Past Lives and Regression

Past lives and regression is not something to be taken lightly. There may be consequences to being taken back to a previous life. Therefore it is important to always work with an experienced professional who will assist with any issues that may arise. How may past lives have we had? Well how long is a piece of string? It may be countless numbers or it may just be one. How many future lives will we experience?

Many of the major religions recognise that there is a belief in reincarnation. The Catholic church preach that Jesus was re-incarnated on the third day.
“On the third day he rose from the dead.” Nowhere in the bible is reincarnation denied as a reality. It is an interest to many to know if they have been here before. If so who were we? Were we famous? A good person and why/how did our life come to an end? Some argue that too many people when regressed were Julius Caesar or Cleopatra! Perhaps just much more appealing and interesting than Joe Bloggs down the road!

Many therapists use hypnosis to take their clients back to their earliest memories. They will go back ten years, twenty years until a baby. They then take the baby back to the womb and then further back into a previous life. It is thought that fears and phobias are brought forward from previous lives and by tapping in to this previous life those fears and phobias can be challenged and taken away.

Is deja vu different? The definition of deja vu is a feeling of recognition. A feeling of having lived through something previously. Even sometimes knowing the conclusion. Does this mean that we can have control of the ending and perhaps even change it? The French word of deja vu literally means already seen.

There are many a story which backs up past lives and re-incarnation which is sometimes also known as a ‘rebirth’.


The concept of reincarnation — the idea that old souls are reborn into new bodies — has existed for thousands of years. It’s part of the Buddhist and Hindu traditions. It is also popular amongst those not connected to any religious organisations or beliefs. Some insist that it’s real and have stories which they feel is proof of its existence Others insist that it is not possible and therefore nonsense. Take a look at these stories taken from The Wall Street Journal.

1. Murdered boy reincarnated.

An anonymous reader of the Epoch Times shared a story in which her 3-yearold son told her that he liked his “new daddy,” even though the reader’s husband was his biological father. Confused, the mother asked him why. He replied, “My old daddy was really mean. He stabbed me in the back and I died. But I really like my new daddy, he’d never do that to me.”

2. Boy is his own Grandfather.

18-month-old Gus Taylor’s grandfather, Augie, had died a year before Gus was born. However, according to Listverse, the year-and-a-half-old Gus claimed that he was his own grandfather. When he was four, he was able to identify Augie in family photographs, even though he had never seen the man in real life.

3. Past life as a fighter pilot.

8-year-old James Leininger of Louisiana was interested and spoke of aviation at 2 years old. His parents reportedly knew nothing about the subject, and were amazed when their little boy started displaying such an extensive knowledge of planes.

Their amazement turned to alarm when James started having nightmares about being shot down by a plane with a red sun on it — a Japanese plane. He talked about having dreams and memories of being Lieutenant James McCready Huston, a World War II fighter pilot from Pennsylvania who had been killed in Iwo Jima more than 50 years earlier. Andrea, his mother, said that James would scream at the top of his voice, ‘Airplane crash, on fire, can’t get out, help,’ as he kicked and pointed to the ceiling.

Later, James told his parents that he had flown a plane called the Corsair from a boat called the Natoma. When James’s father decided to do some research, he discovered that there had been a small escort carrier called the Natoma Bay, which had been in the Battle of Iwo Jima, and that there really had been a pilot called James Huston. His plane was hit in the engine by Japanese fire on March 3, 1945. According to Jim Tucker, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, Huston’s plane crashed exactly the way that young James Leininger had described.

4. WWI veteran shot in the throat.

After developing a phobia of grey, rainy days, four-year-old Edward Austrian started complaining about a severe pain in his throat. Whenever it hurt, he reportedly said that his “shot” was hurting. When questioned, he told his mother that he had been in the trenches, in what she assumed to be World War I. He told detailed stories about his life and about being shot in the throat and killed.

Doctors couldn’t find a reason for Edward’s throat pain, so they took his tonsils out as a precaution. Eventually, though, he developed a cyst that no one could figure out how to treat. After he was encouraged to share more stories about his past life, the cyst disappeared. The doctors never determined the reason why.

