A: I am sure that whatever you are experiencing in your mind is quite real to you. You say that you are not psychotic, and so I assume that you have seen a medical professional in order to make that assessment of your condition...I will assume that you know for certain that your mind is sound.
You say that you have always have had memories of "pre-existence..." I wonder if that is the same as "past-life" memories? According to The Urantia Book teachings, reincarnation is a false belief. We have not had any lives previous to the one we are now experiencing, nor will we ever reincarnate again on this planet. Instead, our spirit-selves—our immortal souls which we develop throughout a life spent in the flesh—experience resurrection on the Mansion Worlds, from there to enter upon the eternal adventure of finding God in Paradise. We are "translated" a number of times in our upward journey, but never do we return to the planet of our nativity.
And you then seem to make a connection between the visions and memories and the fact that your life has been hard. I am not really understanding what the two have to do with each other, unless you have been so preoccupied with your mental state that you have not paid enough attention to the life right in front of you... Most people have varying degrees of difficulty in life, and difficulties always help us to become stronger, and to develop a strong and enduring character. But if you are putting too much time and energy into belief of a "past-life" instead of actively living your present life, this will continue to cause difficulties. And this is a choice you must make.
Not having much information about the kinds of visions and memories you are having, I cannot really advise you on how to ascribe a final meaning to the experiences. You do not appear to be frightened by them, but you do say that you are "confused." You say that you try to pray and meditate—I am glad to know that you do this, as it is a good practice, and will yield results if you persist in it.
One thing that I do know for sure is that you possess within your mind a literal fragment of the Universal Father—the indwelling Spirit of God that is called the Thought Adjuster in The Urantia Book. It is this fragment of God that serves as your constant companion, your spiritual guide, and your most intimate friend throughout your lifetime, and which assists you immeasurably in acquiring and developing your immortal soul.
It may help you to know that you are not alone in having some kinds of experiences regarding "past-life" issues. This has been a very widespread phenomenon for decades, and many people assume that because they have some kind of memories about having existed before, that they actually have done so. They can't imagine what else it could be...
I am going to offer something to think about—and please understand that this is my own opinion and my own attempt to help you come to peace. Even though we do not experience past-lives, we learn in The Urantia Book that some of the indwelling Thought Adjusters have had some previous experience indwelling mortals—mortals with whom they sojourned throughout a life, mortals who either chose not to survive, or who were not eligible for Father-fusion.
Now, I am not saying that you possess such an Adjuster, but I am saying that it is a possibility, and could be the source of the kinds of visions and memories that you experience, as " Nothing of survival value is ever lost..." with the Adjuster. One might wonder whether, in some individuals, this Adjuster experience could show itself in fragmentary dreams, visions, imaginings, or in what might be interpreted as "memory." Having ruled out mental illness, this could be the case, and possibly the source of the kinds of "memories and visions" that you experience. Again, this is my own interpretation, and may, or may not be an explanation that could be of help to you...I don't pretend to understand how this could be, or even if it is, but I am saying that it may be something to think about and even be grateful for...it is the way that we respond to such a possibility that is important.
You can read about the classification of Thought Adjusters HERE. The type of Adjuster I am thinking of is the second or third type—the Advanced, or the Supreme Adjusters.
In any event, you would do well to continue your prayer and meditation and your search for answers through becoming closer to God and learning to trust God. Since God dwells within your mind, it is through these communions with him that your answers will come. I would advise that you lay out this problem to God, and then spend time in quiet receptivity to discern the answer to your prayers. God is always with you, and you have nothing to fear. Just spending time in conscious, prayerful, worshipful contact with the Father and receiving his counsel will always bring peace to your spirit.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, do your best to live in the here-and-now—not in the past—even if you persist in having these kinds of thoughts. The life that you live NOW is the important thing—the experience that you gain through living the life you have been given is what will count in the end.
To become mature is to live more intensely in the present, at the same time escaping from the limitations of the present. (118:1.7)
Even while the Adjuster indwells our mind to assist us spiritually, you possess the freewill choice of what to think and what to concentrate on in order to maximize that assistance. Living life right now is always the right choice...and, if you ever reach a point where spiritual progress in your present life is suffering as a result of this mental activity, I would advise you to see your mental health professional one more time in order to rule out any other form of psychosis.
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Thanks again for your note to Truthbook.com. I hope this reply has been of some help to you..."