There’s a Buddhist theory about reincarnation that I tend to enjoy and think about quite a bit. After studying Buddhism for a number of years, in both high school and college, I did not pay attention to the theory that when people reincarnate, they enter their next lives together in some capacity.

This is a stream of consciousness piece, haphazardly thrown together.

I read about this theory in a book that has become one of my favorites, called Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian L. Weiss, MD.

The book made it into my hands by strange means. A friend of mine from college, formerly my RA who kicked out Lemon, found this book on the street in Brooklyn, picked it up, and never read it. After she came upstate to visit me one day, I told her about my deal with the amazing amazing KonMari Method, clearing out about 90% of my stuff, investing in a clutter-free lifestyle. I don’t know if I inspired her, but a few months later, she wanted to get rid of some of her books. Many Lives, Many Masters was one of them and it caught my eye. She sent it to me.

The non-fiction book follows a psychiatrist and his patient, who suffers from anxiety, fear, and random phobias. He uses hypnotism (yeah, apparently it’s a real thing) to figure out what’s wrong with her and asks her to bring out her earliest traumatic experience, similar to what I do in my own PTSD therapy.

However, instead of talking about something that happened when she was 4 years old, she started bringing up another life, from ancient times. She remembers about 80 past lives. The book gets pretty crazy and considering it was written by a doctor who cites studies on the stuff, it’s even crazier. Before you think I’m flying off the handles with this post, I believe in nothing but gravity and I’m open to every idea under the sun and beyond. Moving on!

This book, and theory of past lives, also discusses the idea that when you reincarnate, you reincarnate together, many times with the same people. In her hypnotic stages, the patient would recognize the same people in each past life. Sometimes her mentor would be her father. Other times, her niece would be a friend, a daughter. She could only recognize those who were present in her current life. The book discussed vibrations – accepting those who have different vibrations than you, feeling connected to another person, like you have actually known them for centuries.

Maybe we do. That’s the beauty of us not actually knowing anything about anything. It’s all theory.

Throughout my life, I’ve noticed myself having very strong, immediate connections with certain people. I’ve mistakenly thought I knew someone from this life. One of my closest friends and now ex-boyfriend also thought he recognized me from somewhere when we met on a train in 2012. Eventually, we figured out that we didn’t know each other at all (we literally asked about school, summer camp, sports we played, people we might have in common – nothing), but we were so certain. We knew immediately that we would get along. Is it the pheromones we release? Is it the shape of his face, the way he walked? How did we know we would get connect so well, so deeply? We were both sure that we recognized each other from somewhere… but why? Although I truly may never know, maybe not until I die, or ever, in general, this group reincarnation theory really gets me…

…because he’s not the only one. I’m sure this has happened to you, too, because I’ve asked a bunch of people if they know what the hell I’m talking about. Usually, they, too, have had these deep, immediate connections.

Why do you choose to talk to someone over someone else standing in line waiting for coffee? Why do you like certain decor compared to others and why does that attract you to someone else? What are vibes? Why do some places feel comfortable and welcoming while others feel stiff and strange?

I could ask a million questions, and I’ll continue to, but instead I’ve been thinking about this group reincarnation theory for awhile. It’s a beautiful idea. You’re really never alone. You won’t die alone. You won’t wake up into something unfamiliar because maybe your new mom was your boss in this life. Maybe your brother is your best friend who died in a car accident a few years prior… and here he is, your brother. Your best friend is back from the dead.

People talk about meeting others after they die all the time, no matter what religion. A child’s death is tragic. Is it because you may not see them again in the next life, since they will start so far ahead of you? Is it because their life here is not long?

I think the idea that a long life is a better life is wrong. There’s something more to it.

I can think of at least five people off the top of my head that I connect with very strongly, people who felt like close friends even when they were strangers. What a beautiful idea it is to move through multiple lives with those same people over and over for the rest of time.

So why are we here? Why do we reincarnate, if we reincarnate? Through the patient’s hypnotic states, she reveals that the meaning of life depends on what you must learn in each lifetime. Maybe in one life, you need to learn patience. In another, you must learn how to grieve. Maybe you need to save lives or entertain people. Maybe your career is part of that lesson.

I could go off about this forever. I have. I think about it all the time. I really do. I don’t know my purpose in life, but I question it. I don’t know how exactly this world works, but I seek answers. Discovering new theories to the meaning and purpose of life may piece together some of those answers… or in this case, it creates more questions.

I call these five or so people who I deeply connect with my soulfriends. I call them my soulmates, my life partners… even though they are mostly very close friends and not spouses.

They are my people. They are my tribe. They are those I go to when I feel hurt, confused… sometimes they have the answers to the millions of questions I have. Sometimes I question if they are just extensions of myself living other lives, kind of like horcruxes. Maybe we have seven of them. Who knows?

When my best friend’s mom died, I sat next to her dad in the pew at the funeral. I couldn’t imagine what he was going through, but the entire time I thought of this book. I thought about how my friend’s mom was so amazing, how she touched so many, and how maybe they would all meet again. I told him about this book and he said that he had already read it. Strange. Later, my friend told me that this is her mom’s favorite book.

In another case, a new friend of mine just passed away about a month ago. He was very ill and before he died, he told me that all of his friends were dead. All of his friends were dead. Only a few months later, he died. I hope he is with his friends.

I highly recommend reading Many Lives, Many Masters and questioning these things yourself. It brought me a lot of comfort and gave me a lot to think about. Read some other weird books like this, too. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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