The memory of past lives does not come back to a person, except in abnormal and rare cases, unless he is sufficiently advanced from the spiritual point of view. Loss of memory of past lives does not affect progress This provision made by the laws of life secures unhampered spiritual evolution of the individualised soul. At first view it might seem that loss of memory of previous lives is all a loss, but this is far from being so. For most purposes, knowledge about past lives is not at all necessary for the guidance of the onward course of spiritual evolution. Spiritual evolution consists in guiding life in the light of the highest values perceived through intuition, and not in allowing it to be determined by the past. In many cases, even the memory of the present life acts as an obstacle for certain adjustments demanded by the spiritual requirements of the changing situations of life. The problem of emancipation may, in a sense, be said to be a problem of securing freedom from the past which, in the case of those who are bound to the wheel of birth and death, inexorably shapes the present life.
Life would be infinitely more complicated if one who is not spiritually advanced were burdened by the conscious memory of numberless past lives. Shielding from complications He would be dazed and unsettled by the diversity of settings in which persons would appear to him in the light of his memory. He is not called upon to face such confusion, however, because he is shielded from the resurrection of the memory of past lives. Things and persons come to him in a limited and definite context and setting, with the result that he finds it easy to determine his actions and responses in the light of what he knows from the present life. This