The key to knowledge and wisdom is keeping an open mind. Many years ago, when I first studied hypnosis, I was not a believer in the authenticity of past lives. I conducted past life regressions for people but qualified my work within this philosophy… If a person believed that their problems were rooted in a past life, and I could help them resolve their issue(s) by utilizing that belief, then I would work with that belief system as a tool (whether I believed in the theory or not). The interesting thing is that due to my willingness to perform past life regressions, and through my experiences working with past life regression, I became a devout believer in the existence of past lives. For me, the phenomenon became impossible to deny. In fact, over the last 25 years, I have been regressed and visited some significant past lives of my own. The experience has provided me with a deeper understanding of my own likes, dislikes, talents, abilities, and challenges.
Whether or not a hypnotist or therapist believes in past lives is irrelevant. Believer or not, he or she can use that theory to facilitate positive change. If you are not a believer, I suggest that you keep an open mind when performing past lives sessions. You may very well change your mind.
THE THEORY OF PAST LIVES
Over the years I have performed thousands of past life regressions. Obviously there are many opinions and theories about past lives but in brief; allow me to share my philosophy with you.
Do you believe in reincarnation? Perhaps “you” have a sense that you have lived before… or perhaps, you think it’s all part of someone’s vivid imagination. I would suggest to you that therapeutically your belief doesn’t matter. What matter’s is whether or not your client believes in past lives.
Most major religions support the possibility of reincarnation. Even religions that do not openly support the idea within their religious texts, do not deny their existence. Once many years ago I knew a minister who worked-out at the same gym as I did. When he found out that I was performing past life regressions he was appalled. His position was that doing past life regression was somehow sacrilegious. Having gone to a private religious school until I entered middle school I was well versed in the teachings of the bible. When he confronted me the conversation went something like this.
PH: Do you believe that the human soul is eternal?
Minister: Yes, of course.
PH: Do you believe the bible is the word of God?
PH: Can you show me anywhere in the bible where it says that we go straight from our physical body to heaven or hell?
Minister: “Blank Stare”
PH: Can you show me anywhere in the bible where it denies or condemns the concept of reincarnation.
Minister: Well no but… (Mumble-mumble)
PH: I can show you many references in the bible that say you will live again… and it doesn’t always say in heaven or hell.
Needless to say he wasn’t a happy camper and we didn’t work out together very often after that conversation. He didn’t change my mind and I don’t think I changed his (who knows).
My personal belief is that each physical life experience is a classroom where we are to learn certain lessons. We each walk our path for an important developmental reason. This includes both the good and the challenging things that happen to us. Furthermore, there are many things that can only be learned when we are in the physical body (e.g. pain, hunger, physical pleasure etc.). Often these lessons on the physical plain enhance the spiritual part of us in a way that would otherwise be impossible.
WHO HAS HAD A PAST LIFE
Occasionally someone who calls wanting a past life regression will ask me if I guarantee that they will actually regress to a past life. I tell them that I cannot guarantee them a past life experience for two reasons. (1) They may not have had a past life. (2) They may, for whatever reason, chose not to access past life experience. I tell them that if they allow themselves to go there by following my suggestions, and if they have actually had a past life experience, I will help them access it.
FINDING PURPOSE IN EACH LIFE EXPERIENCE
People sometime come for a past life regression because they think it sounds intriguing and mysterious. I prefer not to do recreational regression work. I encourage people to experience regression in order to obtain a greater understanding of self. As interesting as past life regression can be, what a waste if it is used for entertainment and no more. Revisiting a past life can provide a person with a depth of self understanding that is virtually impossible to achieve in any other way. Acknowledging the spiritual lessons that are learned is only the beginning. It is important that the therapist help the client incorporate that knowledge and wisdom into their current life experience. In other words, how can the lessons that they have learned before benefit them today. The significance of the experience is that through this process the client will gain a greater self-knowledge, awareness, and acceptance. Without that element, past life regression is no more than a form of parlor entertainment.
