Over on The End of Evil, LiberatedSelf asked about past lives. The feedback that emerged is worth sharing, edited for this scenario.
“I’m kind of interested (why wouldn’t the ego be?) in getting to know past lives, sometimes I wonder why I have chosen this scenario at this moment.”
It is our nature to want to understand. It is part of our evolutionary process. The ego aspect is in wanting to find a fixed truth and control. The secret however is in allowing it to be as it is. Openness.
I’ve written on past lives a number of times. This article, discussion in comments, and various links cover some of that.
The thing about past lives is there’s a lot of “noise” out there. People talking about being famous, etc. etc. Most of us have past life memories here and there. But they’re so fragmentary, we don’t recognize them as such. They arise just like a memory of being 18 or 12. But there is a different quality to them, a different sense of person – yet a continuity of being.
Keep in mind that it’s not the “me” that does the choosing – that takes place on a soul level and in context of the whole. The basic framework is simple but is very complex in effect due to the vast field of action and the momentum of time.
I’ve never found any techniques required. Memories will simply arise naturally if there is a value on your journey. They’ll fill out and grow stronger if they’re real. Fade if not. Contrived explorations are much more likely to bring you distorted fantasies. And always remember you’re having these experiences from where you are now, not how you experienced them then – just like memories of your childhood. History is always revisionist.
From what I’ve seen, first memories arise that are associated with current events. As such, they are typically something unresolved and there is often a quality of resistance, an unwillingness to see. That’s partly why many don’t see past lives. We have to process that resistance to some degree before the underlying driver can be seen. As we step into the witness or observer role, this becomes much easier.
As the memories get clearer, they start to expand from those fulcrum points and a bigger picture emerges. Why such motivations were present to create that scenario, for example. And the connection those events have to still prior lives. And so on.
Somewhere in there, we run into a historical fact that can be verified we’d have no other way of knowing about. What you were called and what you did, for example.
Within a few lifetimes, usually most of what’s playing out now is seen. But even that usually has still prior causality.
In time, the overall flow of lifetimes become apparent. The rising and falling tides of awareness in lives. Some are noteworthy and remarkable. Many are mundane. Some horrid or where we do something horrid. As I mentioned in the article, we’ve all done just about everything at some point.
As the larger cycles of time become clear, we step past the last fall into times of the last golden age. And farther and farther back, many thousands of years- depending of course on how old your soul is. But if you’re reading this, it’s less likely to be young.
We may also begin to see the way certain events are nodes in consciousness that interconnect us with our past and the past of others. Many of these nodes we can call resistance, residual karma, or stress. Energetic knots. Unresolved experiences or points of holding. They form a kind of mesh that holds us to our past. As we clear those resistances, the nodes dissolve and the mesh slowly collapses. We actually change our past. (remember it’s all consciousness)
Deep transcendence can roast mountains of unsprouted karma and collapse large sections of the mesh.
It should be noted that some older nodes were formed in times of higher consciousness. These are more self-made memory bookmarks for quickly finding reference points in the long cycles of time where lives were vastly longer than now. Like when you make a conscious point of remembering an intimate moment, only these have an extra attribute. A marker on the timeline. A node of attention rather than resistance.
As we step deeper into our essential nature and the bounds of separation loosen, time begins to collapse into the moment. Those node points are found to be concurrent and align in a single “person” in the present. One person having many experiences in many seeming lives, all at the same time. I’ve linked to a couple of videos in the past that illustrate what this is like – think of the many armed gods…
Those nodes of the mesh that interconnect us with other people are also found to be concurrent, drawing everyone together into one “person”. Thus we can “shuffle” through any life anywhere in any time. As we are all beings, we can experience what they experience, but from the consciousness we’re in, not theirs. (stepping right into theirs would be unsafe – that’s how consciousness becomes trapped in a me.)
More deeply still is the experience of being all beings in all time at the same time. This is not really possible until we are the ocean of love that contains all things. Partly because it takes this point to get the overview. And partly it takes this to experience all suffering at once and not be overshadowed.
More deeply is the cosmic person and the role of all beings in that. Think of each of our souls journeys as a cell in the cosmic person with a certain role. Each of those person/cells is a mirror of the whole, built of numerous devata – each with a certain role. Each of the devata is similarly composed of numerous elementals. And so on. At the same time, all values are one and the same, so each person, devata and elemental is cosmic, not a part but the entirety of the whole. It’s kind of like zooming into a part and finding the whole, as in a hologram.
By this point we’re no longer talking about lives or past, so I’ll stop there. (laughs)
However, I will observe that such experiences are not necessary on an evolutionary journey. But they may arise. They can give you a sense of overview and perspective on the challenges and circumstances of your life. And help you lose the fear of death, as i mentioned in On Death. Just remember – they are the past and an ongoing focus on this arena can lead you astray. More important to be present than try to cram thousands of years into the moment. That will happen on its own anyway. 😉