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The concept of reincarnation and past lives
When we are born into each lifetime on Earth a subconscious veil is lowered that separates us from the world of spirit, where our soul resides in between lifetimes. This separation allows us to fully experience life in a new body without memories of previous incarnations crowding our conscious mind, potentially obstructing our growth and development. Life is challenging enough without the past flooding into the mind, creating unnecessary confusion and other emotional or physical distractions. However, choosing to uncover our past lives at the right time can be extremely helpful and healing.
My purpose is to lift the veil, to investigate and explore this hidden aspect of our lives.
My fascination with past lives has led me to discover several of my previous incarnations, with the view to understanding more about who I am and what my purpose is in this life. The results have been at times most unexpected, but on the whole are best described as being life changing.
Most of us skim through life preoccupied with the material objectives associated with career, family, friends, real estate and leisure activities. More and more our lives are being carefully programmed and controlled by the advertising and marketing industries, with a huge range of products and temptations being thrust at us on a daily basis. In the frenetic times we associate with life in the 21st century in the Western world there seems to be little time left to explore our inner world, let alone contemplate our spiritual purpose. Fortunately, more and more people are taking time out to contemplate such questions as: what is the purpose of life, where do we come from, are we alone in the universe, and what does the future hold in these challenging times?
Logically, each one of us is the product of what has gone on in our life prior to this current moment. The events of our lives — from early environment, through our formative years to the present stage of our existence — have shaped each of us into the unique individual we are today. The question is, however: are we confining this state of being to only one life, the one we are living now?
Having written two books about life after death, Afterlife and No Goodbyes, my research into the world of spirit indicates that each incarnation contains many destiny points along the way, but it is up to our free will to choose what action we decide to take. It is like the script of a movie, which contains what are known as 'plot points', and the decisions made by the characters direct the next sequence of the story.
Unfortunately, in real life most of us are too preoccupied to even notice some of these destiny points and life just keeps drifting on. That is, unless that event is so serious we are virtually forced to emerge from our self-created bubble to face the situation at hand and make a decision to act in some way. This may also entail putting our life on hold as we search for answers to a confronting problem, and take actions and make decisions that may have a big impact on us as individuals and those around us at the time.
Exploring our past lives often explains why we have these destiny points in each lifetime, and can help with making the best decisions to move on successfully and leave the past behind. Investigating my own past has provided me with many answers about my current life and its primary purpose. It is my intention with this book to open hidden doors to the past so we can all benefit from the many past-life experiences of the wide-ranging group of people I have been fortunate to meet as part of my research.
There are many ways to explore past lives, but I have found that hypnotherapy tops the list for accuracy and credibility. I have worked with hypnotherapy in several different past-life regressions over the last 35 years or so and have had many memorable experiences, some of which are recalled in this book. I have been taken to experience past lives in ancient Egypt as a priest, Roman-occupied Cairo as a Roman soldier, a healer/wise woman in an eighth-century Central American jungle village, Damascus in the Middle Ages, two lives in mediaeval France (one as a nun), and my immediate past life produced vivid memories as a young British soldier killed in France in the 1916 offensive on the Somme.
In none of these lives was I anybody famous or even notable. They were all average people, and over the centuries I have lived as both man and woman. While researching my books I did manage to ascertain that I also had many lives as a soldier or warrior, but by the time of my death in the Great War I had apparently cleared all the karma associated with my military violence over many lifetimes and could put it all behind me. Despite a lifelong fascination with the events of First World War I haven't had any involvement with soldiering in this life, apart from four years spent in the army cadets at school. In fact, I did contemplate naval officer training when I left school but was disqualified for medical reasons. So it appears that I really have learned and moved on from my military past.
When I started my high school studies many years ago, my ancient history teacher told us that studying the past always fascinated him because the more he learned the more he came to realise that history moves in cycles. This life has taught me that we keep repeating the same mistakes, evidenced by the rise and fall of governments, countries, empires and civilisations. Seemingly always at war somewhere in the world, we never appear to learn from the past.
The ancient Roman statesman and philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero summed it up well in one of his famous quotes: 'The budget should be balanced, the treasury refilled, public debt reduced, the arrogance of officialdom tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt.'
My teacher's thought has stayed with me ever since, and often comes to mind as I observe current events that so often echo the past. Perhaps that is one reason why the whole subject of past lives and reincarnation has always intrigued me.
I embraced the principle of reincarnation from a very young age, knowing intuitively that our current lifetime is just one of many over a vast span of 'time'. I have always wondered why, if there is only one shot at life, the playing field is so uneven. Why are some people born in abject poverty, struggling to merely survive, while others have everything served up on a golden platter? My heartfelt belief, supported by extensive research in the last thirty years or so, is that we come to Earth on many journeys of self-growth and spiritual development and this can only happen when we go through a vast array of life experiences. Each incarnation offers us another lifetime to grow spiritually via these experiences, and what we do with the many opportunities that arise is up to each one of us.
