The doctrine of reincarnation is unfamiliar to many today, but demoscopic studies have shown that both knowledge of and belief in it are very much on the increase in the Western world. In Germany, sixty-seven percent of those questioned had heard of reincarnation, sixteen percent considered it feasible, and twenty-nine percent were definitely interested. 33 In Asia, the concept is an established element in religious faith. The Christian churches do not teach it (any more).
New ReveIation states that Jesus told the apostles of the reincarnation of the soul. There is clear evidence in the writings that have come down to us from leading early century Christians that the doctrine was known to certain people. In a dialogue with the Jew Trypho that has been recorded and is still extant, Justin Martyr (d. c. 165) replied to Trypho's question as to what the Christians believed would happen to the souls of the dead, that they would be born again into a body. 34
Origen supported the doctrine of reincarnation of the soul, as did Tertullian, Rufinus, Clement of Alexandria, Nemesius, Synesius, Hilary and Gregory of Nyssa. The latter wrote: "It is a necassity of nature that the soul becomes purified in repeated lives." Rufinus assured Anastasius in a letter that belief in repeated lives was a matter of common knowledge among the church fathers and had always been imparted to the initiated as an ancient tradition. 35 Augustine asked: "Did I not live before in another body, before I grew in my mother's womb?"
Jerome wrote in a letter to Demetrius that among the early Christians, the doctrine of reincarnation had been passed on to the elect, as an occult tradition. 35 Osthagen has established that in the minds of the leaders of the early Christian Churches, the doctrine of reincarnation was taken for grantert; but a change came in around A.D. 540. 36
At the Council of Constantinople, called and led by the emperor Justinian, the doctrine was condemned in 538, at Justinian's instigation. 37 Justinian completely dominated the church, and this Christian emperor had the pope thrown into prison. In 543, Pope Vigilius confirmed the excommunication the emperor had imposed on Origen, as one who had supported the doctrine. Vigilius probably did so under pressure. 38 Justinian in his turn had given in to pressure from the powerful monastic orders for political reasons, feeling that he might well need their support. 39Yet in spite of such measures, where truth did not count, the doctrine remained known into the Middle Ages. 40
Yet even in the 20th century, the doctrine of reincarnation was not only known but also considered acceptable in the highest echelons of the Catholic hierarchy, as is evident from statements made by Mercier, Cardinal Primate of Belgium, in his Psychology. The Cardinal considers the premise for his view to be that the soul remains aware of its personal identity and that there is a final instance of reincarnation, and then says the following: "As to this exception, we do not consider that reason, if left to itself, would declare this doctrine to be impossible or definitely wrong." 41
A Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church cannot put this more clearly. He was also able to write in the knowledge that the general population of the faithful, who adhere to what the church proclaims to be the accepted truth, would be very unlikely ever to read his book.
When Jesus said: "In My Father's House there are many dwelling places", those who listened to him then could have no idea as to the import of these words. New ReveIation offers deep insights in this respect, as is already evident from the above. God also has other ways, however, for the slow maturing of the soul, and this includes the reincarnatiom of the soul in another body, for further trial and further development. "No one surely would maintain", it says in New Revelation, "that this short earth life can give attainment to a perfection that will bring God very close indeed." (Gr XI 26) This would cencern particularly the uncivilized and semicivilized peoples who sojourned on this earth for milenia before and after Christ. But it also concerns every human being. According to New ReveIation, reincarnation is far from always on this earth, on the contrary, most reincarnations occur on other bodies in the universe that are also habitable, though it is expressly stated that under the conditions prevailing there an earth man would lose his life within a few minutes. The actual words are: "For the denizens of other bodies in the universe the air on earth would be exactly what water is for the people on this earth." "The people in other worlds must therefore also be constituted in such a way that they are able to exist in the world assigned to them." (Gr VI 192, 8) It therefore is not acceptable to use the fact that conditions are completely different on other planets, compared to earth, as an argument for their being uninhabitable.
New ReveIation also proclaims that among Asiatic peoples the teaching of reincarnation is wholly corrupt. According to their priests, a human soul may also incarnate again in an animal body, something which according to New Revelation is quite out of the question. Unlike animals, and also unlike prehistoric and early man, the human being has a spark of the divine spirit in his soul, and for this reason his soul can never be reborn in an animal body. New Revelation points out that the people of antiquity, among them the Greeks and the Indians, believed in reincarnation. "But", it continues, "this truth, well known everywhere to our ancostors, has been totally distorted and perverted by the greedy initial popular teachers who arose in the the desire to rule. The true version of the migration of souls would have brought them no sacrifices and no tithes, and so they had the soul of man migrate back into the animals and suffer in those animals, with only priests able to liberate them from such sufferings, at a great price." (Gr X 22, 8) (This is analogous to the doctrine of indulgeness during the Middle Ages, an inexhaustible source of income until Luther's day.)
