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How can somebody know if their past life memories are real or not?

melon04

Senior Member
Is it possible for past life memories to be distorted or fake? I'm well aware that the human memory isn't always reliable. Is it possible that some of the things you see are made up?

I will mention that when I did my regression it was definitely a unique experience. it didn't feel like I was dreaming nor did it feel like I was just making up things.

Another person on Discord agreed with me when I said it. He did the same video I did because he was curious about it and he recalled being an ancient Ethiopian fisherman. He described it as "a vivid snapshot into a different point of time".
 

Tinnos

Senior Member
I've had some memories (well, somewhat) validated and some that I found out were from a book I read a long time ago and forgot about.
The validated memories had a depth to them, and really felt like they belonged to me. While the anti-validated memories just felt different. Like, and this won't make any sense I bet, it's like I'm a tree. And the true memories felt like they came from my roots, while the false memories felt like junk caught in my branches from the wind. They didn't feel like mine, or they took place in third person instead of first person, or it felt like I was watching a movie rather than being there.

*as close to validation as I think I can get short of finding a name or something, anyway
 

cloud potato

Senior Registered
The answer is yes. But I'm at a point in life where I don't associate the information solely to my personality. There are so many unique ways to experience ideas, visions and communication not always bound to the format you or I are familiar with. What matters is the importance you feel behind it and whether or not there is something of use. Some days, it's better for me to discard a dream than to be preoccupied with far-reaching potentials. I need to focus on my goals and the day ahead of me.

So is it a past life? Is it your past life? Could you have been tapping into psychic phenomenon? Are these points in time still alive?

These are just ideas I am sharing with you and we can't always know if something is of use- if you decide to let it go but it is important, it will more than likely find a way to reach you again. I think you knew the answer to your first question, so... if you're uncertain what you are seeing you can at least call your vision information. I believe we are being guided, and these moments are like steps leading to the development of your faith(something personal that requires no adherence to any previously established philosophy or religion).

PS, What did you see? I think that's really cool you and someone else were able to get results! What did you use to help with your regression?
Kind regards
~CP
 

melon04

Senior Member
I've had some memories (well, somewhat) validated and some that I found out were from a book I read a long time ago and forgot about.
The validated memories had a depth to them, and really felt like they belonged to me. While the anti-validated memories just felt different. Like, and this won't make any sense I bet, it's like I'm a tree. And the true memories felt like they came from my roots, while the false memories felt like junk caught in my branches from the wind. They didn't feel like mine, or they took place in third person instead of first person, or it felt like I was watching a movie rather than being there.

When I did the regression, every memory of my past life I saw was in first person except at the very beginning (when I first actually got to the point where I could see the memories) and the very end (when I saw myself die).

It was a little hard to verify the things I saw; however some things I have actually been able to. (For example, I found drawings of Jewish men from the same area and time period I was in, and their outfits looked like mine.) But other things are less clear. For example, I don't remember what my name was and I said that I believe my name was something like Johann or similar. But Johann is a Christian name, which means one of three things:
  1. Since I said I wasn't 100% sure, it is unlikely that was my actual name and that it was rather some other similar name such as Yehonatan/Yonassan/etc (more appropriate for the ethnicity; however I have been unable to find the name used during that time period)
  2. I may have converted to Christianity and changed my name, possibly in order to marry my wife from that lifetime. I don't know if my wife was Jewish or gentile; however her outfit didn't look like any of the drawings of Jewish women from that time and area. (And if this option is true, that may at least partially explain why the whole time I was depressed when seeing the memories and thinking about how much of a dirty Jew I was.)
  3. The name may have been 100% wrong.
In the future I would like to find out more about this specific lifetime. Hopefully I can find details such as name, dates of birth and death, and specific locations.
 
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SeaAndSky

Senior Registered
Hi Melon,

Good research and analysis. So much of what one has to do, having received crazy images and feelings in this process, is just what you are doing--rational follow-up investigation to try to sift out the truth and possibilities. You may never be completely sure of everything, but you seem to be making some good progress. It is always possible you will reach an impasse, unable to move any further in verification and understanding. But I personally feel like you will find out a good deal more before you reach that point.

