by Bettye B. Binder, M.A.
When we asked Bettye Binder, as APRT’s new President, to share with our readers a few comments and thoughts which she felt might be of some importance to our readers, the topic was left entirely to her choice. Once more, the concept of synchronicity seems to have asserted itself. Without any prior knowledge of the contents of this issue, she elected to direct her comments to the concept of time, something which two other articles appearing in this issue have also (independently) addressed.
Our past lives can facilitate or block the way we live our present lives because time is “multidimensional.” The past influences the present whether or not we are aware of its influence upon us. Another way to say this is we are living all our lives NOW. This concept is called “simultaneous time.” What we usually think of as “here and now” is simply whatever we consciously experience at the moment. So, when we recall a past life, it becomes “here and now” to our conscious mind at the time of our past life exploration.
In my 13-plus years of teaching reincarnation classes, I have found “multidimensionality” and “simultaneous time” to be the toughest concepts for people born in this culture to comprehend. These ideas run counter to everything we have been taught about linear time. So, I have to explain the meaning of multidimensionality in metaphors and examples. In this article, I want to share with you some of the ways I have conveyed this information to my students.
When we meet someone now whom we have known in a past life, we are picking up where we left off when we knew each other before. This is like being interrupted in a phone conversation. When we resume our phone call at a later time, we start by asking, “Now, where were we?” Once reminded where we left off, we continue talking as if no time had elapsed between phone calls.
Similarly, to pick up where we left off with memories of past lives, we disconnect from our current routine and remind ourselves where we left off in a past life. In a certain sense, we “hang up the phone” consciously on what interrupted us in order to experience states of awareness that are deeper than our current physical experience. Through the altered state of consciousness we call “meditation,” we can experience what “multidimensionality” and “simultaneous time” feel like even if we do not yet understand what the words mean.
Multidimensional versus One-Dimensional
The biggest cognitive barrier in this culture to understanding “multidimensionality” is linear thought. For example, we learn that what we cannot see with our physical eyes does not exist. So, we learn to discount the existence of other dimensions. We are also taught to measure time in a linear way (e.g. an appointment is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.). Such experiences teach us to believe we can do only one thing at a time and be in only one place at a time. So, we write “a block of time” into an appointment book and consider ourselves efficient time managers. Such linear concepts are functional only if we agree to one-dimensional thinking as a basis for our behavior.
Unfortunately, linearity limits our understanding and acceptance of the multidimensional universe in which we also live. For example, people we call “psychics” or “clairvoyants” can see with their “third eye” things we ordinarily cannot see with our physical eyes. So, we pay them money for “readings” and ask them to tell us what they “see” about our future. We can learn to “read” our own future if we develop such talents. The operation of the “psychic world” is a good example of how multidimensionality works.
In a similar way, we can understand how our past lives are currently influencing us in the present. In order to do this we have to learn who we really are. That is, I believe we must learn that our true identity is as Souls who have chosen currently to occupy human bodies.
All of us are Souls who chose to become human beings, but our human identity is limited to being in this body. The Soul is pure energy, and energy cannot be destroyed. Therefore, the Soul’s existence is independent of the body it occupies. It is the Soul that continues to exist after the human body dies, and it is the Soul which reincarnates lifetime after lifetime. The same Soul occupies many different human bodies throughout its many incarnations.
I frequently emphasize in my classes that we don’t have Souls! WE ARE SOULS!! We have a name, a body, a job, a car, a dog, a cat, a house, a relationship. However, we are not our name, body, job, car, dog, cat, house, or relationship, and they are not us. If our egos sometimes lead us to confuse our identities with things we have, then we are trapped in an “illusion.” In reality, each of us is a Soul, reincarnating lifetime after lifetime, no matter what outer physical changes we experience or create throughout our lives.
For example, in “near death experiences” and other “out of body experiences” we “live” the idea we are all Souls dwelling in bodies and our out-of-body consciousness is separate from the identity we have within the body we occupy. During a medical emergency when the body is unconscious or in coma, the soul is outside of that body and aware of what is happening to the body it has temporarily left.
At such times, one sees the bright white light and meets spirits of loved ones who have died. Upon reentering the body, many individuals are able to describe what occurred during the period the body was in an unconscious state. For example, they describe what happened on the operating table, but they often see events looking down from the ceiling of the operating room. They may also remember seeing white light and meeting spirits in the astral plane. Many people become more spiritually attuned and less one dimensional on the physical plane after having such experiences.
I believe it is important that we learn to acknowledge our identities as Souls that exist in a multidimensional universe where time is not limited to a linear construct. Until there is broad-based acceptance of this idea in our culture, I believe practitioners in the past-life field will continue to face resistance from many quarters including the challenge to prove scientifically that we have lived before and that old familiar refrain I hear so often, “How do I know I didn’t just make it all up?” The ability to grasp the idea that we are in a multidimensional universe is, in my view, the key underlying concept behind making reincarnation a household word in western culture.
Cranstan, S. and C. Williams. Reincarnation: A New Horizon In Science, Religion, and Society. New York: Julian Press, 1984.
Moody, R. A., Jr. Life After Life. Covington, GA: Mocking Bird Press, 1975.
———. Reflections On Life After Life. New York: Bantam, 1978.
———, with P. Perry. The Light Beyond. New York: Bantam, 1988.
Ring, K. Life At Death: A Scientific Investigation of the Near Death Experience. New York: Coward, McCann, and Georghegan, 1980.
Weiss, B. L. Many Lives, Many Masters. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988.
——— Through Time Into Healing. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992.