happen, and it's not uncommon for them to happen for some people. What people usually see, if their experiences are real, is what needs to be seen, what needs to be freed. As one great Buddhist abbess said to me, "You usually don't have a past life that shows you what a sterling example of enlightenment you were, because enlightenment leaves no trace; it is like a fire that burns clean. There's no karmic imprint it leaves behind." She said if you have any past lives, you're probably going to see what a grade-A jackass you were—which I loved, and which has corresponded to my experience. I didn't necessarily always see what a grade-A jackass I was, although in some cases, I saw that I was a lot more than a grade-A jackass. Most of the past lives I saw were moments of confusion, moments of unresolved karmic conflict.


from The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment