Helen Hoag - The Mystery Deepens!

Like a character in a historical novel, this mysterious woman of past lives work becomes more fascinating the more that I research her. Thanks to my incredible researcher and friend Afonso Silva in Portugal, I received the pdf of a book, actually another pamphlet, Hoag wrote and published in 1969, "Technique of Past Lives Recall". To recap, Hoag and Swygard were obviously working together at some point, they were doing the exact same explorations in consciousness in the same city (Miami, Florida), but neither mentions the other in their published works. And Hoag published earlier than Swygard, in 1968 and '69, Swygard not until 1970. This 1969 pamphlet is only 28 pages long but filled with these tidbits. On the first page, Hoag says, 

"This might be the first time you have heard of the awareness techniques."

(Interesting side note - Swygard always capitalizes "Awareness Techniques".) So Hoag was using the same name for her work. Then she says:

"You can "run" your past lives, as the process is called because it is like a motion picture "running" through a projection machine..."

(Another tidbit. Hoag refers to "running" past lives as did Swygard. Afonso found references to Swygard being in the film business in Miami in the 1960's, so its interesting that a film reference was sued to describe the process.)

There are scattered internet references to Swygard (but little biographical information) and he is generally credited with being the innovator of the Awareness Technique. But Helen Hoag had The Awareness Research Foundation in Miami at the same time as Swygard, the late 1960's.  Hoag's published material was in pamphlet form and never compiled into trade paperbacks like Swygard's, possibly that is the reason she is even less known. But both "running" and "the awareness techniques" were mentioned in print previous to Swygard's publication in 1970. And Hoag's publication date of 1968 matches the earliest book that I have found about past lives in the modern era, Ruth Montgomery's "Here and Hereafter."*

Curiouser and curiouser. 

*Ian Stevenson published "Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation" in 1966, but this is reincarnation research based on accounts of children recalling details from their previous existence, which I separate from exploring past lives without conscious memories.


Amy Shapiro Interview (With audio)

I had the pleasure of talking to Amy Shapiro last week, and I'd like to share my experience with you. Amy is a priceless resource for this work, not only because of her 18 published books and the fact that she uses the Awareness Techniques in her counseling practice, but she actually met William Swygard. (The only other person that I know who met him was Miguel Paredes, and I did not get the chance to speak to him before he passed in 2016.) I will include the audio of Amy's description because meeting Swygard was such a big part of her personal journey. But I also got to talk to Amy about her work and her use of the advanced techniques from Books 2 & 3. 

Amy is one the few people I know who use the Awareness Techniques in addition to hypnosis in the practice:

“This made me very curious: if this (the Awareness Technique) isn’t hypnosis, then what is hypnosis and how is it different. And so back in 1993 I signed up for a seminar series at the New England Society of Hypnotherapy, and that was a week long training. And from that I learned a lot of hypnotherapy principles and techniques, and saw that there was a lot of similarity in terms of the work I was already doing in guided meditation and guided visualization. And what was similar is that both hypnotherapy and the Awareness Techniques were ways to access unconscious information, unconscious material, deep soul level material. That’s where they were the same. But they differ in that the Awareness Techniques are such that the person undergoing the experience has full control over it; at no point are they un-conscious. And that’s why its important to me to continue to use the term 'Awareness Techniques' as opposed to other names... that’s been given to the techniques. Because I do want people to know that they’re not going to lose any awareness in the process of this, they’re only going to expand their awareness. Where with the hypnotherapy, you can help the person access their unconscious material and also instruct them that they will not remember when they come back to their conscious (state). And that is where there is a very big separation between hypnotherapy and the Awareness Techniques, is you’re always in control. You can stop the session at any moment and then come back to it later at your will. Where in hypnotherapy, typically, people are guided by someone else. I always say to my clients, once you’ve come for a session, and you’ve gotten the basics of the technique, its perfectly safe to do this for yourself. You don’t have to worry about getting caught somewhere, trapped in a time warp. You’re never going to lose yourself. Nor are there any 'parlor game' tricks with the Awareness Techniques, as you find sometimes with people who do hypnotherapy for entertainment purposes, where they have you take on a persona of a duck, or whatever manipulated thing they have you do. There’s never that kind of shenanigan with the Awareness Techniques."