BTW--This is another juncture where you might want to contact the people who seek out former Jews who have reincarnated outside of Judaism. They may be able to advise you on some of the cultural issues and facts on the ground at that time and place. It could be interesting.

Cordially,
S&S
 

Tinnos

Senior Member
When I did the regression, every memory of my past life I saw was in first person except at the very beginning (when I first actually got to the point where I could see the memories) and the very end (when I saw myself die).
Oh yeah, forgot about the seeing yourself die part. That actually could make sense to see in third person, given how many out-of-body experiences people have mentioned near death. I have a potential memory of my own where I saw myself dying, did the whole "floating above the body" thing, I haven't looked into that one as much though.
 

melon04

Senior Member
Hi Melon,

Good research and analysis. So much of what one has to do, having received crazy images and feelings in this process, is just what you are doing--rational follow-up investigation to try to sift out the truth and possibilities. You may never be completely sure of everything, but you seem to be making some good progress. It is always possible you will reach an impasse, unable to move any further in verification and understanding. But I personally feel like you will find out a good deal more before you reach that point.

BTW--This is another juncture where you might want to contact the people who seek out former Jews who have reincarnated outside of Judaism. They may be able to advise you on some of the cultural issues and facts on the ground at that time and place. It could be interesting.

Cordially,
S&S
I do remember you telling me about the whole thing about Jews who try to find gentiles who were reincarnated former Jews.

But what you said about the "reach[ing] an impasse, unable to move any further in verification and understanding": I feel like I have already reached that point with my current knowledge of this life time. I know so little about that lifetime, which leaves so many unanswered questions.
 

melon04

Senior Member
Oh yeah, forgot about the seeing yourself die part. That actually could make sense to see in third person, given how many out-of-body experiences people have mentioned near death. I have a potential memory of my own where I saw myself dying, did the whole "floating above the body" thing, I haven't looked into that one as much though.

I didn't see my death as "floating above the body" but rather it looked and felt like a camera panning out.
 
I can't even count how often I wondered this... is it possible I made it all up? Cryptomnesia? Can never exclude this entirely, just that I checked possible sources (even some I was sure I hadn't read/watched before), and they never are exactly the same (and sometimes even trigger strong reactions). It isn't like watching a movie either. I am inside a body, or it is like when something makes me think of something I experienced in my current life, like "in the 1990's when that guy my friend shared a flat with had this strange poster on his door, what was his name again" just that it is something from before my current birth. My gut feeling and spirit guides (if these messages ARE coming from something like spirite guides/Higher Self and not just... anything) seem to say it's all real, but... when it comes to anything concerning myself... I have way more problems to believe myself than to believe others for some reason. Yeah, doesn't make much sense.

Anyway, to Johann. According to a video I stumbled upon lately, "Yohanan" is one variant. Doesn't sound THAT different from "Johann".
The three possibilities you listed all make sense. Or maybe, someone just pronounced your name a bit wrong.

In case you are interested, this is the video about all the different variants of "John":
 

melon04

Senior Member
Anyway, to Johann. According to a video I stumbled upon lately, "Yohanan" is one variant. Doesn't sound THAT different from "Johann".
The three possibilities you listed all make sense. Or maybe, someone just pronounced your name a bit wrong.

In case you are interested, this is the video about all the different variants of "John":
Oh yeah I remembered wrong. Yonassan is John. Yehonatan was what I was thinking of.
 

Totoro

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
I was just saying on your other question, the best proof of a past life is to be able to verify a memory, dream etc through historical research.

If you're brutally honest with yourself and there's no way you could have known the bit of information and you were able to verify it after exhausting research through things that aren't generally known to the general public, I would consider that proof of the validity of a past life memory.
 

melon04

Senior Member
I have heard multiple sources say that past life memories tend to be metaphorical and not literal. How true is this?
 

