Reincarnation dreams are easy to distinguish from other dreams because of setting details. You and others in the dream will likely wear unfamiliar clothing and the dreamscape will appear old or futuristic or foreign in some other way. You'll have a sense of yourself as someone else rather than as the dreaming self you're accustomed to identifying in your nightly excursions. Often unsettling, the dream story may include the manner of your death as the previous personality. You will likely recognize the otherness of the dream as suggestive of a past life. If you're lucky, your dream might include verifiable personal details such as names, places, or times. A friend of mine from my online dream group, Lorelei from Ohio, relates a reincarnation dream with partial verification. She says: I once dreamt of walking to a convenience store where my mother was my child. She rode her bicycle beside me. As I went into the store, I felt very self conscious because I had one leg slightly longer than the other and thought people could tell. I told my mother of this dream and she informed me her mother did have one leg slightly longer. She said it was not noticeable but her mother was self conscious about it. My maternal grandmother died ten years before I was born. This dream was my first clue. It is possible she was sharing her consciousness with me but I have received many more clues since that suggest a past life as the explanation. Because Lorelei's past life dream involved a family member, some might assume genetics accounted for the dream. The memory might have passed down like brown hair color. Although this could be true, scientists don't know everything yet about genetic influences. As you might expect, more stories of reincarnation either in dreams or awake occur in cultures which accept it as a philosophical idea or as part of the religion, for example, Buddhism, Hinduism, as well as some practitioners of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Announcing dreams happen in many of those cultures. The pregnant woman or a member of her family dreams a family member intends to return as the newborn. Often the newborn is named for the returning family member. Sometimes the newborn carries a birthmark or other identifying mark that matches the previous personality's birthmark or other wound. Research has supported some of these stories. Ian Stevenson wrote a book on the subject called Reincarnation and Biology. The study of reincarnation has been one of my passions. Although I have had dreams that might include past life content, none contained much detail. As part of my personal serch, I've written a series of novels where the main character evolved from a reincarnation memory of a lifetime I lived in England in the 1700s. I knew place names but not enough detail to verify through records, however I felt a strong emotional connection to the woman, who ran an inn and was abandoned by her husband. My friend Susan, an acupuncturist, dreamed a similar scenario although she knew the other person in her dream. She dreamed she was a peasant woman in Russia around the turn of the twentieth century. As she hoed crops in a field, a strong man abducted her and kept her prisoner, abusing her physically and sexually. She identified the abductor as the man she was dating in her present life. When Susan told her boyfriend about the dream, he confessed to having a passion for Russian music although he had never been to Russia. A love relationship did not grow from this reincarnation--type experience, but the two remained friends for many years. Susan enjoyed the friendship and felt emotional catharsis from it as if the man had needed to atone and she allowed it. Whether the past life information presents in dreams or in waking life, much research has been conducted on cases involving children by investigators at the University of Virginia. In hundreds of cases children gave correct details about a previous lifetime, information they could not have known through ordinary means. The past life material might present as nightmares, particularly in young children. The small son of Bruce and Andrea Leininger had recurring nightmares involving a plane crash. Eventually they learned he believed himself to be a World War II fighter pilot who crashed in the Pacific. .
They verified information the boy provided about the previous lifetime and wrote a book about their discoveries called Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot. The Leininger boy was not related to the man whose past life he recalled. Such examples present more compelling evidence than ones like Lorelei's or mine..
As with the Leininger boy, reincarnation dreams or nightmares often reoccur in a way that forces the dreamer to attend to the problem. .
Psychologists and counselors use hypnotherapy as a technique. They hypnotize and regress their patients to the previous lifetime. Sometimes the problem is resolved by greater self-understanding, whether or not verification in records is possible. .
My experience about the woman in England came at a time in my life when I had divorced and needed to establish myself as a high-functioning single person. I drew strength from her personality and confidence that I could make it on my own..
If a past life dream comes to you unbidden, there is probably some unresolved issue in your present life provoking it. Look for similarities and differences between the dreamed lifetime and your present circumstance. Think through what you could learn if the past life personality were a teacher, helping you find new ways to express yourself in this lifetime..
Here's a Tip
• If you've had a dream that has some of the characteristics of a past life memory, ask your dreaming self for more details like names of people, places, or important events. Do an Internet search for what you discover.
• If you've never had such a dream, ask for one. Your dreaming self is always there.