I compared notes with Amy on my experiences in running people between lives and those of the Michael Newton LBL process, specifically my issue of a "checklist" of experiences: the life review, meeting the guide, the soul group reunion, the life planning session and putting it to the council; all of which have occurred but not in that order and not every time:

"Think of it this way. When you’re learning to cook, it helps to have a recipe, and a recipe is a checklist. But when you’ve mastered enough recipes, and you understand the concept of ingredients and what works well with what, you get to make up your own recipe… So look at it like that’s just one recipe, it doesn’t mean its the only one."

Amy has worked extensively with the Multi-Plane Awareness in Book 2:

"The concept of a ‘council’ might actually be all of your plane consciousnesses. ..I do believe the Akashic records, or soul records, are stored on the 7th plane, so probably that’s where we do go when we’re reviewing our records."

(That syncs with the information from Helen Hoag's book that I mentioned in a previous post. Hoag postulated that we begin our between lives journey on the 4th plane, and work our way up to the 7th before returning to the 3rd plane to incarnate.)

When I remarked that it is called “The Awareness Techniques”, plural: 

“To me its like house cleaning. I like to use analogies… so if I’m having company coming over, of course I’m going to get my house cleaned. So its like, clear out your soul record, get your house cleaned, and then meet all your higher consciousnesses (in the  Multi-Plane technique)… People have so much junk that they have to get rid of. “

On utilizing the connection to our higher planes:

"I think we are seeing evidence of integration with higher planes all around us in this information age. Because all of these warp speed rapid pace breakthroughs going on with cyberspace, technology and applications, they’ve all filtered down from the higher planes. So there are people who are receptive even if they haven’t gone through the recipe; they are still connecting to their higher planes where these ideas are coming through and coming from. I think even unwittingly, people are starting to have awakenings to higher plane experiences even if they haven’t become aware that they have these specific higher plane consciousnesses with a name and a function. I think the filters are really thinned out right now."

BB: The implication is, that by consciously pursuing these higher planes we can access that knowledge and bring it back down to the 3rd plane with us.

AS: Exactly, we can participate more actively and mindfully and fruitfully here. ..You know the old cliche, “an idea whose time has come”, well anybody can be the vehicle for these ideas whose time has come. But you have to be open, and you have to clean your house first, to have the mental and psychic space to be open."

Amy's website is http://newagesages.com. I will be doing some sessions with Amy and will update you when they occur. 


PS: Audio takes a few seconds to load. 


“We are all in boarding school. Earth is the school, and our bodies are our uniforms. When we die, all it means is that we get to take off our uniform and go home.”

Dorothy Ackerman

I have been exploring the concept that the clothing that you've chosen to cover your body at any point in your vast history can be seen as a costume. And if this physical existence really is "just a play", as one participant described her experience, then we might just be actors on a stage. And the clothing you put on this morning is as much of a 'costume' as a medieval jester, a 16th century monk, a 20th century soldier, an ancient Egyptian priest, or even the skins and hides covering a caveman's back. All of these are the costumes I have worn in previous lives I've explored recently. So when I dressed this morning and put on jeans, a t-shirt, and hiking shoes, I have to wonder how today's 'costume' will appear when I'm looking back at this from the far distant future when we're all wearing form fitting Star Trek uniforms. In our MeetUps, we have been doing a group meditation to acquaint people with the costumes they are wearing, first with eyes open and then practicing a closed eyed awareness of the cloth, plastic, rubber and hide covering our modern bodies. 

I'm working on a video of this process but you can start where you are. Eyes opened, look down at your feet and describe what you are wearing, as if you are giving information to someone who can't see you but is sketching you. Then close your eyes and feel what is covering your feet, your lower body, your waist, your upper body and arms, and around your neck. Becoming aware of our present day body is a good warmup for the running process, especially for people who are not especially visual. If you can't see what you're wearing with your eyes closed, maybe you can feel what you're wearing. If you can't feel, trying asking for verbal prompts and see if you get a reply; sometimes that will kickstart the visuals.

