Q: Before my present life, where was I born? Where did I live?
Thank you for writing to us here at TruthBook.com with your question about where you were before this life. You don’t mention whether you know about The Urantia Book, or if you are reading it, but this website is dedicated to the teachings of The Urantia Book, and so my reply comes from those teachings.
The Urantia Book teaches us that this life we are living here on earth is our first life; none of us existed before this life. In spite of a long-held belief in reincarnation, Jesus tried to teach this when he was here on earth:
164:3.4 There was, throughout all these regions, a lingering belief in reincarnation. The older Jewish teachers, together with Plato, Philo, and many of the Essenes, tolerated the theory that men may reap in one incarnation what they have sown in a previous existence; thus in one life they were believed to be expiating the sins committed in preceding lives. The Master found it difficult to make men believe that their souls had not had previous existences.
Elsewhere, we learn:
14:5.1 On Urantia [earth] you pass through a short and intense test during your initial [first] life of material existence.
Life was initiated here on earth millions of years ago; your human life is one of countless others who have evolved over thousands of generations … lives that began here … lives that continued on to higher worlds after death, as yours will. You do have an continuing, eternal life after this one, but no previous life before this one.
112:0.1 THE EVOLUTIONARY planets are the spheres of human origin, the initial worlds of the ascending mortal career. Urantia is your starting point; here you and your divine Thought Adjuster are joined in temporary union. You have been endowed with a perfect guide; therefore, if you will sincerely run the race of time and gain the final goal of faith, the reward of the ages shall be yours; you will be eternally united with your indwelling Adjuster. Then will begin your real life, the ascending life, to which your present mortal state is but the vestibule. Then will begin your exalted and progressive mission as finaliters in the eternity which stretches out before you. And throughout all of these successive ages and stages of evolutionary growth, there is one part of you that remains absolutely unaltered, and that is personality —permanence in the presence of change.
So, where we we before we were born here on earth? First of all, it is important to understand that you are a completely unique personality, as mentioned above; there has never been another like you, nor will there ever be another like you:
112:0.12 Personality is unique, absolutely unique: It is unique in time and space; it is unique in eternity and on Paradise; it is unique when bestowed—there are no duplicates; it is unique during every moment of existence; it is unique in relation to God—he is no respecter of persons, but neither does he add them together, for they are nonaddable—they are associable but nontotalable.
We are all unique expressions of the infinity of God, living on earth in a finite material existence, and yet we all have eternal potential. And that potential for eternal life is begun for us here; before this, your personality was still an undifferentiated part of God – not yet bestowed on a living organism where it could become fully realized. That is what this life is all about: to recognize the fact that we come from God, that this life is a gift of God, that we are his children, and that we have the potential to become perfect as he is and one day return to him in Paradise.
Developing our God-given personality is a part of that process we call “life.” And this life you now live is an eternal life … temporarily interrupted by death, but soon started again as we embark on our ascension journey back to the Father. We never return here, but progress through the heavens on an unending “voyage of discovery.”
Thanks again for writing with this important question; I hope that this reply has been helpful. I do hope that you will look into The Urantia Book, if you have not done that yet. I have supplied you with a few links in this reply; if you click on any of them, they will open up into a larger page which will help you understand more about the life-giving and life-affirming teachings of this wonderful revelation from God to mankind.