How Can We Make Progress in the Next Life if We Do Not Remember the Last One?


Hello, when people learn a lesson about something, then reincarnate into a new life, they don’t remember the lesson. So then that person has to keep learning that same lesson over and over. How can a person progress if they forget the things they learned from a previous life? I might still be doing something in this life that I already learned not to do in a previous life. How can I progress, if I have to keep relearning the same thing life after life?

—Frank, USA


Dear Frank,

The ego usually does not remember details of past lives, but the soul does know. If we have successfully passed a karmic test in a previous life — rising above old ego reactive patterns and attachments which would perpetuate the karma — then there is no need to repeat the lesson. We have graduated to the next level!

Karma simply needs to be balanced. A soul has millions of incarnations before reaching freedom. In any particular incarnation, karmic lessons will come but certainly not every lesson that must be learned unless we are very near freedom. We are not in charge of what lessons we are given, but we are definitely in charge of how we respond to them.

When challenges come, seek to be solution-oriented, even-minded and cheerful, always putting out positive energy to overcome. Try to avoid anger, negative thoughts toward self or others, paralysis of energy, or other ways the ego tends to react. If you get caught in these, as soon as you recognize the trap, find a way to lift your energy and move in a positive direction.

God is no tyrant. He wants us to succeed spiritually and does not give us more than we can handle.(Although we may certainly be tested to the maximum!) Always approach a challenge knowing that this is your next spiritual step to reach freedom. With God’s help joined with your energy you will be victorious.

Going forward, try always to keep a connection with God. Seek to unite your will more and more with the Divine will. When living in partnership with God, you will feel a divine hand guiding you away from action that could perpetuate a karmic pattern toward the highest path. One of the highest prayers we can offer is, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.”

Meditation is an indispensable aid for the calmness and centeredness needed to rise to life’s challenges and maintain this connection. In meditation the mind becomes quiet and it is easier to offer up our current concerns to God and to ask for help. If you do not have a meditation practice, I encourage you to start one.

You can learn to meditate with Ananda Course in Meditation if you are interested.

Many blessings,
Nayaswami Mukti