Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Past Lives

So today's Oprah was about past lives.

When I read the program description, I sort of rolled my eyes and thought it would be hokey.

Although the concept fits in with my own personal beliefs, whenever it is mentioned in the media it seems to involve flaky, scraggly haired people wearing crystals and talking about their third eye and clearly smelling bad.

I've got to say that I was really taken in by the psychiatrist (or whatever he was) who was discussing it. He didn't seem like a flake, he had a first class education, and he was very reluctant to believe in this sort of thing at first.

When I saw video of him hypnotizing people into sharing these "regressions", I was really captivated. Whatever these people were feeling, or remembering, it seemed undoubtedly genuine. They knew little details you wouldn't think they'd know and many times their current fears were based on their supposed past situations.

The whole episode sort of reinforced the strange set of beliefs I've cobbled together for myself. I consider myself a Christian, but I'm the type of Christian that makes my Baptist friends shake their heads and joke about saving my soul.

I do believe Jesus was sent by God and that he died for our sins, however, I do not believe this means every other religion is necessarily incorrect (a few of them are, but they mean well).

I think there is a Higher Power and that he doesn't care who leads you to Him or what you want to call Him. That seems to be the formula of most religions: one Higher Power, one Messiah/Prophet figure, one Ancient Literary Text, and the suggestion to live a good life and appreciate said Higher Power. The rest is just details.

Different rules, different books, different leaders, one Big Boss. I think it's the big picture that counts.

Anyway, I don't believe you just sit in heaven for ETERNITY. No way. I believe you go, see everyone you've missed, hang out for a while, and eventually decide to return to Earth to have new experiences and further evolve your soul. That this is what karma means, don't kick the dog because next time you may be the dog getting kicked. That this is why some people strike us as "old souls", because they've done this a lot of times before and have a greater understanding instinctually. (spellcheck is saying that's not a word, but I think it's a great word so spellcheck can kiss my ass). I also think it is why we are drawn to certain people or situations and why we have certain fears or feel called to certain professions.

A few years ago I read about this boy and I was really struck by the story. How would this little kid know all of this stuff?

It just really makes sense to me, so today when this guy was saying exactly everything I believe, and the memories and reactions these people were having seemed so genuine, like they were coming from SOMEWHERE, I was again overwhelmed by how right it seemed.

I remember my earliest dream (I had to be three or under because we weren't living in FL) was about someone putting me and my best friend at the time (Tara) into a pot belly stove and how terrified I was of the flames. For years I have had nightmares involving dying in a fire and I am NO FUN around a camp fire. We had a fire pit for a while, but we never used it because I would demand that the whole yard and roof be saturated, everyone sit away from the fire, and no one throw anything into the fire. Tonight when the Melting Pot waiter lit our fondue on fire, I felt real fear. So silly. But maybe I have died in a fire before? Maybe that comes from somewhere?

This next part is REALLY crazy, and I've only ever tried to tell Mr. Ashley and my brother before realizing how bat shit crazy I sounded, but I go through phases of having what seems like the same dream. It's not the same dream though, and it's not really about anything in particular, I'm just always in the same place (like a town) that I feel very familiar with and I'm always with people, not people I could name or put faces to, but people that I know and am very happy to be with. Sometimes when I wake up, I'm a little sad and at times I even catch myself looking forward to going to bed in the hopes that I'll go "there".

Man, I sound crazy even typing that out. But it's like a real place to me, fuzzy and dream like, but I could almost draw you a map right now--how to get to the town, where the water is (an ocean? or big lake?), and the small cement block house with the back porch that I "know". I could even give you a rough idea of what the town and neighborhood looked like.

Like I said, I know I sound mentally ill even sharing it and that's why I usually don't, but today while watching this show I felt overwhelmingly like these dreams are a memory. That this is somewhere I've been. Which made me feel less insane, and that is a good thing. Or maybe it's just an excuse for the insanity, which is also a good thing.

Whatever, Dr. Oz didn't discount it. Even he admits that it is naive to think we have data and evidence for every single thing that exists.

So you never know, it could be true, even if I am crazy.


Dainty Cakes Tampa said...

Totally not crazy. I call my self an agnostic atheist, but still experience some of what you are saying.

I saw the story of the little boy on 20/20 or something of the like, and it was amazing.

Da P.S. said...

No No No, you are not crazy! I feel the same way about re-occuring dreams. Often I look forward to getting into bed and going to sleep just to go back there.

Katie Ryan said...

Yeah, you're right on all your points. That Oprah show really gave me something to think about. However, I would prefer not to believe in past lives. Just the thought of having to relive high school again is just too much for me to handle.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you are crazy at all (well, at least about this!) I watched too, and found it amazing. I was a TOTAL non-believer in such things before. Now I'm sold. And I've had dreams that seem really familiar and yet not at the same time too. I frequently dream about being in a school, though it's not the one I teach at, or any I've ever attended. Weird.

Anonymous said...

Your beliefs sound a lot like mine. This just kind of makes sense to me at a deep level, the way the other explanation does not. I don't really *like* this idea (reincarnation), but it *feels* right on some levels.

The idea of an unlimited soul factory just doesn't make sense to me. What is the point of that?

And this theory kind of explains the unexplainable in a way that "it was God's will" doesn't help. For example, why does a very loved baby die young? Why? There has to be a *reason* such a terrible thing happens. Maybe it is because that child had already experienced many things on his/her journeys, except being unconditionally loved. Then the baby is, and his/her work is done, the journey over. Or maybe the baby was there to help the mother/father with their journey and will go ahead to play another role in their next incarnation.

