Re: only human?
By: AwakeTooLong / Knowledgeable May 25, 2011
Post # 2
Quite so. Insect, animal, etc. Those who believe in reincarnation often believe it is possible to be reincarnated in forms other than human. Some also suggest it is possible to be born elsewhere, as a disembodied spirit, so to speak...
That is to say that your spirit obtains a new level of consciousness, or must learn from exploring "life" within that level of consciousness for a time. Sometimes this is viewed as a state of rest between lives. Sometimes it is viewed as a result of wisdom gained. Etc.
Also, the concept of karma is often viewed as determining these results. Indeed, karma traditionally has no influences whatsoever over your current life, but instead influences to what you are born in the next.
Actaully after someone dies, he/she doesnt go straight to hell/heaven. Instead the person roams earth for a while, only to see their lives flash in front of them, to mentally say goodbye to their families, or even to haunt those they hated. Until the time comes, they go thru a door that leads to the next stage, in which they either walk into, or get pulled in. Some spirits are strong enough to stay here along with us, but cant talk directly with us, thats how buildings remain haunted. Then in case you're wondering, there are others who have died, roam earth, but at the same time, they arent human.
Personally I believe that when someone dies, as long as they aren't going to hell they have the freedom to choose whether to endure purgatory before reaching heaven, or simply living through another life here on earth
Re: only human?
By: WhiteRav3n / Knowledgeable May 26, 2011
Post # 6
Awakened is totally correct on the hindu belief on reincarnation. Their rebirth is based off of karmic reprecussions from the previous life.
Buddhists believe that your next life will reflect on your good and ill choices in this life, but what being you are reborn into rotates (deva, animal, human, spirit). But only humans can reach enlightenment and therefore no longer need lives to learn from. But there is a lot more involved. The tibetan buddhists have created a science to it that is known as The Tibetan Book of the Dead.
Greek and Roman philosophers also spoke of reincarnation. One of the most famous is Plato's Myth of Er
Some Native Americans also believe in reincarnation into animals in order to guide their living decendants. Reincarnation is a choice. They do not believe in a heaven or hell but an afterlife (the ethereal/astral) that all of their ancestors reside. They journey (astrally project) to these places to speak with their ancestors or pray to their ancestors to honor them or to ask for help. When an animal shows up shortly afterward, they believe that is their ancestor and watch the animal closly for messages based on its behavior.
The appearance of reincarnation is in nearly every culture and ever religion (some are in subsects of certain religions). Every one has a different view. But one thing is certain to them all. The soul (or conscious) is eternal and continues to come back to the physical world in various forms until they ascend (gain a higher position of importance in the spiritual world) or reach enlightenment (Nirvana).