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Past Life Dreams
How do I know if a dream is about a past life?
In most cases it is impossible to prove beyond doubt that a dream relates to a past life experience. How much easier it would be if you could simply dream all the facts then prove them with public records of births, marriages, and deaths. I have listed some intriguing examples of past life cases in the sidebar to this section. However, in most cases dream revelations about past lives are likely to remain unproven. I suppose it finally comes down to a gut feeling, an unshakable knowing that comes from deep within you.
There are certain dreams you are likely to have had that cannot be explained away as symbolism, metaphor, or allegory. In my own dream records I have cases I am convinced are about past lives. For example I had many dreams about being a shaven-headed monk when I was a child. At the time I had never heard of Tibet or the doctrine of reincarnation. In particular I would have a dream about walking around in a circle on what looked like high walled tower . Together with other monks, I chanted mantras. The scenery was spectacular. I would awaken feeling tremendously inspired. I have also had recurring dreams about dying of exposure near a dried-up riverbed, which I now believe to be the source of the Yellow River in Mongolia, a place where there were many Tibetan monasteries. (My wife often jokes that I feel the cold too much for an incarnation of a Tibetan.)
Although I do not follow the Buddhist way today, I feel that Tibetan wisdom and teachings still influence me. It may explain why I was born with mediumistic powers and how easily I grasp Tibetan Buddhist and Bon ideas that many people find hard to understand.
Perhaps the strangest past life dream I had was about being chased from behind by raging dogs. A small group of people and I are near a castle. Our way is blocked by a moat. As the dogs catch up with us, soldiers start attacking us from behind with swords. There is a lot of noise and commotion. I can smell fire and blood. I feel a terrible pain in the back of my neck. There is searing pain, then nothing.
When I met my wife, Jane, who is also a medium, we talked about our dreams and were amazed to discover that we had this same dream in common–right down to the smallest detail. Neither of us knows the historical time period it relates to, although it hints at the Medieval era, when mediums were persecuted as witches. It could of course all be fantasy, except that Jane, myself, and our daughter Danielle each have the same brown birth mark at the top of the neck just under the hairline. Perhaps we three are beheaded soulmates?
Why don’t we remember our past lives?
Spontaneous recall of past lives may be a rather dubious privilege. Suppose you were now able to have unfettered access to all your past life memories and were to discover that you were one of the worst monsters in history. What if you discovered that you were Genghis Khan, Hitler, or Stalin? Worse, perhaps, you realize you have spent lifetimes as a child abuser or village idiot. How would you feel? How would you deal with the horror and belated remorse? You would probably feel so depressed and discouraged, you would have no strength to keep on.
Moreover, imagine how much karma your life now and in the future would be subject to. You would have a mountain of misfortune to deal with. How could you deal with it? Perhaps you would live in fear of retribution for past sins. You would probably feel hopelessness, guilt, and shame and find it tremendously difficult to get on with your life. People don’t like to remember things that are unpleasant or evil.
Fortunately cosmic law protects you with forgetfulness and gives you a second chance. People need to be protected even from comparatively innocuous past lives. Take for example the story of Shanti Devi, in the sidebar near this section. Twenty-five years after the events described, a reporter sought out Shanti to ask her about the case. She was working a quiet life as a government employee. She was not keen to talk about the case. “I do not wish to revive my past lives, either this one or my previous existence in Muttra,” she confessed. “It has been very difficult for me to bury my desire to return to my family. I do not want to open that closed door again.”
Past Life Suffering
You may ask yourself the question: “What have I done in a past life to deserve this suffering?” But you forget that it was you who chose to take on the life you have today. Perhaps in a past life you were a king, queen, president, or rich person. At the end of your last life you may have decided that seeking fame, power, privilege, or wealth are futile pursuits. Perhaps you enjoyed your status and came to the end of that experience. You learned what you needed to know.
When you last died you passed down the tunnel of light and let go of everything you were. What survived is the essential you, the part of you that the Hindu philosopher Sri Aurobindo called the psychic being. After a period of rest in the afterlife, you made the decision to take another earthly life. This time you choose new lessons to learn based on your karma and desires. You can only be free of rebirth once your path is set to the Divine.
Your task now is to fulfil the destiny you set for yourself. You must work to learn the sometimes-hard lessons you have set. You do not remember your past lives because these memories might hamper your spiritual progress. They could cause feelings of guilt or yearning for experiences past.
The memories in your unconscious are immortal. Although the memory of your past lives has vanished from your mind, if the appropriate brain cells were awakened you would be able to remember everything. Very often, these silent areas of the mind are opened during sleep and the memories awaken during dreams.
Past Life Habits
The habits you cultivated in past lives have created your physical, mental, and emotional makeup in this life. You also bring forward into this life your past karma which determines the kind of physical form you will have as well as your personality traits. Even your sex is determined by your self-chosen tendencies in previous lives.
By knowing your past lives, you can gain an understanding of yourself and the traits that are influencing the course of your life. Most people never analyze themselves, so they are continually stuck in a rut of established behavior. They are guided by their likes and dislikes, all of which are habits brought forward from previous lives.
The objective of a self-aware person is to be in control and not to be at the mercy of his own tendencies. Knowing about your past lives can help you establish new habits and help you get out of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual ruts. Few people try consciously to change themselves. They are stuck with preconceptions that they are sinners or weak or are temperamental, and so on. These are all habits established in past lives.