shouted from his sleep after a kid's parade on Empire day around 1948.
When he was two, he poured some hot stuff on himself and the scar was
on his belly till he died. Two years or so later, my mother had
another son; he has those same scars on the left side of his belly. My
brother is alive and the scar (mark) is there till today.
Could this be a case of reincarnation?
Let's examine what the Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity,
and Islam thinks of reincarnation.
'Gilgulim' which means the "revolving" of souls through a succession
of lives" is an integral part of Jewish belief system. Ramban, one of
the greatest commentators on the Torah (and on the Talmud), and a
seminal figure in Jewish history, mentioned hints several times that
reincarnation is the key to penetrating the deep mysteries involved in
the mitzvah of yibum (the obligation of the brother of a childless,
deceased man to marry the widow). In his explanation of Gen 38:8, he
insists that Yehudah and his sons were aware of the secret of
reincarnation, and that this was a major factor in their respective
attitudes towards Tamar.
Rabbi Isaac Luria (1534-1572), also known by the acronym "Ari" or
"Arizal" ans lso referred to as the holy Ari, one of the greatest
kabbalists of all times, explained this concept more simply: "every
Jew must fulfill all 613 mitzvot, and if he doesn't succeed in one
lifetime, he comes back again and again until he finishes. For this
reason, events in a person's life may lead him towards certain places,
encounters, etc., in ways that may or may not make sense. Divine
providence provides each person with the opportunities he needs to
fulfill those particular mitzvot necessary for the perfection of his
soul. But the responsibility lies with us. At the actual moment of
decision in any given situation, the choice is ours."
It is important to note that while Kabballah, a mystic esoteric
doctrine in Judaism agrees that reincarnation exist, there is no
direct mention of reincarnation in the Torah.
Therefore, it is safe to conclude that Judaism beliefs that there is
The book of Hebrew 9:27 states "it is appointed unto men once to die
and after that the judgment". The Bible teaches that man is the
special creation of God, created in God's image with both a material
body and an immaterial soul and spirit. He is presented as distinct
and unique from all other creatures—angels and the animal kingdom
alike. The Bible also explains that at death, while man's body is
mortal, decays and returns to dust, his soul and spirit continue on
either in a place of torments for those who reject Christ or in
paradise (heaven) in God's presence for those who have trusted in the
Savior. Both categories of people will be resurrected, one to eternal
judgment and the other to eternal life with a glorified body (John
Going by this it appears the Bible is not in favor of reincarnation.
But let us back up a little bit. The first great Father of the early
Orthodox Church was Origen (185-254 AD). Origen was the first person
since Paul the Apostle to develop a system of theology around the
teachings of Jesus Christ. Origen was an ardent defender of
pre-existence and reincarnation. Pre-existence is the religious
concept of the soul as not being created at birth; rather the soul
existed before birth in heaven or in a past life on Earth. Origen
taught that pre-existence is found in Hebrew Scriptures and the
teachings of Jesus.
Origen was a disciple of Clement of Alexandria who in turn was a
disciple of the apostle Peter. Clement and Origen both wrote about
receiving secret teachings of Jesus handed down from the apostles; the
concept of physical and spiritual rebirth was one of such secret
teachings. Some might want to ask, was there any time Jesus gave
secret teachings and mysteries? There are records of such teachings in
the Bible. Here are some of them:
1. "He replied, 'The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of
heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be
given more, and he will have an abundance.'" (Matthew 13:11-12)
2. "I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to
present to you the word of God in its fullness - the mystery that has
been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the
saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the
glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of
glory." (Colossians 1:25-27)
3. "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we
will all be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51)
Without wanting to bore you with unnecessary details, if people who
receive teachings from those who directly received their teaching from
Jesus believe in pre-existence and reincarnation; it will be safe to
say early Christians believe in the concept.
Apart from that, looking at Malachi 4:5, ""Behold, I am going to send
you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day
of the LORD"( New American Standard Bible). How will Elijah come
back? Matthew 11:13-14 explained that! ""For all the prophets and the
law have prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it,
he is Elijah who was to come."
