@ = The Eternal Now
OOO = The physical dimension (Real-Time, here and now)
The above diagram shows the ascending and descending layers of the ONE consciousness, splitting into more and more parts as it descends into the real time universe (the here and now)...
Each part of the layers directly above the physical dimension can be more easily related to, if you consider each as being an Overself or Oversoul, or Higher Self (pick one?).
In our dimension, each of these split into many separate parts (hundreds or even thousands of people; how many is unknown). And if you take into account this flow of multiple consciousness units from above, from the eternal NOW, it is also likely this spreads throughout all of time and space: possibly with each Oversoul splitting into countless people; all who have ever lived in the past, all those living in the present, and all those that will live in the future.
The bottom line is that these are all living simultaneously in the shadow of The Eternal NOW. And if you also take into account the countless worlds in our universe that probably contain many other race, not to mention a plethora of parallel universes, the mind simply boggles. And yes, I think I am definitely getting a headache at this point:)
If you look closely at and ponder the mind-split effect you'll see before you the underlying principle of incarnation at work. As above so below. And if you apply the mind-split effect to incarnation, you'll see the ONE great mind splitting and reflecting (or incarnating) into many billions of parts, into many billions of people.
Now, if you take the above as read, you will see that the linear concept of reincarnation is just a little off the mark in explaining the higher nature of reality. It leaves too many questions unanswered and has too many holes in it's logic. Its way too simplistic an explanation to fit the enormity underlying the reality of incarnation.
In my opinion, what is really happening is this:
We are all essentially a part of the ONE at the very highest level of consciousness. There is NO time at the top (or you could say there is ALL time at the top) so everything happens in the eternal NOW.
Therefore, logically, a single person would incarnate throughout time: past present and future, living and experiencing multiple lives. But these are lived all at the same time, all at once, all in the eternal NOW. And therefore, if all lives are lived at once, then it is also likely each 'person' incarnates many times in the same timeframe, i.e., that you are incarnated many times in the present, and are living many different lives simultaneously in this present time, in the present NOW. This also applies to the past, present and future; meaning you are now currently living throughout all time. Scary concept maybe, and definitely headache material, but its also extremely logical.
I believe the above, with a healthy application of like-attracts-like and opposites-repel, also accounts for what are commonly called Soul Mates. Individual incarnating spirits would logically attract like-minded spirits to them from among their own spectrum of incarnating brethren, i.e., from among those incarnating from their own shared Oversoul.
The Buddhist concept of the Overself is fairly accurate in describing what is happening at a higher level of consciousness. This is a step up from the simpler concept of linear incarnation, living life after life, as taken for granted by most NewAge people today. Although the Buddhist theory also includes linear reincarnation, you will find there are many gray areas between fact, theory and experience.
Past life memories...or past life associations?
In my opinion these may be caused by closely related links (call it a soul family clan) between some spirits contained within a single Oversoul unit. These links are not limited nor divided by our primitive concept of linear time, but are all connected through the higher soul clan in the eternal NOW. They are all existing simultaneously at the higher level where they connect.
Therefore, when a person remembers or feels connected with, or affected by, dramatic events from what is considered a past life filtering through into their present reality; these events are actually happening right now, in the eternal NOW. This may account for why these links can be so keenly felt. Even though the actual events that are affecting or being felt as stemming from a past life that may have happened thousands of years ago, it is actually happening right now, in the eternal NOW. And this goes a long way toward explaining why past life memories can have such a profound effect on us.
I think past life experiences can also be felt and experienced (shared) in varying degrees, by all the individual members of a closely related soul clan. They are not remembering events that happened a very long ago, they are being 'felt' and experienced by all parts as if they were actually a part of that other time, as if these events were happening NOW.
The above hopefully sheds some new light on the ancient but little-realized belief that we are all brothers and sisters in spirit, all God's children; regardless of sex or race; or even of species for that matter. Ultimately we are all ONE at the highest level, all ONE in the eternal NOW.