Souls that have been here before possess certain characteristics. They often perceive life from a different viewpoint.
The soul is neither created nor destroyed. That which is the essence of all forms remains forever. Much like an actor going on stage, it may choose to wear new masks, forms, and props in different births. The earliest texts of eastern mysticism and spirituality, which dates back to more than 5000 years, has always viewed the soul as an ever-present spirit, which evolves over lifetimes until it becomes one with the Source.
But what is the soul? Every religion defines it differently. But most of it points to a formless essence or energetic being that is beyond the body, fleeting thoughts, and emotions that a person experiences. This definition of the soul being an energetic essence goes with the modern theory that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but can be transferred to different forms.
Reincarnation is the concept that individual souls come enter the world to evolve and choose to be reborn and carry on the learning journey from where it had left it in the earlier birth. Since this happens at the spiritual level, conscious memory has little to do with this. Many ancient civilizations have acknowledged this concept, including the Celtic, Greek, Indian and other Asian traditions.
The process of the soul leaving the body and taking up a new form is called “metempsychosis” or “transmigration.” People who have been here before and have gathered wisdom across lifetimes often have certain qualities that make them more sensitive and discerning than others. Old souls often "know" that life is eternal. Here are the other traits of an old soul who has been here many times before.
Many argue that intuition is simply your primitive brain sensing danger before you are consciously aware of the details. This is true as much of intuition is linked to the second brain of the human body — the gut. Most neurotransmitters of the nervous system are present in the gut. This explains why some of us feel an immediate knot in the tummy or heightened sense of danger in a situation that could be potentially harmful. This is also the reason some of us can sense when someone is lying or is hiding something from you.
This ability to sense things could be from the lessons you have picked in previous lifetimes. Although you don't remember the events, you "know" when something is off.
A few have claimed that deja vu is nothing but a result of neurological dissonance, while a few others claim that this, too, is a sign of an old soul navigating an already trodden lifepath. An everyday event may trigger an overwhelming sense of having been here before, and it just feels like it is happening all over again. Although consciously, this may be the first time to be in that situation. What's interesting is when the déjà vu episode makes better sense later in hindsight and you understand a deeper lesson or meaning from it. Some consider this as life lessons that the soul had taken up to learn in this lifetime which it had failed to learn earlier. Thus, the soul recognizes the moment as the event unfolds.
This is an interesting factor, which is often too subtle to detect even amongst those who possess the ability. It involves "knowing ahead" what is to come or just having a prior sense of outcomes even before the event has occurred. This is also called as "second sight" or "future sight." We could say it is close to intuition but this is experienced as images, physical sensations, or other stimuli or cues that is beyond an "intuitive knowing." You are also likely to attract people interested in soul work, healing, guides, coaches, and others who are on a spiritual journey. Interestingly, these are the folks who can pick up a new skill and already be a pro at it. It's possible it's inborn talent; it is also possible that this is a result of many hours of practice in a previous lifetime.
Most old souls are empaths. They have the ability to feel what others feel, not just know through observation or sympathy. Someone might enter the room and you immediately feel a change in your mood or energy, and this is often the exact reflection of how the other feels. Apart from emotions, they can also pick others physical symptoms including pain, tension in the muscles, or energy blocks. This is why it is important for empaths to have clear emotional and energetic boundaries and practice some form of self-care and cleansing ritual to release emotions and energies that don't belong to them.
This is a classic example of the imprint a particular birth has had on the soul. If you are drawn to a certain culture for no particular reason or if a language or art form feels strangely familiar, it is possible that you had spoken or known it in a previous birth. This also happens with countries or places that you visit, and you feel an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and "home," even if you are miles away from hometown or current city you live in. You may also be drawn to books and works of people from or about a particular culture or community.
If you have always been terrified of certain objects or places, this could be because of a psychological phobia you have in this birth. For example, you could be afraid of spiders or of height. But sometimes, there are certain unreasonable feelings of fear and even disgust you could feel toward certain unlikely things, like say flowers or horses (even if you have never really been near a horse in this lifetime). The response will be immediate and your body will react with a strong impulse to get away from it right away.
If you have been here many times before, you don't just see through fake people and fleeting factors such as drama and social manipulation, you also recognize others' soul beyond their physical form. You often infer things about a person beyond what they express about themselves. You also sense when someone is a pure soul even if they seem outwardly detached, dismissive, or unfriendly. You refuse to judge people as good or bad because you know each of us has been here before playing different roles and everyone is trying the best they can. Your soul-knowledge isn't limited to humans, you often connect deeply with all life forms including trees.
This is a common experience amongst those who are likely to have been here many times before. When you wake up in the morning, in the first few moments before the daily thoughts and social identity take up your headspace, you may feel like a much older person that you are. Sometimes when you look at your peers or even catch yourself looking in the mirror, you can't help think you have been here longer than your physical age.
Have you had any of these feelings or experiences? If you are interested in this subject, you could check out these resources:
Many Masters Many Likes, by Dr. Brian Weiss
Journey of Souls by Michael Newton
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources and expresses the writer's personal views.