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Volume 91, Issue 35

Friday, October 31, 1997

flesh and bones


Re-examining reincarnation's rebirth

By Tina Chiu and Natalie Henry
Gazette Staff

Do you ever have a sense of déjˆ vu? Are you particularly attracted or repelled from a certain person, place or thing for no apparent reason? Do you have recurring dreams about a certain person, place or thing? If so, you're a believer in reincarnation.

It is believed the idea of reincarnation has existed since at least the sixth century B.C.. It is primarily associated with Mahayana Buddhism, which is practiced in Eastern countries. Buddhists have a belief about reincarnation and those who have reached spiritual enlightenment, reject 'Nirvana' in order to be reborn and help the human race.

Samantha Brennan, professor of the philosophy course Death 153F at Western, believes reincarnation is a pretty standard world view. "Many people are puzzled by the worldwide reports which seem to suggest the probability of reincarnation," she says.

Bob Masschelein, a psychic reader in London, says, "Reincarnation is more of a traditional belief in the Hindu world and not the Western world." He says most of his clients have a belief in reincarnation when they come to him for a reading.

"I perform clairvoyance readings – readings that tune in directly – no cards, astrology, that's more scientific," he describes. "I see people longtime dead and I sometimes work as a spirit medium with the spiritual church.

"Spirits live in astral dimension, whereas we live in the physical dimension. These worlds are beside each other and so there are spirits all around us," Masschelein says.

"I do believe that we have had many lifetimes, especially those that are quite sensitive, creative or artistic. In the universe, nothing is created or destroyed – it's very economical. Our spirit gets recycled and the elements of it continue and we are born into another body," he explains.

Brennan ponders the idea of remembering past lives. She refutes the 'evidence' of reincarnation by questioning why "People never remember boring past lives and memories usually within thier own culture, therefore, they can not be reincarnated." She believes reincarnation is an alternative belief system for people who don't agree with the notion of immortal existence in Heaven.

Masschelein says a belief in reincarnation can help people with severe problems which may stem from a prior lifetime – like phobias. For example, being scared of elevators or being buried alive. "I had one person come in who had a fear of suffocation when he pulled the bed covers over his head. I did a reading for him and discovered that in previous life he was trapped and died in a mine – this caused his fear of suffocating."

We have about one in 20 people who come in for reincarnation readings, he explains. "Humans are actually part physical and part spiritual which makes us aware of a higher power. This awareness leads us to rejoin a higher energy," the psychic adds.

This spiritual element could also explain the unusual feelings of déjˆ vu people get from time to time. Around the age of eight, most people forget about their past lives. The evidence of these past lives only manifest themselves through déjˆ vu, unexplained extreme feelings, and dreams.

"When we sleep, our astral body, the spiritual part of ourselves, travels and there is limitations to time or space," he explains. "We go years into the future or far away. When our astral body returns and we reach that time or place that was 'visited,' we have an inner knowledge. Without spiritual knowledge we would have no understanding of déjˆ vu."

Despite the skepticism many people feel concerning the validity of reincarnation, Masschelein believes that because of simple comraderie we are all spiritual individuals: "A spiritual person is a person who loves their neighbour."

©Graphic by Janice Olynich

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