This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Transmigration

Having at some length set aside some ideas that are not ‘reincarnation,’ and having made the claim that reincarnation, as envisaged by modern Westerners, is actually not possible, we can move on to a discussion of transmigration, which is so central to Hindu and Buddhism cosmology. Transmigration pertains to the spiritual order, and not the psychic domain wherein the process of metempsychosis takes place. Transmigration deals with the real being and its journey after the cessation of earthly life. The first point to emphasize, however, is that we are not here dealing with a repetition of another human life, or a re-embodiment, and this is why we must insist that transmigration is not reincarnation. As the term itself implies, it refers to a ‘change of state,’ hence trans-migration and not simply a ‘migration’ whereby the same state is cycled through again. It can be said to describe one’s rebirth after death, but this rebirth ‘is not of this world,’ and the deceased Christian who enters paradise upon death is undergoing a ‘transmigration’ in the strict sense. In other words, transmigration implies a passage to another state, and not a second passage through a state already traversed.

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