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Many people wonder about the possibility of having lived before this life, and what that might mean for their personal growth and spiritual evolution. The concept of past lives, also known as reincarnation, is a belief that the soul survives physical death and returns to inhabit a new body in a different time and place. Some traditions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, view reincarnation as a cycle of suffering that can only be broken by achieving enlightenment or self-transcendence. Others, such as some forms of New Age spirituality, see past lives as a source of wisdom and healing that can help us overcome our current challenges and fulfil our soul’s purpose. In this article, we will explore the concept of past lives from various perspectives, examine the evidence for and against it, and discuss how it relates to the idea of self-transcendence, which is the ultimate-goal of many spiritual paths.

Past-lives – the evidence

The concept of past lives, also known as reincarnation, is the belief that the soul or consciousness of a person can be reborn in a different body after death. There are various sources of evidence that support this idea, such as:

  • Memories of past lives: Some people claim to have vivid and detailed memories of their previous lives, often from childhood. These memories can include names, places, events, and emotions that are not related to their current life. Some cases have been verified by historical records or witnesses.
  • Birthmarks and physical traits: Some people have birthmarks or physical features that resemble those of their alleged past lives. For example, some people have scars or wounds that match the injuries that caused their death in a previous life. Others have distinctive facial features or body shapes that resemble their past selves.
  • Personality and behaviour: Some people exhibit personality traits or behaviours that are consistent with their past lives. For example, some people have phobias or preferences that are related to their previous experiences. Others have talents or skills that they did not learn in their current life.
  • Spiritual traditions and teachings: Many religions and spiritual traditions around the world teach the concept of reincarnation as part of their doctrine. For example, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and some branches of Judaism and Christianity believe in some form of reincarnation. These teachings often provide explanations for the purpose and process of reincarnation.

These are some of the types of evidence that support the concept of past lives. However, not everyone accepts this evidence as valid or conclusive. There are also alternative explanations for these phenomena, such as genetic inheritance, psychological factors, imagination, or fraud. Therefore, the concept of past lives remains a controversial and fascinating topic for many people.

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The concept of past-life karma

Past life karma is a concept that refers to the idea that the actions and intentions of a person in their previous lives have an influence on their present and future lives. According to this concept, every action has a consequence, and every consequence has an effect on the soul’s journey. The soul is believed to reincarnate many times, and each time it carries with it the Karmic baggage of its past lives. The quality of one’s life depends on the balance of positive and negative karma accumulated over many lifetimes. The goal of past life karma is to learn from one’s mistakes and evolve spiritually, until one reaches a state of liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Past-lives and transcendence

The concept of past-lives, or reincarnation, is the belief that the soul or consciousness of a person can survive death and be reborn in a new body. Some people claim to have memories or experiences of their past-lives, which may influence their personality, preferences, or talents in their current life. self-transcendence, on the other hand, is the ability to go beyond one’s ego and personal limitations and connect with a higher reality or purpose. It is often associated with spiritual growth, wisdom, and compassion.

One possible link between past-lives and self-transcendence is that remembering or accessing one’s past-lives can help one achieve self-transcendence. By becoming aware of the continuity and diversity of one’s soul journey, one may gain a broader perspective on life and its meaning. One may also realize that one is not defined by one’s current identity or circumstances, but by one’s essence and potential. This may lead to a sense of detachment from worldly attachments and a desire to align with one’s true purpose and values. Additionally, remembering one’s past-lives may also help one heal from unresolved traumas or Karmic debts that may hinder one’s spiritual progress.

Another possible link between past-lives and self-transcendence is that achieving self-transcendence can help one access or recall one’s past-lives. By transcending one’s ego and personal boundaries, one may open oneself to a higher level of consciousness and intuition. One may also become more receptive to subtle signals or synchronicities that may indicate a connection to a past-life. Furthermore, achieving self-transcendence may also increase one’s curiosity and openness to explore the mysteries of life and death, and to seek answers to existential questions that may relate to one’s past-lives.

