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Do “past lives” really exist?

In different forms of therapy, there is often abject denial of past lives, or enthusiastic belief in them. Do “past lives” really exist? I personally am on the side of enthusiastic belief, but I do understand that a lot of people, including many of my clients, may not be. So why do I believe that it’s a thing? I could write a THESIS on this and perhaps some day I will, but for now, let’s bring it down to two main reasons.

During hypnosis (or even fully waking sessions), when something that I believe is a past life does come up, it is unmistakably a past life because a person will describe this “hypothetical” situation in incredible amounts of detail, which have intrinsic and multi layered connotations to their life today. There is absolutely no way that something that intricate can just be made up on the spot. Something that is separate from, yet so complexly relevant to life today, cannot just spring up out of nowhere, it has to come from SOMETHING, right?

But let’s say it is “made up”. Let’s say that this whole complex scene of characters and feelings is just the psyche and imagination. So what? It’s still relevant. It’s still being made up for a reason. We can still use it to figure out why we have certain feelings anchored in a particular situation.

Ultimately it doesn’t really matter whether you subscribe to the belief in past lives or not. For me they exist, for others they don’t, and that’s fine. Imagery is a powerful thing, and it’s a fascinating way to sift through our subconscious and approach the vulnerabilities that we need to address.

One day, I hope to be able to make more of an empirical link between what I believe in some areas, and what is scientifically proven. One day, past lives may or may not have evidence enough to be commonly accepted as a truth about our world. For now, I’m ok with believing in them anyway.

I’ve certainly benefited from regression therapies where I have encountered scenarios that I would say are past lives. There are also a fair number of case studies that explore the concept of past lives in a considerable amount of detail (Dr. Ian Stevenson and Dr. Brian Weiss have good bodies of work exploring the subject). And then there’s just pure intent and belief.

I am one of those people that are happy to believe something until it is shown to be either true or false, whereas there are a lot of people that only believe things once they have been empirically proven and not before then. That’s fine, but my thoughts on that err on the side of, the fact that knowledge is ever-changing. Aren’t we constantly learning? Aren’t we in a cycle of believe, prove, disprove, believe? Where is the middle ground? Where is the point at which we can believe in something whether or not it is scientifically “true”? Does everything that’s “true” have to have empirical meaning? What is “true” for me, may not be “true” for somebody else, but will inevitably affect both of our lives in relevant ways.

Don’t shut anything down, it’s not worth it. Believe what you need to believe to keep you grounded and focussed, but don’t shut off avenues of belief or opportunity because it doesn’t “feel right”. Things never “feel right” to start with, but with an open mind it becomes a lot easier to be able to sift out what is genuinely important and what can be put to one side.

 

Related posts: Views on Psychology pt. 1

Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2020
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