5. A serial killer in a past life?

A reddit user had the following chilling story to share:

“Since as long as I can remember I’ve had vivid dreams about being a serial killer from the 1940s or 1950s. I lived in an old farm house in the middle of the woods secluded from everyone. I buried my victims (all women with medium-length jet black hair and very pretty) on my property. There are at least 50 if not more. I’ve been dreaming about this guy since I can remember and the details never change. I don’t have a name or location but it bothers me enough that I tried searching and I don’t think I was ever caught.
Sometimes I have moments where I genuinely ‘miss’ my old life. In this life I wouldn’t hurt a fly and have dedicated myself to helping people. Sometimes certain situations trigger feelings that are not really me and I’m not sure where they come from. It’s always the same type of girl and always the same thoughts of how to disable her in order to get her back to my place. I’ve come to terms with it and pass it off as an intrusive thought but I’ve never wanted to act on it in this life.”

6. Civil War veteran reborn.

Another reddit user has a story about a friend who may have had a past life as a soldier during the American Civil War:

“I knew a guy who thought all things paranormal were nonsense and laughed at the mere thought there could be truth to anything outside what was ‘accepted.’ He told me a story of his though that really surprised me.

He was in his late 50s and his entire life, for as long as he could remember, he had a dream he was standing in a field. It was always the exact same layout, rolling hills, he could see the tree line from his vantage point. The only real landmarks were a lone tree and a wooden fence. Every time during the dream he felt as if he was a young boy and could ‘feel’ there was a large group of me with him, seemingly behind him.

He never told a soul, not his wife nor his kids. One day he took his family to Gettysburg while on vacation. That exact vantage point was the Union ‘high water line’ during the battle. It definitely disturbed him, but he still refused to consider it as being paranormal.”

7. Darth Vader?

Another reader of the Epoch Times shared the following story with the paper: “My older sister was born the year my dad’s mom died. According to my dad, as soon as my sister was old enough to say the words, she said, ‘I am your mother.’”

8. 3-year-old leads police to man who killed him in his past life.

A 3-year-old boy in the Golan Heights caused quite a stir when he claimed he was murdered in a past life. The boy, a member of the Druze ethnic group, which believes in reincarnation, had a long red birthmark on his head; according to some Druze beliefs, birthmarks indicate where death wounds occurred during a past life. When the boy learned how to talk, he started telling elders that he had been killed by an axe blow in a prior life.

The boy was led through several villages to see if any of them were familiar to him. Once he found a familiar village, he claimed that he knew exactly who had killed him.

“Suddenly the boy walked up to a man and said, “Aren’t you …? ” The man answered yes. Then the boy said, “I used to be your neighbour. We had a fight and you killed me with an axe.” Eli told me how the man had suddenly gone white as a sheet. The three-year-old boy then said, “I even know where he buried my body.” — Trutz Hardo, Children Who have lived before: Reincarnation Today.

Afterward, the boy led his elders to a pile of stones, under which they found a body with an axe wound in its head. He also led them to the spot where the axe was buried, reportedly forcing his killer to confess the crime.

9. The Barra Boy.

Also known as “The Boy who Lived Before”. Cameron Macauley of Glasgow, Scotland, started telling his mother at the age of 2 that he wasn’t from Glasgow at all, but rather from a small island called Barra off the west coast of Scotland in the Outer Hebrides. Cameron described intimate details of his life there, including his black-and-white dog, the beach he used to walk on, his mother, the house they lived in and his seven siblings. He even named his former parents, claiming that his father’s name was Shane Robertson and that he had died in a car crash.

Determined to get to the bottom of all this, Cameron’s parents took him to Barra. Although no one there remembered anyone by the name of Shane, the Macauleys found the house Cameron had described — a house owned by the Robertsons. The black-and-white dog was in one of the family photo, and the car that Cameron remembered was there, too.


 
The Hindu - Tibetan concept of Reincarnation (sokahumanism.com)


The Buddhist concept of Rebirth

Reincarnation is a belief in the transmigration of the “soul” of a person after death - to another body. Reincarnation as the continuity of the individual’s person after death.

Rebirth, is the belief in the continuity of karmic tendencies from one life to another. Rebirth refers to the continuity of the individual’s tendencies , not the person, after death.


