A lesson which they[the druids] take particular pains to inculcate is that the spirit/mind does not perish, but after death passes from one body to another; they think this is the best incentive to bravery, because it teaches men to disregard the terrors of death.
[De bellico Gallico VI, 14]`
In the 1st century BC Alexander Cornelius Polyhistor wrote;
The Pythagorean doctrine prevails among the Gauls’ teaching that the consciousness/souls of men are immortal, and that after a fixed number of years they will enter into another body.
Also, the Vikings seemed to believe in reincarnation, for we read in the poetic Edda: Sigrun was early dead of sorrow and grief. It was believed in olden times that people were born again, but that is now called old wives’ folly. Of Helgi and Sigrun it is said that they were born again; he became Helgi Haddingjaskati, and she Kara the daughter of Halfdan, as is told in the Lay of Kara, and she was a Valkyrie.
Without discussing their vulgarity and ridicule the following points summarizes their views: A.) Reincarnation negates the sacrifice of Christ’s death on the cross for all our sins and is inherently a heathen idea/notion.
Zoroastrianism does NOT accept the notion that ANYONE can substitute in for the “learning journey” of another.
B.) The stay in hell is eternal (Matthew 18:8, 25:41,46, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, Jude 1:6 etc.). “The holy church of Christ teaches an endless aeonian (ateleutetos aionios) life to the righteous, and endless (ateleutetos) punishment to the wicked.”
The idea of “an endless misery” is fundamentally at odds with the core beliefs and dogmas of the Zoroastrians. Zoroastrianism vehemently opposes the notion of a GD that creates imperfect, evolving creatures to punish them later for their imperfections in a demonic hell for ALL ETERNITY. According to the Zoroastrian doctrine hell or “dúž ang.húsh” is a state of hellish or “dis-eased existence;” and is a creation of our OWN afflicted mind and spirit. This “dis-eased existence/state of being” only serves an EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE and ceases to be when the mind/spirit EVOLVES into “an awesome, most amazing and wondrous minoo; mind/spirit/consciousness or “vahishtem manö.”
The word for HEAVEN or Paradise in modern farsi is “behesht,” derived from Avestan “vahishtem manö,” or the most amazing and wondrous mind/spirit/consciousness.
Upon the arrival of “frashökérétí” or the brilliant renewal of the universe; hellish existence ceases to be. Thereafter, it will only be the ETERNAL PROGRESS of the “awesome, most amazing, wonderful mind/spirit,” See the 3rd line of Yasna 28.8.
Hell or dis-eased existence is a CREATION of MAN, and is of TEMPORARY DURATION. Hell ceases to be when LESSONS are LEARNED and PROGRESS has been made. The conscious energy is NOT punished for endless ages, it is NOT punished to gratify the revenge of a so-called divinity. Conscious energy goes through the consequences of its actions/mistakes for the sake of HEALING, EVOLUTION and BETTERMENT/PROGRESS.
Zoroastrianism gives definite priority to the life ‘HERE and NOW’. Yet, past, present and future according to the poetic gathas appear to be part of the SAME CONTINUUM.
The state of the world/gaia/gó before “frashökérétí” is marked by mixture/myásaitä, 3rd line of Yasna 33.1. We are here to learn, evolve and progress. Our mistakes can and do create hellish existence here and now. Hence, our soul/power to choose/úrvaan comes back to rework/dismantle the hellish house of lies/domain of delusions we have been creating here, 3rd and 4th line of Yasna 49.11.
C.) In lieu of reincarnation, when people resurrect which body will they have?
Zoroastrianism teaches about an AGE OF ETERNAL PROGRESS upon the consummation of “frashökérétí.” An amazing, most wondrous age will usher in after the fresh and brilliant renewal of the creation/universe. This evolution/progress is not just spiritual and mental; a FUTURE BODY will be fashioned to match the evolving consciousness.; known as “tanö passinö.”
Concerning a new, more lucid, more evolved physical body; comparison could be made with the accounts of Haðókht Nask in the Zoroastrian sacred literature concerning the fate of the soul during the first three nights after death. There we read that the beautiful insight/vision of the deceased appear to him/her in the form of the most lovely, fair, tall maiden.
10.And the soul of the virtuous one addressed her, asking: ‘What maid art thou, who art the fairest maid I have ever seen?’11. And she, being the virtuous one own vision/insight, answers: ‘O thou youth of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, of good religion, I am thy own vision/insight
‘Everybody did love thee for that greatness, goodness, fairness, sweet-scentedness, victorious strength and freedom from sorrow, in which thou dost appear to me;12.‘And so thou, O youth of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, of beautiful religion! didst love me for that greatness, goodness, fairness, sweet-scentedness, victorious strength, and freedom from sorrow, in which I appear to thee.13.……….14.‘I was lovely and thou madest me still lovelier; I was fair and thou madest me still fairer; I was desirable and thou madest me still more desirable; I was sitting in a forward place and thou madest me sit in the foremost place, through this good thought, through this good speech, through this good deed of thine; and so henceforth mortal men worship me …….. D.) Rejection of the preexistence of souls by the Council of Constantinople, thus, by implication, the rejection of reincarnation.
“If anyone asserts the fabulous pre-existence of souls, and the monstrous restitution which follows from it, let him be anathema.”
“If anyone says that there will be a single unity of all rational beings, their substances and individualities being taken away together with their bodies, and also that there will be an identity of cognition as also of persons, and that in the fabulous restitution they will only be naked even as they had existed in that pre-existence which they insanely introduced, let him be anathema.”
Zoroastrianism teaches about a preexisting brilliant idea, word of knowledge/wisdom, spiritual prototype of things called FRA-VASHI, or the forth spoken word/voice of wisdom, See Yasna 45, 1-6, Yasna 23 and Yasna 26.
The Fact is that Zoroastrianism teaches a unique form of reincarnation very similar to the ancient Germanic tribes and different from the typical Eastern types.