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Reincarnation and The Self

(In)Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Written by René K. Müller
Aug 23 & Dec 16, 1995

Here a brief overview of questions and answers about Reincarnation and the Self. While I was working on Spirit-Web and setting up my own material for RKMCorner, I considered to write some thoughts on Reincarnation based on a lot of email exchanges, here's the result.

So, take this as my personal view and perception on Reincarnation, not as a general collection of resources and explanations like a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).

Is there any proof about Reincarnation?
This question poses a lot of problems, since it's not so clear what a "proof" is, and what as such would count. Mostly, people are looking for physical confirmation. For example, there is a story so far I heared:
A man was remembering a past-life as German soldier in World-War II. During a past-life regression, he revealed his name as a soldier, and described the way he died, and expressed a pain in the neck. The hypnotherapist was looking for soldier records of WW-II and found an entry of with the name his client said, and a short note that this soldier was killed by a bullet into the neck.

In the last few years there were also books published about descriptions of children who described life-times they were adults and described their surrounding and relatives, which could be partly confirmed by historic records.

On the other hand, it really depends what you allow yourself to believe to be a proof. When you start to allow yourself to think and discover other life-streams or even so called past-lives, the issues of proof will change. Not that you are not looking for some evidence, but the inner knowing (beyond a doubt) will enter, instead of looking for physical evidence such as records in book-libraries.

Why don't people remember having lived already?
There are many reasons, a few common ones I may briefly overview:
  1. One major issue is, the mental concepts we have about life. We judge those who don't live as we do, and blame those who live other life-styles, and maybe perceive certain aspects of life differently. This issue of judging is really importantbecause it's the same mechanism that prevents us from remembering. For example, if you lived a life-style or a behaviour, you currently would judge as unacceptable, you keep this remembrance in your subconsciousness.
  2. Lots of experiences are repeated (not just of past-lifes) and often we realize, that certain happenings are looking similar to each other. We as soul search for possibilities to realize and then release certain patterns, but we prevent ourselves from remembering consciously the failure, which in truth are not a failure, but non-released patterns we keep and we search to understand.

Excerpt of Christian Rationalism teaching:

A normal physical body may be said to be a perfect, finished piece of sculpture. When the spirit incarnates, it isolates itself from its past and forgets completely its previous incarnations. It only retains in its subconscious the experience gained from past ordeals and the tendencies resulting from the use of its free will. That is extremely good for the spirit. Firstly, the veil of matter prevents identification of enemies of previous incarnations and makes reconciliation possible, bringing them closer, without grudges or ill will. Secondly, with temporary oblivion of past mistakes, which so often humble, shame, subdue and even alienate the will, the incarnate spirit sort of begins a new existence in each passage through Earth.

Maybe I have to say too, that not remembering past-lives does not indicate lack of awareness. Some aware souls just don't pay that much attention to other life-times they lived, and maybe realized the moment of Now so deeply that all life-times are lived as one experierence - and this is then indeed a deep insight of soul.

How I can find out what I was in a previous life?
First, a lot of people suppose someone else has to tell them, and they wish to hear some mysterious and wonderful descriptions of lives they lived. Alot of personal projections and expectations appear and desire to be fulfilled. It's alot of emotional and mind-related projection, which express an imbalance. For example to have solutions in past-lifes for problems which have their origin much more in a lack of self-confidence and facing the current challenges (problems) in current situation in their present lives.

This is the major difficulty to differentiate an emotional projection and a real inner emotional remembrance.

The issue to remember has to do with yourSelf, because you lived it, not someone else. Maybe others can assist you to figure out different aspects by their more objective and unattached point of view.

Anyway, the first thing to help to start remembering: look at patterns or cirumstances which often happened to you, maybe in different surrounding, but primarly always the same.

Open yourself for any possibility, whether you were male or female, or good, or an evil personality. Don't judge yourself with your current belief-system, let it open. Judging is the most effective veil to cover insights of past-lives or bigger understanding of Self.

