The file here has been digitized from a cassette that was available by mail order from William Swygard, the originator of the Awareness Techniques, which is the basis my work. Sending a cassette by snail mail was the only way to distribute an audio recording in the pre-internet days of the 1970's. As such, the audio quality is poor at the beginning but improves slightly. Such flaws do not detract from the significance of hearing William Swygard, who I never met, speaking about his technique. Its so casual that at one point, one of his and Diane's 11 children walks into the room where he is recording and he invites them to stay, a charming slice of life at the Swygard household in Miami, Florida.
In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams writes, “He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn’t an afterlife.”
But if you've experienced your past and between lives, you know better. If not, check it out for yourself.
My Kindle copy of Mary LaBay's book 'Past Life Regression: A Guide for Practitioners' is almost all highlights. Even though she is working from the hypnotic regression perspective, her work is much more illuminating than Michael Newton and Brian Weiss, who are much more known in the field. Here is an example of how her work is much more in line with mine, and how I think she goes much deeper than anyone else in the field-
From the perspective granted by the afterlife, my clients often come to realize that the limiting beliefs they felt bound by during their time on earth were not as devastating or insurmountable as they appeared. Once out of the confines of the body, we see the many options and alternative measures that could have been taken to improve a situation or fulfill our purpose on earth.
(LaBay, Mary. Past Life Regression : A Guide for Practitioners (Kindle Locations 2109-2112). Trafford. Kindle Edition. )
Once again, the concept of distancing can allow us to reframe our present life struggles through the end of the past. And this -
Experiencing past lives and life between lives shows you that you are not just a personality at the mercy of a random fate. Rather, you are a soul who seeks out specific experiences for the purpose of expanding your spiritual understanding.
I am continually impressed with the participants in this past life work for their bravery. The above quote from LaBay reminds me of this.
And she quotes Richard Bach, of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull fame -
"You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it? "
(These quotes are from Past Life Regression: A Guide for Practitioners, but a more accessible and more recent book is "Exploring Past Lives: Your Soul's Quest for Consciousness", which is available for $5.99 in the Amazon Kindle store. Not a plug, I don't get a kickback, just a recommendation.)
I finally got the opportunity to talk to my dear friend Paul Newell from Dallas, TX. Paul is one of the people who introduced me to the Awareness Techniques back in the day, along with the late Miguel Paredes. Paul was the person I worked with the most on the techniques, and he and I even talked to Diane Swygard at one point in the mid-1980's. I was able to get the details on how he learned of the Awareness Techniques.
It was an ad in the back of Beyond Magazine, which was similar to the still in publication (!) Fate magazine. (One of the few references I found online for this long out of print mag was a collection of issues of Fate and Beyond on Ebay with the heading 'Weird,, Unknown, UFO, Psychic", that says it all.) In the classifieds in the back was an ad titled "Develop Super Cosmic Consciousness." Who could resist? Not Paul, he sent what he remembered as $11 and received copies of instructions for all 3 Awareness Techniques. The ad was placed by someone in, small world, Dallas by the name of Roy Webb, who had gotten permission from William Swygard to promote the technique. Paul and Miguel worked together running past lives, and when the opportunity came up for Miguel to visit family in Miami, Florida, where Swygard was still alive and working, Miguel was sent on a mission. And Miguel did meet Swygard, and even attend some of his informal sessions at his house. Unfortunately, Miguel Paredes passed away just as I was getting settled in Asheville so I was unable to talk to him myself. And Paul said that the enigmatic Miguel wouldn't talk about his experiences, so Paul and I were comparing notes on what Miguel had told us over the years. Not much, but Swygard may have had a used bookstore in the Miami area and Diane Swygard remarried after her husband passed away.
All of the books and tapes that I have (some of which I have digitized and will be posting) came to me because Paul invested in them, a precious resource. Miguel, you are missed, and Paul, my deepest appreciation for introducing me to this work.
