The earthly human journey is ultimately an empty one that accomplishes nothing because it has, inadvertently, grounded itself in the limits of the conditioned world and the limits of the temporal biological body. It has not seen beyond these limits.
It’s not unlike the fantasy-comedy film Groundhog Day (1993) in which weatherman Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray, is unable to escape the time loop of February 2 (in the film he, eventually, escapes the time loop). Also, I would add for the sake of discussion, that Phil has no residual memory of being trapped in a time loop. Each time he awakens to the song “I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher, he has no memory of having done so before.
I think the Buddha was trying to tell those who would listen to him that the human race was not unlike the weatherman Phil Connor who has no residual memory of previous lives. Members of the human race have been reborn countless times—each time with no memory of the previous life and no possibility of escape unlike Phil in the movie who tried to get out of the time loop and wakes up, eventually, to February 3.
Our present day belief is something like the old Schlitz beer commercial "You only go around once in life: Go for all the gusto you can." But what if you’ve already gone around many, many times and going for the gusto is a major part of the problem? It’s an insidious trap.
And when there are rumors that start to spread such as NDEs (near death experiences) and children who can remember past lives (Dr. Ian Stevenson), then what? Isn’t it time to crush the heretics? Heaven forbid that we’ve been going in circles; and that we might awaken to February 3, or climb out of the box or leave the hamster wheel of samsara. A modern day nirvana could happen.