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An experience of past-life regression

The possibility that I might have lived previous lives is one that has intrigued me, and having reached an age where well over half of my expected life span has already gone the possibility that I might come around again seems increasingly attractive. However the scientific training I had earlier in my career makes me cautious and sceptical. It is clear that biological life stops at death, and it is hard to see what else there could be that could preserve the memories of my current life independently of my physical form. On the other hand there is an accumulating body of evidence for reincarnation that should not be dismissed out of hand.

For nearly a year I have been researching into the subject of consciousness - what it is and how the brain allows us to experience it . A lot of exciting new research has been appearing over the past decade which offers the possibility of a greater understanding of consciousness, in particular how it may be connected to the quantum level - the sub-microscopic level of reality which underlies our everyday visible world. This quantum connection appears to offer a plausible explanation for non-ordinary states of consciousness including past life experiences.

As my researches were revealing to me that these non-ordinary states could have a plausible scientific explanation, I thought it was time to try out some past life regression for myself. Hypnotherapist Tianne Croshaw, who works at The Hope Street Centre, volunteered to give me a session, and after some hesitation I accepted. Tianne created a space conducive to relaxation - the room was darkened with some subdued lighting, and I listened to some peaceful music through headphones. She then took me through a relaxation sequence that put me in a state where I could let go of everyday concerns and instead focus on my inner world.

To start the journey back through time she had me imagine a place where I could feel safe and comfortable - mine was by a lake on a Welsh mountain. In this place I went through a process of detaching my awareness from my physical body, then gradually winding back the clock through my life until I came to a point in time before my birth. From there it was a short step into a past life. At first it seemed as if nothing was happening, but slowly certain details emerged. I became aware of what I was wearing and my age. Curiously I felt wet and I could fell the pressure of rough wood against my arms and chest. Although, as it later emerged, I had arrived at the point of my death, I was not afraid. I was re-experiencing the scene while at the same time remaining somewhat detached. My conscious mind could report on what I was observing, and I could have opened my eyes and returned to everyday awareness at any time.

Tianne guided me backwards and forwards through time as the story emerged in fragments - a falling out with a friend over a relationship with a woman - the friend becoming jealous and the woman fuelling the hatred - my failure to deal with the conflict allowing it to escalate out of hand - a violent struggle in which I killed the other man - my escape in a boat - the capsizing of the boat leading to my death by drowning. At times the images came clearly, at other times they were diffuse. Somtimes I just seemed to "know" what had happened rather than observing it. Before leaving the "life" Tianne had me encounter the two people involved and resolve the feelings that had been stirred up.

What did I get from the experience? It seemed to throw light on several themes in my life - avoidance of conflict, wariness of aggression from men and manipulation by women, and a fear of what might happen if I unleash my own anger. The message seemed to be not to let conflicts grow until they reach murderous proportions, but to deal with them as soon as they arise.

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