By Elizabeth Joyce
Have we lived before? Thousands, perhaps millions of us believe that we certainly have, and many different lifetimes. The people who are in your life now were in your other lives as well, for good or for ill. Every close relationship we have in this lifetime is to bring us a lesson, as well as the other person. We “soul link” up with each other to fulfill karmic contracts, and to give each other an opportunity to clear the karma that is left over from the previous past life.
Many well known personalities of all ages, including some of the world’s greatest philosophers, poets, writers, musicians, ministers, priests, scientists, inventors and statesmen, have believed in reincarnation. Throughout history, in all societies and civilizations, humans have struggled to find the answers to life’s injustice and randomness. The concept of reincarnation and past lives help to explain for the seeming inequalities in life. Why is someone born handicapped? Why is someone born rich, or poor?
Reincarnation is the process by which we return to the earth plane, again and again, in the hopes of advancing our soul to a higher realm of consciousness. To believe in reincarnation, as well as higher planes of existence, is to believe that the soul never dies. The moment you die, for every living being, including animals, about three-quarters of a pound of energy leaves the body. This is the soul ascension. The soul is eternal. It continues living in the astral plane, or can ascend to the higher realms of self-realization. Those souls on the astral plane are re-born again, once they have absorbed the life lessons learned on earth, and are prepared to take on more lessons to carry them to a higher place that is closer to the God source. This process takes time, and it is very unusual for a soul to reincarnate immediately. Some souls have been known to reincarnate right away if the death was a sudden one, such in an earthquake or other natural disaster, during wartime, or crib death syndrome.
In these incarnations the individual soul experiences a variety of lifetimes, acquires many experiences, and assumes various personalities. Each lifetime has a focus, a purpose and affords a soul a variety of lessons. The soul chooses its parents, as well as different times, cultures, and social backgrounds, which enable it to have varied intellectual and emotional experiences. When the lessons are learned, and sometimes they are not, the soul moves onto the next level of awareness and continues until it can grow enough to leave the cycle of reincarnation. Some philosophers, like Carl Jung, believe that we have twelve lifetimes, one for each sign of the zodiac. We begin as an Aries and compete the cycle as a Pisces.
In every lifetime, with every action we take, every decision we make, we are creating the pattern for our next lifetime. Knowing this, why would one harm another, an animal, lie, cheat or steal, only to come back and suffer for the wrongdoing? Our lives are the consequences of our decisions and actions, which arise from our thoughts, speech, emotions as well as what we say to others and what we do. We are creating our next lifetime everyday we live this lifetime. To believe that we live again gives us a reason in this life for doing our best. Belief in the continuity of existence has been handed down through the myths, legends, sacred texts, and rituals of most cultures.
Westerners sometimes find the reincarnation concept hard to accept because it contradicts many of the Judeo-Christian beliefs. This concept was banned by the Christian church, although reincarnation was a part of the early Christian doctrine. In 553 A.D. the Second Council of Constantinople laid down the following decree: “Whosoever shall support he mythical doctrine of the pre-existence of the soul and the consequent wonderful (impossible) option of its return, let him be anathema.” Those who had previously been thought of as Saints and founders of Christianity were declared heretics and officially excommunicated from the church. At least three books were removed from the New Testament of the bible, including the life of Mary, after the death of Christ, and her special ascension on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Why was all of this done? Because this took away power from the priests and churches and gave it to the individual, emphasizing personal responsibility, the concept of women healers, freedom of choice and the individual’s capacity to create his own destiny. The moral implications inherent in the Laws of Reincarnation and Karma lead us inescapably to these conclusions. We ourselves are the only ones responsible for our lives, and our life situation, whether it be for good or for ill.
Many of us have been aware of our personal de jvou experiences. Have you ever met someone you “felt” you knew before, or visited a place that was so familiar, you even knew the streets and landmarks, but had never been there in this lifetime? Did you ever think that a phobia or unreasonable fear is brought over from a past life?
While may of us would be horrified by who we have been, what we have done, and how we died in a past life, discovering these events can have a major impact on your present life experience. Finding out about negative past life occurrences can release pent up energies that can cause severe physical and mental-emotional illnesses in this present life.
