Hypnosis and Spontaneous Recall……. Uncut


Dr Joel Whitton, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto Medical School is an expert in clinical hypnosis with a degree also in neurobiology.  For several decades Whitton quietly began gathering evidence suggestive of reincarnation.  Unfortunately there is so much silliness presented about reincarnation that many people dismiss it.  Many ancient civilizations accepted reincarnation as fact.  In Plato’s time it was accepted and Plato himself comments that if a person in their current life time commits the act of deliberate homicide on another life then should be sentenced to death as soon as possible.  Plato believed that the soul (which lives for eternity) should not be infected be an incarnation which has lost connection to it’s source, the soul. 

The findings here are not intended to prove reincarnation but they are offered only as intriguing possibilities – they deserve open-minded consideration.

Whitton’s hypnosis research is based on a simple and startling fact: when individuals are hypnotized, they often remember what appear to be memories of previous existences.  Studies have shown that over 90 percent of all hypnotizable individuals are able to recall these apparent memories.  For example, the psychiatry textbook “Trauma, Trance and Transformation” the author warns fledgling hypnotherapists not to be surprised if such memories surface spontaneously.  However, the author rejects the idea of rebirth but does note that such memories can have remarkable healing potential nonetheless!

Whitton gathered together a core group of roughly 30 people.  Individuals from all walks of life, from truck drivers to computer scientists, some of whom believed in reincarnation and some of whom did not.  He hypnotized them individually and spent literally thousands of hours recording everything they had to say about their alleged previous existences.

Here are some of his discoveries which were reported by ALL participants:

-          numerous past lives, some as many as 20 to 25, although a practical limit was reached when Whitton regressed them to what he calls their “caveman existences”;

-          gender was not specific to the soul, many had lived at least one life as the opposite sex;

-          the purpose of life was to evolve and learn and that multiple existences facilitated this process;

-          one unusual feature was the ability that memories had to explain a wide range of seemingly unrelated events and experiences in the subjects’ current lives, for example:  a man, a psychologist born and raised in Canada, had possessed an inexplicable British accent as a child.  He also had an irrational fear of breaking his leg, a phobia of air travel, a terrible nail-biting problem, an obsessive fascination with torture and as a teenager had had a brief and enigmatic vision of being in a room with a Nazi officers, shortly after operating the pedals of a car during a driving test.  Under hypnosis the man recalled being a British pilot during World War II. While on a mission over Germany his plane was hit by a shower of bullets, one of which penetrated the fuselage and broke his leg.  This in turn caused him to lose control of the plane’s foot pedals, forcing him to crash-land.  He was subsequently captured by the Nazis, tortured for information by having his nails pulled out, and died a short time later.

Here are some interesting finds about the subjects who also experienced profound psychological and physical healings as a result of the traumatic past-life memories they unearthed – and gave uncannily accurate historical details about the times they lived in:

-          While reliving an apparent past life as a Viking, one man, a 37 year old scientist, shouted out words that linguistic authorities later identified as Old Norse.

-          After being regressed to an ancient Persian lifetime, (the same Viking man) began to write in a spidery, Arabic-style script that an expert in Near Eastern languages identified as an authentic representation of Sassanid Pahlavi, a long extinct Mesopotamian tongue from AD 226 to 651.

A most startling discovery  was made when Whitton regressed subjects to the interim between lives – a dazzling, light-filled realm in which there was “no such thing as time or space as we know it”.  According to the subjects, part of the purpose of this realm was to allow them to plan their next life, to literally sketch out the important events and circumstances that would befall them in the future.  This was not a fairy-tale exercise of wish fulfillment.  Whitton found that individuals entered an unusual state of consciousness in which they were acutely self-aware and had a heightened moral and ethical sense.  In addition, they no longer possessed the ability to rationalize away any of their faults and misdeeds, and saw themselves with total honesty.  To distinguish this consciousness from our normal everyday consciousness Whitton calls this intensely conscientious state of mind “metaconsciousness”.

When a subject planned their next life, they did so with a sense of moral obligation.  They would choose to be reborn with people whom they had wronged in a previous life so they would have the opportunity to make amends for their actions.  They planned pleasant encounters with “soul mates”, individuals with whom they had built a loving and mutually beneficial relationship over many lifetimes; and they scheduled “accidental” events to fulfill still other lessons and purposes. 

One man said that as he planned his next life he visualized “a sort of clockwork instrument into which you could insert certain parts in order for specific consequences to follow”.  The consequences were not always pleasant.  After being regressed to a metaconscious state, a woman who had been raped when she was 37 revealed that she had actually planned the event before she had come into this incarnation.  She explained, it had been necessary for her to experience a tragedy at that age in order to force her to change her “entire soul complexion” and thus break through to a deeper and more positive understanding of the meaning of life.  Another subject, a man afflicted with a serious and life threatening kidney disease, disclosed that he had chosen the illness to punish himself for a past-life transgression.  However he also revealed that dying from the kidney disease was not part of his script, and before he had come into this life he had also arranged to encounter someone or something that would help him remember this fact and hence enable him to heal both his guilt and his body.  True to his word, after he started his sessions with Whitton he experienced a near-miraculous complete recover.