Now go about your day, and notice how much of a costume a suit and tie is. Can you tell the difference between the tourists and the locals by their costumes? After a long career in the music business, with way too many promotional pictures that will outlast a nuclear event along with cockroaches, I can't criticize the modern hipster uniform of beard, plaid shirt and hiking boots, not when there are band promo pictures of me from the 70's and 80's out there on the inter web. But its a costume, along with outfits chosen by Goths and jocks and hippies, and our costumes are both socially defined and socially defining, plus they are crowd-sanctioned, with social credits for participating and knocks for defying the norm. Look at Renaissance Fairs and Civil war re-enactments, look at them as socially acceptable opportunities to wear costumes from a previous era. But this is not an exercise in fashion; it is in service of step 1 in running a past life: Looking down at your feet, describing it in detail, then doing the same with the rest of our body coverings. Eventually a personality emerges from the clothing and the person behind those clothes is acknowledged. It is the pathway to the inner life of the actor on the stage. 

 Become aware of the costume you are wearing today, and use it as a bridge to examine your role in the play that is your present life. 

The mysterious Helen Hoag

My research into William Swygard and his innovative work with the Awareness techniques has uncovered an interesting and mysterious woman doing similar work in the same city at the same time. Helen Hoag is the author of a series of books on past lives, including "What Happens Between Lives" and "Technique of Past Lives Recall.' Helen Hoag may be the missing link in this story, even if there is no record of her. A huge 'thank you' to Af Slv, my friend and an amazing researcher in Portugal who found Helen's work and made scans of her books available to me. What makes Helen so mysterious is, she references the awareness technique, multi-level and multi-plane awareness, and running,  and she established "The Awareness Research Foundation" in Florida in the late 1960's. Adding to the mystery, her publications pre-date Swygard's by a year or so. (Hoag published the above books, actually 50 page pamphlets, in 1969, Swygard published "Awareness Techniques Book 1" in 1970). In the acknowledgements to "What Happens Between Lives", Hoag says "My sincere thanks to the more than one hundred students whose experiences in viewing their past lives furnished the examples for this book. Without their interest in, and their 'running' of their past lives, we would not know so much about life after death.", dated "Copyright 1969". In Swygard's preface, he says "The technique 'multi-Level Awareness', has been tested in all its aspects upon persons of various races, religious backgrounds and ages for over eighteen years in the Miami, Florida area.... Most of the work involved in the book you are holding, its writing, publication and distribution, was done by the delightful members of the Miami group." It is signed: "William Swygard, Miami Florida, December 1968"but the copywriter date is "1970 & 1975". 

Hoag and Swygard apparently worked together in the Miami Florida area for some time, enough for Helen to do "more than one hundred" sessions, yet they published separately, within months of each other. And Swygard references "the Miami group" of which Helen Hoag may have been a member. And Hoag's book teases "other titles planned, some by new authors", maybe implying Swygard's own book? But neither refers to the other by name. I would love to have access to the monthly bulletins from "The Awareness Research Foundation, Inc." that Hoag mentions in the end pages of her book. The "Awareness Research Foundation" is no longer active, and repeated attempts to locate living relatives have been unsuccessful. If there is anyone who has any information on Helen Hoag and her work, please contact me and I will pass it along. 

Book Review Part 2 - "Exploring Past Lives' by Mary Lee Labay

"Whenever you meet someone with whom you will be closely involved—a mate, boss, children, in-laws—it is wise to look at who you have been to one another. Take the time to follow your memory of that energy back through the veils of time, and discover the depth and true nature of the energy between you."

I can't think of a better description for this past lives work than to follow that energy that connects us back through time. This is why I am such a fan of Labay's and recommend this book to people looking for further information. Her 30 years of doing this work resonates in her writing, and even though she is a hypnotherapist, her work syncs with the Awareness Techniques more than anyone else I have researched. 