Totoro

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Metaphorically? I've only heard that about dreams, but if a real experience becomes a memory and it's remembered in a future life, how can it be a metaphor? Wouldn't it be, for all intents and purposes a recording of actual events?

Messages and other things from spirit guides, if you believe in those, might be metaphors, but I don't believe memories are in any way.

Now granted, we may remember something or it may be triggered by something and if we analyze it, it can shed light on a current issue or difficulty. But that's a direct connection, not a metaphorical one.
 

melon04

Senior Member
Metaphorically? I've only heard that about dreams, but if a real experience becomes a memory and it's remembered in a future life, how can it be a metaphor? Wouldn't it be, for all intents and purposes a recording of actual events?

Messages and other things from spirit guides, if you believe in those, might be metaphors, but I don't believe memories are in any way.

Now granted, we may remember something or it may be triggered by something and if we analyze it, it can shed light on a current issue or difficulty. But that's a direct connection, not a metaphorical one.
Okay that makes sense.
 

melon04

Senior Member
When I did the regression, every memory of my past life I saw was in first person except at the very beginning (when I first actually got to the point where I could see the memories) and the very end (when I saw myself die).

It was a little hard to verify the things I saw; however some things I have actually been able to. (For example, I found drawings of Jewish men from the same area and time period I was in, and their outfits looked like mine.) But other things are less clear. For example, I don't remember what my name was and I said that I believe my name was something like Johann or similar. But Johann is a Christian name, which means one of three things:
  1. Since I said I wasn't 100% sure, it is unlikely that was my actual name and that it was rather some other similar name such as Yehonatan/Yonassan/etc (more appropriate for the ethnicity; however I have been unable to find the name used during that time period)
  2. I may have converted to Christianity and changed my name, possibly in order to marry my wife from that lifetime. I don't know if my wife was Jewish or gentile; however her outfit didn't look like any of the drawings of Jewish women from that time and area. (And if this option is true, that may at least partially explain why the whole time I was depressed when seeing the memories and thinking about how much of a dirty Jew I was.)
  3. The name may have been 100% wrong.
In the future I would like to find out more about this specific lifetime. Hopefully I can find details such as name, dates of birth and death, and specific locations.
I've been thinking about it for the past several days but I am strongly betting on #2. Not necessarily regarding my name but now that I think about it I may have converted to Christianity during that lifetime and I have several reasons why I think this happened. (Won't go into them right now though.) But that would raise even more questions…

At this point the only way to be 100% is to regress again and try to find out. (I really want to know what my name was though.)
 
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melon04

Senior Member
I've been thinking about it for the past several days but I am strongly betting on #2. Not necessarily regarding my name but now that I think about it I may have converted to Christianity during that lifetime and I have several reasons why I think this happened. (Won't go into them right now though.) But that would raise even more questions…

At this point the only way to be 100% is to regress again and try to find out. (I really want to know what my name was though.)
I actually just found this webpage. Some of the content is irrelevant to my situation, but I am especially focused on the section called "Religious Conversions". In a way it would have made a lot of sense if something like this actually happened to me.
 
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HBC

Senior Member
This is another juncture where you might want to contact the people who seek out former Jews who have reincarnated outside of Judaism.

Not to jump in and interrupt this conversation or anything, but WHO and WHERE are these people?! I didn't know there were such people! I thought I just had to swallow my grief and deny what I feel to be my "Jewish roots." Having had zero religious upbringing in this life, the spiritual aspects of my previous life are still a major guiding force for me, but at the same time I feel I've no right to claim that. Like I'm on the outside looking in at a family that I have failed and therefore ostracized myself from. I didn't think ANYONE would be interested in people like me! Do they really exist?!?!?!?!
 

melon04

Senior Member
Not to jump in and interrupt this conversation or anything, but WHO and WHERE are these people?! I didn't know there were such people! I thought I just had to swallow my grief and deny what I feel to be my "Jewish roots." Having had zero religious upbringing in this life, the spiritual aspects of my previous life are still a major guiding force for me, but at the same time I feel I've no right to claim that. Like I'm on the outside looking in at a family that I have failed and therefore ostracized myself from. I didn't think ANYONE would be interested in people like me! Do they really exist?!?!?!?!
I also had a Jewish past life. SeaAndSky has told me about these same exact people before, but I can't find them. (I do think it would be interesting to talk to them about my past life but I have no interest in converting to Judaism.)

