Can Past Lives & Religion Coexist?
Updated: Dec 28, 2021
People ask me all the time can traditional religious theology go along with past life theory of multiple
lives that is one soul but multiple lifetimes? And the answer is yes BUT! Many religions from Catholicism to Judaism to Protestantism all have a fundamental set of beliefs around life and death which includes God, loving kindness to others, ritual participation, death and “heaven.” As one of my dearest friends explained to me about her Catholic faith: “I’m going to die and go to the loving arms of Jesus.” When we discussed the central tenet in PLR that people have multiple lives to learn multiple life lessons to approach oneness with God, she balked: “Absolutely not, I don’t want to do this again, this one life was difficult enough! Multiple life theory doesn’t fit into traditional Catholic theology!” I laughed and said: “I get your point.”
This is a contentious issue and a significant point of departure with the major Judeo-Christian religions. Of course having said that it is important to point out that PLR does not conflict with some Eastern religions that have as their basic tenet reincarnation. The very idea of past lives requires some getting used to in today’s challenging times of “woke society.” This involves an internal process of self-questioning and self- discovery that cannot be rushed. If you are a religious person then the underlying principles within your religion are critical and important to your faith. PLR theory does not require or demand that you undermine your religious beliefs or compromise your religious faith.
This is probably a new idea for many people so read and think about the issue as much as you can. Start with Dr Brian Weiss and consider his journey of self-discovery and self-awareness when he met his patient Catherine and hypnotized her in therapy. This is a personal journey and there are no time requirements involved. Let the idea of multiple lives “sit” in your consciousness and read how other searchers have faced their “wall of faith” and tunneled under it or climbed over it to another perspective of acceptance or even rejection.
In Tenure Denied, Professor Caitlyn Morrys kept pushing her past life memories away until she was confronted with a crisis that she had no choice but to face and address. Caitlyn’s lover, Ashford Connor rejects his memories as well, as he complains about his love for Caitlyn as “controlling” and her ideas about past lives as “whacky.” The harder he pushes and tries to cut himself off the more he is haunted by his own internal struggle; ultimately, he can’t escape himself. And that may be the underlying dynamic with PLR-accepting the universality of this spiritual philosophy. Where are you on the continuum of beliefs from orthodox to reform- from religiously traditional to spiritual?
The process may not be so intense or challenging if your belief system and faith are based on a more spiritual rather than religious approach. So for example, the concept of God or Higher Power is not necessarily religion specific. The more orthodox your beliefs, the more traditional your viewpoint is going to be in terms of Judeo-Christian theology. So let’s consider something that has been raised and presented in past life theory as a possibility for your consideration now and in the future. In past life regression, souls progress through many lifetimes. In these lifetimes you could experience your life lesson as a man or a woman. How do you feel about that possibility? To go further, in your present life
your Mother might have been your Father or your daughter in a past life. How do you feel about that possibility? Let’s go further. In this life you may be a Catholic but in a past life you might have been a
Jew or a Muslim. How do you feel now? Does that make you uncomfortable to know about any or all of these permutations and combinations? To carry this to a logical conclusion, consider what Caitlyn Morrys concluded in Tenure Denied when she found out that although she was raised as an Evangelical Christian by her Jewish Mother, she always felt she was Jewish in this lifetime: “If we as Christians are all going to experience being Jewish, what are we really? If we’re all Jewish in a lifetime? How can anyone of us be anti-Semitic? We’d be hating ourselves!”
So where are we now? That depends on you and what makes you comfortable or uncomfortable depending on your viewpoint. Past Life Theory is universal and all- inclusive which clearly contrasts with the requirements of participating in the major religions: one life and one religion for eternity. We have all been raised and exposed to various religions with varying degrees of religiosity and traditions. We now have an opportunity to discuss something that is fundamentally different because it is universal and inclusive at its core. Past Life Theory proposes that we are all connected on a journey across lifetimes to learn lessons that ultimately bring us closer to God. In that process we will experience every religion, every race, every ethnicity and gender to learn our lessons about love and kindness. Where are you along the continuum of faith from religious to spiritual and how hard is past life theory for you to accept at this point in your life? How do you feel about experiencing multiple religions, genders and races across lifetimes?