When I was reading When the Soul Awakens, they mentioned that past lives become remembered after soul awakening. I had not considered this before but it was true for me and a few others I talked to.
It makes sense. If we are not aware of our spiritual nature or soul, why would we remember the souls past? There are of course exceptions to this. Some people that are psychic may step through the veil prior. And sometimes there is simply a ‘need to know’.
It would be worth touching on what I mean by soul awakening. Unlike the book, I separate this from Self realization or enlightenment. Soul awakening is the birth of the seeker before that. One has a taste of our spiritual nature and the inward journey begins in earnest.
Like Self realization, soul awakening will often start as non-abiding. Occasional experience. But it can be quite distinct, like a sense we used to be sleepwalking and are no longer. Waking from the dream of being a person. Or it may just slowly dawn. At some point, it becomes an ongoing sense of background “space” or being. We come to see ourselves as a spiritual person having a human experience rather than a human having spiritual experiences.
As it advances, we may have what are called “Witnessing” or observer experiences. A sense of being the separate self, observing the world. The body and life continue without our apparent participation. We’ll be more inclined to lucid dreams and may even experience being awake even when the body and mind are in deep sleep.
When soul awakening is clear, we know we are the Self but the ego remains. There is a duality of self. We have not become That.
Some teachers don’t define this as a separate state but simply see it as experiences that lead up to real awakening. Adyashanti would describe it as a valid awakening experience but a non-abiding awakening. One has not yet awakened to the Self.
It’s also worth mentioning that some people will not want or may ignore past life memories. If it’s not given attention, they will not grow. Does it matter? No. It’s a choice, like being interested in family or area history.
Like any other history, we’ll tend to remember the unresolved stuff first, especially what relates to now. They’ll not tend to be nice stories of fame and fortune but rather difficulties. What is “inevitably sobering”. This takes some acceptance to resolve and allow for them to fill out. At first we may be uncertain but if they’re true, over time they’ll grow. At some point, there will be historical facts that can be verified but more deeply they will tend to explain some of the more odd things in our life – personal tendencies, circumstances, and people that show up in our life and demand attention.
This allowing and release of the emotional load of old memories can be a tool in itself to release their unconscious grip on the present. We can do it from the past or from the present. In the process, we change our history and lighten the burden of our life. The soul’s path becomes a moment in time, only now.