In very explicit language, Jesus identified John the Baptist as the
reincarnation of Elijah. Even the disciples of Jesus understood what
Jesus was saying. This identification of John to be the reincarnation
of Elijah is very important when it comes to Bible prophecy.
But the Decree of the Fifth Catholic Council declared reincarnation to
be heresy: "If anyone asserts the fabulous pre-existence of souls, and
shall assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it, let him
be anathema [excommunicated]."
Surah Al-Mu'minun Qur'an 23:99-100 says "[For such is the state of the
disbelievers], until, when death comes to one of them, he says, "My
Lord, send me back. (100) That I might do righteousness in that which
I left behind." No! It is only a word he is saying; and behind them is
a barrier until the Day they are resurrected." The above verses are
very clear and unambiguous. When a person dies, God takes his/her soul
while he is still in the process of imploring God for another chance.
As soon as the human dies a barrier is immediately in place. This
barrier prevents his/her soul from returning to earth. This barrier is
maintained until the Day of Resurrection. This is what most Muslims
Now, let us look at some real life incidents that points towards reincarnation:
1. 3-Year-Old Remembers Past Life, Identifies Murderer and Location of Body
The late Dr. Eli Lasch, who is best known for his medical work in Gaza
as part of Israeli government operations, studied the case of a
3-year-old boy who lived near the border of Syria and Israel.
The boy said he remembered being killed with an axe in his previous
life. He showed village elders where his body was buried, where the
murder weapon was buried, and he identified his killer. A body with a
head wound was indeed found in the spot indicated, the axe was found,
and the killer admitted what he had done.
2. Boy Remembers Wife and Killer of Past Life, Finds Them Again
Semih Tutusmus was born in the village of Sarkonak, Turkey. As soon as
he could talk, he said his name was Selim Fesli. Tutusmus' mother had
a dream while she was pregnant in which a man appeared who identified
himself as Selim Fesli and who had a bloody face.
A man by that name had died in a field in a neighboring village in
1958. He had been shot in the face and right ear. Tutusmus was born
with a deformed right ear.
When he was 4 years old, Tutusmus walked to Fesli's home and told
Fesli's widow, "I am Selim, you are my wife, Katibe." He remembered
intimate details of their life together and the names of his children.
He also identified the man who shot him. This case was studied by the
late Dr. Ian Stevenson of the University of Virginia.
3. Fire Chief Was Civil War General?
Retired Assistant Fire Chief Jeffrey Keene felt inexplicably overcome
with emotion and strange physical sensations when he visited the site
of the Civil War Battle of Antietam as a tourist.
When discussing these sensations later, the words "not yet" appeared
strongly in his mind. He took a new interest in the Civil War and
while flipping through a magazine on the topic, the words "not yet" in
quotation marks jumped out at him. General John B. Gordon had
emphatically repeated "not yet" while holding his troops back at the
Battle of Antietam.
The physical resemblance between himself and Gordon struck Keene.
Furthermore, many of Keene's fire crew seem to resemble people who
fought for Gordon. Keene discovered other similarities between himself
and Gordon, including birthmarks on his body where Gordon had been
injured. This case was studied by Dr. Walter Semkiw, a psychiatrist
who works as a reincarnation expert at the Institute for the
Integration of Science, Intuition and Spirit (IISIS).
4. Child Remembers Past Life as WWII Pilot: ID'ed Vessel, Crash Site
Dr. Jim Tucker of the University of Virginia studied the case of James
Leininger of Louisiana, who was 2 years old when he began having
nightmares of crashing in a plane. He said he was shot down by the
Japanese, that his plane took off from the Natoma ship, and that he
had a friend named Jack Larson. He also suggested that his name was
James in this previous lifetime.
There was indeed a World War II pilot named James Huston Jr. whose
life and death matched all these details. Leininger was also able to
identify from a photograph the site where Huston's plane crashed.
