Current Update as of November 14, 2004
Inspired by The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies
Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.
(Summary and Comments by Frank K. Munkel*)
Verses from the New Testament verify Jesusí teaching that John the Baptist was Elijah in his past life. Here are a few verses. "And if you accept it, he himself (John the Baptist) is Elijah who was to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 11: 13 -15. "Jesus said, Elijah is coming and will restore all things; but I say to you, that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." " Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist." Matt. 17:11-13.
In the Old Testament the 40th chapter, verses 3-5 of Isaiah, the prophet predicts that Elijah is the one who will prepare the way of the Lord. That prediction is also stated in Mark 1: 2.
Additional references: Old Testament: Numbers 6: 3, 1st Kings 17: 6 and 18: 21-24 and 2nd. Kings 1: 8, Isaiah 40: 3-5, Malachi 3: 1 and 4: 5. And New Testament: Matthew 1: 6 and 3: 5 and 11: 10 Mark 1: 2, and 9:11-13, Luke 1:15 and 17 and 3: 4, John 1: 23
There is also evidence in the Bible comparing the similarity of both the outstanding speaking abilities and the manner of clothing warn by both Elijah and John the Baptist and also their abstaining from wine and strong drink.
Re-in-carnation as shown in the book title means, "again in flesh." Jesus never spoke against reincarnation nor did He speak against His belief in it.
Here is the problem: how can I prove something if I believe in it? Can I offer evidence that supports or demonstrates my belief? Suppose some people believe what I believe, yet others do not? Perhaps I need to examine why some believe it, and I need to examine why others do not. Do some people believe it just because of someone, whom they trust, respect or is an authority figure and tells them it is true? On the other hand do some personís reject something because someone, whom they trust, respect or is an authority tell them it is not true? Suppose that which you believe is not easy to prove. Are you willing to investigate, spend time and to research what information is available to prove what you believe? That is just what Captain L. Edward Van Hoose did and told about in this book.
There are many examples in the book that demonstrate how power and politics were very influential in making decisions affecting what the Church believed and what it was not allowed to believe
I believe Wayne Dyer, Psychologist said, "When you believe it you will see it." Yes, that sounds good, yet this may not always be applicable. This isnít necessarily the case with the belief in Reincarnation. Through the centuries reincarnation has been believed by a number of respected, well known and famous people, yet they were in the minority. People such as Origen, Socrates, Plato, Pythagoras and King Solomon even before Jesusí lifetime. More current believers including: Dr. Carl Jung, Dalai Lama, Dr. George Lamsa, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Dr. Ian Stevenson, and George Washington. The author stated that many of our nations founders were Masons and believed in reincarnation.
In some countries in the world the majority of the people believe in reincarnation, yet in other countries the concept is just not accepted and is even rejected by Church representatives. Over the centuries many believers in reincarnation were threatened and even tortured to accept the beliefs of powerful Church leaders who forced their belief on others under their control. People who didnít believe what the leaders decreed were considered. "Heretics." Believers in reincarnation were cursed and destined to burn in the fires of hell.
There is a strong possibility that reincarnation does not appear in the Bible because the wordís reincarnation and resurrection were used interchangeably. The word resurrection was preferred. Both words suggest: back, against, renew, appear again. Another consideration is that the Bible languages went from Aramaic, to Greek, Latin and later into Elizabethan English, etc. Translation from one language to another magnifies the problems with semantics.
This Book is concentrating on reincarnation in the Bible. Jesus, Elijah and John the Baptist are the main characters, it is good to know a bit of the background of Elijah. Mention of him goes back to the Old Testament days, about the year 864 BC. It was half way through the reign of King Ahab, son of King Omri in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Israel was a small nation and not very militarily strong. One of the ways to protect themselves was to make treaties with neighboring countries. Some times tribute was paid and other times relations were cemented by marrying the daughters of the kings of those other countries. King Omri had fostered an alliance with Phoenicia and King Ahab also cemented the relationship further by marrying Jezebel the daughter of the King of Sidon.
