SP Austen writes on a vast array of subjects, with particular attention on subjects which influence human consciousness.
Much has been said about the theory of reincarnation. The idea that the immortal soul passes on through death to re-emerge in another physical birth is even abhorrent to some.
Reincarnation is a very ancient belief, and is in fact one of the very oldest of all beliefs. Evidence for its belief and expectation is found in every culture upon the planet. There are even certain Biblical passages which directly reference that there was a prevailing belief in reincarnation.
The Christian Church removed the Doctrine of Reincarnation from its teachings in the year 325 AD and again in 553 AD. This is evidence enough that it was a prominent part of Christianity. You can do a little research to find out more for yourself.
The Church, which was growing in power and authority, needed to control its adherents and conveniently removed reincarnation because it would put power back into the hands of the individual. If we reason that the Law of Karma operates through successive lifetimes and therefore governs the life of the individual rather than a faith-based religion, you can see why the Church panicked; its own authority and position would fail.
The Church did not want its followers to have any kind of personal responsibility for their spiritual welfare. If the Church did not control their minds and tell them what to do, they would quickly lose all credence. Reincarnation was therefore a threat to the power of the Church.
In this article, I want to talk somewhat about my own, personal and direct experience of reincarnation, and how it has impacted my own life and view of the world. At the end of the article I will reference some incredible resources for you to find out more for yourself.
My Own Past-Life Memories
The following descriptions are directly from my own experiences, without adornment or exaggeration of any kind. Make of them what you will, but I am going to outline them from the beginning. (I will add that I have had countless clairvoyant experiences for my entire life, so the memory of past-lives is only one aspect of spiritual contact that has been a common thread throughout my lifetime.)
My very first recollection that there was more to my life than just my physical body, was when I was sitting playing in the dirt, aged somewhere between 6 months old and 18 months old. I was wearing nothing else but a 'nappy' (diaper for North American readers) and eating soil from the garden of my parents home, in South East London.
As I was born in November, and the sun was shining outside, it must have been at least around May or June, making me at least 6 months old. If I was older, it was possibly later in September, making me aged about 10 months old. But after that time, for fine weather, it would put me into the following year, so I was perhaps as old as 18 months.
Either way, I was young enough to be wearing a nappy (diaper) and old enough to sit upright by myself.
I can vividly recall the taste of the gritty soil in my mouth, and I can still see my baby hand with soil on it, coming up to my mouth and then eating the soil. I then rubbed my baby hand on my round, baby belly.
As this was taking place, I felt a peculiar sensation that I was not really this baby body, busily eating soil. I felt as if I was looking down on the body as well as being in the body of the baby. I was effectively in two places at once, and had no control over the automaton-like behaviour of my little baby hand picking up soil for my baby mouth to crunch on. It was as if I was wondering what my baby body was doing.
The spell was only broken when my oldest brother called out to my mother "Stevie's eating dirt again!"
When he picked me up, he was talking to me as he carried me into the house. I have no further recollections around that event. What stands out most for me, is that if I was as young as 6 months, I understood, word for word, what my brother had said. (I think that babies must know much more than we give them credit for.)
This was the first time that I was fully aware of my 'dual nature' that there was a separate Self, something higher and beyond the physical self. I knew that I was not this baby! I knew that this baby body was only my vehicle of expression, although it was many years before I understood what this meant, or could articulate it intelligibly.
A Dual Nature
To all intents and purposes, I lived a very ordinary life, the same as any growing boy. My next experience was really a series of experiences, in which I would feel a sensation coming over me of being distinctly separate from my physical body. This happened often, as did many Déjà vu experiences over the years ahead.
My hands might be playing with toys, or I'd be doing some other thing, and I would suddenly become fully aware of the distinct difference between my inner Self and my outer body.
In my own mind, aged about 8 years at the time, I would consider the concept which I worded in this way: "I am me, and yet I am not me."
When I put this to one of my brothers, just two years older than me, he didn't understand it at all. In my embarrassment, I never mentioned this experience of duality to anyone ever again, until many years later, when I mixed in spiritual circles.
