Lately I’ve been seriously exploring the concept of reincarnation.
I haven’t dug too deep into how it works or how it fits into a larger framework
of reality: I’ve instead been focusing on the low-level implications.
Up to this point I’ve accepted the basic idea that my soul is an individuation of spirit, which encompasses all that is, and my soul has manifested itself in different bodies at different points throughout time. I feel this idea conflicts somewhat with subjective reality and with the related idea that there is ultimately only one consciousness (which encompasses all of reality); alas, for the time being I am not going to analyze this conflict.
As such, this article takes the view that I have been here before, in a different body and in a different time period, but with the same soul.
It’s also worth mentioning that a soul doesn’t have to be on Earth at all times. After we die we spend some time on the other side reflecting on the life we just lived, visiting others we know who are there, recalling our other lifetimes, and remembering who we really are. What we do aside from that varies from soul to soul. Some begin planning and preparing for their next lifetime before long. Others choose to remain on the other side a while, perhaps communicating with people on Earth and even becoming spirit guides. Then there are those sad souls who have difficulty coming to terms with their deaths: these are the sort that remain on Earth and that we knows as “ghosts.” Many such souls do not even know that their physical lives have ended, and some continually re-live the traumas they experienced while they were alive (such as the events that resulted in their deaths).
Souls that take the paths of either spirit guides or ghosts may remain on the other side for decades, centuries, or even indefinitely. So far I’ve found this is especially true of people who were either prominent in history or relatively advanced teachers, since they like to continue teaching people from the other side (and where they can reach as many people who choose to connect to them). On the other hand, if you try to communicate with someone you personally knew who died 10+ years ago, you might get static—they may have moved on to another body by now (it’s worth mentioning that spirits require skill to communicate with us, just as we require skill to communicate with them, so it also may be that the spirit in question has not developed the needed skill or doesn’t have the energy right now to communicate with you).
Finally, I’m not going to waste my breath trying to convince you why reincarnation might be real. Instead I’m just going to dive in. Come along for the ride if you want; don’t if you don’t.
Personal Development: Breaking Old Patterns
Your past lives can provide you with insight as to why you are the way you are. This can include your interests and skills: interests you had in a past life may very well make their way to your current lifetime.
What’s most important, however, is that your past lives can help you to see why you behave, feel, and think in certain ways. This is especially true of behavioral, emotional, and cognitive patterns that you regard to be problematic—even more so if you aren’t sure of where these patterns began or why you have them. It may be that these patterns have their roots in a previous lifetime.
In fact, so far I have only recalled past lives when wondering why I had a particular issue in my current lifetime. For instance, several weeks ago I asked my spirit guides (just think of them as my subconscious mind, if that makes you more comfortable) why I was having a collection of minor health issues, and I received impressions of two previous lifetimes that I’ve had. I wasn’t trying to recall past lives and I didn’t expect this sort of answer—it just came to me. In both of these past lives, I was a slave. I will spare the details, but I was emotionally abused in both lifetimes. Overall, my humanity was severely disrespected in all aspects—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
As I reviewed these two lifetimes, it became clear that these experiences contributed to several challenges I have faced in this lifetime. One challenge is that I have had difficulty experiencing intimacy with others, and the other is that for years I have had a chronic sense of being trapped.
This sense of being trapped has surfaced more strongly at certain times in my life than others. It was especially potent shortly before and shortly after I lived in my car earlier this year (see Being Owned by Your Stuff). The sense of feeling trapped was also especially problematic not quite four years ago, when I was suicidal, and it was rather prominent during my second semester of college two years ago. It has also made it impossible for me to hold down a job, though I can’t say I regard that as a problem (LOL).
Since recalling these lifetimes, I have been relatively free of this sense of being trapped. Recalling these past lifetimes not only helped me to become aware of this problem, but it seems the recall in itself has helped me to heal and to move past it.
Whenever the sense of being trapped does crop up now I remember its origins, and affirm that this attitude is unnecessary because I am free to choose where I will be and what I will do.
Healing from this doesn’t mean that I will now go willy-nilly do anything and everything that people seem to desire of me. What it really means is that I now am more understanding and accepting of my true power, responsibility, and freedom to choose the course my life will take, and I can’t blame anyone else if some things are other than I would like them to be (see Shrinking Authority for some perspective on this). Likewise, if I decide that I am to be in some sort of less-than-ideal situation for the time being, I can accept that reality more gracefully now, rather than constantly stress about it like I traditionally have done.
As for the intimacy issue, change in that regard hasn’t been nearly as profound, though I am feeling more open to getting close to another person (physically and emotionally), and I am becoming more aware of the cynicism that I have held in regards to intimate relationships (which includes a general expectation of either misery or rejection).
For both the intimacy issue and the sense of being trapped, I found that quite a lot of emotional healing, growth, and heightened awareness came from being open to looking at my past-life experiences as they happened- no matter how painful- and forgiving the people who hurt me in those lifetimes. I still have quite a lot of past-life forgiving to do, but what I’ve managed so far has been relieving. Indeed, I have been feeling physically healthier than I did several weeks ago, and some of the health issues that initially led me to recalling these past lives have diminished.
(If I may squeak in an update, 8/19/2017, I didn't really feel better until I did this.)
Here’s an interesting possibility I’ve considered: it might make your socks crawl off your feet. I think a lot of people who are currently between their late teens and early 30s died either in or shortly after the Vietnam War. That is why, between psychedelic drugs, social activism, and a rise in interest in spirituality, our current age is so comparable to the 1960s: we are the same souls who advocated the expansion of freedom, and we either questioned or were screwed over by the federal government (the Gulf of Tonkin was a false-flag event, man!).
