lives While there may be some evidence for reincarnation in the work of Dr Ian Stevenson, dreams which clearly state reincarnation in their theme most likely represent present life situations.
Example: ‘I dream of living in China, a long time ago. I was married to a man with whom I had two children. He began to tire of me and brought concubines into our household. I hated him. When I woke I realised I had dreamt about a past life’ (Patricia L). Patricia had in fact been married to a man in this life who, after her two children were born, began to bring other women home. This broke up their marriage. From Patricia’s point of view, this happened because in a past life her husband and she had not resolved their difficulties, so had to meet them again in this lifetime—whatsoever ye sow, so shall ye reap. Where such dreams have been thoroughly explored, I have found that their imagery arises from emotions and trauma which the dreamer finds difficult to meet. Placing it in a past life enables one to avoid the difficulty of experiencing present life pain. Patricia says she hated her Chinese husband.
The dream process can create a drama to represent our present situation using any form of structure. It is, after all, the master dramatist. This function of the unconscious explains many ‘past life’ memories elicited by hypnotic regression. Most of them are explainable in terms of present life trauma or situation. See hallucination, hallucinogens.
Dreams of the past are usually about learning from experience. Your mind could be trying to show you what worked or didn’t in the past, so you can change your behavior and be happier in the present. In general, if you dream of a time in the past when you were younger, it signifies that you will not be able to regain lost opportunities, even if you try very hard. It is time to move on and forget what cannot be changed.