It’s a controversial area of hypnosis, this idea of traveling back in our minds to previous lifetimes. I find it fascinating, yet I’m also something of a skeptic. There are those who swear by it and those who swear about it! Many people who are otherwise great proponents of hypnosis, will state that past life regression is utter nonsense, only practiced by quacks. On the other hand, there are undoubtedly many people who have used past life regression to successfully heal issues in their current lives. So is it real? When you take a client back in time to visit previous incarnations, are they really remembering things from a past life? Is their imagination just making stuff up? And how much does it matter which is really the case?
I love thinking about this stuff and having discussions about it. You can usually get a really good debate going if you lob this into a conversation, although it can get a bit heated if you have people who feel really strongly one way or the other.
The evidence for past life regression is mainly anecdotal. The problem is that, in spite of what many people think, and some high profile (and what I consider rather dubious) cases of re-incarnated Cleopatra’s and Priests from the lost city of Atlantis, most clients in regression remember previous lives that are of very little significance to the time that they were set in. Very few people remember being well known figures of history. And of course the details of ordinary people are not well documented in the records of the time, making it difficult to confirm or refute the information that a client recalls in such a session. So we’re left to ponder over whether Mary the scullery maid in a fairly ordinary household somewhere in England ever really existed.
Also, in regression we rarely ask for or hear specific historical details. The purpose of regression is usually linked to current emotional and psychological issues the client is trying to resolve. So in fact it’s usually powerful emotions that people experience in these regressions, rather than detailed recollections that would be useful for verification purposes.
So perhaps our imagination just makes things up for us, when we go into past lives. Let’s say a client has an unexplained fear of water which they would like to overcome so they can enjoy boat trips with their family. In a past life regression, they “discover” that as a child in one of their previous lives they were playing on a river bank, tripped and slipped into the river. They couldn’t swim (as most people couldn’t in the past), and drowned. Often simply discovering the root cause of fear can diminish it dramatically. So the client leaves, feeling much more positive. They feel they now know where their fear comes from, so they naturally feel more in control of it. They know that so long as they learn to swim, there’s no longer any reason to be afraid of being in or on the water.
So does it matter whether their imagination pulled that “past life” out of nowhere, or whether that really is the root of their fear? Personally, I don’t think it does. Our unconscious minds are incredibly resourceful and creative and can help us to access our natural wisdom. So if that unconscious mind creates a metaphor, wrapping it up in a personal story from an imaginary past, who cares so long as it brings about healing and allows the individual to move forward in a positive way! And who are we to judge if the client involved is totally convinced that they have visited a real memory or not?
Perhaps one day we’ll know for certain whether past life memories are real or imagined. My own experiences of being regressed I found intriguing. It leaves me feeling open-mindedly sceptical if that’s not an oxy-moron! It also leaves me with mixed feelings if a client asks if I do past life regressions – am I being professional if I offer this service that many people find genuinely helpful, or am I colluding in promoting a delusional fantasy? Definitely food for thought.
I’d love to know what you, my readers, think on this controversial topic. So do please write in or use the comment box below.