Reincarnation from a Western Medical Perspective: Past Life Regression Therapy Research
Eastern and Western thought differ greatly and are culturally driven. Although the general populace of Western countries does not talk about reincarnation much, it is studied in great detail by Western researchers. At the same time, Eastern cultures embrace the concept of reincarnation and embody it in their culture. However, whether one has an Eastern or a Western mind set there is still much to learn about gaining and losing virtue and the relationship of karma as told through the concepts of reincarnation. This paper explores Eastern thought about reincarnation, Western research on Past Life Regression Therapy, and the teachings of Mr. Li Hongzhi.
Reincarnation permeates Chinese culture. It is discussed by various scholars and is ingrained in the psyche of the Chinese people. This belief reflects in attitude, behaviour, outlook, and interactions of the Chinese people in regards to relationships, personal beliefs, and philosophical and religious wisdoms. The theme of reincarnation is even represented in artistry, such as in poems and songs. It is often metaphorically compared with the winds in springtime and the rains in autumn. At times, the populace speaks of it with such passion that it becomes slightly overrated. It is also unimportant whether one sees it as overrated or miraculous. To the present day Chinese, it represents continuity, survival, and spiritual sustenance, and it is the foundation for the morality of the nation. The beliefs behind reincarnation weave through the national consciousness and everyone listens to it without ill intent, and finds no harm in the subject. Philosophically, reincarnation sustains the soul of the people and teaches the importance of virtue. Did Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa not state in his writings that virtue gained in one life will bring fortune and happiness in the next life, and virtue lost will bring tribulations during this or the next life? Did Mr. Li not also tell us that in the olden days people talked about virtue lost or gained for future generations? Doesn’t the cultivator of an orthodox Fa understand that, for a cultivator, virtue gained is the foundation to increase cultivation energy? Can one not learn from Mr. Li’s writings that an ordinary being that is virtuous, may gain great fortune or a high-level position in the next life?
People who lived through the Cultural Revolution have forgotten these concepts. But, at the same time it is again gaining acceptance among the Chinese populace, so many from the older generation are reminding the younger ones of the importance of gaining and losing virtue. Also, due to the ease in which one can intermingle with other nationalities, by travelling or reading about other cultures, the Chinese people know that reincarnation is not a concept that is widely accepted among Christians and those of Western origin. What is most astounding is that in North America, where concepts are greatly influenced by the scientific way of life and where reincarnation is not something discussed among the general populace, medical research about the phenomenon of reincarnation has been ongoing for a number of years. Throughout the Western hemisphere, it is widely accepted for universities and regional organizations to conduct parapsychological research. There are presently five Universities studying paranormal subjects, i.e., Princeton University (USA), the University of Edinburgh (Great Britain), the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands), the University of Freiburg (Germany) and the University of Virginia (USA). Many students have gained Ph.D.s through their research in related subject matter, and the academic face of psychical research is constantly changing. These researchers have found ample proof that reincarnation is not a myth and have convincingly stated that reincarnation is a true state of human existence. Thus, people’s minds are changing and can begin to accept with much more ease those truths which cannot be seen with the human eye or perceived with the human senses. Doesn’t Mr. Li state, “Humankind will make a leap forward if it can take a fresh look at itself and the universe, changing its rigid mindset (Zhuan Falun).” Such changes are happening and the human mind is opening in other directions rather than solely being dictated by the rigidities of today’s science.
Reincarnation studies are a type of medical/parapsychology research which generally fall under the qualitative research method. Such research has no formulated hypotheses, though hypotheses may emerge while conducting the study. Purposive samples are selected rather than random samples, and the sample sizes are generally relatively small. The results are mainly presented in words that emphasize the understanding of the purposive sample study. It is however a subjective study and characterized by the researchers’ awareness of the biases which might affect the collection and interpretation of the data. The reincarnation research efforts that we have studied fall generally into two categories. The first category being children who remember a past life or lives and the second category is of patients who have a past life or lives recall through hypnosis in regression therapy sessions.
Dr. Ian Stevenson, M.D., Professor of Research at the University of Virginia, Department of Psychiatric Medicine, Division of Personality Studies (DOPS), is a leading researcher in the subject of reincarnation. The DOPS research was made possible through an endowment of an Eminent Scholars Chair and a large bequest from the estate of the late Priscilla Woolfan. DOPS states that its “main purpose is the scientific investigation of phenomena that suggest that currently accepted scientific assumptions and theories about the nature of mind or consciousness and its relationship to matter may be erroneous. Examples of such phenomena, sometimes called paranormal, include claimed memories of previous lives and the like.” This statement clearly agrees with much of what Mr. Li has written and spoken about. Doesn’t Mr. Li state, “In order to explore this domain, humankind must fundamentally change its conventional thinking (Zhuan Falun).” Is such research not a step in the right direction?
