I’ve met quite a few people with enough lives past them that they’ve lost count. That’s the benefit of going abroad and getting yourself an education.
They’re different. No question of that. Part of me thinks that it’s because they’ve been emotionally scarred from the extreme violence of the past. Far history was violent and uncertain. I don’t know how long it would take to emotionally heal from that.
Part of me thinks it’s something else, though. Modern psychological theory calls it “Death of Childhood,” and apparently it changes you. The theory goes that all people have certain experiences that are similar and connect us. We’re all born and grow through our first life. We all see new things for the first time. We all experience the difficulty for our first persistence. And beyond that, there are all the things that you ever do for the first time.
That goes away eventually. I’m getting there, myself, but am still fairly young. I’m only in my 6th life (although I’ve accomplished a lot). Getting to the point where the newness of the world is mostly gone is a normal part of finding your place in it. But you still remember the newness.
Death of Childhood comes much, much later, though. It happens slowly, as those common memories slip away from you. Those are the memories and experiences that are universal. The ones every person is guaranteed to have. Without them, your perspective becomes something much more unique. Whatever foundation you shared with everyone else in the world is gone by the time you’ve lost all of them.
Or at least that’s how the theory goes. Psychology is a soft science, and I don’t know how much of current theory I trust.