PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Akashad
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PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by Akashad » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:38 am

Hello,

I have been thinking about Prebirth experiences for the past few days and find myself struggling to fit it in with Buddhism. I found a website where people were posting their accounts and it very similar to mine. I've never actually doubted my memories it wasn't vague.But when i read other people's accounts they were so similar to mine it really hit me that there may be something i can unearth.

Growing up i always thought remembering before birth was natural.I thought people remembered different levels.some remember when they were 2,some before birth,some in previous lives.no one ever told me it wasn't possible to remember so unfortunately i had this worldview until very late at the age of 12 i think when i just sort of inferred from my environment that it wasn't possible.no one never actually said it to my face.

By reading the hundreds of accounts from different people with PBE experiences,We all seem to share the same themes:

1.Being in a space like realm.
2.Not having a human body.Some describe our bodies to be orbs of light.I don't personally remember i remember having an energy body.
3.Limited sensory function.I couldn't see i had no eyes but i can perceive things without eyes.
4.Beings there communicated telepathically.
5.Choosing your parents.I don't remember choosing my parents i remember choosing the region where i would be born and also my gender.A few people have also stated choosing their gender.
6.most importantly. GUIDES.I'm not aware of Buddhism making any mention of guides.They were to me similar to advisers,councils.I felt like they were urging me to be born but i didn't want to till the right continent emerged..From other accounts it seems the case they had this role of guiding beings in this place to take rebirth.A lot of beings did not want to come to earth.I personally had the feeling of "pour me some sugar and get this over with" but i wasn't like strongly against it.

I also remember dying in a previous life as an old man(which was human) and then this space like realm and also remember being born now (human).I strongly suspect only beings from this realm can remember being born because a few of them have mentioned being born.I get the impression that if you came from this place you can remember.

My question is does anyone know how Prebirth experiences fit in with Buddhism. Especially the knowledge of these guides.It seems rather strange that hundreds of people remembering what i'm remembering about guides.Unlike Near Death Experience which can be very diverse.Some people see Jesus,Buddha etc.In PBE we all see the same themes.Space like realm,Guides,Beings of light or energy,telepathic communication.Its very specific.

Does anyone know if Buddhism makes any mention of guides and remembering your birth also the decision to take rebirth on earth?

Here is an account similar to mine.



Thank you kindly

tamdrin
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by tamdrin » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:49 pm

In the Mahayana there are great bodhisattvas who have vows to guide and help all sentient beings. Such as Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, and Vajrapani. I'm not sure but maybe these are the light beings. I think it makes more sense from a Mahayana perspective.


Thanks for sharing your story.

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Akashad
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by Akashad » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:36 pm

Hi Tamdrin,

Okay,I'll research Mahayana texts and maybe add those words in my google search.So these beings they are guides right.Okay thanks.

tamdrin
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by tamdrin » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:40 am

It is good to note that although you may have pre birth memories, they can only be limited. We have had limitless experiences before this life and I don't think it would be possible to remember the whole scope of the experiences. I do see how having such memories could help one have a spiritual
orientation in this life. Maybe you will work hard so you don't get forced by the guides to come back here again.


It is interesting, that in the NDE phenomenon many people report being very warm, comfortable, and feeling an inconceivable sense of love "on the other side". However most are forced to come back to this world, despite not wanting to, and often pleading with the guides to let them stay. This is because they have unfinished kamma that is forcing them back here. Really, life in this world is not fun at all. We ought to work to not have to come back unless it is voluntarily.


Best wishes in your spiritual searching.

chownah
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by chownah » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:16 am

tamdrin wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:40 am
We ought to work to not have to come back unless it is voluntarily.
I thought that the buddha taught that being born as a human in this world was very rare and that it offered the opportunity to progress towards the end of suffering.
chownah

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Akashad
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by Akashad » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:56 am

tamdrin wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:40 am
It is good to note that although you may have pre birth memories, they can only be limited. We have had limitless experiences before this life and I don't think it would be possible to remember the whole scope of the experiences. I do see how having such memories could help one have a spiritual
orientation in this life. Maybe you will work hard so you don't get forced by the guides to come back here again.


