P.S. Because I get my articles in early I usually have time to review in my mind, what I have written for the PPP. In this case I have felt incomplete, as though there is something I avoided saying.
What I have avoided is this. I do not believe in past or future lives. I see this as a vast oversimplification of Universal Processes, a fairy tale.
The notion that the universe is so simple as to scoot our little chunk of Universal Consciousness back around in Karma driven circles, like the next ride on the midway, is to me blatantly ridiculous, one more attempt to reassure our greatly constricted consciousness that everything is really Ok. There, I have said it and can put it all down now.
I believe that past Life regressions are the mind's way of dealing with primal material in a symbolic manner. I believe that worked out within the past life framework and with no dissolving of the metaphor/dream/symbolism we can still heal just as the child heals in play therapy without the necessity of interpretation. I believe that the healing is probably slightly less complete than if we actually "woke up" to the underlying or latent content. I also believe that it is possible to be derailed into a false positivity and a false belief system by remaining within the past life framework
Yes and by the way, I do not myself believe that consciousness ends at death. I believe that we recoalesce with the Universal Intelligence. Maybe I am a little childlike in this area myself. This is a belief secondary to the experiences I have discussed in the third section of my book which is available on line at, www.interlog.com/~bbk/paulcvr.html in the section dealing with Sudden Illumination, or Satori.
P.P.S. In thirty five years of being a therapist, not one person has ever spontaneously, or in any other way, brought a past life into my practice.
Now they are popping up everywhere.
I find this very very telling as an argument against the reality of past lives.
Other pages on this website about Dr. Vereshack's writings include:
Book Review of Help Me -- I'm Tired of Feeling Bad
The Primal Page's Favorite Quotations from Help Me -- I'm Tired of Feeling Bad
The Primal Psychotherapy Page Interviews Paul Vereshack, M.D.
A Response to Paul Vereshack’s Column Regarding Past Life Regression
by Bob Holmes
I am very glad to see that Dr. Vereshack acknowledges that he does not believe in past life regression. In this acknowledgement he is speaking his honest truth, and I appreciate that. It is an essential requirement to be real, of people in general and therapists in particular.
In speaking my truth, however, I have to say that past life regression, and the therapy which utilizes it, not only can be enormously healing, it can heal where other therapies have only had partial success, including primal work. I’m not just theorizing here, I have experienced such healing myself. Although a belief in past lives is not necessary for a client to successfully clear issues in past life therapy, at the very least a willingness to suspend disbelief is necessary. This, in fact, is the very essence of openness. Disbelief, on the other hand, is an experience killer.
This requirement to openness in past life therapy extends to the therapist as well. He or she must at least be willing to suspend disbelief in whatever the client is reporting, otherwise the client-therapist rapport soon becomes contaminated with the therapist’s “disbelief system”, and growth stops, or is derailed. There was a time not so long ago, when the prevailing assumption in psychotherapy was that neonates could not feel, which was a wonderful justification for practices such as circumcision. But those of us who have primalled our infant sufferings of all kinds know differently. So it is important for us, as therapists, to be wary of our disbeliefs, in case they camouflage our own personal justifications.
In Chapter Two of Dr. Vereshack’s book, “Psychotherapy of the Deepest Self”, he speaks of the varying depths at which therapists work, and primal is about as deep as it gets. True enough. But in addition, some therapists work at various breadths, and past life therapy is almost as broad as it gets. Like primal, past life therapy is aimed at uncovering the source of present-time difficulties, finishing what has remained unfinished, and healing the wound. When the client is ready, and the two are combined -- breadth plus depth -- the healing can be utterly awesome.
If Dr. Vereshack really is open, and an explorer as he says, then I would encourage him to first explore his own psyche beyond the current life framework, and experience first-hand the efficacy of past-life therapy. Really, should not the guide have some experience of the landscape if he or she is to companion the client’s journey?
But if his disbelief system is firmly in place, perhaps it would be better for all concerned for him to follow his own first safe response, and refer the client to a practitioner who has had some significant successful experiences of his or her own. After all, would we do primal therapy with a therapist who had never experienced primal, and disbelieved in its workings?
Dr. Vereshack Replies:
In the face of this, to refer someone to a believer in past lives when this belief may well be a myth, is potentially more dangerous than to treat that person from a background of healthy skepticism.
Skepticism and openness may be a better base upon which to offer treatment even when the therapist doesn't believe.
The answer to all this is to be completely open with the client about all aspects of this issue and then let them make the choice.