In "Exploring Past Lives", Labay elegantly lists the benefits of doing past lives work :
-the resurgence of a strong sense of self; 
-honing our skills in working with the subconscious mind;
-finding our Spirit Purpose, our overarching mission in life;
-understanding the Big Picture and how we fit into it;
-getting new perspectives on life and death;
-finding a new appreciation for history and geography; and most of all:

"The greatest benefit of discovering our past lives is that we begin to see the divine in all of life. With the understanding that each person we encounter may have been our parent, child, sibling, or spouse, we come to recognize the precious nature of every human contact. Each person carries the potential of having served some important role in one or more of our lifetimes."
Another sync with Swygard's work is her version of the Creation:

“There is speculation that at one time, eons ago, there was one massive unit of homogenous energy. At some point, it split apart into many pieces. From each piece’s perspective, they were now separate. They had become individuals, capable of incarnating into their own bodies. Now they could play the fascinating game of rediscovering all the other pieces of their original Self as they manifested into a multitude of interesting forms.”

That's not to say that I agree with everything in this book. I already expressed reservations about her concept of a spirit being extinguished by remaining out of the physical place for too long;  I have not come across that in my work. Here is Labay's take on "merging into one-ness":

"On a stressful day on the Earth plane, returning to oneness can sound appealing. However, imagine locking yourself in a closet for a year or two without stimulus, change, or contact with other people. That is the metaphor for the return to oneness...if oneness were to occur, each soul’s individual consciousness would extinguish...Rather than repudiating life and seeking to merge back into oneness, we serve our spirit better when we engage each moment fully and enjoy it completely."

I respectfully disagree, since I and the Past Lives Project participants have described this merging into oneness as the highlight of the between lives experience. But I acknowledge her expertise and will keep that concept in mind when processing the between lives experience in the future.
The Kindle version of "Exploring Past Lives" is only $5.60 on Amazon this month, I highly recommend it.

Quote of the Month - April 2018

“What if” we are more than this body, this mind, this particular history and story? What if beyond the egoic drives of fear and gain, that we are in essence, really beings of love? What if this experience that we call life, is really just a semester of Earth school? And that in between these semesters of Earth school, there’s a realm that we can go to… a realm that is of great beauty, creativity, connection ... a realm with humor, of learning... a realm of great peace and love? What if beyond the costumes of this life there is another and a larger story of who we are? Take a moment. Sometimes we hear these ideas, but we need a moment to lean into them... to feel them. What would it be like to live our lives from a soul perspective, from that larger story perspective?...I called what I remembered “The Before.”

Richard Martini

Author of "Flipside" and "Its a Wonderful Afterlife"

Awareness Techniques Books 1-4

Finding a copy of Diane and William Swygard's "Awareness Techniques" has aroused a lot of interest in the books, judging by the people emailing me to ask where to find them. So it seems counterintuitive for me to say this - 

I don't recommend reading these books.

I suggest you start by following the instructions and "running" a few past and between lives first, then reading the books. All the information that you need to "run" is in the instructions and maybe the introduction. The reason for this is, immediately after the instructions, Book 1 takes you behind the scenes of the Creation, the very definition of "big picture stuff", and this is a lot to process. Our modern day consciousness is better used processing personal awareness of our past lives. Swygard himself recommends reading this material when in a state of integrated consciousness, and this is only achieved after becoming fluent at running. So congratulate me on finding a physical copy of the books for the archives, as I enjoy the different way my brain processes reading a physical book from a digital copy. If you're interested, go to the services page to set up a session and I'll guide you through your first explorations. Or you can email me at bobbyb@pastlivesproject.org for the instructions and, in the words of the authors, "ask questions, questions, questions."

Shelf Help Update - Awareness Techniques paperback located

I found a copy of William and Diane Swygard's "Awareness Techniques - Books 1-4" at a New Age bookstore in Hendersonville. I already have the books in a scanned version, but lost my personal copies many moves ago. What's interesting is that the book was originally published in 1979, it was originally purchased in Hialeah, Florida, and made its way to Hendersonville NC for me to find it.  Many insights to be gleaned from these books, I'll update as my awareness increases. 

Brave Participant Interview for March- Rebecca Rouse

Name: Rebecca Rouse

Location: Weaverville, NC

Occupation: Tattoo Artist

How did you connect with the Past Lives Project? A recommendation from a good friend.

