Who Invented The
"One-Life" Belief Anyway?
Encyclopedia itself states, in regard to the Fifth Ecumenical
Council of 553 A.D., that "anyone asserting the belief in the
preexistence of souls (reincarnation) would be anathema."
= cursed, damned, excommunicated
two thirds of all the people living on planet Earth believe in reincarnation. Those who
now feel they have one life to live find
themselves in a steadily declining minority.
The Eastern-based philosophy
of past lives continues to make more and more of its presence felt
throughout the Western world. If one interprets the principals of
reincarnation with an open mind and heart, it will not take long to
appreciate the reasons for its growing popularity.
not require an angry God to judge and punish us after we pass on. Rather,
this belief system tells us that God loves us unconditionally, but it asks us to take responsibility for our thoughts and actions. All of it is governed by a Universal Truth that applies
anywhere in the universe: What we put out comes back to us, this lifetime
wisdom tells us that after the death of our physical body we are the ones who will evaluate
every one of our thoughts and actions in a process called a "life
review." Then, if we so chose, we will set new goals and challenges for our next life, especially those which attempt to heal
lesser choices (negative karma) with love. In other
words, karma is not a punishment - it is an opportunity to bring our past actions with others into loving alignment, life after life, until
all of it is healed.
on this planet also believe
in the Christian, one-life concept. In this belief system, an angry
God punishes us if we have been bad by sending our souls to hell for eternity, or he
sends us to heaven if we've been good. We've got one lifetime to get it all right, which has been the source of much
guilt and anxiety for those who believe
in this man-made dogma.
right? Billions of people are betting an awful lot on these two vastly
different beliefs. I
believe this is enough information available today to say that the process
and karma makes far more sense.
we go further there
are some very important facts that should be mentioned about the origin of the Bible and what we know about the
Old and New Testament. A visit to any well-stocked library can provide
this same information.
This is crucial because there are many people today
who take things for granted about this book without examining its history...
Holy Bible, as we know it today, can be traced back to the fourth century
that time, the emperor Constantine formed a council of historians and
scholars (the Council of Nice).
purpose of that council was to take all the loosely organized religious
and historic traditions of the time and simplify them.
a result of that council, many sacred documents concerning ancient
mysteries and Jesus' teachings were modified, edited or secreted away for
a privileged few where they remain to this day in the Vatican.
council produced a single document in A.D. 325 known today as the Holy
documents and historical writings have been edited out of our modern
Bible, in addition to those deemed inappropriate by the Catholic Church
in the fourth century.
essence, much of today's Bible is someone else's version of what they want
you to believe and many fear-driven dogmas have resulted because of
Who invented the
"we only have one life" dogma anyway? When did it happen? Why did it happen? God
didn't invent it. It certainly wasn't Jesus' idea.
Over the past 9 plus years of my life I have read well over 400
books. From time to time, I would come across a statement explaining that many
centuries ago reincarnation was a widely accepted belief even when Jeshua
walked the Earth. There is solid evidence that some of the early philosophers,
Christian fathers and saints believed in and supported that concept.
Who were some of
- Plato (582-507 B.C.)
- Origen (185-254 A.D.)
- St. Clement of Alexandria
- St. Gregory (257-332 A.D.)
- St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.)
Note: please visit their connections to reincarnation
at the end of this
I had been raised a
catholic and was taught from an early age that we only have one life to get it all right
or there was hell to pay (literally). The church asked me to trust them on this
one. They programmed me to believe that they had all the answers and asked
that I place blind faith in their
my spiritual awakening I wondered where that
dogma really came from. That led to tougher
questions such as, "At what time in religious history did the one-life law
originate? Who came up with this teaching? Why did more than half the people on this planet believe
in something totally foreign to me called reincarnation? Most importantly, who was right?"
As I began to dig
into this puzzle more and more, I suspected that the answer could be found somewhere
between the time Jeshua died (33 A.D.) and 600 A.D. During that time, the Christian
religion was born, organized, defined, politicized and "dogmatized."
All of this information is available in the libraries and has been well
researched over the years. Why don't we hear more about it? The leaders of
Western religions don't want you to know this.
Christianity began with James (the brother of Jeshua), Paul, the early church fathers and others.
As a teacher of righteousness, Jesus' seeds of spiritual wisdom and
universal truths were given to many
people. After his death, some of those people brought those seeds to local and foreign
lands. Many religious groups or sects were formed based upon his teachings. There was a lot of opinion and
disagreement on what to do with them and how they were to be interpreted.
One major offshoot was the formation of the
Christian (Roman Catholic) religion. Throughout those first 500 years, other man-made laws were added to
those that Jesus first taught. After His death, each new generation
reinterpreted those original teachings. Then they were edited and
embellished for many different reasons.
