Oh man! This is a post which brings together numerous threads in my life! I will begin with getting some regrets out of the way! This is a review of a book edited by Michael Newton, whose other books helped propel me on my own journey of transformation and new understandings of truth. I read his other two books (his two main ones) before beginning this website, always intending to review those books online at some point. Months ago I actually began a review of them, but never finished; they still sit on the shelf above my computer desk! (For interested readers, the names of those two Michael Newton books are, Journey of Souls, and Destiny of Souls.) In those books Dr Newton outlines his life’s work in the field of soul regression hypnotherapy. He includes many case studies to illustrate the profound healing found by so many through this therapy.
The subject of this particular review is a further book titled, Memories of the Afterlife: Life-Between-Lives, Stories of Personal Transformation. The book consists of case study stories by members of the Newton Institute, trained in the methods pioneered by Michael Newton. Dr Newton edits the book, inserting notes about each of the cases presented.
As with Michael Newton’s work, these stories illustrate the deep transformation that often accompanies a soul regression experience. The stories are absolutely phenomenal! Anyone with the least bit of interest in this field will be well served by searching out a copy of this book and perusing it.
There are a wide variety of types of cases, undergone by a wide variety of types of people. People from all walks of life, at all stages of emotional and spiritual maturity, with all sorts of presenting problems, receive deep healing and insight into themselves and their state in life. Insight from not only past-life regression, but especially from between-lives regression creates a lasting impression, propels one along the journey of life. People who find themselves stuck in some way in their own search for answers often find incredible growth from the knowledge and experience provided by soul regression hypnotherapy.
An interesting sidelight: the therapist with whom I did my initial soul regression sessions is featured as one of the authors of this book! Rifa Hodgson of Vancouver is the person whom I sought out after first being exposed to the idea of soul regression. (Readers interested in my own journey in this regard can get more information in the Out of Winkler section of this website, especially chapters 13, 14 and 15.)
Since there is so much information on the incredible transforming power of soul regression hypnosis available today, I am going to focus the remainder of this review on an idea Michael Newton touches on right at the end of Memories of the Afterlife. This is a question I have pondered myself, and had not come up with satisfactory answers.
The question involves the possibility that by getting involved in this field we are somehow “playing god”. Is the information gleaned from these experiences truly helpful in the long run to the clients? What is the bigger picture at work here?
One of the bits of information discovered through decades of soul regression hypnosis sessions with thousands of clients, therapists have discovered a lot about how the afterlife actually is. This information, these glimpses into the afterlife, are experienced truth, not just beliefs formed from whatever sources. The many sessions from many people have provided Dr Newton and his colleagues a very consistent picture of what the spirit world looks like, how it operates, the experience we can expect upon our earthly death. (By the way, this is not always consistent with prevailing doctrine from organized religion!)
One of the bits of information which has been discovered is that when we are born into this world, we undergo a sort of amnesia. We forget our spiritual origins; we forget our true home, our true nature. Prior to incarnating upon earth, we undergo a process of decision making involving what sort of life we are entering, what sort of tasks we are undertaking to learn during this particular life-time. Included in this decision are the particulars of where, when and to whom we will be born.
During a soul regression session these details are often uncovered. We are often taken through the decision-making process we experienced prior to being born into our current life. Dr Newton asks the question, “If amnesia exists at birth to block our soul life on a conscious level, are we not tampering with a divine ethical plan by using hypnosis to break these blocks?” (p 310)
I myself have undergone training to become a soul regression hypnotherapist. As part of the training, of course, I have done a number of practicum sessions on willing guinea-pig clients. Most of these have been phenomenal experiences, both for me and for the client. “Wow!!!” is a frequent initial response when bringing a client up out of hypnosis. It is absolutely impossible to imagine how wonderfully transforming such a session can be, without actually going through it for yourself.
But I have also experienced a couple sessions where I seriously questioned the benefit the client received. They were not entirely satisfactory experiences, either for myself, or for the client. These few sessions are what caused me to ask myself the questions posed by Dr Newton in this footnote. Was I “playing god” by seeking to guide these clients into an experience of their own afterlife existence? Was my lack of success an indication that I shouldn’t be messing with this sort of thing? As a result I radically backed off from offering these sessions to the public. I wanted to know whether soul regression was “okay” with the divine, whether this was a helpful form of growth and insight for people, whether my own involvement was something to question, whether I was doing it “right”, whether I needed more training to be more effective, etc.
Thus it was with a sense of relief that I read that Michael Newton himself has asked himself similar questions. And his answers to this dilemma are what I myself had pretty much come to, even if in a questioning way! Was my line of reasoning correct? Was I seeing things accurately, was I getting the big picture, the whole issue?
The answer, you see, has to do with the actual nature of the hypnosis sessions. When we as therapists guide our clients into their regressive state, our main involvement is in the guiding. Once our client has been led into a state of deep relaxation, into a state-of-mind where they are able to connect with their deepest memories, it is almost as if we step aside and allow the spirit guides and counsellors to take over and lead the session from there. We are not in charge. The client, together with their own spirit guides and wise ones, seek out the information the client needs in order to live their current life. Which truths of their spiritual nature they experience, and their place in the heavenly scheme of things, depends on what they need to know for their current material life. “If we are not supposed to know about these truths, no amount of hypnosis, meditation, channeling, etc, could remove these blocks. In my view, each person in a deep altered state of consciousness sees what they are supposed to see as determined by their personal guides. Some people are more blocked than others, depending on [various] factors.” (p 310) This has been my own experience both as a client and as a therapist. I agree heartily.
Another factor is raised by Dr Newton, perhaps more of a question for us to ponder. “Why are amnesic blocks about our afterlife lessening in the twenty-first century from the use of advanced methodological discoveries in hypnosis? We live in a world more overpopulated today than ever before, resulting in a diminished identity of the individual. Add to this the greatest prevalence of chemical dependency of all time. Drugs cloud the progress of the soul. Perhaps this is the reason our guides and spiritual masters are allowing more information to be released about our spiritual past than ever before in human history.” (p 310)
I would go along with this, and even further. I believe that there is a great spiritual transformation taking place upon the earth. And I believe that soul regression is one of the manifestations of this. Millions of people on the planet are awakening to their true nature as spiritual beings. Soul regression is one way this transformation is taking place.
Isn’t this an exciting and fascinating time to be alive? Even more, isn’t this why those of us alive on earth today agreed to come at this particular time, and to the particular place where we were born and raised? Out of Winkler indeed!!!!