Concrete issues:

  • Look at the family you came from, that you have choosen and look at which role you are playing, that somehow prevents your from being yourself.
  • Look at the languages you learned quite easily, and that you feel connected, because you like the sound.
  • List in yourself happenings or characteristics you hate, not just dislike, but really hate.
  • Watch yourself when events are triggering remembrances (ie. during vacation, when you came across a familar smell in the air, or a certain song which connects you emotionally with a wonderful time), such triggers and feelings we may allow to be, to happen, without being censored or denied by the conscious-mind.

Some of my personal thoughts on remembering:

I had lot of feelings of being killed in the desert and I drew a lot of pictures, but without really knowing what I drew. It just come outof my inner. And I was often playing with knives pretending like I would cut my own hands. I wasn't conscious of this until others said to me: "Please stop playing with that knife!". I expressed my inner impressions when I was killed in a past-life (or even another time-frame) and my body was cut into pieces . . . and I still kept the impressions. Playing with the knife was one of the obvious signs, besides others mainly feelings and pictures I kept in me, which I didn't share with others.

The non-balanced impressions were knocking in my inner door and penetrating my conscious-mind, waiting to be balanced and accepted into mySelf, my whole being: conscious mind and subconsciousness. The experience was somehow still going on, and jumped into this time-frame and affected my being . . . and I perceived it in myself as emotions without any origin in this present-life, it was very intense.

I became very sad, reached a real depression, and all the pain of being killed and especially the circumstances arround it . . . I was too identified with the experience, meaning I still was connected with it in this present time-frame and I was unable to see beyond the experience: I didn't die, I just was forced to leave my body, and I somehow indulged in self-pity (victimization pattern).

You may read other recalls like Mary's Recognitions or Being A Victim shared by Charles Spiegel.
We are not human beings having a spiritual-experience,
but we are spiritual beings having a human-experience.

That is the consciousness which we finally forgot on the journey into matter.

How much time is between the incarnations?
One answer goes according the karmic urge to solve inbalances, as the soul likes to solve events or happenings with another experience in physical plane to balance a previous existance. More short the time is, more was the urge to solve it.

A friend told me his last incarnation was 800 years ago, which he could recall quite well. Another friend revealed to me it was just a short time of one year before he took another body. I would say for 1900-1950 a time-span of 10-50 years, this means people died between 1920-1960 are emodied today already again, please don't take it too literally, since the World-War I and II were really an intense time of coming and going, so to speak.

The timespan between incarnations in earlier times of the middle ages was longer than today, which is because of the number of challenges which are possible to be experienced in one life today, which further has to do with the reality shift on Earth right now. The urge today to be incarnated is a kind of desire to participate in the religious, cultural and social changes.

What we are doing between the incarnations?
Before answering the questions, we have to remember that the projection of consciousness into matter is beyond time and space. But also, if the embodied consciousness portion is addicted or still connected with matter, it will remain in the astral-plane, and there the issue of obsession (in a heavy way such as posession) and ghosts gets starting (look at Reincarnation: "After Death" Problems).

For example entities who experience a violent death or even leaving their bodies are confused and keep a lot of impressions and attention still toward physical plane. Such so called bounded-entities are not generally "bad" or so (as ghost-stories most imply), but are actually lost, because they feel that they have lost their connection to the physical, and therefore wish to participate, but are unable without a physical body, so they use hosts (other people) and project their desires into people's minds. This issue is common with drug problems and some psychological diseases (schizophrenia). We start slowly to preceive the healing process in this manner too.

For beings who aren't bounded in such painful trap, they remain in a more subtle realm of the astral-plane, where they prepare themselves for another projection into a body.

The "time" between incarnations is perceived differently by every being, dependening on their insights of what the physical life was for, and the connection to matter.

How do I find which time (date or year) I lived?
This not easy so long as the conscious-mind is defending that your consciousness or existance was without this present belief-system and mind.

Dates and particular details are mostly forwarded by entities who assist your current incarnation. They are called guardians angels, who are connected often to friendships of past-lives or other life-times you were assisting them in a more physical manner.

