Thoughts on Simultaneous Incarnations and Linear Time
Several writers have put forth the idea that in a higher dimension of existence, all our incarnations, past and future, are happening at the same time. Each of these individuals is thought to exist in the present, and it is suggested that they can influence each other and become aware of each other.
I don't claim to have direct knowledge of these things, but going on intuition plus my study of the mystical teachings I've determined over the years to be the most authoritative, this concept doesn't feel quite right to me.
Persons who have reached the pinnacle of spiritual attainment, variously known by such names as God-Realization, Self-Realization, and Nirvikalpa Samadhi (and who have come back to tell us about it), say that in the final state of Reality, there is only the eternal present. However, they don't say that things are happening in that eternal present.* It's really beyond words and beyond our intellect to grasp it, but what I gather is that in reality, nothing has ever happened and nothing ever will happen. "Happening" is a result of our not being able to encompass, in our conscious experience, the totality of existence in this eternal present. "Happening" is an illusory "spreading out" into linear time of the totality of the present because we can't experience it in its completeness as it really is, Now.
Therefore, to say that all these individual lives are existing simultaneously and influencing each other doesn't make sense to me, personally. I think it's more like, everything that is, is now. There never were any separate individuals in the first place. BUT, once you find yourself in the realm in which there are separate individuals, along with that you automatically get linear time, a frozen past, and a future which you can "track" or predict from the present.
I am admittedly reaching into areas that are over my head here. However, there is the concept in Hinduism of the "Dance of Shiva." I have the sense of God as the Totality dancing so that the sum total of Existence always remains what it is, but everything moves around. There are always the same roles--but different actors get to play them with minor variations. The same cosmic movie keeps on looping. As in Whitman's "Leaves of Grass," it is "us" being the criminal over there, it is "us" being the prince over here, and so-on. All of these actors, each "us," is really God playing each role in the eternal present, and this is His dance through us.
I'm quite clear that my understanding of this subject is incomplete. However, I think this is a more accurate conception than the idea that my 17th-century self is alive and well right now, and I could influence him or communicate with him, and vice-versa.
*"....There is in fact only one indivisible and eternal Reality and it has neither beginning nor end. It is beyond time. From the point of view of this timeless Reality the whole time-process is purely imaginary, and billions of years which have passed and billions of years which are to pass do not have even the value of a second. It is as if they had not existed at all."--Meher Baba, "Discourses" Vol. I.