I've been reading Mary LaBay's "Past Life Regression: a Guide for Practitioners" in the Kindle version after checking out the sample and being impressed with her insights into the process. Here is her take on including past life explorations in our spiritual work -
"...imagine that you have amnesia. You cannot remember anything that happened before you were 21 years old. What would you know about yourself? How could you understand your relationships with other people? What would you know about your personality traits, the origins of your health issues, the basis for your choice of occupation, or the source of your knowledge and wisdom? Without substantiating evidence, it is difficult to truly know yourself. Expand that example to the bigger picture of the soul. Only by obtaining information about your previous lifetimes can you gain full knowledge of your character, your personality, your purpose, your overall progress, and the nature of your soul."
That's from Chapter 1, and she had me hooked. I was impressed with her concept of 'distancing'-
"Most of us have no trouble seeing strengths and weaknesses in others, but when it comes to seeing our own life situations with clarity, the challenge often seems insurmountable….When our clients view their past lives, a natural distancing occurs. When they see their past life 'counterpart' exhibiting the same or similar dysfunctional behaviors or making the same mistakes that they do, they more readily understand the changes they need to make. From this third-party perspective, our clients can allow themselves a more objective assessment of behaviors and decisions."
*The Kindle version of Mary LaBay's "Past Life Regression: A Guide for Practitioners" is on sale in the Amazon Kindle store for $5.99, I highly recommend it.
If you don't know who the Weed Nuns are, you don't spend enough time on FaceBook, (lucky you). They are a group of not actual but self-declared nuns who preach the sacrament of marijuana and its benefits, both physical and spiritual. They have an extensive web presence and, to people like me who went to Catholic school, smart women in nun outfits get your attention. So I was very pleased to hear the following in describing their philosophy-
"We believe there is a Creator God that created all this. We are all a different set of eyes for God to look out at His creation and to experience life on this planet. And that we all have a little bit of God within us."
Well said, sister! Seeing ourselves as "a different set of eyes for God" is a perfect distillation of Swygard's cosmology, and that we are here to "look out at His creation and to experience life on this planet" is the daily life aspect of Swygard's "Go, know My creation, and return it to Me." There can never be enough reminders that "we al have a little bit of God within us." Thank you, Sister.
As soon as I set up the FaceBook page for the Asheville Past Lives Project, (https://www.facebook.com/groups/309565849472300/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel), I was contacted by someone in Australia doing similar work, known as the Christos Technique. The legend is that William Swygard printed up a 2-page sheet with the basic instructions and mailed them all over the world. Apparently one copy made it to Australia, where a woman, Jaqcueline Parkhurst, started working with the technique with her husband and then with a small group of people (much like I learned it in Dallas in the 1970's). For undetermined reasons, they promoted it by calling it the Christos Technique, I don't yet now where the name came from but they used Swygard's original instructions and even re-published them. What's interesting to me about those original instructions is that they included this-
"Clasp his legs, one at a time, just above the knee and manipulate your hands downward, stopping at the knee briefly to make certain the knee is relaxed; then rubbing on, down to the ankle and bend the ankle; then massage the foot, and then the toes briefly and vigorously. Repeat this manipulation quickly. Next, place the palm of your hand on the person's forehead, and with little pressure, move the skin of the forehead up and down and sideways for a few seconds. This relaxation process should not be overdone. "
I emailed the instructions to someone I'd been working with online and she replied "Hey, where's my foot massage?" The answer is, I literally hadn't done that since the first time I learned the technique, haven't used it since, and I've done over 75 sessions, mostly online. So its interesting to see that the Christos Technique (why not the Swygard Technique?) group took the massage aspect and ignored the last line - "This relaxation process should not be overdone." They are requiring 3 people for a session; one to rub the legs, one to massage the forehead, and one to read the written instructions. I'm glad they got great results, there are many books written based on their work, but it seems to be a detour from the simplicity of Swygard's technique. The Christos group has a FaceBook page that has access to the now out of print books -
I'm grateful to the folks in Australia keeping this work going. It makes me wonder if there are other groups around the world that received the original instructions from Swygard and like me, are trying to keep this work alive and vibrant.