The concept of reincarnation does not fit within the Buddhist Law of Impermanence, which teaches that life is transient, and that there is no fixed soul. For this reason most Buddhist schools consider the concept of reincarnation as an expression of a futile desire for immortality. “The function that leads us to believe in a permanent self is called the [Mano], seventh consciousness...operating in the name of self-preservation and expansion. It seems to correspond to the Western idea of the ego.” (Ikeda :Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and death, p.156.

Ikeda explains that :”Buddhism does not accept the immortality of soul or the idea that the body is a vessel for the soul, and after death, the soul departs from the body, and moves to another body”.(Ikeda/Tehranian:Global Civilisation, p.120).

The concept of reincarnation matches the Hindu belief in the caste system, which teaches that one’s birth in a certain class of society is a repetition of a previous existence of the same social/spiritual class: “If taken literally, the reincarnation myth can lead to the legitimisation of rigid caste systems and gross social injustice”. (Global Civilisation, p.120).

The Tibetan concepts of after-life

Tibetan literature provides its explanation of the process of reincarnation through giving the example of the reincarnation of Lamas. The process of choosing a child as the reincarnation of a deceased Lama is based on a judgement of a committee of monks - about how the examined child reacted to personal items of the deceased Lama. The reaction of the child is considered as an indication of  a memory in a past existence:

“Once the High Lamas have located the boy, they present a number of artefacts to the child. Among these artefacts are several items that belonged to the deceased Dalai Lama. If the boy chooses the items that belonged to the previous Dalai Lama, this is seen as a positive sign, in concert with the other indications, that the boy is indeed a reincarnation of the Dalai Lama”.
The described process is based on a belief that a person repeats lifetime after lifetime. Repetition of a person, means that the soul of a particular individual is fixed over time, and that this permanent self would simply migrates to a new body of a child. Setting aside all the details of this process, the practical outcome here is that a child is told to believe what the monks believe about him.

From Buddhist point of view, one’s true spiritual identity and mission in life is self-discovered - it cannot be taught by others or implied by monks. It appears here that the life mission of a Lama is not self-discovered but is a kind of an identity given by monks to a child. In Nichiren Buddhism, one’s spiritual identity (or mission in life) has to emerge from within the individual, and not become allocated by others:


Example of Tibetan beliefs in Reincarnation:

“According to the Bodhisattva rule, Masters of Khamtrul Rinpoche’s caliber are not meant to stay away for long, however. Consequently immediately after his cremation his disciples began to look for clues as to where his future might be found.....Finally the [eminent Lama] Karmapa gave the name of the place where Khamtrul Rinpoche had been reborn - Bomdila, a Himalayan town close to Bhutan...the discovery of the ninth Khamtrul Rinpoche was in the bag. The child was found, recognised and reinstated in Tashi Jong to take up his spiritual duties where his predecessor - himself - had left off”. page 108/109

As the mentioned passage explains, a quick decision about the reincarnation of a deceased Lama was taken “immediately after his cremation”. For ordinary people, however, it takes a long time to reach an enlightened state in their coming reincarnation. The Tibetan concept of the reincarnation of ordinary individuals teaches practitioners that they have to practice several lifetimes to reach enlightenment:
“ Enlightenment was plodding and exceedingly hard work. The Lamas said if you reached there in three lifetimes you were moving incredibly quickly...”

This concept marks a fundamental difference between Tibetan and Nichiren Buddhism, which is based on attaining enlightenment in this life time. It is apparent that this view of attaining enlightenment over many lifetimes requires “the same person” to reincarnate again and again to complete the personal journey, which she or he could not make or achieve in one lifetime.

The teaching which requires many life times to attain enlightenment is not quiet consistent with the teaching of the Buddhanature. If the Buddhanature is inherent in each individual (and potentially existing in this lifetime) then a powerful-enough Buddhist practice is sufficient to enable practitioner of Buddhism to reveal one’s Buddhanature in this lifetime, not after death or after many “reincarnations of the same self”.

