Reincarnation Memories and Recalling Past Lives
Article by By Craig Hamilton-Parker about reincarnation memories remembered after death. This is an extract from the book What to Do When you Are Dead.
Many of us have spontaneous reincarnation memories. Reincarnation is the progress of the soul through many lives. It enables you to grow to your full potential and eventually attain cosmic consciousness. The earth is the schoolhouse where we come to learn our lessons.
We live many lives on earth, just as we go through many grades in a school before we graduate. Walking among us are many souls at different stages of development. Some have been here many times before, whereas for others, this is their first lesson in a human incarnation. We graduate when we our spirituality is developed enough so that we no longer need a physical body to continue our spiritual work.
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The problem with earthly life is that it is easy to become spiritually lost and forget the reason we came here. We have no reincarnation memories. Every time we come to earth we develop new imperfections and new desires. These desires draw us back to the earth plane until they are fulfilled, or we attain enough wisdom to let go of them.
As the Buddha has explained, these desires are the cause of our suffering because we cling to them yet they can never be gratified. It is the nature of desire that each time one “satisfies” it, the craving to repeat the experience returns. In this way we become trapped in an eternal wheel of desire and the satisfaction of desire.
Sigmund Freud has shown us, however, that the repression of desire, particularly sexual desire, can be unhealthy and in some cases lead to serious psychological problems.
If we force desire from our consciousness, then otherwise small desires will return in a stronger way. Persistent repression will create anxieties and odd behaviour. The eastern way is to let go of desire rather than repress these forces. For example, the best way to stop smoking is to gently let go of the craving rather than wrestle with the problem and thereby increase its grip on you. Yoga teaches us to root out bad, selfish habits and replace them with good habits. With this gentle self-discipline, we gradually free ourselves from craving and eventually from the animalistic desires that can chain us to earthly incarnations.
People who have used their earthly life for spiritual progress and emulate great men and women find it much easier to adjust to the next world and can progress to the higher planes of being. Similarly, when the time comes to return to earth for more experience, they have a greater degree of choice about the life they will lead. Instead of being drawn by the need to gratify desire, they make conscious choices based upon what they know to be best for the soul.
PAST LIFE EXPERIENCES
Most of us are not saints or hedonists. Our path falls somewhere between the two extremes. We are motivated by our desires, but also have a degree of control. In the final analysis, it’s “who we are” that decides the path ahead. At the beginning of this book, I explained how our character today will determine what happens to us after death.
Similarly, our character also determines the new birth we shall take when our time in the afterlife has concluded. The wonderful thing about all of this is that whatever happens to us in this material life, the afterlife, or in future incarnations, it is all under our control. We can have a better future simply by becoming a better person.
You will carry your present state into the next life and not become an angel just because you die. Unless you have used some of your earthly life to quicken the spirit, you will not progress. However, if you use your time on earth to conquer yourself and improve your nature, you will achieve a better state in the afterlife and an auspicious birth when the time comes to reincarnate. This is why earthly life is so important. In a human incarnation, we have the opportunity to make great spiritual progress. Better to check your words, actions, thoughts, character, and heart than to waste a life in pursuit of ephemeral earthly goals. This life is a spiritual opportunity.
As the time approaches for you to reincarnate, you will begin to feel an increasing attachment to your natural tendencies. If you had been a powerful person in your previous incarnation, you will be filled now with a feeling of ambition. You may also feel a tendency toward certain sensations. If you lived in a tropical climate, you will be drawn to incarnate in a hot place again or to seek out its opposite. Supposing you lived a life as a seaman, you will be drawn to incarnate near an ocean. You will be drawn to incarnate in a situation that provides you with the opportunity to fulfil creative desires unfulfilled in past lives.
Sometimes people incarnate almost immediately after death and do not get the opportunity for self-healing and reflection that the afterlife provides. Their bodies may show physical marks that hint at what happened to cause this instantaneous rebirth. I have met people who say they were burned as witches in their former life. Today, they suffer from skin complaints. The most evidential proof for reincarnation comes from people who have been reborn within a generation and have met friends and family from their former life. In these cases, the memory of the former life remains fresh and can be substantiated.
In future lives, you may have hazy memories of this life. If today you live in New York, you may in your next life want to be born in the bustle of the metropolis of the future. If you live in Alaska, you may seek a life of adventure exploring the cold reaches of outer space. Maybe, at some distant date, you will recall dim memories of America as it was in the twenty-first century, in the days before global warming when you could walk outdoors without protective clothing.
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‘What to Do When You are Dead’ explores what happens after death and describes the world we will find there. It is a powerful book that draws on near death experiences, spiritual traditions as well as the mediums direct experiences.
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References and Works Cited
Hamilton-Parker, Craig (2010) What To Do When You Are Dead Sterling imprint Barnes & Noble ISBN 978-1-4027-7660-1 (Languages: English, Dutch, Portuguese) BUY THE BOOK HERE (Includes more about Reincarnation Memories)