Is past life regression really possible?
We are fully aware that hypnosis as a therapy is very powerful and effective, but can it really be used to take us back to a previous life?
Firstly, it should be established that reincarnation is possible before we can claim to access memories of previous lives via hypnosis. Of course, there will always be those who simply cannot accept the possibility that reincarnation exists but, equally, it is accepted as a fact by a great many others. For example, in Vedic culture reincarnation is regarded as an absolute fact, with many references found in the Bhagavad Gita, as well as being a major facet of Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. In addition, the Bible is believed by some to include references to reincarnation, though this is disputed by others who believe that Christianity cannot accommodate reincarnation.
So, for argument’s sake, let’s assume that reincarnation does exist. There has certainly been some compelling evidence to support it. In fact, Dr Ian Stevenson, former Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and former chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, dedicated much of his career to finding evidence of reincarnation and claimed to have discovered more than 3,000 examples.
When we use hypnosis to take a person back to their formative years, we wouldn’t generally question whether or not the memories they recall are real but that doesn’t necessarily mean that memories of an apparent past life recalled under hypnosis are genuine memories. For instance, in hypnotherapy, the hypnotherapist is leading the client with suggestions that are accepted by the subconscious which is powerful enough to make permanent changes. Therefore, it is essential for the hypnotist to avoid using any leading suggestions that might influence the apparent memories during regression. Also, it must be accepted that the person who is being regressed may be recalling a memory from a book or a film etc. rather than a situation that has been experienced by him or her personally. Genetic memory; a ‘memory’ or imprint that has been passed from one generation to another via their genes, has also been offered as a possible explanation for memories of an apparent past life during hypnosis.
It seems it cannot be guaranteed that memories recalled under hypnosis for past life regression are definitely those from a previous life. However, having said that, it would be advisable to remain open-minded to the distinct possibility.