Past Lives: A Return To Our Roots
Since the dawn of time, we human beings have pondered our existence. We have sat gazing up at the starry night sky, marveling at its’ vastness, discovering order in it’s seemingly chaotic patterns, and even realizing our own personal connection to it. Archeologists have found evidence that even the earliest of our species spent time wondering who we are, why we are here, and what happens to us after we die. So then, maybe to question our state of being is an integral part of being human, as well as the quest to experience a realm of spirit and that which seems to lie beyond our physicality.
This belief in what we call ‘spirit’ is nearly as old as history itself. Our ancient ancestors pan-globally believed that there was a part of us that was not connected to our physical form, containing our consciousness, that survived death. These people also, nearly universally, came to the conclusion that we would subsequently be reborn after death. Early humans did believe in reincarnation. How did they formulate this idea? Well, all they had to do was look around them.
Because ancient people lived in a way that was deeply connected to the natural world, they recognized and honored the cycles of life that turn continually all around us. Before we humans took ourselves out of nature and into our studio apartments, we understood that we were not separate from nature. And so, because we recognized that we were a part of these life cycles, we could therefore conclude that what we saw happening around us in nature would happen within us as well.
The constant patterns of life, death and rebirth that we see in the plant and animal world, as well as the daily miracle of the return of the sun in the morning after its’ light was extinguished from the sky the night before, meant for them that we would do the same. Because our ancestors knew that we were inexorably linked to every living thing, they could conclude that after we died our own life cycle would continue and we would eventually return in a new form; restored, refreshed and renewed. To them, the concept of reincarnation made much more sense than the idea that death was an abrupt ending, rather than a transformation and a continuation.
In the modern world, however, the notion of reincarnation has been relegated to something that we call “new-age-y”. We associate it with certain religions, gurus, crystals, and coffee-after-yoga-class philosophical talk. In our Western culture, many of us dismiss belief in past lives as something Eastern, esoteric, and therefore not having anything at all to do with us. Perhaps we have just been living outside of the forest for way too long and have therefore forgotten this connection that we have with all of nature.
The idea here is to return to our roots, and to uncover our past and remember the lessons that we have already been presented with over many lifetimes. I believe that who we are is a cumulative of our experience, and that we are incredibly complex beings who have grown old and wise as many times as we have had our lives cut tragically short. I feel that we are born in order to learn, and maybe one of the many things that we need to learn is how to remember. Because, we can never really know where it is that we are going without first understanding where we have already been.