Carl Jung gives five forms of rebirth  as follows:


1. “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 of karma…

2. 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…

3. 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 incorruptibility…

4. 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 means.

Rebirth 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…

Another 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…

5. 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.”

(Carl 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


1. The act of rising from the dead or returning to life.

2. The state of one who has returned to life.

3. The act of bringing back to practice, notice, or use; revival.

4. Resurrection Christianity

a. The rising again of Jesus on the third day after the Crucifixion.

b. The rising again of the dead at the Last Judgment.

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


Reincarnation: Ancient Beliefs

The origins of the notion of reincarnation are obscure.

They apparently date to the Iron Age (around 1200 BC). 


http://www.reincarnationexperiment.org/reincarnationhistory.html gives the following ancient traditions still existing in the tribal communities:

·        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 Mysticism.]

·        In 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.

·        Australian 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 conception.*

(These 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.)

·        The 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.

·        Cherokees thought that the soul chooses a family where it believes its gifts may flourish, and where it can complete a cycle of learning.

·        Tibetan Medical Paintings shows that culture believed that by its 26th week in the womb the fetus became aware of its former lives.

·        Scholars report that traditional Teutons, Celts, and Gauls accepted the "reality" of reincarnation.[The Enigma of the Hereafter, Paul Siwek],

·        Other 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 S. Cooper]


 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.