In his foreword to Barbara Stone's book "Invisible Roots", author (Love, Medicine and Miracles) and retired surgeon Bernie Siegel MD (born in Brooklyn!) had this to say about the importance of healing past life traumas -
I believe we bring unconscious awareness of the events of our past lives with us throughout our life experience. I believe that when the body dies, consciousness continues to exist and relocates or reincarnates into a new body in a circle of life. Just as a graduation is also a commencement, so death is also the beginning of a new cycle of life. Because of the brain wave patterns of a child, a parent’s words have a hypnotic effect on the child up until the age of six. Likewise, our past lives have this same unspoken, hypnotic effect, which we each bring with us at birth. The choices we then make are related to our past lives, even when we are not consciously aware of why we do things the way we do. Thus, the more we heal from our past life trauma, the better the future will be—our future incarnations and the future of society and our planet as a whole.
- April 2008, foreword to Invisible Roots, Barbara Stone
I found an entry in my journal written right after a spectacular paradigm-shifting run of a past life that I realized while working on my own. I wrote that I intended to do 50 sessions with other people, and that would determine whether these tools created in the 1960's were still viable 50 years later. I am closing in on 60 sessions now, and I can officially report that this technique is definitely viable and still relevant in the energies of 2017. I am still interested in pushing the boundaries of what this process is capable of. I've gotten great results with getting people through a previous incarnation, through the death transition, and into the non-physical between lives experience. Everyone I work with is different, everyone moves at their own pace through the process, everyone has their own unique experience.
As I refine my technique, I am also refining my use of the technology that allows me to work online with anyone who has a streaming quality internet access. (I haven't done any international sessions yet, but the internet allows me to work with anyone and anywhere.) The learning curve on the tech front has been steep but thanks to the patience of the participants, both aspects are getting better and more efficient.
One of my goals for the Past Lives Project MeetUp group here in Asheville is to put together a core of participants who will do multiple sessions with me, and with enough experience, be able to work either on their own or to run someone else. I already have one woman who is able to run herself, more to follow. As I told the group at the last MeetUp, if you do this once, its an experience; if you do it multiple times, it becomes a practice. That is how we discover new uses for this technique and take it to new and as yet unknown territory.
A friend emailed to ask whether this technique worked on accessing our present lives. Interestingly, by synchronicity, just last week I was running myself on a specific topic, and I came down into a physical body and everything seemed to proceeding smoothly. But when I looked down at my feet, I saw.... black and white Keds, a type of sneaker (pre-running shoe) that I remembered from my childhood. I had set my intention for a message for wisdom from a past life, and I have run enough that I know all my 20th Century lives, so seeing black and white Keds did not compute. But I trusted in the process, continued looking at my clothes and my surroundings, and was astonished to discover that I was being guided to look at myself, in this life, at age 5. The emotional situation I was dealing with at age 5 was exactly the situation that I was asking about. I got my answer, but how I got to it was unexpected. As a result of this experience, I now open myself to wisdom and guidance from my present life when I set my intention.
What was interesting was, now that I am a man of a certain age, when I look at my life and experience from 50+ years ago, it might as well be a previous life. The events happened so long ago that I have only vague memories from then. My body seemed different, my clothes seemed different, my surroundings seemed different, and my emotional state as a 5 year old was different. So the technique worked in the same way as if it were a previous incarnation: identify the clothing, identify the location, then identify the emotional state. It was only when I accessed the emotional state I was in that it all made sense to my grown up self. Plus it was an opportunity to trust the visuals and the unexpected answer to "Look down at your feet and tell me what you're wearing.". If I'd rejected what I saw when I looked down and saw those modern sneakers, I would have missed what my consciousness was showing me, what it was guiding me to clear by accessing and acknowledging this emotional situation.
I love this work. I learn something every day, every time I use it, whether working on my own or running someone else.
