The wonder of past-life memories (3)

I suspect that I have once belonged to the Jewish faith, Judaism; and also have been a Christian in Europe. No, I am remarkably sane. Indeed, I am normally a sceptic. Yet, the intimations my mind receives – presumably from my soul – cannot be (should not be) ignored. My Spirit Guide, who has made me increasingly intuitive, may also be involved. I also do not enjoy an ego. I am merely a Seeker. There are quite a few of us.

A Swiss friend of Jewish descent once told me that I had shown an affinity for the Jewish people in my first book ‘Destiny Will Out.’ Yes, I had strong Jewish friends; indeed, in my youth, I had been smitten by a lovely girl (a fellow student) who had a number on her arm. We went out together for about a year.

Then, when I sought to peer into my past lives through auto-hypnosis, twice I found myself in terrain which included a below-ground room cut into the rock. Where was this room?

In recent decades, I became a card-carrying Christian as well, because I was married to an Anglican, had my children baptised, and had earlier attended church services with my wife. Hinduism allows me to support other religions.

The push of my past lives being intuitively, subconsciously, persuasive; that is, to make moral progress in my future lives, I prefer to be a recluse in contemplation of my Creator, and to seek to understand the Cosmos and our place in it.

Should humanity destroy itself, or is demolished by a cosmic cataclysm, we will re-group, and move towards the Divine yet once more. The road is always uphill! Our past lives will do the pushing – if we allow that.


The wonder of past-life memories (2)

I do believe that where (geographically) one is born, and the family and culture into which one is born, have significance. Chance, in my view, is not a determinant. For instance, I already ‘know’ that I will be re-born as a constituent member of another culture. There have been many strange intimations in my life which lead me to this conclusion.

As for my birth in this life into a Hindu religio-cultural milieu, my acculturation made me initially religious; later spiritual, as I was guided by the Upanishads. My on-going reading about religion then led me to realise that all the main religions are equal in their potential, and I became a free-thinker. Growing up in a multicultural nation-in-the-making also helped to form this perspective.

Without a prescriptive Good Book, Hinduism encourages free thinkers to explore the Cosmos ideationally and spiritually. No authority structures abound. In my experience, the priests do not tell us what to do; they facilitate our reaching out to God – by praying to one or more of the manifestations of God available to us. Insightful commentators are the lamp-lighters of this religion. The many tributaries of Hinduism lead ultimately to the end we all seek.

I visualise these tributaries of spiritual insight flowing into that Ocean of Consciousness from which we are said to have arisen.

I do believe that being born into a Hindu milieu in this life, after having been a Muslim, is part of my destiny path through Earthly existence. What next? The path of Confucius?


The mystery of Consciousness

Consciousness in humans is awareness. Seems right, does it not? Can I say anything comparable about animals and plants? Kirlian photography suggests a level of sensitivity in plants to being cut or burnt; some plants have reportedly shown such sensitivity even when a neighbouring plant is adversely treated. This is not good news for us, especially vegetarians. Is sensitivity equal to awareness? (Semantics can be a nuisance, can’t it?)
As for animals, judging by family pets, do they not display both awareness and sensitivity (as human do)?

Examining consciousness further: Are we conscious in deep sleep? Or, is there something we refer to as the subconscious which alerts us to possibly-threatening sounds? What about warning smells? Or, a dream which effectively warns about safety or security?

One night, in deep sleep in a strange room, I had what felt like a dream. My ‘dream’ was that my bed was collapsing while also tilting sideways? I jumped out of the bed, not quite awake, and switched on the light. What I saw was a big-framed picture, which had been hanging on the wall adjacent to the bed, had now slid to the ground with a crash, in the small space between the bed and the wall.

Was this the sequence of events? Sound of sliding, falling picture. I hear this in my sleep. My mind generates a warning in dream form. This led to my flight out of the bed. Was that evidence of consciousness during deep sleep?

Curiously, Eknath Easwaran, in his book ‘The Upanishads’, refers to the ‘states of mind’ of waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep as representing “layers of awareness, concurrent strata lying at different depths in the conscious and unconscious mind”. Awareness existing in layers? Awareness in the unconscious mind?

He also refers to ‘states of consciousness’: and challengingly asks – ”In the constantly changing flow of thought, is there an observer who remains the same?” The idea of an uninvolved observer within us represents the core of Upanishadic Hinduism. However, I can cite an experience which is suggestive of an internal observer.

As a young man, I once lost my temper (never before, never again). It was a highly-charged emotional reaction. Then followed a physical development: I was about to cause terrible harm to a fellow human. Suddenly, from somewhere in my mind came a thought: “What are doing, stupid?” (It was a very clear thought.) As a consequence, no harm occurred. On reflection – I seem to have been operating at 3 levels of consciousness.