Dreams and Visions of Other Lives
Still around the age of 8 or 9 years, I had not yet reasoned any of these experiences out. However, they made very deep impressions upon me. I think had they been mere imaginative fancy, they would have quickly disappeared from my memory. As it stands, I can still recall them in fine detail to this day, 57 years on from babyhood, and at least 50 years since the age of 8.
I can still taste that soil and feel its grit in my mouth! I can still feel that my other Self is above the baby body and yet part of it too. "I am me, and yet I am not me" still holds true with its own unique peculiarity of sensation that accompanies such an altered state of consciousness.
Now aged 8 to 9 years, I had dreams of being an artist in Renaissance Italy, triggered by a television programme about the artists of that time, place and period. I awoke, feeling that I had lived then, with some vivid memories. (I have always been artistic in this life, incidentally.)
Once, standing in the hallway of my home, I was suddenly looking down a gorge, walking in a desert place. I could see that I wore long white robes, and was a youth of about 16 perhaps. I could feel that the gorge was so far down that it was damp, far from the rays of the sun. I was aware of walking towards the sun, and it was morning. I felt very tranquil and peaceful.
I felt that this was in ancient Israel, at the time of Christ. But no other details were forthcoming, just this sensation of walking towards the rising sun, and the deep, deep, gorge over to my right, far down from the sunlight.
To this day, I can still easily evoke that same feeling of being in this desert place whenever I am walking towards the bright sunlight, especially the morning light. It is a sobering thought that everyone who has ever lived has seen that same sun that we still see to this day.
I have always had a strong interest and connection to the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. I produced much art work around his life in my younger years, and at the age of 16 to 17, I even wrote and illustrated the life story of Christ. So this connection was a very potent one.
My Past Lives Confirmed
The story of my own spiritual journey would be too much for an article such as this, so I now jump years ahead and miss out huge chunks of experience; We now go forward and I have turned 25, having always suspected that these experiences were indeed past-life memories, but with no real hard confirmation or 'evidence' to prove it.
That is, until I went to see a well-known esoteric author. He shall remain nameless, as he turned out to be a major disappointment to me as a very flawed individual, but he did validate my past-life recollections without me prompting him or giving him any of my memories.
He had worked my past lives out from looking at my Birth Chart. I will paraphrase, but the upshot was this:
"You lived at the time of Christ in ancient Palestine. You were an Essene, (I knew nothing about the Essenes at this time and had to do my own research after this) and you used to rise early and meditate looking down a deep gorge."
I nearly fell out of my seat!
He moved on to tell me that I had lived as an artist in Renaissance Italy. There was also another lifetime in England in the 18th Century as an Architectural Artist connected to the Palladian Architectural designs of the day. (Of this latter lifetime, I have only some vague senses, recalling very little.)
It was only then that I informed him of my experiences, tears filling my eyes. I finally had the confirmation that my 'memories' were true, and that the existence of the soul was eternal, through lifetime after lifetime.
My later research on the Essenes revealed that they were the people who lived in the desert wilderness of Judaea and wrote the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. They wore white robes, and introduced the practice of Baptism. John the Baptist was one of them, as were many of his disciples and also the disciples of Jesus.
I have looked at many photos of the Dead Sea area where the Essenes lived, named Qumran today. I still feel the evocative call of the past when I gaze at those images. I have even seen my old gorge where I used to meditate, 2,000 years ago.
For the reader's interest, in that lifetime as an Essene, I became a follower of Jesus, being among the first Christians of the new era.
From the Mouth of Babes
I have read countless books on the subject of reincarnation, and some of the best cases refer to children who have recalled in great detail who they were previously, especially in India, but increasingly so in the West, such as America and other Western countries.
These children are able to recall great detail about their previous lives, their work and their deaths, much of which has proven to be historically accurate. Many of these children are very young, around 3, 4 or 5 years old. The details they give are often confirmed time after time. Many of these children can even point out the family members of their previous incarnation, and have often met with surviving members of their previous family.
Children tend to tell the truth, by and large, and you know that it cannot be fanciful imagination when the details are confirmed time and time again. They have no ego-based agenda, as some adults may have; they just tell it like it is, without adornment.
Sensing Your Past Lives
Now, I realise that not everyone can spontaneously remember their previous lives, as I and others have. I do not even recall anywhere near the number of lifetimes that it is suggested that we do actually live. I think I just recalled the ones that had special significance for me.