Dr. Ian Stevenson’s research efforts focus on scientific proof of parapsychological events, such as reincarnation. Dr. Stevenson has travelled the world for over thirty-seven years to investigate, document, collect, test, and verify cases of people, mainly children, who remember “past lives, and who had birthmarks or birth defects that corresponded to wounds, usually fatal, on the person whose life was remembered.” Dr. Stevenson, now in his eighties, collected thousands of records of children aging from two to seven years old who reside in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Surprisingly, it was found that memories of past lives often fade around the age of seven. The children will speak spontaneously of previous lives, want to be taken back “home,” long for mothers and husbands from another life, and often show signs of a phobia that is unusual for the current respective family or not explainable by current life events. In addition, they know things that they could not have learned or heard about during their present life. Amazingly, the children’s statement can be verified with real life or death events in many cases. Dr. Stevenson writes, “Often, these children speak of people and events from previous lives – not vague lives of centuries ago, but lives of specific, identifiable individuals, who are often completely unknown to the child’s family and live in a different town or a different part or another country.” However, some children also seem to recall prior lives that happened decades ago. Most amazingly, Dr. Stevenson found children who could speak other languages. Each event was carefully recorded, meticulously researched and verified by Dr. Stevenson’s committee. Dr. Stevenson published a number of books in which he recorded many of these amazing findings, such as: “Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation,” “Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects,” “Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect,” and “Cases of the Reincarnation Type; Volumes I (India), II (Sri Lanka), IV (Lebanon and Turkey) and IV (Thailand and Burma).” In his book on Birthmarks, Dr. Stevenson reported on more than 200 cases. The children described in detail their deaths in previous lives, such as being killed by a bullet or pierced by a sharp instrument. “The birthmarks often corresponded to wounds or other marks on the deceased person whose life the child remembered.” Professor Stevenson was able to find the related post mortem medical reports and could thus confirm the accuracy of the respective child’s recollection.
The other type of research, mentioned earlier is based on an individual being hypnotised by a psychotherapists, as to recall memories of previous lives. Actually, 'hypnotise' does not describe the process for recalling prior lives. It is in reality an advanced technique called “Past Life Regression Therapy (PRL).” Under PRL the subject does not fall asleep and the brain waves are different from those under a sleeping condition. Furthermore, with respect to brain waves, some psychotherapists can induce the subject to be in a different conscious state than under the traditional hypnotic condition. This condition is more analogous to the meditative tranquil state reached by practitioners in the Buddha or Dao schools of cultivation. It is known that under the condition of focused consciousness, the subjects can contact their deeper consciousness. They can then experience the past, while the present consciousness remains active. They can even remember prior lives from centuries ago. Though we wish to note that PRL is a highly controversial subject and one finds heated arguments for and against it in the scientific community. David Quigley states that he found in his academic and experimental research with PRL “huge volumes of data that would prove to any legitimate scientist that many “past life” memories area based on real historic people and events.” Then he quotes Helen Wambach’s seminal research work (Reliving Past Lives), Marge Rieder’s Mission to Marlboro and Ian Stevenson’s 30-case study of reincarnation. He then continues with “Those who continue to deny this may present themselves as scientific, in reality, they are trapped in an irrational dogma, comparable to the beliefs of those church “scholars” in the 16th Century who maintained their belief in an earth-centered solar system.”
Dr. Brian Weiss, M.D., traditional psychotherapist, graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School and Chairman Emeritus of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, is probably one of the most well known researchers using PRL. After graduating from Yale, he lectured at Pittsburgh University and Miami University. During the eighties, when he took office as Chairman Emeritus of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Centre, Dr Weiss had already published more than forty scholarly papers. As a scholar of formal education, he did not pay any attention to parapsychology. He had no knowledge of, and, was not in the least interested in reincarnation. Dr. Weiss’s first book, 'Many Lives, Many Masters' sold two million copies, and was translated into more than twenty languages. The Chinese version is known as 'Previous Existence, This Life” and was very well received in Taiwan. The abstract to this book states that “Psychiatry and metaphysics blend together in … who was once firmly entrenched in a clinical approach to psychiatry, finds himself reluctantly drawn into past-life therapy when a hypnotized client suddenly reveals details of her previous lives.….. introduces spirit guides who have been her soul therapists in between lives….”
