The question of the mind creating “past lives” as a delusional experience has been brought up a number of times in different forums, including this one, and I want to explain where I am at with this, considering that I have successfully primalled such “delusions” to a healing conclusion.
Be assured that I am not trying to convince anyone that they must share my views. But I think it is important to have some balance in any discussion around unusual healing processes, so a voice of experience is appropriate. As a primaller since 1975, an experiencer of past life therapy since 1988 and a facilitator of regression therapy since 1992, here are some of my thoughts.
Let’s start by taking a look at why we might have such a delusional experience. What would be the premise for having one? If only current life experiences are real, then why not just work through the real experience?
It seems to me that we would not work through the real experience if we were too afraid for some reason to face it. In all likelihood, it might be the same reason the experience was not worked through when it occurred in the first place. When the specter of the experience is raised, then the old fear that protected us from fully experiencing the event immediately kicks in, “protecting” us once again. So we might postulate that a delusional experience - such as a delusional past life experience - might be created to symbolically represent the real, current life experience we are afraid to deal with.
This sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? In practice, we find this kind of symbolic experience occurring all the time. It’s as though the Wise Inner Self of the person will not let an unresolved issue rest, but brings it to the surface time and again to be dealt with. If we won’t allow ourselves to face the experience directly, then we will face it symbolically. We do this all the time, for example, with dreams.
However, facing an un-worked-through issue symbolically is a far different thing than clearing the issue. It is merely a signal, a flag that we wave to tell ourselves that here is something to be worked through.
Dreaming about a killer with a gun coming after me, and outwitting the killer in the dream, may prove to be an aid in my journey to self-empowerment. Yet it will do nothing to clear my unresolved childhood trauma from being strapped with a belt by my father, or allay my fears of people in authority.
To clear that, I will have to release the emotional and physical energetic blockages, I will have to make a cognitive connection between the killer and my father, and I will have to re-align my beliefs so they are no longer in conflict. In short, a symbolic event must be reduced to its causative counterpart and completely worked through - physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually - before we can achieve complete resolution. Depending on the dynamics of the issue, this can amount to a great deal of personal work. Still, it can be done.
The corollary to this is that when we have resolved an issue, then we can say that the event or situation at issue was causative. For example, if the working through of the strapping event results in calm dreams and a loss of fear of authority figures, then we can say that the strapping event was causative. And we normally accept the cause as real, if it does not challenge our belief system too strenuously. Further, if the working through of the strapping event results in a partial relief of the current problems, then we can say that the strapping event was partially causative. In this case, a complete resolution of the issue will not be had until the other causative factors are found and worked through. In regression therapy, including past life regression therapy, we find such multiple causative events or situations to be commonplace
Sometimes, issues that overlie more basic ones seem to be cleared up when the basic ones are resolved. They get resolved at the same time. The overlain issues no longer hold tension or emotional charge. And it would seem that the closer the overlying, secondary (and tertiary, etc.) issues resonate in feeling tone and meaning - the more congruent they are - to the basic underlying issue, the more apt this is to happen.
Now, if the real horror of an incident was too terrifying for a person to go through, and instead the unconscious mind produced a fictitious story to approach the issue in an indirect way, how might we expect the issue to resolve? Would we not simply be faced, sooner or later, with the causative event or situation? If this were not so, then we might reasonably expect to be able to create fictitious story after fictitious story, healing all our pain along the way. But this simply does not happen. We cannot primal, and heal, a fictitious story. If we could, we would only be leading ourselves deeper and deeper into denial, and that is a pathway away from healing, not toward it.
I believe that the proof of the pudding is in the eating thereof, not in the theory of the recipe. Time and again in the field of regression therapy clients have gone back to the roots of their issues. Time and again they have worked through an unfinished issue to completion. Very often this work has involved emotional clearing, because unfinished business usually (if not always) holds some aspect of fear and pain in denial. We, as primallers, know the value of deep emotional release work. We know it heals, because we have experienced the healing of ourselves. And others who are afraid of their own feelings cannot talk us out of our experience.
The reality paradigm that sees only the current lifetime as “real” must, by default, find the cause of any problem to be residing within the boundaries of its history. To the extent that an issue is worked through to completion within this paradigm, to that extent we can say that the causes of the issue occurred in the current lifetime. Indeed, if we in our own process find that we are making satisfactory progress in clearing our blocks, if we find that the roots of these blocks lie in our current life history, and that the healing of our lives is occurring, then this paradigm is serving us well, and we need no other explanation.
But if in our process we find ourselves visiting and revisiting the same past events, and primalling them over and over without resolution of the current issues, then I would say that the currently held paradigm is no longer of service, but is rather a hindrance. If, or when, such a thing is found to be the case, then my suggestion is, that it is the perfect time for us to let go of our notions of what is “real” and just trust that there is some wise part of us that we are unconscious of, that knows what is real enough for us.
And let that part of us guide us to the “real” source of the problem. Should that “real” source be grounded in what appears to be a “past life”, we can remain skeptical, but at the same time simply suspend our judgment about whether it is real or not, and primal the feelings as they arise, in the same way we have always done. Then, if resolution of the issue occurs, perhaps we have a new reality paradigm to supercede the old one, because the new one now fits our current experience in a better way for us.
This is all I am really saying. I am simply saying, one, let’s not knock it until we’ve really explored for ourselves it and found it to be worthless. Two, if we are stuck in our process, why not try it? And three, if we experience healing and growth as a result, how can we deny it?
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Bob Holmes, a licensed funeral director (retired) and board certified past life therapist,
facilitates primal and past life processes, from The Regression Therapy Centre of Ontario, Barie,
Ontario, Canada. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on the web at
Also read on the Primal Psychotherapy Page:
Primal Theory Vs. Past Lives Theory by Réal Beaulieu
Resolving Past Lives in Regressive Therapies by "M.H."