Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies
Questions and Answers about Past Lives
By George A. Boyd ©1994
What are Past Lives?
Past lives are the former incarnations of your Soul or Higher Self. These records are stored in the Superconscious Mind on a level of the Abstract Mind Plane called the Akashic Records.
Why don't I remember my past lives?
The physical, emotional and mental seed atoms incarnate in your current body record only present life experiences in the reservoir of your Subconscious mind.
Because your attention is occupied with the phenomena of
your Conscious mind (present time experiences)
your Subconscious mind (memory of life experiences)
your Metaconscious mind (conceptual abstraction of life experiences and learning, and creation of future experience through goal-setting and planning)
you do not go deep enough into the Superconscious Mind to access the Akashic Ether where these records of past lives are stored.
Since your life force or prana animates your current body, and your personality forms the nucleus of identity for your experience in this life, your former lives are contained in a part of your mind that is unconscious. This unawareness of these former lives may be attentional-based or karmic-based.
Attentional-based unawareness means that although the Akashic Ether has been opened in your Superconscious Mind, but you never place your attention there. For this reason you don't become aware of that level of your mind. If this is your situation, you should have little trouble accessing fairly complete remembrances of your former lives.
Karmic-based unawareness means that your Soul has not spiritually evolved to the level where the Akashic Ether has been made conscious, or that area of your Superconscious mind remains veiled by the unconscious. Here, stored karmic matter within the inner vehicle of the Soul on that Plane obscures the Akashic Ether. As a result, this material has not been integrated into your Soul's illumined mind. In this situation, your recall of your Soul's former incarnations will be vague, disjointed, contaminated with dream-like fantasies, and will consist of unrelated individual incidents or images of people from other cultures.
This karmic-based symbolic or cryptic veiling of past incarnations has led many to believe that past lives are only another fantasy of the unconscious, a secret yearning for immortality that has no basis in fact. But those who visit this Ether in full metavisional consciousness clearly behold this Silent Book of Remembrance, and can with patience learn to read these records of the Soul's former lifetimes.
How can I read these records for myself?
There are a number of methods that have been developed to focus the attention on the Akashic Records. These techniques include:
Tratakam on the human form
Dialog with the Soul through receptive meditation
Time Travel (attentional progression along the temporal dimension)
Direct Projection (metavisional visioning of the Akashic Ethers)
[We teach these methods in our workshop, How to Read Your Own Past Lives.]
Why is it important to know about my past lives?
Past incarnations are one of the doorways through which you can know your Soul. Current life circumstances, relationship choices you have made in this life, deep-seated attitudes and beliefs that make up your basic character, and irrational behavior patterns can sometimes be linked to choices you made in other lifetimes. These choices you made then set up causes that continue to effect you now.
Stubborn issues that do not yield to exploration of post-natal causes through depth psychotherapy, moreover, may be sometimes found to have their origins in former lifetimes.
Past lives may account for:
Why you choose a person as a lover or mate
Why you are fascinated with certain topics
Why you are gifted in an area where none of your parents or relatives show this gift
Why you choose to go into a particular career
Why you have a strong attraction to other countries of the world
Why you have certain irrational beliefs or fears that cannot be traced to a traumatic incident in your current life
Some of your traits or patterns can not be explainable as present life learning, imitating a person you admire or bonding with a parent or other significant person in your life. Sometimes these traits or patterns may be tied to relationships in former lives or talents you have built through long experience in other lands and times.
How do I know it's not just my imagination?
Imagination is a creative faculty of the mind that combines images, words, symbols, concepts, and experiences in a novel way. Imagination is a faculty by which we can design or create something that never existed before, or we can combine old themes and present them in new ways. When we perceive our imagination in action, we experience fantasy, reverie or day dream states of mind.
Memory is a passive deposition of life experiences and learning in the subconscious mind, which we learn to order, encode and retrieve through a series of mnemonic strategies. Accessing our memory yields learned facts, conceptual structures, people we have known, places we have been to, and discrete moments of life experiences captured in rich sensory detail.
It is known that imagination can contaminate memory. Suggestion given in hypnosis has been shown to heighten recall for past experiences. Suggestion can can create states of amnesia. Suggestion can also produce false memories of imagined experiences that a subject will be convinced are true despite presentation of clear evidence to the contrary.
Past life regression therapy, which may rely upon hypnotic induction with suggestion, could conceivably introduce elements of this false memory syndrome into the experience, thereby contaminating the "memory" of past lives with fantasy. For example, the client's associations to images used to induce the hypnotic trance, objects in the room, or even the clothing of the hypnotherapist could conceivably influence the content that the client gleans from this exploration of other incarnations.
Use of meditation, which is a direction of attention under voluntary control, allows an objective witnessing of phenomena within the Conscious, Subconscious, Metaconscious and Superconscious bands of the mind. Instead of being a passive subject influenced by the suggestion of another as in hypnosis, the meditator is very much in control of the experience. The meditator can selectively focus his or her attention to study certain phenomena of the mind with dispassion and detachment, and can return to that level of internal inquiry to verify his or her former observations.
Meditation leads to a relative strengthening of the power of observation and intention, with a sense of growing inner mastery. Hypnosis, on the other hand, may lead to dependence on the hypnotherapist to guide the subject into altered states of awareness. The internal experiences thus produced may also be colored by the content and intensity of the hypnotist's suggestions, which may introduce elements of imaginal contamination into the experience.
Learning techniques of meditation will show you how to focus your attention, how to observe with the metavisional eye of consciousness, how to follow back the track of your own memory, and how to travel through the bands of the mind at will. This will assist you to view your own past lives for yourself, and will wean you from dependence on "psychic readers" or "past life regressionists" to read your incarnational history.