Been reading a lot about metempsychosis or reincarnation. This is an extract from the new advent summary of beliefs concerning metempsychosis through various religions and cultures throughout history. This specific excerpt comes from a chapter on the Jewish Rabbins and the parts in quotes are taken from Traditions of the Rabbins (Quarterly Review, April, 1833)
The imagery is phenomenal.
The following is a sample of what awaits the "guiltiest of the guilty". "The dark tormentors rush after them with goads and whips of fire; their chase is ceaseless; they hunt them from the plain to the mountain, from the mountain to the river, from the river to the ocean, from the ocean round the circle of the earth. Thus, the tormented fly in terror, and the tormentors follow in vengeance until the time decreed is done. Then the doomed sink into dust and ashes. Another beginning of existence, the commencement of a second trial, awaits them. They become clay, they take the nature of the stone and the mineral; they are water, fire, air; they roll in the thunder; they float in the cloud; they rush in the whirlwind. They change again; they enter into the shapes of the vegetable tribes; they live in the shrub, the flower, the tree. Ages on ages pass. Another change comes. They enter into the shape of the beast, the bird, the fish, the insect. . . . Then at last they are suffered to enter into the rank of human beings once more."