"Every soul has existed from the beginning. It has therefore passed through some worlds already, and it will pass through others before it reaches the final consummation. It comes into the world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of its previous life."
Origen, an early Christian scholar
I found this quote, or it found me, just as I was starting this website, and thought it was a perfect distillation of the concepts involved in past lives exploration. I am using the work of William Swygard as a jumping off point, and he had a beautiful and unique description of the origin of the soul. In Swygard's cosmology, souls came into existence when Source/Spirit/"God"/choose your favorite deity released pieces of itself with the admonition, "Go know my Creation, and return it to Me." I love that description of Creation; it resonates with me and I refer to it as "the spiritual Big Bang Theory." If it is true, and I am open to believing that it is, then as Origen pointed out, "every soul has existed from the beginning." In this framework, we are all old souls. This work is based on the idea that we can know where we were "strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of its previous life." Or as someone put it more recently, "You may think you're done with the past, but is the past done with you?"
Past life explorations are just the start of the journey, I call it Phase 1 of the Past Lives Project. If we have had even one past life in a different body, then that life had a beginning, middle and and end, and after it ended, the soul continued its journey between lives. I like to call it an NPE, the non-physical experience that we are able to explore any time we leave a past life behind, (in contrast to the NDE which requires almost dying). This is Phase 2.
The 3rd phase is hinted at in Origen's quote. The idea that we have "passed through some worlds already, and ... will pass through others" is intriguing. I have not even explored this on my own, but when I do, I will be sharing my experiences here on this blog. This is an ongoing project, I have a few answers and a thousand questions, and I welcome you to join me on this journey.