"Shelf Help*" -Pros & Cons

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.” 

(italics mine)

Pg. 286.

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.