Dariel - - since there are inner worlds / planes / dimensions within the Reality of Life - - it would make sense that we would have "lifetimes" there too. There are issues / experiences / abilities / relationships there - - and more - - that we each must accept as part of Self. Lifetimes within these other dimensions are often SO long that this is often where we get the impression of "long, eternal lifetimes." A full lifetime on the Astral Plane - - for instance - - *can* be for hundreds of Earth years. Which - - doesn't really seem all that long when in the Astral body because there are not the stresses on that body as there are on the physical body when living the lifetime here.
Soul never lives a lifetime in just "one" plane. It travels into these other planes / dimensions all the time. The conscious remembering and awareness of these travels is another matter altogether. Many people believe that this physical world is it ! ! The only existence. The only lifetime. Soul usually goes a LONG time under such a premise.
But Soul actually has "bodies" that It uses each time It travels to these planes. Without a doubt - - we are multi-dimensional - - as Lapis says - - but the conscious awareness of this comes slowly - - and what to do with it all even more slowly.
Please try to remember - - or perhaps - - simply consider - - that *direct personal experience* is the name of the game for Soul. That - - is the Path. No doubt - - a LOT can be learned by observation. We can stand aside and watch someone else attempt to do something - - and watch that person fail over and over and over again - - and realize that if we ever want to face the same experience - - we can learn how *not* to do it by watching others fail.
Akashic records are simply records of the travels of Soul within the inner worlds / planes / dimensions. Many can access our own. Many can access the records of others. Hopefully they have permission to do so from that specific individual. To simply go in and find out information about someone else with the intent of control or power over - - can carry heavy karmic implications.
So if the Path is one of direct experience - - the offering of "information" before one enters a particular lifetime would simply be like reading up on the culture and areas of interest on a foreign country before one wishes to take their vacation there.
Some people will understand and accept what I have offered here. Others will wish to dismiss it. Feel free to choose for yourself.