Dreams and memories of past Lives
Dreams and memories are absolutely connected. Most people have no objection to this — until I specify I’m talking about past life memories.
The Nightmare I Never Forgot
One of the worst nightmares I ever had happened when I was around 5 or 6 years old. It has stayed with me all this time, well into adulthood. That alone exhibits how vivid and real it felt. It's still such a visceral memory for me.
In the dream I was a young girl — yet I seemed older than my actual 5 or 6 years — and I was in a crowd of dirty people who were yelling and jeering. Definite old-timey village vibes, perhaps the 1600s.
I, however, was not laughing and having a grand ole time. I was sobbing and trying not to puke. My heart was pounding as the deepest sense of panic and fear and sorrow wracked my little body.
My mother had been strapped to a giant wooden wheel thing with spikes on it and a couple of men went on to shove her so that the wheel rolled down a hill. It was obviously a Medieval torture thing, but at the time of the dream, I was too young to have been exposed to anything like that. I’d never seen it on TV, and they weren’t exactly teaching history or ghastly death methods in kindergarten.
As I got older and had some distance from the dream — and its terror — I remained perplexed. Where in the world had I conjured something like that? And why was it something I’d never been able to shake? Was this somehow linked to my early sense of abandonment and the separation anxiety I grappled with as a child?
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Wait, It's Real?!
I had the dream pre-Internet, and though it stayed with me all this time, I never thought to look into it further. Then about a year ago, I discovered this thing called a breaking wheel (sometimes called a torture wheel or the Catherine wheel). Imagine my shock when I found out there was a Medieval torture device that looked exactly like the brutal device I’d dreamed about.
The only difference was that the ones that existed in real life appeared to be stationary. They could rotate in place but were apparently attached to a contraption that was bolted in the ground. Still ,it was pretty mind-blowing to behold.
Well, just 2 days ago I stumbled across this little video that shows the breaking wheel was SOMETIMES PUSHED DOWNHILL with the victim attached to it. Further investigation taught me that while it may be a more obscure technique, the torture wheel was absolutely used in this way.
Sooo… um… I had a dream that was also a memory. I know in my gut this is the truth. But I’m not one to rely solely on my own woo woo experience. I did some research to find out how the experts believe that dreams and memories of past lives are connected. Here’s what I discovered.
Dreams and Memories of Death
First of all, I learned that while I’m not the only one to have a nightmare that’s actually a memory of a past life event, there are cases with much more compelling evidence. In his book Reincarnation, Paul Roland gives a remarkable example.
In 1961, Dr. Arthur Guirdham was the chief psychiatrist at Bath Hospital in England. He had a patient, let’s call her Sherry, who had recurrent nightmares that had plagued her since childhood. The doctor deemed Sherry completely sane, and the more he learned about her dreams, the more baffled he became.
Sherry repeatedly dreamed she’d been accused of heresy and was being burned at the stake in thirteenth century France. She had kept a journal as a schoolgirl where she wrote detailed notes about names, dates, costumes, and customs she dreamed about. There was even a map she’d drawn of the town she’d lived in (and where she’d been imprisoned).
Most fascinating of all, at 12 years old, Sherry had written down verses in Medieval French — even though she’d never studied this language! Eventually Dr. Guirdham sent copies of these journal notes to scholars and was able to confirm their accuracy. There were even a few things that they’d thought that Sherry had gotten wrong — like prisoners being kept in the church crypt — that were later proved to be correct!
In Her Own Words
One of the reasons that this story struck me more than the others I read is because of the journal entry Roland quotes in his book. It’s gruesome, but the detail she provides make you feel like it could only come from a person who actually experienced it.
“The pain was maddening… I didn’t know when you’re burnt to death you’d bleed. I thought the blood would all dry up in the terrible heat. But I was bleeding heavily. The blood was dripping and hissing in the flames. I wished I had enough blood to put the flames out. The worst part was my eyes. I hate the thought of going blind… In this dream I was going blind. I tried to close my eyelids, but I couldn’t. They must have been burnt off…”
Maybe there are horror writers out there who can come up with this sort of thing purely out of creativity, not based on dreams and memories. As for me, I never would have thought about the blood or the eyelid thing.
I googled it to check for accuracy. It turns out that if you burn yourself, even severely, you probably won’t see much blood. In a first or second degree burn, the heat stops the blood from flowing. In a third degree burn, the blood vessels have been destroyed.