Continuity of life vs continuity of the person, after death

Buddhism denies the idea of continuity of a fixed self or person : “There is no fixed self that lives on as an unchanging entity”(Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death p 26).
In contrast to the idea of “continuity of person” after death, Buddhism teaches “continuity of life” after death. All phenomena, stars, galaxies, plants, animals, people..etc... undergo the eternal cycle of birth and death.  Rebirth in a future existence is not a continuity of a past personality or past social status - but a new fresh start.

In the same time, Buddhism teaches that Rebirth is not a random or accidental occurrence. Each newborn has certain features and tendencies - which are not the result of “chance” or “randomness”. Rebirth implies that the general tendencies of a new life are modulated or affected by the tendencies of a past life, however the new life is not strictly dictated by a past personality - but has open potentials of continual change.

If one - for example - creates a tendency for action as a Bodhisattva: searching for enlightenment and happiness for self and others, then at death, one’s karmic-tendencies (created throughout one’s lifetime) do not simply vanish.  Karmic tendencies are like energy, which does not vanish, but will be carried further to a next rebirth for future manifestation. Because Rebirth is not a repetition of a past person, the new birth is not restricted to past gender, social class, spiritual position, education or individual factors of a past self.

The Buddhist Teaching of Rebirth

A clear perspective of continuity of the cycle of life and death is found in Ikeda’s illustration:
“I find it helpful to compare the cycles of life and death to the daily rhythms of waking and sleeping. Just as we look forward to the rest sleep brings after the efforts and exertions of the day, death can be seen as a welcome period of rest and re-energizing in preparation for a new round of active life. And just as we enjoy the best sleep after a day in which we have done our very best, a calm and easy death can only follow a life lived to the fullest without any regrets.” Wisdom for Modern Life by Daisaku Ikeda.

According to the teaching of the Nine Consciousnesses- what continues from one lifetime to the next is not one’s features of person, gender or particular situation - but one’s tendencies created throughout life before death.

One’s actions in daily life, detailed relationships, specific memories and personal skills...etc... are recorded and stored in a certain level of the consciousness, called the Mano (Sanskrit for ‘Comprehending’).

The Mano level of consciousness records the details of actions, while - at the same time - a deeper level of consciousness (the Alaya) records the motivations which led to the actions,  it records the essence of the behaviour,  or its karmic tendencies - which has the power to repeat again (when similar triggers take place).

The word Alaya means the Storehouse (of karmic motivations). It continually records the mechanisms, patterns, trends or tendencies of one’s actions. These patterns and tendencies remain dormant until a trigger from the environment activates them (like ‘seeds’ which have the potential to sprout, however depending on availability of appropriate external conditions). If no trigger from the surrounding occurs to activate the stored tendencies, then the stored karmic seeds remain dormant in the Alaya .
Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death pages 156-160.

At the moment of death, the Mano field of consciousness - which contains detailed personal memories formed by the bodily senses - becomes irrelevant and dissolves together with the bodily senses, while the Alaya consciousness, which contains the essence of life’s karmic tendencies (of the Ten World) - remains in a field called the field of non-substantiality (Sunyata):

“The Alaya consciousness is sometimes called “non-vanishing” because the karmic seeds stored within it do not disappear at death.  Our individual lives are accompanied into latency by all the effects of our karma”. (Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death p.160) Only one’s general life tendencies (of the Ten Worlds) stored in the Alaya will affect one’s future Rebirth: “ ... the elements that will determine our life-condition after death remain within the Alaya Consciousness” (Unlocking the Mysteries, p.160).

The concept of Karma in Nichiren Buddhism: Karma means creating tendencies through one’s actions. Nichiren Buddhism is focused on taking responsibility for our karmic actions we create at the present moment.
We are continuously creating karma at each moment (through the three causes of thoughts, speech and deeds). This means that the present moment engraves a path which shapes the future.  P.Ikeda explains: “Karma is viewed as the potential force through which to influence our future”. (Unlocking the Mysteries of Birth and Death p. 27),
“Nichiren Buddhism enables us to fundamentally reform our destiny. When we truly base ourselves on Buddhism's view of life's eternity, we realize the first thing to change is how we live in the present”. 

Taken from http://sokahumanism.com/nichiren-buddhism/Differences_between_Rebirth_and_Reincarnation.html
                     

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