How Do We Reconcile Reincarnation and Simultaneous Time? by John Cali

Image by Paul McIlroy

Many spiritual teachers and spirit guides, including my own guides, talk about reincarnation—one lifetime after another, often spanning many centuries. They also talk about simultaneous time—where past, present, and future all exist in the present moment.

How do we reconcile these two seemingly contradictory concepts?


Linear time does not exist in the realms of spirit—there is only eternal time.

Being fully in each moment will make you, as you say, “lose track of time.” Time as you know it literally expands (or contracts). You’ve probably noticed when you immerse yourself in the task at hand you often get much more done than you normally would in the same amount of linear time. You’ve expanded time.

Your life is ruled by neither clock nor calendar. But if you believe it is, then so it will be for you.

When you say you don’t have enough time, that will be your experience. When you you say you have all the time in the world, that will be your experience. When you worry about time your body will age faster.

You generally perceive your “past” lives through the lens of linear time—obviously. Yet your past lives and your future lives exist now, in this present moment. They only seem to be past or future when you are in a physical body. When you leave your body, whether by physical death or in the dream state, time ceases to exist for you.

Perhaps a little example of this would help clarify the issue.

When you physically die, the only thing that dies is your body. You are eternal. You are consciousness and you live forever.

Let’s say you died now, in your calendar year 2013. As you emerge back into the world of spirit you could easily choose to reincarnate. Or not—it’s your choice.

But let’s say you choose to reincarnate. While you are in spirit, without a body, you have an array of choices. Among those choices is one allowing you to reincarnate into a life you lived in, say, 1000 BC—roughly 3,000 years ago in linear time.

That is entirely possible. You would immerse yourself in that era, thinking it was the “present.”

It’s all in your perspective. Past, present, and future all exist now. In spirit you clearly understand that. In a physical body, that clarity is not there.

Remember, since all you have is the present moment, all your power is now. You are not shackled by your past—the past of this lifetime or the past of other lifetimes. You are free—totally free. You are a divine, sovereign being. When you understand and accept that you will know a peace and a joy you never dreamt of.


In this video Seth, channelled by Jane Roberts, talks about reincarnation and simultaneous time

Related links:
What Is Time?
Time: The Ultimate Illusion
Time and Disease
Time and Forgetfulness


What are your thoughts about reincarnation? Do you believe our “past” and “future” lives are happening now? Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.

What other subjects would you like us to talk about in these posts? Please email me.

21 Responses

  1. Valerie


    This post has been in the back of my mind all day, knew something was trying to perculate into my awareness, that I’d have something to say. Just not sure what it is yet.

    To this question you posed; ” Do you believe our “past” and “future” lives are happening now?” My answer is yes. Why it’s never too late to have a happy childhood. And I know that is a small joke but it is also decidedly true. The healing work I do on myself Now effects my other Nows, not just this one.

    , “How Do We Reconcile Reincarnation and Simultaneous Time?” I try not to make it an issue. ha. See, it’s my rational mind gets hung up on ‘how it works’. I don’t know how a great many devices work either, but I use them anyway. I resolved it myself when I was younger, by deciding it really didn’t matter so much, because the life I have now was my main concern. Though feels like I can call on my “others’ if need be. Like spirit.

    I was not raised around the belief in reincarnation, and though I had an open mind, took some very personal episodes before I was convinced. Even with clear recall, .not sure that is the only explanation or way to define it. . Maybe I was just tapping somehow in to a more universal consciousness, as each self certainly felt distinct…and yet something connects ‘us’.

    A word that came up for me lately was resonance. Which for me went a long way towards describing how we connect to each other in this life…so maybe also to others? I may not have the typical definition right, but suggests a sort of frequency or vibrational alignment that is supportive or harmonious.

    Which is just another way of saying it feels right, that there is some sense of recognition on an energetic level. Many times now I’ve recognized someone at first meeting…as someone I’ve known before.

    They played with these themes a lot in the movie Cloud Atlas. Have you seen it? It’s a tad long, though I intend to rent it sometime so I can watch it again with the pause button handy. Not sure I agreed with it all when I saw it in the theater, but appreciated the topic making its way into the mainstream media.

    Interesting food for thought.

    Thanks again John,


    • John Cali

      Hi Val,

      Thanks very much for your insightful comments.

      I agree with you — our past and future lives are happening now. As far the question the title poses — How do we reconcile reincarnation and simultaneous time? — like you, I don’t make an issue of it. It’s an interesting question, but we’ll never figure it out with our human minds. The only way to understand it is to experience it — which we do after “death” and in our dreams.

      I was not raised to believe in reincarnation either. And, as far as I know none of my still-Catholic family believe in it. I studied Roman Catholic theology for 8 years when I thought I might become a priest. According to some sources, the church at one time accepted reincarnation. But it was deleted from their teachings because they did not want people believing if they screwed up this lifetime they would get another chance. I’m not a theology expert, but that makes sense to me.

