Reincarnation – Fact, or Fiction?

Are you finite, or are you unlimited?

Are you eternal, or just a protoplasmic accident of spacetime?

Is your body the consequence of your consciousness, or is your consciousness the consequence of your body?

Does what you believe determine what you experience?

If you believe your body is an accidental result of a few molecules getting together and replicating about 1 or 2 or 3 billion years ago and by a process of trial and error resulting in homo sapiens; if you believe that all you are is a pile of chemicals that somehow learned how to think; chemicals created, incidentally, out of the atomic reactions in the heart of stars (all there was in the beginning was hydrogen) – then does that belief mean that you cease to be at death.

Does it also mean that those who believe in a life after death continue to exist in a strange, permanent sort of out-of-body experience, while those who believe in a Hell, and die believing they need to be punished, will find themselves in their vision of Hell being eternally toasted.

These are the sort of questions that I’ve been seeking answers to for many years now.  And in my seeking I’ve probably found more new questions than I have satisfactory answers.

The big problem is getting information back from the ‘other side’ if, indeed, another side truly exists.

Information certainly exists that claims to be ‘from the other side’.  I’ve read some of it and heard some of it and even had some of it seem to appear within my mind from a source outside of myself.  (Science calls this mental illness – even though loads of people experience it and the book that guides the philosophy and moral stance of millions has significant content written in this way.  I’m talking about the Bible, by the way.)

In order to access this sort of information we have channelling and mediumship, and the difference between these two methods of communication with the hereafter is that Channellers generally seem to be in contact with sources of great wisdom and guidance, and mediums seem to be in contact with Uncle Joe and Auntie Jean.  So if you want wisdom find a channeller and if you feel the need for some comfort about the loss of a loved one then get in touch with a medium.  One of the problems I have with the channellers is that there seems to be some sort of one-upmanship operating in New Age circles.  There are Guides, Spirit Guides, Masters and Ascended Masters.  There also seems to be a smattering of Enlightened Ones, guardian angels and archangels; one or two floating around in spaceships in the vicinity of Jupiter; and I almost forgot, there are, of course, the Pleiadians.  I’ve only got a real problem with the spaceship ones, all the rest I can handle.  The really interesting thing is that a lot of the ‘wisdom’ produced from these sources is sound in the sense that it is gentle and loving and has a nice ‘feel’ to it.  Though I’ve no doubt that if you like what something says you’ll say it’s good, and if you don’t like it you’ll denounce, or de-value it in the eyes of others – in the way that I’m poking gentle fun at the spaceship wise-ones, while intimating that the more spiritual stuff might be the genuine article.

The scientists say that the people who channel or medium are crazy/insane/disturbed/fantasising/making-it-all-up.  They say that because they cannot devise an experiment that proves the claims one way or the other.  They also, in the main, don’t want to prove it because there is no money in it (so no research grants), and it would upset too many heavily overloaded scientific apple-carts to prove beyond all doubt that there was a Spirit World and – horror of horrors – a God.  We all know that there are charlatans out there in the world – but the presence of charlatans doesn’t mean that everyone else is lying about their experience or faking it.  Just as the fact that just because a skilled magician can reproduce psychokinetic events by misdirection doesn’t mean that others can’t produce them genuinely.  (If you want scientific evidence check out  Batcheldor’s research in 1968, the Philip experiment in Toronto and Mara’s own Humphrey experiment.)

Information seems to be the key.  And the only source of information is living people.  This is a serious problem because living people clearly aren’t dead and so anything they say is surely just a theory/belief/idea/something-they’ve-heard-from-someone-else-and-adopted-as-their-own-point-of-view.

This is a huge stumbling block to finding answers that you can hold as a Truth – or in scientific jargon – a FACT.

But then there’s that other problem; you see I know, and you do too, even if you’ve never put it into words, that you don’t experience any external reality directly.  From the viewpoint of science all that’s ever happening is that your brain is interpreting sensory information being transmitted along nerve pathways in your body.  And when you get down to it that’s just a quantum interaction among energy probabilities.  Everything that you are aware of you are making up.  There is no picture of the world projected onto a screen in the back of your head.  Vision is a complete illusion.  It’s a sensory trick that helps you navigate a quantum universe without banging into things and to find someone you like the illusion of to have sex with.  Because it’s all an illusion, what you see with your eyes open has no more validity than what you imagine with your eyes closed or what you experience when you are dreaming.

