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Remembering the Past

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on May 25, 2011 | Comments (2)

Many years ago, when I lived in San Diego, I was a member of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood, AMORC, and a founding member of the lodge there. Most people familiar with AMORC from their at one time omnipresent ads in magazines such as Popular Mechanics and FATE know them for their mail order lessons. What many people don’t know is that they also have actual group meetings and sites.

AMORC’s Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California

One of the things I remember about the public meetings was a statement at many of the rituals about the two great questions of existence:

Life, and what comes before, and
Death, and what comes after.

People seek to know that our very essence, our soul or spirit, will continue after death. The implication of this concept is that we were here before and had previous lives, and something must happen between lives.

These topics remain some of the most popular in the world. Llewellyn publishes numerous books that focus on these topics including:

Many other books, including my Modern Magick, have sections on the subject. Aleister Crowley referred to remembering events from past lives as the “magickal memory,” and he believed he had been Eliphas Levi in a previous life.

<— Left: Aleister Crowley in Masonic regalia, circa 1904








Right: Eliphas Levi in 1864 —>

Those who doubt the reality (or possibility) of past lives ask why people who remember past lives were always famous, like Cleopatra or Napoleon. That’s a myth. As a hypnotherapist, I’ve helped well over 1,000 people remember past lives and only one or two believed themselves to be famous…and they thought they had a famous past life before I worked with them.

Most people who claim they had famous past lives have their own psychological issues. As Dion Fortune put it, a famous past life doesn’t give glory to your current life so much as make one wonder what you did to have a current life in a lower state!

Past Lives and Fluffy Bunnies

The value of remembering past lives is not in what happened to you in the past, but how that memory helps you today! That means the objective reality of past lives is pretty much irrelevant! What matters is what you get out of the memory, real or not. If past life memories help you understand yourself better and overcome challenges, the reality of that memory becomes meaningless. It’s good to remember the past when you can use that memory to help your present and create a better future.

Sometimes, however, people can’t even remember their current lives. As a result, some magicians don’t remember what it was like when they were starting out. They don’t remember their flubs and failures on the way to their current level. Is it any wonder that some people see them as stuck up and self-centered?

I still remember some of the very basic books I read when I was learning. I remember going over them repeatedly. Today, some “experts” would consider those books as meant for “fluffy bunny” occultists. I consider such people as beginners on a path to excellence, not “fluffy bunnies.”

And some of those “experts” decry books intended for beginners. Llewellyn has long been a victim of such “experts”  on internet forums. “They only publish books for fluffy bunnies,” the critics say.

This is factually untrue. Historically, Llewellyn has published books for beginners— and intermediate and advanced magickal practitioners. This continues today. If you’re looking for advanced books, for example, just look at the brilliant books by Stephen Skinner and David Rankine.

But as people who have travelled further along a magickal path than beginners, just as it’s important to remember past lives, it’s also important to remember our past in this life. And that means, at times, going back and studying books we read or classes we took when we were neophytes. Often we can learn new things from books that are supposedly meant for beginners. We see the same material with new, more experienced eyes. We remember or discover different ways to express truths.

Even though I’m certified as a master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, this weekend I’m taking a basic training in NLP from a different trainer. I’ll be getting the same information I learned some time ago but with a different approach. This weekend I’m walkin’ my talk.

How do you go over material you studied long ago? Do you feel you get something new out of it?

Reader Comments

Written By diane
on May 26th, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

dear donald….i do want to let you know how much i enjoy your writings. i read them all! I always learn something new. i am not embarresed (sp?) to say i’m a “fluffy bunny”…actually it’s kind of cute! I so agree with you about re-reading or experiencing what we think we already know….always i find something more to put into my “noggin” (Brit’ for brain!)……thank you for sharing time and knowledge with me….luv.

Written By Howard
on May 27th, 2011 @ 2:00 am

Well said. There is always more to learn when we review.

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