Not remembering past lives... a blessing?

Discussion in 'Reincarnation Questions' started by Tinkerman, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. Tinkerman

    Tinkerman Administrator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    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:eek:! 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?
     
  2. Kristopher

    Kristopher Senior Registered

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    My opinion is basically the same as yours. Think of the crimes we may have carried out in the past, the murders we may have been guilty of and all the things you have pointed out. The chances are all of us couldn't have been Mr. Niceguy in all our lives. I think its only logical that we shed all off these memories while we're in a new life.


    Yet, I wonder why so many people do remember these past lives so strongly? Would having past life memories basically right after birth be a good thing? I don't think so. I feel sorry for children who cry for their previous husband/wife and children. I would like to know if this is supposed to happen or if this is basically an error. IMO, I don't think we are supposed to recall as much information as a lot of children do.
     
  3. Totoro

    Totoro Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I agree.. I honestly don't think there's anything cool about it. And in what IS remembered, it's there for a purpose: healing.
     
  4. beadtrader

    beadtrader New Member

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    Well said Tinkerman. I have to say it is a huge blessing that we can't remember everything from our past lives. It can be difficult enough to handle memories just from my current life, and it has been a fairly pleasant experience, all things considered. I really don't want to remember the horrific things that I may have experienced, or inflicted on someone else.
     
  5. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

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    It is difficult for me to conceive of going through this life, if I knew what I had done—good or bad—during past lives. This life would not seem worth the effort, if I had already accomplished similar things in the past. In like manner, I would probably be paralyzed with fear and remorse if I remembered some of my many past mistakes and transgressions. Remembering everything while on the other side is quite another matter, for life there is the culmination of all that we have experienced and I doubt whether there would be any expectations there. But, this side of the veil is where we are tested and expected to experience all the pain and triumphs of being physical beings.


    I have heard many successful people say that they would not have started on their path, if they had known what they would encounter. I have also heard many unfortunate people admit that they would not wish away their traumatic experiences, because it was those experiences which taught them their greatest lessons in life. It is my opinion that premonitions are possible and that they have been empirically proven to exist. However, like past life memories, they are not available to most of us for very good reasons that we, ourselves, have chosen to impose upon ourselves.
     
  6. crystal_44

    crystal_44 Crystal

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    Yes, remembering is a curse, but a blessing as well. I remember some truly awful things, but I remember wonderful things as well. You can't have just good memories, so I take the good with the bad.


    Besides, remembering the bad has taught me so much. It gives you a sense of why the world is as it is. Yes, it has taken thousands of years for me to recover from some of these things, but remembering now in this life has brought me great healing. I believe that we should only remember when we are ready. If you aren't prepared for the consequences, then you are better off not knowing.
     
  7. Lady2

    Lady2 Senior Registered

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    A very interesting read, Tinkerman! I have asked myself some of the same questions.

    I think PL's should definitely be viewed as a culmination of who we have become today. Someone who calls PL memories 'cool' and nothing more, obviously hasn't had any real ones themselves yet. All my memories are of the common hard lives people lived every day. I don't remember anything 'glorious or cool' like being rich or famous, I doubt very many people do.


    The memories of these lives & different hardships do not seem like entertainment whatsoever, when remembered they are as fresh as if they happen moments ago - your first reaction is most definitely not a generic "cool!"...Depending on what you remembered, you might be crying, feeling strong emotions that you have no current reason for, or are in a state of shock trying to digest the glimpse you have just seen. However we also remember positive things, like our families, homes, friends - the important things, and they are a joy to remember.


    I absolutly agree we have no need to remember EVERYTHING. That would stop us from living our life now. It amazes me how a memory that lasts for a split second can sum up all you need to know about a whole PL, no need to dwell on them for hours.


    I believe this is a true gift, that our subconscious minds are capable of just seeing what we really need to - that help us in our current lives - at just the right time - and nothing more.


