Symbols of the world's religions

               

MEMORIES OF PAST LIVES

Meher Baba

 
Those who have direct access to the truth of reincarnation are even fewer than those who have direct access to the truth of the immortality of the individual soul. The memories of all past lives are stored and preserved in the mind-body of the individual soul, but they are not accessible to the consciousness of ordinary persons because a veil is drawn over them.

When the soul changes its physical body it gets a new brain, and its normal waking consciousness functions in close association with the brain processes. Under ordinary circumstances, only the memories of the present life can appear in consciousness because the new brain acts as a hindrance to the release of the memories of those experiences which had to be gathered through the medium of other brains in past lives.

In rare cases, in spite of the resistance offered by the brain, some memories of past lives leak into the present life in the form of dreams which are completely unexplainable in terms of the present life. A man may see persons in his dreams whom he has never seen in his present life. It often happens that the person who appeared in the dreams were persons whom he had met in his past lives.

But of course such dreams, when they are of the ordinary type, cannot be treated as a memory of past lives. They merely indicate that the imagination which worked in dreams was influenced by materials taken from the past lives of the man.

The real memory of past lives is clear, steady and sure like the memory of the present life. When it comes to a man, he no longer has any doubt about his having existed in several lives along with many others. Just as he cannot doubt his own past life in the present incarnation, he cannot doubt his life in his past incarnations. The number of persons who can remember their past lives is very small compared with the vast majority, who are so completely bound to the gross sphere of existence that they do not even suspect supersensible realities.

The release of such memories is severely conditioned by the limitations of the brain, as long as consciousness is entangled with the physical body and its brain processes. When consciousness is emancipated from the limitations imposed by the brain, it can recover and re-establish the memories of past lives which are all stored in the mental body. This involves a degree of detachment and understanding which only the spiritually advanced persons can have.

The memory of past lives can come with full clarity and certainty, even to those who are still crossing the inner planes but have not yet become spiritually perfect.

 

DISCOURSES, 6th ed, Vol 3, pp. 67-69
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