I was having an incredible conversation with a young person the other day about past lives and their influence on who we are today. She said that she really wished she could remember her past lives because it would be "so cool." This made me stop and realize that most often these memories are not at all "cool" or memorable. As I was explaining my view that there is a very good reason why we don't remember, I thought it would be a good topic here. I believe that we've crossed the river of forgetfulness for a reason. Especially given the intense hardships and cruelty of antiquity. Life was intensely difficult. Medicine was herbal and nonexistent in all but more advanced cultures, and even then it was based on trial and most often error. Heck, bleeding was seen as a cure! When I think of the number of women who died in child birth, many in my own lineage, I see the agony of those left behind as well as the intense slow suffering of the woman. In regression, one of my past lives was that of a "healer," someone who knew the herbs, knew how to set broken bones and knew the ancient spiritual power of healing. I think that it has manifested itself in this life in my empathy for people. I seem to feel their suffering in all to vivid ways. As a police officer I saw it too frequently. But this is what leads me to this discussion. Life was very, very difficult not only physically but in life styles too. I wanted to convey this to my young friend and thus went our discussion. My conclusion to her was that past life memories to us in this day and age of comfort, modern medicine and luxury, can seem to be fun, entertaining and new agey. But in reality we forget the hardship... and for very good reason! Can you imagine having vivid memory of everything your soul has experienced? From the episodes of violent death in war, torture, and starvation... to the countless experiences of loosing loved ones to terrible afflictions and violence. Modern society has enough trouble carrying the psychological burden of life as seen by the number of people in therapy and indeed the strife of humans in third world war zones. The first tenant of Buddhism is that life is inherently suffering. So I wonder at how we present "past lives"... reincarnation. Do we really want to glorify our memories to the point it is seen as "cool?" Or should the direction be towards the concept that we are a culmination of many lives and many masters (thank you Dr. Weiss!)... and that what we were, who we were, and all of the details therein serve to enlighten us as opposed to entertain us? What do you think?