An effective approach to helping and perhaps eliminating such physical and emotional problems is through the power of hypnosis focusing on past-life and present-life regression work. This experience enables you to search for trauma that is creating a problem for you now. The trained regressionist give you instructions while you are in a state of hypnosis on how to locate the past incident which caused or contributed to the present problem. The “moment of charge” is when the soul first experienced the trauma, and when you locate that experience the regressionist will help you “change history,” by having you view the incident through a regression, and then changing the outcome to make you feel safe and secure. This works! We do not understand the dynamics of this experience, but it removes fear on the sun-conscious levels, helping the physical body banish the memory of past pain, thus curing or relieving the problem in the present life.
A phobia in your present life may be he result of the unconscious memory of a death in another incarnation. Fear of heights (vertigo) may be the result of a fall to your death is another incarnation. Deep depression may be viewed as frozen anger from another incarnation and post-partum depression could be because you were once born as a stillborn or you lost a baby is a past life. Working through these fear-based emotions to the point of soul understanding and forgiveness can open a path and free you to embrace the full expression and experiences of love and a complete healing
Remember, our active memory is only 25% of our normal waking consciousness and the sub-conscious registers and records every past expression and experience. You can help yourself tap into those memories stored in your subconscious memory with this simple mirror technique. This can help you find out some information without hypnosis or regression work. However, if the problem is severe, it is best to work with a good and accredited therapist. You can also use this technique to explore your experiences when your soul was not in a physical body. The interim between lives could have been on another planet or in another realm.
This exercise should be done in the same manner as you would practice another metaphysical exercise. Sit in either the Lotus Position, as shown, or with both feel flat on the floor, legs uncrossed. Take some deep breaths and relax your mind and body. Allow yourself to be cleared of the daily events. This exercise should be practiced at night for optimum results.
A TECHNIQUE TO DISCOVER A PAST-LIFE EVENT
Make sure that you are in a private room and that you will be undisturbed for an hour or so.
1. Dim the lights to a glowing hue. Sit on a comfortable chair in front of a mirror with a lighted white candle on your left.
2. Focus on your breathing. Take your inhalations and exhalations on the count of four, and linger to four counts before inhaling again.
3. Allow the body to relax, slowly feel your body relaxing beginning at the head and working down to the toes. Become completely one with the rhythm of your breath.
4. Keep your eyes closed gently, or perhaps half opened without focus. Allow your body to go almost limp as you relax yourself completely. When you are fully relaxed, you can open your eyes.
5. Stare into the mirror, looking deep into your own eyes, thinking, “I wish to know who I was in a past life.”
6. Your eyes may begin to tear. Keep your eyes focused on your reflection in the mirror.
7. The mirror will begin to shimmer. This means you are succeeding.
8. A picture will begin to emerge. The picture will become clearer. It may be just a face or it can become a television screen, showing you a reenactment from a past life. Your hairstyle and/or clothing may change in the reflection.
When you begin this exercise, it is best to stop and rest after the first revelation. This can tire and drain you. The more you do this, the more lives you may see. Keep a notebook. This exercise can be done twice a month – on the Full Moon and the New Moon. Meanwhile, in between times, keep up your daily meditation and prayer work.
Reincarnation and Regression
Reincarnation is the belief that when you die, you or an essential part of you -soul – spirit – essence – whatever you call it – will return to earth, take up another body and start life all over again. If you believe this, you are not alone. A belief in reincarnation is essential in many of the Eastern philosophies, and in spite of what Christianity may have preached in the past, is becoming more and more accepted in the West.
Reincarnation was accepted by the early Christians and it wasn’t until 551 that it was pronounced a heretic belief by the Catholic Church. Though before the sixth century, Christians had preached the doctrine of reincarnation or rebirth, those who were foolish enough to try to do so in later years ran the very real risk of being burned at the stake for heresy. However, no amount of legislation can kill ideas and beliefs. People will just keep them inside until the time is right to speak openly about them again. Inevitably, reincarnation resurfaced, not only in poetry and other literature, but in the Christian Church as well.
In 1957, Dr. Lesley Wetherhead, who was famed as both writer and preacher, gave a public lecture in the City temple in London, which he called, The Case for Reincarnation, in which he said: “There can never be a perfect world unless those born into it can take advantage of lessons learned in earlier lives into their next incarnation, instead of being new souls and starting from scratch.
Astrology and the birth chart teaches us what we came into this life to complete, our soul pathway as well as what our talents are. The birth chart is called the fingerprint of the Soul. If we perceive our life-path as one big learning experience, and what else could it be for, then we would realize that one lifetime is not long enough for anyone.
