What Happens When We Die?

The living of multiple lifetimes by a unit of consciousness commonly referred to as a soul is known as reincarnation. The word reincarnation derives from Latin, literally meaning, “entering the flesh again.” Alternative terms are rebirth and transmigration, implying migration from one life (body) to another. Reincarnation was documented in written works from Ancient Greece and India over 2,500 years ago and for the ancient Celts, as demonstrated by the following quotation:

“I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence.”
—Socrates (BCE 470–BCE 399)

is reincarnation real

Reincarnation was also a percept of the early Christians, as expressed by Origen, an early Christian scholar, ascetic, and theologian. Origen has been described as the greatest genius the early church ever produced. He is widely regarded as one of the most important Christian theologians of all time. Origen clearly understood the essential nature of reincarnation:

“Every soul comes into the world strengthened by the victories and weakened by the defeats of its previous life. It can be shown that an incorporeal and reasonable being has life in itself independently of the body…then it is beyond a doubt bodies are only of secondary importance and arise from time to time to meet the varying conditions of reasonable creatures. Those who require bodies are clothed with them, and contrariwise, when fallen souls have lifted themselves up to better things their bodies are once more annihilated. They are ever vanishing and ever reappearing.” —Origen (CE 184–CE 253)

In CE 543, the Roman Emperor Justinian I manipulated the 5th Ecumenical Council, and the pope refused to attend as a gesture of protest. The emperor condemned Origen as a heretic and ordered that all his writings be burned. This condemnation caused teachings on reincarnation to be banned by the Church.

Religious organizations typically do not provide their members with much information on the afterlife. But independent exploration into reincarnation is offering Christians a fascinating look at reality beyond the physical plane of existence. Accordingly, in the U.S., reincarnation is increasingly accepted among Christians. Based on 2021 data released by the Pew Research Center, 33% of adults in the U.S. believe in reincarnation (Pew Research Center 11.23.21).

Note: This section comes with several qualifications. In Earth’s three-dimensional material world of linear time, reincarnation is traditionally viewed in terms of current and past lives. However, in the non-material existence beyond space and time, all lives and experiences are simultaneous. Therefore, ultimately, reincarnation is a relative truth: It is relative to the incarnate soul or spirit in which consciousness happens to be localized, but the highest frequency levels reveal a single field of consciousness in which past and future lives exist simultaneously.

The books and videos referenced in this section are from a variety of sources. They include past life regression, children’s past life memories, mediumship, and historical documentation of reincarnation.

science-based awakening resources

Reincarnation Resources

Organizations about Reincarnation 

  • The Newton Institute

    The mission of the Newton Institute is to raise personal and collective consciousness by bringing the healing and wisdom of life-between-lives to individuals around the globe, reawakening their immortal identity and integrating their spiritual consciousness into their human consciousness, so they may live its unconditional love and wisdom.

  • University of Virginia School of Medicine, Division of Perceptual Studies (UVA DOPS)

    The core research mission of the DOPS is the rigorous evaluation of empirical evidence for exceptional human experiences and capacities that bear on whether mind and brain are distinct and separable and whether consciousness survives physical death. DOPS examines the impact of such experiences on individuals and the general public, explores the implications for scientific theory, and contributes to the serious study of the nature of consciousness and its interaction with the physical world.

Books and Videos about Reincarnation

Bache, Christopher, Ph.D.

Life Cycles: Reincarnation and the Web of Life
by Christopher M. Bach, Ph.D., 237 pages (1990)

Cannon, Dolores

Between Death and Life: Conversations with a Spirit
by Dolores Cannon, 290 pages (1993, 2013)



Cayce, Edgar

Reincarnation & Karma
by Edgar Cayce, 168 pages (2006)

Cayce is the most documented psychic of the 20th Century. He has been called the “sleeping prophet” and the “father of holistic medicine.”


Cranston, Sylvia

Reincarnation: A New Horizon in Science, Religion, and Society
by Sylvia Cranston and Carey Williams, 381 pages (1984, 1999)

Demarmels, Ursula

Spiritual Regression: For Peace and Healing
by Ursula Demarmels 232 pages (2015)

Demarmels has conducted over 6,000 past life regressions. She is the leading European regressionist and has been seen by 52 million television viewers.

Website:  (in German) 

Video:   Good and Bad Karma. A Journey Into a Past Life and the Beyond. (with English subtitles) 

Dyer, Dr. Wayne W. and Dee Garnes


Elsen, Pieter, Ph.D.