I have been interested in talking to other people who had Jewish past lives (and especially those that are NOT Holocaust-related) but at the same time I worry if I am overstepping things and would come across as being weird about it.
 

HBC

Senior Member
I have heard multiple sources say that past life memories tend to be metaphorical and not literal. How true is this?

I've played with the "metaphor" concept a bit -- it's quite useful when it comes to helping understand WHY I remember certain things. Like "this conversation with my past life colleague symbolizes why I feel like X, Y or Z" . . . but at the end of the day I'm still left with the question of why the metaphor insists on expressing itself as a conversation with a 1930's fabric salesman? I've written a LOT of fiction in my life, and play with metaphor in a BIG way -- in my first novel, I used a parasitic disease as a stand-in for an abusive relationship I was caught in, and writing it out metaphorically allowed me to see the truth in my situation and break free after conventional therapy had completely failed. So metaphors are INCREDIBLY powerful and can bring about profound healing -- but when I'm writing fiction I choose the metaphors and I can change them. When I wrote my "past life" into a novella I found I had no such luxury. I couldn't tweak or twist things without a nagging sense that I was lying. And I wished I could -- there are several things in that book I wish weren't there! But I felt such a need to get it all out, so I did, in spite of my embarrassment. There's got to be something to the sudden distinction between "truth" and "fiction" that comes up when I write about my past life. Right?

I'm not saying I fully believe. I've had countless historical memories I couldn't have known verified, yet I haven't found any solid evidence of my actual existence. I also have a long history of "clues" sprinkled throughout my life -- kind of nonsensical impulses and proclivities that can easily be explained away as residues from my last life. But people are reliant on others to validate their reality. No matter how much we're told that we shouldn't seek external validation, to completely refrain from doing so is true madness. Consensus reality is what tells us up and down, day and night -- consensus reality keeps us grounded. When you are alone in something, when you are the sole witness to an experience, the loneliness can be traumatic. I feel like my brain is in pieces some days, part of me deeply rooted in all the emotions and experiences of my previous life and another part of me hitting them with a broom, shouting, "Shoo! Shoo!" And I can't help but wonder, once more as someone who KNOWS, LOVES and WORKS WITH metaphor, storytelling, and the imaginal realms, What exactly is it about these "fantasies" that makes them so haunting, tenacious, and unflinchingly stubborn?

I've driven myself mad with this question of metaphor, I really have. The nebulousness of it all often makes me wish that I'd never remembered a single thing. And yet, as with more flexible metaphors, I have gotten a lot of healing from it. But it bears mentioning again, these past life memories of mine really don't operate like anything else in my imagination. When I find a piece of "evidence," for example, that is close, but not quite right, I discard it, no matter how disappointed that makes me feel. If I were making this up like a work of fiction, I'm positive I'd bend my story to fit the evidence. But this story just won't bend.

At least one thing is certain: it's entirely natural to doubt and want confirmation. It's human nature to want to belong to a shared reality, and remembering something so subjective and private as a whole other incarnation -- a whole other reality -- is very unsettling without a way to anchor it. So whether or not any of us ever find the holy grail of evidence, we can at least feel good that we have the impulse to crave it; it shows that we're still sane. Mostly. ;)
 

HBC

Senior Member
I also had a Jewish past life. SeaAndSky has told me about these same exact people before, but I can't find them. (I do think it would be interesting to talk to them about my past life but I have no interest in converting to Judaism.)

I have been interested in talking to other people who had Jewish past lives (and especially those that are NOT Holocaust-related) but at the same time I worry if I am overstepping things and would come across as being weird about it.

