Past Life Therapy: It’s Contribution to Psychology and Holistic Medicine
I. Introduction To Past Life Therapy
The Buddhists have a concept that life is an illusion and illusion is born out of ignorance. Thus acts of wrong doing are born out of ignorance. The world operates by divine power and law, not by divine command (McDowell and Stewart 1982). Their spiritual goal is freedom of the soul from worldly attachment and passionless peace. Nirvana is the sanskrit word for this ultimate goal in spirituality. There is no personal God, but only truth that lies within our heart. To experience this truth, one must heal the five conflicting emotions of jealousy, greed, ignorance, anger, and fear. Meditation is one way to heal the emotions as well as knowledge of the self from past life times. Detachment from these conflicting emotions leads to enlightenment and evolution out of the illusion of ignorance to experience the ultimate reality.
The Hindu concept of the universe is by understanding that from the creative, destructive, and neutralizing forces in the universe evolve the principles of akasha, prana, and creative mind. Akasha is the substance in all matter, prana is the force that moves through matter, and the creative mind is from which the universe was created (McGill 1979). All these principles are contained in the human body which has seven levels of consciousness called chakras which lie within the spinal column. There is a universal law of action and reaction called karma. It is our inheritance which is brought forth from former life times that shape our fate and destiny. Tendencies to act according to certain patterns established by reactions from the past are known as samskaras. Vansanas are memory traces which form this pattern (Woolger 1988). The Hindus are very aware that experiences from past life times create a large part of our psychological make-up. With this concept comes atman or individual soul and brahman or cosmic soul. There is a reservoir of stored-up energy at the base of the spine called the kundalini with a symbolic representation called the sleeping serpent. In order to reach the highest level of consciousness, the individual soul must unite with the cosmic soul by unleashing this reservoir of energy at the base of the spine and ascend it upward to the top of the brain. This energy eventually reaches the superconscious state called samadi, the ultimate freedom from the cycle of birth and death as well as liberation from all miseries and bondage (Ballentine, Rama, and Hymes 1979). Back to the top!
II. Detailed Discussion
A. Einstein’s Theories
Albert Einstein has described two basic theories which the universe has evolved from. These theories are now accepted as universal truth. The knowledge of these truths has been understood in Buddhism and Hinduism.
1. Theory of Relativity
This theory states that light when slowed down condenses into matter and returns to light when it speeds up. Thus matter is only transformation of energy evolving from its source which is light. Energy cannot be destroyed, but only transformed. Matter is governed by laws because of the polarity in its structure, but light has complete freedom. Relativity also applies to the energy within the nervous system, which is our soul, that condenses into a physical body at birth and returns to light at death.
2. Unified Field Theory
This theory states that everything in existance has an energy field because of the structure of the atom. The electron in an atom gives matter an energy field. The energy around a human being is known as the spiritual body. Light is pure energy but matter is energy with form. If the energy within the nervous system is understood as light, then it is indestructible and capable of living in another body.
Psychology is becoming a rapidly changing field today because medical science is finally beginning to understand that it is as important to heal the mind as well as the body. This opens up to a whole new concept in psychology called transpersonal psychology in which there is a recognition of a spiritual component in the mind. To understand why past life therapy is so valuable to healing the this will be explained through the anatomy of the brain, altered states of consciousness, parapsychology, and psychological changes from past life therapy. Back to the top!
1. Anatomy of the Brain
The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord which acts as a messenger throughout the body for all the input of stimuli from the environment. Reactions from stimuli are understood from biological, intrapsychic, and social/behavioral viewpoints in psychology. The brain has a right hemisphere which is the subconscious, a left hemisphere which is the conscious, and an area between them called the corpus callosum which acts as a filter. The conscious contains short term memory and accepts 12% of known facts, the filter or critical part of the mind accepts 10% of known facts, and the subconscious contains long term memory and accepts 78% of known facts (Kappas 1987). These percentages indicate how much of the brain is actually used in mind power. Functions of the left and right brain are represented like this:
Left=logic, reason, mathematics, reading, writing, language, analysis, and physical Right=recognition, rhythm, visual, imagery, creativity, synthesis, dreams, symbols, and emotions The nervous system is equally as important in understanding the mind because we react to the environment through our senses of smell, taste, sight, touch, and sound; the body is involved in all these senses becoming a vehicle for the mind. This explains how the nervous systems branches out (Shone 1985):
Central nervous system=brain and spinal cord brain=central core, limbic system cerebrum=left and right hemispheres Peripheral nervous system=autonomic system (to sympathetic system) and somatic system (to parasympathetic system)
2. Altered States of Consciousness
Brain waves influence states of consciousness which are measured by electrical charges emitted by the brain. Relaxation lowers the brain waves and allows the subconscious mind to open up and access memories. There are four altered states of consciousness that are represented like this: Wave Frequency cycles per second Situations of occurrance Beta 13-50 Normal waking alertness Alpha 8-12 Meditation, hypnosis Theta 4-7 Emotional stress, deep meditation Delta 1-3 deep sleep,infant sleep Hypnosis and meditation are both altered states of consciousness because they induce relaxation and lower brain waves. The only difference is that hypnosis is able to resolve conflicts within the mind and meditation is not. Back to the top!
