Most of us are curious about reincarnation and whether we have come to this planet “before.”
“Who was I in my past life?” is a common question asked these days and there’s no shortage of answers available. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find a handful of fun pop quizzes that narrow down what gender you were, what country you came from, what you did, and how you died.
While these are fun ways to explore the topic, they are limited and shallow in their ability to really help us understand who we were in our past lives, and how we can use this knowledge to become more healed and whole people.
If you’re serious about becoming a happier and more balanced person, keep reading.
First we’ll explore what reincarnation really is.
Reincarnation Is Not What You Think It Is … Here’s Why
A few years ago I came to conclude that we are all divine fragments of God, Divinity, the Tao, Consciousness, or whatever you would like to call it. I came to this life-changing realization via these 6 questions. This is what Jesus, Buddha, Eckhart Tolle, Mooji, Adyashanti, Gangaji, Ramana Maharshi, and every wise “enlightened” man and woman through the ages has pointed to and spoken about: The mind is limited. The self is an illusion. We are all One and the same at our very core.
Therefore, if our identity is an illusion, how is it possible to reincarnate? As Sol wrote in a previous article, “Reincarnation of an ‘individual self’ is only as possible to the extent of believing that your sense of ‘self’ – your ego – is real.”
If you believe that you are your personality and are separate from everything and everyone else, you will believe what people traditionally say about reincarnation: that your identity will be reborn into a new body and circumstance.
Personally I don’t at all believe that this is the case. How is it possible for “you” to reincarnate, if there is no you (other than in your mind) in the first place? This is yet another illusion perpetuated by an ego that is obsessed with its survival. After all, why is reincarnation so appealing to many of us? Because it reassures us that our egos will live on after we die. But if you’ve come to realize that the self is a dreamlike fantasy, you will realize that this isn’t the case.
So what exactly is reincarnation?
In my understanding, reincarnation is the process of recycling energy. The Buddhist’s represented this in the Wheel of Dharma which reflected the repeating cycle of birth, life and death (called “Samsara”). From what I have learned, the conscious essence that animates us leaves the physical body after death and is “reborn” or remade into a new creation. All of the memories, experiences, lessons and wounds we develop during our lives are then left in a non-physical layer which Carl Jung referred to as the “Collective Unconscious” and others refer to as the “Akashic Records.”
Although this new being starts off with a “fresh slate” when it is born, as it matures its job is to heal the inherited core wounds of its predecessors.
Who Was I in My Past Life?
I’ve asked and searched for the answers to this question before too, but somehow always intuitively felt that I wasn’t asking the “right” question or looking in the right place. Have you felt this before?
While I don’t believe that our identities reincarnate, I do believe that we can discover who we were in past lives (because we are all One and share the same underlying consciousness). More precisely, we have been every person that has ever existed, but for practical reasons we each carry a unique imprint of inherited strengths and weaknesses.
Similar to transgenerational epigenetic inheritance (big words that describe the process of inheriting physical, mental and emotional information from your ancestors that doesn’t influence your DNA), it is also possible for us to inherit spiritual maladies of many kinds. As life itself is about evolving, advancing and maturing, it can also be said that our emotional and spiritual lives are maturing as well.
Collectively, we are all evolving, and discovering what inherited core wounds we have is vital in order to become happier and more fulfilled people. In discovering our transgenerational wounds, we also work to “raise the vibrations” of the world for this generation and the future generations.
What is it that your ancestors suffered from in the past that you can heal in the present? You may find that in the process of discovering who you were in your past life, you are linked to one specific person in a single era. On the other hand, you may have many flashbacks from many lives that all possess the same theme. Finally, you may not have any flashbacks at all, but instead have an overwhelming sensation that you must learn to “resolve” a certain issue.
Here are some recommendations that will help you to discover who you were in your past life:
1. Examine what attracts, interests, or creates a sense of nostalgia in you.
For example, you may carry a long-time interest in South American shamanism, you may be intensely attracted to ancient Asian culture, or you may feel a deep sense of longing and inexplicable nostalgia towards the English countryside.
2. Pay attention to repetition in your dreams.
Also, learn to distinguish between dreams that feel dreamlike, and dreams that feel distinctly life-like – these dreams may present doorways into the collective unconscious. Repetitive dreams in particular carry important messages for they reveal what our minds on a subconscious level are fixated with. For instance, if you frequently dream about being abandoned for no particular reason (i.e. no childhood abandonment issues), you may be carrying the inherited core wound of betrayal or the fear of aloneness.
3. Set an intention. Repeat.
You may like to set an intention before attempting to revisit your past life. You can do this either before going to sleep, meditating, or practicing self-hypnosis. For instance, your intention may be “Who was I in my past life? Please be revealed” or simply, “I want to know who I was.” Finally, it helps to repeat your intention several times before you settle into a sleep, meditation or hypnosis state.
4. Reflect on the people you have attracted into your life.
What harsh, but powerful lessons have your friends, family members and/or partner/s taught you? Can you sense any particular theme running through your life that has seemed to be there from the very start? It is said that we all enter this life with a soul group which is a group of beings that collectively work to resolve accumulated karma.
5. Stare into a mirror or body of water.
Use your reflection as a focal point to enter into an altered state of consciousness. Get into a comfortable position, and if possible, dim the lights. Keep your intention in mind, relax your eyes and gaze at your reflection. Hold gentle but solid eye contact. You can do this for up to ten minutes to half an hour or more. As the minutes pass by, you will find that your face begins to morph and subtly change its appearance. What can you see?
6. Connect the dots.
Use a combination of all the practices above to explore your past life and inherited core wounds. Please keep in mind that there are many other techniques out there, but these five are basic and easy for anyone to try out.
This Is What I Discovered …
As a result of putting into practice the above recommendations, I discovered that I have memories from Medieval Ireland, Persia/Middle East, Rome and Greece. My most vivid and recurring memories appear to be of a great gothic castle, a home near the cliffs and ocean, grassy paddocks and a ragged tent in a desert. The main core wound I seem to struggle with involves a loss of control which has helped me to resolve an immensenumber of issues in my life.