Consciousness at a normal, operational, human level is certainly confusing. The following extract from Easwaran then takes consciousness from the Earthly level to the cosmic level. Relying on one of the Upanishads, he states “… the powers of the mind have no life of their own.  The mind is not consciousness; it is only an instrument of consciousness …”

So, what is Consciousness at the cosmic level? In a recent post, I asked “Does Consciousness explain Reality?” What a wonderful mystery.

The trauma of birth and its aftermath

Does any human being ever remember the stress of birth? During my boyhood, whenever I had a severe headache, believed to have been caused by glare, I would feel a strong pressure on both temples. Although I never spoke of this experience, I suspected that somehow I was recalling my passage through a birth canal. I soon grew out of those discomforting episodes.

What a terrible shock it must be for a baby to be pushed out of its comfort zone into the terrible glare of light, and the horrifying sounds of voices, and then being handled. Only after being swaddled and held against the mother could the baby retrieve the mother’s comforting heartbeat and soothing voice. In modern times, the baby is then swathed and placed amongst other babies, some of whom would be giving voice to their discomfort, their need to be held, and (possibly) a terrible hunger.

The world must be a horrible place to enter, and in such a terrifying manner. How long does it take a baby to become adjusted to the new surroundings? How aware is the baby, broadly, of the pattern of movement of the surrounding space? Is it their frequent and extended sleep which enables the baby to adjust to the new environment, but subconsciously?

Does the soul of the baby have a role to play in this early phase of Earthly existence? Would there be any past-life memories (however vague and fleeting) awaiting exposure? Could a baby display any ongoing anger, possibly because of the manner of its death in its immediate past life?

Would a baby, in the stage of infancy, be aware of any skills or abilities carried forward from the previous life; and which would blossom any time after about age 3? I refer to the high skills displayed by a few little children which do not evidently have a genetic source. Such skills are: playing musical instruments, gymnastic ability, mathematical calculations, and such like, at a level requiring an extended period of development, and displayed after years of Earthly life.

Then, there are those little children who remember accurately their immediate past lives, some even before age 3. The displays of such high skills and reliable memories have been well documented. This is an undeniable facet of our reality.

So, how complex could a baby be? Is the recovery of past skills and memories akin to a flower re-opening (at daybreak)? That is, could any flower of scarce skills be closed down (to a bud) at Earthly death in one life, to be re-opened in the next?

Does such recovery of skills (physical and mental) and memories require, where this is warranted, up to 3 years of development of the infant’s brain? Strangely, most (if not all) adults cannot remember any experience in their lives before about age 3.

I wonder – what are babies and infants doing as they observe and observe – even as they give us great joy, juxtaposed with sleepless nights and some (or much) worry? Indeed, they are a great and wonderful mystery, with each birth a miracle.

Is Consciousness the explanation?

Consciousness is something we are all aware of. That is, I am aware that I am conscious. But, I do not understand it. Yet, we need Consciousness in order to be mobile and motile; and to use the limited number of senses we possess. Awareness, reciprocally, seems to be an essential manifestation of Consciousness.

Is it possible to be aware when one is unconscious; or asleep? Is it Consciousness which enables thought? Or feelings? What of the subconscious? Is there such a facility? If it does exist, then a level of Consciousness exists of which we are not aware. Then, how do we know about what is happening at the subconscious level? Is there a transmission of thought from the subconscious to the conscious?

There has to be such a transmission. When my seer, B, advised me to ‘listen’ to my subconscious in order to receive messages from my Spirit Guide, such messages need to surface in my conscious mind. When I wake up in the middle of the night with a new thought, I could assume that my Guide was responsible. Since I have a speculative, roving mind, poking into all corners of existence, which new thoughts can be attributed to my Guide? And which reflect the thought-miner striking a potentially valuable lode of insight?

Moving to intuition, third-eye perceptions, clairvoyance, clairaudience, reading the future, and remembering a past life, would these facilities not involve riding a wave of Consciousness across time, as well as space? The quaint concept of space-time is an irrelevancy here.

Would not communication with spirits from the impossible-to-deny Afterlife also involve surfing a cloud-land of Consciousness? Would not the visual manifestation of spirits also require such a medium of transportation from the Afterlife? Of course, the Afterlife is most probably ‘here’ in a dimension which crosses our dimension of Earthly existence.
In this context, looking to the desert religions (or perhaps all religions) for guidance would seem to be futile. The focus of religion is elsewhere.

