One of the obvious truths about any religion is that all of us probably have a skewed knowledge of one or more of the world’s religions because of movies and television. In reading about reincarnation, the rebirth of a soul in a new body, it becomes evident that what Hollywood has told us about reincarnation is simplistic and perhaps incorrect. And according to Ernest Valea, in his article, “Reincarnation, it’s meaning and consequences,” (http://www.comparativereligion.com/reincarnation.html#08) reincarnation became something different from the Eastern religions when it was introduced to the western world in the 19th century.
Even in the Eastern religions, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism, certain aspects of reincarnation are different. In Hinduism, Valea says that, “The whole physical and mental complex a human being consists of is reconstructed at (re)birth according to one’s karma. At this level, the newly shaped person experiences the fruits of “his” or “her” actions from previous lives and has to do his best to stop the vicious cycle avidya-karma-samsara.”
In Buddhism, “The Buddha answered that only karma is passing from one life to another, using the illustration of the light of a candle, which is derived from another candle without having a substance of its own. In the same manner, there is rebirth without the transfer of a self from one body to another. The only link from one life to the next is of a causal nature.”
The study of reincarnation and the understanding of it within different religions is much more complex. But, the information here in these short descriptions is meant to illustrate the idea that reincarnation is something more than what most, who don’t practice the religions, will ever understand without much study.
The Wardco Studios Team