Excerpt from Children's Past Lives
Chapter 14: Adults and Their Religions
Reincarnation is not, as many people in our culture think, a belief tied to India or to any particular religion or culture. It has been an enduring spiritual belief for billions of people for thousands of years all over the world, a global idea that sprang up independently among peoples on every continent, from the Celts and Teutons of northern Europe, to the indigenous peoples of Africa, Australia, and the Americas. Hundreds of millions of Hindus and Buddhists in the world today believe in reincarnation. It is tolerated by Islam—the Islamic mystical sect, the Sufis, make it the cornerstone of their faith. From the point of view of most of the rest of the world, our Judeo-Christian culture, with its denial of reincarnation, is in the minority.
In truth, there is no such thing as a single, fixed doctrine of reincarnation. It is impossible to say that reincarnation is this and not that. It is a generic spiritual idea, like a belief in deities, that in interpretation and practice is as diverse as the peoples of the world. Some notions of how reincarnation works are superstitious nonsense—notions that clearly are an embarrassment to our modern minds. But in other places reincarnation has developed into a philosophy of natural laws and spiritual insight that could make a valuable contribution to Western thinking.
"I think that Blake's experience was something that I needed to start me on my own spiritual journey. Before this happened, I really was an atheist. I thought that God didn't exist. Before this, there were things I just couldn't understand, like why three-month-old babies had to die. I couldn't understand how God could be so cruel.
"Since Blake's experience I did research and read about reincarnation and began to understand how this all works——that we have many lives and we learn things in different lives. We also choose the body we're in, like a handicapped body or that of a retarded person, for the purpose of learning. Before this, I thought that God was so cruel to do this to one person, while another person was given a wonderful life.
"Then, knowing that past lives are possible, everything seemed to fit together and I realized, yes, there is a God!"
Read another excerpt from Chapter 14, Dogma Bites Man.
An article that expands on the ideas in this chapter: Authorship of the Bible.