by Anita Burns
“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” When William Shakespeare wrote those intriguing words, he probably had no idea that modern humans would try to prove them.
Interest in the supernatural and paranormal has rushed into our lives like ants in a summer kitchen since the turn of the 21st century. Anything hinting at what may be “behind the veil” or at all connected with powers of the mind, is gobbled up and relished, even by otherwise conservative individuals. It seems also, any religion or philosophy having its roots in ancient history is touted as “truth. They all differ in approaches but the one common thread through most “metaphysical” studies is the theory of reincarnation and karma (the law of cause and effect).
Karma, is a complex theory, and has many definitions. Basically, it can be described as a universal plan by which a soul, created from “God,” or the “cosmos,” is sent, or descends into the physical world to live, die, and live again and again. With each life, the soul betters itself, reaching higher and higher levels of awareness until it reaches a point of perfect harmony with the highest spiritual forces, i.e. God, or the universal principle. At that time, the soul has a choice to join the universal principle or incarnate again to help others on their path.
Karma is a universal law which states that what you think and feel; what you do in a lifetime has consequences and effects. If you commit an act of violence in one lifetime and don’t “pay” for it, the next life will bring circumstances to help you even the score and learn from your mistake. For more information about reincarnation and the laws of karma, there are hundreds of good books published that can go into infinite detail. Since there is no “scientific proof” about reincarnation, it, like religion, must be taken on faith and an inner knowing of what is truth for you.
Most of the world’s population has a belief in reincarnation and the laws of karma. Only a few religions teach that we only have one shot at perfection. Even Christianity once held a belief in reincarnation. Many Christians still believe that Jesus preached about karma. And, there are many passages in the Bible that can be interpreted as having a reincarnation message. St. John said “Verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Matthew states “But I say unto you that Elias is come already and they knew him not. Then the diciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.” He also says, when speaking of John the Baptist, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” Revelations 13:10 says “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” There are many more passages, but as with all things in the Bible, and indeed in most scriptures, they can be interpreted many different ways.
Whether you belong to an organization teaching reincarnation or not, exploring past lives is an enlightening experience. And, there are many ways to do so. Psychic readings are one method. Psychics are gifted individuals who either use their own psychic ability, spirit guides, or the Akashic records to view your past lives. Akashic records, also called the Akasha, or Akashic library, is believed to be a universal recording center in the cosmos. Each person is said to have a ‘file’ with a ‘record’ of all his or her lives. The psychic ‘reads’ these records. You can also have a psychic read images in your aura. It is a common belief among psychics that your aura is not only an energy field of psychic light and color revealing thoughts, feelings, and health, but carries images of all your previous incarnations as well.
Astrology is a popular method for finding out about past lives. By astrological calculation, a birthchart of your last life can be made. This is supposedly an accurate picture of that personality and the influences that beset you during that time. A good astrologer can also predict the most likely chart for your next life.
Hypnosis is one of the most sought after methods for knowing your past lives. Perhaps this is because you actually see and experience your past lives as real memories. This can be a most convincing and dramatic experience. Under hypnotic past life regression, people have been reported to speak in dead languages, or languages in which that had no prior knowledge. Some have recalled, in detail, a skill or profession they had no way of knowing. Hypnotic regression works better for some people than for others.
There are ways to enhance your past life experience in hypnosis, or your past life readings from psychics or astrologers. By putting together the clues about your past lives that are present in your current life, you get a richer, fuller, and more convincing experience.
Most of us don’t consciously remember our past lives. Most of us don’t remember being six months old, that doesn’t mean we weren’t. If all the memories of our past lives were with us, we would have so much jumbling around in our heads, it would be difficult to think clearly. Instead, we are left with impressions, reactions, feelings, unexplained preferences, and hunches to help us learn from our past.
The first place to examine for clues is your dreams. Very often, memories of a past life are revealed in dreams. Keeping a dream diary helps to recognize the everyday dreams from glimpses of past lives. Unlike other types of dreams, past life dreams are not experienced in symbols. They can be true and accurate subconscious memories. By learning to interpret the symbols in our nightly adventures, you are able to distinguish the symbolic dreams from the past life memory dreams.
Next, examine the people in your life. Think of people you have met and immediately disliked-for no apparent reason. You may be illogically drawn to these people or unexplainably repulsed by them. You may distrust them for no know reason, or fear them. You probably had a negative past life encounter with these people. You may have carried over an emotion about these people from past lives and haven’t let go of it or balanced the karma. You will continue to meet this person in each life until your karma is neutralized.
On a more pleasant note, think of people in your life you instantly liked or loved. You are immediately attracted to some people before they utter a single word to you. These may be souls you have had positive encounters with in past lives. The closer and stronger the relationship in the past, the stronger the attraction in you present life. These people will most likely have some of the same strong and unexplained likes and dislikes you have.
There are also love/hate relationships, which may also have karmic origins. You may have made an agreement to bond with another person to work out some difficult karma. This is sometimes a last resort by the soul to make us face an unpleasant situation for learning and balancing karma. Often these relationships come in the form of close family ties.
We all have strong and unexplained likes and dislikes. Consider any attraction you may have for a particular country or culture. If you have, for example, a fascination for ancient Egypt, or a deep love of Italy, or you collect anything depicting old Holland, it’s a good guess that you spent satisfying times there in past lives. It’s only been recently that people have become extremely mobile, moving around from one place to the next with ease. In the past, people generally stayed in one place their whole lives, forming deep bonds with the culture and the land.
