Is There Wisdom in Carrying Past Life Baggage?

I have been seriously mulling over the concept of reincarnation.

That’s not entirely true.

I came across the concept while re-reading Cunningham’s Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner, then promptly forgot about it. I came across the concept again touched upon very lightly in one of the Esther, Jerry, and Abraham Hicks books, thought it was kind of cool the way they put it, (that we jump in and out of physical lives as leading-edge creators), then forgot about it again.

Left turn:

In my life, I have been through some unholy trauma that lasted many, many years. All is well now. All is safe. PTSD still lingers, but I’m 90% golden these days.

Left turn:

Last night I had a combination flashback/dream of some things that happened to me more than a decade ago when I was in the bad place. Prominently featured was the gold/green carpet of that place.

I woke from that dream. I buried my face in the pillow. I shook it off. I went back to sleep.

This time I dreamed I was a wealthy woman in Enlightenment Era France, (think Marie Antoinette style—lots of decadence—lots of opulence). I sat in the middle of the floor of my drawing room, the walls painted pale yellow, midday sunlight pouring in glinting off the gilt gold frames of the many, many priceless portraits of my ancestors that adorned the walls. My husband, some noble or other, had beaten me. He was still angry and I knew he would come back into the room any minute and wreak more havoc.

He flung the doors open, their gold handles crashing into the walls on either side. He began blustering unintelligibly. He took down one of the portraits and, as I begged him not to, he smashed it to the floor. This he did over and over again with each and every portrait.

Left turn:

I don’t believe in karma and karmic debt.

Full circle:

If I take for granted that I am the sole creator of my own experience and if I take reincarnation for granted also—that I am a single soul passing from life to life to life; and if I allow myself to entertain the possibility that the second dream was a representation, if not actually a memory, of a past life, then I must ask myself what it is I am carrying from life to life that causes me to create scenarios over and over that are similar to the point that the color palette is even the same?

When we rest between lifetimes, do we hang onto our baggage? Is that our prerogative? If we do, what is the wisdom in that? Surely there must be some if we believe that while we are reunited with source we are at least a little wiser than we are now.

I am beginning to understand why the idea of karmic retribution that follows one from this life to the next grabs ahold of the spiritual logic and imagination. It ties a lot of loose ends nicely. Because I don’t believe in divine retribution at all, however, under any circumstance, I am left with more questions than answers, as usual.

The best I can do at the moment, perhaps the best any of us can do, is to acknowledge the baggage, whatever it is, feel compassion for our past selves, (I call mine Josephine), and extend that compassion as much as possible to ourselves as we are, here and now.

-M.

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