What was your experience of a past lives exploration? Through Bobby's guidance I was able to travel through memories, and could recall the actual "feelings" felt through my body in this life, my previous life, and the feeling of being in between bodies. I experienced one of my own deaths, and as I left my body the initial feelings of anger and sadness and resistance to letting go, I found myself completely filled with joy as I rejoined a massive expansion of energy, without a doubt it was the source. Though this was my first guided meditation through these depths of self (and my monkey brain trying to distract me), while I was in between lives I was able to "see" body-less others, as lights, feeling the immense connection and visual materialization of my recent memories, a great current of continuous energy moving through me. All feeling. I could also separate from this moving current and view it as a spectator of sorts, and rejoin as I desired. Another light being, Joshua, led me to a massive tunnel of water, deep as an ocean abyss and wide as a mountain, swirling and vibrating as though it was more of a solid. Looking down through this water I could see blue and green aspects of the earth plane...perhaps this was the way to incarnate? 

It should be mentioned that I was led to this "plumbing of the depths" by some incredibly intense fears I had developed recently about my own death in my current body. Through this process with Bobby I bravely confronted these fears of the feelings of losing breath, my heart ceasing to beat permanently, and leaving a body behind. After the session I was awashed in such peace...SUCH peace, and gratitude for my breath. And, also grateful for my fears, for without them I would not have sought so desperately to find the help to open up to greater purpose and evolution. And we've just brushed the surface, there is still so much to do!

My website is: http://www.rarouse.com/, and my email is rarouse@gmail.com

(Rebecca is a talented tattoo artist at

Sky People Tattoos

32 N. Lexington Ave.

Asheville, NC 28801

My session with Rebecca was possibly the most intense first session I've ever experienced. It is so gratifying when someone who is ready finds this work at the perfect time in their development. Rebecca has, in one session, experienced what it is to be an integrated consciousness who is aware of themselves as more than this physical body in this one incarnation. I look forward to seeing how her experience is reflected in her art in the future.)

Quotes for March 2018

"Don't depend on death to liberate you from your imperfections. You are exactly the same after death as you were before. Nothing changes; you only give up the body. If you are a thief or a liar or a cheater before death, you don't become an angel merely by dying. If such were possible, then let us all go and jump in the ocean now and become angels at once! Whatever you have made of yourself thus far, so will you be hereafter. And when you reincarnate, you will bring that same nature with you. To change, you have to make the effort. This world is the place to do it." *

Paramahansa Yogananda

"If all it took to gain enlightenment were death, wouldn’t we all be enlightened by now? After all, we have died many times...It is meaningless to be morally upstanding in your consciousness, unless your behaviors in physical reality reflect those choices."

Mary LaBay, who says it even more succinctly-

“Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you’re smart.” 

(Or woke, apparently.)


— *Read more:


(The authors of this blog do not advocate jumping in the ocean now in the hopes of becoming angels at once. Please use discernment.)


PS- Yogananda on the 3 levels of Bodies

"You have read in the scriptures,” Master went on, “that God encased the human soul successively in three bodies—the idea, or causal, body; the subtle astral body, seat of man’s mental and emotional natures; and the gross physical body. On earth a man is equipped with his physical senses. An astral being works with his consciousness and feelings and a body made of lifetrons. A causal-bodied being remains in the blissful realm of ideas. My work is with those astral beings who are preparing to enter the causal world.”

Yogananda on Sri Yukteswar

[Sri Yukteswar explained:] “Just as most people on earth have not learned through meditation-acquired vision to appreciate the superior joys and advantages of astral life and thus, after death, desire to return to the limited, imperfect pleasures of earth, so many astral beings, during the normal disintegration of their astral bodies, fail to picture the advanced state of spiritual joy in the causal world and, dwelling on thoughts of the more gross and gaudy astral happiness, yearn to revisit the astral paradise. Heavy astral karma must be redeemed by such beings before they can achieve after astral death a permanent stay in the causal thought-world, so thinly partitioned from the Creator.”

From Chapter 43, “The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar“, Autobiography of a Yogi- Paramahansa Yogananda

(The work doesn't end at death, our learning and our possibility for progress continues.)



Great Ursula K. LeGuin quote

“If you can see a thing whole,” he said, “it seems that it’s always beautiful. Planets, lives … But close up, a world’s all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life’s a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. You need distance, interval. The way to see how beautiful earth is, is to see it from the moon. The way to see how beautiful life is, is from the vantage point of death.”

