The idea of rebirth and reincarnation rose around 1000 BCE.
It stood as one of the building blocks for Hinduism and Buddhism, with Greek philosopher and Mathematician Pythagoras presenting the idea that the soul could pass through many cycles of reincarnation and even enter the bodies of animals.
And whilst you might be cautious about mentioning this to anyone, you’re certainly not alone in thinking you might have lived past human lives.
Or even that you once lived a quaint life as a sand shrew or grasshopper, or a different four-legged creature or fish.
Your soul might even predate back to the origins of mankind, in which case you’ve lived a great number of lives.
Yet as science tells us this is in no way possible, you might find yourself doubting your memories – even if they scream otherwise.
If you strongly believe that this isn’t your first life, the following 8 signs indicate you might have seen the world through a different pair of eyes, in another era:
1) Vivid dreams or nightmares
Why we dream remains quite misunderstood within the scientific world.
Many researchers believe our dreams to be a way in which our brain processes and organizes memories.
If you find that you’re experiencing recurring dreams or nightmares, you may well be privy to deeply buried memories from past lives.
Equally, if you witness the same dream figures returning to your dreams time and time again, these might be characters from your past lives – lovers, friends, enemies – with whom you held a particular relationship.
2) Déjà vu
You know that funny jolt of electricity that runs through your brain and down your spine seemingly out of nowhere, giving you a perplexing sense of familiarity.
I’ve been here before…
But you’ve never been here before.
Nor have you heard this song.
Or smelled this smell.
Scientists believe that déjà vu occurs in perfectly healthy individuals as a result of brain glitches, or buried memories from your current life that you aren’t able to access bleeding out into the present.
But if these instants of déjà vu could be your brain unlocking memories you’ve forgotten from this life, what’s to say that you’re not accessing memories from past lives instead?
3) Strange memories
Our brains aren’t as reliable as you might think.
Even people with excellent memorization skills experience false memories.
These seem as real as any other memory, but are not events which you’ve lived through.
At least not in your own lifetime.
You might be able to close your eyes and picture getting sent home early from school for talking back to your teacher, but when you ask your parents, they’re very confused.
You were the most obedient child, you never got sent home. Not once.
You’re doubtful so you check your school records, but as they said – not even one instance of misbehavior.
Yet you can remember the grimace on your teacher’s face, the shame in your red cheeks, and the trepidation for having to face your parents.
If you experience memories that seem so real there’s no way you haven’t lived through these events, you might be looking at the clue to one of your past lives.
4) Unexplained fears and phobias
No one in your family is terrified of water, and you’ve never had a bad run-in with it (as far as you know…)
But you cannot shake the absolute terror that rolls over your limbs whenever you even glance at a large body of water.
A lake or a pond, or even a swimming pool, has you quaking in your boots.
Such an extreme aversion might also indicate that this was how you died in a past life.
In this case, by drowning.
These strange and seemingly unexplainable fears and phobias can be an indicator of something one of the past versions of you encountered.
Extreme fear can indicate the presence of trauma from a past life.
Whilst you might be working hard to heal trauma you’ve accumulated in this lifetime, you might need to go one step further to shake trauma that has persisted through death and rebirth.
5) Passions and talents
Say one day, aged 5 years old, you pick up a violin and you just start playing.
You’re no maestro, but your fingers just seem to slide across the fingers, taking to it as naturally as a duck to water.
“You were born to do this”, people exclaim, to which you smile modestly in return.
But the truth is that even you have an inkling of how strange it is to have picked up a complex instrument with such ease, such grace.
As if you had played it in another life…
This isn’t to discredit your skills and talents.
But, if you’ve always felt drawn to a certain field or a hobby and you’ve picked it up with immense ease in comparison to everyone else, this natural affinity might be based on skills you carry with you from a previous life.
Turns out, your birthmarks might hold the secret to your past lives.
And rather morbidly, how past versions of you died.
Over 200 cases have been recorded of children reporting past lives, all of whom had birthmarks which corresponded with wounds experienced by their past selves.
That long birthmark running along your ribs could be a reminder of a past life in which you were stabbed between the ribs.
A pale birthmark on your scalp might recall the demise of a past self in which you slipped and hit your head.
Much like déjà vu, the reason for birthmarks remains unknown – so what isn’t to say that these aren’t representations of our past lives?
7) Identifying strongly with another culture
If you’ve been brought up a certain way, there’s nothing stopping you from sampling other schools of thoughts and religions before choosing your own path.
In fact, keeping an open mind and learning more about the world and understanding your own beliefs better is if anything highly encouraged.
Still, have you ever felt a burning sense of familiarity when stepping into an unfamiliar church, immersing yourself in a new culture, or trying a foreign food?
This unexplainable sense of coming home might indicate that you called this culture or religion home; only in another life.
8) Inexplicable knowledge
In the curious case of James Leininger, this little American boy began screaming phrases like “plane on fire!” shortly after his 2nd birthday.
As he grew, he began to tell his parents more of his memories as Lieutenant James Huston, a World War II pilot who was killed more than 50 years before James Leininger was born.
The facts and terms that this little boy shared with them could not be ignored; he told them he had flown a plane called the Corsair from a boat called the Natoma with a certain ‘Jack Larsen’.
James’ dad followed this lead and discovered that a small escort carrier called the Natoma Bay had in fact carried Lieutenant Huston before his death – both of which turned out to be factually accurate.
Human memory is notoriously unreliable, but the likelihood of a 2-year-old child diving into a history book or being the target of foul play is incredibly unlikely.
Although Leininger’s memories faded as he grew older, the peculiar case of the toddler filled with WWII memories has baffled scientists for years.
Much of the controversy is because this case cannot be fully explained; what 2-year-old lists off plane vocabulary before learning to read?
James is a perfect example of the unexplainable.
If, like young James, you surprise yourself by knowing the answer to complex problems or topics, this might be another channel through which your past lives are infiltrating the present.
What does it mean to have lived a past life?
Everyone has bones in their closet.
Carrying with you memories from past lives doesn’t make you any stranger or more out of place than the next person.
If you resonate with the above signs and are starting to think you may well have lived at least one past life, consider trying out guided meditations to access more of your past memories.
You can also work with professionals who are more able to guide you in uncovering the past and even help you move past trauma or phobias you carry.
Remember that the past has many treasures and secrets to offer us.
Carrying those memories will only enrich your present life and broaden your current perspective, so embrace them where possible and stay open to the lessons they provide.