How can I know what I did in former lives?

The core of who we are, our center or I, is the same from life to life, so it is not as if we were somebody else in a past life. But in each past life we lived under different circumstances, we lived through various experiences, good or bad, happy or sad, and all those have shaped us into the person we are today.

However, a lot of people refuse to believe that they have lived before because they cannot remember. But active memories from former lives is not what it is about. Active memories from former lives would be very confusing for us in each new incarnation, and for that reason a veil of oblivion is pulled down over our memories from previous incarnations, when we reincarnate.

But that does not mean that we cannot know anything about what we did in past lives. All our past lives are with us in each new incarnation by virtue of the person we are. Our abilities, likes and dislikes, fears or phobias, pleasures, level of intelligence, habits and preferences, attitudes, dispositions and talents all have their origin in experiences from former lives. In this way we can say that the person we are today is the essence of all our former lives. They have shaped us into who we are today.

Also, there are two ways in which we can find out what we did in former lives:

  1. We can look at what we are good at in this life, what talents we are born with. There is only one way to become good at something and that is to practice. When we are born with a specific talent such as one for playing a musical instrument, for playing football, for cooking, sowing, singing, dancing, performing, for mathematics, foreign languages, for DIY, cycling, reading etc., these abilities all have their origin in practice in former lives. In our supraconsciousness we have a “storage room” for things we have practiced, and when we reincarnate we take the level of perfection our practice has reached with us into our next incarnation. This means that it is never too late to start learning a new skill, even if you are 80 or more, because the level you reach in this life will be the level you start from in your next life.


  1. You can look at what you did as a child and what games you liked to play. Martinus says that we repeat our former lives all the way up through childhood, puberty, youth and until we are 30 years old. All those years are repetitions of former lives. So, when we think back on what we did or played as children, we get a very good indication of what we did in the lives we lived before our present life.

To give you some examples I can let you know some of the things I remember doing in my childhood.

When I was 5 or 6 I played with my doll´s kitchen. I had little pans and pots and access to a gas stove, so I cooked small dishes with the ingredients from the kitchen. I loved this so much and I played for hours on end cooking, all on my own. I know now that I was repeating a life where I was a cook in my own inn, hundreds of years ago. I still have very good cooking skills, so this talent was laid down in my supra-consciousness a long time ago, and honed in each following life.

When I was 7 I started taking a strong interest in embroidery and I was able to produce beautifully embroidered pillow cases, book covers, table runners etc. This period lasted for a few years and then I lost interest, because now I was repeating another life with different interests.

I now became obsessed with praying. I prayed and prayed even though nobody had taught me or told me to. I just knew how to pray and I did it a lot. I feel convinced that I was repeating a life as a nun in a nunnery. I especially prayed that my child would live, so maybe I had been a naughty nun, got pregnant and lost my baby.

Later, I would have been around 11, I liked to sing and perform in school. During breaks I would stand on the platform by the blackboard and sing and dance to my astounded class-mates. I am sure I was repeating a life where I was a singer / dancer in a sort of cabaret or variety.

When I was in my teens I insisted on having my own workshop where I would paint, do mosaics, sew clothes and glue things together.  I was very taken with this and enjoyed it enormously. I must have been an artisan of some sort in the life I repeated.

The above is just a few examples from my own life, and I am sure that everybody can think back at what they liked to do in their early life to get indications of what they did in the lives they were repeating.

One thing, though, that is even more important than looking back at what we did in our early life, is to look at who we are today. Who we are is a direct result of all our experiences from former lives. We are NOT primarily the effects of the genes of our parents – they really only play a minor role. By far the greatest role in who we are today is played by the accumulated experiences, learning, wisdom, and knowledge we have with us from the thousands of lives we lived before this one.

It is via our experiences and especially our mistakes that we learn and become wiser, more moral, more civilized, more compassionate and loving, because we have been moulded by these events to become the person we are today.

And remember: nobody can act on experiences s/he has not had. If we are inexperienced in certain areas, it is because we have no experiences to draw from in this particular area. We are ignorant and everybody is ignorant before s/he becomes knowledgeable. It is no shame to be ignorant and we must forgive those who are, including ourselves.

Another important point is that we should never reproach ourselves for the mistakes we have made. Our mistakes are our greatest teachers and without them we would never evolve and accumulate wisdom.

If you would like to read an essay that will further convince you about reincarnation, I recommend my short book: The best available evidence for the survival of human consciousness after permanent physical death.

This is the link to the book:




The New Spiritual Science Newsletter

The New Spiritual Science Newsletter

To receive my regular Newsletter, please fill in the details below. You will receive information about new articles, books and other news relevant to the followers of Martinus.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This