Why Do So Many People Claim To Be Famous In A Past Life?

Discussion in 'Reincarnation Questions' started by Sunniva, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. Sunniva

    Sunniva Administrator Emeritus

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    Everybody reincarnates. Statistically it means that a certain percentage of human beings presently alive must have had a socalled 'famous past life', but according to the studies of Helen Wambauch, Ph.D. (1978) only about 10% of those, who remember past lives, can recall a 'famous' one.

    As put by Karen:
    Still, it can't be denied that some 'claims to fame' are real and valid. However, as implied above, 'famous past lives' is a controversial subject within reincarnation, posing difficulties to both those who claim them, and those who don't. Hopefully this thread will shed some light on some of the questions often asked.

    What are 'famous past lives'? Why do people claim them? Why are people so sceptical about it? And what are you going to do if you have memories of being a famous person?

    What are 'famous past lives'?
    Firstly, it's important to remember that a 'famous past life' is just another incarnation in a long row of reincarnations. Fame is not a trait in your character, but an adjective based on the relative number of people who know, or knew you, and generally, history dictates who is famous and who is not. 'Famous past lives' range from royalty to super stars, from criminals to heroes. These people may not have experienced the fame when they were alive, like an artist or philosopher only being recognized post mortem, or they may have experienced every facet of the word, like Marilyn Monroe or Elvis. Some people became famous because of something they did, good or bad, but may generally have played a rather insignificant part in history. What I am attempting to illustrate is that 'fame' is many things, and will be experienced differently by different people.

    Secondly, in the bigger scheme of things, famous people have no advantage in their spiritual growth just because they were famous. So basically, when researching your past lives, it's not really important whether your past incarnation was famous or not. As with any past life, what is important are the lessons learnt, or not learnt, the reasons for living that specific life, and making the choices you did. The most important thing in that person's life was most likely something within themself, or between them and their surroundings that history didn't record.

    That being said, recalling a 'famous past life' does offer some advantages, the main one being that they're often much easier to research, and thus validate, than non-famous past lives. Depending on how famous the person was, the internet, libraries and book shops will hold a vast amount of information about them. BUT, be careful! It's very easy to be influenced by movies, books, paintings, lectures, etc. on that particular person and their time. Also keep a critical mind when studying historical sources. Most of history was, and still is, written with a certain political agenda that influences the way people and their achievements are portrayed. Some people are made to look better or worse than they were, fact and fiction are sometimes mixed up with an exclusion of details that would compromise the general picture.

    Why are people so sceptical?
    People who claim a famous past life often have to stand more scrutiny than those with non-past lives. The main reason for this was mentioned in the beginning of this thread: the disproportionate incidences of famous past life claims compared to the amount of famous people. If you search the internet you will find many people who claim to be reincarnations of e.g. Anne Boleyn, Marilyn Monroe, or Napoleon, and obviously they can't all be right.

    Reincarnation is a controversial subject, even to some believers, and credibility is essential when it comes to past life memories. On this messageboard we often see people claiming a famous past life and yes, they often have to stand more scrutiny than others, because there are so many other aspects to claiming a past life than just to be interested in reincarnation, and as mentioned above, it's very easy to be influenced by all of the available information. We have to ask critical questions, because it would hurt the credibility of this forum if we just accepted any claim that was made.

    Why do some people claim a famous past life if they didn't have one?
    There are many different reasons why people would like others to believe that they've had a famous past life.
    The following was written by Karen:
    Further reading
    Here are some older threads with good points on famous past lives, and some of the problems that people who claim them may encounter:

    Famous People

    Avoiding the Acceptance Trap

    Does consciousness go to what it is familiar with?
     
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  2. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    This is a great topic from the FAQ section. I copied and pasted it here for discussion. Sunniva put it beautifully and gave some great links ;)
     
  3. Owl

    Owl Super-alt Mitglied

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  4. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

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    I tend to be very critical of the tendency all of us have of thinking that we had been famous or even infamous during a past life—even if it might be true. It just seems wrong on so many different levels:


    It is often motivated by ego. The values and complexity of our society causes us as individuals to feel unimportant. Thus, we are too often motivated to reach for past-life accomplishments. Even in this present life I have witnessed far too many people claiming accomplishments or experiences that don't belong to them in a sad and pathetic effort to achieve the respect and sympathy of others—Non-Veterans who claim to be Veterans, Veterans who claim to have received medals that they didn't earn, people who claim to be victims of 9/11, or various mass shootings around this country.


    It is far too easy to make a past-life claim concerning some notable event in the past. Who would know otherwise? This may not even be a conscious effort, for we often fool ourselves into thinking that we are capable of something that we are not; and if a person's lack of confidence is so great that they are subconsciously motivated to believe that they could have been famous during a past life, it seems plausible that they could sincerely believe that they had been that person.