5. Death by Fire in Chicago
Luke was 2 years old when he started talking to his parents
Cincinnati, Ohio, about a past life in which he had black hair, was a
woman named Pam, and died in a building fire in Chicago after trying
to escape by jumping out the window.
An African American woman named Pamela Robinson had died in 1993 in a
fire at the Paxton Hotel in Chicago—she had jumped out a window while
the building burned. Luke's parents asked him what color his skin was
when he was Pam (he's Caucasian). He replied without hesitation,
His mother printed out several photographs of African American women,
including one of Robinson. Luke pointed to the photo of Robinson and
said, "That's Pam." Luke's story was told by the A&E network program
"The Ghost Inside My Child."
6. 4-Year-Old Remembers Past Life In Hollywood
Ryan was 4 years old when he began talking of his past life in
Hollywood, which he said ended when he had a heart attack.
A book about Hollywood triggered further "memories." He saw a picture
from the 1932 movie, "Night After Night," and said he was friends with
a man in the movie who was a cowboy and also an actor in cigarette
commercials. Gordon Nance was an actor in this movie; he starred in
Westerns and was a spokesman for Viceroy cigarettes.
Ryan identified a picture of his past self, a man named Marty Martyn.
Ryan remembered correctly a scene Martyn had acted in and details of
Martyn's life, such as his time tap dancing on Broadway, his three
younger sisters, and the color of his car. Dr. Tucker investigated
this case, verifying Ryan's memories with Martyn's remaining family .
7. Lebanese Boy Correctly Tells Details of Past Life
Dr. Haraldsson traveled to Lebanon to investigate the case of a boy
named Nazih Al-Danaf. Al-Danaf began telling his parents about his
past life almost as soon as he could talk.
He spoke proudly about all his weapons. He used words his parents
didn't expect him to know at that age, showed an unusual interest in
cigarettes and whisky, talked of a mute friend who had only one hand,
said he had a red car, and said he died when people came to shoot at
8. Child Curses Like a Bootlegger—His Purported Past-Life Incarnation
Al-Danaf led the way to the home of his past life in Qaberchamoun, a
small town about 10.5 miles away from his current home. A man named
Fuad Assad Khaddage once lived there, and the details of his life
matched what the boy said.
Khaddage's widow asked the boy multiple questions to test him,
including: "Who built the foundation of this gate at the entrance of
this house?" Nazih replied: "A man from the Faraj family." This was
correct. He also answered her other questions correctly.
2. Business Man Remembers Lesson From Past Life
Ruprecht Schultz's laundry business in Berlin, Germany, failed as
World War II broke out. This seemed to trigger memories of a past life
in which he similarly had a failed business.
He remembered his past-life business had to do with timber or shipping
and that he committed suicide by shooting himself on a festival day
after suffering financial losses. He seemed drawn to Wilhelmshaven, a
port city in Germany, as the location and he felt it was in the 1880s.
Dr. Stevenson found records of a man named Helmut Kohler who committed
suicide in 1887 in Wilhelmshaven during the festive Day of Repentance
and Prayer. Kohler had made a poor choice in his shipping business,
deciding to import a lot of timber based on false predictions of a
rise in taxes on timber.
As it turns out, Kohler's business wasn't hurt as badly as he thought
when he shot himself. This was a lesson for Schultz, who was facing
great loss but sought hope for the future.
9. Screenwriter of 'Gone With the Wind' Reincarnated in the Midwest?
A little boy named Lee insisted his middle name was Coe and his
birthday was June 26, though this was not true. He said he used to
live in Hollywood and that he had a daughter named Jennifer. He said
he wrote movies. When his sister asked him how old he was when he
died, and he said he was 48.
His family listed off movies, asking him if he wrote any of them, and
he reacted positively when "Gone With the Wind" was mentioned.
Sidney Coe Howard wrote the screenplay for "Gone With the Wind."
Howard had a daughter named Jennifer and he died at the age of 48. Dr.
Tucker investigated this case.
Now to the more personal question, do you believe in reincarnation?
I look forward to a robust discussion devoid of name-calling and insults