To explore further, analyze your feelings about these places more carefully. Are you attracted to just one part of the country? What time period do you find most alluring? Do you find life as a male or female in that country holds more interest for you? What crafts, trades, or interests do you like about those places? Make a list of these, and any other items you can think of, and a pretty clear picture of the positive side of that life will appear.
All of our lives, unfortunately, weren’t satisfying and happy. Sometimes you are repelled or uncomfortable about a certain country or culture. It is likely you led an unhappy or tragic life there. Explore your feelings about this in the same way you did about your preferential country or culture. Make a list of what particularly bothers you. This may not be as pleasant a task, but it will help you a great deal helping you to let go of a lot of bad feelings you have no present reason to have. Once you realize your personal feelings are caused by something that is not a part of your life now, you can work through it and let it go.
A more pleasing exploration is in the area of personal talents. It has been said that all people have a talent, even if it is undeveloped. That may be true, but what makes you want to develop it? A talent is an intense interest in, and complete comprehension of, any subject. This can occur at any age, but a true karmic talent is often discovered in childhood. If you were a wiz-kid at math, or played the violin like Stravinsky at six or seven, or put on ice skates for the first time and took off as if you were born in them, you are carrying over interests and accomplishments form past lives. Even if your talent is a mediocre one, it can indicate a carry-over from a past life. Perhaps you paint fairly well, or have an above average mechanical aptitude. You may be a good marksman, or equestrian. The stronger the talent, the more lifetimes you’ve probably spent developing it. Just as in this life, practice improves your skill at whatever you are striving to develop. Practice throughout many lives keeps improving your talent. For example, if you first picked up a paintbrush in the year 1440 and just dabbled in it, not being very good but enjoying yourself nevertheless, in your next incarnation, you may also paint. This time you are above average, but not an overly talented painter. With each successive lifetime that you paint, you get better and better until you are no longer considered a painter, but an artist. The effects are cumulative, even if you don’t paint in each lifetime.
Once you reach perfection in a skill, you have the choice of continuing it or dropping it altogether to develop something else. Examine your skills and talents to get another piece of your past life puzzle.
Now ask yourself if there are any subjects, countries, cultures, and so forth, you have no strong feelings about. If you haven’t guessed already, these probably are areas you never explored in past lives, or have no karma left with. So, if you draw a blank when it comes to mathematics or art, it is likely you were never a mathematician or an artist, or you are completely finished with it. With the latter, it’s sort of a “been there, done that” attitude. For the former, you may yet develop an interest in these areas, but your past lives have been occupied with other things.
Anything in your personality in the way of likes, dislikes, interests, positive and negative feelings, and such may be carry-overs from past lives. These are things you cannot attribute to environment, upbringing, or genetics. These are karmic inheritances, brought with you from past lives.
There are also physical traces of past lives. Birthmarks, unless inherited from bloodlines, can be signs of a wound from a previous life. For example, a small white birthmark on your back may indicate a bullet, arrow, or spear wound. A large, irregular birthmark may indicate a severe burn. A long, thin birthmark could have been inflicted by a knife. You carry these reminders with you until you work out the negative karma by balancing the karma between the person or persons who gave you the wound.
Ms. Smith had a recurring dream seeing herself running down a narrow, winding staircase. She was panic stricken in her dream. Someone was chasing her, but she was never able to see who it was. She was somewhere near the sea. She knew that, if she were caught, she would be killed. She appeared to be a child of about thirteen years old, with long, blond braids. She was wearing a peasant’s dress from the era of around the mid 1700’s in Holland.
After keeping a dream diary for about a month, Ms. Smith was able to see that this dream didn’t fit into any of the symbolism present in her other dreams. She has always had an attraction for Holland of that era. She has always had an attraction for the ocean and paints pictures of seascapes. She doesn’t like being in the water, but loves to watch it. She has a fear of putting her face in water. She is also uncomfortable in high, tight fitting collars. They give her a feeling of choking and suffocation. These feelings appeared to her at about the age of thirteen. From these clues, Ms. Smith put together the pieces of her past life in Holland. She apparently lived a happy childhood in a village near the sea. Tragedy struck her family when she was about thirteen. She was running from her murderer, trying to hide. But, in the end, she was caught, strangled and drowned. These pieces of her life triggered other feelings and memories that were brought out in dreams. She had witnessed her murderer kill a prominent political (or royal) figure (she also has an aversion to anything connected to politics). She was sought out and murdered so her story would never be revealed.
Ms. Smith has confirmed the details of this life with astrology and past life regressions. The experience has helped her understand her fears and let them go. She has been able to balance the karma with her murderer by forgiving him. Now, she won’t have to meet him in another life.
Going through these steps is an adventure into your inner self. Make it as fun and enjoyable as possible. Utilize all the available tools such as psychic readings, regressions, dreams, and astrology. Put the pieces together and learn about your past for the betterment of your future.
Encyclopedia of Occultism by Lewis Spence
The Windows of Tarot by F.D., Graves
The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception by Max Heindl
Autobiography of a Yogi by Parmahansa Yogananda
Psychic Healing Book by Amy Wallace and Bill Henkin
The Search for Bridey Murphy
The Search for the Girl with Blue Eyes by Jesse Stearn
Sigmund Freud on Dreams by Sigmund Freud
Seeing with the Mind’s Eye by Mike Samuels, M.D. and Nancy Samuels
Grist for the Mill by Ram Dass