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed, 1974

(As everything I read or watch seems to refer to a past lives perspective, this quote gives me an opportunity to honor one of the great minds of the last 100 years and also points to the advantage of that perspective, pulling away from the detailed, physical world into the non-physical (the NPE-Non Physical Experience.) I know Ursula is enjoying her new vantage point in the non-physical. 

Ursula K. LeGuin 1929-2018

Book Review: Exploring Past Lives

Exploring Past Lives: Your Soul's Quest for Consciousness - Mary Lee LaBay


Have you ever thought you were too advanced for this physical world and wanted to graduate to a higher plane of existence? Have you ever considered that your consciousness can be "extinguished" by not being in a body for too long? Then this is the book for you. I've mentioned Exploring Past Lives before; this is the book I recommend to people who've already read Brian Weiss and want to dig a little deeper. This book has both enlightened me and challenged me, which is what I want from anyone approaching this topic.

LaBay describes with a light touch all the deeper aspects of past lives work, like working with the subconscious mind and seeing the Big Picture, pointing out how much more interesting history and geography can be once one opens to what she calls "the inner tourist". She is challenging in presenting some ideas that I am still processing.  LaBay proposes that a soul loses energy and degenerates when not experiencing a physical body for hundreds or even thousands of years, and that a soul can be "extinguished" if not energized in a physical incarnation. I have not heard or read about this concept before, and my jury is still out until I have personal confirmation. But the ramifications are mind boggling;  I defer to her years of experience, reserving final judgment. Opening my mind to that concept caused me to confront one of my longest held beliefs. I have even made a joke about this in the MeetUps, paraphrasing a great line from "Lily Dale - The Town That Talks to the Dead" by Christine Wicker (great book, highly recommended) - "There are going to be skid marks on the clouds if they want me to come back into a body." I was one of those people who were self-declared old souls, too advanced to come back into a body and ready to graduate to the next level. Labay lays it out-

The best strategy for gaining wisdom and enlightenment is to work hard while in a physical body. The best investment is to learn lessons that help us clarify our vision, strengthen our morals, heal emotional baggage, and acquire knowledge. This world is our proving ground. It is through the experiences in this physical world that we make the greatest progress.

Its hard to dispute the idea that Cooper sums up in the quote of the month: we come here for education and because we desire to grow. No shortcuts, especially if as LaBay suggests, getting lazy and spending to much time outside the body can get your butt extinguished. I'd hate to let all this hard work over many, many incarnations go to waste. There is a lot more to explore in this book, to be continued next month.

Brave participant interview w/Pamela Shook

02/18 Brave Participant Interview

Name: Pamela Shook, Cl.H.

Location: Waynesville.  But my office is in Asheville Acupuncture Wellness Center.

Occupation: "I have been an Alchemical Hypnotherapist since 1990, blending Gestalt, Jungian and shamanic techniques with more traditional hypnosis. As a Reiki Master, I also incorporate Reiki into the healing sessions for accelerated results.  I help the client tune into their body and let their cellular memory decide where the journey takes us."

How did you connect with the Past Lives Project? "When I moved to WNC last September, I looked on Meetup to find like-minded groups, and was delighted to see the Past Lives Project. Your group was my first stop in connecting with the spiritual community, and one of my favorite Meetups.  The conversations are always meaningful, supportive and inspiring. I believe this research is so important at a time in history when there is so much divisiveness.  If we can understand that we have probably had lives as most races, classes, belief systems and genders, it is harder to judge others, because we have probably been the type of person we are most prejudiced against."

What was your experience of a past lives exploration? "My first past life regression was while reading a book on Edgar Cayce at age 13. I had spontaneous flashbacks of being a slave in Alabama.  I have been regressed many times.  In the session you did with me, I was a baby who starved after my whole family died in a bombing in WWII.  I had a wonderful experience of being re-united after death with my family, who who told me they had all been watching over me, helping me stay asleep so that the death process was less painful and lonely.   It was a beautiful realization that however lonely and abandoned we may feel, we are truly loved and watched over at all times."  

Your website and contact info: www.pamelashook.com,    

704-534-0687.  "I offer a free 30 minute phone discovery session to see if this work is a fit for you.  I only take clients I truly believe I can help."

