7: Hypnotic Regression
"At the back of my life‘s horizon, where the dreamings of past lives crowd." - D.H. Lawrence
"The unconscious psyche believes in life after death" - Carl Jung
There have been many individuals who, while under hypnosis, have, either deliberately or spontaneously, started talking about themselves in a previous life. There is much controversy about the veracity of these sessions, but some of them have in fact produced verifiable details that the subject in their waking life had no idea about. In some cases, they have even started talking in a language unknown to the subject in their current life.
The criticisms of the veracity of the hypnotic cases come primarily from laypeople and armchair critics who have no real knowledge of the power or validity of hypnotism, but who do not let that stop them from imagining that they know more about hypnotism than the professional hypnotists do.
It is the body of verifiable details provided in some of these sessions that make them worth relating, together with the fact that there has not been a corresponding volume of potentially verifiable material that turned out to be false. There are however, plenty of cases where the information was too vague to be specific one way or another, and so these cannot be counted as evidence one way or another, either
Watching a "sceptical scientist" commenting on such a case, and saying that it was "just the subconscious indulging in some acting, and definitely not a past life" was somewhat telling about his prejudices. Maybe the idea of past lives does not fit his particular view of how the world may work, but it is drawing rather a long bow for him to state categorically, as if he "knew better", that it was "definitely not a past life". How can he know that for sure? Where is his evidence? This kind of response is typical of hardened materialists
Hypnotic regression is just one of the forms of evidence that, on the face of it, points towards the reality of reincarnation. I am not aware of any specific evidence that suggests that reincarnation cannot occur. The materialist paradigm states that it cannot occur, but the materialist paradigm is far from proven, and the so-called evidence for it is simply speculation, and not looking in the right places. Unless somebody can produce some real evidence for the validity of the materialist paradigm, then nobody is in a position to say that a case suggestive of reincarnation cannot be that.
There are a number of web sites about past lfe hypnotic regression, including:
- The Hypnotic Regression page at The Institute for Afterlife Research;
- The Past Life Regression page at Hypnotic World;
- Past Life Exploration at North Shore Hypnosis.
My Google search referred to on the previous page also turned up some particularly fascinating interviews by Michael Newton, PhD, a professional hypnotherapist and the founder of The Newton Institute, who, despite being an atheist and wanting to stick in his hypnotic sessions only to "what was real", was drawn into doing investigations into hypnotic regression, not so much into past lives as into the spiritual realms between lives. He talks of regressing some 7000 subjects from all walks of life, who all told him the same thing. It was the consistency of their stories that convinced him, dragging him "kicking and screaming" as he calls it, into acceptance of the reality of the "Between Lives" state. He talks of it here (three different interviews of several parts each, but the three cover similar, although not identical, ground):
The best quote from Dr Michael Newton: "It does not matter whether a person is deeply religious, or an atheist, or anywhere in between. Once they are in deep hypnosis, they all tell me the same story about the spirit world." (It provides evidential support for the quote from Carl Jung at the top of this page.)
There is also an article here, briefly describing Dr Newton’s findings.