In a separate statistical study William Cox studied 28 serious U.S. railroad accidents and found that significantly fewer people took trains on accident days than on the same day in the previous week.  Cox’s findings suggest that all may be constantly unconsciously precognizing the future and making decisions based on that information.

Whitton says that “carefully or haphazardly, we choose our earthly circumstances. The message of metaconsciousness is that the life situation of every human being is neither random nor inappropriate.  Seen objectively from their interlife, every human experience is simply another lesson in the cosmic classroom.”

It is important to note that the existence of such unconscious agendas does not mean that our lives are rigidly predestined and all fates are unavoidable.  The lessons in our lives may be chosen by us and we will find ourselves continually being faced with events which teach us the lesson.  If we note the lesson and learn it we will no longer be presented with situations for those lessons.  If the woman who anticipated the rape at 37 had evolved into a deeper understanding of life before 37 the encounter of rape would never have occurred. 

Another researcher who has uncovered past lives is Dr Ian Stevenson, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia Medical School.  Although instead of using hypnosis, Stevenson interviews young children who have spontaneously remembered apparent previous existences.  He has spent more than 30 years in this pursuit and has collected and analyzed thousands of cases from all over the globe.

According to Stevenson, spontaneous past-life recall is relatively common among children, so common that the number of cases that seem worth considering far exceeds his staff’s ability to investigate them.  Generally children are between 2 and 4 years when they start talking about their “other life” and frequently they remember dozens of particulars, including their name, the names of family members and friends, where they lives, what their house looked like, what they did for a living, how they dies and even obscure information such as where they hid money before they died and, in cases involving murder, sometimes even who killed them.

Frequently their memories are so detailed that Stevenson is able to track down their identity of their previous personality and verify virtually everything they have said.  He has even taken children to the area in which their past incarnation lived, and watched as they navigated effortlessly through strange neighborhoods and correctly identified their former house, belongings and past-life relatives and friends.

Stevenson has published 6 volumes on this findings.  Like Whitton he also has found evidence that the unconscioius plays a far greater role in our makeup and destiny than we have hitherto suspected.  Stevenson corroborated Whitton’s finding that we are frequently reborn with individuals we have known in previous existences, and that the guiding force behind our choices is often affection or a sense of guilt or indebtedness.  He agrees that personal responsibility, not chance, is the arbiter of our fate.  He has found that although a person’s material conditions can vary greatly from one life to the next their moral conduct, interests, aptitudes and attitudes remain the same. 

Most significant of all, Stevenson found no compelling evidence of “retributive karma” or any indication that we are consmically punished for our sins.  “There is then – if we judge by the evidence of the cases – no external judge of our conduct and no being who shifts us from life to life according to our deserts. If this world is (in Keats0s phrase) ‘a vale of soul-making’, we are the makers of our own souls,” states Steveson.

Stevenson also uncovered a phenomenon that did not turn up in Whitton’s study, a discovery that provides even more dramatic evidence of the power of unconscious mind that to sculpt and influence our life circumstances.  He found that a person’s previous incarnation can apparently affect the very shape and structure of their current physical body.  He has discovered, for example, that Burmese children who remember lives as British or American Air Force pilots shot down over Burma during World War II all have fairer hair and complexions that their siblings.  He also found instances in which distinctive facial features, food deformities, and other characteristics have carried over from one life to the next. Most numerous among these are physical injuries carrying over as scars or birthmarks.  In one case, a boy who remembered being murdered in his former life by having his throat slit still had a long reddish mark resembling a scar across his neck.  In another, a boy who remembered committing suicide by shooting himself in the head in his past incarnation still had two scarlike birthmarks that lined up perfectly along the bullet’s trajectory, one where the bulled had entered and one where it had exited.  In another, a boy had a birthmark resembling a surgical scar complete with a line of red marks resembling stitch wounds, in the exact location where his previous personality had a surgery.

Stevenson has gathered hundreds of such cases and published several books compiling a fabulous study of the phenomenon.  In some cases he has even been able to obtain hospital and / or autopsy reports of the deceased personality and show that such injuries not only occurred, but were in the exact location of the present birthmark or deformity.  He feels that such marks not only provide some of the strongest evidence in favour of reincarnation, but also suggest the existence of some kind of intermediate non physical body that functions as a carrier of these attributes between one life and the next.  He states “It seems to me that the imprint of wounds on the previous personality must be carried between lives on some kind of an extended body which in turn acts as a template for the production on a new physical body of birthmarks and deformities that correspond to the wounds on the body of the previous personality.”

Stevenson also noted that although his research suggests that we are the creators of our own lives and, to a certain extent, our own bodies, our participation in this process is so passive as to be almost involuntary.  His findings have been published in such distinguished scientific periodicals as the “American Journal of Psychiatry”, the “Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease” and the “International Journal of Comparative Sociology”.  In a review of one of his works the prestigious “Journal of the American Medical Association” stated that he has “painstakingly and unemotionally collected a detailed series of cases in which the evidence for reincarnation is difficult to understand on any other grounds…. He has placed on record a large amount of data that cannot be ignored.”

This also confirms the necessity and importance of our own individual path through our life and how crucial it is to not compare ourselves to each other.  We are all important.  We are each the best person we know.  We have our own lessons to learn and our own stories to write - each unique to our souls development.  What someone else does is not our concern.  What someone else thinks of us is not of our concern.  We do not know what their lessons are or path is.