Read an Excerpt
Healing Lost Souls
Releasing Unwanted Spirits from Your Energy Body
By William J. Baldwin
Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.Copyright © 2003 Center for Human Relations
All rights reserved.
Dan clutched his chest and left arm with his right hand. His flushed face contorted with pain, tears squeezed from his eyes. He appeared to be suffering a heart attack right there in front of me. I was stunned. At that point I had to make a choice between calling 911 or trusting the process. I trusted the process.
Robust and healthy, Dan was thirty-eight years old, yet had suffered with symptoms of heart trouble, including chest pains, for some years. Thinking it might be a past-life trauma, he wanted to explore this condition through regression therapy. As he probed his subconscious for the cause, I thought we might have uncovered a traumatic memory of another time and place. Or, he might be having a real heart attack. I shuddered at the thought.
In a few moments, Dan slumped in the recliner chair, his face relaxed and smooth. His right hand dropped to his lap. I checked his lips to see if they were turning blue. I watched his breathing. Lips remained pink, chest continued to rise and fall with each rhythmic breath. He was okay; I was greatly relieved. We continued.
Dr. Baldwin: "What just happened?"
Client: "I just died."
Dan spoke in a calm voice, with only a hint of surprise.
Next, I asked my favorite therapy question:
Dr. B.: "What happens next?"
Something always happens next. It's a safe bet. A safe question in a therapy session.
The one who had the heart attack was an older man who had lived in Hawaii. He died suddenly on the beach during his evening stroll, just as suddenly as Dan's brief "heart attack" episode only moments ago. A past life? Death in a prior lifetime? Possibly. It would not be unusual for such a past-life death to affect him in present time.
Dr. B.: "What happens next?"
After leaving his body, the fellow hung out on the beach, unaware of time passing, unaware he had died. He was confused. This is typical behavior for an Earthbound (EB) soul of a newly deceased human. I suspected this EB had attached to Dan. The words and descriptions of what happened are the words and memory of the EB, coming through Dan's voice. An entity influences the thinking of the client, who usually does not know the difference. The details of the narrative confirm the presence of an attached spirit, an entity.
The man, as a spirit, saw a little kid getting on a school bus near the beach. The little kid was Dan at six years of age. This could have been a day after the man's death, or a year, or ten, or fifty years. That information was not essential in this session.
For some reason the older man was drawn to the child and joined Dan, apparently in the area of his heart. We could have explored the connection between them, possibly from another lifetime they shared in some way. But for the moment it was more appropriate to release Dan from the emotional and physical residue caused by this parasitic spirit attachment.
The EB was fixated in his own death throes, reliving the painful experience over and over again, repeatedly imposing on Dan the painful heart attack symptoms that were part of his body memory of dying. It had nothing to do with Dan. Medical examinations had never revealed any organic cause for the symptoms that had plagued Dan. It was more than psychosomatic; it was psycho-spirituo-somatic. The psyche of the attached spirit was imposing the painful physical sensations on Dan's body.
With clarification of his situation, the spirit of the old man agreed to go. He was released into the Light. Most Earthbound souls don't consciously want to harm the host; they are often confused and don't know what's happening.
Dan was scheduled the next day with his doctor for a reassessment of his condition. The nurse who took his blood pressure and checked his lung volume kidded him about earning a gold star. His tests were normal for the first time since his initial appointment with the cardiologist. There were no more signs or symptoms of heart trouble, no more chest pain for Dan.
In 1980 I attended a lecture on past-life therapy by Dr. Edith Fiore. During her presentation, Dr. Fiore mentioned the problems caused by spirits of deceased human beings interfering with living people. I was incredulous. She was serious. Spirit possession was real, and she treated the condition. Wait a minute! This is the stuff of horror movies like The Exorcist. As she revealed in her lecture, it was also part of her psychotherapy practice.
Dr. Fiore recommended a book by Annabel Chaplin entitled The Bright Light of Death, which described this condition from the viewpoint of a psychotherapist. Chaplin described a number of cases of discarnate entities interfering with people. Her approach consisted of releasing these entities from the living people and sending them on to a bright light. The results with her clients seemed miraculous.
I was deeply affected by this book. The first few chapters had a powerful impact on my understanding of reality. I had to set the book aside. Though the idea that spirits could be the cause of mental and physical illness in living people was new and foreign to me, I somehow knew it was true. My personal reality was forever shifted.
