What Is Past Life Regression?
The idea that we as humans live multiple lifetimes is rooted in many religions of the East, especially Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism as well as many other non-Eastern philosophical systems. Reincarnation is considered a fact of life within these belief systems, while in the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) it is viewed as non-existent.
There is, however, evidence to suggest that Christianity once accepted the doctrine of reincarnation up until AD 553 when it was officially rejected at the Fifth Ecumenical Council at Constantinople, and there are certain sects within Judaism and Christianity that still do embrace it. Despite the conflicting belief systems, the idea of reincarnation has found its way into popular culture and thought.
Why Do We Reincarnate?
Reincarnation assumes that we are more than the physical bodies we inhabit, that there is something that animates the body which we can call “spirit” or “soul” or simply “consciousness.” Some traditions that accept reincarnation (such as Buddhism) believe that we reincarnate not only in human form, but that we can also take animal or even plant form because they, like humans, are sentient beings.
Although the concept of reincarnation varies from tradition to tradition, in general it holds that it is a part of a process of evolution of our soul or consciousness. When we enter human form from wherever we came from—we can call it “Source” (although Buddhism doesn’t really address much about origins)—the experience of consciousness must incorporate a vast realm of existential experience which is governed by karma. Karma encompasses the sum total of your experiences as a reincarnating being, and is the idea that everything you experience or do, bad or good, must be balanced out eventually (the law of cause and effect).
When your consciousness has become self aware and disciplined enough to cease repeating karmic patterns, it can liberate itself from the cycle of death and rebirth (which is defined by suffering) and ascend to a state beyond human form, sometimes called “pure mind” or “pure consciousness.”
How To Find Out Who You Were in a Past Life
The very nature of being human is defined by the quest to become conscious, and becoming conscious is about learning to understand how we create the karma that keeps us locked into the cycle of death and rebirth. Some would say that it is also about learning how to tap into the part of our consciousness that contain the memories of our past lives.
If we are paying attention in our lives, we can find clues that point to the possibility of past lives. For example, consider a very young girl child who has recurrent dreams as she grows up of being a soldier fighting on the front lines of a war and dying in an explosion, perhaps from a landmine. This would be a pretty good sign of past life “bleed-through” because there would be very little reason to believe it is her psyche trying to work through some kind of psychological issue related to her current young life, and because it would be quite possible that the girl would have had no exposure to such images. Recurrent dreams such as this can provide valuable clues to past lives.
Other ways to become aware of past life existences would be with the help of other professionals; either psychics gifted with the ability to sense past lives or with people trained in past life regression. Past life regression is a type of hypnotic regression whereby a person reaches deep within the recesses of his/her consciousness to pull out repressed memories from other lifetimes.
Why does it Matter?
Sometimes people find themselves stuck in deeply entrenched dysfunctional patterns of behavior that they cannot seem to break. These can manifest as relationship problems, addictions, money issues or any number of other types of problems that keep people from realizing their full potential and living happy, successful lives. Digging deep to recover memories can help shed light on why certain patterns keep repeating themselves, or to understand the nature of a particular relationship that defies explanation.
The ultimate goal is becoming conscious and healing old wounds in the interest of living a more satisfying life in the present, but also to do the soul’s work of evolving to a state that transcends the cycle of reincarnation and human suffering.