"In this way, polytheism, all heathen practices and the wholly mistaken belief in soul migration have arisen, and many thousand more terrible stupadities. While God did also send true teachers among the people who had been deceiven, these have achieved little, for the free will of the human soul on this earth must not be impeded, for without it man would become an animal, and so it is a matter of being patient with mankind and see that probably the greater part of them attain to a better light in another world. Woe, however, to all false teachers, priests and prophets, who have perfectly good knowledge of the pure old teaching but insist on withholding it from the people on account of their greed and desire for power; they shall not escape the judgement of My anger in time to come!" (Gr X 23, 9-10)
Jesus gave his disciples many more insights into reincarnation. Below, some passages are quoted from New Revelation.
"Those of you who are able to understand shall know that souls from other worlds have also entered the flesh on this earth and so have the children of the serpent on this earth. They did die once before, and some a number of times, but assumed the flesh again to attain perfection.
"You have often heard of a migration of souls. The far Orient still firmly believes in this today. But their beliefe have become greatly tainted, because they have the souls of men return again into animal flesh. Yet that is not so in the remotest sense. That the soul of a human being of this earth does gather itself from the mineral, plant and animal kingdom and rise up to become a human soul, you have been largely shown - and also how this happens within the established order. But no human soul, however imperfcct, ever moves backewards - except to outer appearance when in the middle kingdom, for its mortification and consequently its possible reform. When such has been to a certain degree achieved and there is no possibility of further progress due to lack of higher ability, such a soul can then enter into merely creature bliss on some other body in the universe, i.e. enter into its spiritual sphere, or, if it so wishes, enter once more into the flesh of men on this earth, to enable it to achieve higher abilities and with the aid of these even become a Child of God.
"And so souls are also migrating into the flesh of men of this earth from other worlds, to acquire here the countless many spiritual qualities that are necessary if they are to become true Children of God.
"Yet because this earth is so much of a school, it is also treated by Me with such patience, indulgence and forbearance. Any of you who are able to grasp this, shall do so, but keep it to yourselves, as it will not be for everyone to comprehend the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. When you find someone, however, who is of the right spirit, you may little by little reveal one mystery or another, but again only for him alone; for it is My wish that a rightful person shall acquire all this by his own effort, according to My teaching." (Gr VI 61, 2-6) (And Jesus said to his disciples:)
"A soul may take a very long time to reach perfection, yet it still remains its very own original self and will recognize itself also to be forever immutable as such, which, after all, is more comforting than if the soul were to become completely divided up and enter into another individual . . ." (Gr IV 243, 7)
"What a dreadful thing it is thought to be on this earth if someone gets killed. Yet in the next world it is considered many thousand times more disastrous if a free soul sojourning there is forced to return again into a mortal, stinking and cumbersome body." (Gr V 136, 6)
Jesus to a Greek: "You see, that is already the twentieth body in the universe on which you are living in a body." (Gr I 213, 1) "Yet for what a wailnigh endless time you did exist (before) as a pure spirit (prior to the fall of Lucifer, author) in fullest being and clearest self-awareness, living utterly free in infinite space and in the company of countless other spirits, fully and wholly enjoying life in its freest form with all your might." (Gr I 213, 1)
"I have now (by becoming Man) opened the doors to (eternal) life not only for those who live on earth, but also for all who have long since gone into the other world. And many of the old sinners will once more be given some kind of short trial of the flesh which they must pass through." (Gr VI 65, 2)
"At present (in Jesus' day) there are people who are living on earth the seventh time already, and they are only doing better this seventh time. They will still have to go through some bodies in the universe wearing a light physical garb, until they are received into a wholly spiritual sphere that you might call 'lower paradise', and from there it is still many stages until the inner, true kingdom of heaven is reached. . ." (Hi II, p. 446)
"From all this it will be sufficiently clear to you that God has His ways, inscrutable to mortals, to lead every soul, however depraved it may seem to you, to the true life and light." (Gr V 232, 13)
"But I have only shown this to you (the apostles, author), because you are able to comprehend it; you need not pass this on to the rest of mankind, but merely that they shall believe in My Name and keep God's commandments, which are the true commandments of love." (Gr V 233, 3)