Have you been here before? Well, that requires a bit of belief in reincarnation – that your existence is passed from this life on to another one. That your current existence came from an existence previously here before. Attached to that is a notion that you stay on this mortal coil until you have learned all the lessons that you needed to. Then your essence gets an eternal rest, once you have completed that. Many folks cannot hold a belief in all of that, for whatever reason. Me? I believe in reincarnation. I believe in past lives as well. I don’t hold much countenance in the idea of counting into existences until certain lessons are learned, but I won’t completely discount the possibility. Why? Well, let’s explore that for a bit.
I do believe that I have been here before. There are folks that I have encountered that there’s that immediate connection with. I can’t explain it, but I believe there’s more than just chemistry that causes that. I have also gotten the same experience in various places that I have been. Again, many will explain that away as a chemical aspect within my body. Sure, I get that is what is happening, but why does it happen? Science has never been able to completely explain that away. So, I look at it as a kind of connection. Some of the people that I have connected in that fashion are long out of my life in this existence. Some of the places I have felt that “chemical reaction” are so far away that it is likely I will never have the chance to be there again. How can I explain that? Well, I call that something similar – Passed Lives. I’ll get to that in a moment.
Why do I believe in reincarnation? Because I believe that there is more to this existence than just being here, and then – poof – you’re gone. Just a memory for those who are still unfortunate to be here. Or a footnote in recorded history. So, that means that I believe I was someone historical, right? I’m a follow-on to Aleister Crowley? Sir Francis Drake? Some member of Egyptian royalty? No. Not really. I figure that who I am today is not that different from who I was in the past. So they had computers in the far distant past, right? Or my incarnations only go back to the time of Ada Lovelace?? Well, no. My personality is that of a technician and a troubleshooter. Not necessarily computers. But I can’t really tell you what I was in the past. See, I don’t do the past life journey stuff. I just don’t want to know.
As for the aspect of everyone going back and finding that they are someone important. Or the several hundred Aliester Crowley’s that are out there today. Well, everyone likes to believe that they were someone important. I’m not saying that they might not be those individuals. Just that I wonder where the average, everyday farmer working his fields in medieval England. Or the cart-wright that was mending the wagon wheels in the “wild” west of the United States? Surely, average minions such as these folk would make it to another incarnation in my theory? Certainly, they would. But let’s remember, very few people believe in reincarnation, much less look into it. They aren’t concerned with the Past. They are concerned with the here and now, just as those folks were doing in their time. As for all the Crowleys, perhaps Crowley had Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), and all these incarnations are individual reincarnations of who he was? Or maybe the folks who claim to be Crowley are all seeking attention? I don’t know, and honestly I don’t care. I don’t need to prove or disprove what I believe to anyone.
What about this “Passed Lives” thing? Well, this is not reincarnative (is that even a word?) theory. This is about the crossroads that we all encounter within our lives. You’ve been there before. I’ve been there before. There are choices that you make, which change your life drastically. When you look back, you will see where if you decided on this instead of that, your life would be far different than where it is today. Those choices that were not taken, I refer to those as “Passed Lives.” Or, if you prefer, alternate lives. That series of “what-ifs” we all have in our lives. How different would my life be if I had chosen to buckle down on my collegiate studies back in the mid-1980s? For reference, I graduated high school in 1984. I did not receive my first collegiate degree until 2003. There’s a lot of life lived in-between those two points, much of which was dictated by my decision to not throw myself into my original collegiate studies in earnest. I would never have joined the Air Force. In not joining the Air Force, I would most likely have not encountered Paganism. I would not have met all the friends that I encountered through the world of Bulletin Board computer systems. I could spend a long time looking at those Passed Lives. Sometimes, I do wonder what kind of person I might have been, had I traveled down those roads. However, I also remember that I like who I am now…so those wandering memories are best kept as the Passed Lives that they are.
Whether the choices that I made in this life or in another are good or bad – in the end, I am who I am today because of those choices. There are more choices that I will make in this existence that will continue to shape who I am. While I do believe that I have been here before, that I have a connection with some folks going into other existences, much like the wake left by a boat traveling over water – those ripples will fade. The energy of those ripples will flow to some distant shore, where the echoes of those Pasts will slide into the beyond. While I believe that the wake existed in the Past, there’s no need to dwell too long on where the boat has been. The till still needs to be manned, and the boat brought safely into the harbor.