June 17, 1984
Each life influences each other life, and some portion of the personality retains memory not only of past lives, but of future lives also.
When reincarnational studies are embarked upon, on occasion people remember some instances of past-life experience, but conventional ideas of time are so strong that so-called future memory is blacked out.
The inner self is aware of all of your existences, in other words. It sees where and how your many lives fit together. It is only because you are so oriented outward from birth that this inner self sometimes seems alien or distant and unrelated to the self that you know. It would be impossible to be consciously aware of all of the infinitesimal details that exist in even one life; your consciousness would be so full and cluttered up that you would be unable to make choices, or to use free will.
It would be even more difficult to try to handle the information of many lives at one time. In your terms, “it” takes time to think, and you would be so caught up in thinking itself, that action would be impossible. The inner knowledge of all of your lives, from your point of view, is in the same category as those automatic processes that underlie your existence.
That is, you know about your other lives, basically, in the same way that you know how to breathe or digest your food. A different kind of knowing is involved.
This does not mean that all conscious knowledge about your own reincarnational existences is forever beyond you – for through various exercises you can indeed learn to recall some of that information. It does mean, however, that you are innately aware of all of your existences, and that the knowledge gained in one life is automatically transferred to another, whether that life be present, past, or future.
You may therefore be trying out many different kinds of experiences, sometimes endowing yourself with super attributes and strengths, relying upon the body’s powers above all other considerations, while at the same time in another life you use and develop unusual mental abilities, enjoying the triumphs of creative thought, while largely ignoring the body’s agility and strength.
I do not mean to imply that you necessarily deal with opposite kinds of behaviors, for there are endless variances – each unique – as consciousness expresses itself through physical sensation, and attempts to explore all of the possible realms of emotional, spiritual, biological, and mental existence.
I want to stress that within each life full free will operates once the conditions of that life are set.
That is, if you have been born in poor or depressed circumstances, then free will will not alter the conditions of that birth.
It can help you become wealthy in adult life through the choices that you make. It should be helpful, and certainly somewhat comforting, to realize that even unfortunate birth conditions were not forced upon you by some outside agency, but chosen at inner levels of your own reality.
The same applies to almost any situation. Religion holds some ideas that are in complete opposition to each other in regard to the nature of suffering in general. Some believe that suffering is a punishment sent by God for past or present sins, or even omissions, while other religious schools insist that suffering is sent by God as evidence of his particular love for the individual involved: “God must love you very much, because he sent you so much suffering.”
That remark and similar ones, are often made to ill persons. The idea is supposed to be that suffering is good for the soul, is a way of atoning for one’s sins, and in some fashion the implication is made that such suffering in this life will be more than compensated for in heaven.
Such concepts encourage individuals to feel like victims, with no control at all over the conditions of their own lives.
Instead, it should be realized that as uncomfortable as suffering is, it does somehow have a meaning in the context of your entire existence – again, that it was not thrust upon you by some unjust or uncaring exterior force or nature.
To some degree, that kind of understanding can help alleviate suffering itself to some extent. I am not advocating a fatalistic approach either, that says more or less: “I have chosen such and such an unfortunate condition at some level I do not understand, and therefore the entire affair is outside of my own hands. There is nothing I can do about it.”
For one thing, again, almost all situations, including the most drastic, can be changed for the better to some extent, and the very attempt to do so can increase a person’s sense of control over his or her own circumstances. This does not mean that those situations can be changed overnight in usual terms (though ideally that is also possible), but that the sense of control over one’s life encourages all of the mental and physical healing properties.
In terms of “starting over” at such a point, the main thing to remember is not to expect too much too fast, while recognizing that instantaneous cures are indeed probabilities.
Again, mind games, the insertion of humor and diversion, are extremely valuable, so that you are not trying too hard. Some people try too hard to be spontaneous, while others are frightened of spontaneity itself. The knowledge of reincarnational lives is spontaneously held, and you can receive profound insights from that knowledge. This occurs when you are not looking for it, but when you are familiar enough with the entire concept, so that you realize such knowledge is available.