Is past life regression possible? Some scientists swear by it

Does past life regression explain deja vu? Many celebrities believe so. Photo: Public domain

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2013 —Dr. Brian Weiss graduated from the Yale University School of Medicine, completed an internship at the New York University Medical center then returned to Yale for a two year residency in psychiatry.

In 1980, one of his patients began to discuss past lives while under hypnosis. Dr. Weiss did not believe in past life regression (PLR) at the time. After Weiss confirmed this patient’s story via public records, he took such an interest in PLR, he went on to subject over 4,000 patients to PLR therapy.

Dr. Weiss grew convinced many phobias and ailments are sourced in past life experiences and that acknowledgement by patients can have a curative effect. Weiss became so convinced he published the best-selling book Many Lives, Many Masters in 1988 and quickly became censured by his mental health colleagues.

However, in the quarter of a century since the publication of his book, times and thinking have changed which often happens after what iitially seemed to be absurd becomes commonplace.

Cornell trained Dr. Paul Bell, a New York City based psychiatrist uses past life regression therapy (PLRT) as part of his overall therapy as do hundreds, if not thousands of PLR therapists across America. PLRT has grown rapidly, as Dr. Weiss, a frequent guest on many of the nation’s top talk shows, suggests.

Science has long known of the four stages (aside from REM) of sleep brain wave activity; Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. In the earliest phase, we are alert and awake.  This is known as beta phase where the waves detected by an electroencephalogram are rapid and short. As the brain begins to slow down, slower, longer waves known as alpha waves are produced.

The alpha phase is where we are not quite asleep and where sleep scientists believe we may experience strange, lively and vivid sensations known as hypnagogic hallucinations. It is in this phase hypnosis, hypnotherapy and PLR is performed. The third phase, theta, is where our emotional experiences are recorded and is the realm of the sub-conscious. It is this phase where, according to PLRT practitioners, past lives are accessed.

Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney claims he wrote the song “Yesterday” in the alpha phase and during interviews, claims he was approached in this phase by his mother who told him to “Let it Be”. Some say this was advice he interpreted as the inevitable end of the Beatles as a group. McCartney has claimed he ‘talks’ to John Lennon from time to time in this phase.

Multi-degreed Sanjay Paul, a psychology instructor at several universities, is a man of science by every measure yet as a subscriber to hypnotherapy, he is the recipient of a multitude of PLRT experiences. Paul took the time to explain this phenomenon in detail from the perspective of a scientist and recipient of PLRT.

Paul Mountjoy(PM): What is PLR?

Sanjay Paul (SP): PLR is where you can take an individual, usually through hypnosis, to past-lives they have had. Through this process, you can eradicate, in certain instances, unexplained psychosomatic illnesses through an awareness of certain experiences, pains, traumas etc: from past-lives.

PM: How is the process performed?

SP: Usually through hypnosis with the help of a past-life regression therapist. However, there are programs online that you can buy that allow you to go into the alpha-wave state and view your past-life states.

The advantage of the therapist is that an individual can work with you in a fluid, real-time fashion and gently guide you through starting and ending points of lifetimes.

With a guided past-life regression through MP3, you don’t have that fluid back and forth response system.

PM: What kinds of questions do therapists ask?

SP: They can ask you to remember a calm time in the past and/or a peaceful setting. They can guide you to an experience by asking what you see, smell etc: They can gently coax you into a lifetime without forcing it.

PM: How do you recognize a past life?

SP: You will recognize in your couscous level of awareness, a strong familiarity with a city, town architectural style etc;. Certain cultures just make sense to you and you understand them intuitively.

You may have had a strong yearning, as I did, to visit a city. When I studied in Span, I felt I had to go to Merida, Spain. I visited the city where I had I had a homecoming kind of feeling like I was back home. Walking down the street, people intuitively recognized me and greeted me. I found myself inspecting the structures of the buildings and roads. Who I was took a back seat for a time.

I became someone else: This was the lifetime of a Roman cavalry officer stationed in Gaul (modern day Spain). I was back home and had a sign of relief that was very emotional and very powerful.

Drop me off at the next city somewhere near and it’s not the same experience. We should pay attention to these intuitive nudges and how we feel in relation to a particular past life. I feel we are set up to reconnect with certain people, places and circumstances before we are born. It is said we can plan each life but I believe when the planning happens, we loop together certain past life times while we are alive, almost without effort.

PM: What do you experience?

SP: When you are in a past life, you experience a visual movie, in many cases, and /or how you usually experience sensory stimuli; auditory and kinesthetic in the conscious level of awareness.

PM: What are your personal discoveries?

SP: My personal discovery was that, in many ways, it was validation for experiences of the conscious level I had and for those I hadn’t. I had a fuller sense of who I was and understood that my lifetime is just that.

This life is not all there is and there is far more, so it puts your life into perspective. We have a period of life and this lifetime is in a series of other lives although you can go back to a zero point before you had any life.

PM: What did and did not surprise you the most and did you feel an affinity to something unexplained?

SP: Usually, you only view lifetimes that are relevant to your soul’s mission or purpose in this lifetime. Think of it as a combination lock where you have many numbers and possibilities but you only see the ones that are relevant to what spiritual values you are practicing or cultivating in this lifetime. In another lifetime, if you are coming back, you can see different ones.

PM: As a scientist, how do explain this phenomenon and does your training support your views?

SP: Yes. It gives me a rich understanding into altered states of consciousness became I have experienced seven different lifetimes and it can explain hobbies, interests and talents on ways that could not be explained otherwise.

PM: What about skeptics who declare those who have your experiences are highly susceptible to suggestion and that the hypnotist influenced your history?

SP: They are not 100 percent incorrect. You have to be very careful with leading questions. Many hypnotherapists are like mine. They are careful with leading questions and let clients have their own experiences. They are facilitators and not trying to have the experience for you.

Thank you, Sanjay.

Your welcome and thank you, Paul.


Paul Mountjjoy is a Virginia based writer and a member of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.


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