Well, we have come a long way! We are nearing the present in the tale of my spiritual journey. We have explored various paths, various threads and themes which have influenced my life and who I am today. As you have no doubt experienced in reading, these strands have increasingly begun to wind and twist together. I now come to the last year of my life, so far, and will share with you its dominant theme.
In early 2011, Peggy brought home a book called Journey of Souls, by Michael Newton. Reading this book began a journey which I continue today. This particular path feels like the bringing together of many of the threads of my life; so many things seem to integrate around this theme.
In his book, Michael Newton outlines two types of soul regression: past-life soul regression (PLSR), and between-lives soul regression (BLSR). He began his practice as a clinical hypnotherapist, treating clients for a variety of conditions, primarily using hypnosis as the healing tool. One of his early clients began to remember details from a previous life, describing them to Dr. Newton while under hypnosis. This forced Newton to re-evaluate his own belief system. Up to that point he had had a very modern, scientific mindset, which did not allow for much in the way of metaphysical or spiritual phenomena.
But he was a therapist, in a healing profession; he had to take his client seriously. He had to listen to what she was saying and grant it credibility. To brush her memories aside as so much imagination or fantasy would have done violence to the client; it would not have been helpful or therapeutic. As he studied the phenomenon of past lives, he began exploring this with other clients. To his great surprise he discovered that pretty much everyone had recollections of past lives! These memories were stored in the unconscious, or superconscious, areas of the mind. Through hypnosis he was able to guide the client in accessing these memories.
As he developed this area of his practice, he encountered clients who were also able to recall what happened to them between their lives. This led to even more phenomenal discoveries as client after client described to him the state of being they experienced between the various lives they had lived on earth.
In his book, Newton outlines many characteristics people experience in this state of between-lives. These aspects are phenomenally consistent. There are many events we go through after we die, and everyone seems to go through them. They may appear in slightly different form to various clients, but overall the experiences are very similar.
Needless to say, I was utterly fascinated with all this. It seemed to be the answer to so many of my own questions. It shed new light on the paths I had taken over the years. And it all appeared to fit. For example, there is a very high coherence to near-death experiences, which I had been reading about for a long time. The altered state and the spiritual realm in both soul regression and near-death experiences is similar.
Newton’s work, of course, confirmed my earlier struggle with, and ultimate acceptance of, reincarnation. Past lives seemed a very definite reality, now reinforced by soul regression. Here were thousands of people who had experienced past lives and who had memories of them! How could I refute what people have in their memories? How could I refute that they are remembering events which they have experienced? I couldn’t; I am not the sort of person who is unwilling to let facts get in the way of what I believe.
Reading Journey of Souls caused a hunger for more knowledge about this. I found another book by Newton–Destiny of Souls–expanding on his earlier book and providing yet more details of the afterlife.
And then again, my dear conservative brother came through, asking if I had read anything by Brian Weiss. Weiss is also a hypnotherapist. His work is somewhat different than Newton’s, but goes extensively into past-life regressions. I read a couple of his books. My brother had not known of my reading Michael Newton’s books and had come upon Weiss from a completely different source. Coincidence? I no longer believe in coincidence. I prefer to think of this as Spirit-led synchronicity.
After reading both of Newton’s books, Peggy asked me, “Well, what do you want to do now?” With no hesitation (shocking to myself, always a most deliberate, analytical person who mulls things over endlessly before making a decision, never one to leap quickly into new things) I replied, “I want to do it!” Meaning I wanted to experience a past-life and between-lives regression. Well, stated so baldly, I was committed! But I realized that I was also serious.
Part of the way I do things is that I have to experience them myself. I generally take other peoples’ opinions and experiences with a grain of salt, until I can know for myself that something rings true.
So, did I have memories of past lives stored up somewhere in my unconscious? If this past-lives thing was genuine, I felt confident that I would find memories of them. If not, then there’d be nothing there, right? I had nothing to lose by seeking and exploring the truth of this. Had I lived lives in the past? Remember, this whole reincarnation thing was still relatively new to me–a recent development in my spiritual journey.
All sorts of questions popped into my mind. Would I, with my analytical way of being, be able to be hypnotized? And where would I find someone I could trust, who did work similar to Michael Newton’s? After all, he was retired from his California practice and at this time was only occasionally speaking and interviewing.
I found a website devoted to Michael Newton’s work, and there I was able to locate a therapist trained in his methods by his institute. She was located in the neighboring province. Since I had a week of holidays coming in July, a few months hence, I emailed the therapist to book a session. Through emails and phone calls, I was able to arrange both PLSR and BLSR sessions, and have my apprehensions confirmed or laid to rest.
About the question of suitability for hypnosis, the therapist pointed out that since I drive bus for a living I am already used to operating with my mind at two levels simultaneously. “You can drive along, perfectly safely, operating your bus, going through intersections, stopping at stop signs and bus stops, and all the while your mind is a thousand miles away, engaged in thinking about some other activity.” I realized this as very true; I do it all the time. And this, she explained, is essentially what I do when under hypnosis. My mind will be operating at two levels simultaneously. I will hear the therapist’s voice at one level, while remembering details of a past life at another level. I will be aware of my immediate physical surroundings, hearing traffic on the street, people walking by in the hallway. I will be aware of my body’s needs, and at the same time be aware of another dimension to which my higher, spirit self will take me.
So, I arranged the details of a trip to the British Columbia coast for a soul regression session. And it was amazing! It was profound! It was life-changing! I cannot begin to describe in detail what this experience was like. I will try and do it justice in a brief summary of what I experienced.
I had two sessions scheduled. A past-life regression in the morning, and after lunch a between-lives regression.
First, some comments on the process. As my therapist had described, I was continuously aware of my surroundings. And this threw me at first. I questioned in my mind the veracity of my experience. Was I really “under”? Throughout the whole session I felt totally in control. I felt I could just get up out of the recliner, exit the building, and go on with my day.
And while I was questioning that, I was questioning whether what I was experiencing was “real”. The images coming to mind came gradually. This was not a video replay. Images at first were rather vague. I was not sure what I was seeing. I was not sure who I was seeing. Only slowly did the picture begin to coalesce into a consistent image.
Regarding my initial question of really being under hypnosis, this was laid to rest quite concretely when midway through the first session I needed to use the washroom! The therapist had explained this might happen, and that it would cause no problem; we would just put the session on pause while I did my thing, and resume when I returned. After telling her my dilemma (I desperately did not want to break the session, because by that time we were well into it, and I was fascinated!), she said fine, pulled the blanket off me, and helped me get up out of the recliner. As I got up, I stumbled quite severely, and might have fallen had I not reached out to a desk for support. This demonstrated to me that I was much deeper into my hypnotic trance than I had thought while actually in it. And as she had said, when I returned she was able to guide me very quickly right back to where we had left off. Truly amazing!!!
Regarding my second set of questions, about the reality of what I was seeing, this was settled during the lunch break, and again after the between-lives session in the afternoon. “Where did these images come from?” asked my therapist. “Did I put any of these pictures into your mind?” I had to admit that no, she had certainly not done that. Her part had been solely to guide me into a deeply relaxed state, and then to encourage me to tell her what I saw. I received a recording of the sessions afterwards, and listening to it, I can say for sure that the therapist did not in any way “lead” me in my visions. She was very careful in how she phrased her questions.
Okay, now on to the details of my sessions. As this chapter is long enough, I am going to treat each of the soul regression sessions I experienced in separate chapters. So, first the past-life regression and then the between-lives regression.