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Reincarnation/solve the contradictions


can we solve the contradictions and paradox of eastern and western concept of reincarnation? even though eastern traditional religion
and western new age philosophy both believe in reincarnation, their
concept contradict with each other. first, the eastern religion believe that animals can reincarnate into human body and human can reincarnate into animals.the people follow New Age religion in west
believe in Darwinist concept of evolution of physical world as well
as the spiritual world so they believe that once a soul evolve into human soul is impossible to be animal again. other western reincarnation believers were influence by the creation story of the bible and believe that human is in God's image and can  never be animal.there are very few people who have past life memory claim that they had been animals  before while it is very common for the people in china and India have past life memory claim to have been animals in past life. the psychics who help people do past life reading are usually strongly against the eastern idea that human can reincarnate into animal. but in Tibet,many monks,
lamas and rinboches who do psychic reading for people say that may people have been animals before and will be animals.
other contradiction is that the Buddhists in Asia believe abortion is a sin because they believe that the baby in the womb has conscious since the pregnancy and abortion is murder and will cause bad karma . the western new age believe that the soul come into the body only three month before its birth,so abortion in the early period of pregnancy is not murder.
last the Buddhists and Hindus believe believe in the endless cycle
of the history of the earth as well as the universe while the westerner believe that the earth and the universe is much younger than what Hindu and Buddhists believe because they believe that the earth, time and universe have begin and end. and the evolutionist concept of reincarnation is also contradict with the Asian concept of the cycle of human history. there are more contradicts and paradox that we need to solve. is it possible to solve these contradicts? are these contradictions necessarily mean
that only one tradition is true while other is false? will these contradictions give excuse to the people who oppose reincarnation to disprove reincarnation?


There's an issue behind all these questions, and it is answered fairly by the parable of the blind men examining the elephant. The one up at the front reports, "It's long and thin, like a snake"; the one at the side near the front says, "It's wide and thin and floppy," while the one next to him says, "It's huge and broad."

Behind this parable is the implicit assumption that there is only one elephant, and that it definitely exists.

In your examples, what you actually have are blind men, or an assortment of men, some of whom can see and some of whom are partially blind, and some of whom are entirely blind. Some are actually seeing a bit of the elephant; some are going entirely on hearsay. Some have it garbled.

The task, then, becomes finding the literal handful of men who are clear-sighted and are giving first-hand accounts. The "traditions" are, in this sense, irrelevant. Who cares about third- or fourth-generation hearsay? But first, one has to believe the elephant is (or may be) real. If one approaches the matter--as materialistic students of religion do--with the a priori assumption that the elephant is purely a myth, then one finds what one is looking for.

For example, when Bill Moyers explores religion, he finds experts who match the level of his own inquiry. They confirm what he already believed when he went into it--that there may, actually, be some truth to it, but we can't prove it and different people have different opinions. He is no better off than when he started, because his assumptions have led him to people who confirmed his assumptions.

That's your real answer; but to address your specific questions, based on my best sources, people do not incarnate backwards into animals. There could be very, very rare exceptions for all I know. Anyone who believes they do is mistaken, period. Time is cyclical. Anyone who believes it is linear is mistaken. As a general rule, the astral body enters the fetus around the time of "quickening," though there can be exceptions, and also the astral body can "hover" or be somehow "in association with" the mother before actually entering. It can also enter later, even, I think, at birth.

To answer your question, it is possible *for an individual* to resolve these conflicts, given the sincere desire to do so, and given one approaches the matter with assumptions which don't preclude finding the right answers.

Traditions, as traditions, are generally partly true. But the closer you get to the esoteric, the more they agree; and if you put enlightened sages from each tradition into one room, they get along just fine. If you put clerics or pundits from each tradition into one room, they argue; or if they don't argue, they come up with some liberal mish-mash which keeps them all happy, "agreeing to disagree." That never satisfied me, however.

Best regards,


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Stephen Sakellarios


I can answer questions about reincarnation (from both Eastern and Western perspectives) and life after death, and how these topics relate to religion and spirituality.


I produced a documentary entitled "In Another Life: Reincarnation in America" which aired on PBS station KBDI in Denver, CO, Jan. 2003
I have a masters in counseling from FSU, and over thirty years' study of Eastern mysticism from carefully selected sources, plus eight years' study of contemporary Western reincarnation studies. I've published nine related articles online and in print. I offer an online class on the subject and maintain an extensive educational website at, as well as giving talks and radio interviews (archived on the website).

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