Life Continues

Life Continues

Over on Takuin’s blog, he responded to a question on the afterlife. He said he didn’t know. Then that he never would know nor would anyone else.

I responded: “…to say you don’t know is honest. But to then suggest it can’t be known and no one will ever know is just belief, no more or less than those who believe in an afterlife. I quite appreciate there are many who make a big story about this and there is a lot of nonsense. It’s also a very personal experience, so those with the experience may not differentiate between what arises and what they’ve brought to it. But there is ample evidence of people having such experiences and assisting people making the transition.

Takuin asked “how am I to find out?” “So……where do I begin?”

Past Lives
On this blog, I try to focus on what I’ve learned rather than specific experiences. But in this case, it seems personal is the best way to answer.

I’ll begin where I began. Several decades ago, I found myself in a circumstance I could not understand. Every day I was faced with people having the worst experiences of their life. Ridiculous challenges kept arising. While I understood the ideas of karma, I didn’t understand how a person like me (laughs) could have generated such things. Was I creating this? Was there supposed to be a lesson here? I mulled such thoughts frequently at the time.

I began to have brief visual flashes of something troubling. They came to seem like memories, much as remembering being 8 years old. But they were older and seemed both familiar and like someone else’s. Over time, I became willing to look more and began to see pieces of scenes, then whole scenes. Then the larger sense of the life circumstances; what I faced and the choices I made. It was clearly me, but in a different “meat suit” and with different circumstances.

It became apparent that I was remembering my last lifetime, particularly the difficult parts that had not been fully resolved. These were the things that had carried forward into this life. They related to my marriage, children, work, and more. It explained my circumstances and inclinations profoundly and intimately. I was living the alternative to a choice I’d deeply regretted in that life. I realized that the point here was to resolve the experience rather than fight it and carry it forward yet again. Note that memory is associative. So memories will arise that are most related to current circumstances, especially emotionally (energetically).

The greatest thing this brought me was a sense of understanding about my life. Over time, I followed the threads of the prior life back to their source in still earlier lives and came to recall about a half-dozen or so. Aside from the understanding and things I couldn’t possibly imagine, several obscure details came up that were historically verifiable, like a book I’d once written. At some point, I realized I’d lost the fear of death (although transcendence would have contributed).

That satisfied my concerns that had started the process and it fell to the background of my life. Then occasional people or circumstances would arise that would bring new memories. Slowly, it continued to fill out.

There was a further barrier to overcome to see past the last decent in the cycles of time. After that, the long cycles of time and my own lives became clear. They disagreed with the standard understanding of Yugas but I found Yukteswar’s (Yoganandas master) math aligned. Going back to the last golden age or into the future was more distorted due to the higher consciousness of the time. (We experience everything from where we are now) Even the memory nodes are different then; intentional rather than difficulty based.

I made some points about validating and revisionist memory on Coming Back to Past Lives. Up to this point, I’d only experienced them in a linear way. In this article, I quote Vasishtha’s story on other variations in What’s After and Before. (I’ve never experienced it that way) Then the mesh and nodes of connections between lives became seen, then all lives happening at once. I talked about that in The past.

Similarly, I talked about the Roots of Fear in the last decent. And I wrote several articles on Time. This includes Bhusunda the crows experience of the even larger creation cycles.

The process continued into experiences of the mechanics of time; how it arises, unfolds and rolls up into a singularity. And how the soul is a point of awareness aware of itself in a sea of alert existence, and so forth.

The Afterlife
Takuin’s original question was on the afterlife; what might be considered between lives. But it’s really just the flow of life through various states.

More recently, a couple of close friends died and I ended up supporting their transition in “crossing over”. I wrote On Death on the process I observed after this. For once, there was a practical use for all this.  😉

There’s also an article on Vasishtha’s observations in After Death.

As to the question of how, Patanjali outlines this in the Yoga Sutras.
3:16 From Samyama on the three transformations (characteristic, temporal quality, and state) comes knowledge of the past and future.
3:18 From perception of impressions (samskaras) comes knowledge of previous births.
3:22 Karma returns both quickly and slowly. From Samyama on that, or from premonitions, comes knowledge of death.