Right? I feel like I'd be weird about it no matter what. I would probably convert if I felt the congregation was right, but it's such a sticky situation -- I know that a lot of orthodox Jews in particular are pretty judgy of converts, and that would hurt because I WAS orthodox! But I was also a judgy orthodox dude myself, so . . . it's my karma. Literally :rolleyes: Not that I'd be orthodox -- I'm much more attracted to reform Judaism now, but I wouldn't feel comfortable being Jewish unless I was fully accepted as being Jewish, by the whole diaspora. Plus, the whole political situation in Israel is pretty complicated, and I'd feel uncomfortable as a convert being too opinionated about that -- and everyone expects you to have an opinion, so o_O Maybe I wouldn't "probably convert" after all :p I just wish I could resume certain aspects of my previous lifestyle without feeling like I was invading a private party.

My experiences were loosely Holocaust related, but I wasn't in the Holocaust. I was in England, and understood enough to know that my relatives on the continent were in trouble, but no one really understood the details when I was alive (I died in 1940). I tried to get people out of Belgium and Holland, but nothing came of my efforts. The whole beginning of the war was a real mess for my sanity, but most of my associations with Judaism revolve more around Shabbos and Mussar and for whatever reason the mikveh -- I know it's supposed to be a woman's thing, but I'd go at least once a year, before Yom Kippur (if not more), and I had a semi-secret desire to go more often. It was such a mystical experience for me, connecting with God like that. Now days I just take a lot of baths :D My mom was descended from a line of rabbis in what is now eastern Poland, and my dad (I think) was from somewhere outside Vilnius, and strongly influenced by Salanter. They were incredible parents who gave me such a solid foundation and ultimately forgave me a lot of "wayward tendencies" -- it's hard to let go of the influence of people who were just so good at raising me. It's a rare thing to have such sensitive yet principled parents, it was the perfect blend. Most of my memories of Judaisim are tied up in them, ultimately. The Holocaust was just a jarring side-note, and a tragic ending to my relationship with that tradition.

When/where/who were you as a Jew? :) And have you been "called" to Israel in this life? I went almost 20 years ago, ages before remembering any of my past life, and everyone I knew found it so random. One of the strangest moments was standing at the Wailing Wall, feeling like I'd forgotten something very, very important. The question kept flickering in my mind: "Why did I come here again? What am I trying to do?" Jerusalem had always been a bucket-list city for me in my previous life, and my parents were ardent Zionists, especially my mom (she was just ardent in general). What's funny is, in this life, I went over there to do peace work and was mainly drawn in by Palestinian culture. My interest in Jewish culture there kind of caught me off guard! I'm a little upset that I went when I did, and not with my memories intact. I imagine it would feel so much more fulfilling to go again now.
 
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SeaAndSky

Senior Registered
Hi Melon/HBC:

After doing some quick searches online this morning, I did not come up with the name of a particular group that searches for lost Jewish souls (born outside of Judaism). Apologies on that. My reference to such a group came from reading an article about, or interview of, an Orthodox Rabbi and expert on Kabbalah, who mentioned that his fellow believers were always on the look-out for such folks. Unfortunately, I can't find the article or remember the name of the Rabbi involved. However, it is easy enough to find Jewish believers in Kabbalah and Gilgul online and to make contact. So, there should be answers there. And, from what I can tell they are very open to the concept and can provide guidance.

Likewise, those who follow-through and convert to Judaism seem to be seen by most Jews as having been born with a Jewish soul, and to have just found their way "home". To some this seems to be thought to be the result of some degree of Jewish heritage (blood). To others, due to a past lifetime or lifetimes. In any case, from what I have read online, those who approach the possibility of conversion with humility and respect will be welcomed, though the road to full acceptance and membership seems to be quite arduous.

