Food for thought June 17, 2016

A self-confessed spiritual person told me once that I wasn’t spiritual if I didn’t believe in reincarnation. I had responded in the negative to his question of whether or not I believed in the doctrine, and his response, though not dissimilar to others, caught me by surprise.  Later, I wondered why a belief in reincarnation had become a hallmark for being ‘spiritual’.  I also wondered why those individuals, when encountering an opposing stance, always either seemed compelled to argue otherwise or to look at me with a pitying expression on their face.  People often cite the evidence of past lives as proof, and there are compelling accounts, but intuitively I have always felt that the reality is other than what we believe it to be.

Some time ago I chanced across a book, “Thirty Years Among the Dead“, written by Carl A. Wickland, M.D. a psychiatrist, physician and physical researcher. It presents accounts of spiritual encounters with disembodied souls over a 30 year period, and is an incredibly fascinating insight into the work he undertook in treating patients with mental health problems who were being possessed by disembodied earth-bound spirits.

I opened the book randomly to Page 317 and read the following:

Very unexpectedly we had a visit from the one whose teachings and writings have made world-wide the theory of Reincarnation.




I wanted to come to you this evening. I believe in the work this little circle is doing, and I am very pleased with the work you are carrying on. I wish there were more to help us, to meet us on a half way basis to understand there is no death …

I wanted to be a leader in some way or another. Now I want to bring the truth to the world. I knew of spirit manifestations and I had them myself. I did a great deal in my early days along this line but I commenced to investigate Theosophy … To me came Reincarnation … I studied Reincarnation, and I thought there was truth and justice in the theory that we come back and learn and have more experiences. I taught it and wanted to bring it out to the world and its peoples. I felt that I remembered far back in my past. I felt I knew all about my past, but I was mistaken.

Memories of “past lives” are caused by spirits that bring such thoughts and represent the lives they lived. A spirit impresses you with the experiences of its life and these are implanted in your mind as your own. You then think you remember your past.

When you study, especially when you study Theosophy, you develop your mind and live in an atmosphere of mind. You remove yourself as much as possible from the physical. Naturally you become sensitive and naturally you feel the spirits around you. They speak to you by impressions and their past will be like a panorama. You feel it, and you live over the past of spirits and you make the mistake of taking this for the memory of former incarnations.

I did not know this when I lived. I took it for granted that these memories were true, but when I came to the spirit side of life I learned differently … Reincarnation is not true. I did not want to believe that. They told me here in the spirit world that I could not reincarnate. We progress, we do not come back … If I impress a sensitive with an idea, in one sense I reincarnate – not in his body, but by impressing him with what I have done … No, Reincarnation is not true. I believed it, I taught it, and I was sure that I should come back and be somebody else. But I will not … Some may say this is not Madam Blavatsky, but do not doubt – it is.

I was astonished when I read this, especially as I am very familiar with Theosophy as I am with the principles of reincarnation. What’s more, I had chanced across this book and opened it randomly to Page 317. Isn’t it strange how events unfold?

Michele T Knight Written by:

Dr Michele Knight is a Social Worker, Social Scientist, researcher and independent scholar. Her interest and research in the end-of-life has its origin in the lived experiences of her own bereavements, her near-death and shared-death events, the returning deceased and attitudinal responses to those experiences. Since 2006, she has been extensively involved in community development, support and advocacy in both a professional and community services/voluntary capacity in the areas of bereavement and grief, hospital pastoral care, and academic lecturing/tutoring. Her PhD, Ways of Being: The alchemy of bereavement and communique, explores the lived experience of bereavement, grief, spirituality and unsought encounters with the returning deceased.

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