"Do you want to get well?" (John 5:6) "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." (John 5:8) "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." (John 5:14)

This event was also portrayed in Matthew and Mark, where a paralyzed man was lying on a mat next to a pool in Jerusalem. Jesus took compassion on him when he told Jesus:
"Sir, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me." (John 5:7)
After Jesus had healed him, they went their separate ways, and Jesus saw the man again at the temple (we know from this that Jesus frequented the temple) and told him to stop sinning. Note that he told him that should he not stop sinning, something worse should happen.

This indicates that Jesus taught that there was a connection between the action of sinning and physical reactions such as becoming crippled or worse. This is the fundamental law of the physical world: Cause and effect. How we use our physical bodies will create a reaction: "As you sow, so shall you reap."

This is particular to using our bodies for self-centered purposes. Another word for this is consequence. The physical world is a world of consequence.

Why? This is how the Supreme Being set it up. God set up a world of consequence to help teach us how to improve our consciousness, and evolve spiritually. Why? Because God knows that we will only be happy when we return to our original position as His loving care-giver.

Teaching through consequences is a well-known behavioral method in child-rearing. Child psychologists have studied child behavior and found that applying a system of consequences for bad behavior is by far the best method of producing children that head out on the right track.

Why is this? Because consequences maximize learning. When a child does a bad thing, these researchers have discovered, it is not enough to simply punish them: There must be a specific consequence established for the action, both good and bad. For example, if a child throws food, then they must clean up and even pay for the damage. That is the consequence of throwing the food. If the child does their chores, they get an allowance or time to play.

The Supreme Being has set up the ultimate consequence system within the physical world. When we do something that hurts someone else, we will end up being hurt in precisely the same way that we hurt another. When we do something to help someone else, that also comes back to us.

Sin is the activity of being self-serving. When we are acting selfishly, we are sinning. The opposite of sin is service to God. When we act to please God, there is no physical consequence created. This is because service to God lies outside the domain of the physical world. It is spiritual activity.

Since the man had been paralyzed for 38 years (John 5:5) we know from Jesus' statement that something the man had done (sin) previously caused him to be crippled. Since he was crippled since childhood, did he do something during his childhood to cause his being crippled? And what about people who are born crippled? Why are they born crippled?

Hypnotherapy research over the past twenty years has accumulated a large amount of data indicating that most of us have occupied previous physical bodies. The procedure, called past-life regression, was in part developed by Dr. Ian Stevenson, a medical doctor and professor of research at the University of Virginia, Department of Psychiatric Medicine.

Over several decades of research, Dr. Stevenson and his associates clinically studied thousands of children who accurately recalled in detail a previous lifetime. This research was soon corroborated by the results of many other researchers.

Past-life regression was only accidentally discovered by Dr. Stevenson, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia. Being a conservative psychiatrist and professor, Dr. Stevenson had no prior belief in the transmigration of the self before these accurate past-life accounts began unfolding.

The research documented children who detailed previous lifetimes as historical persons, describing events with a clarity and experience only possible from having lived personally in that situation.

The research did not stop there. The scientists then researched the historical accuracy of the statements heard during hypnosis, to confirm whether (1) the subject could have known these facts otherwise, and (2) whether the facts can be confirmed as being historically accurate. In both instances, the evidence supported transmigration.

Though undoubtedly controversial, the research has been thoroughly peer-reviewed and clinically supported.

In addition, many other studies have documented similar findings. Many studies have utilized hypnotherapy - by M.D.s and/or licensed psychiatrists - to assist with the recall of a past life - with similar results after investigation of the historical person.

Some thirty scientific books and hundreds of scientific papers have been written to document these research studies. Dr. Stevenson’s research itself spanned over thirty-seven years, and documented at least 2,500 cases of previous life recognition by children who accurately remembered their past lives.

Dr. Stevenson's corroborated research indicated that past life recollection fades by about age seven. Before that age, children will often speak spontaneously about their previous lives as historical individuals, recalling historical details decades old and otherwise unknowable.

Dr. Stevenson wrote several books on the subject, presenting the evidence in a clinically rigorous and scientific manner (Tucker 2005; Stevenson 1997). As mentioned, a number of other scientists have documented regressing patients into verifiable past lives, including Dr. Helen Wambach (1978), Dr. Morris Netheron (1978), Dr. Edit Fiore (1978), Dr. Bruce Goldberg (1982), Dr. Joel Whitton (1986), Dr. Brian Weiss (1988), Dr. Christopher Bache, Dr. Winafred Lucas (1993), Dr. Marge Rieder (1995; 1999) and a number of others.

Some of the studies targeted particular periods or events among subjects. Dr. Rieder, for example, documented regression sessions with certain patients that revealed historical information regarding Millboro, VA — a pivotal village during the Civil War. Dr. Rieder’s patients accurately described many detailed elements of the war and the town, including the uncovering of previously unknown hideaways and tunnels used during the civil war in Millboro.

So did Jesus teach transmigration? The evidence points to yes. Not only in this statement, but elsewhere. For example, in John 9, Jesus was asked by his disciples:

"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (John 9:2)

Let’s consider the question asked carefully. Why did Jesus’ disciples ask this question? First we should consider that multiple disciples asked this question and not just one ‘rogue’ disciple. This means that it was a question that arose from an understanding between Jesus and his disciples from Jesus’ teachings. In other words, it was assumed that before the man was born, he had the ability to sin. In other to have the ability to sin, the man must have had a previous physical body. Why? Because as Jesus taught previously, sinning was an action brought upon by the flesh. In other words, the person must have had a prior physical body in order to have sinned before he was born.

Note also that Jesus did not ridicule or criticize this question. He took it in stride. He did not say, “what a preposterous question.” What he said was:
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me.” (John 9:3)
Because Jesus accepted that the man could have previously sinned, he admitted that the man must have lived prior to his being born into that body - since he was born blind. While he is saying that the activities of his previous life did not cause his blindness, Jesus is acknowledging that they could have. Jesus in fact is saying that there was another purpose to the blindness other than as a consequence of his previous activities — previous to being born blind: A purpose arranged by God.

The bottom line is that the physical world is a place of consequence and learning, created by God. Although it is hell (yes, this is hell), the physical world maintains a perfect mechanism for teaching us the consequences of our actions; and it is this mechanism that causes the suffering we see in the world today (in other words, we cause our own suffering). This is all part of God's lesson plan, meant to help each of us evolve spiritually.

Should we learn life's lessons, and evolve spiritually, and re-develop our love for God, we will leave the physical world and these temporary bodies behind, and return to the spiritual world, because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God" (1Cor 15:50)


(The New International Version was used in the above Biblical quotes. Also consider  the Gospels of Jesus for the Gospel of John - translated from the original Greek texts without ecclesiastical sectarian influence.)