One of my favourite things about Spiritualism and mediumship is the fluidity of the movement. Spiritualists follow seven principles, however, outside of those principles, pretty much anything goes. Many people adopt various parts of different religions and cultures and choose to follow them alongside their spiritualist beliefs. One of the most common concepts that modern spiritualists have take on board is reincarnation. Reincarnation is a philosophical belief that many religions hold, and it has been found in many ancient cultures, it is the belief that when we leave our physical bodies, we are reborn into another form, whether that's another human or a different creature, that's up for interpretation.
Personally, I like think of myself as a skeptical medium, I don't label myself as a Spiritualist and I avoid following a set religion. I have a very open mind to all beliefs and concepts, however, I like to investigate and experience those beliefs for myself before adopting them as my own. It's very rare for me to accept someone else's belief as fact without my own investigation, so when it comes to reincarnation, I am still very much on the fence. I know many, many people who have had personal experiences with reincarnation, from retaining memories from their previous lives to experiencing their past lives in hypnotherapy, and I am most certainly not disparaging those experiences, I'm simply retaining an open mind. Where I was taught by my grandfather, a lot of my values in mediumship are very "old school" and traditional, and believing in reincarnation is very new age when it comes to movements like spiritualism.
So where does reincarnation fit in with spiritualism? Perhaps one of, if not, the most important principles of spiritualism is the third one: "The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels". Which tells us that there is an Afterlife and we are able to communicate with them. As discussed in my previous blog, when it's our time to cross over we eventually reach the point where we decide what we wish to do for the rest of eternity, whether that's sitting and relaxing on a beach somewhere or train to be a spirit guide to help assist people and fellow spirits progress in their lives, it's completely up to that individual. Some people wish to reincarnate and return back to the earth (or another habitable planet). This is a lengthy process, that takes a lot of preparation and time to organise. When a person decides to reincarnate, they spend time with their main guide/helper and discuss the reasons why and what they wish to achieve with another life. Once all the details have been figured out, they approach the Ministry of Angels who ultimately decide whether or not they will allow a reincarnation and when the reincarnation shall take place. A substantial amount of time has to have passed before someone returns, allowing any person and/or relative who knew the person to have returned to the Spirit World themselves.
There are many reasons a person may wish to reincarnate, one of the main being that they may not have fulfilled their soul contract. Before a spirit is born into the Physical World, they spend time with their guides and helpers and organise what they want to achieve with their lives and the life lessons they want to face. Those really hard times you've been through? You chose them before being born, to learn the lessons you've learned. Although we have complete free will, we have chosen a rough pathway to walk, and sometimes, we don't always learn the lessons we're supposed to and, therefore, not fulfilling that soul contract. These are lessons we can go on to learn in the Spirit World, but sometimes, being in the Physical is a true test of our soul. Once again, the spirit will sit with their guides and helpers and discuss what pathway they wish to take when they've returned to the Physical to help them learn those lessons. Ever had that feeling "I've been here before" or "I've done this before"?
It is also believed that we are assigned "soul groups", this is where a number of souls will walk their life pathways together, and will meet and connect with each other in every lifetime they have. The relationship maybe entirely different every time, they may be your mother, your best friend the next, or even perhaps a sibling or a pen friend half way across the world, but it is guaranteed that your paths will cross again. Many people instantly know when they've met somebody from their soul group, as they get the strong feeling that they already know them on a deep and meaningful level, despite only knowing them for a matter of minutes. After the relationship starts to blossom, you may get the impression that you feel them on a psychic level, that you know what they're thinking and feeling, even when apart. In fact, we often refer to "soul mates" flippantly in everyday conversation, however in reincarnation, a soul mate isn't necessarily the love of your life, but the literal sense of the phrase: a friend of your soul.
Personally, I am still very uncertain what I believe when it comes to reincarnation, I've never had a "I've been here before" moment and I've never truly felt a connection with someone as if I've known them in another life, however, it has been explained to me that this means I am a travelling soul, and potentially, this is my first visit to this particular planet, and that each reincarnation I have chosen a different planet and species. I always thought I was out of this world... Perhaps one day I will receive my revelation, but for now, I am entirely open minded. I am curious though, what are your experiences? Do you believe in reincarnation? Have you experienced anything from your past lives in this life? Let me know in the comment section below.
Credit: Photographer: Asif Akbar