The Gnostic Gospels state that Jesus taught of reincarnation and a higher "Body of Light" that exists in all of us (among other things).
Gnostics and Mystic Christian groups were virtually exterminated by Orthodox Christians and the Gnostic Gospels were kept out of the Bible, even though some scholars believe some of the authors (such as Thomas) may have as much or more authority to write on these matters.
Other interesting aspects of the Gnostics is that many sects promoted vegetarianism, and it was rumored that many of their followers made it to India and back to influence Mystic Christianity with eastern knowledge.
Do you think Jesus taught of Reincarnation?
Gnosticsim almost seems to be a blend of Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism...
Note the similarities between the summary below of Gnostic beliefs and Buddhist / Hindu doctrines of reincarnation, karma, and spiritual knowledge:
"The following quote from Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas affirms Jesus teaching reincarnation to his disciples:
"When you see your likeness, you are happy. But when you see your images that came into being before and that neither die nor become visible, how much you will bear!" (Gospel of Thomas, saying 84)
In the Secret Book of John, written by 185 A.D. at the latest, reincarnation is placed at the center of the discussion concerning the salvation of souls. The following is a summary of the Secret Book of John's perspective on reincarnation.
Everyone has drunk from the water of forgetfulness and lives in a state of ignorance. Some people are able to overcome ignorance by having the life-giving Spirit descend upon them. These souls "will be saved and will become perfect," that is, escape the cycle of birth and rebirth. John asks Jesus what will happen to those who do not attain salvation. They are hurled down "into forgetfulness" and thrown into "prison," the Christian Gnostic symbol for a new body.
Jesus says the only way for these souls to escape is to acquire knowledge after coming from forgetfulness. A soul can accomplish this by finding a teacher who can lead the soul in the right direction:
"This soul needs to follow another soul in whom the Spirit of life dwells, because she is saved through the Spirit. Then she will never be thrust into flesh again." (Secret Book of John 14:20)
Another Christian Gnostic book, the Pistis Sophia (Greek for "Faith Wisdom"), outlines a system of punishment and rewards that includes reincarnation. The book explains the differences in one's fate as a result of past-life actions. A "man who curses" will be given a body that is continually "troubled in heart." A "man who slanders" will be given an "oppressed" body. A thief will be given a "lame, crooked and blind body." A "proud" and "scornful" man will be given "a lame and ugly body" that "everyone continually despises." From this, we can see how this earth, as well as hell, is a place of education through suffering."