Past lives are often a subject of interest and curiosity- “Are past lives real?” I can give you my answer, but what you really need is your own answer, and confidence in that answer. What we don’t need is anyone pushing his answer, be it yes or no, on you. There is a wealth of evidence of the existence of past lives, mostly made available by people wishing to enlighten others, or enlist them to agree, so as to help the source of such information to gain a little more confidence in the idea through approval or agreement from others, and the same can be said of those who deny or “debunk” the existence of past lives. Seek to find your own answer, and be truthful with yourself about whatever degree of confidence you have in your answer. It can be helpful to take what you will from what others have to say, but don’t betray yourself by allowing another to impose their conviction on you, rather than simply offering what they feel for as food for thought. There can be pervasive consequences to buying wholesale and investing yourself in any entire pre-packaged paradigm or system of belief, rather than separately considering those elements that resonate with you, and this elements that produce cognitive dissonance when assimilated.
Bear in mind the following.
“There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.”-
Credited to Sir Joshua Reynolds, an influential eighteenth-century English painter, specializing in portraits, I first came across this quote on a third grade class trip to Thomas Edison’s laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey, where Edison had it displayed on a poster as a reminder and inspiration. I know it has inspired and stayed with me ever since.
Past live experiences and identities come up not infrequently for my clients in our therapeutic spiritual counseling sessions, although I never suggest them, or ask or direct a client to “look for something earlier”, as I consider imposing suggestion to be a blight when the objectives include empowerment and greater self-trust for the client.
I’ve had past involvement in paradigms in which there was a great deal of “information” imposed to be accepted about past lives, and what is to be found in them. I’ve seen how that created certain expectations, worrying for those who didn’t find that material for themselves, how it became an instrument to be asserted to create impressions of “higher” spiritual status, and how finding such material, insidiously, frequently could be incepted and substituted as a driven goal to be sought through endless paid counseling sessions, burying over and denying the individual’s own particular spiritual interests and aspirations. It has gone so far as to name many “universal past life incidents” that we’ve supposedly all experienced, presented as “essential to be found in order to achieve higher spiritual states and recovery of self”.
It is not uncommon for some of us with spiritual interests, and a need or desire to be seen by others in an admirable light to assert being a “high spirit”, an “old soul”, etc. I don’t mean to assert that anyone isn’t as they think of or present themselves, only that any part in that assertion that anyone else is any less than them serves as an example of how spirituality and/or the subject of having had past lives can be misused, and thus can degrade the subject.
Having thousands of hours spent providing therapeutic spiritual counseling with hundreds of clients, I will share some experiential observations here:
In my view the RELEVANCE of past life recollections is what is really important, and there are 2 main ways in which these can be valuable:
(1) When you are seeking confirmation that you are a spiritual being, and not merely a physical life form;
(2) When you are seeking relief or release of some kind from some undesirable condition, and accomplishing this through identifying some past life experience which, until it is uncovered and consciously digested, continues to impose that condition, and is released once the past life experience is found and processed.
Often, when someone encounters past life experiences, they can remain skeptical that the experience is “real”, and, often, but not always, the more such experiences emerge, the more confidence you’ll develop in them. I believe that one thing that can hamper one’s own trust in these is having had the ideas of such things imposed from an external source, which actually can lead to finding what has been presented as to be expected to be found, thus violating objectivity, and thus leaving a feeling of doubt. In cults or groups in which such concepts are pushed, with the resultant feeling of peer pressure, it can be quite relieving to safely express that one actually has some doubts about the past life images and experiences that have occurred for them, and can sometimes help a person to accept them, contradictory as that may seem.
Despite, in some circles, the pushing of the idea that “the earlier back in time, and the more fantastic the past life experiences recalled, the greater value to one’s spiritual growth”, what I have seen over the many, many sessions I’ve conducted, and continue to conduct, is that almost always, with only occasional exceptions, the most impactful life experiences, which when discovered and consciously processed result in the most powerful and pervasive life-changing relief, and restore joy, serenity, feelings of well-being and a sense that life is wonderful, are those life experiences that happened early in this life, or late in the lifetime just before this one.