Memories of past lives

The Mother says thus in answer to the following question:   “How is it that in newspapers one quite often reads stories of small children who remember their past lives and that the details have been verified? And it is the study of such events that leads parapsychologists to assert the existence of reincarnation. So are they not on a completely wrong track? And how can reincarnation be demonstrated scientifically in any other way?

  “The memories you refer to, which are mentioned in newspapers, are memories of the vital being that, exceptionally, has gone out of one body in order to enter another. It is something that can happen, but it is not frequent.

  “The memory that I refer to is that of the psychic being, and one is conscious of it only when one is in conscious relation with one’s psychic being. There is no contradiction between the two things.”

  The subject of death, states of after-death and rebirth is not simple for mind to understand because it deals with many states of consciousness that are totally foreign to ordinary human consciousness. However, modern science has now begun to taste the glimpse of these states by its own fanciful tools. One such tool is the application of hypnosis in the field of Psychiatry. Dr. Brian Weiss, a  psychiatrist, while he was treating his patient Catherine to rid her of the symptoms of fear-psychosis by the application of hypnosis, had a fascinating chance to peep into some of these consciousness’ states, which are alien to our own normal state of consciousness. He writes in his “Many Lives, Many Masters”:

  “Hypnosis is an excellent tool to help a person remember long-forgotten incidents. There is nothing mysterious about it… I instructed Catherine to lie on the coach with her eyes slightly closed and her head resting on a small pillow… After a while I began to regress her, asking her to recall memories of progressively earlier ages. She was able to talk and to answer my questions while maintaining a deep level of hypnosis.”

  Catherine recollected her past memories and described with graphic vivid details of events not only of her earlier lives that she had lived (in one case a life lived in 1863 BC) but also of what happened to her after her physical deaths in many such past lives. Most interestingly, she described as seeing many Master Spirits, in addition to many ordinary spirits, dwelling in those after-worlds and caused those Master Spirits through her deep hypnotized state to answer Dr. Brian’s questions. She said there were many people (spirits) living there in those worlds. There were also many Master Spirits (or more evolved spirits). The answers given by those Master Spirits are full of wisdom and echo the teachings of the founders of mankind’s religions. Catherine described the moments of her physical deaths in her previous many lives and what had happened thereafter. She said she came out of her physical body and floated out there after these deaths. Describing one such occasion, she says:

  “I am aware of a bright light. It is wonderful’ you get energy from this light.”

  “The soul… the soul finds peace here. You leave all the bodily pains behind you. Your soul is peaceful and serene.  It is a wonderful feeling … wonderful like the sun is always shining on you. The light is so brilliant! Everything comes from the light. Energy comes from this light. Our soul immediately goes there. It is almost like a magnetic force that we are attracted to. It is wonderful. It is like a power source. It knows how to heal.”

   It is the experience of Divine force guiding the Psychic Being. Catherine speaks of the Master Spirits (or more evolved psychic Beings) being present in those worlds. Catherine acted as instrument for these Spirits to speak words. These words are full of wisdom and reassert what has been said by great spiritual leaders of Mankind since ages. These spirits said:

  “Our task is to learn, to become God-like through knowledge. We know so little. “

  “We have no right to abruptly halt peoples’ lives before they have lived out their karma. And we are doing it. We have no right. They will suffer greater retribution if we let them live. When they die and go to the next dimension, they will suffer there. They will be left in a very restless state. They will have no peace. And they will be sent back, but their lives will be very hard. And they will have to make up to those people that they hurt for the injustices that they did against them. They are halting these peoples’ lives, and they have no right to do that. Only God can punish them, not us. They will be punished.”

  “Yes, we choose when we will come into our physical state and when we will leave. We know when we have accomplished what we were sent down here to accomplish. We know when the time is up., and you will accept your death. For you know that you can get nothing more out of this life time. When you have time, when you have had the time to rest and re-energize your soul, you are allowed to choose your re-entry back into the physical state…. “

  “Everybody’s path is basically the same. We all must learn certain attitudes while we are in physical state. Some of us are quicker to accept them than ohers. Charity, hope, faith, love … we must all know these things and know them well. It is not just one hope and one faith and one love – so many things feed into each one of these. There are so many ways to demonstrate them. And yet we have only tapped into a little bit of each one… People of the religious orders have come closer than any of us have because they have taken these vows of chastity and obedience. They have given up so much without asking for anything in return. The rest of us continue to ask foe rewards – rewards and justifications for our behavior. .. when there are no rewards, rewards that we want. The reward is in doing, but doing without expecting anything…. Doing unselfishly. “

  “To be in physical state is abnormal. When you are in spiritual state, that is natural to you. When we are sent back, it is like being sent back to something we do not know. It will take us longer. In the spirit world you have to wait, and then you are renewed.  There is a state of renewal.”

  “Those are different levels of learning, and we must learn some of them in the flesh. We must feel the pain. When you are a spirit you feel no pain. It is a period of renewal. Your soul is being renewed. When you are in physical state in the flesh, you can feel pain; you can hurt. In spiritual form you do not feel. There is only happiness, a sense of well-being. But it is a renewal period for … us. The interaction between people in the spiritual form is different. When you are in physical state.. You can experience relationships.”

This is the (dismal) state of our knowledge about the subject of death, worlds where one may go after one’s death, memories of previous births etc. obtained by us through the so-called scientific methods! Hypnosis is not even recognized as a branch of a legitimate science because of its lack of regour of control. In comparison to this scientific hesitating groping and probing, the eastern wisdom on this subject is mature and tempered with the time and labor of ages of their spiritual masters. What does this wisdom say about the memories of one’s previous lives?