Buddha said, "I remember every breath I ever breathed."
Well, perhaps we can't all do that, but we can get a close approximation to the continuation of our soul through life after life.
When people have inquired of me how they can remember their past lives, I always give them this hint; whatever time period in history that you are particularly drawn to or repelled by, you can fairly guarantee that you have lived in that period in other lives. If there is a cultural dislike, or a cultural identification, this is often a clue to a past-life connection.
If you cannot place why you have a strong distaste for a certain country or culture, perhaps you had a terrible incarnation in that land, long ago? Maybe you had enemies there? Conversely, if you feel strongly drawn to a certain culture, language, race or religion, or time period, perhaps you were actually there, in another body, with a different name, in another life?
The soul carries all its experiences with it, bringing back subtle but often indefinable memories within the subconscious memory. These feelings of repulsion or attraction are nearly always clues to where you lived, what you were, and in what time period you existed.
Meditate on these things.
Thank you for reading my own personal experiences of reincarnation.
The following websites are all remarkable resources for finding out more about reincarnation:
Dr. Brian Weiss began his career as a psychotherapist, but entered the realm of Past-Life Regression when a patient began to reveal her past-lives in her sessions with him. His famous and remarkable book, "Many Lives, Many Masters" is an account of these sessions.
Dolores Cannon was a hypnotherapist, who ended up specializing in Past-Life Regression. She has written numerous fascinating books on this subject.
Carol Bowman is an internationally known author, lecturer, counsellor, past life regression therapist, and pioneer in reincarnation studies.
Please peruse her website where you will find many fascinating and informative talks on this subject.
© 2018 S P Austen
brian from uk on March 25, 2020:
hello steve you retired from exemplore column
brian from uk on December 06, 2019:
My final story for you steven i remember my life before i became a human being, i remember suddenly becoming aware but not in a human sense i remember thinking what am i who am i and then i heard what i know as childrens voices one was saying oh its awakening they all seemed to have names except me i wss in a group and we seemed to be traveling through a void and passing large bodies that gave off waste energy at there highiest poles which we feed on to maintain our energy levels but theres a lot more
brian from uk on August 17, 2019:
But as I started to grow I knew I was different when I was in my pram and just old enough to pull my self up I had a divine experience at such a young age you would not think it possible as I got older and started to understand things more I'd mention this to my nan or mother and they say I'm dreaming or imaginings things but how could such a young child make things up when they have no real conception of the world you said it your self Steve babies know more then what there parents think they know as a baby you lack the vocabulary and the words to express your tiny life's experience
brian from uk on June 16, 2019:
Hi steve you talk about knowing things when you were a baby you and your finding you munching the dirt i understand what you mean. When i was a toddler i lost my grandad at a very young age i had no conception of what death was so the one day i asked were grandad was and can i see him well no he asleep in the back room i did not really know as there seemed to gaps in my memory of him so i played up that much they let me go and see but when i went into the room were he was i noticed he was in a box not a bed or a rocking chair i said can i wake him they said no hes fast asleep i got on a chair and peered at him he looked stony faced then something said in my mind hes not asleep but i was not scared my uncles and mom did not want to stay in the room but i did for some reason. I never got know him he was only 49 when he passed and was cabinet builder carpentar by trade
S P Austen (author) from Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada on June 14, 2019:
I am so glad that this article gives you some comfort and hopefully a deeper recognition of life after death and reincarnation.
Steve (S.P. Austen)
brian from uk on June 14, 2019:
Steve I'm sorry I've only read part of this cause it's so late here but what I read has left me with a heart warming feeling of comfort I remember something completely different and something tells me I will not go back there when it's time to leave this suit but thank you for your insight and I'll got round to finish reading the rest of your work
S P Austen (author) from Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada on July 29, 2018:
Thanks for the response, Nell. I think the most important thing is that many, many people are providing evidence for a phenomenon that is more widespread than many people realise.
Nell Rose from England on July 29, 2018:
Fascinating! I have had so many dreams and experiences too. I must admit that I did my dna and discovered so many countries, and wondered is it really reincarnation or genetic memory? of course if you have a dream that doesn't involve your family tree, or dna tree, then yes its reincarnation.