Saturday, 25 April 2015
A Recycled Victorian Writes...
But finding out who I was and what I left myself is another matter!'
Joking aside, the very idea of reincarnation once scared the bejesus out of me. However I have come to warm to it more over the years and wonder what else can explain how very different we all are, even when from the same family with the same parents and background. My sister and I for example are chalk and cheese. Apart from our hair colour, we have absolutely nothing in common. I don't hate her. I just don't know what to say to her when we meet and she is similarly tongue-tied with me. Sad but true.
There are some individuals who literally seem wise beyond their years - 'old souls' whilst others can get to the end of their lives and still not have the sense they were born with or who seemingly never learn a single life lesson, repeating their mistakes over and over again. We've all known examples of each I am sure.
The other day I picked up a remarkable book in a second hand bookshop; 'Through Time Into Healing'. It was by a Yale-educated psychiatrist called Dr Brian Weiss. Dr Weiss started off as a normal clinical psychiatrist - no interest in or knowledge of reincarnation whatsoever. The subject simply wasn't on his radar. Then a few years into his career a remarkable thing happened. After he sought to help his patients through hypnotherapy, he accidentally regressed one to a time seemingly before her birth and found that she was describing a realm she appeared to be inhabiting between lives. She then went still further back to what sounded like a previous life. Dr Weiss was astounded. Almost as astonishingly, his patient went on to be completely cured of the neurosis she was suffering from, a result Dr Weiss seldom witnessed through standard psychiatric techniques and hypnotism. A good level of improvement in the patient's condition was often the best that could be hoped for.
Intrigued Dr Weiss began (with their consent) experimenting on other patients to find out how far back they could go and a whole new world unfolded - or to be accurate - many lives.
Women who came to see him with obesity problems often found themselves experiencing a previous life where they had starved to death so were overcompensating in this life. Or they had been sexually abused in either this life or a former life and had subconsciously gained the fat to protect themselves against exploitative men finding them attractive. Trouble was this defensive barrier often kept nice men at bay too and they found themselves lonely as well as suffering health problems as a result of their weight. Again these patients were completely cured once they had had hypnotic access to glimpses of their previous lives and former selves and came to find themselves much more compassionate and understanding to their fellow humanity as a result, where once they might have been somewhat bitter and judgmental.
Those patients with asthma often regressed to lives where they had died in a fire or been suffocated under the contents of an overturned cart for example, those who couldn't stand to have anything round their necks in this life might find that they had been strangled or hanged in a previous life. Birthmarks in this life often indicated fatal bullet or arrow wounds in a previous life. The list went on and on.
One male commerical pilot in this life sought out Dr Weiss to find out why he was so paranoid about constantly checking the right wing of every plane that he flew to make sure it was not falling off. He subsequently had a vision of himself piloting a WWII fighter plane with the right wing shot off and spiralling to the ground, his last moments spent cursing himself for being the victim of 'friendly fire'.
All Dr Weiss's past life patients found that they left his sessions with a far wider perspective on humanity and life itself, irrespective of their religious persuasion, and impressive results always followed in terms of healing - when they felt they could let go of whatever residual memory or grievance was causing their suffering or symptoms in this life and began to see some kind of pattern or logic attached as to what might have brought them to their current situations and circumstances.
Something Dr Weiss found over the years was that subjects always seemed to return with the same 'soulmate group', though genders and relationships may change - ie a father in one life may become a brother in another and the gender of the subject themselves often changed too. Close friends could also come back as family or significant colleagues or vice versa. Even enemies were often previously known to us and we have to work out our issues with those too. (maybe that explains the school bully who hated me on sight when I started High School but I didn't even know her name until she fought me in the corridor and we both ended up sitting in the Headmaster's office).
We apparently all choose our lives before we are born, choosing the circumstances, our families and what we are intending to learn spiritually to advance us. Free will can vary certain factors but the blueprint is basically there.
This of course can seem hard to swallow when terrible things happen to some people and hard and hurtful times happen to us all, but Dr Weiss doesn't claim to have all of the answers. Except love. He believes that only complete love and complete forgiveness of ourselves and others can free us of any negative patterns and behaviours we may have accrued over our lifetimes (past and present) and therefore heal and smooth the path for our future life and lives.
Dr Weiss regressed himself to a life which appeared to date from Babylonian times in which he was a powerful high priest who had set off with high ideals in his youth and then become corrupted by money, wealth, sex and power in middle age. A subsequent life in mediaeval times found him a prisoner, being beaten to death whilst refusing to recant his religious beliefs, including reincarnation. In his current life he feels he has been given a wider perspective of spirituality and a mission to help others in a different sense - ie to find their own spiritual journey - and healing through it.
Dr Weiss risked much ridicule in medical circles when he first started sharing his findings and publishing his books (many a medical professional has been cast out of the profession for less, so most have a habit of waiting until retirement if they have what others could consider barnpot theories to share), However much to his surprise it didn't take long before people started writing to him to share their theories and stories and he even found eminent peers beginning to take an interest in some quarters. He has even been on the Oprah Winfrey Show - twice! Today he is the 70-year old guru of past life regression and universities all over America have been inspired to begin exploring past life regression and its possible therapeutic potential in the field of psychiatry.
One particularly interesting part of the book was Dr Weiss's assertion that all the major religions used to embrace reincarnation in their belief systems, but these elements were excised from the Christian and Jewish faiths many centuries ago by high-ranking religious officials who feared that they would have less power over the people if the people were permitted to believe they had more than one life. Moreover they decided to denounce reincarnation as heresy and persecute any stubborn believers, so that one might offend a Christian or a Jew to this day by raising the subject.
As for me, I've always been highly attracted to Victorian times, the architecture, the clothes, the literature, the human advances made during those times. I await Dr Weiss's hypnosis CD through the post with interest to find out if I'm right! And what could be the reason that I've always had such sensitive skin and been terrified of hospitals?