Cordially,
S&S
 
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melon04

Senior Member
When/where/who were you as a Jew? :) And have you been "called" to Israel in this life? I went almost 20 years ago, ages before remembering any of my past life, and everyone I knew found it so random. One of the strangest moments was standing at the Wailing Wall, feeling like I'd forgotten something very, very important. The question kept flickering in my mind: "Why did I come here again? What am I trying to do?" Jerusalem had always been a bucket-list city for me in my previous life, and my parents were ardent Zionists, especially my mom (she was just ardent in general). What's funny is, in this life, I went over there to do peace work and was mainly drawn in by Palestinian culture. My interest in Jewish culture there kind of caught me off guard! I'm a little upset that I went when I did, and not with my memories intact. I imagine it would feel so much more fulfilling to go again now.
I do not know the specifics, but I lived in Germany during the 1600s. (If I had to guess, I was born sometime between the 1580s-early 1590s and died circa 1650.) I know very little details of my life (for example, I don't know what my name was). I do know that I was a woodworker and I seemed to be unhappy. I was also married and had (at least) two children (I'm saying "at least" because I saw only two children but it's likely I had more because it was common practice in the past, since most children died young). My wife from that lifetime is currently my younger sister, which is interesting because my mom said that me and her have always been kind of together. However, I do strongly suspect that she was a gentile and that I converted to Christianity. I have never been to Israel before and I would not want to visit unless it is some time in the future when the Palestine conflict is resolved.

I had no clue that reincarnation was part of Jewish tradition until I joined this forum. I've read things about gilgul online and I've been trying to find other stories about gentiles with Jewish past lives but most of them are Holocaust related which isn't very helpful in my case. I've also tried verifying some of the things I saw which was also kind of hard because 1. I have very little information about that lifetime and 2. Most of the information about German Jewish history (and European Jewish history in general) was either from the 20th century or the Middle ages (and occasionally from the 19th century as well), and the 17th century was between those time periods. I've especially been curious regarding what I said about my suspicion that I converted to Christianity during that time: it has been hard trying to find information about Jewish converts to Christianity because everything I've found was either related to 1. Modern times, 2. The Crusades, or 3. The Inquisition, all of which are irrelevant to my case.
 
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SeaAndSky

Senior Registered
Right? I feel like I'd be weird about it no matter what. I would probably convert if I felt the congregation was right, but it's such a sticky situation -- I know that a lot of orthodox Jews in particular are pretty judgy of converts, and that would hurt because I WAS orthodox! But I was also a judgy orthodox dude myself, so . . . it's my karma. Literally :rolleyes: Not that I'd be orthodox -- I'm much more attracted to reform Judaism now, but I wouldn't feel comfortable being Jewish unless I was fully accepted as being Jewish, by the whole diaspora. Plus, the whole political situation in Israel is pretty complicated, and I'd feel uncomfortable as a convert being too opinionated about that -- and everyone expects you to have an opinion, so o_O Maybe I wouldn't "probably convert" after all :p I just wish I could resume certain aspects of my previous lifestyle without feeling like I was invading a private party. . . .

Hi HBC,

Just curious why you only consider Orthodox and Reformed? Why not Conservative? It seems to inhabit more of a middle space in the spectrum, which might be more in keeping with what you are looking for at this point in time.

Cordially,
S&S

PS--I am, btw, a fan of worship space that is actually conducive to a spirit of worship. We all have to make due with what we have, but I still prefer something that looks like a house of worship (be it ever so humble) rather than a theater or ??. I only mention this as a prelude to the image below, which is on the Wikipedia Reform Judaism page. Wow! Not only beautiful but uplifting. Awe inspiring might be even more apt. Sometimes small is better, but if big is needed, size should be used like it is used here . . . . /s&s
480px-Congregation_Emanu-El_of_the_City_New_York.jpg
 
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SeaAndSky

Senior Registered
Hi Melon,

As you say, it doesn't relate to anything other than the Jewish part. But it is not unusual for conversations on the board to branch out into others areas. In this particular case, you and HBC got me interested in the question of conversion to Judaism, which I then began to explore. I found some things that I thought might be of interest to you and/or her, and posted accordingly. My last post was primarily directed to HBC's ambivalence in terms of Orthodox vs. Reformed Judaism. The article seemed to highlight both the possibilities and difficulties faced by a woman ardently following the Orthodox path (and even becoming a Rabbi). Hence, I thought it would be of particular interest to her as she considers her own possible paths.