    All that being said; personally I think of remembering my past lives - both the good times and the bad - as a blessing. :)
     
  8. usetawuz

    usetawuz Senior Registered

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    A thoughtful analysis, Tinkerman. And I believe a valid one. To face all the previous issues you've experienced while trying to experience a new life would be impossible. It is difficult enough to try to "find yourself" early in life, much less put that into perspective with all your previous iterations. A blessing indeed.


    I think my enthusiasm is less for "who I was" and how cool it is to have found out (and it really is not very cool...making a habit of fairly dramatic early deaths!), than finding the clues and synchronicities enabling me to legitimize the feelings, memories and events I have discovered. What is cool is the sense of timelessness...the idea I've been here before and will be here again along with the release of fear of death and of the unknown when I "die".


    To me, finding confirmations for myself that the world view I hold makes sense through reincarnation is what I value. As it all falls into place and becomes a part of who I am, my memories of past lives seem to come more frequently...or at least are more easily understood for what they are.
     
  9. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, like a lot of things I guess it's a blessing and a curse and like everything else 'it depends'. There is a lot to be learned and some advantage to be gained by understanding what mistakes you have made in the past and using that knowledge to avoid repeating them. It can get a bit confusing if you remember too much. Yes, it can be disturbing when you remember a lot of 'bad' stuff.


    Sure, I guess it looks kind of 'cool' from the outside to be able to remember stuff. It also freaks people out if you talk about it because most people assume this is some form of insanity. So, you have to either keep quiet about it in normal situations and/or lie about it, which is not much fun, especially if like me it's a really big aspect of your personality and relationship dynamics!
     
  10. Jody

    Jody Senior Registered

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    I think we remember if and when we are ready for it.


    One of the stages of grief is denial. And what is grief but a sense of loss? Of course, when we die, we lose pretty much everything (except what's really important -- love and lessons we've learned, but God help us if we're attached to anything more than that!). So I think that "denial" is one of the ways God has of helping us.


    Now add in the traumatic memories that we all have that tend to cripple/limit us in the lives we're in right now. I remember having fought in the Scottish uprising of 1745 and being so traumatized by it that I drank myself into a death wish. Forgetting past lives makes sense if the memory keeps us from moving forward. But even if we don't remember, I think we are still often affected by what happened in the past by repeating past patterns ... and if and when we are strong enough to handle it, we might be granted the opportunity/ability to remember and deal with it in a conscious way.
     
  11. Totoro

    Totoro Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I agree with that too. I would think that if in remembering, we're supposed to heal, it would occur at a time when we're best able to make use of the information.
     
  12. Sister Grey

    Sister Grey Senior Registered

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    My thoughts on reincarnation is that it occurs naturally - there isn’t a god who’s controlling it ( I don’t think!), and that the norm is to not remember. Those who remember past lives are simply anomalies, freaks, if you will, rather like some of us have six toes or amber eyes. As to it being a blessing or a curse, I can’t say, as I have no memories of my own. (I’ve had some intimations of other people’s past lives, which were borne out by wild coincidences.) I would like to have some idea of mine, but in the end I take it on faith that whoever I was is reflected in who I am now.


    I can see where it could be depressing to find out that I haven’t been able to stick to a diet and exercise plan for the past 936 lives. :laugh:
     
  13. Looking Backwards

    Looking Backwards Senior Registered

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    Agreed. Most people aren't. And even if you were rich or famous, think about how horrible the lives of those people can be; you have everyone tracking your every fault, your every mistake, and sometimes you have to make hard decisions "normal" people don't. Not to mention that even a lot of famous and rich people did things we'd consider horrifying today, even if generally they're thought of as being "nicer" than the cruel historical figures. Will you remember saving the country or ordering the deaths of hundreds of people for their religious beliefs?


    I know people who I feel may have had traumatic past lives, but I always wonder if remembering would actually heal them, or only add to their pain - because honestly, even if they did remember, how would that help? Who would they go to for something like that? Do therapists ever accept beliefs in reincarnation? So I hope I'm wrong, and that if I'm not, they come to terms with it in a way that is natural and with lots of support.
     
  14. Totoro

    Totoro Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    At least in my opinion, I dont think that you directly remember the pain or issues of the previous past life, but rather, you continue the pattern of behavior from the past life which creates issues in the present one.