FALSE MEMORY SYNDROME
Too often therapists, anxious to provide the experience that the client came in for, in their zeal create rather than reveal a past life experience. The most important concept with any type of regression therapy is making sure that all information is coming from the client or patient’s actual experience and not from the therapist or from a preconceived idea on the part of the client. To avoid false memory syndrome the phrasing of questions or statements in a non-leading format is essential (e.g. Forensic Hypnosis). For example: If the therapist were to say, “look out the window and tell me if you see any trees”, he or she in doing so may create both the window and the trees in the client’s mind. On the other hand if the therapist were to say, “Are you inside or outside”. The client may then say “inside”. Then the therapist could say, “Look around and tell me what you see. Let’s assume that the client says, “I see a window”. The therapist might then say, “Tell me about that window”. Using this format all information is coming from the client. The therapist is simply facilitation the process and helping the person to move through his or her experience.
One tool that I use for establishing purpose within a regression session is what I call “Elevated Awareness Hypnosis”. I use this technique in a number of ways but for our purposes I will address only how I incorporate it within regression. This is done on a follow-up session to the actual regression work. At this session I do not do regression. This is a time to utilize the information obtained from the previous past life regression session(s) in order to help the person find meaningful ways to use the information that he or she acquired through regression.
I have the client or patient bring their physical being to a safe comfortable place where it can heal, strengthen and revitalize. I then have the person leave the physical part of who they are behind (for a little while). I have them notice a corridor of light extending upward from just above them. I have them notice a beautiful light at the far end of the corridor. I then tell them that I am going to have them move up the corridor and into the light where they can actually become one with that wonderful loving light of universal love and wisdom. I tell them that when they arrive, they are to simply allow any information that is provided by their higher universal self to be available to them. They can ask questions or simply open themselves to universal truth and wisdom. The choice is theirs. Then I sit back and wait.
Ten or fifteen minutes later, when I have them return down the corridor, I have them bring the wisdom that they have accumulated with them. You would be astounded at some of the profound messages they receive while in this state of elevated spiritual awareness.
REINTEGRATION – THE MIRROR
It can often be therapeutic to facilitate bringing all (or some) of the past life experiences together. This gives the client a feeling of empowerment and unity. As with the elevated awareness session, there is no regression done during this session. It is simply an opportunity for the person to integrate the experiences and wisdom they have previously accessed in session for use in their current and future life experiences. It is a time to bring all of the aspects of that person’s nature, past and present, together. [Note: For this particular technique the subject must have some reasonable degree of visualization abilities.]
To accomplish this I take the person to what I call their “Special or Magical Workshop”. In the workshop there is a mirror. I ask them to accept that it is the “mirror to their soul”. I have them look into the mirror and within the reflection see themselves as the people that they have previously been. I have the person acknowledge each as a part of who he or she now is. I then have the person enter the mirror and merge together with his or her past selves. I ask the person to allow all of the wisdom of these past experiences to join as one.
IMPORTANT CONCLUSION –
BRING THE INFORMATION WITH YOU (TO ENHANCE THIS AND FUTURE LIVES)
I then have the person leave the mirror bringing this wisdom out within them. I have the person return down the corridor of light to his or her body. I have them rejoin their body. I suggest that he or she will for all time have the knowledge and wisdom of those previous lives at their disposal to draw on whenever they need to. I then emerge the person.
A PRACTICAL END
Regardless of the therapy it is critically important to remember this… Well-structured therapy is ALWAYS built around a goal and has a structured plan to achieve that goal. With past life regression there is often a specific experience that has led to some destructive behavior, physical discomfort, or emotional problem. This problem is the place to begin when someone comes to you for past life regression. It need not, however, be the end. Overcoming one problem is good. If the client is willing, and wants to do the work, it is even a greater accomplishment to help the client achieve a heightened sense of self worth, self knowledge, and to recognize that we are all far greater than simply what and who we are in our current physical bodies. In the final analysis, however, the most common goal is to correct the problem by helping the client achieve a greater understanding of self. When they understand where and how a disruptive force began then you can then help them to move forward. In the end, past life regression is about self-awareness.