I find it rather ironic that I stumbled upon this forum and thread. This subject has been much on my mind this week, but today I was merely looking at a small business forum where I had just registered and saw someone's signature which led me here. (I thank you Brian)
Having been fascinated by this subject for many years, I don't know that I could add any insight into the subject that has not already been covered by the many posts in the thread. But I guess sharing and comparing thoughts and experiences is what it's all about here, eh?
I have really had some odd thoughts on this subject for many years. As a child, I was pretty much left to my own devices on a regular basis and rarely was told to hush about my imagination as few would listen to anything I said anyway! *L* However, I do recall much from age three on - and I had a very strong sense of my own identity as an individual - and often intuited things that even I knew at the time I was not old enough to understand. I just took it as a given that I would understand them when I was ready to.
Being from a backsliding catholic family, we rarely set foot in a church, but I had a very strong sense of what spirituality meant to me in my life, and began my personal search very young - at age 7 I began going to different churches on my own to see what they offered and where I agreed and disagreed. And the one shot lifetime never made sense to me - not then and not now. How could anyone really learn anything of value in one lifetime? And why would I spend an eternity in hell for being what I was made? For what I did perhaps, but just for being born? That was a concept I just couldn't grasp.
And over the years, the search became more of a knowledge quest. I finally found myself in too many different places spiritually, so I began to settle down and paganism and witchcraft became my choice as a practice - but I personally consider myself a Polytheistic Universalist Witch (yes, I made that up but it fits) being that I always been seriously drawn to more of a universal point of view than most Witch and Wiccan modern traditions subscribe to.
And once I had really chosen my direction, some odd things began happening. People who I didn't even know seemed to know me - and would bring up a particular lifetime they knew me in. Up to that time I saw no real value in remembering past lives. As far as I was concerned there was a good reason to forget them - less baggage. I had a fear of ever being arrogant for some reason - always had - but I assumed I would figure out what was behind that if I needed to should that be related to a past life as I suspected.
As the years went on, I ran into more people who had known me in this exact same past life. I never
brought it up - they always did. I never asked questions - they always just told me what they recalled. Some things I had already remembered, some things others had brought up from a different perspective - but all the same.
After roughly 40 or so people doing this - yes I kept count - I finally gave in and accepted it, though even now I am not the one to bring it up unless the people I am talking with are the ones who brought it to me first. I personally have no desire whatsoever to be labelled a crackpot, and no matter how much independent verification I have of these meetings and incidences, skeptics abound (which is healthy) and I can't blame them for being skeptical - but I also can prove none of this if they choose not to believe me. With most people out there, you could show them documented histories until you were blue in the face, and they would find another reason you knew these things.
I will say several good things came of all of this. I understand my fear of being too arrogant - and finally realized that being confident is NOT the same thing *whew* I finally understand quite a few things about myself that I probably wouldn't have before, like my sense of responsibility to people that I don't even know and such. There are things that these different people have remembered about me that were not at all nice - and I still carry quite a sense of indebtedness for all that. (and no, I do not let myself be a doormat over that!) But I was also able to forgive myself for what I had done - and move on.
Why I ran into so many I don't know - unless the Universe has decided I was particularly dense in my refusal to believe them! And while the number is currently 40 - that changed as late as last year - I doubt it will stop at that. But who knows?
*long winded eh?*
And as for the children remembering past lives, I had a friend's child years ago while I was doing a reading for her mother walked up to her mom out of the blue and said "I was a Lin (my name
before." Her mom was startled and said "what??" Her daughter was only 3 at the time! She pointed at the cards and my pentacle and said again "I was a Lin - not when you were my mommy, but somebody else." You could have knocked us both over with a feather!
I am still shaking my head in wonder at winding up in here tonight, but nice to meet you all!