Reincarnation, Past Lives, Life Between Lives, and Future Lives – Useful Definitions

by Anne Reith, Ph.D.
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Why is there a challenge when it comes to definitions in the metaphysical field?

If you haven’t figured this out yet, let me break it to you gently: Within the field of metaphysics, the definitions used by authors/teachers for certain words can vary greatly. When I first entered this field, I was often pretty confused!

This is why I wrote my FREE eBook called Basic Definitions of Terms for Psychics, Mediums, and Healers. It provides you with simple definitions of words and terms that are often used in the metaphysical field. It’s the eBook that I wish I’d had when I was first starting out.

This Blog post will focus on defining 4 terms: reincarnation, past lives, life between lives, and future lives.

I wanted to provide definitions of these 4 terms because I often use them in my Blog posts, eBooks, and audio recordings. I wanted to make sure you know how I define them so you aren’t confused and/or misinterpreting what I’m sharing.

NOTES:  Because different definitions do exist for all 4 of these terms, you don’t have to agree with me. I ALWAYS encourage my students to seek out the definition that feels “right” to you.

DEFINITION – Reincarnation

Reincarnation depends on the underlying religious or philosophical belief that we have a spirit or soul that is separate from our physical body. For those who agree with this premise, reincarnation is defined as the belief that after our physical death in our present lifetime, our soul can be “reborn” into a new body.

The belief in reincarnation is more common within Eastern religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism. In fact, the concept of reincarnation is the foundation of some Eastern religious philosophies.

A belief in reincarnation is less common in Western religions. For example, although the Bible does believe in a soul, it makes no specific reference to reincarnation. This is why the Catholic Church has openly rejected this concept. However, some of the more liberal Protestant faiths do believe that reincarnation is possible. As a whole, the metaphysical field tends to support the idea of reincarnation.

In general, those who believe in reincarnation usually agree that each lifetime is designed to provide our soul with unique life experiences. For this reason, we don’t want to repeat the same lifetime over and over again. We want different experiences so our soul can continue to learn and grow.

Here are just some of the various life experiences a soul may select during each lifetime:

  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Physical characteristics
  • Physical problems or conditions
  • Family structure and relationships
  • Friendship groups
  • Careers or public contributions
  • Level of fame or recognition
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Country of origin (or even planet/dimension)
  • Religious and spiritual beliefs
  • And many, many others

DEFINITION – Past lives

I define a past life as a lifetime we have previously lived in a different body.

Different theories exist regarding past lives, and many books and websites focus on this topic. Often there are very conflicting opinions in this area of study. For example, some people believe we only live a few lifetimes, while others propose many of us have lived hundreds of lifetimes. A full discussion of past lives is beyond the scope of this Blog post.

NOTE: Learning about our past lives can help us live more fulfilling present lives. If you are interested in exploring your past lives, I have recorded the meditation that I use in my Past Lives 101 class: Past Lives Guided Meditation.

DEFINITION – Life between lives

I define our life between lives as what we experience when we are in between incarnations.

In between each of our lifetimes, it is believed that our soul is in a plane of existence that is often referred to as “the other side.” Christians might refer to this as Heaven. However, this isn’t an actual physical location. This is a non-physical realm, and we exist in energetic form.

There are many different theories about what it is like on “the other side.” Based on my personal communication with those on the other side, I have come to understand that we have experiences much like we do here on Earth. For example:

  • We have relationships with other souls
  • We are responsible for fulfilling certain roles
  • We are learning and growing through our review and study of our past lifetimes
  • We make plans for our next (i.e., future) lifetime

Although it is often more challenging than exploring our past lives, it is possible to learn at least a little bit about what our life is like when we are on “the other side.” This can be done through messages received from our guides, angels, and even our higher selves. Some people can also access their Akashic Records, which can tell us about our past lives, as well as our current life script. These insights are given to us by the Divine to help us live a fuller, happier, and healthier present lifetime.

NOTE: Some people are able to explore what their life is like when in the spiritual realm through the use of guided meditations. If you are interested in trying this approach, I have recorded the meditation I use in my Life Between Lives class: Life Between Lives Guided Meditation.

DEFINITION – Future lives

I define a future life as a lifetime in a different body that we haven’t yet lived.

Although rare, Spirit will occasionally give us a very special gift: Information about a possible future life. This most often happens through hypnotic regression, but sometimes your angels and guides can sometimes provide this information.

When we are given this glimpse into a possible future lifetime, it is done for a specific and important purpose. Often it is provided when we are at an important “choice point” in our present lifetime. Our guides or angels want to clarify what might happen if we make a certain choice (i.e., what our future life might look like if we choose or don’t choose a particular course of action). 

When a glimpse into a future life is provided, it’s important to understand that it is very tentative. You, as a soul, haven’t yet finished the present lifetime, which means that whatever happens during your current lifetime may impact this possible future life. Those on the other side are simply giving you this glimpse in order to help you make wise choices in your present lifetime.

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By Anne Reith, Ph.D.

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