Jesus' wisdom was
put into the New Testament. But, the earliest existing (hard) copy we have of that document is
dated to the 4th century, almost 400 years after Christ's appearance. We have nothing earlier
in writing except bits of pieces here and there found on various ancient parchments.
Sometime during the
first 600 years of early Christianity, several major events happened...
Early references to reincarnation in the New Testament had been deleted in
the fourth century by Emperor Constantine, when Christianity became the
official religion of the Roman Empire.
the sixth century, the Second Council of Constantinople ruled that
reincarnation was a false belief punishable by persecution and death.
the same time, the Church and the Roman Emperors knew that the concept of
prior lives would weaken and undermine their power over their followers,
since it would give these people too much time to achieve salvation. The
threat of a Judgment Day and punishment by an angry God at the end of
one's life worked a lot better to control the masses.
reincarnation is a system of belief in which each individual must take
responsibility for his or her choices and actions through the universal
law of, "What you put out comes back to you." We don't need an
organized religion for this system of belief to work. That was a
threat to the existence of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic
Church realized it would have more power and influence
by becoming not only a religious organization, but also a political one. As a
result, the church formed powerful alliances with the Roman
did the church form these alliances with the Roman emperors? Because the
emperors wanted to make sure that the people didn't riot and an organized
religion that controlled the masses through fear could help to accomplish
did the emperors want to make sure there were no rebellions by the masses?
Because they wanted an uninterrupted flow of tax collections.
Listed below is an
excellent historical explanation of what happened during those early times regarding
reincarnation and the one life dogma. It can be found in a book written by Nick Bunick
called, In God's Truth. Again, it is offered not to offend, but to make one wonder and
think. Ultimately, please form your own conclusions.
"At the time that Jeshua walked the earth, the Judaic religion had three different
sects. One was the Sadducees and they professed they did not know what happened to the
soul or the spirit upon death. The other two sects were the Pharisees and the Essenes.
They absolutely believed in transmigration of the soul, what we call reincarnation.
In the fourth
century A.D., Constantine was the emperor of Rome. He appointed a pope named Damascus. In
conjunction with that, they founded the Council of Nicaea and made an effort to purge
everything out of the Scriptures of the New Testament that spoke of reincarnation as they
were translating the Scriptures from Aramaic into Latin, their contemporary language.
[Encyclopedia Britannica says the Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325, '... is an event of the
highest importance in the history of Christianity. It was the first attempt to fix the
criteria of Christian orthodoxy, by means of definitely formulated pronouncements on the
content of Christian belief...' - SP]
Then, in the fifth
century A.D., when Justinian was the emperor, he called together the Fifth Ecumenical
Council. The Council met in Constantinople with the specific purpose of condemning the
idea of reincarnation, committing themselves, from that time on, to always speak of life
being one experience on earth, that redemption and salvation must take place during this
refused to participate in that meeting because he totally disagreed with their trying to
change the entire teachings of hundreds and hundreds of years, teachings that did believe
in reincarnation, and more importantly, the teachings of Jeshua.
I do not think it
was done maliciously. I believe it was probably a decision of mortal people at that time
who had good intent, and felt they could better influence the people who were attending
their churches by making them believe they must receive redemption and salvation in this
one lifetime. But unfortunately, in doing so, they changed dramatically the true messages
of Jeshua, and that is that we are all part of God, and being part of God, we are all
We do come back in human bodies in order to experience the material world so
that we may become, through the experiences in the material world, pure again. I want to
emphasize again, I do not believe it was malicious on the part of the decision-makers at
that time. I feel their decision was based on what they thought was in the best interests
of the people."
During the first 300 years of the early church, reincarnation was widely accepted by many
of the early Christians, including Origen, whom the Encyclopedia Britannica hailed as
"the most prominent of the church fathers with the possible exception of
Saint Augustine." In addition, the Gnostic gospel, Pitis Sophia, quotes Jesus as saying
"Souls are poured from one into another of different bodies of the world."
Leading up to the
fourth century, the church evolved into an institution that was ripe for manipulation. It
was during this time that the Church-State alliance was born with the sole purpose of
achieving blind-faith dependence upon the church by the masses. Belief in reincarnation
tended to produce individuals who were more self reliant, freethinking and not very
controllable. The church did not want that and hasn't wanted it up to this very day.
When was the
one-life dogma invented? Sometime around 379-395 A.D.,
Constantine, his successor Theodosious and the early church fathers created new teachings.
