In the summer of ’05, there was a What the Bleep conference here. I got a chance to meet a number of speakers that I have continued to follow like Bruce Lipton and Adam the Dreamhealer. I’m still in touch with the international group I attended with. I also joined a discussion group and subscribed to the Bleeping Herald newsletter. The conference became one of those interesting fulcrums that can unexpectedly show up in life.
Now, The Herald has announced the end of its present course while the makers move on to other projects. Like the local Bleep discussion group, the newsletters have been gradually shifting to more spiritual content. The last one is prominently about past lives.
Periodically on this blog, this subject has come up. It’s an interesting stage on the spiritual journey. Not everyone wants or needs this process but for some it is a key aspect of the discovery of the roots of their story. The process of acceptance and release.
The first article to touch on is Robert Schwartz’s introduction to the idea of Your Soul’s Plan, why we might choose to be alcoholic and why our children may choose an alcoholic parent.
Keep in mind that this is an example of personalization*, especially the second daughter showing in form. The film What Dreams May Come explores this idea in some detail. Some may need form to relate to. Some a sense of preparation and decision as this shows. Some will be less time-bound and simply know what needs to be done. Nonetheless, the article does illustrate why we would choose what might be painful challenges.
The next article is, Knowing You’ve Lived Before by Martin Vieweg and Nancy Seifer, a nice introduction to how it often comes up for people. That sense of deja vu and a growing sense of continuity or longevity. What typically begins to arise is memories that are somehow familiar but unexpected. At first there may be uncertainty, questions about their validity. But gradually over time, they fill out more and the association with current events becomes clear. This is the way of all memory – by association.
The authors raise an important point though. Key events of any past are often challenging or “inevitably
sobering”. One has to be ready for what arises, able to allow it to be what it is. It’s not always nice to discover our mistakes or difficulties, however insightful. One friend found the root of their tendency to overeat arose from starving on a ship lost at sea, for example.
As the authors observe, when you hear people talk about their past lives as glamorous or famous, it’s pretty likely that’s ego speaking. Just another layer to illusion. Most of us live most of our lives just like everyone else. And most of the stuff that first comes up is about our present challenges.
I’ve also spoken here about the deeper story. How a long time ago, there was a precipitous drop in group consciousness in the downward cycle of the evolutionary spiral known as Yugas or Ages. The experience of that difficult time was as if “saved to file”, unable to be processed in the lower awareness that followed. This has given many of us a kind of ‘shadow story’ that has carried forward through many lives. One characterized by a sub-conscious sense of anger, blame, or guilt, etc. Only now, the group has been rising high enough that the shadow has begun to become conscious. Now it can be cleared. Note that this is generalized theme, not so much about specific tendencies.
The authors imply the common error that enlightenment is a place we reach and find perfection. Always remember that growth is a process, not a destination. While the path/life is marked with key milestones, its about the journey, not the expectations of achievement. We learn from the process. Enlightenment and perfection are concepts that have nothing to do with being. It’s hard to even imagine being one with all things, let alone some advanced value of that. And yet, its right here, now.
The third article is the Containers of Infinity [us] by Cameron Day. This is one of the few pieces I’ve seen that describes how past lives collapse into the present similar to what I described in The Past.
He talks of how what I call the mesh collapses as the energy (holding) is released. Then the significance of the past fades. Cameron makes a number of good points but I prefer to explain certain ideas a little differently. It may seem nitpicking but I find the better the conceptual framework, the easier it is to step off of it when the time comes. Just as we ‘outgrow’ the past, so too do we outgrow our concepts about reality. Indeed, reality goes through several major changes in the growth of consciousness. A good part of that process, as the author notes, is letting go of the old. Adyashanti recently released a new book I’m looking forward to reading, “The End of Your World“.
I’m sure if Cameron and I had a discussion, some of these points would be found to be different ways of saying the same thing. But as I observe, this approach is what has worked best for me and those I know.
– He speaks of expanding the self into the divine stream. For me, its better to suggest we discover we are the divine stream and the old ideas of self fall away.
– Our true self is not in our higher mind. It is beyond all mind. Mind creates constructs, however high and universal they might be. Reality transcends all that. We have to step out of all values of mind to reach Oneness. Including God’s.
– The ‘vastly powerful being’ does not fragment. It is ever one. It simply appears to fragment when we focus on reflections of its aspects. We’re looking in the mirror of our mind, forgetting who is doing the looking. Again, this is why we have to transcend mind.
– All lifetimes are indeed now and not on a timeline as it will first appear. But I don’t quite concur that they cease when the drama is released – more that the emotional dynamic and resistance pass and the mesh of inter-relationship falls away, leaving the pure experience, in the now. This is stepping off the ‘wheel of karma’, the false causality.
– At a subtle level, all possibilities reside. This does not make them a bunch of concurrent timelines/life-lines. We choose with attention, then only what is intended is manifest. He just suggested our own timeline is incorrect – why would there be billions of others? A possibility, yes but the waveform is collapsed on choice/ attention. There are a ton of other realities but they are not parallel. The idea of existence is to experience diversity, not similar.
– I would suggest what people are experiencing is greater clarity of the manifestation process and who they are within and beyond that.
– Major decisions sometimes result in their alternative being experienced, yes. 10 years of this life were the other half of a past decision, bringing odd requirements around for awhile. I have read the wise describe lifetimes occurring within lifetimes. (remember time is not a fixed, linear thing) But this doesn’t mean every possibility – just specific dynamics playing out to completion or balance.
– Rather than describing it as “reclaiming energy”, I would suggest it is a process of releasing holdings and resistance. Then the energy that is there moves better and the energy that was used to hold is now available. Perhaps just the other side of the coin but from the process rather than the result.
– I agree that there is nothing to fear about the process but the ego does fear it for good reason. Many teachers talk about the loss or death of the ego, if you define it as the concept of being separate. Beneath that is the loss of the emotional or energy drivers of that, and beneath that, until then usually sub-conscious, the fear driven core identity. Adyashanti talks about this as Self moving forward and absorbing the mind, heart and gut.
– Better to say we expand who we are, beyond any personalities, into infinity, then the infinity moves forward into what expresses as the person. The ego doesn’t become infinite – that would be bad. (laughs)
All comments aside, the 3 articles are a worthwhile read to get a sense of how aspects of the deep past may show up in our lives, move through and fall away. Just like pretty much everything else.
*Personalization – we experience the world through our windows of perception, through our personal constructs about the world. When we begin to experience subtler values, they will tend to conform to our expectations, just as the film mentioned illustrates. We may lay wings and human form on angels, for example, or see God in a chair in the sky. This is why different cultures describe the intermediary layers of reality in various ways. But if you understand this, you can step out of some of the conditioning and see them more as they are.