It is interesting, that in the NDE phenomenon many people report being very warm, comfortable, and feeling an inconceivable sense of love "on the other side". However most are forced to come back to this world, despite not wanting to, and often pleading with the guides to let them stay. This is because they have unfinished kamma that is forcing them back here. Really, life in this world is not fun at all. We ought to work to not have to come back unless it is voluntarily.


Best wishes in your spiritual searching.
I actually don't see myself in terms of dragging myself through lifetime after lifetime.Because when we go back aeons ago it's not logical for me to think in terms of that's Still me.Because who you think you are gets diluted.It might not be apparent in one or two lives but its apparent if one goes back aeons.I guess this is where the Buddhas teaching on Anatta is apparent.You see Anatta in Impermanence.

It's the GUIDES that i'm very confused about.I have never heard guides being mentioned in Buddhism.Why do they urge beings to take rebirth.They seem to be under some impression that we are on a mission or journey of some kind.Im so confused i try to reconcile my experiences with the Buddhist religion but so far am still stuck wondering who these guides. advisers, councils were.

Anyways thank you.

tamdrin
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by tamdrin » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:57 am

Well yeah. But this is still a prison, if you get out through practice you don't have to come back.

tamdrin
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by tamdrin » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:10 am

Akashad wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:56 am
tamdrin wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:40 am
It is good to note that although you may have pre birth memories, they can only be limited. We have had limitless experiences before this life and I don't think it would be possible to remember the whole scope of the experiences. I do see how having such memories could help one have a spiritual
orientation in this life. Maybe you will work hard so you don't get forced by the guides to come back here again.


It is interesting, that in the NDE phenomenon many people report being very warm, comfortable, and feeling an inconceivable sense of love "on the other side". However most are forced to come back to this world, despite not wanting to, and often pleading with the guides to let them stay. This is because they have unfinished kamma that is forcing them back here. Really, life in this world is not fun at all. We ought to work to not have to come back unless it is voluntarily.


Best wishes in your spiritual searching.
I actually don't see myself in terms of dragging myself through lifetime after lifetime.Because when we go back aeons ago it's not logical for me to think in terms of that's Still me.Because who you think you are gets diluted.It might not be apparent in one or two lives but its apparent if one goes back aeons.I guess this is where the Buddhas teaching on Anatta is apparent.You see Anatta in Impermanence.

It's the GUIDES that i'm very confused about.I have never heard guides being mentioned in Buddhism.Why do they urge beings to take rebirth.They seem to be under some impression that we are on a mission or journey of some kind.Im so confused i try to reconcile my experiences with the Buddhist religion but so far am still stuck wondering who these guides. advisers, councils were.

Anyways thank you.


It's the same as the guides in the NDE phenomenon. Theravada buddhist texts don't describe all the spiritual possibilities in the universe. The guides may be devas, or bodhisattvas, or other spiritually advanced beings. They are obviously spiritually more advanced than oneself because they have knowledge that you do not. Again, this type of thing makes more sense in the Mahayana or even Vajrayana paradigm. The theravada has a limited view of buddhas and bodhisattvas.

chownah
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by chownah » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:40 am

tamdrin wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:57 am
Well yeah. But this is still a prison, if you get out through practice you don't have to come back.
The buddha talks like in terms of rebirth it is advatageous to be born a human in this world.
You say that "guides" force us here. Is it that they know better then us what would benefit us?
If "guides" didn't force us here where would we prefer to go to?
Is it that rebirth is not determined by kamma but rather it is determined by "guides"?
chownah

tamdrin
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by tamdrin » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:59 am

I didn't say guides force us here. I don't honestly know about guides. I assume they could be spiritually developed beings. I think our kamma forces us here, this could manifest as the guides telling us to come here.