I think maybe once you've experienced all that you are meant to, then you're done, so to speak.

Sorry so long. You think YOU sounded crazy. :)

jenn said...

I've always felt that reincarnation is a much more logical explanation for what happens after we die than the traditional heaven/hell scenario. Karma just makes sense to me. Try reading Dr. Bruce Weiss's (the dude on Oprah) book "Many Lives, Many Masters." I thought it was fascinating.

I have a similar dream to yours, but it always takes place in the same house that has a hidden room with a concealed entrance.

elaines630 said...

OMG! I am totally right there with you!!!!! I normally feel crazy too talking about it, but have you ever watched Sylvia Brown on the Montel show? She is a psychic and basically the whole reason I believe in that stuff. I actually went out and bought her 3 books that explain life,god, the other side, reincarnation, etc... really good books. I am not a Christian (I tried, but there were just things I can't wrap my brain around and I have to trust my brain/heart/instincts) but I believe Sylvia calls it Agnostic, but does believe in what the bible says, not as everything actually happened, but more as a parable. I dont know - but it makes sense to me. I wish I could have seen that episode of Oprah!!!

Anonymous said...

The book "Many Lives, Many Masters" is a wonderful book! It lays out exactly what I believe. I wish I hadn't missed this episode of Oparah. I will have to see if I can watch it someplace else. Kelly

Anonymous said...

I'm totally a beliver. 'Many Lives Many Masters' is an incredible book. I highly recommend it.

~ Zoe

Anonymous said...

I don't think you are crazy at all!! I totally believe in all of that stuff too. I wish I could have seen that episode. It sounds really neat.

Amy said...

My dad is a history buff and growing up we visited a lot of historical homes, battlefields, etc... A few times I completely freaked myself out with deja vu, even asking my parents if we'd been there before, when I was smaller. The answer was no, but I "knew" a few of these places.

You're not crazy. Or we both are. Whatever.

Anonymous said...

I love this whole theory about past/future lives. Don't worry about the bat-shit-crazy reoccuring dream, I have that too. It's not the same dream all the time though, it's just different dreams in the same house, in the same era, with the same people. Totally bizarre. It's a monsterous gothic/victorian house with red carpets, huge fire places, spirling stairs and a grey stone exterior. It feels so familiar in these dreams, it's like 'home' and being where you're supposed to. I've tried explaining this to Dave, but, he thinks I'm insane. He doesn't dream. At all. Ever. So I don't expect him to get it.

Anyways, thanks for sharing Ashley!

Maddness of Me said...

I just think it is narrow minded to think that any one person or group has the end all answer to this higher power question. None of the beliefs will ever be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The world and history is too full of people trying to shove their beliefs down your throat. There have been too many wars and too many people have died in the name of religion.

With that said...

I watched it too. It spooked me a little because of all the theories I have heard, it makes the most sense.

I have a feeling I would be too chicken shit like Oprah to ever sit down for a past life regression. I don't know if I could ever wipe from my mind the vision of a previous death. It would probably disturb me too much.

The people who voluntered did seem to 'just know' that it wasn't a flash from a past dream or a buried idea. There seemed to be a real difference between current life memories and past life.

Stacy said...

I always have weird dreams like that - and odd deja vu dreams of an experience that I usually end up actually having later. When it actually happens - I get this weird feeling like I have seen it happen before (in my dream). Crazy crazy. Wish I would have seen the oprah episode.

Life, Love And Lola said...

Ok, this post totally got me thinking. Thanks for getting my brain in gear this morning. You are so NOT crazy! I agree with you 100%

Maddness of Me said...

I wonder if this explains my aversion to porta potties?

Seriously. I'd rather shit my pants then go in one of those things.

No? ok.

Mitch said...

I used to have a recurring dream where my sister and I (I'm an only child so I'm not sure who this "sister" is) are running up and down a stair case. At some point she turns really evil and tries to kill me. I had that dream pretty consistently throughout my childhood.

So, that little boy story really freaks me out! Very interesting though.

I also have the same feelings toward religions. Most of the mainstream religions (Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Muslim, etc.) are based on the same god == regardless of what that god is called (God, Allah, whatnot). They are all based on the same premise -- love your neighbor as yourself, be a good person, don't sin, etc. Different cultures have interpreted the same message in a way that fits them. So, I'm with you on that theory...

Unknown said...

It is amazing to hear that other people have the "familiar place" dreams. And they aren't just normal dreams, it's really an overwhelming feeling of being "back" and happy and familiar and comfortable. I wish mine was somewhere more interesting like a Victorian mansion, but mine is more recent than that.

And YES to the "God's will" thing. I will even go so far to say that it's really our will, and something we probably chose for ourselves before getting here. Even the tragic stuff.

I've got to get that book. For those of you that missed the Oprah episode, there will be a part two sometime in June, the 7th or 17th I want to say.

Anonymous said...

Ashley, we could talk for hours and hours about these things. I had no idea. :)

Unknown said...

I just wrote this whole comment, and all of a sudden, I looked up and it was gone. I wasn't done, I was still typing.
Did I hit post accidentally?
Did you get it?
Was it not meant to be read by the world?
It was about my very first dream I remember, much like yours. Only different.


Anonymous said...

You're so totally NOT crazy. I've actually been "regressed" and it was A.MAZ.ING.

I'm a FIRM believer.

Unknown said...

Wow Mommypie! I'm dying to hear the details. I'm also curious to know how you find someone that isn't a total whack job to do it.