. It’s a broad topic!
These “facts” I’m presenting are based on my own understanding and interpretations after consuming a lot of material from people such as Jane Roberts and her Seth books, Abraham Hicks, Robert A. Monroe, and Brian Weiss, MD. They are not associated with any particular religion, which makes it all the more intriguing for me personally. Check out my full book list by clicking here.
I intend on reading more material from authors such as Dolores Cannon, Michael Newton PhD, and Ian Stevenson MD. I’ll do an updated post once I do! (Fyi, those are Amazon affiliate links. I put them there for your convenience to learn more, but I would make a small commission if you happened to buy any of them.)
In this article on reincarnation beliefs and common misconceptions, I’ll discuss the following:
Reincarnation doesn’t mean that a heaven type place doesn’t exist, too.
Did your existence begin when you were in your mother’s womb? A lot of people believe our souls existed before our physical birth and that, when we die, it returns to that same place it came from.
A common misconception is that reincarnation and heaven are mutually exclusive, that if you believe in one you must not believe in the other. Not true! If anything, the beliefs actually support each other.
I'm not a Christian, but I grew up in the Bible Belt, where we were taught to believe in an afterlife. There was always a lot of talk about going to heaven — and trying to stay out of hell — but there wasn’t much talk about a before-life.
There was a scripture mentioned occasionally from the book of Jeremiah (chapter 1 verse 5, NIV version). "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you."
For some reason it never really registered with me, though. As a kid, I just assumed that my soul was created at the same time as my physical body. Whether that was at the moment of conception or not, I wasn’t sure. I really didn’t think much of it.
Then as an adult I read a novel called My Name Is Memory and thus started my fascination with reincarnation beliefs. Years later, I came across the nonfiction books I mentioned at the beginning of the post. I had to admit to myself that reincarnation just makes sense.
Reincarnation doesn’t mean that heaven (or whatever word you prefer to use) doesn’t exist, too. Souls don’t necessarily jump immediately into another life. You can do that, but according to Seth and the Jane Roberts books, it’s discouraged.
So, there’s an in-between place you go. Some people who have had hypnosis to remember their past lives describe it as a waiting room but can’t remember any other details. Many people — those in hypnosis as well as those who have had near death experiences — describe it as a feeling of pure acceptance, love, and bliss.
This also makes sense with what Abraham Hicks says, that when we “croak” we all return to Source before coming back again.
My understanding is that this nonphysical place, this heaven, is where we rest and reset, getting a little rejuvenation while also planning out our next life.
Let me tell you a personal story that ties in to reincarnation beliefs.
Not long before my aunt Bobbie went into hospice care, she claimed she kept being visited by her sister, Lucille, who had passed away years previously. Bobbie was surprised by Lucille's appearance, though she always recognized her.
"Why are you dressed in normal clothes?" she asked her finally. "Shouldn't you be in a long white gown or something?"
My aunt Lucille laughed.
"Are you in heaven?" Bobbie asked. "What's it like?"
"There are different parts of heaven," Lucille said. "I'm happy! I'm just being taught a lot and learning new stuff right now."
I got chills when I first learned of this story. It made me happy because if I'm being honest, the traditional heaven I was raised to believe in with white robes and harps always sounded kinda boring.
I also love how much it resonates with some of the experiences Robert Monroe writes about. He has described a classroom-type setting he's visited on the astral plane and different "teachers" who exist there.
Past lives aren't actually in the past.
We call them past lives, but according to Seth, they’re not really in the past at all. They’re all happening simultaneously! I know, I know. That one is hard to process.
He says it’s because we’re stuck in a mindset that time is linear, when really it’s not. I would love to go into more detail with this one, but the truth is I’m still trying to wrap my own head around it. I’ll happily update this post once I read more, if it happens to start making more sense to me. Ha.
He also mentions that in addition to “past” lives, we’re also simultaneously living out lives in multiple timelines. When we're in the in-between, we apparently plot out our next life in great detail. We make agreements with others on who will be our parents, etc, but since we have free will and come here to have new experiences, we also make plans for different decisions and timelines. It's a very intricate system!
In Robert A. Monroe’s book Journeys Out of the Body (which is about his experiences with astral projection and what some people call near-death experiences or NDEs), the author seemed to experience one of his alternate timelines on a few occasions.
But I’m tired of being a human…
I think one reason that some people don’t like the idea of reincarnation is it makes them feel trapped. Whereas something like heaven is made out to be a paradise, the idea of returning to Earth life after life, feels disappointing in comparison.
But don’t fret! You’re not doomed to be a human forever.
While we do have multiple lives, at some point, we each move on to new things. I’m not sure if we have thirty lives or three hundred, but I know Seth mentioned that we each experience being a parent at least once and that we try out different genders and races, etc.
I don’t imagine there’s a minimum number of lives you have to have, but personally, I enjoy being on Earth as a human. Both my mom and my husband kinda balked at the idea of reincarnation beliefs at first, because it just sounded exhausting to them. If that’s how you feel, I hope you’ll get a little relief knowing that it’s kinda like riding a roller coaster over and over. It’s supposed to be fun, but at some point you’ll get to leave the park.
Abraham Hicks frequently makes light of death and says we take it way too seriously. On one occasion I heard them compare it to someone leaving a movie theater because they weren't enjoying the film and the rest of the audience throwing a fit and having a funeral.
Now, I would never want to mock someone who is grieving, but that metaphor did make me laugh. And more importantly, I think it could bring comfort to someone who has lost someone they love - because it means you haven't really lost them at all. We are infinite beings, forever connected to each other.
Last reincarnation belief / misconception. You’re not here to make up for bad deeds.
According to both Seth and Abraham Hicks, we’re here for expansion and for joyful experiences. They have both stated that we’re not here to make up for bad deeds or to “fix our karma” as a lot of people believe.
This gets a little confusing, though, because Seth has said that many people *think* they have to make up for a past life so they will plan the new one based on that belief. For example, a person who chopped off someone's arm in one life might decide to be born missing an arm themselves in a new life. Or a person who took advantage of poor people in one life might choose to be born into poverty for their next life.
The only reason this is confusing to me is because I assume that once we die, we have access to more knowledge. So why do some people still think we have to make up for past deeds if we don't?
Either way, I think maybe what Seth was saying is that it's less about punishment and more about it being a deliberate choice, with the intent to learn by having opposite experiences. At one point he mentioned that he himself had a past life as a poor widowed woman with many children.
Because they were frequently starving, food tasted so much better in that lifetime than when he was a wealthy priest who had a table full of food served to him daily. It wasn't that it is better to be poor than rich, obviously. It's just that he learned differently in that lifetime... and each life offered him fresh perspective in that way.
Another point that I really love was made during a live recording of Abraham Hicks. They said that a star athlete doesn't want an easy opponent because there's less fun or excitement in that. So, in the same way, an advanced soul may choose a more challenging life and that it's weirdly meant to be thrilling in its own way.
Well, that sums up my list of reincarnation beliefs and common misconceptions. I look forward to sharing more as I continue to read up on the subject. Who knows? Maybe I'll do my own past life regression / hypnosis session one of these days.
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