The belief in reincarnation is widespread in the world. Most Westerners know that Eastern religions like Hinduism and Buddhism teach reincarnation, but fewer realize that reincarnation is a tenet of several Shia Islamic sects, the Ultra-Orthodox branch of Judaism, and many indigenous tribal societies. The details of the beliefs vary, but interestingly, all are associated with the same set of signs, including memories of previous lives.
It seems likely that the belief in reincarnation originated as a conclusion drawn from the signs, although nowadays when the signs appear they help to support the belief. As the increasing number of Western reports shows, however, the signs may appear without supporting beliefs, so there is no necessary relation between the signs and the beliefs. The relation of reincarnation beliefs to experience is another central concern of this site.