Over the last few weeks we’ve been looking at reincarnation and at past-life regression therapy to get an insight in our past lives, and to understand how this kind of therapy can be used to treat unexplained problems or phobias.
Intrigued to learn more, we conclude our past-life series by looking at the reincarnation cycle to see whether it comes to an end.
The concept of reincarnation is one that is believed in many spiritual faiths around the world, including: Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. Although beyond religions, even many new age belief systems and famous philosophers throughout history have also expressed their belief in reincarnation.
While they may all have varying views about the reasons for reincarnation, one belief remains consistent; it is a process of development for the soul while trying to rid itself of bad karma accumulated through many lifetimes. Therefore the ultimate goal of the rebirth cycle is that it eventually leads to a path of enlightenment, or to a higher state of being.
With this in mind, we thought we’d look at a few different belief systems to shed some light on reaching the path of enlightenment.
According to Buddha, the goal of the rebirth cycle (samsara) is to escape the cycle of death and reincarnation. It is only once we’ve shed our desires and ourselves of bad karma, will we transcend to Nirvana (which in Buddhism literally means liberation).
Therefore from a modern day perspective, the Buddhist vision may not live up to our mysterious and exciting views on reincarnation, as effectively Nirvana means that our souls will one day cease to exist as they will move into nothingness.
Tibetan Buddhism beliefs vary slightly, as after death the spirit goes through a process called Bardos, which lasts for 49 days and is divided into three stages.
It is here that you either enter Nirvana or return to Earth to start the cycle again. It is believed that the type of thoughts you experience while passing strongly influence your after-death experience – and if you’re to be reincarnated – what form you’ll take in the next life.
At the first Bardos stage, while passing, you experience a glimpse of a clear white light, whereas the more spiritual are said to experience a very strong light taking them beyond a higher level of reality.
The next stage is marked by strong hallucinations, which represent the karma you have accumulated during your life. It is at this stage you may transcend to Nirvana, however in order for you to do so, you must not flinch during the hallucinations, as this represents a life less than pure – an indication you’re not worthy to enter Nirvana.
If you do not achieve Nirvana at the second stage, you enter the third Bardos, which is rebirth – where you return to Earth.
Spiritualists also offer an interesting view on rebirth, as it’s believed that you enter one of seven realms – the highest being the utopia of the afterlife, and the lowest being a hell-like realm where escape is very difficult, and dependent on the severity of the deeds you performed throughout your life.
Spiritualists also follow The Law Of Progress, as those who enter even at the lowest realm will eventually work their way up to the seventh dimension – even if it takes eons to do so.
However, for most of us, when we pass we go to the second dimension, which is a halfway house between Earth and the higher dimensions. Although for those with more pure souls, they skip the second dimension and move straight to the third heaven, otherwise known as Summerland. It is at this stage that rebirth occurs. Although according to spiritualists, rebirth is an individual choice – as you may decide to continue to move up the dimensions and with your journey in the beautiful afterlife.
These are just a few of many interesting beliefs shared by different faiths about what happens to us when we leave Earth and the reincarnation cycle we follow. However as with anything, it is own our beliefs that shape our reality. Beyond this, we’ll just have to wait and see.
What are you views on the reincarnation cycle, we’d love you to share them below.
If you’d like to discover more about your past lives, or learn how past life regression can be used to treat unexplained phobias or fears, we invite you to find out more here.