Firstly, we need to determine whether anything incarnates at all. We understand incarnation to mean to appear in human form, in the flesh. And that’s what we believe we are.But is it so? From ancient times, Indian seers and sages have taught that what we appear to be is not the reality. Similarly, leading quantum scientists are beginning to wonder if we are no more than holograms living in a simulation of existence.

The greatest sages, known as jñanis, do not accept the notion of reincarnation at all.

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But if there is no reincarnation, how do we explain the worldwide phenomena of very young children remembering previous existences? There are countless documented cases of children of every nationality spontaneously recalling their previous adult lives, or even their lives as animals!

The late Dr. Ian Stevenson MD, research professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, spent over forty years researching and verifying the accounts of these children in many countries of the world. He compiled case studies of children who remembered having lived in towns hundreds of miles from their present location. When he took one little boy to where he insisted he had lived before, on arriving at the town the child could show him the way to his street and his house, was able to recognise and name the wife he was previously married to, and even name the dog. Another took him to a factory where he used to work and showed the doctor how to work the machinery. Such instances in their hundreds cannot be ignored.

Dr. Stevenson wrote many fascinating books about his researches; notably, Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation and 20 Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation.

These voluminous case studies make the concept of reincarnation hard to refute. So if there is no reincarnation, what is going on here? What is the nature of the children’s memories?

The sages aver that we are not any more ‘in the flesh’ here and now, than when we take ourselves to be a real person in a dream.

In the dream state we think we exist—we believe absolutely that we are real because we feel pain if we are hurt; we feel anger, or love, or terror—yet we are no more than a figment of our own imagination. And in this daily dream of existence, we believe equally and absolutely that we are real—for just 16 hours or so of being conscious. Then we vanish in deep sleep. Then by what criterion can we determine what is real?

It beggars the imagination to conceive that we might be imagining ourselves in daily life in the same way as in our nightly dream-life. But it’s not something to be easily grasped without a revelatory experience that convinces you of the truth of what the sages have asserted for millennia. This is especially so, if we have come to accept the taken–for-granted notion of reincarnation from a study of Buddhist beliefs, or the testimony of the Hindu teachings.

And if there is no reincarnation, why do spiritual masters use it to explain past life memories?

For those living a purely intellectual life, the realisation of the seers is impossible to conceive.

For this reason, the masters have to speak in a manner that ordinary people can assimilate. Therefore, the gurus explain past-life memories and cyclic recurrence life-experiences as ‘reincarnation’. For the spiritually-minded, this explanation is easier to accept.

That was previously my belief too. But in-depth mystical awareness has led me to concur with the experience of the sages.

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What is actually occurring is past-life dreams. Each life-dream carries memories into the next one.

When—at what is called ’death’—we fade out of this present life-dream and enter into the bardo (as the Tibetans call it)—the in-between space, between death and another birth. Then we fade out of that and enter into another dimensional ‘life-dream’ in this dimension, if we are especially attracted or attached and drawn back to this particular type of world-dream.

But ultimately, it has to be understood that what arises in Consciousness can only be a thought. Even the thought of existing—of Being—is something that occurs only when Consciousness arises.

Without that happening, you or this world does not exist.

And Consciousness itself expresses only the nature of thought.

So ask yourself—is it possible for a thought to reincarnate?


In my book, “You Are the Light: Secrets of the Sages Made Simple” I have attempted to awaken the comprehension of this advaitic perception of the sages in as many ways as possible. If you want to go more deeply into this subject and have a better understand your own life, find it on Amazon, or check it out here:

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Although the ego-sense is a fictitious entity—being no more than a habitual mental focus point—that we have decided to identify with---by endowing it with an “I”-dentity: an ‘I’ that we mistakenly take to be “me”.

And it is to this mental force-field—to which we have given strength by identifying with it—that all karmas accrue. And it is the activity of karma that creates the continuous cycles of what appears to be life and death.

And because we are so identified with this self-centred mental mode of functioning—it is that identification which carries the karma from one life-dream to the next.


British mystic, author, psychotherapist, spiritual counsellor, mantra yogi, fine artist and illustrator, theatrical set and costume designer. Founder-editor of Gandalf’s Garden magazine and Community in the London Sixties, and 3 years as columnist for Yoga Today magazine, BBC 4 Scriptwriter, author of four spiritual self-development books and two storybooks for children. 

Muz Murray