Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
LLEWELLYN JOURNAL
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

March / April 2014 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

The Gift of Reincarnation

This article was written on May 01, 2005 posted under Reincarnation

It’s not unusual for a person to believe in reincarnation nowadays. In fact, it’s almost become commonplace, especially in the Shirley MacLaine/Oprah Winfrey age in which we live.

What is unusual, however, is for an evangelical, fundamentalist Christian with twenty years of church indoctrination under his belt to not only embrace the concept, but end up writing a book on it. That just doesn’t happen—or, at least, it’s not supposed to.

So why the change of heart (and spiritual direction)? What caused me to accept an idea that flies in the face of practically everything I believed to be true for almost twenty years? Further, how does one put aside decades worth of dogma and forge a new path of discovery, especially if that path means walking away from a belief structure that has been a major component of one’s life?

Believe me, it’s not easy, but I really had no choice. You see, I never set out to believe in reincarnation. In fact, I used to argue against it, not from the position of knowledge, but from the more comfortable perspective of presumption. I simply assumed reincarnation, an ancient teaching I neither understood nor appreciated at the time, was not true purely because the church told me it wasn’t (sometimes it’s much easier to have others do your thinking for you; it saves time and prevents many a sleepless night).

So what made me change direction? Was it some sort of epiphany or the powerful arguments of a New Age guru that did it? Or was it the byproduct of a sudden realization that perhaps my faith didn’t have all the answers as I’d supposed? No doubt all those things played a part, but the truth be told, it was really hell that did it for me. That’s right, hell.

It was the cherished doctrine of eternal damnation that brought me to the reincarnationist’s table. Not that I had concerns for my own semi-repentant soul, mind you; I was a born-again Christian who knew my final estate would be Heaven, so there was very little angst about that. What I couldn’t seem to “get” was the idea that God’s divine justice demanded that everyone—at least everyone outside my faith—be doomed to hell, mostly for, as far as I could tell, having the misfortune of being born in the wrong place and the wrong time. It was the old, “What about those who have never heard of Jesus?” objection (that has been the bane of Sunday school teachers since the church first put out its shingle) that I had trouble with. I could buy the idea that the stubbornly unrepentant deserved their fiery fate, but the idea never set well with me that billions of people around the world who had never heard of Jesus of Nazareth were likewise doomed. It was as if I instinctively understood that there had to be more to the question than the standard answer of, “We don’t know what happens to those people but God loves them too and will deal with them fairly.” It simply wasn’t enough.

It was the process itself that I had trouble with. It seemed absurdly wasteful and superficial, as though billions of people meant nothing in the greater scheme of things. I couldn’t accept the idea that three out of four souls born on this planet were destined for a godless eternity, or that the vast majority of human beings who have ever lived were now wandering in outer darkness without even the hope of reprieve. There had to be more to it than that. More to the process. More to God.

It was reincarnation that gave me the solution. It was only through seeing our existence on this planet not as a single brief experience, but in the context of a hundred such visits that I was able to understand the Divine. That was what allowed me to see that everything we’ve done—no matter how selfish or “evil”—are a part of the sometimes painful path towards spiritual maturation, and how it forces us to take responsibility for our own lives and actions and so grow beyond our very human frailties and weaknesses. That is what “saved” me from the God of my youth.

Mystery of Reincarnation is the end result of that realization. It is the culmination of five years of study and thoughtful meditation, put together in an easy-to-read format, that is designed to tackle the most perplexing concepts the theory entails. Far from being just another rehash of case studies or the musings of somebody’s spirit guide, it is instead a carefully considered argument for the idea, told from a hopefully objective and balanced perspective, that I believe will be of help to modern audiences who struggle with the question of immortality. It is, in short, the sort of book I might have benefited from had I come across it twenty years ago, which is really the best kind of book to write.

I only wish I had come across the idea earlier; it might have saved God from his bad reputation, and showed me that the face of the Divine is not one of judgment, condemnation, and wrath, but one of eternal patience, endless opportunities and unconditional love. That is the gift reincarnation gives us. It is the gift of God.

J. Allan Danelek is also the author of The Case for Reincarnation.


RELATED PRODUCTS

Destiny of Souls
Over 200,000 sold!
Destiny of Souls
New Case Studies of Life Between Lives
Michael Newton
$17.95 US,  $20.95 CAN | Add to Cart
Life Between Lives
Life Between Lives
Hypnotherapy for Spiritual Regression
Michael Newton
$15.95 US,  $18.50 CAN | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

Spring arrives, and it's that time for awakening to fresh ideas, new beginnings, and innovative growth. Inspiration for new ideas often comes through creative action. Once the ball starts rolling, it's easier to energize your ideas and plans for this next cycle. The elementals of the gemstone kingdom can help you through their vibration and color... read this article
The Witch's Broom: Magic for Everyone
Astrology: The Energy of Color
How to Get Rid of a Ghost: 3 Easy Ways
A Healing Spell for Your Cat
Hexes, Ghosts, and Rock & Roll: A Paranormal History of America's Rock Era

Most recent posts:
365 Tarot Spreads
With her usual style and charm grounded in research and tarot knowledge, Sasha Graham, author of Tarot Diva, brings us her latest: 365 Tarot...

How Can a Blind Person Practice Visualization?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Jean-Louis de Biasi, author of Secrets and Practices of the Freemasons, The Divine Arcana of the Aurum...

The Tail of a Book Cover
Have you ever wondered how Llewellyn comes up with some of its beautiful cover designs? Today, to celebrate the release of The Witch’s Broom by...





Llewellyn's 2014 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2014 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2014 Astrological Calendar
Horoscopes for You Plus an Introduction to Astrology

By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $15.99 CAN
$3.50 US,  $4.00 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Herbal Almanac Llewellyn's 2014 Herbal Almanac
Herbs for Growing & Gathering, Cooking & Crafts, Health & Beauty, History, Myth & Lore

By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2014 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Magical Almanac Llewellyn's 2014 Magical Almanac
Practical Magic for Everyday Living

By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!