Question: Why don’t we remember our past lives?
Answer: We don’t remember our past lives because we came here to enjoy, separate from God. The material world is not a place of enjoyment. It’s a place of attempted enjoyment. So we become covered with illusion that we really can enjoy here.
But each lifetime oftentimes we realize: I didn’t make it. I enjoyed some sensual pleasures along the way, of course, maybe to a large degree, but I still didn’t really make it, I still didn’t achieve the goal.
And along the way inevitably I experienced a lot of pain. Birth is a huge suffering: life in the womb, the birth itself – is a huge suffering. So huge we don’t even remember it. We forgot it, blocked it out. And then throughout life we struggle along with diseases, relationship problems, and on, and on it goes. And we try to keep the spirit, “Oh, it will be better. Oh, this is not so bad. It could be worse.”
And then if we make it that long, we get to experience “the joy” of old age. Fantastic! I’ve been waiting all my life to get here. Somebody called it the golden years. That was some young guy. Talk to the people in old bodies, “This is hell,” no pleasure there, the potential pleasure is behind us now. When you’re young, “Oh, there’s so much to look forward to.” But when you’re old, that’s all been done already, and the only thing you got to look forward to is death. Oh, great. The most fearful experience of all. How “wonderful.”
And then what? We get to do it all over again, but we don’t remember it. See, if you could remember all this stuff, it would be really hard to be optimistic, “For what, man? I just suffer and die!” So you forget everything. You take birth in a new body, “Oh, great!” Every day you discover something new, “Oh, my hand, how interesting!” You stick it in your mouth, “Oh, tastes good too.” Then you stick something else, “Oh, that is nice.” And that’s the beginning of the illusion. It goes again, and again, and again. But if you could remember it all, you couldn’t have such optimism.
Even one traumatic experience in this life can ruin the rest of your life. One time in Kiev I met a girl. At that time, I think, she was around 28, maybe 30; very attractive, very nice young girl. But she had seen her parents murdered in front of her when she was 5 years old. And the rest of her life was damaged completely. She couldn’t enjoy. She had a husband, she had kids, but she couldn’t enjoy, her mind was immersed in that tragedy.
But what if you could remember all those dramas in all your lives, watching this mother die, that dad die, kids suffering, the diseases, death itself that you went through again, and again, and again? So it’s arranged, “Ok, you want to enjoy it, go right ahead.”
But when the soul finally realizes, “Man, there’s no enjoyment here. I want to find real enjoyment. This is stupid, it doesn’t work.” Then the Lord in our heart knows that – “Ok, now you’re ready to hear something,” and He starts providing us with real knowledge so we can actually transcend the wheel of birth and death. It’s a perfect system; everything is there in this perfect formula.