Justin wrote:I'm hoping someone can help me out, given that I still have much to learn. Does anyone know where in the Tipitaka the Buddha addresses the question of why humans can't remember their past lives,
He doesn't, but the Pali commentators blame it on the prolonged dullness of mind during gestation. Beings of immediate arising (opapatika) such as devas and pretas all have a native ability to recall their former life, whereas most humans and animals do not.
Thank you, Venerable Sir! This certainly helps.
Like several others on this thread, I'm ambivalent about the usefulness of speculating on one's past lives, and I recall a few sutta references to the effect that stream-enterers no longer ponder "Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? How was I?", et cetera. (Definitely a lesson I could profit from). I was curious about the mechanics of forgetting, though, since it's something I've wondered about from time to time, and I'm grateful for everyone's input!