The following article is a brief except from my book, We Live Forever: The Real Truth about Death, copyright 2004. It refers to the days during the 1960’s when I worked part-time as a hypnotherapist specializing in past-life regressions. Two specific cases occurred within a week of each other that were so unusual they quite literally changed how I viewed life itself.
TWO UNUSUAL CASES OF REINCARNATION
by P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D.
I’d like to tell you about what happened during two hypnotic sessions I conducted in my days as a hypnotherapist in private practice specializing in past-life regressions.
The daughter of a woman I knew proved to be an excellent subject. She had no agenda, just the desire to see if she could do it – be hypnotized. Much to my surprise she went deep fast and changed characteristics instantly. No longer was she the young woman I knew, but an Englishman in every respect, older in years, and obsessed with moving from his flat overlooking the Thames River in London to a dreary cottage in Ireland. Through hypnosis he was revealed as a successful barrister who became a judge, then promptly retired, much to the shock of those who knew him. Unmarried, he had engaged his housekeeper in sorting through a library of books and papers, fine paintings, and other possessions of taste and style. He determined who would get what, saving but a small pile for himself.
As my session with him advanced, he spoke of taking what was left to Ireland. In the center of the tiny house he had purchased there, he placed a large, comfortable rocking chair and spent the rest of his days in that chair reading his favorite books, until he died from the cancer that had been growing inside him. What made this hypnotic session so different, even traumatic, was what occurred after the man expired.
Regressionists on occasion will allow their client to experience the death they underwent in a given life, perhaps even the funeral, if it seems appropriate in helping that person gain a better understanding of any issue that might be troubling him or her. I had no choice in this case. Suddenly, the man manifested himself as a distinct energy form apart from the now-silent young woman, yet hovering over her. Still another energy form took shape to my left. I could plainly see and hear both forms. Soon they started yelling at each other, screaming. I was dumbfounded. Nothing in my training or years of practicing hypnotherapy had prepared me for this.
The second form claimed to be the man’s mother. She had been waiting for this moment to face her son so that she could explain to him why she had given him away soon after his birth. His hatred for her was so vile, his opposition to her sobbing pleas so unreasonably strident, that I forced the issue and became a mediator, giving each ample time to speak while the other had to listen.
The story that tumbled out was a sad one. She, a poor barmaid in Ireland, had been raped by a customer then shunned, as if the rape had been her fault. She had no family and barely subsisted, giving birth in a dirty hovel. Her boy child was a wonder, deserving she felt of a better life and a good future, so she placed him in a basket and left in on the front steps of an orphanage in a nearby town. She died of starvation soon after, wracked with the guilt of having to abandon her baby.
His life in the orphanage had been cruel. He was belittled often for being a castaway and teased about his mother, with taunts that even she couldn’t stand him. He ran away as soon as he was strong enough, stole aboard a boat, and landed in England. Resourcefulness won him a series of jobs and enough schooling to apprentice in a law firm. A talent with debates and clever political posturing guaranteed him a lucrative career, but no time for women, which suited him just fine as he didn’t especially like females. When illness cut short his ambition, he picked as the place to die the cottage that was directly in front of the orphanage where he had once lived. He notified them of his action and promised funds. It was the orphanage staff who found his body and buried him.
Once both entities had a chance to speak, a profound healing and reconciliation took place. The energy forms evaporated when my client regained consciousness. Her eyes seemed as big as saucers as she launched a volley of “oh-my-goshs.” She had hated her mother since childhood without any logical reason to feel that way; she had been drawn to law in college and excelled on the debating team; and she never had a love relationship that interested her, preferring study to dates. The next morning she and her mother listend to an audiotape of the actual regression. The last part between mother and son did not record, only my words could be heard. But to them, that was enough. Again, a profound healing and reconciliation occurred; the past had become the present so that an old wrong could be righted. The intensity of reactions, the utter realness of the session, challenged everything I thought I knew about life and death, reincarnation, and time and space.
Not long after, a young man from northern California made an appointment with me. He, too, was curious about hypnosis and whether or not there was anything to the notion of past lives. He was unusually receptive and quickly slipped into a deep trance. His consciousness shifted to life in ancient Greece where he captained a large army. A patriot, he relished all aspects of war and soldiering, from torturing spies to killing hordes. He also took great pride in his wife and four children, remaining as faithful to them as he was to his calling. He died in what for him was the glory of battle after thirty years of defending his sovereign.
My client moved next in consciousness to a life at the foot of the high Himalayas, where, as an itinerant healer, he roamed from village to village with little but a beggar’s bowl and the rags on his “toothpick” of a body. He never had a love affair or fathered children, but delighted instead in the opportunity to help others, which he did for thirty years. While stumbling along a mountain road one day, he suddenly collapsed. No one offered a hand. He died as if he were but a wad of dust hardly distinguishable from the dirt under foot and sandal.
I was aghast at the story the hypnotized man relayed. So, before I brought him back to full consciousness, I decided to try an experiment. I wanted to see if I could make contact with the all-knowing voice that spoke to me through his mouth. That voice wasn’t like the ones I had heard from previous clients. It was wiser, special. I verbally requested permission to do this, unsure of “who” or “what” might answer.
Immediately, the room in which the session took place, with me sitting in a chair and him outstretched on a sofa, became incredibly hot. Although it was night, everything began glowing with a light far brighter than that provided by any of the lamps. A voice spoke that seemed to emanate from a source other than the man’s lips and it permeated every cell in my body. I searched the air around me for the source of the voice, but nothing caught my eye.
“What do you want?” it boomed. I hesitated; then, gathering my strength, I asked, “The two lives just described to me, what do they mean?” A roar of laughter that seemed to shake the very walls preceded these cryptic words: “Thirty years killing. Thirty years healing. Now, all is well.” Nothing more was offered. The session ended. The man “woke up.” Yet he never looked or acted quite the same after that, nor did I. I was deeply affected by this session and the one before it, so much so that I eventually closed my practice of hypnotherapy, and began my own “inner journey” to the truth of being – the truth of who and what we really are.
P. M. H. Atwater, L.H.D., had three near-death experiences within three months in 1977. One of the original researchers in the field of near-death studies, she began her examination of the phenomenon in 1978, resulting in 15 books on the subject, and numerous awards for her work.
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