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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Past Life Regression :: True experience or mere suggestion?

Khepri, Egyptian God of rebirth

Past life regression is a process that involves hypnosis or deep meditation techniques in order to recall what practitioners believe are memories of past lives or incarnations.
The question, however, is whether these "recollections" are indeed past life memories, or simply a matter of suggestion. Are they evidence of a true experience, or simply  mere fantasies brought to life?
I have actually undergone a "past life regression", and yet I'm still not convinced as to the answer.
Many years ago I booked myself in to see a professional therapist. By way of a disclaimer, I was already a firm believer in reincarnation, and felt that I had had many past lives prior to seeing the therapist, yet I decided to do it anyway as I was curious to see how regression therapy worked. Even more than that, I wanted to discover if, under hypnosis, I would be able to recall specific dates or names (geographic or other), in order to carry out my own research to validate my previous experiences.
Yet whilst being a believer in reincarnation, I must admit that I was sceptical of the entire regression process. I often wonder if this niggling doubt affected the outcome of my session.
My past life regression happened like this:
The therapist was a lovely, older lady who carried out these regressions in her home. The house reminded me of my grandmother, both warm and welcoming, so I had no problem reclining in the chair whilst she talked me through the first phase of the regression: relaxation.
It was during this stage of the hypnosis that I was asked to walk down a winding stone staircase into a hallway, and then stand in front of any door. I then had to enter that door, through which was a room of wood panelling. A study. It was dark in this room, apart from the lighted candle I was holding, dressed in a white smock, I could feel the cold wooden flooring beneath my feet. I told the therapist my name was Josephine - the first appearance of a possible past life, which had not been a happy life at all. I knew that I had been married with two children, that my husband was a rogue and had many a mistress. The therapist fast tracked me to the end of this life. My family was struck by the plague. My two children died in my arms and I openly cried during the regression session.
The process of walking down a winding staircase and selecting a door was then repeated, several times, and behind each door was revealed to me another, apparent past life.
The first 45 minutes of the session revealed no dates, nor any specific name/surname combinations that would facilitate further research to prove, once and for all, the existence of past lives. However, the final fifteen minutes of the regression were, for me at least, the most revealing.
As I walked through the final door, I found myself in a sandy alleyway in Egypt. I explained  to the therapist that I was a priest of the god Amun, before going on to explain several everyday events in my life. This included the existence of a young nephew that I treated as if my own son. This life was not glamorous; it was one that involved hard work and much loneliness.
It became apparent during this final regression that I had a great aversion to black snakes (specific to this colour only). My reaction was not one of fear, per se, but of superstition. I knew that black snakes were a dark omen.
It was particularly interesting to me that Egypt featured as the location in this final regression, since I had studied Egyptology at University. Even more than that, though, my interest in Egypt was focused on the religion of the Ancient Egyptians, even though in my current life I would not identify as being a particularly religious person.
Yet whilst there were certainly correlations between my interests in this life and the past life regression, I remain unconvinced that the regression experience I had was not brought about by some kind of suggestion, either by the therapist, or by my own subconscious.
In truth, I believe that the evidence of our past lives is all around us, and we don't need to engage therapists to discover them. Deja vu is a phenomena experienced by most people; that sense of familiarity and conviction that the current situation that one finds themselves in has actually occurred before.
Why is it also that certain people seem to be drawn exclusively to certain periods in history?
Or why the sense of “home” is found somewhere other than the town, city or country one was born in?
Or why  people seem to excel in certain subjects but fail in others?
So, whilst my own past life regression was not a convincing experience for me as a whole, I'm disinclined to dismiss the results of it entirely, and write them off as nothing more than simple fancies.
What I believe is that certain past life experiences leave an emotional imprint on our being, and then, occasionally, reveal themselves to us.


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