Robert Schwartz blog - https://yoursoulsplan.wordpress.com/
The Universe’s intention, however, is to mirror you to you so that any aspects of self that are in need of healing will be brought into the light of greater awareness, where you may then set about healing them. This is one of the fundamental purposes served by life in a physical dimension…Ultimately, then, the purpose of every life challenge is the same: to grant us the opportunity to embrace that which we have so far resisted. As well, every life challenge is healed in the same way: through an increase in the vibration of what we think, say, and do. Our experience of life is not determined by our life plan but rather by how we respond to that plan. Our responses—our thoughts, words, and actions in every moment—create our experience and potentially our healing. As we heal and learn life’s underlying lessons in a conscious manner, challenges that were planned as potentials in our lives either never manifest or occur in a more gentle form.
Powerful and insightful, especially when you consider how Rob Schwartz works. He has 4 mediums that he works with who are adept at reading the Akashic records, so the participant is told what his life experiences were. But he arrives at a very deep place of awareness, most likely because he had his own personal experience of 'the unity", even though he doesn't take participants on the journeys himself. But I love the idea that it is our responses to our life situations that create our experience and set the stage for our healing, not our life plan. It is a very proactive and very positive approach to this work.
I was listening to a podcast (Mysterious Universe, highly recommended) and they were doing an episode based on an old book of ghost stories. These are always interesting, and most of the good ghost stories point to the reality of a continuity of consciousness after death. They also usually occur because of some trauma that lead to death, sometimes in the physical area of the haunting, and sometimes both. But later when I was thinking about this, I realized that in my past life explorations, I never came across any ghostly activity nor has anyone I've ever worked with. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, just that I haven't come across it in my work. Then, when I was reviewing my notes for this blog, I found something I'd written* after running a particularly traumatic death I'd experienced in combat in World War 1. I was on a mission, my assignment was to deliver a message on the battlefield. This was a trench warfare situation, we were dug in, literally, in these trenches and holding this ground from troops advancing on our position. I was ordered to take a message to the next set of trenches, which involved moving to the edge of our position, going up to surface level and over to the next set of trenches some distance away. I made it without drawing fire, but when I got to the next encampment, I found they had been breached and the enemy soldiers where waiting for me. (The strangest part of this was that I was a German soldier so the "bad"guys were American troops!) Before I could sound the alarm, I was knocked unconscious and then when they realized I couldn't be interrogated for the message I was carrying, I was shot and killed. As I transitioned out of the body, I was still aware of my soldier duties, and my fears that my failure to complete them would lead to my fellow soldiers being killed and the position that we were holding overrun. That, plus my awareness of the family I was leaving behind was emotionally devastating.
From my notes -
I looked down expecting a soldier’s uniform but saw a ghostly physical body.
That was my attempt to describe what I saw after I left the physical body, It was no longer the body I had inhabited for the last 20 years. That is where I had the revelation that inspired this post. Again, from my notes -
(I realized) that we all are ghosts temporarily when we have memory and awareness of our physical body but are no longer in that body.
Maybe some of us are stuck because of the shock in that moment of disconnection from our physical bodies. There was a separation from the pain that the physical body experienced when being shot, but the emotional pain of separation from duty and comrades and loves ones lingered (temporarily) into the between lives state. For one brief interlude, I experienced myself as a "ghost". Luckily, it passed and I accepted myself as no longer in a physical body. But I now have a new perspective of that ghostly experience, one that considers it as a semi-physical echo of a traumatic event. I can see the haunting as a formerly physical individual in need of comfort and guidance.
*This post shows how crucial it is to take the time to journal after a past life exploration. The information we access when still in what Swygard calls an "integrated" state, that is, still connected to our higher consciousness, tends to slip away, and writing down notes immediately after captures information that would otherwise be lost. Its like remembering a dream that is vivid on awakening, but disappears in the barrage of day to day details.
As a recovering Catholic, I don't think in terms of the Bible much, but thanks to Ashley Long from createtheleap.com, I became aware of a book by Herbert Puryear titled "Why Jesus Taught Reincarnation". I started researching and was reminded that the Church used to include reincarnation in its teachings. In fact, according to Kevin Williams,
"When Jesus began his ministry, many people wondered if he was the reincarnation of one of the prophets. Some people wondered the same thing concerning John the Baptist. And even Jesus affirmed to his disciples that John the Baptist was indeed the reincarnation of the prophet Elijah."
