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Taking Theosophical ideas

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Can you call up learning from a past life?

You probably know more than you think you do

Posted 3/12/06

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If you acquired knowledge of a subject or a specific skill in a past life, it is likely that you have an advantage if you pick up the same discipline again in this life.


In her article “Reincarnation”, Annie Besant says this:-


“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 a reminiscence”


In “Memories of Past Lives” she say:-


“All the great religions of the past and present have realised the eternity of the Spirit: " God," it is written in a Hebrew Scripture, " created man to be the image of His own Eternity", and in that eternal nature of the Spirit lies the explanation alike of instinct and of intelligence. In the intellect-aspect of this Spirit all the harvests of the experiences of successive lives are stored, and from the treasures of the spiritual memory are sent down assimilated experiences, appearing as instincts, as unconscious memories of past lives, in the new-born form. Every improved form receives as instincts and as innate ideas this wealth of reminiscence: every intellectual and moral faculty is a store of reminiscences, and education is but the awakening of memory.”




All of us must have this stored reservoir of hidden learning but as we live in a society which regards learning as something which can only be acquired by the traditional methods of study through education or training. Teaching often quite simply doesn’t stimulate interest and we just don’t give the knowledge chance to come through.


Education may not be the awakening of past life learning that it should be, often it just kills interest and enthusiasm. Have you ever taken up an interest in something to a level and with a commitment which your school teachers would have found incredible? Have you ever come across something which you wish you had heard of years ago?


Although there is a trend away from rigid and conventional learning, to which the internet is contributing, learning and training methods are still generally controlled by the official knowledge establishments. This leaves no room for anyone to look for opportunities to open up their hidden channels of learning or even consider that they exist.


Of course it would be ridiculous to go into an exam in the belief that past life knowledge will give you the answers to the questions on the paper. In any case, exams are usually just an exercise in information processing. On the other hand there will certainly be subjects that you have picked up easily and with which you feel an affinity beyond that given you by the teaching or by your studies. It may well be that these affinities fall outside the disciplines associated with conventional study.

Just being good at a subject may not signify past life learning, you need more than this and you will probably recognize it when you see it.


The limitations of teaching and the role of personal enthusiasm is touched at here by Annie Besant:-


Extract also from “Memories of Past Lives”


Writers who garb their readers in second-hand opinions, as a dealer in second-hand clothes dresses his customers, will never turn out a decently costumed set of thinkers; they will be clad in misfits. But there are lines of research to be

followed, experiences to be gone through and analysed, by those who would arrive at truth — research which has led others to knowledge, experiences which have been found fruitful in results. To these a writer may point his readers, and they, if they will, may follow along such lines for themselves.”




How do you lock into this past life data bank? The first thing must be to accept the possibility that this power is there and then simply to look for signs. If you want to pursue this seriously, you will have to step back and view current activities objectively and make time for inner work. We live in the Information Age and there has never been a better time to seek out knowledge which may resonate with past life learning. I don’t just mean the internet although this can be a good starting point.


Annie Besant offers this guidance:-


Another extract from “Memories of Past Lives”


I think that, by careful observation, we may find memories in ourselves, not only of past events, but of the past training and discipline which have made us what we are, memories which are embedded in, which form even the very fabric of our consciousness, which emerge more clearly as we study them, and become more intelligible the more carefully we observe and analyse them.




Clearly meditation on this subject and careful observation should bring insights into what we learning we are carrying with us. Remember, we have all had plenty of lives to build up experience. This experience may go beyond just knowing a subject and extend to dealing with certain situations, performing a certain role or solving particular problems.

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