Reincarnation means a ‘soul‘ moving from one and taking birth in another human body after death. Hypnosis uses to identify memories of past life. Buddhists and Hindus have a shared belief over incarnations. In Western countries ‘past-life practitioners’ use hypnosis, which has become more or less a business.
A session with a hypnotist can last up to forty minutes and it is expensive. Clinical psychiatrists and psychologists widely reject Regression. A 2006 survey found that most of the samples studied by mental health professionals rated ‘Past Lives therapy’ as a treatment for ‘mental disorders.’ Those who are in search of a ‘spiritual experience’ may consider it favourably.
The technique used by hypnotists involves the subject having to answer a set of questions, and the hypnotised reveals his events of ‘ allegedly’ on one’s past life! Scientists say it misrepresents as a realistic recording of previous events rather than a factual set of recollections.
Scientists maintain that hypnosis and suggestive questions leave the subject particularly likely to hold distorted memories. ‘Created memories can become indistinguishable from memories based on events that occurred during the subject’s life.’ They believe it combines experiences, knowledge, imagination, and suggestion or how the hypnotist guides the hypnotised.
In the 2nd century BC, Hindu scholar Patanjali in his Yoga scriptures discussed the idea of a person’s soul becoming burdened with an accumulation of impressions (karma) from previous lives, and he called it ‘regression.‘ The Chinese deity Meng Po (‘Lady of Forgetfulness’) believed to prevent souls from remembering their past lives by giving people ‘a bittersweet drink to erase all memories before climbing the reincarnation wheel.’ The Seven truths of Jainism’ deal with the soul and its attachment to karma. It reveals that karma can stick to one’s soul and to be free from the cycle of rebirth and death, one must separate karma from the soul!
Psychiatrists & Psychologists
Clinical Psychiatrists and psychologists widely reject past life regression. A 2006 survey of mental health professionals rated ‘Past Lives’ therapy as a ‘discredited’ treatment for mental disorders. They say that ‘memories recovered by hypnosis result from narratives created by the subconscious mind using imagination, forgotten information and suggestions by the therapist.’ Such memories created under hypnosis can be indistinguishable memories from actual memories. Those who believe in reincarnation are more likely to report such memories than those who refuse to believe.
Examinations of three individuals’ apparent past life regression ( Bridey, Murphy, Jane Evans) on the Internet reveal their memories were ‘superficially’ convincing. However, upon investigation by experts in languages who used historical periods revealed flaws in all three individuals.
“Moviemakers used the evidence was found the pattern in each speech during the 16th century to convey the impressions of English speech, rather than actual rebirth memories”! The date, too, was completely inaccurate! But at the same time, it was recognised as ‘printing errors in historical pamphlets! ‘ The reported topic was historically accurate from the Roman era, but identical information found simultaneously was in a 1947 novel set.
A study on Regression.
A study in 1976 found that forty per cent of hypnotisable subjects described new identities and used different names when suggested to regress their past birth memories. In the 1990s, a series of experiments undertaken by Nicholas Spanos examined the nature of the alleged past-life memory descriptions elaborately with vivid details. It, however, was not indicative of the validity of the therapeutic method.
‘Human memory involves the ability to both preserve and recover information one has experienced. Memories experienced in past lives can be vivid based on one’s present life, and it is impossible to differentiate from real memories of actual events; any damage could be difficult to undo’ experts say. Past life regression is exhausted on the premise of reincarnation according to many accredited organisations of the APA (American Psychological Association).
They have begun to refute this method as unethical! Scientists consider past life regression is immoral because it lacks evidence to support such claims! ‘The hypnotic responsiveness justifies past life regression and places the participant in a vulnerable position to establish false memories. Such false memories may be harmful,’ says Gabriel Andrade, Assistant Professor, College of Medicine, Ajman University, United Arab Emirates. He points out that past life regression violates the principle of ‘not harm process’, which is part of the Hippocratic Oath taken by doctors. (Treat the ill to the best of one’s ability).
Personal experience of the author
Peter Kalu, the author of the book: ‘Plan your next birth’ has gone through the experience of regression after the writer published a review on his book. He has written his experiences of regression, which the writer chose to describe in detail as follows:
“ Peter Kalu says, Dr. Azard Uduman (the hypnotist) came on ‘zoom’ ( Internet) and first wanted to know why I needed to involve in Regression? I told him that it was out of curiosity!” Dr. Azard Uduman then hypnotised me. I am tolerant with hypnosis. Within few minutes, I was in a hypnotic state and kept on listening to Dr. Uduman. “He took me through a flight of steps, doors and corridors in a building, until I entered a park. I sat on a beautiful bench in the park.”
“He kept on chatting continuously and indicated there was a white screen in front of me. After a few seconds, I could see a large screen and I stared interestingly at the screen . Dr. Uduman kept on guiding me in my hypnotised position. Next, I saw a wall with pictures annexed to it with various deities. I kept on gazing at a particular deity, which I could recognise as Lord Ganesh ( the elephant god! in Hinduism). Dr. Azard guided me to keep looking at Lord Ganesh. The next moment the elephant moved and his trunk wanted to touch me. At that moment, I could hear Dr. Uduman say: ‘Let the elephant touch you with his trunk.”
“ I also heard Dr. Uduman say that the ‘elephant god’ ( the deity) wished to communicate with me! Seconds later, I saw a person dressed in immaculate white carrying some garlands – he wore jewellery around his neck. Many devotees accompanied the man. Next I saw everyone in the large gathering worshipping the man clad in white.The man performed ‘ a Hindu’ service. After the pooja was over, the elephant deity re-appeared.”
“Next, I mounted the elephant as it was about to move forward. I realised the man clad in white was the chief priest of the Hindu temple. Meanwhile, a Buddhist monk appeared on the scene.”
“Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was posing as the Hindu Priest in the Hindu Devale. Next moment when I set my eyes on the Buddhist monk, I immediately dismounted from the elephant and walked up to the Buddhist priest.”
“He welcomed me adoringly. The Buddhist monk became quite affectionate, and we started chattering like two old friends. When our conversation ended, still walking forward, we both ( the Buddhist priest and self) came to a ferryboat near a waterway. There were approximately fifty people on the ferryboat. The ferryboat started to move slowly, and finally we landed on an island not very far from where we began the journey.”
“The Buddhist priest escorted me towards a temple on the island and introduced me to the Chief Prelate of the temple. I could see myself sitting in front of the head of the temple and listening to the chief priest’s sermon (Bana). After listening to the discourse, I became a Buddhist. I was curious about the Hindu, Priest, Kovil, and Hindu followers and my appearance as the Kovil Poosari. Still, Dr. Uduman consoled me stating that what I did was a noble act! Finally, I chose to live in the temple as a Buddhist till I eventually died.”
“ I saw my dead body cremated with honour. After the funeral, I distinctly saw my parents, as a young couple, both with receding hair. It was supposed to be the beginning of my birth in Sri Lanka as a Buddhist.”
All such details coincide with the scientific proofs mentioned above. One wonders whether Peter Kalu, being a devout Buddhist, memories created under hypnosis was indistinguishable information stored in his retention and reflected as previous life’s data more vividly!
After all, at the end of the exercise, he lost £40 (approx. Rs 12,000) as the fee for the hypnotist. One wonders whether is it is worth going through Regression and for what purpose? It’s food for thought!!
picture credit: Google Photos