In her past-life regression (PLR) course, Michele Guzy invited Natalie Gianelli to channel the wisdom of Dr. Peebles, a historical figure who died in 1922. In the AHA pay-per-view course, the discussion of our era was fascinating: one participant asked about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Peebles clarified that humanity is learning that fear is ineffectual. The Middle East was a cauldron that attracted global attention, helping to focus that realization. I was intrigued by the degree to which this matched my own spiritual engagement.
Then Michele asked about past-life regression and its validity. Here again Dr. Peebles replied with insights that match my own experience. Spirit sees our lives as holes in Swiss cheese – not sequential but linked by proximity to the spiritual effort that manifests most powerfully in them. He predicted that in six years, hypnotherapists would begin guiding people into lives in both directions.
Given the correspondences noted above, my response was to consider this claim seriously. Two points seem important. First – if life progression is possible, why don’t we do it already? And secondly – what is it about the standard regression procedures that biases it toward the past?
In the first case, we do have procedures for progression. Cheryl O’Neil’s Metaphysical Imagery program includes a progression journey that took me 1000 years into the future. Such procedures are not satisfying in the context of Peebles’ teaching, however, for Peebles was suggesting that the therapeutic procedure must allow the subconscious to identify any and all lives relevant to the presenting issue.
And here the standard regression procedure is biased. The formulations walk the client back through this life and into their mother’s womb, back to the “Universal White Light” that harbors our soul between lives. While in principle our future death also leads into that white light, the regression back to the womb matches our evolutionary perspective. In the material realm, problems manifest in the past and inspire solutions in the future. And our religious teachings also tend to that perspective: in the traditions of Abraham, original sin lies in the past, redemption in the future. In the Vedic traditions (including Buddhism), karma comes forward from the past, and enlightenment lies in the future.
Conversely, near-death experiences (NDEs) hold tantalizing hints that evolution unfolds through more complex temporal pathways. Common in NDEs is a realm of pure light, populated by those that cherish us and governed by our religious avatar. The future seems to reach back into the past, and we don’t need to die to witness its virtues. We just need to enter a profound hypnotic state – that being, of course, the most immediate consequence of a severe trauma (“The Worst is Over”, Acosta and Prager).
This brings me to my own process, formulated as an intern at the Hypnosis Motivation Institute upon receiving a pro bono submission requesting past-life regression. I hadn’t taken Guzy’s certification course, and so had only my dim memories of the first-semester PLR lecture to draw upon. Driving home I idly constructed the outline below. The pro bono client didn’t respond to my phone calls, but by serendipity one of my clients asked for PLR in his next session. I thought “What the heck?” and took him through two lives in the one-hour session using the protocol below.
My client was mature and seeking to understand wanderlust, rather than to resolve a phobia or body syndrome. The lives were peaceful and productive. That will not always be so, and by those doing this work routinely, the protocol below must be enhanced with anchors to facilitate return to the hypnotist’s context should overwhelming trauma be encountered.
In the cognitive portion of the session, probe the motivations for PLR. An avatar is selected to represent the virtues sought. The induction is followed by a brief imagery journey:
Walking on the shady side of a hill along a meadow just out of sight. Voices of friends and family drift in and out of hearing but being firmly on the path “from where you were to where you are going,” the journey continues onwards and upwards. As the way rises, a cloud settles from above, the mist enveloping comfortably while growing gently luminous. All sense of time and place fades.
Finally, the path rises through the mist and opens onto a dimly lit hilltop. All along the hilltop are mementos of this life: cherished possessions and experiences, as though walking through a kaleidoscope. Stepping finally onto clear ground, visible above the mist in all directions are other hilltops, with possessions and experiences representing other lives.
In viewing those hilltops, a spark leaps to alertness in the heart and mind – a spark that seems somehow to be present on those other hilltops.
Then the avatar strides out of the mist from the other side of the hill. Walking forward in greeting, all the virtues of the avatar settle around the client. The avatar posts itself alongside, as though a guardian.
And something seems to call – something familiar. Familiar not to flesh but to the eternal spark. Something calls from out of the mist and while the flesh cannot touch it the spark within yearns to grasp it. It is something that a child would cherish. The yearning grows stronger and stronger until it is overwhelming, and then, knowing that the material self is safely guarded, the spirit slips free and reaches down and is pulled, pulled, pulled through the mist.
And then you are there, holding it. You open your eyes and look at your feet. What do you see? And what are you holding?