The old Sages teach that a belief in reincarnation, as well as the laws of Karma, which is the philosophy of as you sow so shall you reap, makes sense of the dreadful inhumanities and what seems to be unfairness of the world around us. If, as many believe, we come back not just once but many times over, and actually choose our parents, location as well as have a say in choosing our life path and lessons, then we can see that those of us having a pretty rough time of it actually chose that life expression and put themselves into that situation in order to learn some particularly important lesson.
One of the biggest arguments against the theory of reincarnation is the fact that we do not remember our past lives. There is a very good reason for this. Imagine having to cope with this life and all that it brings, if you had clear memories of everything you had seen or done, and everyone you had met before in your other lives.
One of the winning arguments for reincarnation are the child prodigies. It is argued that the only way these children could possible know and do what they do is because they remember it from another life.
Although we think we cannot remember our past lives, we really do to a certain extent, if only in very short flashes or deja’ vu. A sense that this has happened to me before experience is very common, and very few people will admit that they have not felt like that at one time or another. There is always that person that you feel you have met before, as well as that street you walked down or that language you can speak, on occasion.
Often others feel the same way towards you – but neither of you can find any conscious memory of having met before. There are also those people we meet and we feel a certain empathy; An instant liking feeling. Then there are those that we instantly dislike or even fear, and this may seem irrational. We don’t understand it, we cannot explain it, but it lingers within us nonetheless. Sometimes we discover a hidden talent. Something we have an innate skill for, but was never really taught in this lifetime.
When we begin to think about more lives than one, we inevitable begin to think about time itself in a different way. We are so used to thinking of time as linear – that it is one minute after the other – that the idea that it may not really be like this is quite startling. Remember, linear time is only an invention of ours to keep our lives neat and orderly.
Imagine for a moment that, in spiritual reality, it is not like that at all but that everything is happening all at once. There is no future or past – only this moment. Then you are truly living your future now and setting up your next lifetime as you live and relate in this lifetime – every second of the day.
Perhaps we are all living more lives than one – simultaneously – not just one or the other – but all of them all at once! This boggles the mind. Think of life as a bean bag, and the beans inside it are people, you and me and everyone else. As the bean bag is tossed, you and me and everyone else gets moved around. One minute we’re in one part of the bean bag, then jostling up against another, and each toss, each jostle could represent a different life span. The life form is meeting different people and having different experiences.
Whether we believe in reincarnation or not, we find it embedded and presented to us in different guises within our culture. The fact that novelists and film-makers today so often return to the theme of reincarnation shows that it is now becoming an accepted part of our culture, but it is the poets who most clearly express the deepest feelings of the human psyche, and one of the most clearly defined is John Masefield in his famous lines:
His soul returns again to earth:
Arrayed in some new flesh disguise
Another mother gives him birth,
With sturdier limbs and brighter brain
The old soul takes the road again.
Once you begin to learn about reincarnation, you will get interested in finding out something about your own past life, or at least wonder who we may have been, where we may have lived, what sex we were, and what we may have become. There are many quiet and safe ways we can do this. All it involves is a little more awareness of both our waking and sleeping selves. Also, daily meditation practice helps to open up the channels of past life memory.
Keep a past life notebook handy. Record anything that seems like a memory from a different lifetime. Use this book to jot sown your spontaneous answers to the following ten questions.
1. Does any particular period of history have a strong attraction to me?
2. Am I particularly drawn to any race, country, or culture other than my own?
3. Do I often have deja vu experiences?
4. Can I do something I have not actually learned in this lifetime?
5. Have I ever met a person (or people) for the first time and felt a very strong, quite illogical, love or hate, or fear them from the moment of meeting them?
6. Have I met anyone and knew I already knew them, even though all fact or reason tells me I could not have ever met them in this lifetime?
7. Have I ever been to a place, a building, a town, or a region and known it in a way that only a former resident could have, even though I have never been there before?
8. Do I ever dream that I am living in another country, another age, or that I am a different sex or speaking a language I have never learned? Such dreams are usually in color and very vivid and memorable.
9. Is there anyone in my immediate circle of friends, family or business that I feel I have been with before, only in a different relationship? For example, you may have a good relationship with your mother, but in some odd sort of way, unexplainable, if often seems that it should be the other way around, you as your mother or she as your daughter.
