Reincarnation and Karma [26]– The Existence and the Memory of Past Lives: Shielding from complications


Life would be infinitely more complicated if one who is not spiritually advanced were burdened by the conscious memory of numberless past lives. He would be dazed and unsettled by the diversity of settings in which persons would appear to him in the light of his memory. He is not called upon to face such confusion, however, because he is shielded from the resurrection of the memory of past lives. Things and persons come to him in a limited and definite context and setting, with the result that he finds it easy to determine his actions and responses in the light of what he knows from the present life.

This does not mean that his actions and responses are entirely determined by what he knows from his present life. All that has happened in past lives also has its own unconscious but effective share in determining his actions and responses. In spite of the actual influence of past lives, the fact remains that since he is shielded from the resurrection of conscious memory, his consciousness is not subject to the confusion that would result if the conscious memory of past lives were among the data he had to consider for the purpose of determining his actions and responses.

-Discourses 7th Ed, p315

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