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Past Life vs. Present Life: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 15, 2024
Past life refers to an individual's existence in a former incarnation, while present life is the current existence and experiences of that individual.

Key Differences

Past life, in spiritual and metaphysical contexts, refers to the supposed previous existences of a person's soul in different bodies or forms. Present life, on the other hand, denotes the current incarnation and experiences that a person is consciously living through.
The concept of past life is often associated with beliefs in reincarnation or transmigration of the soul. It suggests that the soul has lived through different lifetimes before the current one. In contrast, the present life is focused on the here and now, encompassing current experiences, challenges, and achievements.
Some believe that past life experiences can influence one's present life, possibly through subconscious memories or spiritual lessons carried over. Present life is considered the active stage where these influences manifest and are experienced in real-time.
In past life regression therapy, individuals explore their past lives to understand and resolve issues affecting their present life. Present life, in the realm of psychology and therapy, deals with addressing current emotions, behaviors, and situations.
The concept of past life is largely speculative and embraced in various spiritual and religious traditions, while present life is a universally acknowledged reality, grounded in the tangible and immediate experiences of a person.

Comparison Chart


Previous incarnations of an individual's soul
Current existence and experiences of a person

Associated Beliefs

Reincarnation, transmigration of the soul
Conscious living, immediate reality


May impact present life through subconscious memories
Actively experienced in real-time

Focus in Therapy

Exploring past lives for resolution of current issues
Addressing current emotions and behaviors


Speculative, varies with spiritual beliefs
Universally acknowledged, tangible experience

Past Life and Present Life Definitions

Past Life

The existence lived by a soul before the current one.
In his past life, he felt he was a soldier in medieval times.

Present Life

The ongoing life stage where conscious decisions are made.
In his present life, he's dedicated to environmental activism.

Past Life

Subject of regression therapy to resolve present issues.
Regression therapy revealed a past life that explained her current anxieties.

Present Life

The current existence and experiences of a person.
She is focused on making her present life fulfilling and meaningful.

Past Life

A previous incarnation of an individual's soul.
She believes her fear of water stems from a drowning incident in a past life.

Present Life

The immediate reality experienced by an individual.
Her present life is shaped by her dedication to education.

Past Life

A concept in reincarnation encompassing former lifetimes.
Her interest in ancient cultures is attributed to her past life experiences.

Present Life

Tangible, real-time existence acknowledged by all.
She cherishes every moment of her present life.

Past Life

Spiritual belief in a soul's journey through various existences.
His past life as a healer seems to influence his current compassionate nature.

Present Life

Life stage addressing current emotions and behaviors.
Therapy is helping him address challenges in his present life.

Past Life

Related to a past life.
Dreams about past-life experiences have haunted me for most of my life.


What does present life mean?

It refers to the current existence and experiences of an individual.

What is a past life?

It's a supposed previous existence of a person's soul.

Is present life affected by past life karma?

In some beliefs, past life karma can impact present life circumstances.

Is belief in past life common?

It varies, being more common in cultures with reincarnation beliefs.

Can past life be proven?

Scientifically, past lives are not proven and remain speculative.

Do all cultures believe in past lives?

Not all; belief in past lives is specific to certain spiritual traditions.

Is present life the only life in some beliefs?

Yes, many belief systems consider the present life as the sole existence.

Can past life influence present life?

Some believe past lives can subconsciously influence the present.

What's the focus of present life?

It's on current experiences, decisions, and personal growth.

How do people view present life?

As a tangible, immediate reality experienced consciously.

What's important in present life?

Making conscious choices and living in the moment.

How is past life remembered?

Through past life regression therapy or spiritual revelations for some.

Can therapy explore past life?

Yes, past life regression therapy does this for therapeutic purposes.

How does one balance past and present life?

By learning from past experiences while focusing on current growth.

How does one live a fulfilling present life?

By focusing on personal values, goals, and relationships.

How to make the most of present life?

By being mindful, setting goals, and nurturing relationships.

Can past life memories be vivid?

Some individuals report vivid memories, though their origin is debated.

Are past lives always human?

Some beliefs suggest past lives can be in different forms, not just human.

Is interest in past lives growing?

Interest varies but has grown with new age and spiritual movements.

What impacts present life decisions?

Personal beliefs, experiences, and environmental factors.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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