What makes you think it’s real is that other people’s thoughts and ideas and descriptions seem to match yours.  This consistency gives rise to a comforting belief that it really is real.  Trouble is you’re making the other people up too.  But then how could you make up stuff you don’t know about – like scientific facts and maths – if it wasn’t REAL?  I don’t know.  I’m just here asking the questions and seeking the answers – but maybe just maybe… no, that’s another story altogether.

You must remember the film The Matrix?  When I saw that I thought wow!  Because it’s so close, so close, except for the Evil computer in charge of everything.  In the film everyone’s in a coma dreaming of reality and because they never experience waking up, the Dream is their Reality.

So how do you judge what’s real and how do you find any evidence for anything because, as we’ve just demonstrated, the scientists are making everything up as well.  They’re making up a world where it’s real if it’s replicable and it’s real if we can understand how it works – otherwise it’s your fantasy, or you’re crazy.  Yet time and again, when you read the stories of some of the greatest scientists who created things that changed our world, they frequently report that they dreamed the solution to their problem.  Inspiration came out of the blue, FULLY FORMED.  It required no further inventive work, just the mechanical production.

Now what I really wanted to write about here was one of the ways I’ve explored that taps into the ‘something else’ aspect of life – the magical side of living.  A way for an individual, without any intermediary, to directly experience something that may change their perspective on life forever and give them the ability to personally tap into that beyond death realm.

I’m talking about Past-Life regression.

The belief behind this procedure is that we are each an eternal being – a consciousness, spirit, soul, awareness … the term doesn’t matter, but what does is that we never cease to exist in some form that is aware of itself.  If this is true then it seems that we inject our consciousness/spirit/soul/awareness into different bodies and live many different lives and we’ve done this through all of history.  The reason we do this (depending on who you read) seems to be for soul development, personal growth, amusement, eventual enlightenment, fun, because-we-can, to-discover-our-creative-abilities, and probably more.

To me none of that matters initially.  I want to know if it’s fact or fantasy – even though I’ve argued that they are both essentially the same.

I feel the need to mention at this point that I’m one of those people who immediately, when he hears about someone who lived a past life as Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, or any other famous figures from history, puts on his biggest sceptical head and dismisses the story out of hand – even though logically I have to acknowledge that if we can live many lives then someone must have lived those lives and that someone probably has a body today.  So when Jesus gets a mention, the biggest sceptical head I own is firmly locked into place on the top of my neck.

So I’ve done some reading.  Brian Weiss’s books I highly recommend and one of the things he mentions in Same Soul, Many Bodies is a story that had a powerful impact upon me when I read it.

The lady’s name was Victoria.  Victoria is a physicist (member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences) living in Manhattan.  She suffered from severe back pain caused by a cancer that operations, chemotherapy and radiation had had little impact upon.  The pain she described as an ‘unremitting bombardment from an abscessed tooth’.  Dr. Weiss was conducting a regression conference/workshop.  During regression Victoria ended up as a male peasant, hunchbacked and crippled, who met Jesus and was present at the crucifixion.  During the regression, as she stood by the cross with the lifeless body of Jesus, she experienced a surge of electricity that shot down her spine and, in front of the cross, she stood up straight – healed.  But while this took place in her mind, everyone at the conference saw her stand up and dance – healed in this life too.

Now, many years before this, Dr. Weiss himself had experienced regression to a past life at the time of Jesus.  He was a rich merchant at that time.  During her elation at her healing (the healing was so thorough that even Victoria’s hair returned to its natural black colour, rather than the grey it had become) Victoria mentioned to Dr. Weiss ‘I saw you there’ and she went on to describe accurately what Dr. Weiss had seen himself wearing, even down to the neatly trimmed ‘salt and pepper’ beard.

I don’t know whether these two people each lived another life in another time and were aware of each other, but what’s interesting is the accuracy of Victoria’s description of Dr. Weiss’s appearance, which matched perfectly his description of himself during his own regression.  And the fact that both of these people were scientists, brought up in the Newtonian world of cause and effect, leaves me feeling secure in believing that what was reported was genuinely experienced.  In fact, in Dr. Weiss’s first book, Only Love is Real, he talks about the anguish he experienced when a patient spontaneously regressed for the first time and the amazing revelations he was exposed to.  It took him many, many years before he dared risk professional suicide and the ridicule of his peers by publishing his work.

