Origen - On hell and reincarnation
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
St. Jerome. "To Avitus" (Letter 124). Translated by W.H. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. Martley. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 6.
Hellfire, moreover, and the torments with which holy scripture threatens sinners he [Origen] explains not as external punishments but as the pangs of guilty consciences when by God's power the memory of our transgressions is set before our eyes.
"The whole crop of our sins grows up afresh from seeds which remain in the soul, and all our dishonourable and undutiful acts are again pictured before our gaze. Thus it is the fire of conscience and the stings of remorse which torture the mind as it looks back on former self-indulgence."
"but perhaps this coarse and earthly body ought to be described as mist and darkness; for at the end of this world and when it becomes necessary to pass into another, the like darkness will lead to the like physical birth."
In speaking thus he [Origen] clearly pleads for the transmigration of souls as taught by Pythagoras and Plato.