Why can't we all remember our past lives?

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by The Undecided, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. The Undecided

    The Undecided New Member

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    This would help us understand our present life better, and we would be better people as a result.
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I think the things we 'learned' in our past lives are now part of our psyche, the things we thought we 'learned' but didn't engrain in ourcellves we still need more work on hence presented with new opportunities to learn.

    I think the memories of old relationships...this time you are my mom, but last time you were my brother or this time you are my husband but last time you were my mother these would just confuse the issue of dealing with the task at hand.

    I can visualize the discussion though in the betwixt and between waiting for the next incarnation experience.... "Yeah you were a mean older brother...you think that was fair, I'm gonna be your drill sargent this time around..."
     
  3. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    For most people, remembering their past lives would be a disaster. Forgetting allows us a "clean slate" to start all over again, and try to "get it right" this time.

    Rest assured, the day will come when everyone will remember their past lives -- when we are ready for it.
     
  4. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    I think there's a very good reason why we can't remember our past lives.

    Because memory is tied to our brain. When we die, we lose our physical body and therefore the mechanism through which memories are made and held.

    But we all started over with a totally clean slate, that would imply that nothing we do in this life matters.

    To bridge this conundrum, I propose that what transfers from one life to the next is a form of momentum or direction.

    So what we do in each life sets the stage for the next, but does not determine what happens. It is up to us, and our thoughts and actions in our current life, to maintain, accelerate or change that direction.
     
  5. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    CZ

    That is an interesting theory, but how does it explain people who have past-life memories?
     
  6. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Active imaginations? Honest mistakes?

    People believe a lot of strange things.
     
  7. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    I take it you do not believe people can remember past lives. I guess we just have to agree to disagree on this one.
     
  8. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    People believe they've seen Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and been abducted by aliens.

    Do you believe things just because other people do?

    I find most people to be quite easily fooled and gullible. I also find that people thirst for magic. I think "remembering" past lives falls under this general category... wishful thinking.
     
  9. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    BTW, you're a very reasonable voice in this forum nick, I did not intend that last post to paint you negatively.

    Upon reading back your previous post I see that you were just putting forth a personal belief and not basing it upon anybody else's experience.
     
  10. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    I think you are on to something here CZ.
    Really, we have no more than the sketchiest of clues on this issue, but I agree with this speculation.
     
  11. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    How do you justify that? I rise like the pheonix after this life. How would I be a better person? Also how many people are there really? Surley everyone has been in previous lives before hand right? We're not all "better people".



    zen: there have been over 11,000,000 witnesses to UFO sightings/abductions. In one of those fancy court things.... 11,000,000 witnesses? The out come would be clear lol. Mass hysteria? That many?

    "I find most people to be quite easily fooled and gullible. I also find that people thirst for magic. I think "remembering" past lives falls under this general category... wishful thinking."

    That part seems strange coming from a buddhist? :/ I thought you were all about this kinda stuff?
     
  12. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Contemplation: what is this our of which you write?
     
  13. AndreG

    AndreG New Member

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    This is navel gazing at its finest
     
  14. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    CZ, you said,

    "I did not intend that last post to paint you negatively."

    --> Thank you for your concern. Please do not worry about it.
     
  15. Snoopy

    Snoopy Active Member

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    Perhaps there are no past lives. There's one answer!

    s.
     
  16. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    Let's face it, if anyone has had a past life, they have seen and experienced things that probably pushed them to the brink of sanity. War, murder, rape, famine, genocide, oppression and brutality are constant factors in human history.

    Would anyone really be able to cope with a realm of past experiences around these subjects?

    It makes more sense to start afresh, where each experience is anew, and appraised as new - rather than drag through existence a huge amount of emotional baggage that could be difficult to cope with under any ordinary curcumstances.

    Heck, anyone who does get inklings of past lives can find that challenging enough - the experiences of a seemingly different person and identity - let alone the trials they may have endured!
     
  17. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Brian,

    I would like to add one more idea to what you are saying. Many of us have had romantic relatoinships where we have totally messed the whole thing up, and wish we could go back, do it all over again, and get it right. Reincarnation and forgetting between reincarnations allow us to do this very thing. Practice makes perfect, especially when mistakes from the past are forgotten, allowing us to try a marriage with someone again, and get it better this lifetime.
     
  18. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Reminds me of the saying...

    Eat [crap] a billion flies can't be wrong.
     
  19. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste AndreG,

    Yes but in that pile of lint is a whole universe, with its own milky way...if you can't contemplate your navel, you are just missing out.
     
  20. AndreG

    AndreG New Member

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    Namaste,

    I guess you are right
    *stares into navel*

    Mind boggling!
     

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