I can't get into details of guardian angels, since the subject gets then really huge. Just that in short, your existence on the physical is a process requires a lot of preparation. Generally said, incarnating isn't just an accident, or result of having karma, as some superficially claim. There are many beings involved, and primarly you as multi-dimensional self, is choosing to express itSelf on the physical as well (more below).

When remembering past-lives, most of your conscious-mind becomes a receiver, if the belief-system is prepared. You receive impressions from theAkashic Record or higher (more subtle) planes, where any happenings of the physical plane are accessible, like a pool. When the subtle perceptions are expanded, the mind is functioning conscious as pattern storage of subtle planes, Today the term channelings is popular (earlier they were described asvisions or revelations). Then in your conscious mind appears data, like someone else triggered synopsis in your head. If you are more trained in order of allowance, you get any date or information of a happening or so, just by sending from your mind (as a tool) the pattern, so the connected patterns bounce back to you, where your mind receives it.

Is suicide a shortcut to solve problems?
No, it's a very traumatic experience for the person to find him or herself into state of confusion after death, and seeing nothing is solved, but a chance is missed. The soul is pulled to very dark astral places full sadness and anguish, where other spirits reside and are highly confused of what they did. After a period of "time" a new incarnation gets prepared and the soul comes into physical plane with no remembrance of the previous suicide. But the situation previously tried to escape will appear again, and the person has to face the very same issue again. No shortcut at all. Often people in depression or thoughts of doing suicide are accompanied by dazzled spirits who left their bodies by intentional death or even suicide.
Do animals, plants and minerals also reincarnate?
Since the concept of individualization in animal, plants and mineral kingdoms aren't deeply established, we can't say the same being is incarnating into another body. It's much more a consciousness-stream. In the case of cats or pets in general, it's has been reported that the personality of the consciousness didn't change that much, and could keep it from one form (body) into another.

Here is one of my own experiences:

We had a dog called Silas, and he learned a special behaviour: how to accompany a horse, and some very specific things. After a year he was killed by a truck. A few months later my girlfriend received another dog, that needed a new home, and we gave him a home. We called him Misha. He had similar colors to Silas, but his eyes were different, and also a few behaviours were different. But Misha was knew some things, like what my girlfriend just thaught Silas about accompanying a horse. It was like, he was from the same "soul-stream", but not entirely the same personality as Silas.

About pets - you may read Animals Serving Humankind by Birgit Klein.

Can a human incarnate "backward" into an animal-form?
Some schools say no, some religions (vedic-culture, greeks etc.) think it's possible. In my opinion, the answer is not just yes or no. A closer view is needed about what a soul is. I may use the terminology of Consciousness instead of Soul to describe it:

Each body has certain features, the human-body allows a deep individualization of the consciousness, creates an "I am" consciousness, primarily the mind-ego (survival):

  • Human: Knowing I am this person, this age and so on; a personality identification.
  • Animals such as cats or dogs, also have individualized attributes; the consciousness is still deeply connected with nature, but also well-knowing about self-existance.
  • Other animals or plants are self-aware as well, but not that individualized, projecting themselves as group-consciousness.

Bodies are vessels that are able to keep a consciousness-stream. Since a human-body is a closed and individualized vessel, and a plant or stone is an open and less individualzed vessel, as the consciousness stream penetrates the surrounding in unity, oneness of nature.

A human soul or consciousness can't enter into a form of a plant as it is, it needs some flexibility. Some people who astral-project describe the feeling of connecting to a mountain, as partly loosing the identification of themselves, but a very intense feeling of being totally connected with nature.

So, if the soul-concept is limited in the physical personality (also still identified), it's not possible. But if the soul-concept is perceived as a consciousness projection into a body, then it's just another way to embody the consciousness.

Therefore, anything and everything is living . . . and self-aware, and it's just the human-mind and body that doesn't allow it sometimes to perceive it. Just as in cases of loving pets (cats and dogs) we may perceive the soul or a conscious personality. If we look with our heart to the world, we will know, everything is living and self-aware.

