If you explore far enough, life contains strange and wonderful experiences. Past lives are among a whole range of experiences with meditators, shamans, and other inner explorers may encounter. They are not just dream-like images, but real and vivid experiences in the inner world. The impact on everyday life can be dramatic and uplifting. As with experiences such as meeting angels, I don’t worry whether they are “real” or not or whether historical evidence can be found. The healing is real and that is all that counts.
True and pseudo past lives
True past lives are the realm of karma – choices and decisions we make which affect our destiny. It is the realm of harm which befalls us which we create ourselves, unlike childhood regression which is the realm of hurt done to innocence, which we are not responsible for. Typically in therapy you only get to the stage of looking at how you create your reality y your choices after your have healed your childhood in this life. So true past lives are rarely the business of the beginning of therapy. For this reason I nowadays mostly do not seek them out at the beginning of therapy in the way that I used to.
I do regard some past life memories as “true past lives” – they have a clear, distinctive quality and are often spine-tingling to encounter. The feeling is “I did this, and I am paying the price.” These are often agonising matters of adult decision – for example, in a famine, deciding which child to feed and which to let die. It really doesn’t matter about historical reality, because it is indeed difficult to see how a child born today could receive an imprint from any source of such a strong emotional crisis. So no matter whether historical or not, something strange is going on. Others, while also profoundly healing, strike me as being family memories from the first months of life, before the brain is fully developed. While not “before birth,” they are in the realest sense, “before everything – before ‘I’ came into existence.” Others are generational memories which happened to grandparents or great-grandparents.
I don’t normally start by looking for past lives, but wait until they come up naturally. Otherwise, you risk getting one of two things:
- A pseudo-past life, which is daily life events disguised in a historical skin. The healing achieved can be done more directly.
- A true past life which doesn’t resolve. Inner child healing is about the pain we carry due to being hurt as innocent children. Past life healing is ultimately about the pain we carry as a result of our choices and responsible actions; in other words, our karma. Only at an advanced stage in a person’s development are they ready to say “This situation is my responsibility – I created the mess I’m in by my choices.” If you do an exercise which opens up past life experiences before the person is ready, they gain information on what went wrong, but they aren’t ready to re-choose their decisions. There is no value whatever in believing “I was Nefertiti in a past life.” The question is, how did the choices and actions you made in that life affect your everyday life now? And do you now have the maturity to re-live that situation differently?
That said, it is also true that often the first past life to come up contains innocent suffering and is not the one containing the karmic choices. It may take some time before the root past lives, where you can re-choose your destiny, emerge. Contrary to almost universal belief, there is commonly more than one of these. That doesn’t make sense, but there it is.
An exception to not starting with past lives is that sometimes a person will come into the room and carry a past life with them – the whole room fills with a certain vibe. One client comes to mind who as he spoke of unrelated matters, filled the whole room with a vivid impression of being a prisoner in solitary confinement. He was surprised when I suggested past life work as the starting point, but agreed, and we resolved many things rapidly.
If you are sceptical about past lives or spirit releasement, I offer a quotation from someone who we think of as a scientist, but who was also a great modern mystic, Albert Einstein. He’s referring to the time when radio waves were first discovered, and were laughed at as self-evidently ridiculous:
Do you remember how electrical currents and “unseen waves” [he means radio waves] were laughed at? Our knowledge about man is still in its infancy.