Why don't we remember past lives? Well, some people do, but most of us don't - consciously at least. The reason is simple; we don't love enough. Not just any love, but a special kind of love which Jesus spoke of when he said "love one another as I have loved you."
Not being able to remember our past lives means that we don't understand reincarnation and therefore don't see it mentioned in the Bible. The main reason we don't understand reincarnation is because we are lack awareness of our spiritual vision. Our vision is confined to what we can physically see and touch.
Yet within the physical lies spirit, spirit gives physical form and life.
When we die spirit leaves this form an empty, lifeless shell.
The best way to understand this is to contemplate the life cycle of a butterfly; compare the pupa to our body and the butterfly to our spirit.
Thank you for the great photo www.learnaboutnature.com#sthash.Cvy9YibM.dpuf
Watch this time lapsed video Amazing Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly
When we consider spirit, and the spiritual worlds, we need to think of spirit as an invisible force within us and around us - giving us life and form - not something "out there." When we begin to traverse the boundaries of what we can see and touch, we realise that one of the most spiritual things we do in life is to love. Love is not something "out there," it is an activity we constantly experience in one form or another. We can't touch love, but we can see it in the expression on people's faces and in their gestures.
Through love spirit reaches out to touch us.
Love is a complex and even mysterious feeling. It has many layers and different expressions. We can even disguise our hatred as love. In the Bible, we see how love plays out in the life of the man Jesus as he took into himself the Cosmic Christ. Even though he was berated, mocked, scorned and immobilized on a cross, he never stopped loving.
Jesus is the role model for our own journey of spiritual growth; we can apply his experiences to our inner self, within our consciousness. Our inner Jesus is that part of us that always tries to act in a higher way, that part of us yearning for purity, purity necessary before the Christ impulse will become an active part of our consciousness. This is not a straightforward process as we soon discover.
As we begin to commit to a higher expression, something within us then mocks and immobilizes us. We hear an inner voice saying, "Don't be such a goody-two-shoes, you could be bullied for that." In this way we are mocking, scorning, and crucifying our inner Jesus.
This leaves us asking the question: how was it possible for Jesus to love so much that he could bear all that he bore on his journey to the cross? The answer tells us how we can recognize the presence of Christ in this world, in us and in each other.
The New Commandment is the answer:
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." Jn 15:12
Innocence (L'innocence) - William Adolphe Bouguereau (1893)
Love is not a simple straightforward feeling; it has different expressions. The Greeks used four different words for love.
1. Eros is erotic physical love. Eros is the Greek god of fertility. This is passionate love involving sensual desire and longing. This kind of love leads to procreative urges to ensure the survival of the species.
2. Philia is the love arising in friendship and even in business connections. There is mutual admiration that can be supportive and nurturing but also exclusive. If the usefulness of the relationship changes, so can the relationship.
3. Storge is the love of family, tribe and nation. It can be defensive and aggressive to those outside the group. This is the kind of love we also find in the animal kingdom.
4. Agape is the highest love. We can call it divine love, Christ-ened love. This love is expressed by those who experience the highest in themselves - which they also see in others. It speaks of unification and intense compassion. This love is expressed without fear or favour and therefore it is not sentimental. It may not always be interpreted as love because it can cut like a sword.
In the New Commandment the word used for 'love' is agape, "that you agape-love one another as I have agape-loved you." This is the only love strong enough to see our own past lives. Why? Because seeing our past lives requires agape-love to be able to deal with our karma - the consequences of our actions in a past life.
Generally, we respond to our karma by blaming the other person for what they have said or done to us. For example, if someone undermines us, we need to look for the cause in our own actions in a past life - perhaps we caused them to fall through a floor, or lose their footing somehow.
Facing our karma takes courage and it takes agape-love for self. St Paul knew this which is why he wanted to record these words for perpetuity.
"Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." Gal 6:7
There are many quotes in the Bible about reincarnation, and many references to agape-love. When we truly understand the purpose of living repeated lives on this earth, we come to understand that karma is a blessing; it enables us to act in a higher way. It also enables us to experience agape-love. The higher our response to our karma, the closer we come to a true experience of Christ Jesus.