SOUL memory according to Theosophy is referred to as ‘reminiscence,’ and it is this kind memory that assures every human being, whether they know it or not, of their having lived before, and having to live again.
To fully grasp the idea, we first have to study the complex relationship between the human and transcendental aspects of mind (represented physiologically by the brain’s left and right hemispheres.)
Knowledge gained or not by soul-sourced transmission is described by W. Q. Judge in his Ocean of Theosophy, Ch.9:
“By living according to the dictates of the soul the brain may at last be made porous to the soul’s recollections; if the contrary sort of a life is led, then more and more will clouds obscure that reminiscence.”
H. P. Blavatsky in The Voice of the Silence, has an even simpler formula:
Self-Knowledge is of
loving deeds the child.
The differences were experienced directly by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor PhD, described in her book “My Stroke of Insight.” In a memorable TED Talk, she describes her experience in dramatic detail:
“Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — shut down one by one. An astonishing story.”
The contrast of Spirit (or consciousness) and Matter, Subject and Object.
- H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (1:15)
“Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter are, however, to be regarded, not as independent realities, but as the two facets or aspects of the Absolute (Parabrahm), which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective. . . . Just as pre-Cosmic Ideation is the root of all individual consciousness, so pre-Cosmic Substance is the substratum of matter in the various grades of its differentiation.”
This fundamental double consciousness, Blavatsky explained, is termed first “the spiritual, or those which belong to the imperishable Ego,” (The Key to Theosophy, Section 8, On Individuality and Personality). Second, she describes the intellectual/rational, personal physical brain states:
which inhabit the ever-changing bodies, or the series of personalities of that Ego.
Notwithstanding, our higher mind knows and remembers all its lives, she insisted, “as well as you remember what you have done yesterday. The real Ego has not forgotten them, and the personal never experienced them. Shall the new boots on the feet of a boy who is flogged for stealing apples, be punished for that which they know nothing?” HPB asked.
That which is called “the divine man,” is the “real Individuality,” who like the elegant elephant, never forgets. But its vehicle the personality has no access to that history as it corresponds to “a new suit of clothes.” There are, however, importantly:
modes of communication between the Spiritual and human consciousness or memory.
Evidence for such modes of communication lies in our powers of intuition, conscience, premonitions etc. and, most powerfully, from investigations into the so-called NDE or Near Death Experience. But such states as this “have never been recognised by your scientific modern psychologists,” Blavatsky said of such communications.
That may be changing now.