Jung gives five forms of rebirth
“Metempsychosis. The first of the five aspects of rebirth
to which I should like to draw attention is that of
metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls. According to
this view, one’s life is prolonged in time by passing through
different bodily existences; or, from another point of view, it is
a life-sequence interrupted by different reincarnations. Even in
Buddhism, where this doctrine is of particular importance– the
Buddha himself experienced a very long sequence of such
rebirths– it is by no means certain whether continuity of
personality is guaranteed or not: there may be only a continuity
Reincarnation. This concept of rebirth necessarily implies the
continuity of personality. Here the human personality is regarded
as continuous and accessible to memory, so that, when one is
incarnated or born, one is able, at least potentially, to remember
that one has lived through previous existences and that these
existences were one’s own, i.e., that they had the same ego-form
as the present life. As a rule, reincarnation means re-birth in
a human body…
Resurrection. means a reestablishment of human existence
after death. A new element enters here: that of the change,
transmutation, or transformation of one’s being. The change may
be either essential, in the sense that the resurrected being is a
different one; or nonessential, in the sense that only the general
conditions of existence have changed, as when one finds oneself in
a different place or in a body which is differently constituted.
It may be a carnal body, as in the Christian assumption that this
body will be resurrected. On a higher level, the process is no
longer understood in a gross material sense; it is assumed that
the resurrection of the dead is the raising up of the corpus
glorificationis “subtle body,” in the state of
Rebirth (renovatio). fourth form concerns rebirth in the
strict sense; that is to say, rebirth within the span of
individual life. The English word rebirth the exact equivalent
of the German Wiedergeburt, the French language seems to lack a
term having the peculiar meaning of “rebirth.” This word has a
special flavour; its whole atmosphere suggests the idea of
renovation , or even of improvement brought about by magical
may be a renewal without any change of being, inasmuch as
the personality which is renewed is not changed in its essential
nature, but only its functions, or parts of the personality, are
subjected to healing, strengthening, or improvement. Thus even
bodily ills may be healed through rebirth ceremonies…
aspect of this fourth form is essential transformation, i.e.,
total rebirth of the individual. Here the renewal implies a
change of his essential nature, and may be called a transmutation.
As examples we may mention the transformation of a mortal into
an immortal being, of a corporeal into a spiritual being, and of a
human into a divine being. Well-known prototypes of this
change are the transfiguration and ascension of Christ, and the
assumption of the Mother of God into heaven after her death,
together with her body…
Participation in the process of transformation. Fifth and
last form is indirect rebirth is brought about not
directly, by passing through death and re-birth oneself, but
indirectly, by participating in a process of transformation which
is conceived of as taking place outside the individual. In other
words, one has to witness, or take part in, some rite of
transformation. This rite may be a ceremony such as the Mass,
where there is a transformation of substances.”
Jung, CW 9I, para 200- 205)
1. (Theology) the belief that on the death of the body the soul
transmigrates to or is born again in another body
2. (Theology) the incarnation or embodiment of a soul in a new body after
it has left the old one at physical death
3. embodiment again in a new form, as of a principle or idea
The act of rising from the dead or returning to life.
The state of one who has returned to life.
The act of bringing back to practice, notice, or use; revival.
The rising again of Jesus on the third day after the Crucifixion.
The rising again of the dead at the Last Judgment.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins
Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
origins of the notion of reincarnation are obscure.
apparently date to the Iron Age (around 1200 BC).
gives the following ancient traditions still existing in the
African tribal traditions believe in the existence of ancestoral
spirits who exist around their homes in close proximity of their
family. They are said to be reincarnated within the family . Thus
the Yoruba tribes of West Africa saw their children as a return of
their ancestors with their peculiarities and characters,
The child might be called Babatunde
("Father has returned") or Yetunde ("Mother
has returned"). [See John Ferguson's Encyclopedia of
Bali the pregnant mother asked the village healer to help her
dialogue with the unborn child to discover its identity and
purpose in this lifetime.
Aboriginals believed the spirit of the child existed before this
incarnation (in a transcendent realm they called Dreamtime). The
father was made aware of the spirit's desire to incarnate before
conception and the mother considered it her role to provide a
temporary haven for a being with a pre-birth identity. They
thought the spirit entered the fetus about ten weeks after
examples come from Anne Maiden, a social psychologist who has
studied many cultures relating to child-birth and -rearing
practices. Reported by Richard Heinberg in Intuition Magazine,
Vol. 1, Issue 4.)
Mbuti pygmies of central Africa, according to anthropologist Colin
Turnbull, believed that potential human beings existed in a
nonphysical state for long periods before conception.
thought that the soul chooses a family where it believes its gifts
may flourish, and where it can complete a cycle of learning.
Medical Paintings shows that culture believed that by its 26th
week in the womb the fetus became aware of its former lives.
report that traditional Teutons, Celts, and Gauls accepted the
"reality" of reincarnation.[The Enigma of the Hereafter,
historical sources referring to reincarnation include the sagas of
the Northmen, the lore of the Druids, Eskimos, Sioux, Zunis, and
Incas, and the tales of the Pacific peoples of Hawaii, Australia,
and the South Sea. [Reincarnation: The Hope of the World, Irving
Earliest documented evidence come only from Greece and India
from about the 6th century BC, but it is conspicuously absent
from the earlier Vedic texts of India. Though Hinduism today
claims reincarnation as one of its basis tenents, Rig Veda does
not even remotely refer to it.
Buddhism and Jainism held these as basic.
They were in actuality not religion but early Scientific
attempts to explain what they observed.