When Souls Awaken: Real Life Accounts from Past-Life and Life-Between-Lives Regressions
by Peter Elsen, Ph.D. 332 pages (2019)

Elsen was born and educated in The Netherlands. Eventually, he was trained and accredited by The Newton Institute for Life-Between-Lives Hypnotherapy.

Fontana, David

Life Beyond Death: What Should We Expect?
by David Fontana, 214 pages (2009)

The late David Fontana was Professor of Transpersonal Psychology. He was a fellow of the British Psychological Society, and President of the British Society for Psychical Research. His many books have appeared in 26 languages.

Lake, Gina

Cycles of the Soul: Life, Death, & Beyond 
by Gina Lake, MA, 220 pages (2020)

Gina Lake is a nondual spiritual teacher and has written over twenty-five books about awakening to one’s true nature. She has a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology.

Leininger, Bruce and Leininger, Andrea

Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot 
by Bruce and Andrea Leininger with Ken Gross, 256 pages (2009)

New York Times bestseller

Makichen, Walter

Newton, Michael, Ph.D.

Life between Lives: Hypnotherapy for Spiritual Regression 
by Michael Newton, Ph.D., 222 pages (2004)
Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives 
by Michael Newton, Ph.D., 409 pages (2000)
Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives
by Michael Newton, Ph.D., 278 pages (1995)


Michael Newton’s books are considered the gold standard of past-life and between-lives regression books, which we highly recommend. They have been translated into over 30 languages.


The Michael Newton Institute

Wisdom of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives from the Michael Newton Institute
by Ann Clark, Ph.D., RN; Joanne Selinske; Marilyn J Hargreaves; and Karen Joy; 255 pages (2019)


Website:  (Ann Clark) 


Website: (Karen Joy)

Video:   Helping Parents Heal, Inc  (Ann Clark)

Puryear, Herbert Bruce Ph.D.

Why Jesus Taught Reincarnation – A Better News Gospel
by Herbert Bruce Puryear, Ph.D., 262 pages (1993)


Rother, Steve and The group

Crossing the Veil: What Happens When You Die?
by Steve Rother and The group, 157 pages (2022) 


Stevenson, Ian M.D.

Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect 
by Ian Stevenson, M.D., 248 pages (1997)

This book summarizes Stevenson’s findings, which are presented in full in the multi-volume work titled Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects.
Ian Stevenson, M.D., was one of the most venerated individuals in the field of reincarnation research. 

Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation
by Ian Stevenson, M.D., 396 pages (1966)


Tucker, Jim M.D.

Before: Children’s Memories of Previous Lives 
by Jim B. Tucker, M.D., 544 pages (2021)

Dr. Tucker took over the work of the esteemed pioneer Ian Stevenson upon his retirement in 2002.

Van Praagh, James

Adventures of the Soul: Journeys through the Physical and Spiritual Dimensions
by James Van Praagh, 159 pages (2014)

James Van Praagh is a bestselling New York Times author.


Wambach, Helen Ph.D.

Life Before Life
by Helen Wambach, Ph.D., 212 pages (1979)

Website:   Reliving Past Lives: The Evidence Under Hypnosis
by Helen Wambach, Ph.D., 200 pages (1978)



Weiss, Brian L., M.D.

Same Soul, Many Bodies: Discover the Healing Power of Future Lives Through Progression Therapy
by Brian L. Weiss, M.D., 226 pages (2004)

Dr. Weiss is a psychiatrist and best-selling New York Times author.

Only Love Is Real: A Story of Soulmates Reunited
by Brian L. Weiss, M.D., 175 pages (1996) 

Weiss, Brian L. M.D. and Weiss, Amy E. M.S.W.

Miracles Happen: The Transformational Healing Power of Past-Life Memories
by Brian L. Weiss, M.D., and Amy E. Weiss, M.S.W., 344 pages (2012)


Video:   Reincarnation Proved

Whitton, Joel L. M.D., Ph.D. and Fisher, Joe

Life Between Life: Scientific Explorations into the Void Separating One Incarnation from the Next
by Joel L. Whitton, M.D., Ph.D. and Joe Fisher, 198 pages (1986) 

Woolger, Roger

Healing Your Past Lives: Exploring the Many Lives of the Soul
by Roger Woolger, Ph.D., 104 pages (2004)