The belief that our souls are reborn, or reincarnated, dates back over 3,000 years. Discussions of the subject can be found in the ancient traditions of India, Greece, and the Celtic Druids. It's a tantalizing belief that we have lived before and may live again. But as a large body of evidence indicates, this is true…for what purpose? But we’ll get to possible reasons shortly. First, what clues might arise to indicate we’ve had past lives?
Most of us have experienced the eerie feeling of déjà vu - the sudden, surprising feeling that an event we are going through at the moment has happened exactly this way before. One study revealed that Déjà vu is experienced by more than 70 percent of people at some point. .While scientists and psychiatrists insist there are neurological explanations for these phenomena, others wonder if these strange feelings could be vague, fleeting memories of past lives? .
DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES
Recurring dreams and nightmares also have been suggested as being memories or at least clues of past lives. These are not recollections of people, places or events that have happened in this life, yet they recur in some dreams often and could be memories of something important that happened in a past life. Likewise, can nightmares be reflections of past life traumas that have clung to our spirits and haunt our sleep.
FEARS AND PHOBIAS
Where do your fears and phobias come from? Fear of such things as spiders, snakes, and heights seem to be built into the human psyche as part of our evolved survival. By spending several years on a psychologist's couch, one might get to the root of those odd fears, but those who believe in past lives wonder if these phobias are carried over from a previous lifetime. For example, does a fear of water indicate a previous death by drowning? Perhaps the fear of heights is an indication that a previous life is ended by falling down a great distance?
OTHER PAST LIFE INDICATIONS
Other clues that may cause one to believe they have had past lives is an affinity for a past era. I’ve often wondered why as a child I enjoyed wearing a Civil War uniform when playing with a young friend who dresses a Union officer? Cases of previous identities can also be made based on uncontrolled habits, inexplicable pains and birthmarks.
It’s interesting to note that some believe child prodigies have developed certain skill sets in such a high degree in past lives that they become deeply ingrained in their persona. So when that soul reincarnates, the skills come along in the new body fully intact and a child prodigy is born. For example, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart believed that he had been a musician in many past lives where he had developed his amazing technical skills.
PURPOSE OF REINCARNATION
Opinions about the purpose of reincarnation vary. I happen to consider Michael Newton, Ph.D., a retired psychologist and master hypnotherapist, who for over a period of 40 years conducted a vast number of past life hypnosis sessions, to be a highly knowledgeable resource in this quest for understanding. In his words, Dr. Newton’s findings indicate “the essential purpose of reincarnation is self-improvement. The effort of moving toward a greater goodness and a conjunction with the source that created us is the prime motivator of souls.”