There is much publicised work that describes ‘miraculous’ healings that have taken place after a past-life regression has ‘revealed’ the real cause of a present life illness and allowed the regressed individual to make peace with that situation in a past life.

After doing my background research, naturally I needed to conduct my own experiments.  There is nothing like first hand experience.  So I started offering regressions as part of my work.  I discovered some interesting facts.

About 1 in 4 of the people who have so far come to me do not experience a past life during regression, but in every case subsequent questioning has revealed psychological blocks that, had I been told about beforehand, I would have expected to have interfered with the process.  Of the majority who do regress, their experiences vary widely from a full re-living of the experience, to a watching of the earlier self, almost like watching a story on TV. Some people just get simple impressions of who they were and what they wore; others get details like names and dates.  Normally I will guide the regressed individual through key points in their past life and up to, through, and past the moment of death.

Maybe you were a soldier in the Civil War

Civil War mounted soldier

Some of my regressees (both male and female) have encountered memories of life as Soldiers

Almost invariably after the regression, the individual is surprised; frequently there are tears of pure emotion – often because of the experience of reunion with a loved one after death.  Almost invariably they have visited a period in history that they have no knowledge of.  Now, while most people who come for a regression have a belief in re-incarnation, they frequently persuade other family members to have one too.  These I find particularly interesting because amongst this group there will be people who do not believe in re-incarnation and expect to experience nothing at all.  They are often very surprised.  I particularly remember one young man who, as soon as he stepped into the past life, immediately started shivering because he was cold, wet and terrified, and had found himself in a very real experience of being shot at on a beach during the D-Day landings.  Afterwards, when I brought him back to the present, he said to me “I can still smell the cordite, and I don’t even know what cordite is!”

So here we have discovered something interesting; a lack of belief in re-incarnation does not prevent one from experiencing past-life ‘memories’.  If this were science, we might be tempted to suggest that this indicates something real occurring, rather than something imagined.  But it isn’t science, so the scientists can pooh pooh the evidence and believe it’s all fantasy.

There are stories of regressions where sufficient historical information was recovered to check out whether or not a past-life was actually lived.  These details, when they’ve been investigated, have turned up records of real individuals.

One of the most fascinating workers in this field is Michael Newton PhD (another scientist!).  He does what he terms ‘between life regressions’.  He takes people into their most recent past life, through their death and then he keeps them in that between life state.  He has conducted over 2000 of these regressions (he did this before he published any of his work) and he states that almost every client reports a spookily similar experience.  If this sounds interesting I would encourage you to read Journey of Souls.  To have so many people independently reporting almost identical circumstances in this between-life state either means that Michael Newton has a mind so powerful that he can make people believe what he wants them to without even saying anything to them, or that something really real is taking place.  If this were a scientific study, based on the quirky behaviour of some subatomic particle, the scientific community would be hailing a wonderful new discovery.  Because it’s in the realms of the paranormal, it’s dismissed out of hand as nonsense.  (The only reason I haven’t explored this field myself is that the hypnotic induction required to induce the required trance depth to access these deeply hidden memories takes around 2 hours, and I don’t think I’ve got the patience for that.  An ordinary past-life regression quality trance can be induced in around 20 minutes.)

I don’t know whether or not we live many lives, or if we are in fact eternal.  My gut feeling certainly pulls me in that direction, but it does seem that we have access to the memories of lives that have been actually lived.  You are your memories.  Your memories make you who you believe yourself to be.  You don’t question whether or not you’ve lived this life, but when you think about it, the only moment that you are ever fully alive in is right NOW.  Everything else is just a memory.  So what’s the difference between a memory of this life 20 years ago, and a memory of another life 200 years ago or 2,000 years ago?  They are all just images, emotions, thoughts, ideas and impressions that, because they are vivid in your mind in the moment of recall, and because they seem familiar to you – are accepted as things that happened to you.

Now or 2 millennia ago?

Is there really a difference – scientifically speaking?

Recommended further reading:

Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives

Past Life Regression: A Guide for Practitioners

Same Soul, Many Bodies

The Afterlife Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life After Death

Orin and DaBen

~ by eximiusparanormal on October 7, 2009.

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