‘Horses for courses’ is a useful adage. For the relatively recent (in historical terms) discovery of the terra nullius of human experiences traversing over-lapping realms of the ephemeral and the material, new means of communication – in the form of concepts and relationships established in the human mind – are needed.

Following the principle reflected in Occam’s Razor, that the simplest explanation is best, the concept of an all-embracing, infusive, ever-existing, pervasive aether may be a useful starting point. The aether is now being researched, in spite of the Michelson-Morley experiment of yore, by a significant number of scientists willing to transcend the prevailing explanatory paradigms.

In human terms (or in terms of transient beings) Consciousness qualifies as that ever-existing, all-embracing, and all-penetrating essence. Whether matter represents a projection from the bound-less ocean of Consciousness, and from which arose the ephemeral, the insubstantial; or whether the ‘real’ of the ephemeral arising from Consciousness is reflected, as appropriate, in the material is an irrelevancy for now. The relationship between the material and ephemeral realms may be an enriching bilateral process.

Were Consciousness to be a functionally neutral cloud-like enabler of links, especially of communication, between whatever exists, in any form (of substance or otherwise), it would intransitively present what seems to be obvious to sensitive humans – that everything in existence is connected to everything else. Both the paranormal and the normal in human existence would then be explicable.

Is it Consciousness which enables the pathways of mutual understanding, through gossamer connections, between sentient beings – including spirits from the Afterlife?

Intimations about the Afterlife

I had a dream recently. I woke up at the conclusion of the dream, wondering whether it followed my recent speculations about the Afterlife. As a metaphysical Hindu, through some in-depth reading and careful analysis, I accept the probability of the existence of my soul, the reincarnation process, and a re-charging domain I conceive as the Afterlife.

The concept of an Afterlife is very challenging. Would insubstantial soul-entities, the spirits of former Earthlings, need a home of substance? But then I cannot conceive of an insubstantial place where a goodly number of soul-entities could sojourn. However, I realise that at age 89 I can expect to have my curiosity satisfied very soon.

Since I had been advised by a casual clairvoyant (or seer) to listen to my subconscious for messages from my Spirit Guide, I wonder if my dream was more than wishful thinking. Living in a flat country whose highest mountain is a mere pimple, whose rivers do not seem to flow like those in New Zealand, and whose dry terrain does not attract much rain (except for sudden troubling downpours occasionally), my subconscious may be seeking to compensate for this deprivation by Nature.

In my dream, I was on a lush mountain top, with a raging river below on one side and a cliff on the other – which allowed me to see the distant sea and a rocky shore. It was raining, but I do not remember getting wet. I heard voices, yet neither saw nor met anyone. It was as if we were all avoiding one another. In the morning, I again remembered this compensatory dream. After all, had I not been born and bred in a lush tropical terrain? Had I not enjoyed the years I had lived there?

Then, much to my great surprise, during my sleep a few nights later, I had a thought flitting through my mind. Intuitively, I felt that spirits created their own personal environments in the Afterlife. Was that message from my Spirit Guide? As a recluse of many years, I am attracted to this possibility.

Indubitably, the conceptual vista of my soul as a time-traveller, traversing countries and cultures through the occupation of a long series of human bodies, and living (with all its pains and pleasures), and learning while necessarily adapting to a new home, and ultimately returning to The Source morally purified is spiritually satisfying. As ever, it is the journey (in spite of great suffering on the way) which matters, not the arrival Home.

Seeking to debunk the After-death experience

The after-death experience, also referred to as the near-death experience, occurs when a person is temporarily clinically dead. Some of those report flying, or otherwise moving, across a natural border of some kind towards a bright light and a few persons. One of these advises the sojourner to go back. Those who report an out-of- body experience of looking down at their own bodies have no out-of-Earth experiences to report.

Researcher Ian Wilson in his 1987 book ‘The After-Death Experience’ debunks “all varieties of claimed evidence for a life beyond the grave. He has checked out – and found wanting – the ‘past life’ memories produced by hypnotists … He has investigated mediums … He has inquired into the strange death-bed experiences reported … And he has exhaustively researched the stories of those whom, thanks to modern resuscitation methods, almost literally came back from the dead … “

“Yet, although Ian Wilson finds much that is both dubious and spurious … he presents compelling evidence that something of us might well survive physical death.” (From back cover of book)

Wilson also states (p.233) “But perhaps the real reason for the continued failure of all attempts so far to bring evidence for life after death within the confines of accepted science is something different … it may be that what truly constitutes ‘us’, a complex and evanescent set of memories and emotions, is simply not of an order to be isolated scientifically …”

The truth is that the scientific method requires repeatability of occurrences and observations. It is the most reliable method of researching the material realm, but not the immaterial, ephemeral, and insubstantial psychic phenomena of the ethereal realm.
This method is also restricted to processes of a mechanistic nature, notwithstanding the practice of some modern-day speculative scientific researchers offering hypotheses, as tentative explanations, which reportedly cannot be tested or mathematically reflected, even in the physical sciences. Where is the methodology for researching phenomena broadly categorised as psychic or paranormal?