In conclusion, past-lives and self-transcendence are two concepts that may have a mutual relationship and influence on each other. Remembering or accessing one’s past-lives may help one achieve self-transcendence, while achieving self-transcendence may help one access or recall one’s past-lives. Both processes may enhance one’s spiritual growth and understanding of oneself and the universe.

One individual’s experience

“On my journey within myself as part of my personal transcendence, I became aware that I had past lives, and some of these were in shadow, having rejected themselves in the past. I realized that as part of my Self-actualization, I needed to bring those past selves into alignment with self, so I reached out to them, in the hope that I could resolve the drama that had them locked in that negative state. Sometimes this was done with a friend experienced in past-life retrievals, sometimes on my own. In time, I was indeed able to resolve those dramas, basically by making those a shared experience between us. And so, those aspects of self came into alignment with self, which meant I’d been able to successfully actualize them with the core of my now expanded concept of self; a key stage in my personal transcendence.”

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“Of course, everyone is different, but in my journey of transcendence to one-ness with the divine-being. I found it was essential that I connect with and bring into alignment all aspects of self, including these past-selves. This was therefore a critical stage on my journey of transcendence.”

Techniques for working with past lives

Past-lives are the memories and experiences of previous incarnations that may influence our present life. Working with past-lives can help us heal unresolved issues, discover our purpose, and enhance our spiritual growth. There are several techniques that can be used to access and explore our past-lives, such as:

  • Visualization meditation: This is a method of using our imagination and intuition to create mental images of our past-lives. We can use guided scripts, music, or symbols to help us enter a relaxed state of mind and focus on a specific question or intention. Then we can let the images flow naturally and observe what we see, hear, feel, or sense. We can also interact with the scenes and characters that appear in our visualization and ask them for guidance or information.
  • Dream analysis: This is a method of interpreting the symbols and messages that appear in our dreams. Dreams can be a way for our subconscious mind to communicate with us and reveal aspects of our past-lives that are relevant to our current situation. We can keep a dream journal and write down our dreams as soon as we wake up. Then we can look for patterns, themes, or recurring elements that may indicate a connection to a past-life. We can also use lucid dreaming techniques to become aware that we are dreaming and consciously explore our past-lives.
  • Past life retrieval: This is a method of using a trained facilitator or therapist to help us access and recall our past-lives. The facilitator or therapist can use various techniques such as regression, progression, or soul retrieval to guide us through the process of remembering and reliving our past-lives. They can also help us integrate the insights and lessons that we learn from our past-lives and apply them to our present life.
  • Hypnosis: This is a method of using a hypnotist or self-hypnosis to induce a trance state in which we can access and explore our past-lives. Hypnosis can help us bypass the conscious mind and tap into the deeper layers of our subconscious mind, where our past-life memories are stored. The hypnotist or self-hypnosis can use suggestions, commands, or questions to direct us to the past-life that is most relevant or beneficial for us. They can also help us release any negative emotions or traumas that we may have carried over from our past-lives.

Whilst there is still debate and disagreement regarding the concept of past-lives, it is clear that some people derive great personal benefit from working with past-lives and their memories. In some cases, it may be an essential part of transcendence.

Further reading

If you are interested in learning more about past lives, here is a summary list of weblinks, for articles discussing past lives in more detail:

Academic studies on claimed past-life memories: A scoping review: This article reviews observational studies regarding alleged past-life memories published as scientific articles, and points out their bibliometric and methodological characteristics. It also suggests directions for future research on this topic.

My Sister Remembers Her Past Life. Somehow, I Believe Her.: This personal essay tells the story of a woman whose sister claims to remember her past life as a girl named Nada who died in Lebanon. The author reflects on how living with her sister during the pandemic taught her to suppress her cynicism and embrace her belief in reincarnation.

Are Past Lives Real? These 7 Stories Of Alleged Past Life Experiences From History Are Chilling: This article presents seven cases of people who allegedly remembered their past lives, from a boy who claimed to be a World War II pilot to a woman who said she was Anne Frank. The article also explores the history and controversy of reincarnation research.

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