Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

So why do regressions?

There are a few main reasons someone sets out to retrieve past life memories: phobias unexplained by anything in their lifetime; a relationship that has proven destructive which they don't seem able to leave; unexplained health problems; a driving impulse that leads them to follow it; or a strong curiosity about what dying really means.

Regressions take a lot of work and are not fun whether they actually tap into the past or are simply the subconscious giving allegories to illustrate problems. I can see how they would probably be a mistake for someone whose personal world is working well. Why look into past lifetimes to find problems you don't currently have? Why stir a pot that isn't boiling?

One of the first books I read on the subject of reincarnation and regressions was by Dr. Brian Weiss, a psychiatrist, who was using hypnotism to help a patient recover the events that led to her current problems except she went farther back than he intended and into past life memories. The experience, as well as those that followed with future patients, led to a turn around in his belief about reincarnation. He came to believe not only that reincarnation was real but that understanding past lives could lead to solutions for current problems. He wrote a series of books on his experiences. He said 'coming out' was not an easy choice as he felt he'd be regarded as a wacko-- something no doctor wants to be thought.

Where regressions seem to be most helpful (with an experienced therapist), is where a person has problems that other methods haven't touched. For instance it's been found people with severe obesity (that doesn't mean need to lose some weight to fit societal norms) have sometimes found the reasons lie in past lifetimes of starvation. Some current health problems have been helped by going back to a lifetime where something explains it and the person can then release it. Some in very detrimental relationships realize it's a pattern repeating again and again and give up trying to fix the connection and instead concentrate on safely getting out. Perhaps regressions could be thought of as a last resort, not a first, and certainly no magic panacea.

As some mentioned in comments (which for me were particularly interesting this time), I have read that there are old and new souls. Why would we assume creation, even if reincarnation is part of it, had to end with the original event? Some of my friends have been told this would be their last incarnation.

And yes, there do seem to be souls living more than one life at the same time. One of the books on regressions by Dick Sutphen dealt with his wife finding another lifetime her soul was leading now-- one totally different from what she herself was living. She hadn't, at the time the book came out, tried to meet that woman. (Sutphen is one who has written a lot of books, produced of the tapes I used, as well as does seminars where he has regressed groups at the same time.)

To add to the mix in comments, parallel universes were mentioned and some do claim they have traveled between them. There are things in this world that are hard to explain. So much about the energy of life we barely understand or have touched on.

While I mostly did my regressions solo, I was later told by regressionists and psychics that working by myself was risky but basically those kinds of tapes simply won't take you to a level to do true work in areas that might need the help of a therapist. They touch on areas, don't delve deeply into them. Although even mine which didn't go deep had some tears and upset attached to them during the meditative sessions. One, as an unfaithful wife, had my nose tingling when it came time for the consequences (Apaches had the option of cutting of the noses of unfaithful wives), but I saw no nose cutting-- fortunately.

In my one session with a hypnotherapist, she told me a story about one of her own experiences that can explain how this process can help if used properly. Her daughter was very clingy and constantly didn't want her going out of her sight. The woman eventually found the past life that led to that when she and her daughter were twins and she died young leaving her twin feeling deserted and leading to the fear in this lifetime of a repeat. It gave her understanding to deal with it this time.

There are a lot of interesting stories if you begin to read the books or even talk to people about the experiences they might hesitate to tell for fear of being thought crazy or not believed. Some people retrieve a memory and have confirmed it by traveling to where the events happened.

One of my questions about reincarnation has been-- if we are all coming back, why isn't the world getting better? And my brother said-- maybe we are the ones who just goofed it up, didn't get it right, and this planet is full of losers. He was joking, but sometimes it'd be easy to believe that.

Another problem with past life memories is how do you account for so many people being say Mary Magdalene? One explanation I read suggested perhaps those, who were nearby when these things happened, confused what they saw with who they were. Another possibility would be group reincarnation where you'd have parts of memories of many people. I can't explain it but definitely too many people were Thomas Jefferson and nobody admitting to Hitler... yet. (Coincidentally, relating to this very topic, I came across this article in the LA Times-- Marilyn Monroe is reincarnated as this woman?

I don't have answers about these things, but have found it interesting to explore and my personal experiences did explain some things for me. But as I said from the beginning, I am still not sure as not only are my dreams often in story form, but I write fiction as well as create art. I could have created anything I got-- although my creating a story doesn't have me in tears as the regressions did-- not to say they couldn't. The only way I could probably 'know' would be to go where the stories happened and see if I felt I had been there before or if a friend had gotten the same memories of some past life event but from a different perspective. And even that can be explained away if a person doubts.

