Past Life Regression Therapy - Fast Forward Towards Enlightenment
by Purnima Coontoor
The Purpose of Life is to EvolveE Kartik is a busy PLR therapist from Bangalore. Though his professional degree is in Computer Applications, he got interested in PLRT and trained under Dr Newton, a leading PLR therapist in India
Between 1985 and 1990, a trilogy of three Hollywood films called Back to the Future I, II and III were released in India. The films were about time travel, and the protagonist of the films goes back and forth in time to fix his past and his future to suit his vision of a perfect life for his family. I remember being fascinated with the script of the films and the entire concept, which took our imagination to fantastic heights. The films explored, with great empathy and intelligence, the intricacies, the benefits and the pitfalls involved in re-adjusting the past and the future. I also remember enjoying the films and dismissing them as mere fantasy. Because, to my simplistic mind, the past has already occurred, the present is occurring, and the future is yet to occur.
Or have they? Now I wonder.
Quantum physics says that the stars we see in the sky today might actually be dead by now, as they are so far away that it would have taken several light-years for their light to reach us. So we are actually beholding the past in the skies each day! Similarly, somebody somewhere in the universe could be seeing planet earth as a past and a future phenomenon. So is it possible that all the three states co-exist in a time-space continuum? Is it possible, by some miracle of science or mind, to travel all three dimensions of past, present and future?
As Indians, it is easy for us to believe in this phenomenon, brought up as we are on the legends of yogis and rishis and gods who could traverse all the 14 worlds of the universe astrally, and manifest themselves at any point in time with ease and élan.
Be that as it may, these films and theories bring out the propensity of the human mind’s desire to know the past and the future. For countless generations people of every culture have practised a broad range of scientific, dramatic and sometimes frightening techniques in an attempt to know what the future holds. The market is full of dream merchants peddling their wares in the garb of astrologers, palmists, oracles, crystal gazers, tarot card readers, soothsayers, dream interpreters and countless others who help mankind come to grips with its greatest fear: fear of the future.
If only we had infallible knowledge that our lives will turn out exactly as visualised by us, I think we would just relax and enjoy the present moment to the fullest. But even as we plot and plan and spend our days working towards a better future, we are not confident about our own competence and efforts, not at all sure about free will and destiny, and always fearful. This ajnana thus drags us into the inexorable wheel of life, enveloping us in maya and forcing us into a Catch 22 situation yet again.
If the purpose of human life is to escape from this wheel, and Buddhahood doesn’t seem anywhere near our horizon just yet, then we desperately need help. We need to be reassured that ‘all is well that ends well’ experientially, not intellectually. Because nothing less than a paradigm shift in our thoughts and actions can bring about such an effect; what is required is a transformational phenomenon which acts on all levels of the human body and mind i.e. the conscious (waking state, gross body), the unconscious (dreaming state, subtle body) and the subconscious (deep sleep, causal body) states.
One tool which could give that experiential benefit assuring a lasting effect on the human psyche is hypnosis, through the therapies of Past Life Regression (PLR) and Future Life Progression (FLP).
Probably many of us know about PLR in which a person is hypnotically ‘regressed’ to recall information from past lives. Under an altered state of consciousness, people are able to recall details about life in earlier times, and this has often healed people of their phobias by releasing mental blocks and affecting amazing cures in the body, mind and soul. Enough books are written on the topic and enough research conducted to validate the theory of karma and reincarnation through this therapy. (See the accompanying interview for an in-depth understanding of Past Life Regression Therapy (PLRT)). But less well known is the practice of FLP in which a person attempts to give information about the future while under hypnosis.
Over the years, FLP has helped throw up and record visions of our world in a distant future, like a modern day but less-cryptic Nostradamus, apart from helping individuals with specific messages about their personal lives.
As early as in 1960, California psychologist Dr Helen Wambach, author of Life Before Life, conducted a series of studies in hypnosis with a desire, presumably, to debunk reincarnation. Using over 1000 subjects, she conducted a long-term survey of past-life recalls under hypnosis. Surprisingly, she also found that some hypnotised clients seemed to see their future lives where they lived in a devastated and depopulated earth. Over the next few years, Dr Wambach conducted a study of over two thousand people undergoing hypnotic FLP. Of them, six per cent reported being alive in 2100 AD, and 13 per cent said they were alive in the 2300 AD period.
Another famous practitioner of future-life progression is Dr Bruce Goldberg, author of Past Lives, Future Lives, published first in 1982. “It is possible, under hypnosis, to rise above the stream of time and look ahead, just as one can rise in a helicopter above a highway and view traffic congestion to be encountered by cars travelling down the road,” says Dr Goldberg. He has performed thousands of hypnotic regressions and hundreds of progressions, including experimenting upon himself. While his clients appeared to recall past events with great detail, their progressions were far ‘less stable’, according to the doctor. It was more difficult to obtain information on future events as the clients under trance appeared to quickly move from one scene to another without instructions from Dr Goldberg. For example, a client could be describing a scene in some futuristic city, and then suddenly the city could disappear to be replaced by a grassland scene.
Dr Goldberg’s predictions for the future based on FLP of his clients could be straight out of a sci-fi movie. Here are some common themes sorted by century:
• 21st century: World peace is attained and lasts 3000 years. Hunger, greed, and prejudice are reduced.
• 22nd century: Solar power is part of daily life. The average lifespan is 90 years.
• 23rd century: Transportation is noiseless and efficient. Nuclear power is used extensively. Sophisticated computers are household appliances. Average lifespan is 110 years.
