Do we choose who we will be in our next life, but just forget once we’re reborn?
An interesting and profound question.
Before we return
My understanding of this is that a given soul will have the urge to return to the Earth, to continue in its experiencing and learning.
Depending on its level of development it may choose who it will be in the next life. More often this will be by negotiation. Those who love us and have our best interests at heart may want, or need, to have a say in what we are moving into, by returning – it is not without risk.
I suspect therefore we may have advisors who will help us decide on what experience is needed in our best interests to move on – and by the bye that may not always amount to a nice safe life.
If we are a less conscious creature than human (all life has soul) we won’t have any say in our next appointment. We will be drawn into what is most appropriate for us – and probably rapidly after death too.
The challenge of coming into human form
The challenge for us coming into human form is that we start out as babies – of course we do. We shift from remembering where we came from to identifying with the human being we have become, or are becoming. We come to forget who we actually are.
The best time for us to remember our journey is at the start – up to 5 or 7 years old. For most of us it fades after that.
Unless we have the ability to remain open, any soul plans made will become driven along at a subconscious level and now mixed up with our human experience.
The trick for us is to rediscover our deeper self so that we can start to get on consciously with what we came to do. Of course this will be our interpretation of what it was we came to learn or experience.
The chances of getting it exactly right, of knowing our plan verbatim, is probably very slim.
But no bother if we are off-beam from our original plan. It’s a tough call. I’d bet even Jesus struggled with it. As long we do our best to live a life of love we will always be heading in the right direction – and welcomed with open arms on our return home.
I hope this helps answer your question.
I’ve written more on this in my book, Life and Death: Making Sense of It. If interested you can find out more about it here. For a Buddhist take on this, have a read of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche.