In this essay, Gerrit explores the consequences of a non-linear notion of time for the field of regression therapy. He argues that getting in touch with other lives is not so much about remembering something that is over and done with. Rather, it is a creative interaction with living presences who are still growing and evolving just like you do. The past is basically as open and undetermined as the future. This throws a fresh light on the meaning of regression therapy and offers wonderful possibilities for healing.
From the fields of science, philosophy and mysticism comes the argument that the linear progression of time as we experience it does not actually exist. This is most evidently expressed in Einstein's Theory of Relativity, which clearly shows that the "now" is not a unique moment.
A moment that is experienced by one person as "now", may be in the future for another person, and in the past for someone else, depending on their respective positions in space and their motion. Events that occur at the same time for one observer could occur at different times for another. But if the "now" is not a singular or unique event, then our traditional conception of time collapses, and the division of time into present, past, and future falls apart. This means that the past is not fixed. Everything takes place in the "now" – including our "past" lives.
What does this mean for reincarnation therapy and the task of a regression therapist? To answer this question, let me first address the meaning of memories. If we remember something, we are reaching, psychologically, to another point in time. We connect our own "now" with another "now", which, to us, lies in the past.
However, if the past, present, and future are in fact part of one extended "now", then the past is not something that is definitely over and finished. Remembering is not a passive process, but an interaction with a living energy, i.e. an interaction with the part of us that is experiencing that particular past moment as their "now"-reality. Also, as we reach out to that past self through remembering, the interaction goes both ways. If we connect with a time in the past, we touch this other "now" with our energy, we influence it, and we also receive energy and information in return.
If linear time is an illusion, remembering is communicating
Remembering is, in fact, a communication process. To remember is to communicate with the past. This also applies to memories of past lives. Here, too, an energetic exchange takes place between the present you and the past you. At some level, every regression therapist knows this.
A good therapist will never ask a client to try to remember something. He will always make the suggestion to move toward it during regression. For example, he may say “Go to the true origin of the problem.” The therapist knows that the latter approach works much better the former. Why? Because this instruction corresponds more closely to what is actually happening. There is something to go toward: another "now" in which the traumatic event was first experienced.
What happens when you connect your "now", your present, with another "now" and when you start to communicate with the part of you that lives in another "now"? The result of such a communication process is the creation of a new and "shared now". As soon as you begin a dialogue with someone else (in this case your "former" self), you are sharing the "now", the same present. And from this "shared present" new possibilities arise: specifically, it means that you can send healing and understanding to your past self, thus influencing the past in a real way. As the past is not over in absolute terms, you can change it from the future.
What does the above concept mean for reincarnation therapy? In my experience, there are three important consequences:
I. Healing the past instead of reliving it
According to the traditional view, what we can do with painful experiences in the past in regression therapy is to relive them and thereby take off the sharp edges of the experience. Take, for example, someone who has a fear of heights. He sees a therapist and discovers that he appears to have fallen to his death in a previous life. This event is lived through a number of times and the fear of heights seems to have disappeared.
The traditional view is that the deadly fall in a previous life has created a fear that has not been sufficiently processed, in one way or another, with the result that it manifests in this life as a fear of heights. To be made aware and relive the cause of the fear seems to provide the solution.
I, however, believe that what actually happens is the following: somewhere in space-time, someone is falling, and is feeling fear. The fear is so intense that a cry for help is sent through space-time that is caught by an incarnation with a related psychic structure, or by an incarnation of the same soul, who then experiences the cry for help as a fear of heights. When this person enters into regression, they connect their own consciousness with that of the falling person and in that way the latter person's fear of heights is eased.
The crux to letting go of the fear is, in my view, not the reliving of the fear, but adding a clear, loving consciousness to the fear. This lucid consciousness is you, in the present. As you reach out to the past with clarity of mind and the intention to heal, you actually touch the past self who is suffering like a spiritual guide does, or a "guardian angel" if you will.
Because you, as guide or angel, take compassion on the anxious person, the other you in that other "now", that other you can let go of their phobia and find peace. In that past, they will have a sense of peace and surrender. In this case, the person falling to their death may die in a state of surrender, and the resulting trauma of this death will be less intense. By recreating the past in this way, your present is affected: you, in turn, are also set free of your fear of heights.
Be with your past self as their guide or "guardian angel"
Reliving a trauma from a past life, a technique that is often used in regression therapy, only makes sense in a limited way. In the worst case, it can bring up a lot of unnecessary anxiety and tension. I feel that it is much better for the client to enter regression therapy as a helper, as a guide and friend to their past selves who are in pain. You then do not identify with the problem, but much more with the solution: you are not the victim, but the healer. You do not need to relive the darkness, but bring your light into the darkness.
Specifically, before entering a past life, I invite my clients to see themselves as a being of Light, an angel who can travel through time and space. When they sense the truth of this, I ask them to reach out to the traumatized person that they encounter in a past life, and be of assistance by sending love, encouragement and understanding to that person.
I once had a client who had considered suicide during a very difficult period in his life in which he suffered from depression. At one point, he heard a voice that encouraged him and told him that he did not have to take his own life. It was a voice of trust and reassurance. I advised him to travel to that difficult time in the past from the present as an angel. By the end of the exercise, he realized that it was he himself who had been that voice; from the future he had helped himself through that difficult period.
II. Approaching unexplained anxiety as a call for help
Many people suffer from inexplicable fear that is ever present in the background. It may be mixed with other feelings, such as sadness, grief or anger. It is often a feeling that has been present since childhood, for no apparent reason.
