Day 9:12 am

  • Regression – Past Lives and Other Stories.

    I can hear some of you saying “Uh oh, he’s going weird on us”, however, since starting my blog, which is still rather young, I have fielded a number of questions regarding past lives or past life regression (PLR).  So I thought it prudent to talk about it and give, what you will understand, is my opinion and experiences of this controversial subject.

    I say controversial because many hypnotherapists quite simply don’t believe in it yet many specialise in the area.  If you have taken a wander through my website then you will note that I don’t actually mention PLR anywhere so am I a disbeliever?  Far from it.  I have seen subjects have wild and wonderful experiences and utilised some of these myself.  I have done PLR with a number of clients where appropriate and one or two that have asked for PLR and nothing else.  I feel it would be difficult to do this if I were a devout sceptic in this area.

    When I was training no one subject was more divisive of opinion and the memories of  learning this particular discipline are ones that perhaps stand out the most as what I experienced caused me to shift my thinking in a very profound manner.  I remember thinking “Oh, here we go!  Here comes the hokum part!” but staying true to my beliefs I kept an open mind.  Now I held the notion that to believe in past lives you would at least have to be religious and further believe, at least in some way, in the notion of reincarnation.  People that know me personally know that I am probably one of the most unreligious people you can meet.  I’ve seen far too much blood spilt in various places around the world in the name of religion for me to care much about it.  I have nothing against those who are and have the utmost respect for their beliefs.  Belief is an incredibly powerful thing and frankly shouldn’t be messed with unless it’s faulty in some way.  Religion doesn’t necessarily equal faulty.  So prior to this particular part of my training you can probably guess in which camp I was firmly sat!  Of course, once we’d tackled the theory it was time for practical work and something very strange happened.  The lecturer had warned us you might go into hypnosis and actually find nothing, no past life, not even a hint of one.  Conversely you might get flooded with them and not know which one to look at first.  Now my logical mind was of course thinking, ok the believers will get flooded and the sceptics will get nothing.  Wrong!  Some sceptics, including myself, got some wonderful results!  Some believers, you guessed it, got nothing (and were were rather disappointed into the bargain).

    So I was shaken.  Something I believed quite firmly to be the case, quite clearly wasn’t!  Did I have some sort of epiphany and become religious?  No!  I reasoned that if religion or belief had something to do with it then ALL of the believers would have had some sort of result.  So my reasoning, logical mind was set adrift somewhat floundering to find an explanation for what I had experienced.  I delved into many a book and nosed across the Internet eventually settling on Carl Jung’s theory of Race Collective Memory or Genetic Memory.  Jung questioned what made certain behaviour instinctive both in animals and in humans.  For example, when a baby is born, it only has the memory of it’s mother’s womb and the rude awakening of being birthed into the cold brightly lit world.  So how does that baby know to search for it’s mother’s breast in order to feed?  It has no empirical evidence to say that this is the right thing to do.  Why does any baby eventually feel the urge to haul itself up on two feet and attempt to walk?  You’d think staying on all fours was quite comfortable thank you very much.  On the race side of things, why do the Chinese (or any other race of people for that matter) have a certain predisposal to their own racial traditions ethics and values?  Jung postulated that it was all part of a race collective memory, handed down from generation to generation.

    Taking this further, would it not be possible to inherit a memory that belonged in the first instance to your great great great grandaddy?  Memories are indexed by emotion.  Happy memories are in this box, sad memories in that box and so on.  So if the emotions of a particular memory are that powerful might it be that they get put in a box labelled “Stuff to burden my offspring with”?  We know that certain disease can be hereditary.  How often have you been to the doctor with an issue and they asked if there is any history of “X, Y or Z” in the family?  So why can’t we inherit memory and in so doing certain cultures etc label it a past life?  Scientists have mapped a mere fraction of  human DNA.  Frankly they haven’t got the first idea what the rest of it does!  So what if just a tiny part of this unmapped DNA is given over to genetic memory?  Surely some of it must be; reference the example of the baby above.

    Anyway, for what it’s worth, that is mytheory of how past lives work.  Yes, I feel that belief can play a part but I also feel there is a more scientific explanation.  Can PLR be used for therapeutic effect?  Yes it can.  I had a client once who wanted to address her overriding feeling of negativity, low self esteem and confidence.  As always I looked for the cause but found none.  Nothing in this woman’s life would or should have led to these feelings.  She’d had a privileged upbringing with no real evidence of trauma anywhere.  So I offered PLR to which she readily agreed.  What we found back there was enough to have an effect on the next few generations not just her!

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