Broadly speaking, my research confirms for me that we reincarnate on Earth with a wide variety of people, experiencing many different cultures and locations. However, there is a close band of souls we return with during many of these lives, especially those very close to us as family, friends, colleagues and even adversaries. This includes members of our immediate and extended soul families, and often our most intense relationships are with those with whom we have shared many past lives. I will go into the area of soul relationships in detail in a separate chapter.
Most people can remember meeting someone for the first time and feeling a great sense of familiarity, almost as if they know them already. It would be interesting to know how many long-term relationships begin under these circumstances; it could also be a key reason for 'love at first sight'. This sense of deeply buried memories can take many forms, not only involving personal relationships. You may visit a city that you've never been to before yet somehow you recognise streets and buildings. You start playing a new sport and amaze everyone, including yourself, at your natural abilities and intuitive knowing of the rules.
We are often given clues to previous lives when experiencing a sense of déjà vu; a place, a situation or even a person could resonate so strongly with us that bells ring in our intuition. Many people remember visiting a city, town or even a street that is somehow very familiar, even though they have never been there in this lifetime. A certain period, or even an event in history, may also create unusually high interest for no apparent reason.
When I unexpectedly decided to do a diploma course in astrology in 1991, in my first lecture I would have been stretched to name all twelve zodiac signs. I was going through a personal transformation at the time following a marriage breakdown, and was drawn to this course through responding to some inner message. All those planets and strange symbols were very confusing at first, but I resisted the temptation to bail out and hung in there. After a few weeks it was as if some kind of fog had lifted from my brain, and everything fell into place. From that moment on I had little or no difficulty understanding the complexities of this ancient science.
To pass the course we all had to get a 100 per cent score in the final test, a feat I had never even come close to in any previous studies. My classmates all had some previous knowledge or experience with astrology, so I was behind the eight ball, so to speak. Not only did I score a perfect result; I got my diploma only nine months after starting this course as a complete novice. My teacher, Garry Wiseman, told me it was the fastest he had ever seen a student graduate from one of his courses.
While I have not yet been able to prove this was a result of past-life learning, I do feel there is in some way a connection with my past and that renewing my love of astrology is a part of my destiny in this life. Perhaps a past-life regression at a future stage will produce some evidence.
As I have come to learn in my many years on Earth, the past is alive in all of us.
'The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.' — Albert EinsteinCHAPTER 2
The relevance of past lives
It goes without saying we are all living our lives very differently now from those of our ancestors and even the way of our parents. The pace of 21st century life is all too often frenetic and overwhelming as we cope with rapid change and the ever-evolving technology that sees information bombarding us from all sides. The resulting stress from this digital overload is an inevitable part of the quickening of modern Western society. For the younger generations life is for living to the fullest – now! Who has time to worry about the future, or even concern themselves with events of the past? However, as we mature we have more time to reflect on issues such as whether or not there is an afterlife, or if indeed our current life is just one of many.
The very concept of past lives is dismissed as irrelevant by those people caught up in just getting through the daily grind, existing from one week to the next. But what if we were able to alleviate some of that pressure, to heal those physical and emotional stumbling blocks simply by understanding who we really are and what our purpose is in the grander scheme of things? Life could be even more enjoyable and certainly less stressful. We all have our special purpose in coming to this planet. Unfortunately, not many people have discovered that purpose or even bothered to look for it.
For me, the principle of reincarnation is logical. The very idea that we only get one shot at life is ridiculous. Every human being on the planet is enjoying their own unique experience, and each person's story is like a movie as it unfolds in its own individual direction. The concept of having one single lifetime just does not make sense when you think about it, especially when you look at the vastly different circumstances people find themselves in from the time of their birth. Some lives last only a matter of hours, while others live on for over a century. Where is the balance or purpose in having only one life opportunity? What would be the point of existence if birth is merely some kind of accident, the result perhaps of being allocated a number is some vast cosmic lottery? More to the point, who or what is conducting this lottery and why?
Past-life expert and former psychologist Peter Ramster writes in his book The Search for Lives Past (Somerset Film and Publishing Pty Ltd, 1992) that there are many benefits to be had from the acceptance of reincarnation. First, it removes the fear of death as being the end of everything. Second, it gives us purpose, 'as it is said each earthly incarnation is devised for learning'. And third, beliefs around reincarnation include karma as 'a true, just judgement during life and after death'. Past-life research has uncovered enigmas that surely can only be explained by accepting reincarnation. Under hypnosis, many people have been recorded as speaking intelligibly in a foreign language they had not learned normally in this lifetime. This is known as xenoglossia, which means 'foreign tongue'.
