"In the end you know
that there is no sin, no guilt, no retribution,
only life in its endless transformations.
With the dissolution of the personal 'I',
personal suffering disappears.
What remains is the great sadness of compassion,
the horror of the unnecessary pain."
~ NisargadattaI like the simile of the simple light bulb. Of course, keep in mind that a light bulb is not actually all that simple and it is the result of complex thought by many over considerable time. Being mindful of what it took in the development of humanity on this planet to have all of the materials for a light bulb available and then to have the understanding of how it could function in order to produce light, it is quite remarkable and wonderful.
The simile I use is to see the light bulb as an inanimate object that 'comes alive' when the electrical current flows through it. The older ones I grew up with are the incandescent bulbs that give off light because a fine wire filament creates resistance to the flow of electrical energy and thus heats up and glows brightly. Similarly, our body-mind-spirit complexes that are based in the physical body, experience Source energy flowing through them and thus they come alive and 'light up'. Seen in this context our lives actually consist of Source energy flowing through inert objects that create resistance to this flow and thus appear to 'come alive', to move, speak, think and, to some degree or the other, 'light up'.
We, as Source energy, are enthralled and fascinated by these 'objects' of our own creation that now appear to be 'alive', like children at Christmas playing with the remote control of a new battery-run dump-truck or locomotive. We actually lose track of the fact that we are actually the energy flow Itself, and not the object that is moved by It. We feel ourselves as the objects, the body-mind-spirit complexes. Wow, amazing! To feel ourselves as actually being the creations of our own 'hands'. Like the artist who, through magic, slips into the painting and lives in the paint-world portrayed on the canvas.
Now, back to the light bulb: at some point the fine wire filament has been heating up and glowing for many, many hours and it becomes brittle. One more burst of energy comes through and "ping"! it snaps, no longer able to sustain the flow of the current. We say then that "the person has died". The current (Source energy) doesn't mind at all. As soon as the cosmic janitor comes and screws in another fresh, young light bulb, It begins to flow again and the bulb comes alive - the baby's heart beats and then it breathes, talks, thinks and loves.
Now we come to the most fascinating part: the Source energy carries in It all impressions of all "lives" lived by all forms that It has animated throughout all of "time". Each new form that takes on "life" has the capacity to consciously connect with any or all of these impressions. It is a vast data bank that every aspect of Source energy has access to. Which data I connect with depends on my individual propensities and depends on how far I have developed my ability to be sensitive enough to receive the subtle transmissions from the Great Server in the Sky. When this perspective dawns in a person, we say that person has transcended the personal 'I', and personal suffering disappears. It then becomes painfully clear that all suffering is due, simply, to a fatal error in perception of what is real, and what is just a form that is a vehicle for that which is real.
Now all of this is not a linear process and each of 'us' has a highly individual configuration of our body-mind-spirit complex, and that is to be taken literally: it is "complex"! Therefore, I, as one of the cosmic "workstations", will be supported in my functioning by some memories of another 'life', and may very well have the sense that I am connecting with "my past life". Indeed, I am, but the question remains, "who am I"? and thus, what is "mine"? Realizing that I am actually Source appearing in a multiplicity of forms, yes, indeed, all lives are "mine". Of significance is that I relate to the lessons such a memory can impart to me and live that lesson so that I may function more smoothly and thus experience more joy.
It is also my experience that the non-linearity of this process expresses itself as "me" being in a state of consciousness that has transcended the personal "I" to a high degree for quite a while, and then, moments later, I find myself again in a state of consciousness that is characterized by the sense of limitation and suffering as a personal "I". If I can follow the advice of the ancient wisdom texts and, as Matt Kahn says, "Whatever arises, love that", suffering dissipates and I once again find myself as Source consciousness experiencing life in its "endless transformations", and am able to gratefully join in the dance of Life. See you There!