3. Levels of Consciousness
Eastern psychology states that there are seven levels of consciousness within the nervous system and our energy field. These levels of consciousness are nerve plexus which branch out from the spinal cord into the peripheral nervous system. The nerve plexus are represented like this:
Sacral coccygeal plexus=earth, smell, and red (kundalini) Hypogastric plexus=water, taste, and orange Solar plexus=fire, sight, and yellow Cardiac plexus=air, touch, and green Pharyngeal plexus=ether, sound, and blue Brain=magnetism, thought, and purple (pituitary gland) Crown area=universe, energy field, and white (pineal gland) These nerve plexus or chakras are also known as energy centers. Within every human being there is a psychich connection to the universe through these energy centers which vibrate at a certain frequency radiating color in the energy field. The ego or identity originates from the base of the spine which is the first energy center of self-mastery. Once the emotionas are healed, then the thoughts are able to transcend to the area of the heart where the feeling of love and wholeness is found. This becomes the path to universal consciousness and wisdom as energy transcends up the spine (White 1979).
By understanding the human energy field, it brings us into another area of psychology called parapsychology. Psychic energy is indestructible and survives death of the body. Psychic energy from deceased humans will occasionally stay earthbound and attach themselves to other people’s energy fields instead of returning to the light. This attachment of psychic energy from deceased humans to other humans is known as spirit attachment or posession. Spirit attachment can influence a person’s behavior and emotions often resulting in problems such as chemical dependency, anger, prolonged grief, fears, depression, moodiness, low energy, violent behavior, or suicide (Fiore 1987). Subscious releasement of spirits will heal these emotions and change behavior. Often spirits have an attachment to people because of a karmic situation from a past life time although there maybe other reasons contributing to the attachment.
5. Psychological changes from Past Life Therapy
There are so many beneficial psychological changes from past life therapy. Hypnotherapy is a modality used in past life therapy which is a process that detached the conscious and allows the subscious to access memories. The hypnotized subject remains in rapport and responsive to suggestions. This is done by overloading the mind with message units to focus on relaxation. The filter between the right and left hemispheres becomes unblocked and repressed memories can be accessed. Fearful and painful emotions caused by repressed memories due to trauma are eventually released. Through this process the will becomes strengthened, self-esteem is increased, and latent abilities are brought out. Four techniques used in past life therapy are progressive relaxation, guided imagery, concentration, and healing the emotions. Painful and fearful emotions are described as a color in an area of the body with a size, shape, and an expression of them. A tool of light such as a laser beam, star of light, etc. is used to dissolve the painful and fearful emotions described in a symbol such as a frozen block of energy. These frozen blocks of energy can follow us through many life times recreating simular experiences until we become aware of our need to change consciousness. Through our awareness of the inner light we can dissolve the frozen block os energy allowing us to be free of victim consciousness and increasing our spiritual strength (Long 1993). Past life therapy eliminates fears, chronic pain, depression, anger, gried, chemical dependency, co-dependency, and helps certain psychotic disorders which have been only treatable with medication such as schizophrenia, manic depression, and multiple personalities.
C. Holistic Medicine
The concept of holistic medicine brings more theories concerning the mind and healing. The mind contributes to creating and healing illnesses. Eastern medicine has a concept of energy blocks within the physical body and with past life therapy it is obvious to see how these blocks are created by the mind. Thus all illnesses are caused by energy blocks within the mind which decreases the energy level and immune system response. Increases in psychic energy from past life therapy improves the immune system and health. The mind and body are interrelated so the mind has to heal for the body to heal (Weiss 1992). This brings new awareness that there is a subconscious reason for everything including a terminal illness (Denning 1987). The subconscious mind contributes to the creation of a terminal illness when a person wants to die or fears death. It is important for these concepts to be understood for a true healing to occur.
Past life therapy loosens the rigidity of the intellect and opens the door to a new experience of reality. Transformation becomes a process of coming to a place of peace and harmony within the self that is attained by experiencing the primordial essence from which we have become separated. Regression therapy touches the deepest part of our essence, the lost part of our soul that is redeemed through oru love and acceptance (Lucas 1993). This raises the level of conscious to become centered in love and caring for others. Feelings of separatesness become recognized as an illution and one can experience the ultimate reality. Past life therapy is becoming recognized as one of the most powerful tools for inner transformation in psychology today. This powerful tool for the transformation of human thought is our connection to the universe which will eventually raise the consciousness of all mankind.
Works Cited: Ballentine, Rudolph MD, Alan Hymes MD, and Swami Rama 1979, ”Science of Breath”, Honesdale, Pa.: The Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy Denning, Hazel M. PhD 1987 ”Dialogue with Cancer”, The Journal of Regression Therapy II 2:93-99 Fiore, Edith PhD 1987 ”The Unquiet Dead”, New York: Ballantine Books Kappas, George 1987 Hypnosis Motivation Institute, 12 hour video course on hypnosis Long, Coletta, PhD, clinical psychologist specializing in past life therapy, personal interview, Austin, Texas June 5, 1993 Lucas, Winafred Blake PhD 1993 ”Regression Therapy: A Handbook for Professionals”, Crest Park: Deep Forest Press McDowell, Josh and Don Stewart 1982 ”Understanding Non-Christian Religions”, San Bernadino, Ca.: Westwood Publishing Co. McGill, Ormond 1979 ”Hypnotism and Mysticism of India”, Glendale, Ca.: Westwood Publishing Co. Shone, Ronald 1985 ”Advanced Autohypnosis”, Great Britian: Thorson Publishers Ltd. Weiss, Brian MD ”Through time into Healing”, New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc. White, John 1979 ”Kundalini Evolution and Enlightment”, New York: Paragon House
Glossary: chakras: sanscrit word for junctions of nerve plexus extended out from the spinal column considered to be wheels of psychic energy karma: sanscrit word for natual law of cause and effect which governs matter; psychic inheritance brought forth from former life times which shape our fate and destiny karma: sanscrit word for passionless peace and freedom of soul from worldly attachment.