Researchers whose religious beliefs deny the probability that each human has a soul; or whose path to knowledge is restricted to the methodology of science; or who rely on the visions of the dying; in order to explain away the real-life experiences (commonly one-off episodes) of some of those who were clinically dead temporarily, or who claim to recall some past-life events and relationships, may not be credible in some of their pronouncements.

Surely all clairvoyants and seers are not charlatans, or are easily misled. Surely academic researchers in parapsychology can be accepted as professionally competent, until proven otherwise.

The traditional boundary between the physical realm and what Ian Wilson refers to as “substance-less, space-and-time transcending something of us” may not be real. In a universe in which everything is somehow connected, the material realm may possibly be a ‘projection’ or emanation from the ephemeral realm; and that both realms are somehow intertwined.

In the latter circumstances, as in my own experience, reality will be physical, mental and spiritual simultaneously, and at all times; and remaining a mystery not yet penetrable.


RAJA – YouTube No. 5


The ancient bicultural author Raja Arasa Ratnam offers us the following thoughts.

Applying Occam’s Razor (or principle) that the simplest explanation is best, I begin by accepting that there has to be a Cosmic Creator. Our souls say so. The complexity, intricacy and beauty of the Cosmos say so.

I envisage (again applying the above principle) that the Creator (that is, God) created the Cosmos: and that it includes a mechanism which is itself capable of evolving, whilst facilitating evolution as a process. This would be accessible to other products of that same Creation. To evolve is to progress to something better.

It is a meaningless question, of course, to ask about the origin of God, although the Mundaka Upanished says that out of infinite Godhead came forth Brahma, the Creator, from whom sprung the Cosmos.

If the whole of the Cosmos is capable of change, as its component parts are subject to change, there surely must be scope for random events or chance impacts, as well as mishaps during processes (for example, genetic mutation). Perhaps there might be scope for influence: by the human mind (eg. mind-over-body pain control); by one’s spirit guides (eg. one’s subconscious mind directing an action for no rational reason); or even by an aspect of God (how would this be manifested – through one’s heart?) to intervene in events or processes.

Indeed, the Isha Upanished even allows for a personal deity (a manifestation of God), which I see as an acceptable projection from the universal Creator. As well, the mind is said to be only an instrument of consciousness; and the heart is said to be where the soul resides in its temporal home. Then, is God the Ocean of Consciousness of which we are all part, and to which we will ultimately return?

I do like the idea of being a transient projected entity from an Ocean of Consciousness. Life on Earth would then have some significance. Is there some mechanism which creates, sustains, and periodically destroys all that has been projected from, and by, that Ocean ? Hindu cosmology implies the cyclical path of all things and events of significance (including each of the many possible universes and all their component parts and manifestations) within an infinite Cosmos.

The metaphysical adherents of a faith would naturally seek an understanding of a reality transcending the guides for living of the great teachers of mankind: Moses, Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammed, Mahavira, and others.

There are, however, those who need to know about the meaning of existence, to seek to understand Reality. The experience and understanding they seek is, however, said to be beyond words, and to be Realised only through deep meditation.

In any event, each of us knows deep in our psyche that we are an integral cog in that web of a mutually-dependent creation.

Predicting adult personality from childhood behaviour

I read recently that the observed behaviour of a 4-year old can predicate the personality of the adult that the child will grow into. Even if this conclusion was drawn from a properly conducted survey covering a particular population at a point of time, could it apply to another population at the same point of time? Or, at a different point of time?

Are there not cultural differences, including parental behaviour, school policies, community values, and eroding societal standards for behaviour to be taken into account?

As well, what if (repeat, what if) the child’s behaviour seemed to reflect some past-life trauma, perhaps in the manner and circumstances of death? Having brought up children successfully, through firm rules and loving guidance, supplemented by on-going dialogues, and backed up by my studies on child development, with some reading on past-life memories displayed by children; and having contributed substantially to the development of a number of grandchildren, could I not offer some insight onto the behaviour of young children?

I once observed, over a period of a few days, a 6-month old baby who had no reason to be unhappy, and who did not always display the normal discomfort of indigestion, continually shout at the parent holding, and attempting to comfort, him. At 3 years, he remained un-cooperative and truculent and, in one instance, he whinged for about 45 minutes for no reason that I could perceive. I felt that this poor child could not help himself. By age 7, he was a normal child. Had he been driven by a subconscious painful past-life memory, considering that he had the most loving parents one could ask for?