Cordially,
S&S
 
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melon04

Senior Member
Hi Melon,

As you say, it doesn't relate to anything other than the Jewish part. But it is not unusual for conversations on the board to branch out into others areas. In this particular case, you and HBC got me interested in the question of conversion to Judaism, which I then began to explore. I found some things that I thought might be of interest to you and/or her, and posted accordingly. My last post was primarily directed to HBC's ambivalence in terms of Orthodox vs. Reformed Judaism. The article seemed to highlight both the possibilities and difficulties faced by a woman ardently following the Orthodox path (and even becoming a Rabbi). Hence, I thought it would be of particular interest to her as she considers her own possible paths.

Cordially,
S&S
Okay then. That makes sense.
 

HBC

Senior Member
Hi HBC,

Just curious why you only consider Orthodox and Reformed? Why not Conservative? It seems to inhabit more of a middle space in the spectrum, which might be more in keeping with what you are looking for at this point in time.

Cordially,
S&S

PS--I am, btw, a fan of worship space that is actually conducive to a spirit of worship. We all have to make due with what we have, but I still prefer something that looks like a house of worship (be it ever so humble) rather than a theater or ??. I only mention this as a prelude to the image below, which is on the Wikipedia Reform Judaism page. Wow! Not only beautiful but uplifting. Awe inspiring might be even more apt. Sometimes small is better, but if big is needed, size should be used like it is used here . . . . /s&s
480px-Congregation_Emanu-El_of_the_City_New_York.jpg
WOW what a gorgeous building!! I am also a huge fan of places of worship. Whenever I travel abroad I go into cathedrals and monasteries and churches -- which the people I travel with barely tolerate as they're never religious and they don't consider me religious either. But how can you resist?! I'm a tremendous fan of Marcel Proust, who was known for, among other things, a lack of traditional religiosity coupled with a deep appreciation of religion and fascination with churches. The beauty he saw in places of worship mirrors how I feel about them. The well-designed ones aim to draw communities closer together and raise the spirit -- architecturally speaking, a rare and lofty pursuit!

I will look more into conservative Judaism, thanks! I've looked up a couple of branches of Judaism (some of which didn't even properly exist during my last life -- I'm lookin' at you Reconstructionist Judaism). It's hard for me to get a handle on things as an outsider, and frequently I go, "Screw it! I'm just not supposed to be Jewish this time around!" And yet I keep coming back to it. We'll see!
 

HBC

Senior Member
Hi Melon/HBC:

After doing some quick searches online this morning, I did not come up with the name of a particular group that searches for lost Jewish souls (born outside of Judaism). Apologies on that. My reference to such a group came from reading an article about, or interview of, an Orthodox Rabbi and expert on Kabbalah, who mentioned that his fellow believers were always on the look-out for such folks. Unfortunately, I can't find the article or remember the name of the Rabbi involved. However, it is easy enough to find Jewish believers in Kabbalah and Gilgul online and to make contact. So, there should be answers there. And, from what I can tell they are very open to the concept and can provide guidance.

Likewise, those who follow-through and convert to Judaism seem to be seen by most Jews as having been born with a Jewish soul, and to have just found their way "home". To some this seems to be thought to be the result of some degree of Jewish heritage (blood). To others, due to a past lifetime or lifetimes. In any case, from what I have read online, those who approach the possibility of conversion with humility and respect will be welcomed, though the road to full acceptance and membership seems to be quite arduous.

