Is past life regression a valid therapeutic tool?
How I perceive and think about past lives and past life regression is based mostly upon my own personal experience and the experience of working as a professional Healer with a number of clients, over the years, who have experienced spontaneous past life recall as a result of the techniques I use.
At the age of 28 I personally began to experience vivid past life recall as a result of what is commonly called ‘kundalini awakening’. I did not consciously seek these experiences. It simply began to happen and changed the whole course of my life. These experiences caused my consciousness to radically expand over a five year period, completely reorienting my perception of reality and profoundly transforming my sense of self. At the peak of these experiences my consciousness completely left my body and expanded to a state where there was no separate sense of self at all. There was simply pure ‘presence’ and the awareness of being at one with the unbounded awareness within which the entire created universe rose and fell, and that included every life that had ever been lived. In Jungian terms there was undifferentiated unity with the Universal mind.
When I re-embodied into a separate sense of self again I realised two things. One was that the personality that I and everyone else identified as ‘Deborah’ was merely a façade, a ‘shop front’ if you like. ‘Deborah’ was simply the conditioned personality who had learned an acceptable strategy for functioning in relation to this current physical reality. The other thing I realised was that the Universal sense of Self that I had experienced actually belongs to everyone. The only difference between me and anyone else was that I was now aware of it. So from this perspective, every life that has ever been lived belongs to everyone. All of those collective experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly, belong to every human being who has ever lived.
From this perspective the possibilities for past life recall are therefore infinite and any number of individuals could relive the same life and claim it as their ‘own’. I believe this accounts for why so many people can claim to be a reincarnation of the same famous person. If one looks far enough, one will find numerous individuals who claim to have been Napoleon, Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Queen Nefertiti, and so on. Indeed there are two gentlemen at this time who claim to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and they support this by claiming that they remember their prior life as Jesus in detail. However, to me, this is not impressive as I know that I could claim exactly the same thing and so could every other person on the planet. Given the right circumstances and the induction of the right state of mind we could all access our collective past life as Jesus, Napoleon, Nefertiti etc.
Are the two Jesus’ making their followers aware of this? No they are not. They are allowing those around them to believe that this recall belongs exclusively to themselves; that they are elevated, superior and special. They are using the ‘glamour’ of a past life to impress and manipulate others into handing over their power. This is, of course, pure ego identification. No individual truly seated in their authentic spiritual power would even want to do this. So this highlights for me the main danger of past life regression. If it is approached by an individual looking to shore up a fragile ego, they can quite easily find themselves led astray. I do not believe it should be approached as some kind of parlour game or recreational pass time. To effectively access past lives does require opening the third eye or 6th chakra. However, opening this chakra without sufficient grounding, guidance and containership can give rise to illusion and delusion.
Having said all of that, I do believe that when approached with the intention to bring healing, transformation and the expansion of awareness into an individual’s life, past life regression can be very helpful. Both my own personal experience and that of others I have worked with demonstrates to me that the universal/unconscious mind always brings forth past life scenarios that reflect issues within the current life. However, these issues are sometimes so deeply hidden from direct awareness that the psyche needs to process them from a more removed perspective before it can approach the issue as it manifests in the present time.
For example, a past life scenario that was totally real and vivid to me at one stage in my life was an ancient setting in which I was taken from my birth mother as a baby to be trained as a Temple Priestess. I later fell in love with and married a highly revered Priest only for it to be later revealed to the two of us that he was, in fact, my father. The feelings that this scenario gave rise to were devastatingly painful, traumatic and confusing, but only when I had come to terms with them all in relation to this archetypal/past life setting was my psyche then able to begin to approach the even more deeply hidden memories from this current life of being sexually abused by my father. My fathers abuse always happened at night when everyone else was asleep and the story I told myself to make sense of it was that my father was sleep walking and he thought I was somebody else. From this it is easy to see how the past life scenario is informing the present life reality.
Now, from another perspective, one might say that my father’s actions in this life were a continuation of karma from this previous setting. However, one is inevitably faced with the question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Indeed, in my own experience and healing practise I have not yet had one example of past life recall that did not have some significant link to present life circumstances, but then it also makes sense that the psyche and the soul are only going to be presenting issues that are still ‘work in progress’.
So how do I resolve the ‘chicken and egg’ question? Well I don’t even attempt to because I don’t think it matters. There is only one question that needs to be answered and that is, “Did my own past life recall and that of my clients, contribute to our healing and transformation of consciousness in this current life?”
And the answer is, “Yes it did.”
To me this is all that matters.
When we are dealing with consciousness we are entering dimensions which do not obey the same rules of linear space and time that govern the manifest world. In fact I would go as far as to say that time is merely an illusion created by the five physical senses. Anyone who has an active sixth sense, or who has experienced the profound expansion of awareness that accompanies near death experiences, out of body experiences, or the radically altered states induced by deep meditation or kundalini activity will attest to the fact that these experiences leave them in no doubt that the manifest world of the five physical senses is merely the tip of the ice berg in terms of our potential awareness.
So to conclude, I believe that past life regression does have an important role to play under the right circumstances and with the right intent. However, like almost any other transformative tool and technique, it can also be hijacked by the ego for manipulative purposes. The trick is knowing the difference!