Past Lives and Dreams

While there may be some evidence for reincarnation in the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson, dreams that clearly state reincarnation in their theme most likely represent present life situations.

 Example: ‘I dream of living in China, a long time ago. I was married to a man with whom I had two children. He began to tire of me and brought concubines into our household. I hated him. When I woke I realised I had dreamt about a past life.’ Patricia L.

Patricia had in fact been married to a man in this life who, after her two children were born, began to bring other women home. This broke up their marriage. From Patricia’s point of view, this happened because in a past life her husband and she had not resolved their difficulties, so had to meet them again in this lifetime – Whatsoever ye sow, so shall ye reap. Where such dreams have been thoroughly explored, I have found that their imagery arises from emotions and trauma that the dreamer finds difficult to meet. Placing it in a past life setting enables one to avoid the difficulty of experiencing present life pain. Patricia says she hated her – Chinese – husband. The dream process can create a drama to represent our present situation using any form of structure. It is, after all, the master dramatist. This function of the unconscious explains many ‘past life’ memories elicited by hypnotic regression. Most of them are explainable in terms of present life trauma or situation. See: hallucination and hallucinogens; reincarnation and dreams.  But there are clearer dreams. Captain and Mrs Battista, Italians, had a little daughter born in Rome, whom they called Blanche. To help look after this child they employed a French-speaking Swiss “Nanny” called Marie. Marie, the nurse, taught her little charge to sing in French a lullaby song. Blanche grew very fond of this song and it was sung to her re­peatedly. Unfortunately Blanche died and Marie returned to Switzer­land. Captain Battista writes: “The cradle song which would have recalled to us only too painful memories of our deceased child, ceased absolutely to be heard in the house … all recollection of it completely escaped our minds.” ‘Three years after the death of Blanche the mother, Signora Battista, became pregnant, and in the fourth month of pregnancy she had a strange waking dream. She insists that she was wide awake when Blanche appeared to her and said, in her old, familiar voice, “Mother, I am coming back.” The vision then melted away. Captain Battista was sceptical, but when the new baby was born in February, 1906, he acquiesced in her also being given the name Blanche. The new Blanche resembled the old in every possible way. ‘Nine years after the death of the first Blanche, when the second ‘was six years of age, an extraordinary thing happened. I will use Captain Battista’s own words: “While I was with my wife in my study which adjoins our bedroom. We heard, both of us, like a distant echo, the famous cradle song, and the voice came from the bedroom where we had put our little daughter Blanche fast asleep. … We found the child sitting up on the bed and singing with an excellent French accent the cradle song which neither of us had certainly ever taught her. My wife asked her what it was she was singing, and the child, with the utmost promptitude answered that she was singing a French song. “Who, pray, taught you this pretty song?” I asked her. “Nobody, I know it out of my own head,” answered the child.’ Here is another experience, received in a dream state. ‘I lay in my bed unable to sleep, and because of this decided to try an experiment. We had been discussing earlier the possibility of emptying the mind completely and I decided to see if this could be done. After quite a time had passed in trying I felt it was impossible, gave up and fell asleep. The next thing I knew I was suspended above my body which was asleep on the bed. I felt as if I had returned to the womb, but it was not the physical womb but the cosmic womb. There was a wonderful feeling of love and bliss and being cared for, that completely enveloped me. There was also an awareness of my oneness with God and every other creature and being in the universe, and yet also remaining an individual. There were several questions on my mind at that particular time, and I found that without actually being told the answers I knew them intuitively. I knew my forthcoming marriage was right; also the doctrine of reincarnation and karma which I had at that time been wondering about. I knew that I was surrounded by a love and protection that made all my actions right because I could not go against that which was right in the face of this experience. I wished that I might stay always in this wonderful state and knew that this was akin to what death felt like, and knowing this one should not fear death which was an expansion of oneself. Gradually I returned to my normal sleep-state and woke up, but the feeling of the experience stayed with me for quite a while afterwards.’ B.C. See Reincarnation

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