We all have past lives. There is no such thing as a “new soul”. All of us have been reincarnating for millions of years; and in truth, there is no “death”, only that of the body.
Why can’t we remember our past lives?
All knowledge is stored deep in our subconscious mind but because we have not sufficiently developed our brain we are only able to access a very small part of our memory. However, this can be taken partly as a blessing in disguise and allows us to start each new life seemingly afresh. Imagine, for example, if you had a past life memory of doing something very bad. You would then have to cope with the guilt of that act in this life. Imagine if you remembered being very rich and powerful in a previous life, you would find it all the more difficult to adapt to a more modest way of living. Imagine if you, having passed away in your forties in your last life, then, as a teenager in your next life, could recognize your former wife, who was still incarnate, now in her late nineties – and imagine if she could recognize you and expected you to stay with her as if nothing had happened!
In short, remembering past lives is fraught with potential for emotional distress and confusion.
Is it possible to remember past lives?
Yes – it is possible.
Sometimes people who may not be very spiritually advanced, and lead quite ordinary lives, have spontaneous memories of past lives, and there is a considerable body of evidence for reincarnation based on the testimonies of these people, including children.
As the spiritual aspirant advances on their chosen path, they will develop psychic abilities and their intuition, even if they are not seeking to do so. How quickly this happens depends on the individual; on the path they have chosen; and on how much effort they put into it. Likewise – what powers they develop.
Ultimately, through the lives, the aspirant will have a wide range of psychic abilities. One of these will be the ability to know their own past lives, and the past lives of others.
What is the point of knowing our past lives?
If an individual can see what they have done and experienced prior to this incarnation, they can use the knowledge of these experiences to make better choices in this life. Such an individual would typically be on a spiritual path and have sufficient detachment not to allow past life memories to interfere in a negative way with their current life, as outlined above.
Secrecy over past lives
Unless under unusual initiatory conditions, no one will ever tell you your past lives. And if they do tell you, they are very likely to be wrong.
Knowledge of previous incarnations is a deeply personal matter which will be revealed to the aspirant through their own inner knowing at the right time for them. As a rule, such a revelation should not be pre-empted.
Similarly you should not reveal your own knowledge of your past lives to others. This is personal to you and you alone. More often, if such a person does make such a revelation they are most probably wrong or attempting to show off – or both.
Secrecy over past lives, if strictly adhered to, also ensures that certain errors are not made. Even a skilled psychic could make an error about your past life, or their own, causing you to have a wrong view of your own past identity, or theirs.
Past life hypnotic regression, if it works at all, is also to be avoided. At best it is subject to error, and it is, in any case, completely unnecessary.
Past life obsession
What matters is this life now.
Who we were in a past life means nothing in comparison to what we are doing in this life.
If we live this life right, dedicated in service to others, we need not worry about our past lives because they are past, and we need not worry about our next life, because our right action in this life guarantees our future spiritual evolution.
Unfortunately there is an unhealthy and even obsessive curiosity about past lives in certain people. Whether such people are right or wrong about their previous lives, they are misguided if they allow their previous lives to overshadow their current one.
Famous past lives
Very often people who claim to know their own past lives, or yours, will produce an array of famous names. There are countless claimants for Queen Elizabeth I, John the Baptist, Cleopatra, Nefertiti, and so forth. Obviously not all of these are true. In some cases, however, there may be a degree of truth in the claim. For example, someone who thinks they were Queen Elizabeth I may feel an affinity with England in that period due to a genuine past life connection – but perhaps as a milkmaid rather than a queen. It is unusual for people to claim to remember a past life as a very ordinary person, but such cases do exist.
How to remember your past life
There is no need for spiritual seekers to force memories of past lives from the subconscious into their conscious minds.
The focus of all spiritual seekers should be on helping the world through service to others now in this life.
If you practice selfless service to others and mystical practices such as yoga breathing, mantra, dynamic prayer, etc, you will develop psychic abilities and your intuition. One of these abilities will be past life recognition in yourself and others.
Sometimes, however, a certain degree of past life recognition can be common sense. People, for example, with strong and unexplained affinities for certain periods of history, or places, may have these affinities due to past life connections. Such things cannot be relied upon, however, and, even if correct, should never detract from the priorities of this life.
Past lives as animals
In The Aetherius Society we do not believe that humans reincarnate as animals, or vice versa. There may be exceptions to this – but they are extremely rare.
Life is about learning karmic lessons. You are not going to learn the lessons you failed as a human in this life by being reborn as a rabbit in the next, for example. An analogy might be as follows: if a child fails a French test, what they need is the teacher to explain the mistakes they made in the French test – not a Spanish lesson.
Similarly we are not reborn as plants, or vice versa.
Past lives in Lemuria and Atlantis
We have all lived on Earth for around 18,000,000 years – so we have all had lives in Lemuria and Atlantis, both of which cultures were more advanced than we are today. Some people claim to remember past lives from these periods. This is not impossible, but, due to the colossal time periods involved, it would be a very impressive feat indeed, and is, as such, very improbable.
Past lives as extraterrestrials
There is nothing in Aetherius Society teachings to indicate any reincarnatory interchange between planets (with the exception of the two instances explained below). For example, there is nothing to indicate that it would be possible for you to have lived in the Pleiades in your last life. This would appear to be contrary to the message of the Cosmic Masters to Earth – which is to mankind on this planet as one race, who have been here for some 18,000,000 years.
The only exceptions to the above are as follows:
(1) Prior to our coming to Earth around 18,000,000 years ago, we inhabited the planet Maldek which we destroyed through atomic explosion. This being the case, each and every one of us is from another planet – Maldek. What remains of the physical structure of this planet is now the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
(2) Sometimes advanced extraterrestrials from the higher vibratory planes of other planets in this Solar System cause a part of their consciousness to be born on Earth in order to help mankind in certain ways. These beings are known as Cosmic Avatars, and include Masters such as Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, Lao Zi, Moses and St Peter. When their mission is completed, they leave Earth. It should be stressed that they do not need to be born on Earth, as we do, in order to gain experience. They are born here purely in self-sacrifice due to their great compassion in order to help us. They are, without exception, outstanding individuals who lead extraordinary lives and make an extraordinary contribution to mankind’s advancement.
In short, in The Aetherius Society we do not believe that we lived on another planet in our last incarnations, as do some people in the New Age/UFO movement, and we would be disinclined to believe such claims of others.
Past lives and spirit guides
You may have a spirit guide who has been connected with you in a previous life – but this is just one of various possibilities for the identity of your spirit guide.
Your next life
If you dedicate this life to true selfless service to others, then, through the law of karma, your next life will provide you with the experiences you need in order to be of even greater service in the future. This does not mean that your next life will necessarily be easy – but it will put you in a magnificent position for spiritual advancement. This spiritual advancement will mean that you will be able to help others more than you could previously – and this is the true path of evolution!