"For all the prophets and the law have prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who was to come." (Matthew 11:13-14)
"And the disciples asked him, saying, 'Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?'
"But he answered them and said, 'Elijah indeed is to come and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also shall the Son of Man suffer at their hand.'
"Then the disciples understood that he had spoken of John the Baptist." (Matthew 17:10-13)
This I did not know. The first quote on this blog is from Origen, and I learned more about him.
"The first great Father of the early Orthodox Church was Origen (185-254 AD) who was the first person since Paul to develop a system of theology around the teachings of Jesus. Origen was an ardent defender of pre-existence and reincarnation. Pre-existence is the religious concept of the soul as not being created at birth; rather the soul existed before birth in heaven or in a past life on Earth. Origen taught that pre-existence is found in Hebrew scriptures and the teachings of Jesus."
I'd never heard of the concept of pre-existence, but it resonates with my idea of the continuity of our consciousness before and after our physical incarnations.
"The doctrines of pre-existence and reincarnation existed as secret teachings of Jesus until they were declared a heresy by the Roman Church in 553 A.D at the Second Council of Constantinople...(I)n 553 A.D., reincarnation became an enemy concept to the Judeo-Christian West. The reason reincarnation was declared heresy was given by Gregory, the Bishop of Nyssa. The five reasons he gave were:
1. It seems to minimize Christian salvation. (Inconsistent with the idea of eternal damnation in hell)
2. It is in conflict with the resurrection of the body. (Inconsistent with the rapture and final judgment)
3. It creates an unnatural separation between body and soul. ("For thousands of years, Christians believed that when a person dies their soul would sleep in the grave along with their corpse" until Judgment Day)
4. It is built on a much too speculative use of Christian scriptures. (Because there many quotes from Scripture referencing reincarnation?)
5. There is no recollection of previous lives. (Until now....)
All Hebrew and Christian scriptures support reincarnation: the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Christian Gnostic gospels, the Torah, the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha, the Kabbalah and Zohar.
Thanks to Kevin Williams for his research.
Found this amazing quote from Ben Franklin, who wrote this epitaph at age 22 that was never used:
The Body of B. Franklin Printer,
Like the Cover of an Old Book,
Its Contents Torn Out
And Stripped of its Lettering and Gilding,
Lies Here Food for Worms,
But the Work shall not be Lost,
For it Will as He Believed
Appear Once More
In a New and more Elegant Edition
Revised and Corrected
By the Author
The grown up Franklin said this-
"I look upon death to be as necessary to the constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning."
But still very relevant.
“Your life in retrospect has much more coherence that it does as you’re living it.”
Harvard psychiatrist John Mack, in a talk given at the International Conference on Altered States of Consciousness in Albuquerque, New Mexico in October 2002.
John Mack got a laugh with that line in his presentation, because he was referring to the professional character assassination that he endured when he started writing about people who had alien encounters and “the transformational aspects of extraordinary experiences”. In the context of my work, I would add that it also applies to our past lives. We get to be the biographers of our previous incarnations, objectively seeing the entire arc of a life and how it relates to our present life and what came before.
The synopsis of the lecture reads: "UFO encounters, near death experiences, shamanic journeys, and spontaneous religious epiphanies* all have the power to bring about a significant transformation of consciousness. By this is meant that the experiencers’ worldview, as internalized in the course of their upbringing and inculcation in this culture, is shattered. This, in turn, results in the potential opening of heart and spirit to a wider appreciation of reality and a (re)connection to realms of the sacred and divine.’
*I would, of course, add past life and between lives explorations to that list of transformative experiences.
Also from Autobiography of a Yogi -
"I find my earliest memories covering the anachronistic features of a previous incarnation. Clear recollections came to me of a distant life in which I had been a yogi amid the Himalayan snows. These glimpses of the past, by some dimensionless link, also afforded me a glimpse of the future."