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Akashad
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by Akashad » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:11 am

chownah wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:40 am
tamdrin wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:57 am
Well yeah. But this is still a prison, if you get out through practice you don't have to come back.
The buddha talks like in terms of rebirth it is advatageous to be born a human in this world.
You say that "guides" force us here. Is it that they know better then us what would benefit us?
If "guides" didn't force us here where would we prefer to go to?
Is it that rebirth is not determined by kamma but rather it is determined by "guides"?
chownah
Hi Chownah,

Yes rebirth is determined by kamma.For example i could choose like two different people,so attracted to two different family,two different wombs,like a magnet so i can't just randomly choose there was like an invisible parameter which i believe to this day is karma.,i've heard other people's stories about the guides comforting saying it will be okay,pushing you to earth.For me i just felt like a sense of "urgency".Like you have to take rebirth.I feel like we are choosing these births to purify our karma i definitely felt very weary and tired like i'ts been happening over and over and over.Karma always dictates your rebirth,it's just it follows your ignorance you know i had a thought to be a certain person so i was reborn a certain person.i didn't have a choice to think about any other person it was fixated like a magnet into that thought of being that person.In a way i didn't have total free will just awareness of choosing.

chownah
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by chownah » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:42 am

tamdrin wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:59 am
I didn't say guides force us here. I don't honestly know about guides. I assume they could be spiritually developed beings. I think our kamma forces us here, this could manifest as the guides telling us to come here.
I looked again and you are right, you did not say that guides force us here. I did not read carefully what you wrote the first time and so I misrepresented what you said. Please accept my sincere apology for having misrepresented your post. I will try to read things more carefully in the future. Sorry.
chownah

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Dhammabodhi
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by Dhammabodhi » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:05 pm

Sorry for being off-topic, but this right here is gold. :hug: :twothumbsup:
chownah wrote: I looked again and you are right, you did not say that guides force us here. I did not read carefully what you wrote the first time and so I misrepresented what you said. Please accept my sincere apology for having misrepresented your post. I will try to read things more carefully in the future. Sorry.
chownah
"Take rest, take rest."-S.N.Goenka

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Dhammabodhi
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by Dhammabodhi » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:12 pm

This thread is quite interesting, I did not know such a thing as PBE existed. More interesting is to read the comments on the youtube video, so many people seem to have had similar memories/experiences. Quite intriguing.

In the end, however, these memories do not help in reducing dukkha from our lives directly. Some might be pushed towards investigating in more detail through dhammic means, but for most it will remain a confusing and bewildering memory.

Just another thing to let go of.

:anjali:
"Take rest, take rest."-S.N.Goenka

Garrib
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Re: PreBirth Experience (PBE),Remembering Birth,Past Lives

Post by Garrib » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:02 pm

Some people having near death experience report beings made of light coming to "guide them" across - I think that sometimes they recognize these beings as departed family members, or as Jesus/Bodhisattva etc...I think the critical point is that kamma is what is creating the major part of our experience, although we cannot explain how. For example, if you have the kamma to become wealthy - Of course, the money is going to have to come from somewhere! We will earn it at a job, win it in the lottery, someone gives us the money, we find some buried treasure etc...In any case, we could explain our experience in terms of the more immediate, apparent cause. If someone asks us how we became wealthy, we will say "I won the lottery" or whatever. But at a deeper level, we have the karmic causes to become wealthy and without those, we would never have won the lottery. Sorry for the longwinded detour, but this is also how I am thinking about the "guides". If we have the kamma to be born into this human realm and encounter the Buddha's teachings, then it will happen - perhaps in some cases when you come to this or some other realm, there are beings who help you make the difficult transition (like we might help a wounded animal we find in the forest). But deep down it is still your kamma that is determining the experience, not these other beings.

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