There is no doubt that the bulk of extraordinary experiences of awareness [EEAs] that I have heard have resulted from someone overhearing my telling of another’s EEA.
And so the following experience that was shared with me by a patient. The essence of the story is as follows [with poetic license applied]:
My Rabbi was a frequent visitor to Israel and often participated in archaeological digs. He was a ‘modern’ rabbi and was not particularly interested or open to unusual, paranormal and unexplainable experiences. He was definitely not a proponent of reincarnation. But he described what occurred on one of his ‘digs’. He was digging in one corner of a cave when he suddenly felt the urge to change his location and to begin digging in another area of the cave. He found the feeling very bizarre and difficult to explain. There was no logical reason why he should have abandoned his former site and move to a new one. As he began digging he came across an ancient soldier’s helmet. This was an extraordinary find considering that the most common discoveries are small shards of pottery. As he lifted the helmet into the air it immediately came to him that HE had worn and died wearing this helmet several thousand years before. The knowledge was so powerful and unsettling that he has never forgotten it. He has told others about the experience without any other explanation for the feeling. He just ‘knows’ that it was his in a past life.
So, you are thinking, what do we ‘do’ with this story, this information? Well, it is a powerful bit of evidence to support the contention that we do experience many lifetimes. Is it ‘proof’ of reincarnation? Probably not, but when added to the other bits of ‘evidence’ it makes a compelling argument for it’s metaphysical reality.
And if so, than we may very well understand the reason that life is so difficult for so many of us. Each individual lifetime may be a ‘survival weekend’ in the grand scheme of a multitude of lives. And reincarnation fits the notion of karma better than any other metaphysical ‘system’.
Karma represents our willed choices, reincarnation gives us the opportunity to correct, and grow by offering us additional lifetimes and therefore chances to make such choices.
Does this awareness ease the suffering of any one lifetime? I believe so. It can contribute to a sense of purpose behind our problems and a motivation to make the best choices possible.