“Believers in reincarnation adduce this as an additional proof of our antecedent existence in other bodies. This recognition of men, countries, and things that we have never seen, is attributed by them to flashes of soul-memory of anterior experiences. But the men of old, in common with mediaeval philosophers, firmly held to a contrary position.
They affirmed that though this psychological phenomenon was one of the greatest arguments in favor of immortality and the soul’s preexistence, yet the latter being endowed with an individual memory apart from that of our physical brain, it is no proof of reincarnation.
As Eliphas Levi beautifully expresses it, “nature shuts the door after everything that passes, and pushes life onward” in more perfected forms. The chrysalis becomes a butterfly; the latter can never become again a grub.
In the stillness of the night-hours, when our bodily senses are fast locked in the fetters of sleep, and our elementary body rests, the astral form becomes free. It then oozes out of its earthly prison, and as Paracelsus has it – “confabulates with the outward world”, and travels round the visible as well as the invisible worlds. “In sleep”, he says. “the astral body (soul) is in freer motion; then it soars to its parents, and holds converse with the stars.”
Dreams, forebodings, prescience, prognostications and presentiments are impressions left by our astral spirit on our brain, which receives them more or less distinctly, according to the proportion of blood with which it is supplied during the hours of sleep. The more the body is exhausted, the freer is the spiritual man, and the more vivid the impressions of our soul’s memory.
In heavy and robust sleep, dreamless and uninterrupted, upon awakening to outward consciousness, men may sometimes remember nothing. But the impressions of scenes and landscapes which the astral body saw in its peregrinations are still there, though lying latent under the pressure of matter.
They may be awakened at any moment, and then, during such flashes of man’s inner memory, there is an instantaneous interchange of energies between the visible and the invisible universes.”
H. P. Blavatsky