Dr. Weiss reveals in his book “Many Lives, Many Masters” the history of one of his patients, Catherine, who was about thirty years of age at the time of therapy. She came to his office with acute symptoms that included panic attacks and anxiety. One year of traditional psychotherapy from Dr. Weiss did nothing to relieve the problems. She was claustrophobic and yet refused any medication. Reluctantly, Catherine finally agreed to hypnotherapy. Dr Weiss felt that Catherine's condition could be related to repressed memories from her childhood. He believed that if Catherine could recall these events under hypnosis it might cure her problems and free her from those memories. She might recover fully from her illness. Though Catherine did recall some bad memories from her childhood, she still did not recover. Therefore, Dr Weiss decided to regress her further back in her childhood. During one of the therapy sessions when Catherine was in a hypnotic state, Dr. Weiss said to her: 'Go back to the time when your symptoms first appeared.' Dr. Weiss did not expect what happened next. Catherine said, 'I see a flight of white steps leading to a building with pillars. The front is very spacious, with no porch. I am wearing a long skirt, a kind of robe made of rough cloth. My blonde hair is plaited.' Dr. Weiss could not relate to this information and thus asked her what year it was and what her name was. 'Aranda, eighteen years of age. The year is 1863 BC. The land is barren, hot and there is sand everywhere. There is a well and no river. The water flows from the mountain into the valley.'
Catherine had regressed to a period of about four thousand years ago in the Middle East. Her name was not the same and her appearance was different from that of today. Her facial features, body, hair and clothes were not that of her present day appearance. She remembered the related terrain, dress and personal adornments and the details of daily life until her moment of her death in a flood, in which her child was torn from her arms. She even recalled that after her death her soul floated above her body. It was not surprising that during this treatment, Catherine had recollection of another two prior lives. One of her lives was that of an eighteenth century prostitute in Spain. The other recollection was that of a woman in Greece in the era before Christ. Dr. Weiss was stunned by these revelations. He knew that Catherine had not shown the symptoms similar to those with multiple or split personalities and that she was not on drugs. Dr. Weiss found that during hypnosis she seemed to be in a dreamlike state. Most remarkable was that Catherine’s health improved. Dr. Weiss also understood that neither illusions nor dreaming could have such an effect. During follow-up therapy sessions, Catherine remembered more than ten lives. She experienced all those events, including the fears and happiness that controlled her present day behavior. Catherine became to accept, understand and conquer what had driven her present day destructive behavior, gradually outgrew all fears and gained peacefulness within. During hypnosis, Catherine also discovered that people who were part of her past lives had been part of other lifetimes, including this lifetime. For example, Dr. Weiss was once her teacher, a boyfriend she had married, and he also had killed her during a war between tribes, when she had reincarnated as a boy. The relationship during this lifetime was not a very pleasant one either. Isn’t this the scientific proof of what Mr. Li Hongzhi told his disciples? Mr. Li said that people reincarnate in groups, to repay debts or share happiness, though not necessarily in the same roles or at the same ages as during prior lives. Isn’t this again conclusive evidence of all what Mr. Li shared with his disciples?
Dr. Weiss heard much more during PRL sessions with Catherine and gained thus insights into the mysteries of human existence. Catherine recalled that at the time of her death, her zhu yuan shen (main spirit) would always hover above her body, and then be called back to the spirit world by a “compassionate light.” During these sessions she also made contact with spirit supervisors. These advanced beings could even communicate with and send spiritual messages to Dr. Weiss through Catherine. During such a state, Catherine understood and learned much more than she could during her lifetime as a human. Even, Dr. Weiss’s suspicions gradually disappeared and his belief in the afterlife became stronger. During one such therapy session, she experienced her death many centuries ago. As her zhu yuan shen left her body she was led to a familiar spiritual light. This is what message she had for Dr. Weiss: “Your father is here, and so is your son, he is a very young boy. Your father says you should know him; his name is Avrom and your daughter got her name from him. He died from heart disease. Your son’s heart was also very important too, because it is reversed, just like the heart of a chicken. He had sacrificed a lot for you because he loved you. His spirit is from a very high level, and his death had paid off the debt owed by his parents. He would also like you to know that medicine can work only to certain extent, which is extremely limited.” This message is so much like what Mr. Li Hongzhi has said. Mr. Li notes, “Hospitals are still able to heal illnesses, but their means of treatment belong to the level of everyday people while illnesses are supernatural. Some illnesses are quite serious, and so hospitals require early treatment if one has such an illness. If it becomes too serious, hospitals will be helpless, as overdoses of medicine can poison a person. Present medical treatments are at the same level as our science and technology—they are all at the level of everyday people. Thus, they only have such healing efficacy (Zhuan Falun).”
