Nostalgia and Past Lives


The moment one thinks of the word ‘nostalgia’, a mixture of emotions comes into picture. ‘Nostalgia’ is a portmanteau neologism coined in 1688 by Swiss medical student Johannes Hofer from the Greek nóstos (homecoming) and álgos (pain, ache). Nostalgia is sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with positive associations, with a reminiscence of, ‘the good old days’ of yore. At the end of André Brink’s novel, An Instant in the Wind, the character of Adam memorably says, ‘The land which happened inside us no one can take away from us again, not even ourselves.’ Nostalgia combines the sadness, joy, longing coupled with feelings of authentic pride.

A nostalgic person may find that years later he/she feels a yearning of things in the long lost past. Sometimes, it is indescribable or unexplainable. It takes on a transpersonal quality, a feeling that cannot be described using language. Only the experiencer knows the feeling, it cannot be precisely shared with others.

Sometimes one visits a different country from one’s own and finds that that is the place where they belong. However strange it may seem, several people I know have experienced this phenomenon. They report a feeling of déjà vu, everything seems familiar, homely, cozy and inviting. The traveler loves the people in the region unconditionally, falls in love with its picturesque landscape, its cultural nuances and so on. Sometimes, he/she ends up meeting people who look very familiar but he/she cannot pinpoint the exact reason. Here comes into play past lives lived with such people, whom one could undoubtedly call ‘soulmates.’ These soulmates are in the individual’s life for a purpose: to teach, to help him/her grow spiritually, to expand his/her perspective, to return the good deeds done in another life or to compensate the person if they had ill-treated them in a past life. Sometimes, the anti-patriotic feelings one has towards one’s own country maybe because his/her soul does not belong there. Such a person is incessantly in search of his/her soul family or soul tribe. Some people may find their tribe in this life whereas some continue this search in the next life.

In a sense, nostalgia may be symbolic of something that the person has forgotten, but his/her soul knows it very well. The soul is a learned scholar, but it is wearing a mask. These façades are a way of promoting purification of the soul. The well-known Native American proverb says:

Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows.

To this I make an addition. I say:

You know but you do not know that you know.

Let us then be seekers of knowledge, expanding the nature and scope of epistemology, and let our souls transcend space and time.

About the Author

Samhita K is a doctoral scholar of Psychology, a published poet, writer, English and French teacher, researcher, and psychologist. Samhita is the author of the book “The Faces of the Self: Introspective Insights”, published in 2018 which has received a blurb from award-winning Indian writer Usha K. R. She is a musicophile, Francophile and Russophile. She is a seeker of spirituality and is deeply passionate about Transpersonal Psychology. She is the author of the short story “The Russian Manuscript” available on Samhita has been the Featured Poet at a cafe called Urban Solace Cafe for the Soul, which was the 262nd edition of the Longest Running Poetry Event in India. This event is also featured in the Limca Book of World Records. Her hobbies include reading, creative writing, music, sports, motorcycle riding and transcendental meditation. You can follow her on Instagram on two usernames namely, transpersonal.vera and thefacesoftheself.


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  1. Jessica says:

    Great 👍 I love California I always feel like myself when I am there . I meet people that I feel most comfortable with and enjoy the culture . I currently reside in the Midwest and I crave to go Home to California. I like northern and Southern California.

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