How many lives do people live on Earth?
It's very important to define what we call a life, and how we determine an entity. For an etheric projection into matter I know this:
I only met few people having their first life here, few more with 5-10 lifes (not much). I suppose somehow the average might be arround 10-20 lifes. I don't follow personally the view, that people have more than 50 lifes on Earth, this impressions just is about etheric projections of Self.

But on the other hand, if all embodied beings become one with the Christ-consciousness, how many incarnations does Christ has? Since Christ energy/presence isn't etheric, it penetrates every being: physical, astral or whatever plane.

In the case of a soul-family from the higher etheric individualize itSelf into different streams and embodies aspects into different physical bodies, their number of lives may reach hundreds or thousands. It really depends which portion of Self you count, which embodied itself. Such soul-families are an example:Family of Ra, Family of An and Isis and many others, which are also often refered as cosmic-energies.

Since there are past-lifes, are there also future-lifes?
Yes, we just focus into one time-frame, or more abstractly, into one possibility room, which is separated by the body and the physical senses which relate us to such a possibility-room or life. A future life doesn't have to be a life on Earth, even certain past-lives. A more detailed answer follows below.
What about previous lives on other planets?
That's an issue which soon follows and one needs to be very open for these concepts. Generally said, before incarnating or projecting the consciousness into physical plane, most entities choose more subtle planes, before taking body on Earth. Some common places or consciousness-focuses are the astral-planes of Venus, Jupiter and Sun. These planets are preparation areas prior to embodying yourself into matter and the physical plane.

More and more people (so-called Starseeds) remember and feel their connection to stars beyond our local solar-system: Pleiades, Sirius or other etheric doorways. We primarily refere to their physical aspects, but their etheric aspect is indeed the one which people truly feel connected.

What about being free of karma (or out of shamshara, wheel of birth and death)?
Especially eastern religion systems describe being trapped into matter of the physical plane, and give ways to get free, as some Yoga-Systems suppose. My view is much more, that the life in duality of the physical plane is an opportunity to grow. Not for leaving or escaping, but much more mastering the duality of good and evil, and looking behind the veil. In this view, karma is an instrument, a tool to realize duality.

You become free of karma, when you realized its teaching.

What's about parallel lives?
Some embodied presences (people) are able to perceive by realizing their multi-dimensional self as also other embodied presences, and are able to connect those presences as well. This may be also getting close of the subjects of soul family, and soul fragments. In this case of soul-fragments, almost the same consciousness embodies itself from the etheric into two or more different bodies, and often they don't know of each other. But usually the etheric presence only seeds one presence into matter, rarely two or more. From a more subtle plane it looks different . . .

Here is a short thought I received from Pat Ard:

If you can understand the concept that our souls are fragmented and existing on several planes, then you are ready to consider this: Our souls are indeed immense enough to exist in many realities at once. A small seed of our soul is all that is necessary to manifest in each reality. This allows our soul to manifest many times in each reality, plane, etc. In fact, we run into ourselves everyday. The person sitting next to you might, in fact, be a manifestation of your soul seed. Once you grasp this concept, consider that we are all, indeed, one.
When we started to reincarnate, when will it end?
Many people ask with their minds, what meaning it has to live so many lives on and on. But I may ask back, do you think one life is enough to experience all of life itself?

Let me share three hypothetical conversation fragments:

Person with no insights of past-lifes:

  • When did it start?
    -- I'm n-years old, what more I can say?
  • When will it end?
    -- Maybe I have a couple of years to enjoy.
  • Is it endless?
    -- No, definitly not, I hope so.

Person with some insights of different past-lifes:

  • When did it start?
    -- It's maybe my nth life or incarnation as the same entity or individuality. I do remember my first projection into human-form in a culture, which comes close to the description of Lemuria.
  • When will it end?
    -- It will be the last one, I will merge with other soul-aspects together. I will ascend, but I'm not sure whether I remain in my current physical body through the process.
  • Is it endless?
    -- Hmm . . . I suppose I will leave after the physical changes are over on Earth. I maybe return as another personality (after soul-merging) back on Earth, within a fully activated light-body, I don't know exactly.

