Past Life Therapy and Regression

by Dan on January 7, 2010

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When in Borders, the section I most find myself in the New Age/Metaphysical section. Lately I’ve noticed more and more books dealing with reincarnation, and how it affects us today. There’s past life regression, past life therapy, time line therapy, and all these practices to improve our current life experiences.

I’m going to explain why I think this is all a bad idea.

For one thing, we can never actually be sure that reincarnation even exists. It may, or it may not. Having a visualization of you in the Civil War or in Ancient China could be a valid memory, or it could simply be some intense self hypnosis.

Maybe you stare into a spirituality partner’s eyes for a while and can find a joined memory. Is it legitimate? Maybe, or maybe it is just you two complementing each other’s experience. It’s also perfectly possible that you two could have a telepathic connection to build this fantasy, without the fantasy necessarily being correct itself.

But suppose it is true. Suppose you were in a past life, and you did some awful things, or some awful things were done to you. Can it actually help you in this world? I don’t think so.

My reasons against past life therapy are the same for my reasons against childhood regression hypnosis, and investigative therapy into your formative years.

When you look deep into your past in order to improve yourself, you’re really just asking two questions:

“Why am I fucked up?”

and

“Why am I going to have a really hard time fixing this issue?”

Looking into the past, you give your ego more reasons to keep you locked in indecision, action paralysis, and low self esteem.

This is why I’m a big fan of the Release Technique. You don’t actually need to know any of the why’s. You just need to know the HOW. You let go of wanting approval, control, and safety, as well as your other problematic emotions, and everything’s taken care of.

All your problems exist in the Now. If you’re scared of snakes, it means you are scared of them right now. If you don’t want to get married because you’ll feel trapped, it means you associate marriage with a loss of freedom RIGHT NOW.

So maybe you could remember the first time you believed that marriage was a trap. It could have been something you heard in the crib, or something that happened in 1812. It really doesn’t matter either way. All that matters is you let go of the connection through EFT, releasing, or anything else that helps clear you up.

I think there is a place for introspection, but it should be present-based only. Like I said, realizing that the idea of marriage reminds you of a cage, is a fair observation to make. But that’s all you need, to see that your ego thinks “Marriage = Cage.” That’s it.

Looking into childhood or past lives can make you feel better sometimes because it can “let you off the hook.” It becomes something outside of your control, that happened to you. It may feel like relief to you, but it’s very disempowering. You take the standpoint of a victim which just isn’t healthy.

Stay in the Now, and resolve your issues as they appear today.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Stephen January 15, 2010 at 5:53 am

I share your skepticism about so-called “past life memories”, even though I’m inclined to believe some kind of reincarnation might happen. When New-Agers claim to remember their past lives, everyone claims to have been Cleopatra but no one claims to have cleaned her toilets. ;-)

However, I disagree with this: “You don’t actually need to know any of the why’s. You just need to know the HOW.”

No. The “how” is inseparable from the “why”.

And “the now” is an illusion. All that we know, is the past, even if it was just a split-second ago. We live forward; Man’s nature is teleological; but everything we know and are is based 100 percent on memory of the past.

However, although you can’t change the past, you have the freedom to change your relationship to the past. But you don’t have the freedom to ignore the past.

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