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Friday, July 01, 2005
TRANSMIGRATION OF THE SOUL, the doctrine that at death the soul passes into another living creature, man,animal, or even plant. This doctrine, famous in antiquity and still held as a religious tenet by certain sects of the civilized world, has its roots far back in primitive culture. It is developed out of three unviersal savage beliefs:

1).. that man has a soul,connected in some vague way with the breath, which can be separated from his material body, temporarily in sleep, permanently at death;

2)..that animals and even plants have souls, and are possessed to a large extent of human powers and passions;

3).. that souls can be transferred from one organism to another.

Innumerable examples might be mentioned of the notion that a new born child is the reincarnation of someone departed, as in Tibet the soul of the Dalai Lama is supposed to pass into an infant born nine months after his decease.

Transmigration of humansouls into non-human bodies is implied in totemism, for, as Professor Frazer says, "it is an artcile of faith that as the clan sparng from the totem, so each clansman at death reassumes the totem form", All these savage notions are to be regarded as presuppositions of metempsychosis, rather than identified with that doctrine itslef as a reasoned theory.

Till full investigation of Egyptian records put us in possession of the facts, it was supposed that the Egyptians believed in Metempsychosis,, and Herodotus (ii,123) explicitly credits them with it. We now know that he was wrong. All that they believed was that certain priviledged souls might in other world be able to assume certain forms at pleasure, those of a sparrow-hawk, lily, etc. Herodotus misunderstood the Egyptians to hold beliefs indentical with those which were current in his day in Greece.

In India, on the contrary, the doctrine was thoroughly established from anceint times; not from the most ancient, as it is not in the Vedas; but onwards from the Upanishads. In them it is used for moral retribution, he who kills a Brahmanis, after a long progress through dreadful hells, to be reborn as a dog, pig, ass, camel, etc.

We do not know how the doctrine of Metempshychosis arose in Greece, it cannot, as once supposed, have been borrowed from Egypt and is not likely to hae come from India.It is easiest to assume that savage ideas which had never been extinguished were utilized fro religious and philosophic purposes. The Orphic religion, which held it, first appeared in Thrace upon the semi barbarous notheastern frontier,

Orpheus, its legendary founder, is saud tohave taught "soul and body are united by a compact unequally binding on either; the soul is divine, immortal and aspires to freedom, while the body holds it in fetters as a prisoner. Death dissolves this compact, but only to re-imprison the liberated sould after a short time: for the wheel of birth revolves inexorably. Thus the soul continues its journey, alternating between a separate unrestrained existence and fresh reincarnation, round the wide circle of necessity, as the companion of many bodies of men and animals.To these unfortunate prisoners Orpheus proclaims the message of liberation, that they stand in need of the grace of redeeming gods and of Dionysius in particular, and calls them t turn in God by ascetic piety of life and self purification:the purer their lives, the higher will be their next reincarnation, until the soul has completed the spiral ascent of destiny to live for ever as God from whom it comes.

(abstracted from the book:ALL THERE IS TO KNOW by: Alexander Coleman and Chalrese Simmons)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:54 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
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About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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