Dr. Weiss was thunderstruck. Catherine did not know him very well, and she knew nothing about his family. The greatest sorrow of his life was the death of his first-born son, just 10 days after being born. His heart condition was life threatening and the chance of having this illness is one in ten million. Shortly after being born, the boy was diagnosed with this heart disease. He died 23 days after being born. Weiss’s father died from a myocardial infarction. His name was Avrom. Weiss’s daughter was born 4 months after Weiss’s father passed away, and was named Amy in memory of Weiss’s father. As Catherine and Dr. Weiss did not have a personal relationship, she could not have known any of this. Dr. Weiss was taken aback. Who could have told her this information? Therefore, he asked Catherine: “Who was there? Who told you this?” “It is those masters.” She responded tenderly, “The spiritual Masters told me this. They also told me that I have lived in the human world 86 times.”
Catherine’s treatments and subsequent cure made a deep impression on Dr. Weiss. He became thus a believer in psychological treatment through PRL. Dr. Weiss and many other doctors who treat patients through PRL found that fears and illnesses more often than not stem from events in prior lives. In preparing and guiding the patient via PRL to prior lives was found to positively impact the grieving process. Thus, the patient was able to understand the driving force behind certain behavioral patterns and could thus change accordingly. Doctors found that by regressing to a given prior life and by re-experiencing the pain from that time the patient could let go of a grief or grudge held for centuries. The burden held by the soul was lifted and did not longer affect the present existence of the person.
Four years after the therapy sessions with Catherine, Dr. Weiss found enough courage to risk loosing his scholar status by writing his first book about reincarnation and telling people about the immortality of the soul. During subsequent years, Dr. Weiss cured several hundreds of patients through regression therapy. The patients came from different levels in society and were of different religious background (including atheists). Dr. Weiss published a book in which he detailed a number of these cases, “Through Time into Healing.” The publisher states that, “Dr. Weiss wrote this book based on his extensive clinical experience. He builds on the time-tested techniques for psychotherapy, revealing how regression to past lifetimes provides the necessary breakthrough to healing mind, body and soul. Dr. Weiss ultimately shows how near death and out of body experiences help confirm the existence of past lives.”
Another of Dr. Weiss’s patients, Elaine, suffered from occasional neck, shoulder and upper back pains, and her greatest phobia was her fear of heights. This is what she said during PRL, “I see darkness, and I realize that I have been blindfolded. Then, I see myself outdoors. I stand at the top of a Tower, one built with rocks and used as a fort. My hands are bound behind my back. I am about 20, and a soldier belonging to the side that lost. Then I feel a great pain in my back. I feel that I am biting my teeth tightly, my arms are stiff, my fists clenched. I had been stabbed, I can feel that I am pierced from the back, but I refused to show any emotions. I did not make any sounds. Then I feel that I am falling, and then I feel submerged under water.” Some time after the therapy she said: “I was always scared of heights and floods. After I woke up from the hypnosis, I was still shivering, and was in extreme pain for the next few days. I was unable to touch my face because it was extremely painful. But after I woke up the next morning, I found that there were some changes, very major changes.' She found that her back pain and fear of heights had disappeared. During the follow-on treatments, Elaine experienced a lifetime during the Middle Ages in France. She was a poor man in his twenties. Although he was innocent, he was accused of a crime and given the death penalty. He was hung in public. After recalling this lifetime, her neck pain disappeared.
There are so many amazing recoveries. For example, Dan was a business manager in his late thirties. He and his girlfriend Mary Lou were deeply in love. However, Mary Lou flirted with other men after drinking alcohol. Although she had not been unfaithful or done anything improper, her behavior often made Dan extremely angry. At times he fell into a rage and lost all his proper reasoning. During PRL Dan regressed to a number of life times and saw with consternation what he had done. He said: “I was stabbing her with a long knife. She was unfaithful to me so I killed her in great anger.” The incident happened between the seventh and eighth century when he was an Islamic warrior. Dan also killed Mary Lou in two other previous lives. He abandoned her, because of poverty or of being in trouble, during several prior lives. They both also played other roles, such as family members, friends and enemies, and sometimes their sexes and roles were reversed. Dan recognized and learned from his past destructive behavior and his anger was replaced by understanding and love. The Chinese people have many sayings, such as, “People who are not enemies won’t gather.” This is quite reasonable. The purpose for gathering is to redress past wrongs or repay a favor received. If one is unable to right the wrong or repay the favor during the next lifetime, one will meet again during subsequent lifetimes. Metaphorically speaking, isn’t it just like students who repeatedly take tests, before finally passing them? Since Dan found the causes of his fury and anger through PRL, he was able to change his behavior and he most likely will not repeat what brought the two together in this lifetime.
