A Study on The Wheel of Rebirth
Comparative Religion CORE 152
any relevant Theosophy text(s)--original, or: any relevant Dharma text(s)
Greek Philosophy; any relevant cultural text(s)
Gospel section on transfiguration
Gnostic Gospels (likely)
any relevant Sufi text(s)
Rebirth can be transmigration, metempsychosis, or reincarnation. The ancients believed in the former two, though modern philosophers thought that is only partly true and that reincarnation into humanity is mostly more accurate.
The wheel of rebirth involves involution from the highest to lowest world/reality (it is said worlds themselves do this, so let us say 'reality,') and then evolution from the lowest to highest reality. Review the worlds and consciousness that can exist there from Comparative Religion: Metaphysics. Incarnations in consciousness or bodies (including energy bodies) occur on each plane.
Planes. 'Principles in man'
spirit: unmanifest divinity: word (Logos)
spirit: semi-manifest divinity: speech (2nd Logos: Logou)
spirit: manifest divinity: sound (3rd Logos: Echos)
spirit: human divinity/spirit, soul
mind: abstract, concrete, emotional
life: life aura, lifeforce body
body: vehicle of life
However, incarnation into humanity or any lower kingdom starts at the 4th plane, so human involution and evolution is though the following 7 bodies or auras. Actually, they are defined as a heptad, but mind and life descriptions usually have one extra and are vague (the following is, though 'tis plain English:) combine two or omit one.
spirit (human) soul mind: abstract (mental aura aura: inner soul: winged self; egoic lotus) mind: concrete (mental body aura) mind: emotional (mental body) life: life aura life: lifeforce body body: vehicle of life
It is said one spends anything from a few years to thousands of years in higher consciousness before and after life, though one may not always be aware of it. Depending on ones lifestyle, afterwards the [lower] consciousness bodies disintegrate into ecosystems of their worlds and are metabolized into the lives of other beings there. Depending on ones lifestyle, afterwards the metabolizing of these bodies can be considered transmigration, even metempsychosis if one cannot fully free themselves from lower consciousness trends and is slightly or very influenced by the matter of ones past bodies now existent as parts of other beings bodies in those worlds. The ancients thought transmigration and metempsychosis completely happen in the context of regressing to lower kingdoms of nature, but modern philosophers thought the aforementioned metabolizing of past bodies is sufficient explanation.