It seems that every book I read or podcast I listen to mentions past lives or the "R" word. An affirmation of Nietzsche's idea that "If you stare at the abyss, the abyss stares back." This from Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. I get a daily quote via email from the book, which I re-read last year. I was amazed at how woo-woo his life was in his own words. It seemed a night didn't go by without a light being showing up in his sleep quarters. Here is Yogananda-ji's recollection of his past life:
“Lahiri, surely this cave seems familiar to you?”
As I maintained a bewildered silence, the saint approached and struck me gently on the forehead. At his magnetic touch, a wondrous current swept through my brain, releasing the sweet seed-memories of my previous life.
“I remember!” My voice was half-choked with joyous sobs. “You are my guru Babaji, who has belonged to me always! Scenes of the past arise vividly in my mind; here in this cave I spent many years of my last incarnation!”
My 'magnetic touch' is a work in progress....I welcome those "sweet seed memories of my previous life."
I have referred to the above numerous times, and feel the need to clarify it for those new to this work. Here is William Swygard's own explanation from Awareness Techniques, Book 1, published in 1971 and re-issued in 1975-
"In the Central Universe, the Creator is at the very center. This is His headquarters and the fountainhead of His awareness. From this center, He releases Spirits. To release Spirits, which are part of Him, He increases the vibration of His very awareness. and in so doing, He maintains this increased awareness for about one hour Kalaranda (Earth) time. When His consciousness recedes to its original size, the "residue" becomes individualized Spirits, and each is given a name. They are admonished, by name, to "Go know My Creation, and return It to me." From this command, they gain more consciousness..."
So we individual aspects of the Creator are here to experience and by experiencing, we gain more consciousness and add to the knowledge of the Creator. This concept was very important in my development, because it allowed me to switch from "What am I here to learn?" to "What can I create from where I am now?"
Diane Swygard said it best - "Renew your hope and enthusiasm and "Go, know the Creation and return it unto the Creator."
My local library has a digital copy of "Complete Idiot's Guide to Reincarnation" so I could not resist checking it out. I was pleasantly surprised to find a well-researched and -written wide ranging overview on the subject. Since quantum versus Newtonian physics came up at the last MeetUp, and since I read Michael Talbot's "The Holographic Universe" lately, I wanted to put together a short summation of that concept. CIGTR did that as briefly as a complicated subject allows.
"(David) Bohm has taken the early concepts of quantum physics several steps further. He theorizes that wholeness is the primary reality, and he calls this the implicate order.
Out of this implicate order, which is in a state of unceasing change, stable structures appear. Everything we see as stable and solid, which Bohm called the explicate order, is a projection of the unknowable whole. Energy, light and matter are made up of holographic interference patterns, and any fraction contains information about the whole. In other words, the whole contains the parts and the parts contain the whole.
Writer Michael Talbot (The Holographic Universe) … notes that our brains construct “objective reality” by picking up and interpreting frequencies that are from another dimension that is beyond time and space. This means that the brain is a hologram within a holographic universe, and any part of us contains information about the whole explicate order. Bohm believes that consciousness itself is a subtle form of matter, and the relationship between the two lies in the implicate order.
What are the implications for reincarnation? Bohm believes that space is full of energy, that its not empty. The universe is a ripple of energetic excitement in an ocean of energy, a three-dimensional projection of the implicate order. Because the implicate order is the foundation of our universe and is beyond the space-time dimension, it contains everything that ever was or will be… Experiencing a past life regression means tapping into the implicate order where past life memories are contained. According to holographic theory, each person has access to knowledge and experience of the whole implicate order. This theory of physics bears a striking similarity to the knowledge of mystical traditions.
What we assumed was solid in the material world of Newtonian physics turns out to be an illusion: a projection of energy, of frequency wave forms. Furthermore, we are not only part of the projection, but we also create it. We even create the constructs of time and space. When we enter an altered state of consciousness, we are accessing energy traces in the form of frequency waves and patterns in the implicate order.
Accessing the implicate order may allow us to access less-dense realms of existence where spirit guides, guardian angels, and other souls exist."