One more thing, before I leave this topic for awhile, is astrology can pick up on past lifetimes without the trauma of actual memory retrieval. If you are curious but don't want to put the time into the regressions, find a 'good' astrologer who does this kind of work to look at your chart. And some astrologers can also find the geographic location of those lives.

If you are willing to work for the information yourself, a useful book is 'The Elements of Astrology' by A.T. Mann (good on explaining reincarnation also). Through his graph and your natal (birth) chart, you can look at when you might have had previous lives that are impacting your current life (not all lives, just those that relate to who you are this time).

Other books dealing with karmic relationships can show you (if you have another person's chart) what kind of relationships you might have had with them in past lives. Yeah, I know-- might-- but if you don't take it too seriously and have fun with it, it can be interesting. I came up with an interesting story (unwritten as yet) through my own chart and that of some friends where we all may have had a lifetime in Mongolia long before the time of Genghis Khan (according only to astrology, as other than some possible... er personality traits, I have never retrieved memories from that time).

I have never had a fear of death (dying process worries me some having seen old age up close with our families). Dying itself might be a bit scary but also interesting. To me death of the body is a transition and the mystery is to what do we go? When my mother died at 85, she was in her own bed, didn't know she was seriously ill. One of the things I thought afterward was-- now she 'knows.' Someday I will too.


Autumn said...

I did a mini regressions once at a Pagan gathering..I was surprised by what I saw. Also I slipped into a regression once while learning to meditate. The woman doing the meditation session explained to me what had happened.
Very interesting post. I am enjoying your blog.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I have never done regression therapy primarily because my life is what it is--and I am coping. I have done a lot of therapy, however, over the years, trying to analyze, accept, or change some behaviors that don't work well for me. When I was in my 40s and early 50s, however, I did a lot of reading on regression. I have intuitively beloved in reincarnation and karma since being teethed on Edgar Cayce at my father's knee as a kid. You have to be careful, however--there are a lot of kooks out there saying they are regressionists--and they are like the life coaches who spring up from nowhere without licensing or education to do their jobs. There is a fine line between esotericsim (a word?) and new age baloney that some people turn to when they aren't able or willing to do the inner work to make the current life better. However, I have friends I respect who do use regressionists. They abound in Southern California. In my journal work over the years I have personally gotten in touch with some of my own past lives--I think--and I was never anyone famous. That is one of the whacky things--how so many people regress and find out they are famous. These are interesting explorations and explanations you are posting, Rain. By the way, I've been to Powell's--one of the heavenly kingdoms of book lovers. My aunt lived in Portland and I visited often before her death.

Rain said...

I am glad you found my blog, Autumn and hope you comment often.

Good warnings, Fran. I also believe doing regressions that go into areas with problems would be like any therapy and shouldn't be something you pick the therapist lightly. Any therapist can cause grief whether they go into past lives or not. It's important to get people who know what they are doing especially if they are using hypnotism. For me, when I had my single session with a hypnotherapist, it was several hours long and it was looking for karmic patterns, not solving life problems today.

I have not done regressions since that time some years back. I have thought about doing them again someday but the motivation isn't there. That was a summer of exploring which I needed then but don't right now. I never limit myself though and that could change in the future.

One interesting further thing about past lives. I went to psychics then several times also, explored psychic fairs and just generally looked into many things. Two psychics, more than a year apart, who were in different settings totally, told me about a past life they saw in my past, one I never got through meditation. It was traumatic what they saw, as well as very unusual and not something I'd have expected-- and their details were suprisingly similar. They might have read my mind, maybe it came out of a book of regressions of other people that I have never read but it, as well as a few other personal things for me, have made me wonder. The topic is of interest to me but there is no burning desire to know for sure just yet either. I'm content to wait :)

goldenlucyd said...

You said it perfectly Rain: "...I'm content to wait." As if we really have a choice:)
I also believe in coping with and making the best of what we perceive to be the present in the most practical terms. I know that takes all my energy.

Personally, wondering or even knowing (as the old saying goes,) how many angels can dance on the head of a pin doesn't do much for me. I subscribe to the "more will be revealed" school of living.

I've really enjoyed the past posts---very thought-provoking.

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