I have believed in reincarnation ever since I can remember as, when I was young, I did recall a past life and later discovered more about this person who was – and still is – me. However, I also learned later from my Spiritual Master, Dr. George King, that however famous you think you were in a past life, this is the life that is the most important one of all. This takes a little thinking about but if you do, you will see that it is indeed true.
I have studied and taught the fascinating topics of reincarnation – and its twin – karma, over many years. Strangely enough, what really got me interested was my time working at the Theological Department of King’s College London in the early 1970s. There I had access to not only the Professors of Theology – but also the well-stocked library full of ancient texts. One Professor, Jeffrey Parrinder, the Professor of Comparative Religions, agreed with me that not only should reincarnation be a part of orthodox Christianity – but indeed that it was – certainly as taught by The Master Jesus and the Early Christian Fathers.
It’s ironic that the majority of today’s Christians don’t believe in reincarnation because they claim that it is not in the Bible. What they don’t seem to realize is that the references to this topic were in the Bible and later removed.
According to St. Jerome, “The transmigrations (reincarnation) of souls was taught for a long time among the early Christians as an esoteric and traditional doctrine which was to be divulged to only a small number of the elect.” The elect included some of the early Church Fathers. St. Gregory of Nyssa believed that, “It is absolutely necessary that the soul should be healed and purified, and that if it does not take place during its life on earth, it must be accomplished in future lives.” St. Clement of Alexandria also held the belief, but perhaps the person most associated with the principle of reincarnation was his pupil, Origen.
Origen was one of the most prominent of all the Church Fathers, while St. Jerome considered him as, the greatest teacher of the Church after the apostles. St. Gregory of Nyssa called him, the prince of Christian learning in the third century. Indeed, Origen’s scriptural expertise was unequaled and through his writing he comments on every book and almost every word, of scripture.
Origen was the first to form a system of Christian doctrine. And his system includes the doctrine of reincarnation.
I can verify this first-hand because I discovered one of his ancient texts, De Princiipis, in the King’s College Library, and found his very distinct references to reincarnation which I promptly showed to the Professors of Theology, who reluctantly had to agree!
In this classic book, one finds his belief and teaching on not only reincarnation but also its twin — the all-encompassing Law of Karma: Every soul . . . comes into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of its previous life . . . Its work in this world determines its place in the world (on earth) which is to follow this . . .
Though Origen was one of the most prominent of all the Church Fathers, there were those in the Church who did not believe in the doctrine of reincarnation, and after Origen’s death they vehemently attacked his doctrines, creating a controversy which was not officially settled until the Fifth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 553 A.D. Ecclesiastical historians of all centuries have been divided on this issue ever since.
For further information on reincarnation and life after death, you may be interested in attending our upcoming King Yoga Class entitled, “The Heaven Myth”. Please see our ad for further information.