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Past life regression Hinduism

Updated on June 30, 2017

Past life regression or past life regression therapy is based on the ancient Hindu principle that advocates the duality of existence. The body as we know it is divided into two components, the temporal body or the physical body and the soul or the spiritual matter within the body. The former is driven by corporeal demands while the latter is driven by spiritual demands. The former remains in existence of a lifetime while the latter remains for the duration of all time or is eternal.

Past life regression therapy is based on the principle that once the physical body dies, the astral body or the soul migrates and occupies a new body and therefore it retains the memories of its past existence and according to the theory any unexplained pain, niggles or illnesses that we suffer in the present life can be attributed to the injuries we sustained or incurred in our past life and therefore by confronting those memories or by coming to terms with them we can do away with the pains, niggles and illnesses that we suffer in the present life. This is the most common reason why people resort to the therapy.

Before I go any further it is worth mentioning that an existing illness can exacerbate a new illness. Two illnesses can operate in tandem and a previous illness that is still operating can increase the severity of a new illness. Let’s look at an example. In the case of Heil v Rankin and another (2000) the plaintiff was a dog handler with the police force and in 1987 he was exposed to a serious crime which left him deeply scarred. In 1993, he was involved in another incident with the defendant which was minor compared to the incident that he was involved in, in 1987, but the injury he sustained as a result of the new incident was aggravated or exacerbated by the previous illness and as a result he was no longer able to continue with the police force.

While in the above instance the previous illness occurred in the safe lifetime, the illnesses and injuries that past life regression therapy aims to remedy are illnesses or injuries which occurred in a previous life. It is based on the notion that the soul upon migration to a new body, retains the memories of it past illnesses or injuries and those memories manifest as pains and niggles in the present body.

In order for a person who suffers from the past life illness or injury (the subject) to be cured of the effects of the illness or injury, the subject has to remember the past incident that resulted in the illness or the injury or be made to recollect the incident by taking a trip back in time.

The most common method of doing this, in western circles anyway, is through hypnosis. The reader however must be cautioned that hypnosis is not without its dangers. In Gates v Mckenna (1998) the defendant who was a hypnotist was conducting a show on stage and in order to exhibit his skills he asked for help from members of the audience. The plaintiff volunteered and as a result of being subjected or exposed to hypnosis became a schizophrenic.

The reason this happens and can happen again is because no two persons are alike and the moment a hypnotist starts navigating through a person’s memories there is no telling what he or she will uncover and there is no way to predict how the subject will react. The impact of bringing to light past memories that have been repressed by the passage of time can be too much for the subject to bear and as a result he or she may succumb to a new psychological or psychosomatic illness.

It is also possible to regress too far back in time and the subject may take on a new personality, entirely separate and distinct from the subject’s present personality like in the alternate personalities of Jensen Jacoby and Gretchen Gottlieb that suddenly appeared during hypnosis (we have looked at these cases in the past). Hence it is fair to surmise that hypnosis despite yielding some unexpected results is not without dangers.

So, is there a way to bring these past memories back safely? The answer in short is yes but it is slow and requires repeated and diligent work. The subject starts with yoga, a process which allows the subject to come to terms with both the physical aspect and the spiritual aspect of existence and then moves on to meditation. During the meditative process, the subject regresses slowly back in time and gradually explores the unexplored facets of the human mind that store all past and present memories.

© 2017 Kathiresan Ramachanderam and Dyarne Jessica Ward

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