Living your own Cloud Atlas?

I took this photo of performers when I was living in Jaipur, Rajasthan India.

So, on the recommendation of a friend, last week I indulged in the 2 hour 52 minute movie, Cloud Atlas. If you’re not familiar, the basic premise of Cloud Atlas is that souls are eternal, and are born into different bodies in different times and interact with other souls. This particular movie shows quite a few love connections across the ages, with souls somehow finding and interacting with one anther…really showing the meaning of SOULmate!

The idea of reincarnation was foreign and forbidden just a few years ago, but lately, I’ve begin to wonder….what if? There are quite a few interesting reads out there in book form, or on the internet, trying to prove that reincarnation exists. In some sense, it makes practical sense, since, if we believe that souls are eternal, what are they doing before we are born, and after we die, as we (in the Christian tradition) are sitting around waiting for the final judgment and re-establishment of paradise. It seems a lot to have an eternal soul that only gets to be in an Earthly body for max 100 years (and many, for much much shorter times).

One interesting story I came across, was that of Anne Frank/Barbro Karlen. Apparently, very young children, often ‘remember’ having past lives, and in some cases, these ‘lives’ are able to be figured out to be actual people. I watched a documentary once where a kid remembered being a pilot in war, and the details added up to be a real dude. So, in this case, Barbro was a young girl born in Sweden 10 years after Anne Frank died in Bergen Belsen, the story goes on to say:

hen she was less than three years old, Barbro told her parents that her name was not Barbro, but Anne Frank. Barbro’s parents had no idea of who Anne Frank was, as the book, Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, also known as The Diary of Anne Frank, had not yet been translated or published in Swedish.

I can’t imagine having this happen to me, in such a detailed and difficult way. Barbro wrote about how hard it was for her as a young girl telling people who she really was, and feeling like she was a different person (having trouble calling her parents her parents), because people didn’t seem to believe her. And then discovering, at age 10, that her diary had been published and that she was really a famous person. Mind tripping!

But…less drastic than that, are those deja vu or other experiences people have where they report, “we had an instant connection,” or, “it was like I had been there before!” Has that ever happened to you? Other people say that if you have a particularly strong affinity for a certain location in the world, or particular time periods (like WWII or ancient Egypt).

Which makes me wonder, about some of my own affinities. Like, my obsession with India, and how I would confess to my close friends, that I am “brown on the inside,” meaning, that I actually felt Indian on the inside…which is a strange thing for a white girl to say, you know? And then I had a dream where I was seeing India from my own eyes, which sparked a trip there. Other things I feel an affinity for are ancient Egypt, WWII, and indigenous people in North America (either/both PacNW or plains). But, when I listen to the rational part of my brain, I just wonder if I feel an affinity toward those places is because I learned about them in school. Also, how can by interest in mermaids be explained? Ha! I’ve also had experiences where I’ve met someone and we instantly click…could that be meeting a soul I’ve known before? Perhaps?

So, what are your thoughts on the possibility of reincarnation? Any experiences where you were like “whoa, I’ve been here before,” or instantly connect with someone where you just feel like you’ve known them before? Do share!


  1. Wow. I wonder if WE were connected in a past life. . . we have way too much in common, including this passion for India. Of course I would never go to India due to my crippling fear of snakes (I actually have anxiety walking to my car in my work parking lot in a city because one time 7 years ago I saw a snake and now I am afraid they are going to rain down out of the trees on me.) Anyhoo, I’ve consumed tons of Indian literature, movies, clothing, food and the like. I’ve had friends from India who suggest that maybe I was Indian in a past life due to my connection and fascination with it. So, I think anything is possible regarding reincarnation. Also, my son used to have what we referred to as past life regresions from like age 2-4 about Japan. He would talk about being an old, old man in Japan before we were born, and describe in vivid detail what his house looked like. It was almost spooky at times. He stopped talking about it around the time he turned 5, and it sort of breaks our hearts. Little children are so mystical… Love this post!

  2. Thanks for reminding me that I MUST watch cloud atlas! I totally believe in reincarnation and believe that there are certain people that are your soul family and they will usually have recurring appearances in all of your lives on earth in different ways. I wish there was a way to know for sure!

    • The older I get the more I totally agree with your ideas here! It just makes so much SENSE!

      the movie is good, slow at points, but the special effects/makeup was worth watching! It was fun to guess and see which characters would end up where and try and unravel the mystery. I think that about our life…I wonder…who was Boof in a past life, were we together, friends, family? And other people close to me, too…it’s so fascinating!

  3. There’s an amazing story a rabbi once told me. When so many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, there weren’t enough Jewish mothers to give birth to the babies who would inherit these souls, so they started being reincarnatrd in non-Jews just to have somewhere to go. He said there have been reports of people waking up in the middle of the night to find themselves praying like a Jew, even though before they had no exposure to this practice. Pretty incredible stuff once you start looking.

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