      I’ve had those same kinds of resonate experiences you describe. After having enough of them many years ago, and then coming across the Seth material, I became a firm believer in reincarnation, whether we define it as linear or concurrent.

      No, I have not seen “Cloud Atlas.” But I’ll think about getting it — sounds fascinating.

      Thanks again, Val.


  2. Chuck

    i am not sure what you mean Past, future and present is now.
    Right now today lets say i am in downtown and and seeing the building. this is NOW for me.
    Now 3 yrs back i was in a forest. So i can sure recollect that memory. But that does NOT to me mean PAST is now. For me normally thats memory.
    So whats the distinction between the PAST being NOW and it being accessed only through a memory?? Are we calling these the same?

    i agree that we need to live NOW. because thats all we have, might as well live to our potential and to our best. Why live less than that and cause grief for ourselves.

    • John Cali

      What that means is linear time does not exist in the world of spirit. What we call past, present, and future is “now” in the spirit world — that’s all they have. To someone in spirit your experience in the forest 3 years ago is happening now, even though you perceive it as the past.

      • Chuck

        ok thanks! yes i agree since on some level i can feel time is not like what we think . .. but at the same time it takes us to get out of our normal consciousness levels to experience things like this …

        i am amazed at least some people know this for sure… !! for me i can feel the distortion of time to quite some extent…

  3. Shirley White

    My understanding of reincarnation is that it is not THIS iteration of me that has experienced other lifetimes in other time frames, but an aspect of my higher-self. The many aspects of that “soul” have had and are having many experiences in many divergent “time frames.” This personification of me is unique and exists at this moment as a specific individual. I am not who I have been and I am not who I will be and yet I am all of that.

    This aspect of me in 2013 has chosen to be here in this incarnation for some specific reasons and purposes. I am busy doing my best to fulfill them.

    That is how I see things and understand this topic.

    And so it is.

    Blessings and hugs to all

    • John Cali

      Thanks very much, Shirl, for a very clear explanation — you’ve added another dimension to Spirit’s words.


      • Shirley White

        Thanks John,
        Much love to you

  4. Damian

    Very interesting. I’m not sure what to make of it all right now. See, when I was younger, my parents had a group who would gather to discuss reincarnation with the help of Edgar Casey’s books on the subject. Much later, those books were given to me and I read them, not understanding it much, but very interested in it. Now, with this added information of all our lives are ‘now’…it gives me much to chew on. Another piece of the puzzle, but how does it fit into my life, this life now?
    I have always been afraid of deep waters. I am a great swimmer, but to dive into a lake or river where I cannot see the bottom is terrifying to me. I had a dream where I was on a ship, like a spanish galleon. I was a sailor. We were attacked and I was in the water. The rigging had caught my legs and dragged me down and I drowned. I took this information as a way to explain why I’m afraid of deep waters. I have faced this fear many times and I feel much more comfortable now.
    This is strange to me, being afraid of deep waters, yet being a good swimmer. A contradiction much like reincarnation and simultaneous time. You’ve given me much to think about. Thank you. Other than what I have shared, I really do not know what to add.
    May the leaves of the forest shade you. Damian.

  5. beachdrifter

    It is my belief that there is no such thing as “reincarnation”, at least not in the way it is often described.

    When a physical human, let’s call him “Frank”, returns to his non-physical Source, he re-emerges back into his broader perspective – who he really is, and always has been.

    But Frank doesn’t then re-incarnate into “Mary” – Frank and Mary represent unique physical perspectives of a much broader being, the ONE, and they both flow forth from the totality of that being.

    The idea of individuated consciousness is a result of the physical human’s perception of separation, which does not exist in non-physical.

    • John Cali

      Thank you, beachdrifter. I also do not believe in the traditional perspective of reincarnation.

  6. Sarah

    That has just answered a lot of questions for me! Thanks!!! x

  7. claire

    Hi John

    If a spirit reincarnates into a life lived in the past, does that mean it would live in a different dimension than earth itself ?

    This is a very intersting post!

    Have a goood day. Thank you for the reading. It was very helpful.


    • John Cali

      Well, as I see it, Claire, it would be the same physical earth dimension — but in a different “time.”

  8. Mikala St. Germain

    I know this might sound somewhat on the negative side, but I truly do not mean it that way. The truthful answer to your question is: Yes, I believe in reincarnation and believe that I am aware of a few “past” lives and what occurred in them. As for the “when” of it all, who cares? It is when it is/was/will be.

    I do think that a great deal of what we learn in “each” life we live as humans seeps into The others: i.e. we grow with everything we learn, no matter the timing.


    • John Cali

      Thank you, Mikala. I agree with you — whatever we learn in each of our lives affects all our other lives.

  9. Tepet


    Time is an illusion, there is indeed only now. One can choose to ascend between lifetimes or come back and fix it this time. We live all our lifetimes NOW. It is sort of a variation on the idea that each time you make a choice you create a new reality. Just because one passes on doesn’t mean the illusion is gone. Which is why we have the illusion of karma. Thanks for your blog John. And Hi to Joseph.

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