Dr Ian Stevenson, who was famous for his past-life work with children (see Chapter 9), wrote about this phenomena in his book Xenoglossy (University Press of Virginia, 1974). In one case he hypnotised the wife of a well-known Philadelphian doctor who started speaking Swedish. She had never been to Sweden nor learned that language. Dr Stevenson was able to consult experts who confirmed the man she connected with in the regression was speaking Swedish fluently with an authentic accent.
Dr Stevenson also recorded case studies of children bringing back phobias from previous lives, including connections with the death in that lifetime. Current birthmarks associated with the causes of previous deaths, including scars and other physical conditions, are part of his painstaking research.
The universe is too ordered to allow for the creation of a random one-life scenario. Once we accept that everything works in evolutionary cycles — planets, stars, galaxies, nature, including even the weather — it is easier to accept that we as individuals are part of that universal cycle.
We take for granted that nature works in cycles. Trees, for example, are born from a seed, grow to maturity, bloom, lose their leaves in the winter (if they're deciduous) and then bloom again. They contribute to the environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality and land (climate amelioration), conserving water, preserving soil and supporting wildlife. During the process of photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and produce some of the oxygen we breathe. When they have completed their purpose they die, but not before they have shed their seeds for further propagation. And so the cycle continues.
A child genius such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a classic example. In 1762, Wolfgang's father took him at the age of six with his older sister Nannerl, aged 11, to the court of Bavaria in Munich in what was to become the first of several European 'tours.' The siblings travelled to the courts of Paris, London, The Hague and Zurich to perform as child prodigies.
Child prodigies continue to amaze the world today; for example, Amira Willighagen, who was born in Holland in 2004 and at the age of nine auditioned for the national TV Show Holland's Got Talent. The judges were bemused and almost dismissive of this young girl when she told them she was going to sing an operatic aria ... that is, until she started to sing and the soprano voice that emerged sounded more like that of a 29 year old. The judges were astounded, giving her a standing ovation, and could hardly believe their ears when she sweetly informed them she had taught herself to sing by looking at YouTube videos of operatic songs and had never had a singing lesson in her life.
The chief judge, Gordon Heuckeroth, summed up his feelings this way: 'They say old souls live on in people and when I hear you sing you sound just like Maria Callas. Your voice is so pure and so beautiful I find it so special for a girl of your age to be able to do this. It is incredible!' Amira was given a golden ticket that took her straight to the finals, where she convincingly won the award. Amira is now singing professionally at a very young age and has made many international appearances in what seems to be just the beginning of an exciting career.
The question remains: is Amira the reincarnation of Maria Callas, who has returned to take her stellar career to new levels, or is she perhaps, as Gordon Heuckeroth said, just a very old soul? We may never know the answer to that question but it is worth thinking about.
Many spiritual practices and religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism are based on the principle of reincarnation being a vital aspect of soul development. Many other religions both ancient and modern have accepted the principle of reincarnation in some form or another (see https://reincarnationafterdeath.com for more details). Our souls return to Earth over a series of lifetimes to evolve, learn, grow, transform and become more spiritually attuned through the course of each life. When we reincarnate, it is believed that we tend to cycle through our different lives with many of the same people. Often these travelling 'soul' companions are the ones we enter into relationships with; we work through our unresolved issues together so that we may heal, or help others to do so. When we struggle or keep encountering blocks that keep us from reaching our goals, there may be a specific lesson we are supposed to learn in this lifetime. Being naturally blessed with a musical talent or sporting prowess, for example, can be a special ability you worked hard to develop in a past life.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Past Lives Unveiled"
Copyright © 2019 Barry Eaton.
Excerpted by permission of Rockpool Publishing Pty Ltd.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
1. The concept of reincarnation and past lives,
2. The relevance of past lives,
3. A lifetime in Ancient Greece,
4. A visitor in the night,
5. A strange tale from an ancient desert kingdom,
6. Past lives, reincarnation and the afterlife,
7. Soul families and past-life connections,
8. Why we can't remember our past lives,
9. Is reincarnation inevitable?,
10. Exploring past lives while in the afterlife,
11. Jack's life in the Civil War,
12. Past lives as famous people,
13. The man who walked with Jesus,
14. Angels, guides, dogs and other worlds,
15. Case studies from Peter Smith,
16. The strange reincarnation of Norman Shealy,
17. Arnall Bloxham: a massacre and a highwayman,
18. Physical impacts from the past,
19. Psychic cords and past lives,
20. Michael Newton's unpublished regressions,
21. Old souls; new souls; souls from other worlds,
22. Parallel lives and other dimensions,
23. Tahchee, and the intriguing case of Frank Teschemacher,
24. My off-world investigation,
25. Wrapping it up,
About the author,