Looking into Past Lives for Knowledge and Motivation
Looking into past lives can be a very motivating experience, and even more so when we are looking into them in the context of the inner work. There are many people who can remember their past lives; some of them arrived to this memory purely by accident, without even wanting to. Many others have had their past lives being shown to them through dreams, and there are also those who have memories of their past lives since childhood. Many spiritual traditions believe in reincarnation, and in the scientific world today this topic is also surfacing more and more, despite the debunking efforts of the hard-core materialists.
In the esoteric (or inner) study, past lives are irrefutable facts for those who have arrived to such (inner) experiences and knowledge about ones own history that stretches for centuries, millennia and even millions of years.
Our past lives are progressively revealed to us as we work on ourselves, and even more so as we walk on the Initiatic path. Nevertheless, we can also try and find out for ourselves about our esoteric history. The reason why it is very beneficial to find that out, even if to a small degree, is because we would see that there is more to life, to ourselves, and to the world than what we are conditioned to believe. We can then comprehend that the life we live right now is not the only one, but rather that we have had many lives prior to this one, and eventually we may also discover how karma (the law of cause and effect) influences our subsequent lives, and how the law of recurrence makes certain things in life repeat over and over again, though both the former and the latter laws exist for the growth of the soul. Without there being the repetition of lives in the material world, such type of growth would not take place, or at least not to the same degree as it does with the soul spending many lifetimes in this physical world and bound to the Wheel of Samsara.
When we begin to be aware of our past lives, we start to see the bigger picture of our existence; in the beginning we might just be aware of “random” lives that we had, just so to get the flavour of our history, but then later on (as part of the spiritual work) we may see more specific lives and situations that are related to the study of our inner defects (egos), or lives in which we reached spiritual heights. For example, when we try to dissolve the ego of anger, we may see ourselves in one of our past lives, reacting with particular expression of anger. This would then give us an insight that we struggled with this same defect in other lifetimes too, and could also give us a particular boost for the inner work, as well as an increased understanding. Such insight and vision would often time come from our inner Being (higher self), who is guiding us in achieving self-realization.
In order to attain a direct experience of your past lives, it is necessary to practice meditation, to be able to remember your dreams (astral experiences), and to lead, to a good degree, an upright life. It is also necessary to be ready to receive such information, which is decided by the Being of each person who attempts to arrive to it. This ability is also related to clairvoyance, which is the ability of the third eye chakra.
There are many techniques out there that can be utilized in order to arrive to desired result. One of the ways is to try and get the information when out of the body. You can for example ask your Being to show you your past life, or you can also specify which of the past lives would you like to see. For example, you could ask to show you some of the most significant lives that you had on planet Earth. What could happen then, is that you are being shown it on a screen, or you may even experience the past life directly as it takes place, from the first person view.
Another way is to receive the information in a dream state. In both the former and the latter case you would have to be able to remember the experience when you wake up.
Another way is through meditation; there are probably many techniques that exist for receiving information about past lives, most of which are based on using visualization. In this article I will mention two techniques that I tried and that could be of help.
Before starting, it is important to set your intention for the meditation, internally reflecting on what exactly it is that you are looking for and why. Also ask your Being for help with the practice. Then commence the meditation by sitting in a comfortable meditation posture, and start by relaxing the body and quiet the mind. Then visualize yourself in a hallway at the end of which is a door. You intent that behind that door is your past existence (whether the one before the current one, or any other that you want to learn about). Slowly walk towards the door, and on the way to it feel the energy of the hallway or of the place that you are in; feel yourself there fully. Once you reach the door, open them slowly. When you open them, don’t visualize anything, but simply allow for the vision to come. If it comes, simply observe it and allow it to develop, without forcing it.
You may find that you would have to do more than one meditation to get more information about that past life, which is normal. Don’t expect large scenarios unfolding (though in some cases it’s possible too), but rather glimpses, though even in such small bits that we receive, a picture of our esoteric history might start forming. The visions that we receive could also affect us a lot spiritually; they could be incredibly moving, awakening our heart and our interest in ourselves even more.
The second technique also involves visualization, but it is a little different than the first one. Commence the meditation in the same way by asking for help, reflecting, relaxing the body and quieting the mind, and then visualize yourself in a beautiful surroundings related to spirituality. Invoke the presence of your inner Being or guide, and ask them to take you to the Lake of Memory. Follow your Being or the guide towards it, and once you reach the area with the lake, ask a question about your past life,and look inside the lake, with intention to see into the past life that you would like to study. Look into the water of the lake and wait for the vision to form. In such a way you could study the development of your egos from the past, but also just seeing in general your past lives.
Again, the knowledge of our history is something that comes to us gradually with spiritual development as we are making steps towards self-realization and towards the knowledge of oneself. But before that point we are given glimpses of knowledge, and we can use this inspiration as a boost for the spiritual work.
HDP, August 2020.
It was good reading this article on past lives.
I have often also had glimpses in wakeful state and dream state. But, to understand then and what exactly they relate to, is where I get stuck.
I would only keep trying.
Hi Karl, it’s good to keep trying if you feel that looking into this aspect of yourself would be beneficial for your development. Not everyone wants to do that, not everyone is ready for it, which is fine. Sometimes we can take up this practice and then leave it for some time, and then take it up again later in the future. But getting more and more knowledge about oneself can be quite inspiring.