Normally, tribal cultural values, applied through rigid family control, will ensure that not only behaviour, but also attitudes, conform to family and community standards. In the ethos of Asian communalism, this is important. Against this is the ethos of individualism of Western nations, manifest in less-controlled and guided children. However, individual rights can also be conferred by some primary school teachers, sometimes countering family values. I write from personal experience.

Is it significant that, when Australia-born offspring of tightly-knit immigrant Middle Eastern families break away (through peer-group and other influences) from parental values, some of these chose to be jihadists or become anti-social?

I’ll bet that they did not display such tendencies in childhood, especially at about age 4!

Psychic experiences are real

The following extracts have been taken from the website ‘Wake up world.’ The article is by Phillip J Watt titled ‘Parapsychology: How science is proving that psychic experiences are real’

“ … … we experience extraordinary feats of consciousness and extra-sensory perception (ESP) which blow our minds and hearts out of this world, with profound and ongoing impacts in our lives.

These feats may occur in many different guises and in a very personal way. Some believe these experiences to be genuinely extraordinary, whilst others explain them away as ‘coincidence’ or ‘figments of the imagination’. Regardless of our personal beliefs, unexplained occurrences and psychic phenomena such as extra-sensory reception, telepathy and even psychokinesis have been recorded throughout the history of all tribal and traditional civilizations, so it’s not just a modern marvel. What is fresh about this phenomenon is the development of a discipline called ‘Parapsychology’, which is essentially a scientific framework designed to study the ‘psi’ or ‘psychic’ experiences of humanity.” … …

“The reason psi phenomenon is not taken seriously by the academic community is because philosophical materialism – which is the unproven and dogmatic ‘belief’ that matter is the fundamental stuff of reality – has hijacked modern-day science. Essentially, this misplaced interpretation of a strictly mechanical universe is the model upon which any accumulating evidence is compared, and if certain data doesn’t fit into the limited paradigm of what science already understands, it is arrogantly and unscientifically rejected and explained away as pseudoscience.

Ironically, this prejudicial dismissal of evidence is itself the definition of pseudoscientific behaviour.

However, not all scientists have fallen victim to the materialist rhetoric. For example, in 2014 a team of over 100 prominent scientists and academics from around the world called for an open, informed study of all aspects of consciousness. These scientists included Daryl Bem (Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Cornell University), Irving Kirsch (Professor of Psychology, University of Plymouth, and Lecturer in Medicine, Harvard Medical School) and Brian Josephson (Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Cambridge, who is also a Nobel Prize winner for his work in the field of physics). Another example in the same year was the creation of a “Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science … to visualize what an emerging scientific view may look like”. The Manifesto was developed by eight respected scientists, including Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist and author best known for his theory of morphic fields and morphic resonance. Simply, both groups of scientists have called upon the scientific community to face their hypocrisy and transcend their philosophical bias toward the science of psi phenomenon.”

“ … … Notably, despite the stance of materialistic science, extra-sensory perceptions are not considered to be pseudoscience by the majority of average people. In a 2002 CBS News poll, 57% of people surveyed believed ESP to be real.

The reality is that parapsychological studies have accumulated mountains of sound scientific data that provides strong evidence for ‘extra sensory’ perceptions of the human mind. As stated in the Manifesto for a Post-Materialist Science :

Studies of the so-called “psi phenomena” indicate that we can sometimes receive meaningful information without the use of ordinary senses, and in ways that transcend the habitual space and time constraints. Furthermore, psi research demonstrates that we can mentally influence — at a distance — physical devices and living organisms (including other human beings). Psi research also shows that distant minds may behave in ways that are nonlocally correlated, i.e., the correlations between distant minds are hypothesized to be unmediated (they are not linked to any known energetic signal), unmitigated (they do not degrade with increasing distance), and immediate (they appear to be simultaneous). These events are so common that they cannot be viewed as anomalous or as exceptions to natural laws, but as indications of the need for a broader explanatory framework that cannot be predicated exclusively on materialism.”

(Comment: At last! Open scientific minds! My personal experiences need explanation as to how they occurred. There is a whole universe of the immaterial to be investigated, and understood.

At the very end of the psi phenomena is my question – How does my core me, my true and inner me, my soul, convey my past experiences to the current me with my form and substance?  If it is not Consciousness, what is it?

If it is Consciousness, then there must be the equivalent of the ‘worm holes,’ which cosmologists refer to optimistically, available to us – somehow, some time!)