By Purnima Contoor
Past-life regression and future-life progression are two wonders therapies that seekers are investigating. can the yesterday and tomorrow of our life be known today? and how do they help?
What convinced you to abandon your MNC job and switch full time into practising PLRT?
It came as a flash of realisation when I was undergoing the basic training with Dr Newton. Like a bolt from the blue. The revelation was that my life’s mission was to transform people through PLRT. And after being regressed into many of my past lives, I realised that I had been doing it before too!
Can you tell us a bit about the therapist training and your experiences when you underwent the same?
During the basic workshop, I had my first tryst with exploring past lives and saw two past lives in which I was able to locate a specific karmic pattern that has followed me to my present life. I followed it up with the therapist training workshop. One of my batchmates had a tremendous experience – it was frightening to all of us present there as well – he was regressed to a lifetime where he was a primitive man, a two-legged animal. As we were watching, he started writhing and twisting in pain, making horrible noises and strange inhuman sounds. It was scary, because as we knew him, he appeared quite normal and came across as a calm and collected person.
After he came out of it, he described his experience to us. In that lifetime, he was being chased by a group of people brandishing weapons with the intention of killing him. They managed to pin him down and killed him brutally.
So what was the point of it all?
To explain the point, I’ll have to tell you about the human psyche. As humans we are conditioned to reject our negative emotions, or suppress it due to pressure from society. Children are rarely allowed to express their emotions, joy, sorrow or anger. Suppressed emotions turn into blocks, and these blocks manifest as ailments, physical, mental or emotional in the present lifetime. The blocks are, more often than not, carried over from several lifetimes, and unless they are released, they can continue to cause harm.
PLRT goes to the root cause of all problems. The therapist first discusses the issues that the patient wants to sort out in this life –it could be concerned with career, money or relationships (most often the latter), and then regresses him to previous lifetime/s, when the patient is made to re-live the trauma. The next stage is significant – it is called the transpersonal stage where the transformation happens. This is the life between lives state, or the spirit state where the soul rests and receives all messages/lessons from the spirit guides and highly evolved masters. Here the subject is guided to understand the lessons that are meant to be learnt from the experience. It is the same thing that happens when, after death, a review of our entire life flashes before us like a film, and the soul is guided by masters to understand the life’s lessons. In the case of death and rebirth, the individual forgets the events in-between lives by law, and hence the repetition of our actions and mistakes.
By PLRT, the transpersonal stage can be retained in one’s memory, and this is where the real transformation takes place. Coming back to our friend who was regressed to a life where he was chased by killers, he was told in the transpersonal stage that in that lifetime, he was a threat to society; that is why he was required to be eliminated. With this understanding, the individual forgave his tormentors, and after the therapy he felt extremely light and happy.
Thus PLRT reveals to us our hidden phobias by taking us to the level of the subconscious, and works on the accumulated energy till it is discharged. Once an experience is re-lived, it is relieved. And the key is to imbibe and integrate the messages revealed to us in the transpersonal stage, in our present life.
PLRT is thus a transformational experience. It takes us to our moment of death again and again, and thus releases the fear of death once and for all.
Can you recount a few interesting regression experiences you have come across during your practice?
I recently had this young girl, whose boyfriend didn’t much care for her. Even though the message was clear from his side, the girl couldn’t let go of him, despite her best efforts, as though she was compelled to be with him. The girl came to me, wanting to know what the connection between them was. I regressed her to a lifetime when she found herself in 18th century England. She was again a young maiden, in love with a middle-aged English businessman who had a tendency to have several affairs. The man had an affair with her too, and abandoned her and their children after some time. The businessman had come back as her reluctantboyfriend in this lifetime too, as she still hadn’t let go of him. During the transpersonal stage she was told to take responsibility for her actions, and not to be dependent on anyone for love or affection. She was told that love should be unconditional. After the therapy, the girl was able to forgive and let go of her friend.
In this way we tend to come back again and again to similar situations, until we learn all the lessons that are meant to be learnt. You can say that life is like a school, and you will not be promoted until you pass each class one by one. The purpose of life is therefore, to evolve.
Another interesting case was a relationship issue between a mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law. Though it is a common problem, these two didn’t get along at all, and the mother-in-law complained that she was undergoing severe ill- treatment from her daughter-in-law. The mother-in-law came to me out of desperation. During regression, we discovered that she had unintentionally caused her daughter-in-law’s death twice in previous lifetimes. In one lifetime, the regressed lady found herself as a wild elephant running helter-skelter uncontrollably. The elephant trampled on a snake and killed it, and later, running wildly, fell to death from a cliff.