Cordially,
S&S

I've read about the "Jewish soul" concept and definitely relate to it -- while at the same time thinking it's a bit silly. Souls are souls, ya know :rolleyes: But I've listened to a lot of rabbis speak at this point (in THIS life as well as my last) and I can get on board with the belief that everyone is born with a certain "job," and in some cases the "job" is to be Jewish. I think I'm paraphrasing something Manis Friedman said there, but taking some liberties :p
 

HBC

Senior Member
I do not know the specifics, but I lived in Germany during the 1600s. (If I had to guess, I was born sometime between the 1580s-early 1590s and died circa 1650.) I know very little details of my life (for example, I don't know what my name was). I do know that I was a woodworker and I seemed to be unhappy. I was also married and had (at least) two children (I'm saying "at least" because I saw only two children but it's likely I had more because it was common practice in the past, since most children died young). My wife from that lifetime is currently my younger sister, which is interesting because my mom said that me and her have always been kind of together. However, I do strongly suspect that she was a gentile and that I converted to Christianity. I have never been to Israel before and I would not want to visit unless it is some time in the future when the Palestine conflict is resolved.

I had no clue that reincarnation was part of Jewish tradition until I joined this forum. I've read things about gilgul online and I've been trying to find other stories about gentiles with Jewish past lives but most of them are Holocaust related which isn't very helpful in my case. I've also tried verifying some of the things I saw which was also kind of hard because 1. I have very little information about that lifetime and 2. Most of the information about German Jewish history (and European Jewish history in general) was either from the 20th century or the Middle ages (and occasionally from the 19th century as well), and the 17th century was between those time periods. I've especially been curious regarding what I said about my suspicion that I converted to Christianity during that time: it has been hard trying to find information about Jewish converts to Christianity because everything I've found was either related to 1. Modern times, 2. The Crusades, or 3. The Inquisition, all of which are irrelevant to my case.

Honestly, the most believable incidences of past life recall I'm heard resemble yours -- they're from times and places that are less commonly known, and really expose the full diversity of human experience. I often wonder where all the dead famous people are now, who they became, because I think it would make a good sitcom or something -- I'm sure they have no idea who they are. I can imagine Marie Antoinette's reincarnation out there, a failed race car driver and heavy smoker, wondering how to contact the kids he abandoned back in the '70s :p Or more recently -- Kurt Cobain: Kpop fangirl! I think most people who are privy to genuine memories get strange, rare glimpses into eras of history, personalities and personal choices that are often forgotten. I often feel like I made up my own memories because they don't perfectly match anything, but do I perfectly match anything NOW? Not in the slightest! I don't even own a smart phone! How confusing would THAT be to remember in a future life -- "it was the 2020s in the USA, but spent all my time in the forest and didn't own a smart phone" o_O It doesn't sound believable, yet it's exactly the truth.

None of that helps you find information, though, I know. As far as that goes, I'd try honing in on exactly what part of Germany you were in. My great grandpa was from Germany, and in the village where he was born there's a book that has birth and death records going back to the plague! Hand-written and everything. People didn't move around as much, and each region was quite different from their neighbors back in the day -- and this is true for everywhere on earth, of course. I feel like, if you can somehow figure out if it was a big town or a village, mountainous or flat, north or south, etc., then you can scrounge up more specific information on lifestyle things in the areas that match it, and maybe some of that will jog your memory further. I've found that if I encounter something I experienced or knew about, my own brain fills in a lot of blanks. If I didn't know about or experience it, but just think it's cool or interesting or something, then I have to do the work :p It's kind of a cool way to test your own knowledge in a way -- not just to see if you have it "right" but also just to see what you know in general. I realized a few weeks ago that I still knew my tube route in London, between where I lived and where my parents lived. But I don't know anything about other routes. I didn't get out much :rolleyes:

I didn't know that reincarnation was part of Judaism either, until researching my past life (and to be fair, Jews are not all in agreement on it). It makes me feel weirdly good to know that my past life religion makes space for my current life beliefs, even if I'm not religious anymore. I was just so freaking devout back then, it's wild. I feel like this life is supposed to be an opportunity for me to cut loose a bit, but I haven't really taken it. Even as a little kid, I had a weird pious streak. I try to let myself believe whatever comes most naturally to me, but I admit I get a strange thrill whenever I find it matches with more conservative orthodoxy. I imagine I have a VERY long history of religious dogma. I suppose I'm turning a page on that.
 
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