There is one soul that travels from one body to another...death as we know it, isn't actually end of the soul...there is a concept of 'moksha' - knowing our past life could explain our present and hopefully, shed some light on our probable future (a.k.a. after-life).
Is this all true, thus a mystery; or is it a sham, thus kept as a mystery! I can't say...
I know people who believe in one side in its entirety, making the issue a non-argument. Then there are some who want to believe in one side more than the other, but just can't seem to make up their minds. I also know few who simply don't give a damn!
The concept of after-life is in fact thousands of years old...not new. Proof of this is clearly seen in the tombs of Egyptian kings & queens. Almost everything (inanimate) that the king / queen thought could be needed in their after life, was kept inside their tomb.
It is clear then that this concept of one soul, after life / past life, moksha aren't the creations of any particular religion, or any particular class / race of people. It isn't creation of an opportunist who saw money in this field (there is a LOT of money in this field, if you hadn't noticed yet). No one owns it, no own truly knows its details and it is in this mystery that lies its biggest strength.
Those who claim to know something (anything about it) proclaim their superiority - as awakened souls. Then there are those who are blessed souls - who can pass on God's word to 'mere mortals' and answer one of the next big question - "what is the meaning of life?".
I think one must be truly troubled in present life that seeking such answers becomes a necessity. I say this because answers sought are not about the present life, about how to improve what is done in present. Efforts are directed at trying to find answers, which would try to explain (hopefully) the reasons for why the present is the way it is.
For the troubled soul - since answers available in present are not helping, it seems logical for this soul to look for answers elsewhere. In this case...elsewhere is the search of soul's foot prints, diving deep in past life...all with the hope that something concrete will be discovered that will solve every puzzle of life and give solutions to every problem faced.
This process is neither easy nor quick. Sacrifices need to be made, faith in the process is often shaken - but it needs to be realigned...looking at all the troubles that one needs to go through to get answers - seriously, why would a happy & content person seek such answers and in the process part with things that bring happiness and contentment to begin with?
The beauty of this lies in the fact that even if this concept of one soul, past life, after life is true - knowing about this in current life (as human-form) makes no difference what-so-ever to our life form of future. If we have not brought consciousness, memories, learning of past life into this life - that seems to be the way of nature. Thus - we won't carry forward anything we manage to learn & understand in this life form in to our next...rendering the entire exercise quite futile, in my opinion!
Personally, I am thankful for this life - want to make it better, in this life term and couldn't care less happens there-after.
This is a matter of illusion - the feeling of knowing more, thus doing better. People don't realise that whether we know anything about our past life, quality of soul (or anything else that this sort of search can bring), or don't - we all will still end up the same.
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