• 24th century: Humankind re-experiences earlier mistakes. International political problems recur. A small-scale nuclear war reduces human population.
• 25th century: Humans control the weather. Androids perform all menial tasks. A major nuclear war occurs that decimates most of humanity.
• 26th century: Humankind survives the last century’s war and prospers. Underwater cities, the routine use of lasers in medicine, and sophisticated genetic engineering are common. Information pills keep citizens well informed, and one democratic form of world government ensures the rights of all. The average lifespan is over 125 years. Sickness and disease is almost unknown. Interplanetary travel is a top priority, and we make contact with beings from other worlds.
In recent times, psychiatrist and author Dr Brian L Weiss from Miami, US, has been one of the first doctors to explore the past lives of his patients as a means of therapy. One of the foremost practitioners of PLRT, he has written numerous books exploring the different aspects of the same which have gone on to become best-sellers. One book in particular, Same Soul, Many Bodies, reveals how past and present lives can affect our future lives, and how our future lives can transform us in the here and now.
“We have all lived past lives. All of us will live future ones. What we do in this life will influence our lives to come, as we evolve towards immortality,” says Dr Weiss in the book.
The prospect of a therapy which alleviates or cures our physical and emotional wounds in the present is irresistibly exciting, and Dr Weiss demonstrates the therapeutic benefits of regression and progression quoting dozens of case histories in his book. Among others, he talks about Samantha, whose failures at school were overcome when she revisited her life as a Greek architect and later saw her future life as a great physician; Hugh, a psychic, tortured in the Middle Ages as a heretic, whose journey to the future brought him peace; Gary, whose glimpses into the future evaporated his depression and thoughts of suicide; Christina, whose past life and future memories enabled her to heal her relationship with her father and to finally find professional success and personal happiness; Evelyn, who was able to release her fears and prejudices after reliving a past life as a Nazi officer and a future life as a teenage Arab girl.
There is thus enough evidence to suggest that both regression and progression can affect healing in individuals, but if these therapies could be used as tools to find the answers to the eternal questions that confront humanity, like ‘who am I,’ or, ‘what is the purpose of my life,’ then the therapies could be nothing less than transformational.
Chitra Jha has discovered just that. She had, according to her, one of the most incredible experiences in her lifetime when she was training as a regression and progression therapist under Dr Newton, founder, Life Research Academy, Hyderabad. “I believe that our subconscious is the reservoir of all information. Any thing that ever happened, any thought that was ever thought of, any word that was ever spoken, any feeling that was ever experienced is stored there. In an altered state of consciousness, when we access these records, whatever comes up is from the so-called ‘memory’, but why is it that one particular memory gets thrown up? Because at that time that memory has the answer to our current life question,” says Chitra.
One of the most common doubts raised regarding the therapies is about their authenticity. “Often, subjects ask me if the experience is real or was it their imagination,” says Dr Akila Jaikumar, another practising therapist who has trained under Dr Newton. She adds, “On the therapeutic level, it does not seem to matter. People get better, their symptoms disappear, they generally feel peaceful and relaxed after the session and the messages they receive are specific. The learning is more important than the specific details of whether the experience can be validated.”
In one of her sessions, says Dr Akila, her subject asked whether it was some universal guidance or her false self giving her answers. The reply she got was, “You cannot answer anything without my help. It is not you and me, it is only one source giving the answers. There is no you and me. Remove your doubts. I am the one giving you the experience. Without my intention to give you the thought, you can’t even speak here.” This is a very profound message which validates the theory of Universal Oneness, the spiritual premise of ‘Sarvam khalvidam Brahma’: all this indeed is God.
Dr Akila quotes another fascinating case study where the client sought answers regarding her purpose of life. Dr S, a lady psychiatrist practising in the US was interested in FLP to get directions about what she should do in the next few years while in the US. The answers that Dr S received are reproduced here verbatim:
“Don’t think of others, think of yourself. I need to be patient with people. I want to understand myself only. All the universal problems and solutions are within me. There is nothing outside of me. I need to learn meditation. That will solve everything. That is the only purpose of my life– to understand and spread the message. Forget about everybody, no family, nobody exists, only emptiness exists. In this emptiness, everything exists. Only a little more pain exists, if I can get rid of it, I am free to do my work. People are waiting for me. I cannot think of only my family any more.” Dr S glowed with peace and radiated energy after the session, says Dr. Akila. It was a great transformation from her earlier demeanour.
All therapists hasten to add that the future is not set in stone; it is a variable phenomenon that can be altered by the choices we make here and now. Says Dr Chet Snow, author, lecturer and regression therapist from Columbia, “I believe, by changing our present behaviour, we can change our future. We can go back in time, through past-life regression, and heal relationships in the past, and our present will then change because our vibration is no longer the same. As you think, so you are. The mind is the builder. I encourage my clients to work now, in the present, on the pathways they are forming which will build their future. Let synchronicities guide you. You will be drawn to a place of safety for you. The new energy on the planet is about service, but not in a servile way.”
It is clear that our future is entirely in our hands, destiny notwithstanding. The Universe has given us all the tools with which we can create our future, and thanks to PLRT and FLP, we can also gain the wisdom to use these tools judiciously. As individuals and as a society, we can choose to either hurtle towards apocalypse or engender a global spiritual awakening. It is our responsibility to choose wisely, with humility and compassion, for our future, and possibly our children’s, depends on what we choose now.
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