I experienced a session of Alchemical Hypnosis with Pamela and it was powerful and insightful, I highly recommend her work. Pamela is giving a Meet Your Inner Mate workshop this month.


WHERE: Crystal Visions, 5426 Asheville Highway, Hendersonville  

WHEN:  February 8, 1 - 2:30 pm

COST: $15 or 2 for $20 (bring a friend or partner) cash or check

REGISTRATION/ INFO:  704-534-0687

February 2018 Quote of the Month


"The chief purpose of reincarnation is education. To this end, we are born again and again on earth, not because of any external pressure, but because we, as souls, desire to grow. The driving power at the back of reincarnation, which brings us to earth again, is the thirst for experience, the desire for knowledge, the yearning to mingle in the throb and rush of physical existence. "
Irving S. Cooper, Reincarnation: A Hope of the World

January video (instead of a book) review

Flipside: A Journey Into the Afterlife by Richard Martini

(Available on Amazon for $1.99)

I decided to offer a video rather than a book review for the holidays after seeing an interview with Richard Martini on Gaia TV.* Martini did an interesting interview on George Knapp’s show that alerted me to this video. Its an interesting overview based on the work of the late Michael Newton’s between lives trainings. I like that it includes the director’s own experience with the hypnotic process. And it was the first time I’d heard Newton talk about his own journey, which is worth the low price of admission. My only concerns are technical -some of the audio volume is erratic, and they include some incredible quotes in between segments, but feature them so briefly I didn’t have time to read and digest them. So keep the remote handy to pause and read the quotes, which I assume are taken from Martini’s book of the same title. I recommend this video for an interesting introduction to this topic,  check it out and let me know what you think.

* I have mixed feelings about Gaia TV since they so heavily feature David Wilcox, who’s not worthy of our attention. Anyone who spends time in their presentation trying to convince me that they are the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce based on sketchy facial similarities gets kicked to the curb, puh-leaze.



Modernity vs. unfinished business

     Those of us in the USA were recently careened into craziness by an election in one of our less progressive Southern states. Reeling from the onslaught of news coverage, I was able to apply a Past Lives perspective that allowed for a refreshing reframe. Without going into the politics involved, the candidate was accused of pursuing teenage girls at a shopping mall when he was in his 30's, and he initially was unable to deny the charges. Once I pulled back from the partisan politics of the situation I saw something that this past lives work has alerted me to  - I saw a man acting from a belief system that was not connected to modernity, that reflected a previous time period and culture. And this man was so entrenched in this belief system from an earlier historical time that he was unable to comprehend the criticisms coming at him from outside his cultural (and philosophical) bubble. It got complicated when the advisors from the national party took over and forced him to attack the credibility of his accusers. But he seemed to be holding to a philosophy towards women that denied all of the progress our society has made since the 1950’s, and reflected an attitude more in sync with the 1850’s or even earlier. 

    I recently ran a past life where I was a business owner in the 1700’s, a man in a position of great wealth and power who held the most appalling attitudes towards anyone who didn’t have wealth or power. I was on the other side of the looking glass, seeing through the eyes of someone who grew up so entitled that he thought the people in his employ should be grateful for the pennies he tossed their way. I actually felt what it was like to hold a belief system of entitlement; my employees should be grateful for the pennies I paid them because it was due to my brilliance at commerce that they were able to eat and feed their children. The reality was that my past life self inherited the business and the wealth; he was one of the lucky ones to be born after his enterprising parents. Avoiding the obvious parallels to what is going on in the politics of the USA at present, it was a consciousness expanding exercise in seeing through the eyes of someone who held beliefs that are the complete opposite of my own in my present life. But it was also a glimpse into a philosophy and belief system based in the class structure of a previous age.

    On my recent trip to visit family in New York City for the holidays, I was struck by some of the newer houses being built in Brooklyn. These houses seemed more like miniature reproductions of castles than any modern architecture, some reflecting the country that the owners emigrated from. Once again, my own personal research into my past lives alerted me to behaviors powered by energies from a different era, a different culture, and a different country. Now I am not advocating restrictions on people who wants to build their own castles, or denying the right of someone who wants to be rich to  treat their employees badly, that is free will. And I recognize that most of the people who would have the most paradigm shifting experiences from past life explorations might be the least likely to take that journey inward. This candidate would be most unlikely to examine his behavior or ask why he thought pursuing teenage girls was acceptable. But for those who are willing to dive deeply into both our actions and the motivations for our actions, the possibilities for personal transformation are endless. 