They said that we were separate from God, we only had one life to live, when we died we
either went to heaven or hell and that the only way to save ourselves was through the
In the year 553 A.D.,
Emperor Justinian called for the Fifth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople with the
express purpose of condemning reincarnation once and for all. Here's how it was done. A
total of 15 Anathemas were created. Think of them as condemnations. This
information can also be found in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
The first anathema was
"if anyone assert the fabulous pre-existence of the souls (reincarnation), and shall
assert monstrous restoration which follows from it, let him be anathema." From that
point forward reincarnation was forbidden from Christian beliefs. Individuals who chose to
practice reincarnation were persecuted. The church's campaign of terror and slaughter
lasted until the 13th century when the last vestige of reincarnation was wiped
One last thing while we're on this general subject. It concerns the divinity of Christ.
This dogma states that Jeshua was totally different than us, that He was the son of God
because of his unique divinity, was separate from us. Who invented this
man-made belief? When did it come
into existence? Sometime around 325 A.D. when the emperor Constantine ruled over a vast
kingdom of millions of people.
During that 4th
century, many changes were added and made to the early Christian beliefs by the emperor and
the church fathers. The Nicaean Council that formed during this time declared that Jeshua
was a direct part of God and that we were separate from our Source. That is when this
man-made belief was invented.
This is not meant to diminish the teachings of love
and forgiveness that Jesus brought to us during his visit to Earth. He was a
and healer; one of the great ones to walk this planet. But, we are all sons and daughters of
God. There is no separation. Even Jeshua said in the scriptures that we would do greater
things than he did.
There is a book in print today entitled, Twenty Cases Suggestive of
Reincarnation, written during the 1960s by Ian Stevenson, M.D. At the time of that writing, Dr.
Stevenson was a psychiatrist at the University of Virginia Medical College and had
investigated nearly 600 cases of possible reincarnation. The 20 cases presented in his
book was a representative sample from the 600.
What makes some of his case histories so compelling is the detailed descriptions given by
the individuals studied. Many were young children, some of whom spontaneously
began speaking in a foreign language related to their past life.
"The case usually starts when a small child of two to four years of age begins
talking to his parents or siblings of a life in another time and place." Names of
countries, towns, addresses, names of brothers, sisters, parents, descriptions of the
homes lived in, and so on were collected. Then Dr. Stevenson went to the places described
and verified what the children and others said. There was no way the individuals studied
could know such things, especially the young children.
And here is another amazing fact. The American Medical Association
reviewed one of Dr. Stevenson's earlier books on ten meticulously investigated cases of
reincarnation specifically from India. They said "In regard to reincarnation, he
[Stevenson] has painstakingly and unemotionally collected a detailed series of cases from
India, cases in which the evidence is difficult to explain on any other grounds." - Journal
of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Stevenson added more evidence for the scientific proof of
reincarnation. He continued his work with children who not only remember
their past lives quite accurately, but have prominent, pigmented birthmarks
or birth defects on their bodies, which each child said was caused by wounds
suffered during their previous life.
Forty-nine such cases were studied in
detail. Common to all was a near perfect match in past life details given by
the young child for the deceased person each recalled being. In ninety-six
percent of these cases, a very close correspondence could be found between
the birthmarks or birth defects on each child and the wounds on the deceased
person. All of this was verified by a review of medical documents such as
for each past life case.
Last, but not least, there is
another book on reincarnation recently authored by
another psychiatrist, Dr. Brian Weiss...
Many Lives, Many
Masters by Brian Weiss, M.D.
an excellent book
that has sold more than 2 million copies and has been translated into 26 different
languages. Dr. Weiss, a Yale University trained psychiatrist, was startled one day by a patient of
his who began to remember previous lives while under hypnosis. He was so impressed by what
happened he decided to go public with it after years of hesitancy. If you are interested
in the phenomenon of past lives this is the book to start with.
(1) Referenced writings
"Know that if you become worse you will go to the worse souls, and if better, to the
better souls; and in every succession of life and death you will suffer what like must
fitly suffer at the hands of like"
Plato - (582 - 507 B.C.), The Republic
"Every soul... comes into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the
defeats of it previous life. Its place in this world as a vessel appointed to honor or
dishonor, is determined by its previous merits or demerits. Its work in this world
determines its place in the world which is to follow this."
Origen - De
Principiis (early church father) (185 - 254 A.D.)
"... it is absolutely necessary that the soul should be healed and purified, and if
this does not take place during its life on earth, it must be accomplished in future
St. Gregory - (257 - 332 A.D.)
"The message of Plato, the purest and the most luminous of all philosophy, has at
last scattered the darkness of error, and now shines forth mainly in Plotinus, a Platonist
so like his master that one would think they lived together, or rather, since so long a
period of time separates them - that Plato was born again in Plotinus."
Augustine - (354 - 430 A.D.
"In God's Truth"
"Born Again and Again" John Van Auken
"Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation" Ian Livingston, M.D.
"Many Lives, Many Masters" Brian Weiss, M.D.