A self-realized person may answer like this:

  • When did it start?
    -- It never started, it just IS.
  • When will it end?
    -- It never will end, therefore.
  • Is it endless?
    -- Yes, eternity of the moment of Now, as the Now is the only thing we truly live . . . whether we do it in physical bodies or more subtle ones, our consciousness of Self never stops to be, just transforms and changes its expression.

Imagine you would dive into the ocean, but you would dive into many different areas in the same time, and you collect all impressions within yourSelf. Your sight and overview where you dived in is limited by the density of the water, you can look just few feet, because that's the perception which your senses allow you to pass through. The mind and ego serves to process this, to stay there. You are separated by the body you use, and by addiction to the limited perception.

When you leave your body when you "die", you recall all impressions (life-film) and you bring the essence into your Higher-Self, your non-embodied aspect of Self.

For example, experiences where you meet Yourself are the light-visions in Near Death Experiences (NDE), when you leave the physical plane and you meet your Self who sent you into matter. This insight is not very common, since the belief-system of people who had a NDE doesn't allow the possibility that they met their Self . . . but had visions of Jesus or other religious figures according their belief-system.

Another issue, some of the UFO encounters of so-called dancing lights are the future Selves who contacts the embodied presence of you. We just starting to understand this aspect in UFO-Phenomena - we indeed have to learn about ourSelves while discovering. It's indeed all interconnected, and so close we can't see it. We really forgot so much about who we are.

Back to the beginning and ending of (re)-incarnation process: between your "first" incarnation and "last" one, there is no time in between, because you entered the physical time from the etheric plane, where time is flexible . . . and non existant in its linear behaviour.

Multi-Dimensional-Self and Reincarnation, what's the connection?
The Self seeds itself into bodies, in different time-frames:
The embodied consciousness, with linear time perceptions, becomes partly aware of its multi-dimensional aspects, and starts to connect other time-frames. The easiest way to conceptualize it, is the past-lives or reincarnation perception, recognizing the connections between other projections of Self.
The view of reincarnation is a step to understanding the multi-dimensional self.

A few thoughts from Ann Albers:

What if we remove the notions of time and space when we discuss re-incarnation. Then, perhaps, we'd better remove the "re" and call it incarnation. Maybe our soul projects portions of its consciousness in different space/time frames . . . all at once! Thus my white / 30-year old Ann-self is here now typing, while my native self is off doing his business while my other selves are learning other lessons! I actually experienced this in a past-life regression hypnosis.

I've always been troubled by the notion that we hang out on earth, go somewhere, come back later, etc. I've always thought that time is a notion in this dimension, but not in the dimension of the soul. Thus, imagine yourself above a puzzle, looking down at the pieces which represent different lifetimes. Until you rise above it a bit you don't see the picture in its totality.

With this point of view, the timespan between incarnation is the nearness of the puzzle pieces. Are two life-times too interconnected with the glue of karma(ie. need for balance), we seed ourselves close together arround the different happenings (fast re-incarnation).

Excerpt of The Complete Ascension Manual written by Joshua David Stone:

The Process of Reincarnation --- When a soul extension has spent the needed amount of time resting and reviewing the recent life [bardo], he will begin planning for his next incarnation. He chooses his parents, brothers and sisters, educational opportunities, male or female body, country, skin color, and the astrological configuration to be born into. This is all decided upon by the soul extension, the soul, and the higher teachers and guides. [...] The true trauma is not death, but birth. A free spirit has now come back into the confines of a physical body that is not even developed yet. [...] A crib death occurs when the soul extension comes into the physical bodt and then changes his mind for some reason and returns back to spirit. The more obstaclesthe soul extension has chosen, the greater the opportunity for spiritual growth and to pay off karmic debts.