Quote of the Month

All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.

-James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961) 

I'm quite sure Thurber wasn't thinking about his past lives when he said this, but it is the perfect summation of the reasons why to explore one's self previous to this present incarnation.

Why are we running to, or from, this person?

this place?

this thing?

this job?

this relationship?

this  (fill in the blank)????

But, if we didn't learn all this in our last life, we now have the ability to discover and release it now. Email me at bobbyb@pastlivesproject.org to set up a session and start the process of learning what we are running from, and to, and why. 

My opinion on opinions

My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you're ugly too. 

Rodney Dangerfield

    After reading the umpteenth book on past life regressions and reincarnation, all of them interesting and all of them different, I had a revelation. Every one, whether it was written by a world famous doctor, or a psychic, or an experiencer, they were all just opinions. Now that seems obvious, and I have my own ideas on the past life experience based on my own work, but I was getting whiplash from being pulled and pushed by all of the opinions delivered as facts. 

The old model is to classify all data into a structured format which is then applied to all situations. My approach is to see how this structuring is very limiting, especially when applied to the the non-physical realm, the very definition of non-structured. I acknowledge that we are already imposing a physical framework on this non-physical experience, because that is the only way we can comprehend this totally unique situation. I would rather that my research reflected the incredible diversity of experiences that participants honestly and poetically express  than try to enforce a framework that fits the model set down by previous books and workshops. The experiences my participants are reporting are much more individual and as a result, the only opinion reflected is their own. 

And if you want a second opinion, you’re beautiful just as you are. 


December Book Review - "Life Between Life"

Life Between Life: Scientific Explorations into the Void Separating One Incarnation from the Next, by Dr. Joel L. Whitton and Joe Fisher, 1986

I was lucky to find a copy of Life Between Life in my local library, another book based on research that was being done in the 1970’s that I was unaware of until recently. This book, which was published in 1986, would make it one of the first of its kind to address the topic of life between lives, years before Michael Newton wrote his more well known Journey of Souls in 1994*. I assume they called it by that very clumsy title to reference Raymond Moody's "Life After Life", originally published in 1975.

Dr. Whitton was a Canadian psychiatrist who was already doing past life regressions when he “stumbled upon the bardo”, the Tibetan term for the intermediate stage between death and rebirth. Whitton came to refer to this stage as the “interlife”, what I call the NPE (Non Physical Experience).  It is an interesting read, with the exception of the final chapter, which is gruesome and not to be read while eating lunch.
Here are a few quotes -
"On Earth, we are the personification of choices that have been made in the (between lives state).
The subjects themselves, when carried to the between–life state, speak of karma as that which they have created for themselves as a means of progressively refining their natures. Time and time again they have asserted that they must undergo certain experiences in order to purge imperfection and to further personal growth. How these experiences are handled determines how much progress is made and, if learning is not accomplished, the situation must be replayed. Practice makes perfect in the cosmic classroom.

Incarnate existence maybe cut short specifically to fulfill a requirement of interlife planning. From the perspective of meta-consciousness, physical death – no matter when it occurs – always promotes learning and growth.
Those who are keen to proceed vigorously with their spiritual development tend to be most consciously active between incarnations. Those who show little interest in the evolutionary process are inclined to “sleep“ for the equivalent of huge tracts of earthbound time.
For those of us in Asheville, the Buncombe county library has a copy, I highly recommend it. 



*This is in the field of reincarnation research. Raymond Moody published his groundbreaking Life After Life in 1975, but that was based on Near Death Experience (NDE) research. 

PS - I was floored to realize that Dr. Whitton was involved as an observer in the Philip Experiment while he was working with the Toronto Society for Psychical Research. If you’ve never heard of the Philip experiment, check out this video, or search YouTube for the Philip Experiment. Its mind-blowing stuff, even more amazing considering it was done in the 1970's. A young Dr. Whitton is interviewed as one of the observers of the experiment.