Dr. Weiss also recounted a regression session done by another doctor, Dr. Robert Jarmon. The patient was a young business manager. He exhibited a rather strange behavior during full moon. He would become more and more anxious and then terrified. He said during PRL: “They are about to catch us. We must be very cautious. Tonight there is a full moon.” During PRL he remembered one prior life as an American soldier. He was captured while on active duty, battling the Germans in Europe during World War II. His last memory was that of being shot from the back by a German soldier while he was facing a river, looking at the reflection of the moonlight on the surface of the river. The patient even recalled his name and the time, place and college he attended. His wife searched the records of that time, based on his recollection and found that there was indeed such a person who graduated from that college, except the time was off by one year. This patient no longer exhibited his strange behavior after this PRL session.
Dr. Weiss told of many successes of this type of therapy in his books. Many of his and other doctors’ patients no longer appeared to exhibit the same behavior and no longer experienced symptoms after causes were found during regression therapy. Some causes were from the present life time, but the majority of causes were found to be from prior lives. Dr. Weiss’s was amazed at what he heard during the PRL sessions, how this recollection had affected the lives of patients, and how it changed the future of his patients. Dr. Weiss also found that he could recall prior lives during times of great inner peace and calmness. These memories of past lives occasionally flashed through his mind and he could visualize them. It was like in a movie. During one of his lives, he was a high priest with great powers. He was certain that he was that priest. He looked into the priest’s eyes and understood what this man thought and also his feelings. He wore a colorful robe and stood outside a building not of this era. While observing the environment, he heard the word “Ziggurat” in his mind. But he did not understand the meaning of the word. This High Priest had been idealistic when young, however, as his power grew, his good inborn nature changed and he hungered for fame and gain. He was also not immune to lust. He apparently regretted deeply his self-centered behavior on his deathbed, as he suddenly realized that everything was for naught, and that he couldn’t take his power or wealth with him. Yet, it was too late for him to regret for wasting his opportunities during that life. Shortly after, while resting at night, Dr. Weiss remembered the word “Ziggurat.” Surprisingly, he found it in the encyclopedia.
One can find on the Internet the description of a Ziggurat. “Ziggurat is a Sumerian word given by the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians to their temples around 2200 until 500 BC. The word means 'terraced pyramid,' and ziggurats were precursors to the Egyptian pyramids. Found in many ancient Mesopotamian cities, ziggurats were step-shaped, representing the ascent into the heavens where the gods reigned. The outside was constructed of materials that were resistant to the elements, and the terraces were often landscaped with shrubs and trees.” The most well known Ziggurat’s are the, Ziggurat of Marduk (Tower of Babel) and the ziggurat of Ur-Nammu.
During another lifetime, in the Middle Ages, Dr. Weiss was a prisoner in a region that is known today as Europe. He was imprisoned in a dungeon because he promoted what were considered at the time “blasphemies”. Specifically, he talked about reincarnation, which meant that humans lived prior lives. He died after several days of ruthless torture. Isn’t it surprising that again in this life, Dr. Weiss researches and discusses reincarnation and speaks about prior lives? None of this is strange or unbelievable to a cultivator of the orthodox universal law. Isn’t it surprising that when the orthodox law is taught in public that such research comes to light?
Dr. Weiss’s third book, 'Only Love Is Real' describes how two people meet during many lifetimes and how they meet again in this lifetime. Two people of different sex came at about the same time to Dr. Weiss for therapy. They both had never met and yet, Dr. Weiss found to his surprise that both spoke of similar events during RPL. The man recalled his life as a Jew who lived in Jerusalem, and excelled in making earthenware. He recalled that Roman soldiers dragged him to death. He died in his daughter’s arms. The woman recalled the same event, but through the eyes of the man’s daughter. Generally, Dr. Weiss had seen married couples and their family members with shared memories. It was fascinating to have two patients, total strangers, recalling the same events and a shared life. Given the ethical restrictions of his profession, Dr. Weiss was unable to disclose to either one the other’s story. However, he arranged a meeting in his office to acquaint them with each other. Dr. Weiss at no time violated his professional ethics. Yet, life’s events are surprising. Did Mr. Li Hongzhi not tell his disciples that all human lives are pre-arranged based on karmic events from past lives? Both were ready to return to their respective homes after the completion of their therapy sessions. They went to the airport to catch different flights. Fate intercepted. One person’s flight was cancelled because of an accident. This person was able to get a seat on the same flight. They met again, continued their conversation, kept seeing each other, fell in love and got married. Nothing is coincidental in this world. The script has already been written. One will not get what he/she asks for until the proper time. When it is time, the predestined event will occur, and one cannot avoid it.