Omri was criticized for his indulgence toward alien gods and customs of the Phoenicians. When Jezebel became queen, she was permitted to promote those trends. Because Ahab allows Jezebel to maintain four hundred and fifty priests of Baal, chief male deity of the Phoenicians and four hundred prophets of Asherah the wife of Baal, the Bible condemns Ahab as the wickedest of the Hebrew kings.
A contest of strength is held between Elijah, representing God and the priests of Baal, representing him. The God of Elijah is victorious and Elijah orders that all the priests of Baal be slain. This act of savage treatment of Jezebelís priests makes her so mad that she claims that she will see that Elijah will be treated similarly as he had done to the Baal priest. Elijah runs and hides. Although he escapes in that lifetime, the Law of Cause and Effect (Karma) catches up with him in New Testament days when Elijah, reincarnated as John the Baptist.
John the Baptist is in prison. Ahabís wife, Herodias, who is the reincarnation of Jezebel, wants the revenge that she didnít get during her lifetime as Jezebel. Incidently, Herodias is the mother of Salome who Ahab asks that she dance for him. He promises her anything up to half of his kingdom. After the dance is over Salome, at her Motherís suggestion, asks that John the Baptistís head be cut off and placed on a platter. Karma from his past lifeís action has caught up with him finally.
Maybe you remember the book written by Morey Bernstein in1956. Morey was a lawyer who hypnotically regressed Ruth Summons, a Boulder Colorado housewife to a past life. She claimed to be Bridey Murphy, born in Cork, Ireland in 1798 and died sixty-six years later. Many people enjoyed reading that account of the details of her life. Those who attempted to verify her claims were only able to find a few references of people whose names were mentioned in that past life by Ruth, while in an altered state.
Perhaps you have heard of Edgar Cayce, renowned as the foremost psychic of the Twentieth Century, he was called, "The Sleeping Prophet." He was considered to be a Christian. He read the whole Bible each year for many years. When he, in an altered state, initially accessed evidence of a past life, he stopped giving readings for clients. He was unwilling to accept reincarnation as a fact. Later he was convinced of all the help his readings had provided for many people. He began again to give readings for clients. Cayce claimed that he was accessing information in the Akashic Records that were somewhere in the ethers. Over a period of many years he gave more than 17,000 readings. His readings helped many people to know more about themselves and were also offered alternatives for healing. Once when he was asked what part of the Bible definitely teaches reincarnation, he responded, "John 1: 6-8 and Chapters three to five then the rest as a whole." Cayceís work continues today from its headquarters in Virginia Beach, VA. His association is called Association for Research and Enlightenment.
Even today there are many Association for Research and Enlightenment study groups around the world which help students learn more information about their spiritual journey while using Cayceís teachings. Although over three-hundred books have been written about Cayce, none were written by him.
Jess Stern who was a reporter for the New York Daily News and was Editor for the Newsweek Magazine. He also wrote thirty-five books. Stern, who was influenced by Edgar Cayce wrote, "The Sleeping Prophet," about Cayceís life.
Carl Jung, prominent 20th century psychiatrist who wrote, "Memories, Dreams, Reflections," stated: "I had to be born again - because I had not fulfilled the task that was given to me. When I die, my deeds will follow along with me: that is how I imagine it." Long ago, Plato recorded Socratesí belief in reincarnation: "The soul in immortal and at one time, has an end which is termed dying, and at another time is born again - but is never destroyed." Jesus in John 3:3 said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." He, as Plato, Socrates and Jung were referring to reincarnation. Others in ancient times who were believers in reincarnation were: Pythagoras, Plotinus, and early major Christian, Origen,
In more recent time: Jack London, writer wrote a collection of stories related to reincarnation in his book, "The Star Rover."
Richard Bach, in his book "Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, "Do you have any idea how many lives we have gone through before we got the first idea that there is more to life than eating, or fighting, or power in the flock .... We choose our next world through what we learn in this one."
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: "The soul comes into a temporary abode, and it goes out to it anew .... it passes into other habitations, for the soul is immortal."
Henry Ford said, "I adopted the theory of reincarnation when I was 26. Genius is experience. Some seem to think that it is a gift or talent, but it is the fruit of long experiences in many lives."