    I also think this is why that those with self emergent memories and issues of a past life tend to have them. Obviously, to me, there's something that needs to be dealt with between the two lives to resolve the patterns.


    I think of it as being similar to understanding why a parent abuses their child, who in turn becomes an abuser. There's reasons for such and understanding them can help break the cycle of abuse.
     
  15. horsedoc

    horsedoc New Member

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    Fascinating conversation.


    I feel myself in agreement with Tortoro,that when you need to know (receive healing), you need to know (receive healing).


    I was always wondering who I was and what I did in past lives. It wasn't until my brother passed away, that I needed answers. I sought out and received what I needed at that time.


    I also feel that those of us that are so inquisitive about our past lives, do so because its part of our life plan in a way. It will help keep us on our journey and help relieve the burdens we are carrying over into this life. I don't necessary believe all our past live memories are all bad. My life as a Crow Indian was my 'special life', I was connected with nature and I felt I was so happy and fulfilled. The only bad part of it was it ended too soon and tragically. I still feel today myself angry that I died at 23!!!:grr:


    Great thoughts from everyone!!
     
  16. dking777

    dking777 Senior Registered

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    This reminds me of the time (@ 1981) when I had insights that reincarnation was a 'spiritual fact' - but I couldn't recall any of my past life memories at that stage in my life. It was frustrating. I worked with 'spiritual guides' in visions and dreams and they set me up to have a 'session' with a young 16 year friend who as a skeptic and non-believer in reincarnation. I gave him a choice that was coming from his own spirit. (I was in contact with his spirit at the time and that is where the directions were coming from.) He agreed to something like a regression session and when the memories of the past lives of his soul came flooding into his mind - he changed his tune from a skeptic to a believer in the flash of an eye. Then - he wanted to bury everything again. He said that the memories where too much of a burden for the sake of his current life. He wouldn't be able to accomplish what his soul and spirit had set out to do in this life - if he had sight of all the past lives.


    He said,


    "It will drive me totally and completely insane."


    An hour or so later - the memories were buried again and it was as if the hour had never happened in his mind. He went right back to being a skeptic and non-believer and I just laughed. I laughed so hard - I started crying.


    I stopped poking around in my own unconscious mind for the hidden memories of any past lives afterwards.


    I think there are times to remember - and times to forget. I feel our own spirit is the one who is in charge of when, where and how memories filter back to us. When they do - there is a spiritual reason involved.


    I too, wonder about the idle curiosity of young minds who feel it would be 'neat' or nifty to open up that hidden can of worms - as I saw my young friend do. He wasn't a happy camper when those memories flooded into his mind.


    Interesting observation.


    DKing
     
  17. Red Night

    Red Night Senior Registered

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    I think, perhaps, when a person refers to their memories as being 'cool' they are not speaking of the memories themselves, but the fact they are actually remembering. No one can deny that it's fascinating even when they can be awfully distressing.
     
  18. KnickKnack

    KnickKnack New Member

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    That's how I would take someone saying 'cool' as well.


    As for my feeling as to whether not remembering being a blessing ... well, being that I struggle to remember and want to immensely, my vote is for 'not a blessing'. I think it would be a huge help in not only learning lessons, but also to have a connection. If we all remembered, maybe it would clear up a lot of doubts, and (ideally) people may treat others better (sort of hard for a supremacist of any sort belittling another when s/he could have been of that same race generations ago). But then I don't like to be left in the dark or take things solely on faith, etc, so that may be coloring my perspective quite heavily.
     
  19. Mama2HRB

    Mama2HRB Senior member

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    That is why I refer to all of this as cool. Amazing might be a better word.
     
  20. Ignotus

    Ignotus Senior Registered

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    A blessing and a curse. Now, I think that if I don't remember any of this.. It would be a total blessing. But I can't forget what I know and this in turn, actually helped me in this life. But it caused me to get sick and lose sleep as well.


    Sometimes I wish that I was the same as the other teenagers. I hate believing this. But, can't go back now. Only way is forward.. :(
     

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