Dr. Weiss is not the only past-life therapist to cure patients by using hypnosis. Dr. Bryan Jameison had done similar research and conducted past-life therapy sessions since the late sixties. One evening in 1968, when Dr. Jameison was driving home, he heard one of his esteemed colleagues on the radio discussing the subject of reincarnation. Somehow, this discussion raised Dr. Jameison’s interest in this subject. Then, fate intercepted again. He met a lady at a party who was an experienced hypnotist. She used hypnotism for past life regressions. About one week later, Dr. Jameison invited that woman to his house, as he and a friend wanted to experience PRL. Dr. Jameison recalled during his first PRL that he was a blacksmith, living around 1550. He lived in Holland, and was very slow-witted. The most memorable moment he recalled was when, at the age of 37, he ate a good meal. He was too poor to marry anyone, and was too clumsy to know how to live a good life. He died in an accident at the age of 38. He remembered his surprise that, although he had died, he was still alive. He floated and could see beneath him. Then he rose towards a wonderful light.
From then on, Dr. Jameison began to study hypnotism and became an internationally recognized pioneer in the field of past-life therapy. A book review of Dr. Jameison’s books indicated that “during the course of his career he explored 73 of his own former lives, facilitated more than 25,000 regressions, trained nearly 2,000 past-life therapists, delivered more than 600 lectures and appeared as guest on numerous radio and television programs. He stated, “Through regression one can see how much each incarnation is not merely an isolated event, but is rather an integral part of a much greater whole.” Therefore, he wanted to be able to help others to become a whole person through PRL and to be able to live life fully. He was very nervous when he hypnotized someone for the first time, even though the session went very well. Moreover, his test patient was very satisfied with the results. To learn and understand more about PRL he tested his hypnosis skills on a number of people, whom he called his hypnotism testers. He observed the testers during PRL and metaphorically thought that it was like watching a piece of clay dry out. Jameison experimented and found a method that allowed PRL through non-hypnotic past-life regression. It is where the patient induces his own state of tranquility that then allows for PRL. Soon all of Dr. Jameison’s volunteer testers could not be used for any further testing. Fortunately, it was during a time when being a “hippy” was popular. Many hippies idled around the radio station where Dr. Jameison worked. Among them, many were interested in becoming Dr. Jameison’s testers. Surprisingly, he found one common aspect among all the hippies. All of them had either been American Indians, or had lived in the mid or late 19th century America. These hippies’ living styles had many similarities with that of the ancient American Indians. However, the most startling discovery was that the white people who had killed them were either their mother or father in this lifetime. That makes me think of what Chinese parents say to their children when they become angry, “You evil creature.” I’m sure if they did not have the slightest idea that what they said could have held a corn of truth. If they had known, they would not have lost their temper.
At the beginning of his research, Dr. Jameison wanted to find that there was truth in what he heard, and that these were real past lives. Therefore, he researched the PRL information of his testers. He found in many instances that what he heard was the truth. The majority of his first subjects did not believe in reincarnation. However, as all of them spoke of their past lives in a sleep-induced state, Dr. Jameison did not believe that they made up what he heard. He also found that after PRL most of them were no longer afraid of death. He found that for most of his subjects PRL had a positive effect on their way of thinking. They became much more positive and did not view life as a chore. Even some of his subjects were no longer afraid of becoming sick and felt no longer depressed. Therefore, from that time onwards, Dr. Jameison concentrated on the study of past life therapy. He accumulated 30 years of experience. In his latest book, The Search for Past Lives: Exploring Reincarnations' Mysteries & the Amazing Healing Power of Past-life Therapy, Dr. Jameison presented 300 cases.
Isn’t it funny? I used to enjoy reading southern Mainland China’s authors’ who made up stories during the 1960’s. However, I must admit, none of their novels were more dramatic than these cases. Certainly, Dr. Jameison presented the most interesting cases in his books. He told of the search by his patients to find meaning in their lives, and the reason of their anxieties, fearfulness, depression, anger, etc. He showed how he gave his patients the tools to find the source of their problems. His words showed the moments of truth when the source of a problem was discovered in a previous life. He saw the emotions, sorrows and happiness. These past-life stories were similar to the climaxes of tragedies.
Dr. Jameison discussed an interesting case about a woman called Nancy. Ever since she could remember, she had felt guilty in being alive, although her family life was pleasant and without many problems. She had attempted suicide three times, but all had failed. She was always on the verge of committing suicide and yet, she could not imagine why. There was nothing in her present life that would make her susceptible to a death-wish. She agreed to past life regression therapy, though nothing significant was found during the first few sessions. However, she continued with her regression therapy as somehow both she and Dr. Jameison felt that they would finally find the cause for her compulsion to commit suicide. Then, as expected, she finally found the cause for her depressive moods. And surprisingly it was not so long ago. She recalled her life during the World War II. She was sixteen years old and getting ready to have dinner with her family. She vividly could see the Gestapo breaking into her house ordering her family to go with them. Her father protested and was killed. She, her mother, and younger brother were dragged down the stairs and pulled out into the street. Then, they were pushed into a truck. Her younger brother tried to run away and was killed. At that moment, she felt dizzy, saw the earth spinning around, and fainted. When she woke up, the truck had started to move. Later on, they were cramped with others into a train. Metaphorically speaking, it felt like sardines in a can. They ate, drank, soiled, vomited and urinated where they stood. After arriving at the train station, they were driven to a labor camp, like animals. Their hair was cut, and they were forced to put on prison garb and work as slaves. A few days later, one Nazi took her and another girl to a big house next to the labor camp. The Nazi asked them to take a shower, put on makeup and dress up, which made them to look more presentable. They were then forced to prostitute for the Nazis.
