* All websites mentioned are listed in the bibliography.
Have you ever had any vaguest feelings that you've been to a place before - or memories that shouldn't be there? Often, these are attributed to the idea that you had a past life, and have reincarnated - been born again on earth - in a new life. There are a number of accounts of people claiming their experiences offer proof of reincarnation - especially when details are accurate either relating to what they might know or people in the past they feel they resemble.
One website, in selling a report on the subject introduces the subject like this:
"Have you ever met someone special and felt like you'd already known each other for years? Do you have a tendency to repeat certain behavior patterns or confront the same issues in romantic, family or career relationships? A look at past-life experiences may hold the missing piece to these puzzles! The Karmic Insight report gives you the astrological background information to unlock the subconscious secrets you take from lifetime-to-lifetime. Ancient wisdom holds that every person has certain life lessons to learn, and we keep coming back to repeat our experiences until we get the learning right! When you learn the truth of your own karmic destiny, you become free to pursue your truest goals and dearest dreams in this life! Uncover the ancient teacher within your own soul! This report includes a full color version of your astrological chart. "
That's a foretaste. What about some examples?
Past Life Accounts and Experiences
In a website that encourages belief and 'proof' of past life experience (and thereby reincarnation), visitors seem inclined to share their experiences in the guestbook.
One refers exclusively to a concept from Dianetics (L.R.Hubbard) called 'cellular memory' mentioned on the webmaster's pages in order to give some kind of scientific explanation to the belief: "There is also what is loosely termed "cellular memory" as a possible source of past-life memories--this theory, as I understand it, says that the mind (especially, the subconscious or unconscious mind), which is independent of the body, 'resides' not only in the brain, but in the entire body. The unconscious mind associated with different parts or systems of the body might thus carry past-life memories associated with that part or system." See Dianetics - L. Ron Hubbard"
And yet another believer comes forward to tell us something about the Titanic!
"The memories are very, very vivid and clear. While he was Mr. Thomas Andrews, builder of Titanic, I was Lucy Bride--wife of Titanic's junior wireless operator. We both know tiny little details and unknown facts about the voyage and disaster. (i.e. who really shot themselves and what really was the last song the Titanic's band played.)..."
At this website you can read about one man's conviction of who he was in a past life. It includes a bio, with pictures to show resemblances, scars, etc.
And lastly if you're looking for a little multimedia, you can watch some streamed video clips (so no download time) of interviews with various folk's discussions on the subject. Video Clips Website
Past Life Therapy
The way people find these 'past lives' can be through therapists, hypnosis, etc. While therapists such as The Association for the Alignment of Past Life Experience at http://www.aaple.com/ don't necessitate a belief in reincarnation since past life to them could include simply the time you spent in the womb as a foetus, birth trauma, etc., they mention other forms of therapy:
"You may have heard of similar therapies, such as past life regression, hypnotic regression, reincarnation therapy, soul memory retrieval, and holotropic therapy. In most of these techniques the therapist induces nonordinary states of consciousness in order to accelerate the client's self-discovery."
Therapy in this area can delve straight into what most Christians consider the 'occult' such as 'William', a 'gifted clairvoyant' who dabbles with past life regression. His website states:
"Living in this life is conditioned by events from our other lifetimes. Discovering experiences in past lives can be a vehicle for resolving conflict, confusion or impasse in this life. William's unusual approach is to aid you in unlocking these vague but forceful memories to enable you to grow in your own time and space."
There at least you see the point for this form of therapy - to resolve issues. But William goes a step further than mere hypnosis. His psychic skills are not to deal with past life therapy alone. He is also involved in trance channeling. What's that?
"William puts himself into a deep trance, allowing guides and teachers in the spirit world to use his physical voice. The intensity of channeled access to universal thought and comment is fascinating. Hearing ideas in our own language, things often assumed to be imagination or idle thought take shape and become real. During the channeling session, you can converse directly with Dr. Charles-James Andrew Peebles as much as you do with your family and friends. "
Now that we have a background in the subject we will proceed to look at reincarnation and the Bible.