Past Lives & Hypnotic Regression
The second area of past-life research is hypnotic regression. With this we must first appreciate that the human brain appears to store a complete record of everything we have ever been exposed to, no matter how briefly or how long ago, and that although most of these memories remain inaccessible to our normal consciousness they can be accessed in trance. So apparently authentic and detailed past lives, even including strong emotions and strange accents and so on, have sometimes been proved to come from perfectly normal sources – not least historical fiction, which is often overlooked by spiritual researchers. Nevertheless, there remain some cases involving information so obscure that only a paranormal explanation seems appropriate.
One of the finest involves a young woman dubbed Jane Evans, who was one of many subjects regressed by the Welsh hypnotherapist Arnall Bloxham. She first visited him in the late 60s and proved a responsive subject who, over the course of a number of sessions, regressed into six separate lives from Roman times onwards. She would go on to be the star of a 1976 documentary made by the initially sceptical BBC producer Jeffrey Iverson, entitled ‘The Bloxham Tapes’. Her most celebrated past life was that of a persecuted Jewess in 12th century York, but on close investigation this case is somewhat inconclusive. In fact her strongest life in terms of obscure evidence involved Alison, a young servant to the 15th century French financier and merchant, Jacques Coeur.
Some of the historical information Jane came up with in trance was relatively obscure, and could only be verified by professional French historians. For example, she said that Charles VII’s nickname was “heron legs”; that his son Louis had poisoned his wife; that his mistress Agnes Sorel had two pet dogs clothed in “coats of white fur with jewelled collars”; and that Coeur was Jewish and his father was a goldsmith. Perhaps more impressive was her knowledge that Coeur was an avid collector of art, with paintings by Jean “Fouquet,” the court painter to the king and one of Coeur’s debtors; by Jan “van Eyck,” the court painter to the nearby Duke of Burgundy; by “Giotto,” an Italian master from the previous century; and by the little-known “John of Bruges” who, Iverson established only with great difficulty, was also known as John Bondolf and was a Flemish court painter for the king’s grandfather. More impressive again was her report that Coeur had a “body servant” called Abdul, who was “dressed differently from the others” – because it was only from obscure French court records of the time that Iverson was able to confirm that he did indeed have an Egyptian body slave.
Impressive enough, yet the clincher in this case is Jane’s recall of a “beautiful golden apple with jewels in it” that she said had been given to Coeur by the Sultan of Turkey. All of Iverson’s initial attempts to verify the existence of such a piece drew a blank until his last night in Coeur’s home town of Bourges, when he returned to his hotel to find a message from a local historian. The latter reported that he had been searching through contemporary archives when he found “an obscure list of items confiscated by the Treasury from Jacques Coeur”; and in that list was a “grenade” of gold – a pomegranate. Of course this is so like an apple in shape and size that the English word contains the French root pomme. It is also worth noting that one sceptic’s supposed attempt to trace all these details to a historical novel is a complete travesty, because the novel has an entirely different plot and contains virtually none of these obscure details.
Again there are other, similar cases of both childhood recall and regression that involve equally obscure yet verifiable information about past lives. But could all these merely result from subjects tapping into some sort of universal memory, or even from possession by the deceased? Probably the strongest evidence that these are indeed memories from the subjects’ own, individual, past lives comes from subjects also being regressed into the time between lives, or ‘interlife’.
This stems from the research of a number of pioneering psychologists and psychiatrists around the world, who each stumbled on the interlife independently in the 70s and 80s. Their subjects’ reports are extremely consistent, so that the experience can be broken into five main elements: transition and healing, past-life review, soul group interaction, next-life planning and returning. This evidence from what now constitute thousands of subjects from diverse backgrounds suggests strongly that there is a continuity of individual soul identity across many lives.
The Holographic Soul
So how do we properly bring this evidence of individual soul survival and reincarnation together with the idea of a universal consciousness that underlies everything? Although the most profound spiritual sources have hinted at the truth throughout the ages, the most simple yet elegant solution has only become available to us in recent decades with the discovery of the hologram. And it involves applying this principle not to the brain, nor to memory, nor even to the universe as a whole, but instead to soul consciousness itself:
Soul consciousness is holographic. We are both individual aspects of the Source, and full holographic representations of it, all at the same time. However this does not mean that soul individuality is in itself an illusion. The principle of the hologram is that the part contains the whole, and yet is clearly distinguishable from it.
The other message that comes through loud and clear from interlife research, as well as from the most profound spiritual sources, is that free will and personal responsibility reign supreme. This is what allows us to learn from our mistakes, and to grow as souls. So any next-life previews seen between lives merely represent major probabilities and lesser possibilities, and there is no karmic punishment or predestiny. Indeed the idea of karma itself has arguably outlived its usefulness, because it is clear that the dynamics of how our attitudes, intentions and experiences feed into the futures we create for ourselves, both across and within lives, are far too complex to be reduced to simplistic ‘laws’.
In conclusion it appears that there are no ‘flaws in the grand plan’. The physical world is not an abomination created by fallen angels. Nor is the reincarnation cycle something to be escaped from at all costs, either by suddenly gaining the enlightenment to see through the illusion, or by learning to give up all ‘attachment’ so as to generate no more karma. Although we would do well to aim for a degree of emotional detachment and balance, and regular meditation is absolutely invaluable in trying to bring our ‘higher selves’ to the fore, life is to be lived and experienced!
So where does it all end? Interlife evidence, again backed by the most profound spiritual sources, suggests that we continue to reincarnate until we have exhausted all the possibilities for growth in the physical plane. And this is only the ‘end of the beginning’ of the soul’s journey, because there are many other opportunities for new experiences in other realms. As for the idea of ‘reuniting with the Source’, the concept of the Holographic Soul suggests that we never split off from It in the first place, and that It is always within us and us within It.
What about the million dollar question from which ‘illusionists’ tend to shy away? What is the whole point of the universe in the first place, and how do we humans fit into the ‘big picture’?
The Source’s primary aim, in diversifying into all the billions of holographic soul aspects of itself that operate in the various realms throughout the universe, is to experience all that is and can be. So as individualised aspects of the Source who have chosen to reincarnate on this planet, we are merely fulfilling a small part of that objective by gaining a balance of all the experiences available via this route.
James Leininger’s amazing story is documented in the book Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot.