Monday, September 03, 2007

PAST LIVES

This is a continuation of my last blog about hypnosis. While I was at the conference, I decided that it would be a good idea to get some hypnosis myself. After all, I am asking people to trust me as a therapist but I had never had any kind of therapy myself. I really did need to know what it was like to go to a stranger and ask for help with something I found difficult. So, I started looking around at the conference for someone to work with who lived in NYC. I met one young woman who has an office in the City and got her card but I wasn't really happy with telling my story to someone so young. No offense to the young but I could not see how she could understand what I was talking about. No, I wanted someone my age. Then something magical happened.
I was sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for my wife to finish up at her workshop so we could start the drive home. A guy about my age sat down beside me and started to talk. It turned out that he was a construction type guy, just like me, so we fell into shop talk. At some point he said that he was not a hypnotist and was just here because his wife wanted him to come along. Bells went off in my head. "Where do you live?" I asked. "Brooklyn." So I told him that I had been looking for someone my age to work with and he just happened to have one of his wife's cards with him. Magical.
I did go to see her, twice, and found things inside of me that I had not suspected. But that is not what I wanted to talk about. All of this explanation is leading up to a discussion about past lives. As a part of my sessions with the hypnotist in Brooklyn I regressed through a couple of past lives, ostensible past lives, and did learn some things. What I learned made sense in the light of my current personality and some of my firmer traits. No, I am not going to tell you. What I will tell you is my ideas about past lives and wait to see what you think.
I will start with a basic precept or possibly an assumption - that ultimately we are all one soul. This assumption states that whatever we call a creative force, Universal Intelligence or your choice of Deity, initiated this universe out of nothingness, or out of its own fabric of existence. This would seem to say that we all come from a singular event. After that, things fragmented. Despite this fragmentation and apparent individuation of energies, the mystics and prophets and those who claim to understand these things keep telling us that we are all interconnected. I suspect there is truth in this assertion so I will use it as a foundation for this little essay. The second assumption or precept is that the soul is a reality. It is very easy to talk about souls but I wonder how many people have had a direct experience of their soul; very few I imagine. You take it in faith because others say it is so. Even though the evidence is elusive at best people want the idea of past lives to be real and will talk about who they believe they were with great enthusiasm and conviction. But is it real?
Here is what I have come to think (I am certainly willing to modify my position).
The one soul exists and has fragmented itself into a zillion parts in order to experience itself and to learn. As a singular being there was no possibility of learning so fragmentation was essential. Never-the-less, Unity also exists. In other words two distinct states of being are in play - Unity and Multiplicity. This is not new information to most who read my blog I am sure. Now let's look at how it works.
Here you are. Your soul has occupied a body on a planet. This body has mobility as well as reasoning power and all of the other attributes of being human. It also has fantasy or a need to grasp abstracts. And, it lives within an intense energy field created by all of the billions of other bodies and personalities that are not only extant in this moment but which have lived previously and perhaps are living in some elusive future. Yet we feel isolated and alone within all of this energy. It is one of the great paradoxes. When an individual decides to allow their soul to begin to reach outward instead of being shielded by the armor of culture and habit, things begin to happen. One of these things is an awareness of the vast pool of experience contained within this Universal Unconscious as Jung called it. So, you go into a deep meditation, or maybe work with a hypnotist and you touch one of these lives. Why take it personally? You are part of a flow of psychic energy that has been growing for millennia. I am coming to believe that we have the capacity to touch almost any soul or personality or attitude. What we seem to touch are those personalities or experiences that are most applicable to our individual journey. But it ain't necessarily just yours. So, instead of saying, "My past lives," try saying, "Life."
Does the soul have a contiguous existence bouncing from life to life? I have no idea. But something is going on which I suspect is much more complex then we might imagine.
I am very interested in commentary.
Love & Blessings, Musawwir

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

This concept of a universal soul, yet fragmented is very close to Advaita Vedanta Hinduism wherein the Atman is in everything as a neccestity for existence, but is also synonymous with Brahmin the PanENtheistic creative force. Again in Buddhism it would be called the Buddha nature, present in everything yet a unit of it's own. We are not individuals, but share existence with each other.

Anonymous said...

your insightful idea reminds me of the Hall of Mirrors, or Indra's net.

Anonymous said...

Having done more thinking about your idea of a universal unconscious or universal soul. There must be a person specific component to our make-up, otherwise re-incarnation and karma make no sense. If our bodies, brains, etc. die and rot, and our soul is the Atman/Brahman, universal, then their must be an eternal component to our minds, and this component is what makes us who we are.

Anonymous said...

I think soul exists outside the realm of time and space and is not constricted by either. Thus, even though the body dies, soul retains its intelligence, its experiences, and it is the connection between souls that is the foundation of karma. Since soul is not constricted by time or space, the term "past life" may be a misnomer, it's more like "other life" in that soul is experiencing all of these lives simultaneously. You asked, "why take it personally?" Perhaps the answer is "because you are a contributor to this Univeral Unconscious". Your value is in your contribution to the collective experience.

Andrea said...

Musawwir, what if the brain just creates a role, a persona, in order to explain itself to itself?

In the past I met 3 persons who claimed that they actually were Pharao Hatshepsut and 2 Ramses I! I don't think that we have an access to the akashic chronics. If we are lucky we may feel attached to a place but we (IMHO) don't remember anything.

You see I'm a bit critical here...

Andrea

Musawwir said...

Thank you Andrea,
You are of course quite correct in what you say. People do indeed want to feel that somewhere in their stream of lives they were important. However; I have done many regressions through hypnosis and I have yet to have anyone discover anything but fairly ordinary lives. They all had lessons to be understood by the present life but nary a single aristocrat of any kind appeared. This would lead me to believe that however these people you mentioned came to discover their past lives, it was not in deep hypnosis where truth always appears.

Anonymous said...

Does deep hypnotism always compel the person to tell the truth?

Could memories of past lives be memories of ancestors passed on through DNA, and not a memory of the current person?

marymarvel said...

Well, in my past life regressions, I have had the extraordinary feelings of the person I 'was', and it felt very personal indeed.
Am I sure, no. Does it make a difference what I feel about them, whether it is mine or universally available to everyone? Well, I would like to claim the feelings I felt, the things I saw, but what I think is important, is that the lifetime came to me for a reason, and looking at the life and trying to decipher its lessons I consider very personal.

Sarala said...

In one of my 'favorite' past life regression experiences I left life. In the next instant I was inside of a crystal! Within the crytal was silence and the absense of personal sensation, yet no absense of awareness, altho it was 'distant.' I could observe life happening outside of the crystal - people living their lives. After awhile, the crystal began to tremble, and there was sound as well, and in the next instant, I was an infant.
When I think of this 'story', I am reminded that death is transformation as birth is, and, I feel boundless potential in this life as well as in the continuum.
Maybe 'past life regression' experiences are simply our current BEing giving us the opportunity to consider things beyond our current form and circumstance which can help us to learn and grow in this lifetime.