What Was I in a Past Life?

The author and his wife, Juvy, at a family birthday party. Copyright Rod Martin, Jr.
The author and his wife, Juvy, at a family birthday party. Copyright Rod Martin, Jr.

Not many people can remember their past lives. Many people do not believe that such things exist. Any connection to such a past seems ephemeral or confusing, at best

Some feel that their religion bars their belief in reincarnation, which is funny because religion deals with spiritual matters, and reincarnation is one of the most deeply spiritual aspects of our existence.

Take Christianity, for instance. Reincarnation was once not such a strange idea for Christians. In fact, one of the earliest church fathers, Origen, wrote at length about the pre-existence of souls and about transmigration from body to body. Two hundred years later, politics and imperial intrigue resulted in Origen's name and works being declared anathema.

The Nazarene had told his disciples, "But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands. Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist" (Matthew 17:12–13, KJV). He did not say that someone like Elijah, or with the qualities of Elijah, but that Elijah himself had already come. Even though John the Baptist denied that he was Elijah returned, Yehoshua made it clear that John had become a stumbling block for his imperfect memory and faith.

When the disciples of Yehoshua of Nazareth asked their master about a man who had been born blind, they wondered if his condition could have been caused by something the man himself had done. Their master did not caution them against such a belief in past lives, but that is exactly what they were inferring. How else could a man deserve to be born blind by something he had done unless he had done that thing in a prior life?

Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot
Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot

The true story about the young boy who remembered. Skeptics have said some hilarious things about this, but it only shows their fear.

 
Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives
Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives

Dr. Ian Stevenson spent years investigating children's memory of past lives. It's one thing for a child to fantasize about being some great figure from history, but these children had been ordinary people who experienced very real tragedies.

 

Past Lives

A rare few seem to remember at least one past life. A young boy woke up with nightmares about his plane crash sixty years earlier during World War II at the battle of Iwo Jima. He began to remember details and names that only true memories could have accounted for. When finally he was taken by his parents to meet some of the surviving members of the aircraft carrier, the young boy instantly recognized one of his old buddies and called him by name.

When I was working as a graphic designer on Melrose Place in Los Angeles in the 1980's, the owner of the design studio told me of her immigration from India to the United States. She was Jewish and had no problem with the concept of reincarnation. In fact, she remarked that one of the most startling differences in culture involved the topics of newspapers. In the West, the headlines included scandal, murder and mayhem. In India, the headlines frequently included awe inspiring tales of reincarnation—like that of a five-year-old boy remembering the family gold he had buried in his prior life without letting his former wife know. When finally he had found his former wife, the gold was located and his former family made no longer destitute.

Patton speaking with Lt. Col. Lyle Bernard, at Brolo, circa 1943.
Patton speaking with Lt. Col. Lyle Bernard, at Brolo, circa 1943. | Source

Recalling Past Lives

There are therapists who specialize in past life regression using hypnosis and other techniques. The controversial, modern religion, Scientology, uses numerous counseling techniques to unburden past lives in order to find the truth behind current conditions. Perhaps it's not at all remarkable that the founder of Christianity once said that one need only know the truth and one would be set free—a concept used effectively in Scientology.

But what would you do if someone asked about your past life? What would you be able to tell them? Would you be afraid to look? Would you merely scoff at the idea?

I have experienced several hundred hours of Scientology counseling and received great benefit from them. Spiritually, I had achieved immense freedom I had never known before. Not all of the counseling involved past lives, but a great portion of it did. Most of the memories were fleeting glimpses. Some of them came with greater clarity, but the object was never to dwell on any one memory or any one lifetime. The "truth-freedom" connection was always the object and focus of those sessions.

World War II General, George S. Patton, believed in reincarnation. As a junior office in World War I, he visited a town in France and refused the tour the French officer offered, because he knew the place well from his time in the Roman Empire. Not many people would be so unabashedly open about such a thing. In the movie, Patton, George C. Scott, portraying the General, gives an impassioned soliloquy about his time in the final days of Carthage. Later, he tells his aide about the final days of the 1812 war with Russia and the French retreat from Moscow, the memory of which let him know how bad the Germans were doing in the current war.

Tyrrhenian Sea, Sardinia, Southern Corsica and the town, Pel es Atenai, approximately 9620 BC. This one key location in my novel, "Edge of Remembrance."
Tyrrhenian Sea, Sardinia, Southern Corsica and the town, Pel es Atenai, approximately 9620 BC. This one key location in my novel, "Edge of Remembrance."

My Most Vivid Memories of a Past Life

A decade ago, while writing a novel (Edge of Remembrance) about the days following the loss of Atlantis, I experienced two very vivid memories.

Granted, not many people believe Atlantis ever existed—at least not many (or any) scientists. Even though we don't have direct proof of Plato's lost island empire, we do have indirect evidence of its passing. Three items of scientific evidence coincide with Plato's date for that awful event—three earth-shaking effects. One of those involves proof that there was a major tectonic subsidence somewhere in the oceans of planet Earth.

Writing fiction requires that you get into your characters and feel what they're feeling. While imagining the details of my novel, I found myself getting caught up in the experience. Was I reliving a past life or merely creating a fiction in the present?

I began to feel the emotional distress of the main character, Merla. Her responsibilities included finding food for the hundreds of refugees under her care. She had just lost her homeland and had few immediate options. There were no convenience stores nearby. In one scene, I had her walking along the beach away from the refugee settlement. She came upon a cliff overhanging the coastal rocks and there she made a discovery which later made her famous—a bitter, alkaline fruit which had lain in sea water for many days had become sweet by comparison.

Exotic flower. Though I took this in the Philippines, somehow it reminded me of someplace I've been long ago. Copyright Rod Martin, Jr.
Exotic flower. Though I took this in the Philippines, somehow it reminded me of someplace I've been long ago. Copyright Rod Martin, Jr.

Suddenly, the room went dark and my eyes beheld the scene as if it were happening in real life. I could see the pool of sea water and the collection of olives gathered in its depths, fallen from the tree at the edge of the cliff, above.

Some might ask, "What were you smoking? What drugs were you taking?" But there was none of that. Hallucination? I have no proof that it was otherwise, so it remains easy to dismiss.

I chose as the location for the refugee settlement and site of their new capital city, Pel es Atenai (Pallas Athena), a spot on the old coast now several dozen feet below sea level, just off the modern coast of Sardinia. At that time, the island was joined as one with Corsica, to the North. Will archaeologists one day find ruins of their settlement at this location? The myth of Odysseus tells of strange people with powerful magic living around the Tyrrhenian Sea. Could those have been the children of Atlantis?

Merla, my novel's main character, had lost many friends and loved ones when Atlantis was swallowed by the Atlantic. One of them had been her former lover.

In one scene, as refugees are arriving from other collection points, Merla is consecrating the ground whereupon they will be building their new town or "pel." The last batch of refugees arrives and Merla pays little attention to them, until one man lingers at the shuttle which brought them. Suddenly, Merla found it impossible to breathe. The image of the man standing there looked exactly like her lost lover, Aten.

While writing this scene, I suddenly found myself overwhelmed with emotion. Again, I could see the scene vividly as if I was experiencing it in real life. It took me quite by surprise. The feeling poured out as a heavy mix of relief, joy, pent up grief and bewilderment, but also intense love. And just as suddenly, I found a river of tears pouring down my face.

In the past, I had thought such descriptions of emotion to be unreal. I had never seen tears flow like a river, but here I was experiencing it for the first time. Yes, I had cried before, but never with the generous flow experienced that day. Was the mental image only an hallucination? I have no proof of it, but I'm convinced that it was a genuine memory—a memory of a love story long before our own histories began.

Can I remember a past life? Yes, I have remembered many, some with greater clarity than others. Prove it? I don't need to. I'm quite happy with the knowledge I have.

More by this Author


Comments 18 comments

winbo profile image

winbo 4 years ago

interesting..


lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi, @winbo. Thanks for dropping by.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Thank you for a well-thought out hub on a controversial subject. Past life memories are like ghosts; those who've never seen one will never believe they exist. Also, thanks for mentioning many past life memories are mere snippets and rarely "full length".

As for the 5-yr-old who searched for and found the cache of gold he'd hidden, I've been on the lookout for years for a very distinctive diamond-studded "cocktail" ring, given to me as an engagement ring in the 1760s. NO clue where it might be now (sigh...). ;D


lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thank you, @JamaGenee, for your insightful comments. I think as children most of us catch a lot of snippets from the past and they help to mold our interpretation of the present. I remember when I was four seeing a nude calendar for the first time (in my grandfather's garage--oops!). It left quite an impression on me, but there also seemed to be something very familiar about it all, and I wasn't merely remembering my mother.

As for your 1760s ring, I'm sure you have the ability to know exactly where it is right now. All you have to do is decide to know. It's that simple. Need help? Ask God.


jagthehat profile image

jagthehat 4 years ago

When I came to Asia for the first time from the UK I wrote a novel set in 18th century London and found myself taking the part of the protagonist with ease as if I had lived the story before.

The novel is about the past life regression of a young Englishman to a retarded youth who lived with his step sister in London 1754. His intention is to bury an antique and dig it up in his own century.

During my research I found a magnetic fascination with that period and wrote 140 thousand words with no problem; often not referring to my research notes. I was convinced that I had lived many of the scenes before, even a stay at Newgate prison, a trial at the Old Bailey and my ultimate execution at Tyburn gallows.

I now live in Angeles City, PI, where I finished the book; now only 85000 words, which is published on Kindle. However, although I have enjoyed the few years working on it I have feeling of relief, not relief from the work, but from reliving that painful past life.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

I had an experience similar (in a way) to jagthehat's. My first time in London, I think due to jet lag and trying to see too much in a short time putting me into an "alpha" state, I kept seeing scenes of 16th or 17th century London "overlaid" on whatever I was looking at in the present.

The incident that finally registered as "odd" was watching a very fancy carriage with a coat of arms on the door and pulled by four matched horses cross a very busy street in West Hampstead. Buses and cars were whizzing along, but the carriage and team went "through" them as if they weren't there!

It was then that I remembered seeing cobblestone streets instead of the asphalt that currently covered them, people scurrying about in fashions from 200 or 300 years ago, and on occasion, on an otherwise sunny day, even the smoky fog that until only recently was so common in London. I never got any sense I was looking at a past life, but might have if I'd recognized from the beginning that the scenes were from a totally different time!


lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks, @jagthehat, for the lovely story. I'm glad I finally read what you wrote. I know exactly what you mean.

When I was a teen in Rockville, Maryland, I fell in love with the music of Rachmaninoff. Years later, when I first heard the words, "Oi gevalt," and "shtetl," I remembered the feelings I'd had listening to Rachmaninoff and sometimes Tchaikovsky. Was I Jewish in Eastern Europe -- Russia, perhaps? I wouldn't doubt it.

I see that you also live in the Philippines. Beautiful place. Nothing like Russia or Atlantis.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks, @JamaGenee, for your added story. I love hearing about these things.

I know that I am not this Homo sapiens body that I wear, so it's easier for me to understand stories of this kind.

I long for the time when I am no longer attached to this physical existence. I wouldn't mind continuing with a body, but only if I am completely unattached -- merely observant.


Jesse Mugnier profile image

Jesse Mugnier 4 years ago from Jersey

This is amazing! I have always wanted to do hypnosis to tap into my subconcious and find out who I was before I was...well, me!

That book you wrote, is it published? It sounds amazing and I'd love to read it.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Jesse. I agree, amazing! And even more amazing is that you don't need hypnosis to remember. Faith (perfect confidence) can accomplish that, though it can prove a bit tricky. Ego is a pretty substantial barrier and distraction.

The book is currently in self-published e-book form for Windows at http://www.tharsishighlands.com/fwd/edgeofremembra...


Jesse Mugnier profile image

Jesse Mugnier 4 years ago from Jersey

Thank you Carl, I'm really excited to read this book!


lone77star profile image

lone77star 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

And thank you, Jesse. I'd like to get your feedback.


Violet Flame profile image

Violet Flame 3 years ago from Auckland, NZ

Hi lone77star, thank you for this excellent hub about past life memories, I enjoyed both the stories of the young boy who remembers his former life as a soldier and your own amazing account of a real life "vision" from the Atlantic life. It makes one wonder whether this former self, bubbling in your subconscious, was what prompted your initial fascination with Atlanta and the desire to write the novel at the first place. Like you said at the introduction of your hub, re-incarnation is considered a "fact" in many Eastern civilisation. I grew up in Taiwan, thinking everyone "knows" that they've lived many lives before, it's not until we moved to the western society that I found out it wasn't at all a shared belief. In fact, your hub gives me the courage to write about my own past life memory. For me, they come to me through dreams. xoxo


lone77star profile image

lone77star 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks, @Violet Flame. I look forward to reading your hub on the subject.

It's interesting the divisions in culture. So many people are afraid of differences. I have always lived life celebrating our diversity and find it disconcerting whenever I meet someone who holds a hefty prejudice or fixed idea about life. Humility and openness to learn are so much more rewarding.


Violet Flame profile image

Violet Flame 3 years ago from Auckland, NZ

Luckily, our culture everywhere is becoming more diverse and mixed. Hopefully that means we will become more and more open minded as a race. I was quite thrilled to find a movie Hereafter by Matt Damon (directed by Clint Eastwood) addressing the idea of afterlife and Near Death Experience. Only one little tiny step away from reincarnation!!! lol (my hub is titled Past Life Dreams) xo


lone77star profile image

lone77star 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Thanks, Violet. I agree. Diversity and openness help to break the clutches of ego that separate us.

What is sad, though, is that the very rich are attempting to consolidate their power by playing on our egos to deepen the divisions. Such divisiveness distracts us while they finalize their plans to take over the world. It's sad that anyone would feel the need to do something so selfish, but it's also good news. It means that Revelation (last book of the Bible) is already being played out. I don't like to see good people get hurt, and many will, but it also means that the Kingdom of God is coming, and likely within my lifetime. We've already had the rebirth of Israel (1948?). And we've had the "falling" of the "great star" named "Chernobyl" ("wormwood" in Ukrainian) which spread its pestilence across a third of the Old World. And the Rockefellers have already made it clear they intend to have all of us microchipped without which no one will be able to buy or sell anything (Revelation 13).

I have also seen "Hereafter." A beautiful movie. The romantic ending tends to open the "reincarnation" possibility -- a link between the Matt Damon character and the lead female. Beautiful!

We live in a fabulous era. Much of society is hurtling toward decadent materialism, and some are opening their spiritual eyes to their own true identities -- the child of God within.

You might also find another of my hubs interesting on our spiritual nature:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/An-Out-of-...

The incident discussed in this hub helped me to understand why reincarnation was such a vital part of our existence. The ego we created so long ago is not easily dismissed, even after thousands of years, but only because we tend to cling to our possessions. All it takes is a decision to let go.


Violet Flame profile image

Violet Flame 3 years ago from Auckland, NZ

talking about romantic ending and reincarnation, I am instantly reminded of Vincent Ward's What Dreams May Come, probably my all time favorite! The idea that hell is also a mind set is so brilliant-- the ultimate ego playground!

Sometimes it takes extreme emotional anguish for one to finally relinquish the ego, as it happened to Eckart Tolle and Jan Frazier (a less known author of "When Fear Falls Away"). Very few will willingly surrender their ego when life is all peachy. Conscious surrendering of the ego goes against the basic training of being human, so much so, one surrenders the ego in one moment, and it's back in the very next. At least that's what it's like for me right now. It's like that magic coin that you keep on giving it away but finding it in your purse again the next day. Maybe that's why some go for total renunciation, not even a pocket for the magic ego coin to slip back into.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

"What Dreams May Come" is one of my favorite movies, full of passion and discovery. The ending was compelling and tender. And I loved how heaven for the main character was initially made of paint.

Thanks for some lovely thoughts.

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