Walt Whitman, American poet wrote: "I know I am deathless... We have thus far exhausted trillions of winters and summers. There are trillions ahead and trillions ahead of them."
John Mansfield, British poet, in his well-known poem about past and future lives wrote: "I hold that when a person dies his soul returns again to earth; arrayed in some new flesh disguise, another mother gives him birth with sturdier limbs and a brighter brain. The old soul takes the road again."
Considering a current source, there is Ian Stevenson, Psychiatrist, who for forty years, until recently was head of the Department of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia leading. Reincarnation research. In 1974, he wrote "Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation." He investigated very young children claiming to have recently experienced a past-life. Because of a foundation set up by a wealthy man, Stevenson was able to travel to many foreign lands to scientifically investigate claims of past-life memories.
More recently Stevenson wrote a two-book series of more than two thousand pages offering evidence that there is a connection between past life injuries and wounds and current lifetime birthmarks. The book is entitled, "Contributions to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects." He has also written a condensation of those two volumes, entitled, "Reincarnation and Biology." He has collected thousands of childrenís past life cases and made an extensive study of alternative explanations In conclusion he said, "But, if the children did not acquire the knowledge in this lifetime, then they must have learned it in some other time."
In order to maintain his research on as scientific a basis as possible, Dr. Stevenson established a list of criteria on which he valuated the likelihood of true regression. He used these criteria to verify that some characters in the Bible have also reincarnated from the time of the Old Testament to the New Testament times. Some of the criteria are: Paranormal Vision or Dreams Declaring a Return, Associated Unusual Behaviors, Geographical Considerations, Similar Theological and Moral Questions and Purpose of Earthly Returns. Stevenson didnít expect that all his criteria would always be met.
Today there are many well trained and credible psychiatrists, psychologists and others who hypnotically regress clients to past live experiences to help them better understand why they have certain fears, dislikes, talents and abilities.
Comments by Frank Munkel:
This book is recommended to people who want to investigate whether or not some of the writers of the Bible give examples and stated that reincarnation is a fact. I believe that the book offers proof for those who read it with an open, thoughtful and logical mind. The evidence is quite clear and proves reincarnation more than once. If fact, Jesus states very clearly that John the Baptist was Elijah in a past life. There are other references where Jesus says, "You have to be born again." Karma (The Law of Cause and Effect) is demonstrated, illustrating how good things that we do will bring good to us some time in the future and the negative things we do will also effect our lives sometime in the future, perhaps not until a future life as in the case of Elijah/John the Baptist.
It was interesting that the Captain shared how he went from being in a state, in his Bible search of what is called, "Bibliolatry," (which is the worship/homage of the Bible) to later utilizing wisdom obtained in meditation to perceiving the Bible as a navigational tool as he searched for evidence of reincarnation.
Capt.Van Hoose has listed many credible, intelligent and respected people in the distant past, in New Testament days and relatively current days who are believers in reincarnation. We might wonder why reincarnation isnít accepted by most people in America. He states that about 27 percent do. Perhaps that percentage is high because of all the people that have immigrated to America from lands where reincarnation is generally accepted. So, we ask why, if the Bible does cites illustrations of reincarnation, why donít more American Christians believe in it? In fact many American Christians are completely opposed to it.
Perhaps the reason is that people are told by their Church leaders not to believe in it, because the leaders donít. As a result the parishioners donít question or even think to investigate the truth the Bible offers. Jesus, in referring to reincarnation states: "He who has ears, let him hear." I suggest, he or she who has a mind of his or her own and has eyes let her or him read this book.
It is not easy to read this book, I found it best take it in small bits to better digest all the evidence and information. It will be helpful if the reader has Bible reference books.
At times Capt.Van Hoose slips in bit of humor or nautical terms to offer a change of pace in this important subject. The belief in reincarnation can change the way people live their lives and how they consider physical death.
I suggest that this book would be easier to use if the author had made an overall index rather than only special limited lists. When I wanted to get back to what he wrote about Nag Hammadi, it took me many frustrating minutes to find itís page location.
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*Frank Munkel is a retired Unity minister who now travels to Unity churches throughout the country, leading people in past life regression work. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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