The Mother in answer to the question:   “Are the soul and the psychic being one and the same thing” says thus: “This depends on the definition you give to the words. In most religions, and perhaps in most philosophies also, it is the vital being which is called “soul”, for it is said that “the soul leaves the body”, while it is the vital being which leaves the body. One speaks of “saving the soul”… but all that applies to the vital being, for the psychic being has no need to be saved! It does not share the faults of the external person; it is free from all reaction.”

  Sri Aurobindo says:   “At a certain stage in the Yoga when the mind is sufficiently quieted and no longer supports itself at every step on the sufficiency of its mental certitude, when the vital has been steadied and subdued and is no longer constantly insistent on its own rash will, demand and desire, when the physical has been sufficiently altered not to bury altogether the inner flame under the mass of its outward ness, obscurity or inertia, an inmost being hidden within and felt only in its rare influences is able to come forward and illumine the rest and take up the lead of the Sadhana Its action is like a searchlight showing up all that has to be changed in the nature; it has in it a flame of will insistent on perfection, on an alchemic transmutation of all the inner and outer existence. It sees the divine essence everywhere but rejects the mere mask and the disguising figure.”

  He further says: “What is meant by (the psychic’s) coming to the front is simply this. The psychic ordinarily is deep within. Very few people are aware of their souls – when they speak of their soul, they usually mean the vital + mental being or else the (false) soul of desire.

  “The psychic remains behind and acts only through the mind, vital and physical wherever it can. For this reason the psychic being except where it is very much developed has only a small and partial, concealed and mixed or diluted influence on the life of most men. By coming forward is meant that it comes from behind the veil, its presence is felt already in the waking daily consciousness, its influence fills, dominates, transforms the mind and vital and their movements, even the physical. One is aware of one’s soul, feels the psychic to be one’s true being, the mind and the rest begin to be only instruments of the inmost within us.”

  The Mother says:  “In the ordinary life there’s not one person in a million who has a conscious contact with his psychic being, even momentarily. The psychic being may work within, but so invisibly and unconsciously for the outer being that it is as though it did not exist. And in most cases, the immense majority, almost the totality of cases, it is as though it were asleep. Not at all active, (it is) in a kind of torpor.

  “It is only with the sadhana and a very persistent effort that one succeeds in having a conscious contact with his psychic being. Naturally, it is possible that there are exceptional cases – but this is truly exceptional, and they are so few that they could be counted – where the psychic being is an entirely formed, liberated being, master of itself, which has chosen to return to earth in a human body in order to do its work. …

  “In almost, almost all cases, a very sustained effort is needed to become aware of one’s psychic being. Usually it is considered that if one can do it in thirty years one is very lucky – thirty years of sustained effort, I say. It may happen that it’s quicker. But this is so rare that immediately one says, “This is not an ordinary human being”. That is the case of people who have been considered more or less divine beings and who were great yogis, great initiates.”

  The Mother says:  “In rebirth it is not the external being, that which is formed by parents, environment and circumstances – the mental, the vital and the physical being that is born again: it is only the psychic being that passes from body to body. Logically, then, neither the mental nor the vital being can remember past lives or recognize itself in the character or mode of life of this or that person. The psychic being alone can remember; and it is by becoming conscious of our psychic being that we can have at the same time exact impressions about our past lives.”

  She says:   “The psychic being may be made centre for self-unification: The work of unifying the being consists of:-

  1. Becoming aware of one’s psychic being.

  2. Putting before the psychic being, as one becomes aware of them, all one’s movements, impulses, thoughts and acts of will, so that the psychic being may accept or reject each of these movements, impulses or acts of will. Those that are accepted will be kept and carried out; those that are rejected will be driven out of the consciousness so that they may never come back again.”

   She again says:  “If we truly want to progress and acquire the capacity of knowing the truth of our being, that is to say, what we are truly created for, what we can call our mission upon earth, then we must, in a very regular and constant manner, reject from us whatever contradicts the truth of our existence, whatever is opposed to it. In this way, little by little, all the parts, all the elements of our being can be organized into a homogeneous whole around our psychic centre. This work of unification requires much time to be brought to some degree of perfection. Therefore, in order to accomplish it, we must arm ourselves with patience and endurance, with a determination to prolong our life as long as necessary for the success of our endeavor….

  “In various times and places many methods have been prescribed for attaining this perception and ultimately achieving this identification. Some methods are psychological, some religious, some even mechanical. In reality, everyone has to find the one which suits him best, and if one has an ardent and steadfast aspiration, a persistent and dynamic will, one is sure to meet, in one way or another – outwardly through reading and study, inwardly through concentration, meditation, revelation and experience – the help one needs to reach the goal. Only one thing is absolutely indispensable: the will to discover and to realize. This discovery and realization should be the primary preoccupation of our being, the part of great price which we must acquire at any cost.

  “Whatever you do, whatever your occupation and activities, the will to find the truth of your being and to unite with it must be always living and present behind all that you do, all that you feel, all that you think.”

  Sri Aurobindo says:   “There are a thousand ways of approaching and realizing the Divine and each way has its own experiences which have their own truth and stand really on a basis one in essence but complex in aspects, common to all but not expressed in the same way by all. There is not much use in discussing these variations; the important thing is to follow one’s own way well and thoroughly.”

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