Try reading the above and replace 'implicate order" with potentiality, and 'explicate order' with physical reality. An easy to grasp definition of the holographic concept is that all of the information of the whole is contained in any fraction of the hologram. So when we are 'running' a past life experience, we are a fraction of the hologram accessing the whole, the potentiality of all that is, and our consciousness is 'reading' its energy traces and patterns. And since all information in a hologram is contained in any fraction of it, we have access to it because we are a fraction of the whole that has been released from Source. Remember Swygard's beautiful version of our origin story - "Go, know my Creation and return it to Me."
I read both of the following paragraphs while doing research yesterday.
"The unconscious mind (subsconscious mind) is like a voice and video recorder that has been recording everything one has heard and experienced every second of one's life, and past-lives, even when asleep, unaware, or unconscious. One is never truly unconscious since messages and their corresponding energy/commands are still being absorbed whether one is consciously aware of it or not. These unconscious recordings or memories affect one's self esteem, motivations, career choices, life choices, and the way one processes conflicts or challenges...
There are many ways to define memory and how it is retained. Most clinical hypnotherapists, however, believe forgetting or suppressing a traumatic or emotionally charged memory does not mean it is gone; rather the specific incident is not consciously available. Memory can be compared to the hard drive of a computer. Hypnosis, or a self-guided, "focused-state" of dehypnosis, accesses the important files that are stored on one's computer (i.e. mind). Hypnotherapy, especially when performed by a clinical hypnotherapist specializing in The Netherton-Paul Method, can reveal the most important files, or memories, that need to be brought to the forefront and reprocessed in a healing way.
Dr. Morris Netherton, author of Past Lives Therapy (William Morrow, 1978) (Claimed by the author to be “the first published book in the field of Past Life Therapy.”)
Later that day, when in a bookstore, I picked up "The Abduction Enigma" by Randle, Estes and Cone, opened it, and found this paragraph -
“We have been told countless time by various “authorities” that memory is the storehouse of everything we have ever seen, felt, experienced, or done. We are told that memory is like a giant videotape on which everything we have ever seen, done, or participated in is recorded with the accuracy of videotape. And while that point has been strongly contested by psychologists and scientific evidence, we learn the real purpose of memory is not to store data but to allow us to function on a day-to-day basis. Memory is not meant to be an accurate record of our past or even a storehouse of our experience but rather an inner representation of who we are and what we feel. More important, it does not have to be very accurate to carry out these everyday functions.”
The Randle, et. al. book is very critical of hypnosis as a method of accessing hidden memories; in fact, that paragraph is in a chapter titled “Recovered Memories”. Netherton is the co-originator of the Netherton/Paul “Past Life Therapy Center De-hypnosis Method”, practiced at their clinic in Los Angeles, CA, USA. (Regular session- 90 minutes -$280, Intensive- 3.5 hours- $680, Intake interview - 75-90 minutes-$180, in person or skype, same prices)
There are no citations to back up either argument, so I can't offer any rebuttal either way.
But I was intrigued by the pastlifetherapycenter.com blog and spent a lot of time reading their material, until they lost me with this dismissal -
"Between lives therapy or space between lives is consulting with spirit guides and masters that likely do not exist. "
With my experiences with this work over the last 35+ years, I respectfully disagree. I heard a great quote by author Joshua Cutcheon on a podcast that I have to paraphrase, but the gist was once you start doing this para-normal work, then the ways of the old scientific method seem not just 20th century, but 19th century. Netherton uses his technique to access experiences during the birthing process and interestingly, during surgeries when under anesthesia. Does he think we remain asleep for years or even decades between lives, and that information is not accessible?
The reason this is so important to me is that I am finding the most interesting part of the past life exploration is occurring after the transition out of the body and in the between lives stage. That is where the healing takes place, where situations that seemed unbearably difficult in a life time can be re-framed, and where the experiences of a life can be put into the longer term perspective of series of incarnations. And as far as "spirit guides and masters that likely do not exist", I extend an invitation to experience this work and encounter some "smokey ghosts" and decide for yourself who or what they are.
*"Shelf Help" is the art of picking a random book off a shelf with an open mind and finding the information you are looking for. Or sometimes finding a counter argument to what you just read.