What does the Church think of reincarnation? (8)

There remains to be confronted an argument that is said to be decisive in favor of reincarnation, that of the facts. Contra factum unfit argumentum. The most scholarly reasoning does not stand up to the facts. If reincarnation is impossible, how to interpret the abundant testimonies of those who claim to remember past lives? Are they all charlatans?

Explanation essay

This solution seems difficult to support, it is necessary to proceed by elimination. The early articles absolutely ruled out divine intervention. God cannot, because he cannot contradict himself, want reincarnation, nor therefore give the illusion of it to men. Sound philosophy has shown, for its part, that this thesis is in radical opposition to the laws of nature. A sound and righteous thought cannot therefore adhere to it.

Two phenomena therefore remain, which could account for advanced experiences: a preternatural influence and a psychic illness.

* A diabolical intervention

This is not to be dismissed too quickly. The demon has indeed a power over our imagination and our senses. He can very well simulate in his victims the memory of a previous life, with the most astonishing details, and make them speak a language hitherto unknown to them.

Besides, how can we be surprised that the devil exercises such a great influence these days when so many people devote themselves to him, appeal to occult forces, to “spirits”, to the fables of astrology? They thus open their souls to the demon.

Moreover, we remember the religious character of metempsychosis. This is not primarily a philosophical system. It claims a global explanation of the world, of man, of his destiny. It is a religion, all the more formidable in that it presents itself under the guise of an austere discipline. We are therefore entitled to ask ourselves: who benefits from the crime?

Is there not a hidden hand, a preternatural force, behind the many variants of reincarnation, their prodigious propaganda and even certain facts on which they are based?

Two authoritative voices seem to whisper the answer to us: “I say that what the pagans offer in sacrifice, they offer to demons, and not to God. And Saint Irenaeus: “Not only are the gods of the Gentiles (the pagans) not gods, but they are only idols of the demons.” »

* Mental disorders

But do we have to go back so high to interpret all cases of reminiscences? It seems not, and we must consider another explanation, not exclusive of the first, that of mental disorders.

Mental illnesses, of which many of our contemporaries are the victims, the abuse of alcohol, the use of hallucinogens, can they not account for the phenomenon we are studying?

In order not to assert anything gratuitously, we contacted a person skilled in the art, a psychiatrist. His science of mental illnesses and his experience confirm the results we have obtained through philosophy. Here is the text of his response.

“Refuting metempsychosis and all the theories revolving around reincarnation is quite commendable. These ideas spread very quickly and we adhere to them without thinking through snobbery. In psychiatric pathology we encounter delusional discourse on the theme of a past life, in two circumstances. The first case is that of chronic delusional psychoses:

“- in chronic hallucinatory psychosis;

“- in fantastic delusions (or paraphrenic delusions);

“- in schizophrenic delusions.

“You have to know that this delirium, or the hallucinations, as a symptom, are a means of defence. The patient ‘chooses’ without knowing it, unconsciously, to become delusional for the economy of anxiety that it gives him in the face of his confrontation with a painful reality with which he can no longer establish links.

“From all this, there results an unshakable conviction of the delusional in his delirium, a desperate attachment to his symptoms. ‘You would have to be crazy not to believe it’, said Gaëtan de Clérambault. It has been observed that some delusionals, brutally stripped of their delirium by a neuroleptic treatment, presented a severe depressive state and could commit suicide.

“The second case is the addictive use of hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms, Peyote, etc.). We find in hallucinatory intoxication many of the classic symptoms of schizophrenia and its possible delusional episodes.

“You ask me how to explain the fact that many people remember past lives in good faith?

“If they are ‘normal’ people, I don’t believe it at all. They are affabulators.

“If they are ‘cured’ delusionals, they may have memories of their fruitful moments.

“Personally, I have never met a so-called normal person who remembers a past life. »

This study on reincarnation therefore gives us the joy of once again observing the perfect harmony between revelation, sound philosophy and the human sciences. She also offers us the only remedy for this epidemic: a return to a deep faith, to the realistic philosophy of Aristotle and Saint Thomas, and to a balanced life.

Fr. Jean-Dominique OP

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What does the Church think of reincarnation? (8)

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