Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More Than Strickly a Book Review

Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives
by Michael Newton, Ph.D.
Llewellyn Publications
5 spangles out of five

Let me digress. Waaay back in high school, I stumbled upon The Search for Bridey Murphy, a book in which an amateur hypnotist first took an Arizona housewife back to a previous life, as part of (iIrc) a party entertainment in 1952. As soon as she said, "Scratched the paint all off my bed" (she remembered being a little girl who was being punished by having to stay in her room and was feeling rebellious), I was hooked. Why, I even bought a record of the first session.

Bridey was supposed to have been a 19th Century woman living in Ireland, and during a series of hypnotic sessions her modern incarnation recounted that life, right up to death and slightly beyond. Researchers have said they've debunked the "facts" of her life, and the hypnotist did admit to leading his subject.

But just because one amateur doesn't conduct an investigation in a scientific method is no reason to completely dismiss the entire concept of reincarnation.

Ancient Greeks believed in it. Just about all cultures do, come to think of it. Why, the Catholic church even had to work to expunge mentions of reincarnation from their "official" Bible. (Though they missed a few "Elijah will be reborn" verses, especially in Matthew 11:7-14.)

I'm not talking transmigration here. That's where human souls can go into the bodies of animals. I'm not sure at all about that, but I have seen transcripts of hypnotic sessions where this has been claimed to have happened.

It just seemed to me that more scientific investigations should be made. Eventually I stumbled upon Dr. Helen Wambagh's wonderful books (except the last, Mass Dreams of the Future, which relied on one subject in particular, though I'll have to reread it as I just noticed it mentioned Obama).

But Dr. Wambagh dealt with large groups of people. She'd get a gym-full and regress them. Then they'd fill out a form. Then she'd regress them again; again, the form-filling. Then she took her results, graphed them and researched historic trends, etc. That's what I was talking about! It's all fascinating stuff.

She did a separate book on one of her "specialty" regressions she had her groups do: that of telling her what had happened before these people decided to incarnate. The book is Life Before Life. Incredibly interesting and enlightening! I wanted to know more but didn't see anything on the bookshelves.

Oh, the Internet! What a wonderful thing it is. The other week I discovered Journey of Souls, and have since ordered both followups to it. But let's talk about Journey of Souls.

In it we find Dr. Newton has regressed many, many people to all kinds of past lives. They come to him after medical doctors can't find the source of their problems, and sometimes the answers have been found in past lives.

Dr. Newton here presents what happens to us when we die. What the process is, what our life "Out There" (it's our true home, unlike Earth) is like, and how we go about getting back into a new body. The book is organized into steps that his subjects agree on.

When we die, we usually jump out of the body before any pain can get too bad. Suicide is a huge source of guilt, unless it's to alleviate physical pain, in which case it's okay. Young souls who abruptly die and are pissed off about it, and those who bear a lot of guilt can linger on as spirits instead of getting to where they should be going. Many souls linger just long enough to try to soothe the grief of their loved ones. They try to tell them that they're doing just fine.

Then they're off! Younger souls are confused by the journey and require friends and familiar souls to greet them. Older souls know where they're going. We get showered in positive energy to renew ourselves. We get a non-judgmental life-retrospective. There's a kind of central station that newly-arriving souls zip through, carried on currents of... something. This carries us to our "pods," which are places where the souls we will spend all eternity being BFF (literally!) with reside.

Though some of our friends probably don't reside in our pod, we can merely think of them and be in instant close contact with them. Though some souls may also be on Earth incarnated, they leave a part of themselves back in the pod, though they're at lower operating levels than usual. (Souls can also reincarnate into two concurrent lives. I've read that elsewhere as well.)

In the pod we have direct access to our personal guide and teachers. There are junior and senior ones. There seems to be a definite hierarchy of souls to the Source. (They say don't call it "God" because that makes it human when it's not.) Prepare yourselves to have your mind blown when the author makes a theory about the Source of our universe at the very end. It was something I was thinking about after having heard all the stories.

Anyway, in the pod we figure out what we did right and wrong—with both qualities being those we deem good or bad for our soul's evolution—in our previous life and what we could be working on, how we could be helping our podmates improve themselves, etc. There seems to be a lot of fun, humor, and even play as well as serious study.

Souls are at all different levels of advancement, though those in our own pod are right around our own level. To my surprise, this book said that there were new souls being born all the time. Some people truly are "old souls," and here I'd thought that was just some frou-frou goofball romantic phrase.

Eventually we decide to reincarnate. We talk to our guides and podmates and we do a lot of thinking. Then we get to go to a theatre to view possible lives. We usually have some definite location in mind. We're presented (by a council of Elders, who keep our wants and needs very much in mind) with choices of bodies and what their lives will be like. (There are turning points in lives that can make them go in different directions. We have free will.)

Then we go back to our pod and discuss/think. When we make a definite decision, we go into a meeting with the people who will be in our new lives. There are close friends and soulmates, yes, but also others who need the interaction with us to accomplish something. The Elders make sure we have a series of signs (!) that will signal to us our turning points. There are backup signs. One guy even said that the Elders knew he had a tendency to miss signs, so they arranged a bunch of backup signs.

One "sign" was a flashing of a woman's necklace. When the boy noticed the flash, he met her and she taught him important ways to approach life. Later, when he met his wife-to-be, he recognized her by her eyes, by her perfume, and one of his signs to her was that he stepped on her toes during their first dance. Aww!

Then it's off to be born. Being born is supposed to be a LOT more traumatic than dying. Good to know. Ah, you're wondering about abortion now, right? Most people report that very young fetuses don't have a human soul merged with them yet. The souls have to incorporate with the (animal soul?) that is there in the body. (The book says that animals have half-souls. I want to know more about this!)

The soul floats in and out of the fetus (if a fetus doesn't live until birth, the soul comforts it; the death was known before the incarnation), only really settling in at birth—and even then the stories say they don't really go gung-ho into their incarnations until about age 5. There was a cute bit about the soul trying to work to settle family negativity by getting the baby to reach out and touch someone's face during an argument, etc. Everyone was so busy saying, "Aww!" that the argument dissipated.

But the whole purpose of studying reincarnation is this: to realize that we indeed are immortal beings and that we are all on a learning journey. We should always strive to improve ourselves and help those around us. Life is a classroom, but life is also to be enjoyed by loving and helping others.

The book itself can be just a trifle on the dry, analytical side at some points, but they pass quickly and the text is usually clear. The examples, given in script form as the subject tells the doctor what's going on and why, is riveting. So I'd say that this book is a definite don't miss. Your mind will spin but your curiosity about "Why are we here?" will find a few wonderful answers.

No comments: