Dreaming Past Lives
Recognizing Past Life Dreams
By far, the most easily recognizable past life dream is the one that recurs. The dream doesn’t necessarily repeat exactly, but the same location, time period, character or event replays over and over in different scenarios.
There have been a number of people who have had dreams or nightmares about past lives which then produced verifiable evidence. One such case convinced even the most diehard skeptic:
In 1962 Mrs. Smith went to consult with a psychiatrist, Dr. Guirdham. She was looking for help for a recurring nightmare she had experienced since her teens. However, the dream was now coming two or three times a week. In her dream she was lying on her back on the floor while a man approached her from behind. She didn’t know what was going to happen but was absolutely terrified.
Although Dr. Guirdham remained calm and professional, he had to hide his surprise while listening to his new patient because he had been having the same nightmare for more than 30 years. The doctor didn’t tell Mrs. Smith about this. The psychiatrist reported that strangely, after this meeting, neither he nor his patient had the nightmare again.
Though Dr. Guirdham was certain that his patient was psychologically healthy, he continued with the sessions because he wanted to know more about Mrs. Smith’s knowledge of the past. Over numerous meetings, she provided him with names of people she said had lived in the 13th century and described things that happened to them. She also told him that he, too, had lived then and was known as Rogiet de Cruisot.
As a psychiatrist, Dr. Guirdham was familiar with claims of reincarnation but never gave the concept much credence. However, intrigued by Mrs. Smith’s so-called memories and his own dreams, he decided to investigate further.
Guirdham discovered that the names given to him by his patient were indeed accurate, though only mentioned in fairly rare history records of the Middle Ages. Those records had been written in French and had never been translated into English. The people Mrs. Smith described were all members of the Cathar sect –a group of Novatian and other Christians embracing a form of dualism and extraordinary practices, persecuted by Roman Catholics as heretics- in southern France and northern Italy in the Middle Ages.
Over time, Dr. Guirdham met a total of eleven individuals who had memories of their past lives living together in a Cathar group. None of the subjects were drugged or hypnotized; past names and incidents simply appeared in their minds, according to Guirdham.
Mrs. Smith also gave the doctor copies of drawings and verses of songs she had written as a teenager. Experts in Medieval French confirmed that she was writing in langue doc, the language of Southern France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
She went on to astonish experts with her vast knowledge of the Cathars in Touluse, who had been persecuted by the Inquisition. In 1944, she reproduced, word for word, songs which were only discovered in archives in 1967. She knew historical details which only came to light later after painstaking investigation, such as:
· correct drawings of old French coins, jewelry and the layout of buildings
· correct details of the family and social relationships of people who do not appear in texts but who were ultimately traced though the records of the Inquisition
· the crypt of a certain church was used to hold religious prisoners
· details of rituals and religious dress.
Professor Nellie, the greatest living authority on the period, was so impressed with the accuracy and quality of the information Mrs. Smith provided that he advised Guirdham that in the future, when there was conflict between the accepted historical view and the memories of his patient, he should “go by the patient.”
Guirdham later went on to discover several other people close to him who all shared the same memories which he documented in his book, The Cathars and Reincarnation.
In Memories, Dreams, and Reflections, Carl Jung wrote that as a boy he remembered in great detail being a very old man in the eighteenth century.
The Mrs. Smith case is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to past life dreams. It’s generally more difficult to spot the evidence and less precise.
Uncovering Past Life Dreams
The most common and probably easiest way to uncover details about a previous life is to analyze your dream/s. Look at dreams that recur (as already mentioned), connect dreams that share common elements, and pay attention to dreams with historical or familiar (but unknown) settings. Many times a former life may be reconstructed from many different dreams that you’ve had over the years.
It’s also helpful to identify dreams that seem to take place within the same time frame. Say you had several dreams of being a soldier in the 1800’s. You could connect several dreams by similar or related elements. There may be trains from the 1800’s in related dreams; people dressed according to that period; architecture from that era; mannerisms and speech patterns of characters that coincide with the specific time or place. All of these can help you to isolate the time when you lived the former life.
Once you’ve uncovered patterns, connections and similarities, you may be able to recall additional details by concentrating on the particulars of these dreams, like other people in the dream, the location, the events. This may trigger the memory of other events of your past life, like your name, place of birth, local scenery. The key here is to concentrate. You will need to find a nice quiet place and put yourself into a meditative state. You can use the clues below to assist you in identifying past life dreams and helping you recall further details.
Clues to Past Life Dreams
Historical Details: Our dreams usually consist of people, places and things that are familiar to us in the present. Past life dreams will most likely take place in the past, and will involve period clothing or historical settings.
Logical and Sequential: Most of our dreams seem rapid and confusing. They’re full of chaos and inconsistencies. You start out in the living room with your grandparents and then you have to leave but can’t find your shoes. You’re then suddenly standing in the centre of a theatre conducting an orchestra with a hockey stick. In past life dreams, there’s a logical sequence of events. You don’t jump from scene to scene. You’re conscious mind has nothing to do with creating a story to go with the images; your subconscious mind is projecting a memory onto the dreamscape pre-written. Your left brain doesn’t need to create a logical narrative, it’s already logical. The dream, or I should say, the memory, is coming to you from a higher source, and all you have to do is watch.
