God/Nils/Reincarnation and Christianity
Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical belief that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body that may be human, animal or spiritual depending on the moral quality of the previous life's actions.
Wikipedia: This doctrine is a central tenet of the Indian religions and is a belief that was held by Pythagoras, Plato and Socrates. It is also a common belief of pagan religions such as Druidism, Spiritism, Theosophy, and Eckankar and is found in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Siberia, West Africa, North America, and Australia. Although the majority of Judaism, Christianity and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation. In Judaism, the Hasidic tzadik was believed to know the past lives of each person through his semi-prophetic abilities. In recent decades, many Europeans and North Americans have developed an interest in reincarnation. Some university researchers, such as Ian Stevenson and Jim B. Tucker, have explored the issue of reincarnation and published reports of children's memories of earlier lives in peer-reviewed journals. Skeptics have stated that more reincarnation research is needed. Between 20 and 30 percent of persons in western countries believe in reincarnation. (...)
Though the major Christian denominations reject the concept of reincarnation, a large number of Christians profess the belief. In a survey by the Pew Forum in 2009, 24% of American Christians expressed a belief in reincarnation. In a 1981 Survey in Europe 31% of regular churchgoing Catholics expressed a belief in reincarnation. Geddes MacGregor, an Episcopalian priest who is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a recipient of the California Literature Award, and the first holder of the Rufus Jones Chair in Philosophy and Religion at Bryn Mawr, demonstrates in his book Reincarnation in Christianity: A New Vision of the Role of Rebirth in Christian Thought, that Christian doctrine and reincarnation are not mutually exclusive belief systems.
Wikipedia (de): The major Christian churches and, accordingly, most theologians reject the idea of reincarnation. However, there are mainly in the esoteric literature of the past decades, numerous biblical interpretations in which quotations from the New as well as the Old Testament are interpreted as evidences for reincarnation. This is supported by the Protestant theologian Helmut Obst: "In the Bible exists no clear teaching of reincarnation. But there are a few passages which contain statements that can be understood in terms of reincarnation. In particular, the Elijah-Baptist-issue in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark make it impossible to say that the New Testament know not at all the idea of reincarnation. It is about John the Baptist, known as the returned prophet Elijah (Matthew 11:13-14 EU)."
Wikipedia (de): Reincarnation research examines memories that have been interpreted as such from a previous life. It examines whether this cases can be explained as fraud, deceit or by psychological, psychic or spiritualistic assumptions. For so not explicable cases the reincarnation research thinks the existence of an actual reincarnation is possible.
One of the most well-known cases of reincarnation in India is Shanti Devi. She was born in 1926 in New Delhi and could remember her previous life as a house wife in Mathura. Although she was never in that location, she was able to describe her previous husband, her previous house, and the city itself. She could even remember where she had always hidden her money in her former life.
Nils: "My beliefs are based mainly on my own experiences. I have seen about thousand previous lives in the course of my spiritual cleansing processes. After seven years as a Yogi, I was suddenly overcome by the wish to know my earlier life. I went back in my meditation to a previous time and felt resonance with a particular time. I looked in that direction and could spiritually “see” four earlier lifes. If you dissolve systematically all tensions in the body and in the spirit with spiritual exercises, one day you reach the stress situations of your earlier lifes. This is what happened at St. Anthony, the founder of the Christian desert fathers. He saw how he was eaten in his past lifes by bigger animals. Visions of demonic beasts appeared in his mind's eye. All the major stress is stored in the soul. If the tensions dissolve, dip in dreams or visions short scenes (short films) of the stress situations. The solution process is often associated with intense physical reactions such as restlessness, tremors, heat or cold. First I resolved the tensions of my present life. In short movie scenes I saw stressful exam situations, relationship conflicts and repressed accidents. Since I still had the stressful events in the memory, the connection between spiritual practice, the resolution of inner tensions and the appearence of solution dreams became clear. I learned to distinguish solution dreams from normal dreams. After eleven years as a Yogi, many former lifes came in dreams to the surface of my consciousness. Differing from the conscious perceptions while meditating, very clear films like short videos appeared. I could see the details of the situations and the environment I was in at the time of the previous life. From the single pictures I could see geographical details."
The Goal of Reincarnation
Questioner: Isn’t the goal of reincarnation religions to become free of the painful cycle of life?
Nils: See it in a positive light. It is a wonderful thing to be able to live again and again for eternity. When your body is old and used up, you lay it down and you get a new one. Then the party goes on. You can live on earth as long as you want. When the earth is no longer inhabitable, we can look for a new star, establish a new Wikiversity and have more fun there.
And when we don’t feel like doing that anymore, there is also a way out of the game. We will all become yogis, go towards enlightenment, and we will move up spiritually and above the eternal dance of joy and pain. We will then live in a light dimension. According to the yoga teachings, every enlightened yogi has the choice if he or she would like to return to the earth or to live forever in the world of light. With her or his last thoughts (mantra or prayer) she or he decide the future of her or his soul. I favor the middle path. A karma-yogi (bodhisattva) lives with in the light dimension (in God) and also in the world of material. Then you can enjoy life a little bit, help all beings and grow spiritually.
(Jesus.de and Politikstube.de, 2012)
Nicodemus (Catholic theologian): If reincarnation is proven, we would have to accept it, of course.
Aaron: In our time, more and more people believe in reincarnation. They believe that man, after a stay in the afterlife returns to the earth.
Katrin: There are special "knowing Mystics" like Nils, who say that there is reincarnation. I'm not impressed at all. Reincarnation does not exist. "The man is set to live once, die once and after this the judgment" - quoted from the Epistle to the Romans.
Nils: Thanks for pointing this out. It is the teaching of Paul. Jesus, however, accepted reincarnation. I refer to the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 11, where Jesus was asked if John the Baptist has come back ( was reborn) as Elijah: "And if you are willing to accept what I say, he is Elijah, the one the prophets said would come." (Matthew 11:14) Apparently, Jesus believed in reincarnation. "As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him."(John 9:1-3. Here Jesus assumed the possibility of reincarnation. How else could someone be born blind from his own sin?
I believe that the teachings of the paradise and the doctrine of reincarnation are not contradictory. Both is possible. A soul can choose to be reborn or to be cleaned further in the afterlife. It is even possible that a soul ascends to heaven and one day returns to earth to help the people on earth spiritually. This happens often in Hinduism and Buddhism. Even in Christianity, it is possible that saints return to earth. This clearly is the statement of Jesus about Elijah. And Jesus also wants to come back to earth one day. Jesus teaches the doctrine of reincarnation, and especially that it is possible for an enlightened to incarnate on earth to help his fellow man. And that exactly corresponds to the path of universal love.
Wikipedia: Parousia is an ancient Greek word meaning arrival. The word is used 24 times in the New Testament. The main use in theology is to refer to the second coming of Christ.