As she played the piano rather well, she was forced to provide musical entertainment for Nazi officers. A young Nazi fell in love with her, and even delivered flowers to her on one occasion. She was lonely, he was nice to her, and she started to seek his companionship and enjoy his company. She even imagined that she would live with him after the war. One day, while this Nazi took her to the yard of the forced camp, a lot of prisoners were waiting in the line to take showers. After the Nazi saw her curiosity, he told her that she was lucky because of him. These prisoners thought they were going to take a shower; instead, they were going to be sent to the gas chamber. At this moment, a woman turned around, and looked pleadingly at her with tears in her eyes. Nancy recognized her mother. When their eyes met, she was completely overwhelmed by unbearable pain and guilt. She felt dizzy. She could not free herself of the guilt for knowing that while her mother was going to be murdered, she was seeking the companionship of a Nazi. She finally committed suicide by cutting her wrist. While her life ebbed away she still felt guilty for abandoning her family and for associating with a Nazi. Under the guidance of Dr. Jameison, Nancy was able to let go of her guilt and come to peace. Not surprisingly, she no longer wanted to commit suicide. She also realized while listening to a replay of the particular regression therapy session that during this life, her younger brother from that life was her son, and her mother was her daughter.
There are so many amazing past-life regression stories. Some of them recounted dramatic events, while others are just every-day life happenings. One does not know what one will remember and how it will affect one’s future. And yet, most of those who agreed to undergo RPL were cured. More often than not their phobias, anxieties, anger, depressions and other symptoms disappeared. They found that often those who experienced the tragedy or other past-life event with them were still part of their life. They found that they could redress the wrongs they had done in a past life and understood better what drove their actions.
There was another case history which I remember vividly. It has to do with someone’s fear of birds. Most people are not afraid of birds and often find them beautiful and enjoyable to watch. And yet, Barbara was terribly afraid of birds and broke out in a sweat whenever she thought of or saw birds. However, she did not have this phobia in her youth. She began to be afraid of birds about twenty years ago, at the age of twenty-seven. She remembers the time that this phobia started vividly. She took a stroll on the beach with her friend. Her friend stretched out a hand with popcorn. One sea gull hovered down, and its wing swept over Barbara’s face slightly. The scene of “The white birds coming to get the food in gracefull flight” triggered her extreme fear. Since then, she would not leave her home or get out of a car, without checking carefully if there were any birds near by. Whenever she left her house she carried an umbrella to protect herself from birds that were flying low.
During past-life therapy she recalled that she was a white man who lived in the southwestern part of America at the end of 19th century. He was 27 years old. One day, after he got drunk, he raped an Indian girl. Once the victim’s family found out about this, they had several strong Indian men to seize him. They bound him tightly, took off his clothes, and threw him into the desert. They wanted him to die a horrible death. But before they left, they made a cut on his chest and abdomen. He bled a lot. Under the strong sunshine, he felt very hungry and thirsty, and became dehydrated rather quickly. He noticed several birds flying above him. After a while, one vulture landed on the ground next to him. His screams stopped the vulture from moving further, but the vulture immediately realized that he was unable to defend himself. He soon found that the first one and five other vultures landed next to him and began to peck his body. To his dismay, more and more vultures appeared. One large vulture started to gouge his eyes. He could no longer feel the birds pecking, gouging and pulling off meat, as he had died from the fright. Her phobia in this life started exactly at the age of 27. Although this past-life therapy helped Barbara to let to of her fear, she still wondered why she had such a painful experience. She understood instinctively that she had to pay for a debt from a prior life, but she wanted to understand and see what she had done to deserve such a death. Dr. Jameison agreed to continue with his past-life therapy. This time she lived in France during the time of religious intolerance. She was a male guard in the prison, in charge of torturing the so-called “enemies” of the church. He enjoyed gouging out the victims’ eyes.
