Memories are made of this: Where do past life memories come from?
If you have ever had a past life regression session then you may have been left wondering where those past life memories came from. Or maybe you're thinking about having a session but are worried that you won't be able to see anything or may be inadvertently making the whole thing up.
Clients report that what they see during their session feels like real memories being recalled but are they actually memories or something else? While the jury is very much still out on what is actually happening during a past life regression, there are a number of competing theories. Here, I give a rundown of the main ones for you to make your own mind up.
They are memories of your past lives
If you believe in reincarnation (and there is a lot of evidence out there supporting it) then it doesn’t seem too unreasonable that you would have some sort of memory of it. There are many young children who go through phases of reporting past lives and so it would seem that the memories are indeed there, probably buried in our subconscious together with all our memories from our current life.
So why can’t we access these memories routinely? Maybe we suppress them because they just aren’t relevant or maybe we treat them like repressed memories from this life. Maybe it just isn’t ‘God’s will’ for us to know them unless we go digging (and sometimes not even then.)
The soul or higher self
These two descriptions may be the same thing (or not) or there may be a cross-over depending on who you speak to. However, what is really being said here is that those memories come from a non-physical part of us and are therefore contained and accessed from outside the body. This suggests that we are able to commune with our higher self or oversoul using our subconscious as some sort of conduit.
The Akashic records
Akasha is a Sanskrit word meaning ether or ‘primary substance.’ It is said to be the energy that flows or vibrates through the universe. The Akashic records are therefore a complete imprint of every thought, action and emotion ever experienced or to be experienced encoded in that universal energy or vibration. The Akashic records are said to be accessible to some with a higher vibration (obtainable through hypnosis) such as mediums and clairvoyants.
This of course raises the question, ‘Am I seeing a past life of my own or someone else’s life?’ One reason to believe that the memories are of your own past lives is that people who have multiple regressions often experience linked lives where similar goals need to be reached (not always successfully) or in which events need to be balanced karmically. This suggests that the act of regression does not produce random results but is linked to the individual soul.
The collective consciousness
A more modern theory which could be assumed to be a subset of the Akashic records was put forward by Carl Jung. This is the idea that we are all party to some form of collective consciousness which can be accessed by each of us. Again, in this scenario, anyone could access anyone else’s past (or current) lives but, once more, this explanation seems to fly in the face of the interlinking of past lives that repeat explorers tend to experience.
A recent idea this, that our cells contain memories encoded in them which can be traced back through our parents, grandparents, etc. This would mean that the memories we are experiencing are not ours but that of our ancestors. This theory soon breaks down when you realise that people who have multiple past life regression sessions report living lives in remote parts of the world where they couldn’t possibly be recently related, and even (occasionally) on other planets! Now, I’m not trying to say that genetic memories don’t exist; just that they aren’t responsible for the past life experience.
The elephant in the room
Of course, we could just be making the whole thing up. We are creatures of imagination with an innate gift for storytelling so how can we be sure that we aren’t just saying whatever comes into our heads?
Well, we can’t, but consider these arguments against. People often research their sessions afterwards and are amazed to find there are records of events, places and people that they described which they had no prior knowledge of.
Also, if this is all the product of unfettered imagination, why do people undergoing PLR sometimes come up against events they can’t see despite their best efforts? Sometimes they report that they are not allowed to see a particular event or that they have been told they are not ready. Finally, the PLR will often have a profound effect on their current life. People will talk about it ‘being the right time’ to see past life events as though the whole process is baked into a wider spiritual journey.
So which is correct?
From all this, and reading between the lines, you may have worked out that I favour the theory that these experiences are actual past life memories but, of course, you will have your own views. I have conducted many weird and wonderful past life regressions - enough to convince me - but I would suggest, if you're reading this, then the time is right to try one of your own.