    I do not intend to discredit any claims, for I have no way of knowing if such claims are real. I do believe in Reincarnation, and it is obvious to me, therefore, that Cicero, Rousseau, and Queen Victoria could all be presently living inside new bodies in close proximity to any one of us. However, I would not give those people any more respect than I would anyone else, even if I knew that they had been famous; for it is only their present accomplishments that are important.


    Given that Reincarnationists believe we have all been incarnated thousands of times, it is probably inevitable that we have all been famous at one time or another; and that we have all been poor beggars during most of our lives. What is more important than notoriety, fame or fortune is what we have learned along the way. Money and fame are short lived, because we can't take it with us. What we do keep are the deeper lessons that we have accumulated after eons of living on this earth.
     
  5. BriarRose

    BriarRose Senior Registered

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    We do need to remember that some people who claim to have a famous past life may actually have one! I have evidently been an inconsequential peasant for centuries, but that doesn't mean everyone has! I don't think we want to be so skeptical and unfeeling that we chase those who may have had one away. cover face
     
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  6. Owl

    Owl Super-alt Mitglied

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    I have to agree. I have no problems in believing somebody' s famous past life as long as their memories seem valid (they are not over-interpreting the facts) and they seem like a stable person (not doing it for attention, etc). Actually I've talked with several people with famous past lives (among a lot of non-famous lives) and their stories seem pretty real to me. Who knows? maybe famous past lives are more easy to remember because there are more triggers around. However, we should be more careful when researching a FPL of our own to not fall in common traps. In the end, a FPL is just another life, as Sunniva said, the difference is that we can find much more information about it, and that' s always useful.
     
  7. ChrisR

    ChrisR Administrator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Fame is an 'opinion' made and bestowed on a human being - by their fellow human beings. In the greater scheme of things, fame has no significance whatsoever. So basically, household names like Kennedy, Da Vinci, Columbus etc., are no more 'important' on the other side, than a beggar in the gutter or a tramp sleeping on a park bench, we're all just human beings experiencing life from different perspectives. Apart from a very few individuals, we're all born equal, with equal opportunities. Whichever path we take in life, whether by choice or destiny, we all end up back at the starting block, with a clean slate, and a new path to follow. With that in mind, I would have to agree with Nightrain:

     
  8. Owl

    Owl Super-alt Mitglied

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    :confused: What do you mean? who would be those individuals?


    Actually, I don' t think this life accomplishments are important either. What we did 20 years ago is as important as what we did 200 years ago. Accomplishments might not be important for anything besides "ego buster" and "social acceptance or positioning" in a meritocratic society. What matters is the way we interact with others, that' s what changes the world. And that' s ultimately what people remember, both in this life and in future lives.
     
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  9. ChrisR

    ChrisR Administrator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I was thinking of royalty or people born with a title.
     
  10. BriarRose

    BriarRose Senior Registered

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    I have to agree with this. As someone with no worldly accomplishments, I would think that this is an area where for people with ambition, "too much is never enough." I don't think people of accomplishment in another life deserve more respect because of it, but maybe they have greater responsibility to live up to potential. I'm presuming here that the soul characteristics that lead to accomplishment in one life survive to another. That's rather a big assumption, I know. I think we are all equal in a legal and moral sense, but we are not really all born with equal gifts, or even equal opportunity.
     
  11. firebird

    firebird Registered User

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    It's what you have said that seems wrong on so many different levels. You would deny someone their freedom to speak openly about their past life simply because it was one of fame, but more particularly even if it were (might be) true.... and worse, you presume ego is the motivating force for the majority of people who think they have lived a famous life. How do you know? In my experience, the number of people who do not speak openly about their FPLs tells me that their egos are kept well in check.


    If anyone understands that "fame" is not important, it's those who have been famous. The manner in which we go about pursuing our goals and living our life is what is of utmost importance, more so than what we actually accomplish. All of our past life experiences are important (whether we have lived a life as a beggar or as a King) – every single experience, in every single lifetime we have lived, has shaped our souls and made us who we are today.


    Here's hoping that you don't think ego is also the driving force behind spontaneous FPL memories too. These usually arise when a person has deep, unresolved issues from their past impacting on this life, so the fame aspect of that previous life is usually of little or no consequence in those instances. Of course a FPL memory alone is never proof .... but if very personal details were offered up as evidence to any critical skeptic, even if that evidence did defy any other reasonable explanation, the 'motivated by ego' tag would still come out. It's a no win situation, which is why I have advised people in the past to be very careful what they openly announce in public forums.


    As for the "tendency all of us have of thinking that we had been famous" ... I don't think ...
     
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  12. firebird

    firebird Registered User

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    No life experience is ever insignificant ... never.
     
