I have been drawn to war movies (Band of Brothers, The Pacific) over the last couple of weeks, and mentioned it to a friend. They are sobering, helps me contact that quiet undercurrent of dread I have experienced lately, and helps me put things in perspective. She suggested it could have to do with past lives and I said perhaps, and was also a little puzzled. How would it be useful to think it had to do with past lives?
Of course, it can be helpful to play with ideas of past lives – through active imagination, dreams, regression therapy, apparent memories or any other way. It helps me unfold and notice what’s here.
My images of past lives happen here now, and what they are about – dynamics, qualities, characteristics – are here now too. These images point to what’s already here.
So in that sense, ideas of past lives are helpful, but not necessarily in any other sense.
As with any other images, they become a temporary side track if I take them as real and true and “out there” in the world or in the past or future. Although it can certainly be entertaining or a temporary and welcome escape. for who I take myself to be
And they can be valuable guides for what’s already here, if I notice them as that.
I tried a few sessions of regression therapy in my 20s, and I used these sessions in just this way. My main insight was that I wasn’t fully committed to this life, and I learned that through an image (apparent memory) of myself before birth, not wanting to be born but also realizing it was necessary and important. And that was of course how I felt there and then, reflected in an image placed on an image of time and the past. And that image helped me find it in the here and now.
It’s funny how it works. Something is going on here. It’s reflected in an image. That image is often placed “out there” in the world or in the past or future. That helps me connect with what the image reflects. And that, in turn, helps me notice it here and now.
Note: The other question here is whether rebirth is real in a conventional sense, but that’s really a question for research and science.