More than a month passed before I was able to pick up the book again and finish reading it. The effect on me was profound, and I knew the course of my life and the nature of my life's work had taken a new direction. My natural curiosity led me to other books on the subject of spirit possession and exorcism, or "spirit releasement," as I eventually termed the work. A year later, I began seeing clients for past-life therapy. With eyes to see and ears to hear, I soon discovered and recognized the signs and symptoms of attached entities.
While there were a number of books on past-life therapy available by that time, there were none that described and outlined a rational, methodical clinical approach to relieving the condition of spirit possession. As a scientifically trained and educated health professional, I needed such a methodology. Eventually I discovered that treatment of the human mind and soul provided a clinical approach in a spiritual context.
Religious texts accepted a preconceived notion of demons. The classic adversarial approaches to exorcism were steeped in ritual and superstition. The accepted method of exorcism seemed violent and without compassion. I could not accept this. As a result, I rejected the traditional religious approaches of both exorcism and deliverance ministry and sought a more gentle approach.
Dr. Carl Wickland, a psychiatrist and an avid Spiritualist, published his first book, Thirty Years Among the Dead, in 1924. The volume described his work, which he called "depossession." The spirits who afflicted his patients were invited to channel through his wife, Anna, a gifted medium. His conversational approach was practical, methodical, and compassionate. He gently guided each spirit to the awareness of its own death, then invisible helpers from the spirit world assisted the confused Earthbound soul to find its rightful place in the Light. It was not necessary for the patient to be present in the treatment room. I studied his work and used it with my clients. I coined a new term for this process of mediumistic work: "remote spirit releasement."
Wickland's methods were the basis for techniques I developed in my own practice. In most cases I work directly with the client, the one with the problem of spirit attachment. I can conduct the remote spirit release through the client as the medium or connecting link to the target person, a family member or loved one. Remote spirit releasement is very successful in removing attached entities from people at a distance, much as it was in Wickland's time.
Several books have been published on the use of pendulums for psychically discovering and releasing attached entities. However, since I have only rudimentary psychic ability, I chose to explore and develop a clinical approach I could understand, use effectively, and teach others to use.
What happens to those newly deceased souls who try but cannot return to their own body? Can souls really get lost, unable to find the Light? Can a disembodied personality "haunt" houses and other places? Can they hang around and bother living people? Can discarnate entities affect relationships between people? Can spirit possession be real?
The answer is a resounding—and disturbing—yes. Lost souls are found in haunted houses, cemeteries, battlefields, and sites where natural disasters have occurred such as earthquakes, floods, and volcanoes. And many Earthbound souls are attached to normal, living individuals like you and me.
Our language contains numerous references to spirit interference. Think of the many statements people make:
"Something just came over me."
"I don't know what got into me."
"I am beside myself with anger!"
"I am not myself today."
"It was like I was watching myself do that. It just wasn't me!"
"When I looked into the mirror, I saw someone else's face!"
"What possessed you to do that?"
The condition of spirit possession—that is, full or partial takeover of a living human by a discarnate being—has been recognized or theorized in every age and every culture. In 90 percent of societies worldwide there are records of possession-like phenomena.
Clinical evidence suggests that discarnate entities can and do influence living people. This condition has been called "possession," "possession state," "spirit possession syndrome," "spirit obsession," and "spirit attachment." More recently, the term "dissociative trance disorder" was included in an appendix of the DSM-IV, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, fourth edition. The APA establishes the diagnostic criteria and terminology for mental disorders in this country. The definition of the disorder is a clear description of entity possession.
People have discovered and described many different types of non-physical entities and energies such as: crystals; shapeless black blobs; thought forms; various types of human and nonhuman spirits; "little people" such as trolls, imps, gnomes, devas, which are the nature spirits associated with plants (this is often found with cocaine or marijuana addiction); damaged souls of victims of genetic experimentation; implants of various kinds; and other unidentifiable objects and energies.
Many people have the mistaken belief that there must be some bizarre outward signs caused by an interfering spirit as depicted in scenes from The Exorcist. Incidentally, the movie was based on a true case, but some of the symptoms and behaviors portrayed actually came from two other cases, combined for dramatic impact. The incidence of such violent demonic possession as is displayed in that movie is rare.
In clinical practice, the aware counselor will frequently discover a condition that can best be described as spirit or entity attachment. The term possession implies total takeover of the victim/host; entity attachment causes interference with normal function and can influence behavior.
