Reincarnation and resurrection are concepts that negate each other. Nevertheless with over six billion people in the world there are enough supporters for both.
Reincarnation in general terms states that there is more than one physical life for all humans. Resurrection refers to eternal life of the soul and rejoining our bodies when the final judgment occurs.
Those who support reincarnation believe it is impossible to live just one life, basically because it would not be possible to purge all of our bad deeds in a single existence. It has also become a good explanation to those for whom the concept of eternal damnation seems unfair, especially when considering that if there is an all-knowing God then He would know ahead of time what our future actions would be, despite the free will concept.
For others though reincarnation is a cycle that perpetuates evil. If there is no memory of past lives, then we would not be aware of what our actions were and would not have the opportunity to change, we would be handled a tough hand in life and would never know why. Resurrection on the other hand offers salvation for the soul.
There are also questions supporters of each alternative share. The origin of souls is one of them. There is no certainty but it raises a common question: how many souls exist? Humanity has multiplied over the centuries so there seems to be a pool of souls somewhere, much bigger for believers of reincarnation since souls are supposed to be coming back to bodies that could also not be human. It is only natural that this has spiked the curiosity of millions of people.
One theory has emerged from the Gnostic philosophy that has tried to reconcile reincarnation and resurrection.
Peter Novak has published a couple of books on his theory, which in simple terms states that reincarnation does exist, that the physical bodies are discarded from life to life but that there will be a final judgment day. At that moment all the bodies will reunite with the spirit or soul as it has attained Gnosis, the maximum knowledge on our origins and memory of past lives we can have.
Regardless of which view people support they both offer an alternative to something that tends to scare most people: death. Here lies the final coincidence that can be pointed out, they both presuppose the idea that life never ends, which perhaps is more important than the differences as to how that happens.
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