Really, these describe what I was doing without realizing it.

It would seem this all arose for me due to my drive to understand my life. It seems to arise for different reasons for different people. But one certainly has to be open to it and prepared to face what we’ve done in the distant past. I found it rewarding, especially once I moved past that.

It’s certainly not anything necessary for the spiritual journey for most people. Anything unresolved now can be resolved now as well. All the markers or nodes exist in this life too. I wouldn’t recommend chasing past lives in itself.

Equally, our continuity through lives can be found in the simple experience of our unbounded being.

As don Miguel Ruiz says in The Four Agreements, “Don’t believe me. But learn to listen… what I’m telling you is just a story… it is true just for me. But if you learn to listen you will understand what I am trying to communicate.

I hope that answers your question, Takuin.  😉

Last Updated on July 28, 2015 by

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  1. Pingback: Yukteswar’s Yugas « In 2 Deep

  2. Pingback: Opening the Hearts Door « In 2 Deep

  3. Takuin

    I have had similar experiences. I see things on a weekly basis that would have had me burned at the stake 300 years ago (or sent to an insane asylum 50 years ago). But in the end, I am left with the same question; How am I to know?

    We human beings know so little about ourselves, yet we are certain as to the questions of life after death and past lives. I see those things, those visions and those happenings, but nothing tells me that it is a past life, or that is was ‘me’. Why should it?

    How can we really know what is there? We could experience it, as you and I both have, but that really is not good enough. It is up to our interpretations to say yes it is a past life or something else. And where do those conclusions come from? What are the interpretations based upon? A story someone else has told us?

    What if it is not ‘us’ at all? Perhaps memory is passed through our collective DNA and handed down to future generations? Therefore, what you and I have experienced is not ‘us’ at all, but the memories of our ancestors; a protective function of the human being that can help prepare us for situations in our current lives. In other words, another ingenious adaptation of the organism designed to help it thrive and survive.

    I am not saying this is it, the ultimate answer. But why should this be less plausible than believing ‘we’ were running around centuries ago in another form? And why do so many people claim to have been Alexander the Great, but none of them claim to have been Alexander the Great’s Chief Eunuch? I am suspicious of the ego.

    There is also the possibility that it is neither of those. Our brains may have an entire host of reasons to hand over these visions. And perhaps humanity is still too primitive to really grasp the nature of these visions, and to a greater extent, the nature of our functioning.

    Or perhaps it is as Charles Dickens wrote: “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”

    I understand your feeling. I agree that it can bring about a kind of understanding of life. And maybe that is enough for anyone? I am fine with that. I just can’t jump to the solid ground of conclusion. I may always be on an ethereal path, devoid of handholds or recliners in which to rest.

    I am fine with that.

    By the way, I’m not really posing these questions to ‘you’. This is just how the mind works when faced with these explorations.

  4. Hi Takuin!
    Good to hear from you. And I know what you mean. (laughs)

    For me, there has been that sense it was part of the timeline that resulted in this form. I had tea this afternoon with a couple of others very awake. One has had similar. The other none, and no interest in the past – there only being now.

    Yes, it is perhaps an interpretation, but the perspective grew to see the connections and flow of it that lead to it being seen as “past lives” vs the timeline and lives of others with a different trajectory.

    And yes, there is also ancestral stuff – just wrote an article on that (blood line). But that has a different flavour. But then, thats just how it showed up here. And a lot of it unfolded before I woke up, so it had a different weight then.

    Fully agree on all the stories about everyone being Cleopatra and Alexander. In my experience, the real past memories are seldom nice ones. They are remembered because of the unresolved trauma pushing for resolution.

    And yes, for me, the key was context. Having a sense of why this and thus allowing life to unfold as it was. And more easily getting out of the way. It has come up much less since, aside from the occasional person I meet or a subject that comes up for the blog.

  5. Wow. I am VERY late to the party here. For whatever reason, WordPress only informed me of the pingback right before I commented here. Now I see this was written 4 years ago. This has happened a few times this year.

    Although this is not entirely out of line with my normal response rate. 😉

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