BUT in extreme situations, like being burned at the stake, if a person doesn’t first die from smoke inhalation or shock, the cause of death is usually blood and fluid loss. Your body’s inflammatory response is to send blood and fluid to the damaged area. If there’s no skin to keep it all in, it leaks everywhere. What are the chances a 12-year-old girl in 1944 would just casually know something like that?
Speaking of Speaking French
When there’s a case that has verifiable elements such as names and dates or something as phenomenal as xenoglossy, it validates that dreams and memories with less provable aspects are still quite possibly real. (Xenoglossy/xenoglossia is when someone can speak a language they were never actually taught.)
Parents of a 6-year-old girl in Evanston, Illinois overheard their daughter talking in her sleep one night. It caught their attention because she seemed to be speaking another language.
The mother and father were both English-speakers. They’d each taken basic French when in school but that had been a long time ago and neither of them had been fluent by any means. They knew just enough to realize it sounded like their daughter was speaking French but they had no idea what she was actually saying.
When their daughter continued to talk in this foreign language in subsequent nights, they recorded her. Later they took the tape to a French teacher, asking for a translation. The teacher — who did not know anything about the recording being their daughter talking in her sleep — told them that the little girl was desperately looking for her mother after Germans had raided her village.
What Do the Reincarnation Experts Say about Dreams and Memories?
Here are a few quotes from well-known teachers of reincarnation. For more in-depth information, I suggest you check out their books, which I will list at the very end. The main reason I include the quotes here is so that you can see the cohesiveness and consistency of what these writers have to say on the topic.
“Often dreams contain fragments of past life memories. Also, recently the material elicited through past life regressions contains metaphors and symbols and can trigger dream experiences.” (Brian Weiss, M.D.)
“Past life dreams are part of the phenomenon of children’s past life memories; dreams can precede or accompany waking past life memories from the same lifetime… Since young children’s past life memories are so fresh and close to the surface, I suspect it is more common than we realize for those memories to leak into their dreams.” (Carol Bowman)
“Some persons have dreams in which they see themselves in another place and wearing clothes of a different epoch. Many such dreams are recurrent and may have an unpleasant, nightmarish quality. In the more of such dreams — as I judge them — the dreamer seems to experience the reliving of the events in the dream… the scenes are completely realistic and coherent.” (Ian Stevenson, M.D.)
“The memories of most of the children whose cases I have studied occurred to them in their ordinary waking state. Some of them, however, have also had dreams or nightmares in which scenes of the remembered previous life appeared to them.” (Ian Stevenson, M.D.)
This quote is especially significant to me because Dr. Stevenson was famous for solving a large portion of his cases. When he references children who had dreams and memories, he’s talking about situations where he was able to take the information and verify the details/locate the previous personality (now deceased). This, more than anything else, may prove dreams can contain past life memories.
Additionally, Dr. Stevenson researched announcing dreams and departure dreams, which I will discuss in a future post.
Some Seth Quotes
If you’ve been hanging out with me for any length of time at all, you know that no post of mine would be complete without quoting Seth Speaks or Jane Roberts. Here are some fun quotes about dreams and memories from my favorite book:
“When you are ill, in the dream state you often have experiences in which you seem to be someone else with an entirely healthy body. Often such a dream is therapeutic. And ‘older’ reincarnational body has come to your aid, from which you draw strength through the memory of its health.”
“Your mother, if you have known her in the past, will find at your birth an upsurge of dreams involving other existences in which the two of you were together.”
“Decisions as to future lives my be made not only in between-life conditions but also in dream states in any given life. You may have already decided for example, now, upon the circumstances for your next incarnation. Although in your terms your new parents may be infants now, or in your scale of time not even born, the arrangements may still be made.”
“Very close friends from past lives, who are in a position to do so, often communicate with you when you are in the dream state, and the relationships are continued though you do not realize it consciously.”
“You must remember also that abilities from past lives are at your disposal for your present use. You reap your own rewards. Information concerning these is often given to you in the sleep state…”
“The strangers that you meet in your sleep are often, of course, people now alive — contemporaries — that you have also known in past lives.”
Books about Dreams and Memories of Past Lives
Here are some of the books I used to write this post. I highly recommend you check them out for yourself!
FYI, these are affiliate links, which just means that I get a tiny percentage if you happen to purchase any of the books while using my links. (It doesn’t cost you anything extra.) Even if you don’t purchase, you can still click the links to read more about the books.
Through Time into Healing by Brian Weiss, M.D.
Children's Past Lives by Carol Bowman
Seth Speaks by Jane Roberts
Lifetimes by Frederick Lenz, PhD
Children Who Have Lived Before by Trutz Hardo
Children Who Remember Previous Lives by Ian Stevenson, M.D.
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