Whatever you may feel about the phenomenon of past lives, I don’t think you can dismiss it outright. No-one can because we just don’t know, not absolutely. We cannot state definitely whether or not it can happen, whether or not it does happen.
Have we lived before? All of us? Multiple times? And if we have, why?
I don’t know, I certainly don’t have definitive answers, I can only state what I believe based on my own experience and knowledge. Some of my learning is gained from science including quantum theory and its mostly a distillation of all the readings I’ve done over the years; spiritual, scientific, agnostic, philosophical, and religious texts. These all have marinated together in my thinking to produce my beliefs and theories on spirituality, past lives, reincarnation and who we are and what we’re doing here.
My theory is based on what I’ve lived through and has evolved over time. What I believe now is not what I thought about life and death thirty years ago, even ten years ago and I may well believe something else in another ten years.
However, my beliefs have evolved rather than altered, deepened and clarified as I’ve learned more, seen more, felt more.
Like most people growing up in Northern Ireland, my first experience of existential teaching andthe afterlife was based around the Judeo-Christian tradition. God, Jesus, Satan, Heaven and Hell formed the crux of my childhood imaginings. My parents were aghast when I started questioning the truth of the Bible, another reason for my father to unbuckle his belt and whip me.
As a teenager I rejected that tradition completely and went totally nihilistic, my view was that once you die, that was it. Over and done.
Then when I was twenty-five, my Mum died. I looked for comfort in the teachings of my childhood and found none, my knowledge of the world, of men, history, science and the corruption of organised religion made false any solace I might have found there and yet I couldn’t believe that such a vital, beautiful soul had just been snuffed out, nothing left but a cold body.
And I searched for something to tell me differently because there was no way my Mum was just over. For one thing, I could still feel her around me, still guiding me, keeping me safe. She saved Reilly, my dog’s life on several occasions when nothing but divine intervention would have guaranteed his survival. So what then?
Around this time I also started what became a lifelong habit of seeking personal development and growth. This led me to the quantum theory that everything is energy, that the solid world as we experience it is an illusion. We are all energetic beings, made out of energy, radiating our own unique energy signature that impacts on the world around us.
The way we move, speak, think, how we drive our car, how we wipe the kitchen bench and especially how we look at each other are all examples of energy that affects others and how we feel about ourselves. Everyone knows what it feels like to walk into a room where people are tense or angry… you could cut the air with a knife! We feel the energy of someone staring at us before we actually see who it is. We know what it feels like if someone slams a door or is driving aggressively in traffic.
We are unique expressions of energy, yet we’re all the same. We are separate yet connected to everything that exists. And a fundamental truth of energy is that it cannot be destroyed. Energy can be transformed, transmuted, a spark can become a flame, but it doesn’t just stop existing. Its never just gone, it becomes something else.
This then influenced my thoughts about death, especially in regard to the one person I loved more than any other. I watched the life leave my Mum’s body, one minute she was an animated human being, albeit a very sick one, the next there was just a shell and whatever had made that shell her was no longer there. It no longer inhabited the earthly body.
I believe Mum became an energetic being of light, of love. As I read more about Buddhism, reincarnation, the possibility of living many lives and yet always being the same being it made sense to me. The more I learned, the more pieces fell into place for me to be able to say, yes, I believe in this.
Then I came across Esther and Jerry Hicks work with Abraham. I rejoiced because it fit with my newly forming philosophy almost perfectly. They posit that we are all energy beings that have come to live as human beings for the experience of it, to contrast the limited human existence with our truth of being limitless parts of the creative force of the Universe. A bit like taking a day trip to the worst deprived area you can imagine so you can come home and feel grateful for all you have.
I like to believe we keep coming back because we have something to learn, something to share before we return to that state of infinite knowing and being.
And I then stumbled across the work of Delores Cannon and Dr Brian Weiss, celebrated hypnotherapists who have both had stunning results working in past lives. In fact, Dr Weiss is a celebrated psychiatrist who initially thought his patient was a hoax until the clarity and detail she gave him convinced him that he had authentically tapped into memories of a previous existence. He had a lot to lose as a celebrated senior member of hospital staff and yet he was so positive that his client was experiencing past lives he had to record and publish his work with her.
I hadn’t thought very much about this in the past few years, it was just what I believed and it sat at the back of my mind, an awareness that I didn’t really share much. Until last weekend, January 20th and 21st 2018, when I had the most amazing personal experience. I had signed up for further professional training in the skill of regression, to learn how to induce Past Life Regression (PLR)in clients and to understand how it could be applied therapeutically, to use the past life experience to heal issues that have proven difficult to resolve in their present.
The training was just fabulous from start to finish. Every minute was a revelation, whether I was watching other people have PLR experiences, taking part in group visualization exercises or applying what I learned in practice with other attendees. Throughout the weekend I had several vivid, unique experiences of past lives. ones that I cannot explain through imagination or previous recollection.
In the first group exercise Mark K Anderson, our amazing tutor, used a visualisation to induce a light hypnotic trance.And part of the induction was a walk towards a bridge across a canyon. Every one has their own personal experience of this and when I was walking towards the bridge (in my mind), I saw two different bridges. They would interchange, never there at the same time and were so completely different that I knew there was learning here for me.
When is a bridge just a bridge?
The first bridge I saw leading me across the canyon was the worst Indiana Jones kinda bridge just like picture 1 above. And the bridge it interchanged with was the ornate, embellished unnecessarily detailed construction as demonstrated in picture 2.
I realised that this is a metaphor for how I go through life. I think I’m half assing things, never being good enough, making mistakes and falling apart and I try to be perfect, with grand plans and schemes, setting elaborate goals for myself to achieve, with nothing less than amazing being acceptable. Wow, no wonder I’m always so tired.
When in reality, all that’s needed is a well constructed, attractive, plain plan that does the job, just like the bridge in picture 3.
That in itself was a massive learning for me to take away from the weekend. How hard I make things for myself when its just all so unnecessary. And there was more…
The visualisation continued, the bridge across the canyon led to the past and we crossed the bridge and each of us in the group found something different there.
For me, at first I just experienced light patterns, warmth, bright white light which then coalesced until I could see I was at the foot of a statue of the Virgin Mary inside a church. I felt that I was a young girl, dying in that place and I looked up and saw the bright white light again. I went back into the light and emerged as a young man, a Bedouin bandit, dressed in full Arab clothing, carrying a sword and a gun. I exited a tent and then saw the bright light again and then the visualisation was over and Mary K brought us back to normal awareness.
As we talked through each other’s experiences I came to the conclusion that I had seen the ending of two of my past lives.
On the second day of the weekend, there were even more powerful Past Life experiences, a full immersion in one that gave me a lot to consider. I’ll tell you more about that in my next post. And if you want to have the opportunity to learn about your past lives, please get in touch with me here.