A philosophical religion which holds that the souls of the dead are reborn in other bodies. Some metempsykhotic philosophers hold that the soul is reincarnated in a form determined by the character of the dead person (e.g. A greedy person might be reborn as a pig). Others maintain that the goodness or evil of a person’s conduct and motives determines whether he or she will be reincarnated in pleasant or unpleasant form or circumstances. The majority of lay adherents to metempsykhosis, and also some of the philosophers, hold that both these propositions are true. These are perhaps the ultimate believers in poetic justice.

Metempsykhosis was first proposed by the Gehennese philosopher Lanthē, who flourished in Samariopolis about 4530-4550 AED. As originally proposed, it did not allow for the reincarnation of a person in an animal form. Spread in philosophical debate (see scholastics) rather than by proselytising, it is widely-known among the educated, especially in central Gehennum, in the Archaic Period, and has begun to win genuine believers. In the Classical Period metempsykhosis is the best-known, if not the most influential, of the philosophical religions. Its base of supporters has spread geographically, but moved down-market socially: it competes with belief in the traditional Gehennese afterlife rather than with the other philosophies. In the Decadent Period metempsykhosis has been reconciled with the Gehennese afterlife and has become part of the orthodoxy of the ill-educated.

The term also refers to the process of reincarnation. There have been a few well-documented cases of what appeared to be reincarnation, but it is possible that some effect in the World of Dreams might have been responsible for these.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.