Further Understanding Reincarnation and Past Lives

Contrary to the Abrahamic religions, reincarnation is a common belief that most Eastern religions/philosophies embrace. They acknowledge that within the reality and level of consciousness we exist in reincarnation is a factor, while Christianity, Judaism, and Islam prefer to focus on the Oneness we emerged from and are still a part of.

Within full Oneness reincarnation does not exist as there is no awareness of duality, or of its ideas of separation: me-and-you or us-and-them. There is therefore no need for the lessons we learn through our various lifetimes, which is the fundamental purpose of reincarnation.

However, as we do not exist in full Oneness and have bought into the illusion of separation (or we would not be here), reincarnation does exist for us—our souls or essences keep coming back.

We do so because it is through our different lifetimes and their varying scenarios and life lessons that we are given opportunities to realign with the unconditional love and unity of the Creator and Oneness we emanated from so we can eventually reemerge fully with it, which is our ultimate raison d’être.

Each of our lives are intended to be stand-alones. When we are born a veil is drawn over our previous lifetimes and what we experienced then. Focusing on or trying to figure out past lives would only have the effect of taking our focus off what we need to learn or reconcile this time around.

The wisdom of God, Spirit, or the Universe (however we conceive of the force that created and maintains us and everything since the Big Bang) placed us here and now with close associations to those who are to assist us with the lessons we came here to learn in this lifetime—lessons needing no knowledge of our past lives.

However, understanding how past lives and life lessons work can help us appreciate the value of our current issues and situations as well as make peace with the discrepancies between our life circumstances and those of others.

Our current life circumstances can be explained by how we have approached life, the life lessons our souls chose this time around, or the playing out of karma (explained in the article “Further Understanding Karma”).

They may also be the result of the need for re-balancing because of experiences gone wrong in the last or a recent lifetime, or for having ignored a past life lesson and choosing exaggerated circumstances to ensure we do get it this time.

If we do not learn the lesson with one experience another will be presented to us, again and again if necessary. If we never get it this time around the same issue will crop up in our next lifetime(s), but with the circumstances and relationships likely being different.

Our soul life lesson this time around may be to choose acceptance over judgment and in our life scenarios some people or groups of people around us will be very different than us or hold differing beliefs.

Or, we may have a strong character and have the opportunity to be loving and accepting of others rather than exerting control over those around us whose characters are quiet, accepting, or prone to victimization. I

f we ourselves are prone to victimization, our life lesson may be to overcome this and embrace our empowerment. Until we learn the lesson of this lifetime, the opportunities to choose again will continue to reappear until we get it.

When the same situations continue to surface in our lives we usually react with frustration, blame others, or think we are prone to bad luck, but it is simply Spirit offering us opportunities to evolve and choose love, acceptance, self-empowerment, or to  make conscious choices.

Our lesson this time around could also be to make more conscious choices, learn to deal with others with integrity, or overcome jealousy and make peace with something that will not change for us.

For example, we may have to learn to be more conscious of who we choose to partner up with, learn to work with integrity so we no longer lose good business opportunities, or be required to reconcile never being wealthy like our friend. This is how we grow spiritually.


Unfortunately, sometimes negative life experiences are caused by us simply being caught in the crossfire of others’ misalignments from Source, and we may be able to make up for this bad luck in our next lifetime.

For example, if we became a displaced citizen, suffered atrocities at the hand of another(s), or were hurt badly or maimed in a disaster, and living those experiences was not part of our soul plan, in making our preparations and choices in the ethereal realm before our next incarnation and in collaboration with those guiding our soul’s journey, we may choose a life of ease and comfort to compensate for the extra suffering we endured.

Our life lessons would then be in simple, everyday issues. We would have no conscious memory of this nor of the choices made before we incarnated this lifetime, but we would be at ease with our circumstances.

Because of duality playing itself out and of the re-balancing often required, throughout our different lifetimes we have all been wealthy and poor, royal and anonymous, and perpetrators and victims, but we don’t remember any of this.

Even though most of us do not have conscious past-life memories, it is possible that we catch glimpses or feel emotional shadows of a past life event—especially if we had not made peace with it in that lifetime.

Furthermore, as we continue to raise our consciousness and move beyond third-dimensional awareness and linear time, the veil that was erected between our past and current lives may start to lift and we would get more glimpses or deja-vu’s of past events that seem real, but wouldn’t make sense in our current life. However, these should not upset or cause us emotional turmoil because of our more evolved state.

It is also possible that a terrible experience from a recent past life that we did not reconcile may negatively affect us in this one causing us to be unable to make peace with a certain issue or situation thereby keeping us from being our Best Self.

Uncovering these can help in our emotional healing. Past-life regression has recently gained growing interest among practitioners of various facets of psychology and is sometimes offered as an adjunct to traditional methods, if deemed helpful.

However, this is not a common practice and should always be done in a professional setting with a doctor certified in this type of psychology—and only when deemed necessary and for a specific purpose.

For most of us, it is sufficient to understand that our various lifetimes offer opportunities to grow spiritually through the life lessons we choose to undertake, as knowing this can help us to reconcile issues we now face, others are grappling with, or the differences between our or others’ circumstances.

Overcoming current life lessons is our soul’s journey on a micro level. Overcoming all concepts of separateness and eventually completely aligning with the Oneness is our soul’s journey on a macro level. Until we achieve that awareness of Oneness, reincarnation is necessary.

This article is based on and an expansion of the sub-section “Reincarnation,” under Section 4 “Concepts,” in chapter 6, Words, Symbols, Rituals, Concepts, Prayers.

 ©  Rosemary McCarthy, posted October, 2016,

updated May 2018.

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