10. Have you a special animal friend, that, right from the very start, you seemed to know and the animal knew you? Or do you now have a pet that you are sure you have had before in this lifetime? Animals, like people can have more than one life, but their lives are shorter, and they may well choose to return to the same owner.
There is no urgency in answering these questions. Jot down the answers in your many dreams – many lives notebook as you remember the experiences.
Past Life Therapy has been recognizes as a part of hypnotherapy for many years, and was recognized by Dr. Harry Aarons, Skinner, Erikson, and even Mezmer. Exploring other lives under hypnosis, people can be cured of phobias which may be making their life difficult now, or even to help them work out some difficult relationships in this lifetime. Psychologists or Spiritual Counselors who use this therapy, often with great success, argue that if going back to problems in this life can help people cure the issues, then so can delving into problems from a past life.
Maybe you don’t have any problems, or none that are too serious, but would still like to know something of those other lives you feel sure you have lived.
How can we access this knowledge? There are psychics who will claim to tell you about who and what you were. While some of them may be able to do this with the help of astrology (I am rather skeptical of this ) being told who you once were is a very poor substitute for actually living it or seeing it yourself from within. This can often become an ego trip! You can experience this for yourself by going to an professional hypnotherapist or using an audio cassette that will take you into a guided meditation, into a state of awareness, a meditative state, to another existence, or by simply becoming more aware of your natural dream state.
Those who claim they never dream are not being strictly truthful; what they actually mean is that they do not remember their dreams. You can train yourself to do this. We all dream several times a night and, contrary to popular belief, it is our dreaming sleep, not our dreamless sleep, that actually does us the most good. Learn to remember your dreams and then record them. Keep a notepad or small tape recorded by the bed and jot down notes or record your dream immediately upon awakening. When you wake up in the night, jot down the main points of your dreams. If you put down the main points. You will usually find the rest will come back to you in the morning when you read over the notes. Take special note of any dream in color, particularly those where you are dressed in unusual clothes, if you are in a strange environment or if you are speaking a different language.
A good exercise to begin the regression experience with is present life regression. Ask the class to remember their earliest memory. Many will be surprised that they go further back than they expected. Always begin the regression with key dates in the present life – and begin from now (present time) moving backwards. Remember where you were at the Millennium change on New Year’s Eve. Remember one of your happiest times in life. Remember your marriage or graduation from college, high school, remember 12 years old, remember beginning kindergarten, remember taking your first steps or speaking your first word, then remember the womb. Many people can describe these happenings in detail.
Then begin to go backwards in time, another time another space, and describe what is happening. Where are you, how old are you? What is your sex? Is it day or night? Walk into your home and describe the people. Sit down for dinner. Who is there with you? On and on until the class describes in full that lifetime. Progress to the death and describe how the body dies. This will help with understanding death and perhaps losing the fear of death.
If we can access memories we didn’t know we already had in this lifetime, then why should we not be able to go back further into our past lives? One of the things that gives this process validity is that many people invariable access memories of lives which, though they may be vastly different environments or time slots, are often quite ordinary. They do not turn up as famous figures of history.
Have we lived more lives than one? Yes, I think we have, and believe that the knowledge of these past lives can help us to understand events, people and experiences in the present life. These past life memories can also help us o heal. If we can recognize our purpose this time around, then we can get at the process with a clearer understanding of the goal. Nevertheless, never lose sight of the fact that we are living this life. This is the one of prime importance. The past life experience or memories only help to serve us in this time and space.
This lifetime is the one where we have to do the best possible job we can. Do we have to start all over again someday? Perhaps, but with more of an understanding, intelligence and empathy than we brought with us this time. The consolation is that you will not remember that you have been there and done that before-and before-and before.
Past Life Therapy utilizing clinical hypnotherapy methods can be very effective at assisting clients with overcoming a variety of personal and professional challenges. It is also extremely helpful for those with moderate to very advanced health issues. Remember, Elizabeth Joyce cannot diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent a disease since only a medical doctor can make such claims. Past Life Therapy is currently considered an alternative therapy or healing technique. Regression, either past or present life, is a therapeutic process that can provide phenomenal results for individuals seeking a healthy mind and body. A belief in reincarnation or karma is not necessary for this therapeutic process to be effective. Using Present Life Regression techniques has proven to be helpful with many chronic diseases and discomfort, either physical or mental/emotional. Elizabeth’s mimistry is to teach others how to self-heal.