Blavatsky Blogger

Taking Theosophical ideas

into the 21st century


If We Have Lived Before

Why Can’t We Remember it?

Posted 17/2/07


Return to Homepage


I have often been asked why we are generally unable to remember past lives and have come up with several pointers on the subject.

As far as memory is concerned, a new life gives us a clean slate and an opportunity to learn whatever we have to learn in that life. Memory of a past life would mean bringing a big chunk of the previous personality and learning. A clean slate means that advantages/disadvantages such as wealth, education and rank may be changed and baggage such as family feuds, debt and national identities are left behind.

Memory in terms of recall is actually derived from the mortal part of man i.e. the Lower Manas or Lower Mind principle which is discarded by the reincarnating Ego on physical death. There is therefore strictly speaking nothing to remember with.

In “Why Our Past Lives are Forgotten” Annie Besant says this;


“Our present body and brain have had no share in those far-off happenings; how should memory assert itself through them? Our permanent body, which remains with us throughout the cycle of reincarnation, is the spiritual body; the lower garments fall away and return to their elements ere we can become reincarnated.”


Annie Besant also points out that many events in our current life are forgotten.


“Many people cannot remember learning to read; yet the fact that they can read proves the learning. Incidents of childhood and youth have faded from our memory, yet they have left traces on our character.”


Anmie Besant introduces the concept of events which although lost from active memory leave an imprint on the emotions. She develops this idea in relation to experiences carried forward in subtle form to future lives.


“When a philosophy or a science is quickly grasped and applied, when an art is mastered without study, memory is there in power, though past facts of learning are forgotten; as Plato said, it is reminiscence. When we feel intimate with a stranger on first meeting, memory is there, the spirit's recognition of a friend of ages past; when we shrink back with strong repulsion from another stranger, memory is there, the spirit's recognition of an ancient foe.”


In relation to this please see;


Can you call up learning from a past life?

You probably know more than you think you do

Posted 3/12/06


Suppose being reborn was like waking up the next day with the previous life easily remembered. If you had led a successful life last time, you could use your experience to pick up on it again and repeat the life. Putting large sums of money into a Swiss bank account and remembering the number into the next incarnation would be quite useful.

I believe that some people have been able to replicate the success of a previous life but are not consciously aware that they are doing it.


Why Our Past Lives are Forgotten

By Annie Besant


Return to Homepage


The Blavatsky Blogger

Taking Theosophical ideas

into the 21st century




Postings to this Website reflect

the views of The Blavatsky Blogger.

Please don’t go looking for anyone else.





Other Useful Theosophy Links



Theosophy in Wales


The All Wales Guide to

Getting Started in Theosophy


Cardiff Lodge’s Instant Guide to Theosophy


Cardiff Theosophical Archive


Cardiff Blavatsky Archive


Quick Blasts of Theosophy


Dave’s Streetwise Theosophy Boards

The Theosophy Website that welcomes Absolute Beginners

A Free introductory Theosophy Course.

If you run a Theosophy Study Group, please

feel free to use any material on this Website.


Great Theosophists


The South of Heaven Guide

To Theosophy and Devachan



The New Rock ‘n Roll


Feelgood Theosophy

Visit the Feelgood Lodge

for a lighter view


Blavatsky Calling and

I Don’t Wanna Shout

The Voice of the Silence Website


Nothing Answers Questions

Like Theosphy Can!

The Key to Theosophy


Try these if you are looking for a local group


UK Listing of Theosophical Groups


Worldwide Directory of Theosophical Links


International Directory of 

Theosophical Societies