Behind that fear is always a cry for help. It is a call from another "now", another life, or sometimes from one’s childhood. In my view, the aim of regression therapy is to discover what that fear is, and to help that other person just as you would help a good friend in need. You go to that person, speak to them with encouraging words, and surround them with support, love, and understanding.
Instead of regarding the persistent fear as a sign that something is strangely and irrevocably wrong with you, you regard it as belonging not to this "now" but to another "now", another "you" who is reaching out for help. You - the client - are the one who can resolve the fear by bringing understanding and sympathy to it and by seeing the fear as a call for help from someone else. This "someone else" is you in another "now" moment.
As soon as you find that person, and you observe them with neutral and compassionate awareness, their fear will become understandable to you and it will be easier to accept it and to gradually let go of it. The anxiety is relieved by seeing it as someone else's problem, because in that way you dissociate from the energy of fear. From the objective perspective of the "now", in which there is often no cause for fear, you realize that you yourself are greater than the fear and that you are able to embrace it with a more expanded awareness.
The fear thus becomes a doorway that leads you into another life, that connects you with another "now". By allowing yourself to move gradually toward that fear in regression therapy, you will discover its source and you can start to heal it. Often, to create the necessary shift and to disassociate from the fear, it is enough to simply ask the question: "To whom does the fear that I feel belong?" By addressing it as a call for help from another point in time-space, you create a bridge to the fear. This bridge does two things which are beneficial: it creates distance between you and the fear and it brings healing to the fear.
III. Creating a new past
Another possibility arising from this new perspective on time-space is the possibility of recreating the past. If the past is not fixed and over, and if to remember it is to exchange energy with it, then our traditional view of causality goes by the board. Traditionally, things cannot be caused by events in the future, only by events in the past. But what about the man in distress - in the example above - who hears a voice from the future telling him to have faith and who decides to live on because of that? Here, the future seems to have a very real impact on the past.
How can the idea of creating a new past have a bearing on regression therapy? I often invite the client to rewrite the past in the following way. After they have become aware of trauma that occurred in another life, I suggest they connect with the past life personality before the trauma occurs.
Almost always there is a critical moment in time, at which the personality could have chosen a different path, one of which would have lead into a more beneficial future, in which the trauma would not occur. While in regression therapy, you can still choose the road not taken; you can pick the alternate pathway or "timeline" and activate it.
Imagine a sensitive, prophetic woman who has been burned at the stake as a witch in a previous life. There were times during that lifetime in which she sensed the need to better protect herself, or run away perhaps, or to break off ties with certain people. In regression therapy, she attempts to connect with such a crucial moment, a time when she could have made choices that would have prevented the burning. If that works, and the client gets emotionally connected with an alternate timeline that could have developed, the trauma is partially or completely erased from the past of the client.
To achieve this, the following steps are required:
- The client makes an emotional connection with the traumatic past life. The point of entry is usually the time of the trauma itself.
- Subsequent to that, she travels back in time to a moment before the trauma when the decisive choice is still possible.
- The client then begins to communicate with the person she was in that previous life. She explains to that person why she can and should make the positive choice. She encourages her and provides her with insights from the larger perspective that she now has. This will create a new shared "now" with possibilities for healing for both parties.
- The past life personality feels inspired to take a different and new course of action and the traumatic events no longer take place.
As you send healing to the past life, it in return sends healing back to you. By creating a new past, the present is altered as well. According to this view, the past is not fixed: the past, like the future, is an ocean of possibilities. From the present, our current "now", we can choose again and again which pathway to pursue, which timeline to activate, whether it is in the past or in the future.
Our lives take place in a time-space continuum which constantly moves and changes; we are constantly interacting with our other lives and they with us. The part that does the interacting is our consciousness, our conscious awareness. This part is our essence and it is independent of time and space. It travels through the time-space web but it is not in time.
It is the part of us that is eternal and unchanging. Because consciousness itself is independent of time and space, it is a source of Light and healing for all that exists in time. The more conscious we become, the more we enter a timeless realm, from which we radiate light to all of our lifetimes.
I realize that introducing this new and dazzling perspective on time and causality in the area of regression therapy raises a lot of questions which cannot be answered within the context of this short essay. I do feel however that a non-linear notion of time, which is much more flexible and open than our traditional notion, offers great promises for this area and does far greater justice to the mysterious nature of our soul. The soul is like a sun with numerous beams, each representing a lifetime expressing a part of our Self. The beams all radiate their light simultaneously and as they do they are connected at their roots and interact with each other through the center of the sun.
Many years ago, I was sitting on the shore of a lake on a hot summer day, staring at how the water reflected the sunlight. I thought about life as a human being on earth. The irregular patterns of the light patches on the water, together with the heat, had a hypnotising effect on me. The image of an eternally shining sun which split itself up into countless dancing patches of light seemed to provide a metaphor of what life is about.
The light patches are the many human lives we live that each in their own imperfect way reflect a higher source. Together they perform the perpetual dance of life; together they create a perfect whole. In reality, there is no time; everything exists in one big present. When one patch grows larger because of the movement of the water, another one immediately shrinks in size.
We all have many lives on earth and they are interconnected in dynamic and deeply meaningful ways. All these lives are geared toward the same goal. Together they reflect a higher source; together they are whole.
I belief the same goes for humanity at large. On a deep inner level, a level outside time, we are all connected to the same source of Light. It is our mission to express this source of Light as best as we can in time.