Unhealed Issues: Past life dreams allow us a look at the past life origins of our present day fears. When people undergo past life regressions through hypnosis, the first instance they are brought to is usually the most traumatic moment in the most traumatic lifetime. Fears and issues that repeat during waking and dreaming life may point to a past life event, which may be reflected in similar dreams. For example, I am absolutely terrified of getting lost. (Pre-GPS times) I wouldn’t go anywhere I hadn’t gone before –with someone else- for fear of getting lost. When I do get lost I experience intense panic attacks, I freak out, can’t think straight, and generally become someone else, not my normal, organized, prepared and optimistic self. I’ve had several “lost” dreams over the years, which always causes anxiety and fear upon waking. Perhaps I was lost in a past life that was very traumatic.
Appear as Someone Other Than Yourself: In most present life dreams you either see yourself as you look today from an outsider’s point of view, observing your interactions, or you’re living the dream from inside your body. Either way, you manifest in the present and your appearance stays the same as it looks at this exact moment. In past life dreams, you manifest at a different age or as a different gender, or race, with different religious beliefs.
Past Life Dreams Feel Different: When you awake from a past life dream you’re very aware of its importance. Your recollection of the dream is sharp and distinctive. It feels more like a long-lost memory than a dream. And it never fades. Years later, you may still remember the smallest details and emotions. The dream imprints itself onto your psyche and never goes away.
Techniques for Dreaming of Past Lives
The simplest way to start this process is first and foremost, tell yourself you want to dream of the most relevant past life in relation to your life at this time. Then, imagine yourself falling backward through time as you fall asleep. Focus on the feeling of being somewhere else. As you do this, you can choose to go back through your life, imagining that you’re getting younger and younger. Then, go back to birth. Imagine that you’re going beyond your birth. Soon, you’ll feel like you’re falling into another time all together.
It may take some time to train your mind to do this, however, after a while, the past life dreams will come and you’ll want to write them down as soon as you wake up. You may already be having dreams of a past life, or of several past lives. To tell the difference, look for the clues outlined above.
Why Do we Dream of Past Lives?
Past life dreams come to us for several reasons. It may be that you’re currently experiencing a challenge that has its roots in a past life experience, or it may be that you’ve met someone who you knew in a past life. Past life dreams may also happen to the spiritual seeker, who is actively seeking to find out more about themselves, and their connection to the Universe. However, since dreams are meant to help the dreamer through their current life situation, the best course of action is to see how the dream can help in the here and now, as Edgar Cayce suggested.
Past Lives and Relationships
Sometimes dreaming of a past life can shed light on a current relationship.
Mike had started to feel shame about his very active sex life with his wife, Heidi, and he found himself withdrawing from her. Then he had a dream where they were actually brother and sister. After this dream he was able to pinpoint that his shame came from feeling as if he were with his sister and not his wife. He knew that in this life he had committed to her as her husband, and was able to reconcile his feelings toward her.
Past Lives and Phobias
Sometimes our past lives hold the key to current life phobias and fears.
Leslie was fine driving as a passenger in a car, but when it came time to learn to drive, she was filled with a terrible anxiety. Neither of her parents could understand this as they thought all teens were excited to drive. Leslie was 22 years old before she got her driver’s license. She had a dream where she was a teenager – only in her dream she was a young man. She took her parents’ car without asking, and hit and killed a pedestrian. Leslie was able to tell herself that in the dream, she had been irresponsible and careless, and this life was much different. She learned to drive with no problem.
Some past-life dreams are simply brief hypnogogic images that sometimes deal with death. In the following dream, Michael glimpsed a past life during a relaxation session at the end of a yoga class. This dream is called “Revolutionary War”:
Some experts say that choices and fears we had in past lives can, in fact, carry over into this one. Someone who has a fear of water, for example, could very well have died in a previous life by drowning. Pay close attention to your dreams. When you’re looking for these clues, you’ll find them.
I was drifting off to sleep when I saw myself as a soldier with several other soldiers. We were all carrying rifles. The uniforms were from another time. I sensed it was the American Revolution. I’d no sooner glimpsed the image than an explosion of some sort ripped me apart. I watched the scenario dispassionately, even though I knew it was “me” who was killed. It was really vivid, a movie of the mind, and it ended with my death.
In Michael’s case, the dream of being a soldier was startling, because in his current life he had refused to serve in the Vietnam War and had even been tried and convicted for his belief that the war was immoral. “Maybe my war experience in that other life affected my decision to avoid involvement in war in this life,” he says.
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t uncover any past life dreams. There may be several reasons for this: you may not have remembered it –thus didn’t record it; you didn’t record the complete dream which resulted in some important and obvious elements being left out; you may be a brand new soul. If, however, you have a nagging feeling that you’ve had one or more past lives, practice dream incubation –ask your dreaming self for a past life dream-memory. Don’t forget to record your intention and the dream or thoughts upon waking.
Good luck and good dreaming.
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