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  13. HeatherMarie

    HeatherMarie New Member

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    Publicity. Even if I was certain I had a past life as a famous person, I'd keep it to myself. That life isn't one of my present achievements in this life. It's best to move on from it but remember what lessons you learned & not try to convince people.
     
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  14. Owl

    Owl Super-alt Mitglied

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    A lot of times the reason why people talk about them is not to convince others but because you want to talk about your own life, like everyone else does. However, due to the taboo, the social stigma and the problems associated with FPLs your choices are to either say nothing about it, repressing your opinions or to say things in a cryptic way so people won' t figure out who you were. Both are not comfortable. It' s easy to talk about your past life if you were Johnny, the English soldier who died in WWII, you are free to talk and everyone believes you. It' s not as easy if you were Winston Churchill, nobody will believe you and they will think you are doing it for attention. And it' s even worse if you were Iosif Stalin, not only you will have a hard time talking about your life since a lot of people won' t believe you and you will also have to deal with the ones who think you are doing it for attention, but on top of that you would be labelled as "Emo kid identifying with the bad people". It' s easier to have any life than a famous past life. And sometimes FPLs are only names, there' s no "fame" involved. Otherwise look at Van Gogh or Nietzsche, they both died in poverty and their lives were pretty bad.


    So it' s not just about the lessons, it' s mostly about interactions and being able to talk about your past life freely as everyone else is.


    I' m not saying that every FPL claim is true, I've seen a lot of people over the years who were misguided, and just went for the famous name because it was easier, it was what they associated with a particular time or place. But with time those people either disappear from the face of Earth or find their true self.
     
  15. Chinita

    Chinita New Member

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    Could it possibly be that sometimes people either remember a famous life or have false memories as some sort of punishment either to the real person (who possibly is aware of their past identity but sees others who claim to be that person) or the claimant (who for some reason has to deal with an identity crisis)?
     
  16. HeatherMarie

    HeatherMarie New Member

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    I don't even care why they publicize it. Famous frauds are part of the reason reincarnation is so unorthodox. I've seen so many stories about people who think they were Queen Nefertiti or Marilyn Monroe. I mean... good golly. lol
     
  17. Sister Grey

    Sister Grey Senior Registered

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    Some FPL accounts may well be true - no doubt are! - but each one makes me believe less and less in reincarnation. Certainly all the duplicate Marilyn Monroes and Nefertitis do. I know somebody had to be Anne Frank and Marie Antoinette, but someone also had to have been my great-great aunt (who was murdered in a dispute over a cow). The percentage of people who remember any past life is very tiny, the odds don't favor the famous lives being as well covered as they are.
     
  18. HeatherMarie

    HeatherMarie New Member

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    I know and agree. It's not worth reading about people who claim to have a FPL's in my opinion. Utter waste of time. There was someone on here who actually claimed to be Marie Antoinette... I mean, if you truly think you were keep it to yourself.
     
  19. Red Night

    Red Night Senior Registered

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    I think that's very cruel of you to say. This forum is for EVERYONE; it is a safe place, or should be, for all to come here and discuss their feelings and possible memories. Nobody should feel unnerved or uncomfortable to share what they think may be a possible past life. After all, somebody has to be the reincarnation of Marie Antoinette.


    I, for a long time, considered the possibility that I was the reincarnation of Anne Frank. It had nothing to do with publicity or my ego either; I read her diary when I was fifteen and found that we had incredibly similar personalities, we looked alike (to the point where it was a joke in school for friends to call me "Anne"... and I'm a guy!), and above all her story resonated with me when I was already struggling with very, very strong and deep set emotions towards the Holocaust and WWII. That isn't even to mention the endless string of coincidences and signs.


    But the thing is, I don't know if I was Anne Frank. I still don't know to this day, despite the fact that there is already a woman out there who claims to be. And honestly I believe her for the most part, but there is still always that nagging thought. Maybe I knew Anne Frank; maybe I was one of the others hiding in the Secret Annex. Maybe I just relate to her so strongly because I too was a teenager who died in a concentration camp. Hell, I might have even been a Nazi who feels overwhelming guilt and is confusing the pain of others for his own. Who knows, but guess what? It helps me to come here, somewhere I can feel safe and expect well thought out answers from people who can sympathise with me and understand my troubles. People who have been through, to one extent or another, what I'm going through. We all need that. To have someone to listen and give advice, no matter how outrageous our problems may sound is a true blessing, and I should hope we can all find that here when it comes to reincarnation no matter what.
     
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  20. HeatherMarie

    HeatherMarie New Member

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    My "keep it to yourself" comment was more directed at people who go to the media to convince and publicize it, not those who use and seek solace on the forums. MA was just one example. No need to get upset?
     

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