Why does belief in past lives and reincarnation make sense? This is a question that I’ve personally considered for many years. It’s difficult to to prove any theory of the afterlife of course, but reincarnation is indicated as a very plausible theory even without the experience that many people have during past life regressions.
Are Past Lives Real if You Can’t Remember Them?
We cannot remember many experiences in this life time, yet we know that they happened. Can you remember everything that happened in third grade? Most people can remember only brief snippets of their third grade experiences, yet they know they went through the third grade.
The same is true with birth. Do you remember being born?…Do you remember being in the womb? Even if you don’t, you most certainly had those experiences.
To believe that there is no such thing as past or futures lives, you would have to believe that when a body dies, the mind dies and that’s it. It’s a materialistic and distinctly Western point of view that your consciousness is based on your body and has no existence outside of it. Ancient cultures hold no such concept:
“When a man dies the individual Jîva (as it is called in Sanskrit), which means the germ of life or the living soul of man, is not destroyed, but it continues to exist in an invisible form. It remains like a permanent thread stringing together the separate lives by the law of cause and effect.” (Lectures On Reincarnation, Swami Abhedananda)
There is no proof that anyone can point to that clearly demonstrates that the mind, our sense of self or our “I” is dependent on the body, but with the above reasoning, we can open our minds to the idea that our souls experience many lives.
Likewise, in the West many think that what is happening now is random or just a result of what we’ve done or failed to do recently. Yet, it’s very likely that we are actually feeling the effects of some ancient ripening karma, governed by the law of cause and effect.
So when we experience something in this life, we can use what is going on now to propel ourselves back into the past life where the original cause or karma was incurred and shift it.
Robert Morrison © 2013 – 16
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