(Just to do the math for you, 30 years ago it was 1986, and the Vietnam War ended in 1975. This means that people who died during or shortly after the war had at least 9 years in Earth-time to chill on the other side before reincarnating as what is now referred to as “millennials.” Millennials are people who were born near the beginning of this millennium, the 2000s.)
The strategies we took in the 1960s obviously were only so effective. Yielding to the government meant we accepted the military draft, went overseas, and either got killed or PTSD. Protesting, on the other hand, just made us look bad and killed our movement in the end. We must now take this lesson from our own past and resolve to do more and to act more deliberately than we did last time.
If millennials really can find their past lives having been during the 1960, it means my high school could have essentially been a post-mortem VFW for people who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. The thought sends chills through my spine (although it’s also pretty funny—LOL).
Even if this isn’t quite the case, it’s worth looking at the larger implications of the past lives we’ve had and the simple fact that we have had them.
We have to give ourselves credit: we have had some hard past lives. Not one of us is without some involvement in war in our complete lifetimes. Can you imagine? This is how pervasive war has been in the history of humanity: all souls, at some point or another, have experienced war first-hand.
It is possible that the cushy, externally-secure society we have been developing for roughly the last 200 years has partially been the result of our trying to forget all of the physical and emotional trauma we have been through. However, it seems that shutting out the experiences of our distant pasts is not working: in fact, it may be making matters worse.
The oldest lifetime I’ve had impressions of occurred about 1700 years ago (around 300 AD), and, admittedly, I don’t feel emotionally prepared to go back any further than that just yet. There is much about the ancient world that we either don’t understand, don’t know about, or attempt to deny is true. This becomes especially true once you go back to before roughly 4000 B.C., the supposed beginning of civilization, and even more so prior to 9,600 B.C., which was the end of the last Ice Age (the period also known as the Younger Dryas). The reason for this is that the Younger Dryas was catalyzed by a massive flood and comet impact that wiped out most of humanity and drastically changed the Earth, in that storms were frequent and brutal in many parts of the world up until the end of that period of time.
My suspicion is that we hold within us physical and emotional trauma related to the events of the Younger Dryas—especially with the flood that started it all. We experienced this catastrophic period of time first-hand, in previous lifetimes. It’s interesting that we not only have forgotten these lifetimes, but we also have forgotten ancient history as a whole. The current mainstream accounts of ancient history are sadly inaccurate: the truth is that civilization began well before 4000 B.C., and human history is far richer than we have supposed it to be. However, the roots of early civilization were lost during the events of the Younger Dryas period.
Ours is a species afflicted by both amnesia and PTSD. Not only have we forgotten the history of our planet and our species—we have also forgotten who we really are, and what we are truly capable of. Our 6th sense has been dumbed down, denied, and snuffed out. People don’t even give it a chance. Intuition is subconsciously associated with “bullshit.” Just plow through it, you sensitive baby! There’s shit to do—why can’t you just shut up and do it! We’re biological machines, man, and we have to survive! Intuition isn’t going to help us do that!!!
Of course, opposition to the serious development and consideration of intuition is terribly fear-based. Shutting out our histories and our true selves is, indeed, only making things harder for us, for the denial of our 6th-sensory abilities is weakening our bodies and minds, making us more reliant upon technology, increasing our distrust in one another, and overall making us more afraid.
If you knew with certainty at all times that you were a spiritual being having a human experience, and that there were spirits on the other side who would gladly help you if only you ask, you would see little cause to be afraid. You could trust that you would be steered away from danger and led to what you seek, if only you listen for guidance. And without fear, you would be able to live your life with love, openly and freely.
Remembering, Healing, and Progressing
Reincarnation isn’t a subject for the analytical mind—rationality will only drown itself in the tiny details of a phenomenon that is rather expansive. Reincarnation is just too big for the intellect to grasp in its entirety: if you try to understand it with your left brain, you will only run yourself in circles. This is information that must be intuited—that is, obtained by the 6th sense. It is similar to other information in this regard, such as communication from spirits and telepathic information: such information can be perceived only through the 6th sense. This is just as visual information can only be perceived by the eyes, auditory information by the ears, and so on. The 6th sense is another sense like any other, capable of processing information that only it- and not any other sense- can receive and perceive.
Recalling past lives is a useful way of remembering human history and healing the traumas stored within us. We can understand who we really are by remembering who we have been. Our past lives can also give us suggestions as to how we can grow, since they show us what challenges we have met with but not yet faced. Additionally, our past lives show us what other souls have been with us throughout time, and by examining the histories of our relationships with these others we can work through old conflicts and relate to one another anew.
Do you remember who you are? Not just who you are now, but who you used to be? Take a trip through your distant past, and it might help you to continue growing into the future. In the end you will experience yourself as the divine, free soul that you have always been through all lifetimes, and you will come full circle.
You have always been complete. All that’s left to do is to experience that.
Endnote, 8/19/2017: Actually, Generation Z was born near the beginning of the millennium-- not millennials. Having been born in 1996, I'm on the borderline of Generation Z and Generation Y (AKA Millennials). The way liberal Millennials act today is reminiscent of the behavior of anti-war protesters in the 1960s, a comparison I make in The Biological-Cultural War.
To be clear, the Vietnam War was a mess. The U.S. should not have gotten involved, but liberal protestors waving Vietcong flags was disgusting. Despite their name, modern liberals advocate for everything but freedom.
Our souls do want an expansion of freedom, but many have gone about it in the wrong way.
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