I believe that the police in Mainland China’s prisons and labor camps should read these true past-life regression stories. This could be their “wake-up call.” How will they have to suffer for all the torture and evil deeds? How will all humans have to suffer for the misdeeds done during any of their lifetimes? An orthodox Fa practitioner will ponder if they will be allowed to reincarnate again, or will their souls have to suffer eternally? From these past-life cases one can see that one has to pay for ones actions, if not in the same life, then in another. The wrong done to another will have to be repaid, even if centuries go by. A practitioner is certain that all deeds are recorded. Gods will not miss anything, no matter how small or large. They will notice all wrongdoings, whether done in the light or in darkness. No one can hide before the eyes of the gods. There are so many different examples which clearly show that nothing goes unpunished. Mr. Li Hongzhi told his disciples that the elder Chinese are telling the young people, who just will not believe it, that one accumulates virtue or gives away virtue during ones lifetime. Do these case histories into past-life regression give ample prove that this saying is true?
Another of Dr. Jameison’s test persons was a noble woman in one of her previous lives. When she rode through the streets in a splendid cart, she looked down at the beggars on the roadside with disgust. For her, such people should not be allowed to live in this world. Her arrogance, insensitivity and callousness were given a lesson during her next life. She was born into a poor family, became not only a beggar, but also a foolish person who didn’t even know how to beg for food. People always feel conceited and believe that they are owed a given status in society. People pursue fame and profit without a thought as to whom they hurt in the process. Haven’t we seen from these case histories that “He who plants the melon may have been a noble and rich man in another life?” Isn’t it true that if one has the “virtue,” fame and profit will be granted? Why try so hard? Why pursue things which one is or isn’t entitled to? Any wrong action will have to be repaid. Dr. Jameison’s found that in one of his previous lives he persecuted people who believed in reincarnation. As a result, in this life, there are those who will belittle his efforts and who will viciously attack his research efforts. You will find, especially, Christians, many of whom do not believe in reincarnation, among those who will attack his research.
We all agree that the majority of past-life remembrances are sad and often distressing events. But people are still willing to undergo past-life therapy to find the cause of their problems. Many people seem to know unconsciously that what they are suffering in this life is due to their own actions from earlier in this life or from prior lives. People are waking up to the truth. Maybe this could be the beginning of people changing, becoming better, and thinking before they say or do something as to how it will affect those around them. Yes, it is still a small population who is changing. But by publishing these cases, others will find out and they will ponder upon the lessons and from these stories and hopefully they will learn from them. Mr. Li Hongzhi said that life after life the human suppresses or receives treatments for health problems or are unable to repay old debts. Couldn’t it be that some of these debts have not been paid for thousands of years? Though these memories also tell of good times, good deeds, and happiness. Recall often will allow one to understand ones mistakes and hopefully allow for redress of ones misdeeds. Relieving the pain one experienced in a prior life may bring closure and ease the confusions in this life. Similarly, experiencing love and happiness of a prior life may also ease the sadness and anxieties during this life.
Some of Dr. Jameison’s cases make one chuckle and yet they also may bring tears to the eyes. For example one of Dr. Jameison’s patients, a lady, missed her husband, who had passed away, and she hoped that she could find him in a prior life. She regressed to the earliest life they had lived together. She was disappointed at what she found. She regressed to a prehistoric period. It was a time when humans lived in caves. Her husband was so ugly. This was far from the romantic life that she expected. Yet, she saw the tenderness he held for her and in the things he did for her. Her husband brought animal carcasses to her, picked insects out of her hair, and saved her life from a vicious animal’s attack. She could feel the deepest love surrounding her and her husband. She found inner peace, could let go of her grief, continue life as a happy person, as she found that she and her husband would meet again during their next life.
Dr. Jameison often mentioned a “higher self” in his writings. He discussed that this “self” knows about predestined relationships and that they were formed during past lives. He understood instinctively that this “self” knows what will happen in this and the next life. Doesn’t that mean that people although living in the maze, have a “self” which is not in the maze? Doesn’t this mean that one side is oblivious to anything what happened before and will happen in the future, while there is one part of us which does know? Maybe, each human has “a self” in different levels and each “self” has different wisdom. Maybe, everybody has more than one soul, and some of the souls are not in the maze.
In the state of tranquility, I see my lives through dreams;
I suddenly understand the karmic relationship between my previous life and the one ahead;
Over thousands of years, this long story of mine has been a sad one;
Having experienced the great changes of the world, I finally know what life is truly for.
Ian Stevenson, Ph.D. Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation. McFarland Press, 2001 (2nd edition; 1st edition 1987).
Ian Stevenson, Ph.D. Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect. Praeger Publishers; 1997.
Brian Weiss, M.D. Many Lives, Many Masters. Fireside; July 1988.
Brian Weiss, M.D. Through Time into Healing. Simon and Schuster; August 1992.
Bryan Jameison, The Search for Past Lives: Exploring Reincarnation's Mysteries & The Amazing Healing Power Of Past-Life Therapy. Driftwood Publications; March 1, 2002.