Soul and Reincarnation

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Misty Yarbrough
"My life often seemed to me like a story that has no beginning and no end. I had the feeling that I was an historical fragment, an excerpt for which the preceding and succeeding text was missing. I could well imagine that I might have lived in former centuries and there encountered questions I was not yet able to answer; that I had been born again because I had not fulfilled the task given to me." —Carl Jung.

Reincarnation is the belief that when one dies, one's body decomposes, but one is reborn in another body. It is the belief that one has lived before and will live again in another body after death. Carl Jung is one of the thousands of people that believe reincarnation is possible. However, the bodies one passes in and out of need not be human. One may have been a Doberman in a past life, and one may be a mite or a carrot in a future life. Some tribes avoid eating certain animals because they believe that the souls of their ancestors dwell in those animals. A man could even become his own daughter by dying before she is born and then entering her body at birth. (skeptic.com).

From what I understand, reincarnation is a universal concept. Every religion makes reference to the idea of being born again in each of their own books and scriptures. Some religions believe very heavily in reincarnanation and some religions only make reference to reincarnation. For instance Jesus said, "But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.' Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist." —Jesus, (Matthew 17:12, 13). "I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence." —Socrates "Though I may not be a king in my future life, so much the better: I shall nevertheless live an active life and, on top of it, earn less ingratitude." —Frederick the Great "I look upon death to be as necessary to the constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning." —Benjamin Franklin "The Celts were fearless warriors because "they wish to inculcate this as one of their leading tenets, that souls do not become extinct, but pass after death from one body to another..." —Julius Caesar "I have been born more times than anybody except Krishna." —Mark Twain.

It is known that the Egyptians believed in reincarnation or the transmigration of the soul. They thought the soul transmigrated from body to body and this was a reason why they embalmed the body in order to preserve it so that it could journey along with ka, an animating force that was believed to be counterpart of the body, which would accompany it in the next world or life. Ka might be considered equivalent to the term of soul. This establishes the dating of the concept of reincarnation back to the ancient Egyptian religion but many think it dates beyond antiquity. The belief is thought to have been an necessity among primitive peoples. Certainly long before ancient Egypt peoples believed in transmigration of the soul. If they were not sophisticated enough to understand the concept of a soul, then they may have simply called it life. An individual or object which moved had life, and the one which did not, did not have life. This is analogous to the belief of animism. Gradually the concept of a soul developed with a further realization that the soul departed the body at death and entered the body at birth. Soon it was thought the soul leaving a dead body would seek another body to enter, or enter an animal of a lower life form. It was also thought the soul left the body during sleep. This soul was pictured as vapors that entered and left through the nostrils and mouth. Later grew the notion the soul transmigrated to an infant of one of dead person's kin. This helped to explain family resemblances. The...
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