The snake was her daughter-in-law who bore a grudge on her mother-in-law in the present life. After this understanding, the older lady is now much more tolerant of the situation. With much patience, she is trying to win over her daughter-in-law. But many more sessions are required before she forgives her fully. Another offshoot of this regression was that due to her fall from the cliff in that life, the lady was experiencing severe ache on the left side of her body, including arms and legs in this lifetime. After therapy, the ache vanished.
Isn’t it difficult for an individual to come to terms with his darker side, which is likely to be revealed with PLRT?
I would say one gains a better understanding of life on the whole with the experience. One understands that both positive and negative aspects exist together. Unless you have known one, you cannot experience or appreciate the other. That is why we often have to regress people to what we call a ‘polarity lifetime’ for healing. I once regressed a husband who felt victimised by his wife in this life. He was taken back to a life when he was the aggressor, and his wife was the victim. The husband’s attitude changed so dramatically with the understanding that he was the cause for all this, that he initiated the process. Once we understand the cause, the whole energy changes and transformation happens. Awareness brings acceptance and forgiveness.
Does PLRT work best only with relationship problems?
Relationship problems are always deep rooted and have a karmic pattern, but physical problems can be treated too. Diseases like cancer and asthma, again, have karmic reasons, and have to be gone through. But unexplained aches and pains can be relieved. For example, I once had a person who had a constant ache in the area of his chest. Medically, he was perfectly healthy and doctors couldn’t find a reason for the ache. He came to me for help, and we found that in one lifetime, he was a king who died on the battleground. He was killed by a spear thrown at him from behind, which entered his back and came out of his chest. Because death was instant, the soul hadn’t experienced the pain to the full extent. He was thus experiencing the pain in this life. I regressed him and took him to the time of death again and again, and he was asked to die only after experiencing the pain fully. The man is now cured of the ache.
You can find that people who have unexplained aches and pains which refuse to go away with medication, often have a similar experience before – they might have died instantly in an accident in a previous lifetime.
Does PLRT work well for everyone?
Yes. The only thing required is an open mind and a will to explore past lives. So healing happens gradually or easily, depending on the attitude of the individual. Typically, two to three sessions of 2-3 hours each should suffice.
Have you had revelations about your own journey with PLRT?
I have visited many lifetimes, and have discovered that I have been a sanyasi, and a British soldier, and more recently, an Arab. That explains my extreme interest in Muslims and their culture in this lifetime, and my penchant to read the Koran. I have worked on my possessive tendency, and have learnt that love is about freedom, not bondage. This is one of my life’s lessons: love and let go.
Is PLRT the only way to overcome mental blocks?
It is surely one of the most effective methods. However, one can visit other lifetimes and get messages even with deep meditation. Dreams are also an excellent source of messages. I would ask everybody to maintain a dream diary. If you note down your dreams, they will reveal a pattern which could have a significant message.
What are the other benefits of PLRT?
PLRT could be a powerful tool for research. We could gain insights regarding powerful minds – criminal or brilliant, and maybe find solutions to tackle terrorism, help scientific research… I’m only groping in the dark but there are tremendous possibilities.
What do you have to tell sceptics who trash PLRT as a useless gimmick?
I would ask them to experience it personally before dumping it. I’m sure they will have a profound experience when they personally undergo the therapy and would be then free to form their own opinion.
Could you tell us a bit about FLP?
The future is a set of endless possibilities. It can be accessed through the Akashic records – whatever has happened and will happen is all recorded there. But it is entirely in our hands what future we want to manifest by our free will and actions.
To sum up…
PLRT is a great tool for healing which gives us multiple benefits. It releases one from the fear of death, once and for all. It lays to rest, once and for all, the doubts regarding reincarnation – it is infallible proof of the same. It takes our soul towards self-realisation, to make us realise that death is not the end. It tells us that we are multidimensional beings, living our own lives by the choices that we have made ourselves in this lifetime or the last. It makes us take responsibility for our own actions, to realise that nothing is accidental. It tells us that there is no hell and that the soul experiences only peace death after death, as the soul is guided by the masters and given the life’s lessons lovingly. PLRT makes it clear that the purpose of human life is to evolve.
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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