The condition is very common, and it seems that almost any trauma can cause a vulnerability to entity attachment. Some investigators in this field estimate that between 50 percent and 100 percent of the population are affected or influenced by one or more discarnate spirit entities at some time during their lives. Yet most people manage to live reasonably successful lives, even in the face of such interference. Through the years, I continue to be inspired by the indomitable human spirit.
While there are many different kinds of nonphysical beings and energies that can interfere with the living, the most common are the human soul and the nonhuman entity. Human souls include the spirit of the terminated pregnancy and the mind fragment of a living person. Nonhuman entities include the classic demon, described in religious literature, and the extraterrestrial, or otherworldly being.
The Earthbound Human Soul
The Earthbound soul, usually described as an Earthbound (EB), the surviving consciousness of a deceased human, seems to be the most common type of discarnate entity attached to living people. Attached souls of different age groups behave differently. An old and feeble person may act confused and lost, and just as feeble in spirit as they were in real life. Some women may present themselves as maternal and nurturing, sexy, angry, secretive, or helpless and whining as they were when living. Some young men may be arrogant, hostile, domineering, challenging, controlling, as macho as if they still had their own strong male bodies.
Like any teenager, the newly deceased spirit of an adolescent is caught between childhood and adulthood when the child personality is disintegrating and the adult personality is forming. Usually a person at this age has little orientation toward the spiritual side of existence, and is often defiant toward authority figures, yet aware and even resentful that they need their elders to survive. This is a difficult time in life and even more difficult in death. The newly deceased spirit wants to stay near the grieving parents, yet wants to be free. However, they usually don't know where to go.
Earthbound souls of children often appear frightened and confused about what happened to them, where they are, lonely without mother, and cautious about talking to a stranger including the therapist. They can't understand why their parents don't come. They hide and often hesitate to speak.
These entities can become enmeshed in the aura, the energy field around the body. According to yoga philosophy, there are seven major chakras, or centers of consciousness, in the body, which lie along the spine and are associated with various physical, mental, and emotional aspects of human behavior. The base chakra, associated with the color red, lies at the base of the spine and has to do with survival and baser instincts. The second is the center of sexual and generative energy; the color is orange. The solar plexus is the seat of power, control, will, with yellow color. The heart is the center of unconditional love and is associated with green, the healing color. The throat chakra is concerned with creativity and expression and has the color blue. The brow chakra, associated with the pituitary, is called the Ajna center, or third eye, and has to do with inner seeing, intuition, and has the color indigo. The crown chakra is at the top of the head, associated with the pineal gland, and is considered the location of connection with the God-consciousness, with the color violet.
The emotional or physical trauma endured by a person can render those energy centers vulnerable. They are opened like doors to allow entry and attachment by an entity. This can be discovered in past lives or in the present. An entity can attach to any chakra, or energy center of the body.
They can also attach to the surface of the body, to any interior space, or to any organ, as in cases of heart or other organ transplant. The soul of the organ donor can follow the transplanted organ into the new body. Multiple organ donations from a deceased person to several people can cause a fragmentation of the newly deceased soul, as a soul fragment follows each organ to its new destination. Grateful organ recipients may get more than anticipated.
Sharon wanted to attempt a remote spirit releasement for Don, her husband, who had just undergone a heart transplant. Denise, their teenage daughter, had stayed with him in the recovery room following surgery. As he regained consciousness his first words to her were angry and scolding. It was unlike him to treat her in this manner, and her feelings were hurt. He did not seem like himself.
In the session, I directed Sharon to visualize Don. Immediately she felt a physical sensation of tightness in the chest. She repeated the first words that came into her mind:
C. (Client): "It's too tight in here. It's too tight, I can't breathe."
Questions revealed that these words belonged to Alex, the young man who was the heart donor. Alex and some friends were playing Russian roulette. Alex lost; he shot himself in the head and he died instantly. His mother was grief-stricken; his father was angry at the stupidity of the act. They accompanied the body to the hospital. They gave permission to use the organs for transplantation.
Alex was baffled by the episode. It had happened so fast, he did not yet understand. He watched the surgeons removing his organs. Alex's words came through Sharon's voice.
C.: "My kidneys went one way, my liver went another way, and my heart went somewhere else. I followed my heart because that's where I live."
His first awareness of the destination of his heart came when he saw Don on the operating table with his chest cut open and his heart missing. Alex was physically larger than Don so there was less space in the chest cavity. This was the cause of the sensation of tightness first expressed in the session.
Excerpted from Healing Lost Souls by William J. Baldwin. Copyright © 2003 Center for Human Relations. Excerpted by permission of Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc..
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