Reply To: Past lives discussion
This is a great topic. Just like James said, I'm only sharing my perspective and I'm completely fine if others disagree. I also hope not to offend anyone.
The reason why I was curious about past lives is because to me, their existence signals something way more significant than just memories. I believe that all life is governed by the same set of laws, by the same Supreme Intelligence. Nothing exists in separation, in a vacuum. Our past affects our present and our present is setting up our future. People don't seem to struggle with this concept when it comes to one physical life, but it seems to make no sense to many that the same law would apply across life times. But why wouldn't it? That's why we hear people talk about their past life recollections and how certain personality traits, imbalances and so on carry over from one life to another.
We live in a duality based universe. If we have our own free will, there must also be a divine will. I believe this divine will is the highest authority so to speak and we can't override it with our own individual free will. We can operate within our individual range of options, we can be in sync with our highest good or we can go against the flow and unnecessarily struggle.
My understanding is that how we go through life, our thoughts, our actions, how we treat our environment (things, people, animals), how we learn (or not learn) our individual lessons directly affects our next incarnation. In a way, based on how we manage our current life, we are “assigned” the next one. This would be called a fate or destiny.
Destiny is however not set in stone, there is a range of options and possibilities within which we can operate using our free will. So let's say we have a bicycle accident in our future. We can't erase this event from our fate, we can't avoid it (it's been assigned to us by the divine will). How we are going through this life and the choices we are making can directly affect how this accident unfolds. We can be knocked off our bike by a pedestrian and sprain our ankle or we can get hit by a bus and be paralyzed for the rest of our life (and anything in between).
The reason why I'm saying all the above is that I believe that there is a higher authority in play and if we need to have a certain experience to correct some imbalance or misunderstanding we might have been working on for lifetimes, there is no way we can consciously decide we don't want that experience and avoid it. So if for instance someone needs to have the experience of poverty, no program, no book, no self help guru will be able to alter this person's fate and bring abundance to their life. I know it's popular to say the universe is the place of infinite possibilities and we can have anything we want… but I don't think it's the case at all. The universe is most definitely the place of infinite possibilities… we just don't have access to all of them. Only to a certain portion that applies to our individual journey.
Joe wakes up today… and he has his free will. He can choose to do many things. He can do what he's been doing for the past 10 years. He can make new radical choices that will go against anything he has done so far in life. But if he lives in Buenos Aires and possesses a certain type of skill set, has a certain amount of funds.. all of those factors will present a range of his choices today. He can't consciously decide he wants to be someone else in Berlin today. Same thing applies to incarnations. We are currently living a life that is the direct result of all of our past lives, just like Joe's day is the result of all of his choices and his environment since he was born.
This is what (to me) explains, why an identical situation/opportunity will have different results for different people. Not every single player coached by Phil Jackson turned out to be Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. Not everyone who goes to the gym will be able to bench press 500 lbs. Not everyone who goes to a prestigious university will excel in their field.
All of us are here at this forum because we want to change some aspect of our life. Some problems we experience seem to be corrected rather easily. Some seem to put up a a little fight. In both of those cases, our range of possibilities included a cure so to speak. A chance to end a long standing pattern, to improve something we no longer need as a learning experience.
Other aspects seem pretty much impossible to change no matter what we do, no matter what modality we try. I believe, those are the patterns/qualities/circumstances we just need to go through to have that experience, no matter how much we dislike them and don't want them in our life. It's not just a simple matter of “clicking them away”.