Rediscovering Our Past Lives

I find nothing exotic or woo-woo about reincarnation, karma and past lives which obey laws as immutable as physics. Nor are they specifically Buddhist. Many theologies have embraced these beliefs or did so before they were suppressed by the power plays of ecclesiastical authority. From my experience, the gradation of life after life is no different than successive grades in school. At each stage, we become wiser individuals while progressing to a state of full enlightenment. We choose to experience different genders, races, nationalities and faiths in order to gain a well-rounded experience of the human condition. The accompanying Law of Karma allows us to atone and balance out any transgressions committed along the way.

Note that I deliberately use the word “re-discovering.” We initially discovered our past lives when we lived through them. How, therefore, do we find out about where, when and who we have been?

SEE ALSO: Understanding The Law Of Cause And Effect: Karma In Buddhism

How To Go About Discovery

For starters, here’s how we don’t re-discover our past lives – by spending a ridiculous amount of money having some “psychic” tell us. I committed that error early in my life where I was told that I once lived in Ancient Rome. “Big deal,” I thought to myself, “So did everyone else.” We will find more fulfillment from our own discovery. By listening carefully, we can discover our previous existences without the input of others. Since early childhood, hints and clues have revealed themselves whether in dreams, Deja vus, and most importantly, inexplicable, yet tangible relationships with people, places and historical eras. Part of the fun is assembling all these pieces together to unravel and connect the patterns of the past. Think of yourself as a Karmic Detective.

Becoming a Karmic Detective

For example, as I grew up in my Baby Boomer childhood (born in 1950,) I was obsessed with World War II. The epic was hard to avoid seeing that all our fathers had participated to some degree while television and movies inundated us with heroic stories and images of “The Good War.”

My own Karmic Detective work proceeded as follows. Although well versed in the major events of the conflict. I found myself more attracted to the European rather than the Pacific theater of operation. Within that, I narrowed my focus to the air war over Germany. Even then, there was one aircraft among so many others that piqued my interest, the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. As I got older, I immersed myself in books and movies about American POWs in the German Stalags to the degree that I began to dream about having been one. I must have watched “The Great Escape” about two dozen times but refused to view “Hogan’s Heroes,” one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1960s. I found nothing humorous about German POW camps. My distaste was unusually visceral for an adolescent.

In 1995, I flew as a passenger in an actual restored B-17. After we landed, I spent an additional hour on the tarmac, unable to leave. The Fort was tied down for the night. The flight crew had departed to the nearest motel. The luminescent dusk sky shone off her skin and the full moon reflected on her nose. I walked around the plane in an everlasting circle, touching her tenderly and sighing, as if romancing a new lover. When I met my first wife, she told me that a photo of her as a young child had been pasted to the nose of every B-17 in her uncle’s squadron.

As such, I’ve always felt more like a dislocated World War II veteran than a child of the Vietnam War era. For me, war translates in my psyche as Sherman tanks, half-tracks and mud-splattered dogfaces, as opposed to Huey choppers or grunts humping through the elephant grass. Who and where we were, however, is less important than which life lessons advanced our soul growth. The traumas of my World War II lifetime caused me to renounce the futility of war in any future lives as I no longer sought any causes worth killing and dying for. I admitted that there had always been an attraction to combat; the lure of honor and glory, the brotherhood formed with fellow warriors and the need to exhibit courage.

I came to understand that none of these rationales could compensate for war’s sheer horror, suffering and waste. The lesson was evidently learned. When I was drafted in March 1971, a doctor awarded me a medical deferment based on my eczema, an ailment that mysteriously disappeared a few decades later.

Listening is Key

In conclusion, I would advise that we listen carefully to our own personal rhythms. Explore, remember and keep your senses open to those elements of life and relationships that attract or repel you. It is not unusual for a previous karmic cycle to re-appear in this existence and rearrange your current life path. If you trust your intuition, it will lead you to a heightened plane that never could have been previously imagined.

And never forget that who you were in a past life is less important than whom you are now and the evolved entity you wish to become in the future.


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Daniel Brown

I was born in New York City in 1950. From 1970-1984, I lived at the Renaissance Community (originally the Brotherhood…

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