That word conjures up a lot, doesn’t it? Have you ever discussed, or considered that you may have lived a life, or many lives before? Some are vehemently opposed to it, for religious, non-religious or scientific reasons. Some believe it’s a lie of the devil. Others point to the fact that there are more people alive today than in the past. Their rationale follows; if we’re living over and over again, why would population numbers rise?
The question is often framed as: Do you believe is reincarnation? Or: Is reincarnation real? Very loaded questions. If you ask the first, well, the answer is predicated upon the belief system of the person being asked. A devout Christian will likely answer in the negative. A Buddhist will give you an absolute affirmative. Both are following spiritual belief systems, both have very different views of what happens to a soul after physical death of the body it inhabits.
Similarly the question of ‘real’ is going to depend on the views of the person answering. To someone who thinks the concept of the soul is nonsense, or just superstition, asking if reincarnation is ‘real’ will only gain you rolled eyes and perhaps a snort of derision. People who only consider scientifically verifiable facts as ‘real’ are unlikely to spend much time pondering the reality of the soul, or it’s disposition after death.
What if ‘belief’ was not necessary? What if this world that we think of as ‘reality’ is only a stage for learning life lessons? What if ‘real life’ is really on the other side of physical death?
I was listening to the September 11, 2012 podcast of Coast to Coast AM recently. The guest that night was Rich Martini, an author and filmmaker who has looked at past-life regression cases and the experiences people have between lives. He has a film and a book called Flipside, where he interviews hypnotherapists trained by Dr. Michael Newton and examines their cases. Dr. Newton developed the Life Between Lives hypnotherapy method to help people access their soul memory.
After regressing 7000 people, a number of consistencies arose in the stories of what happens after death. A meeting with loved ones and spirit guides who comprise your soul group, a review of the life just lived, planning the next life to be lived, and making agreements with the others in the soul group on who is going to play what parts in the upcoming incarnation.
Mr. Martini frequently used the analogy that life on earth is like performing a play on a stage. Everyone in your life has a role to act out; as in a well-plotted story, the villain has a purpose as much as the good guy, who frequently learns a valuable lesson through the conflict. Who plays the good guy and who plays the villain is something that is predetermined before birth in the between life stage, and roles are often swapped in multiple lives. We are given the stage, but not a script.
So many other questions arise. What about good and evil? Why do some people do bad things? Why, if we ‘choose’ this life, would bad things happen in it? The answer is 42 (thank you, Douglas Adams, where ever you are now). The answer makes no sense, because you don’t really understand the question. It can be very hard for those of us on this side of the veil to understand why bad things happen, however once on the other side, these reasons become clear. We only really understand when we are between lives.
Personally, I have had a past life regression that had a dramatic impact on me. I went with a friend one day, about twenty years ago to a group regression session. A little background: since I was a little girl (like 3 or 4 years old) I had this horrible fear of dying in a submarine. I had recurring dreams about it. On my first visit to Disneyland I flat refused to get on the Submarine Voyage until my parents pointed out the submarine never actually submerged. I can still remember tearfully asking, “It never goes under water?” Only that reassurance convinced me it was okay to get on the ride.
Fast forward to my past life regression. I found myself in a German U-boat that was sinking fast from a near miss. The crew was in utter chaos, shouts in German, blaring alarms and flickering, fading lights filled my vision. Nothing could stop our descent to the bottom, and soon we were in pitch black. The hull crumpled after we hit bottom, we had enough time to realize we were all going to die. My last thought was of my wife and son, left behind, and I could see them waving goodbye to me. It was at this point the group leader brought us out of the regression, and I was still in the midst of dying and remembering my family. To put it simply, I lost it. I sat up, crying, sobbing and hysterical. I brought the whole group to a standstill, the leader had to come over to help me, and my friend was looking at me like I’d grown a second head. I know you don’t know me, but I don’t get hysterical. You can’t, when you’re working with animals that might kill you. I don’t have panic attacks, and I certainly don’t break down in front of groups, I hate having that sort of attention directed at me. Yet, there I was in full meltdown. Fortunately, the group leader was experienced enough to help me out, and I calmed down.
I have never had a submarine dream since. I can look at submarines now without feeling short of breath, where previously, just seeing them in pictures or a movie would make me feel like walls were closing in and I couldn’t take a deep breath. That whole irrational phobia has simply evaporated.
Was I once a German sailor on a lost U-boat? I would love to take another regression and see if I can find out more details. Do you think you have lived previous lives? Are you interested in finding out more? Have you had a past life regression session? Check out Wikipedia for a really good article with lots of links about real research into past lives, and regression therapy.