Reincarnation: How I Developed My Belief in Reincarnation
How does a small town girl from Indiana whose grandfathers were both Christian preachers develop a belief in reincarnation?
Well, I did it by moving from Indiana to California after a divorce left me looking for spiritual answers. The first
book I read in that search happened to be one by Jess Stearn that mentioned Edgar Cayce's work.
I have wondered what would have happened if I had never read a Cayce book. Would some other books have interested
me in the subject of past lives? The first time I read about Cayce's past life readings I felt I'd come home.
I have read and reread books published by ARE Press about Cayce's work and what has
always run through my head as I read about past lives was, "I Love to Tell The Story."
Since Christians connect that song title with the life and work of Jesus, it may seem strange for it to symbolize my
passion about past lives. Certainly Christian churches don't list past lives among the teachings of Christ.
No matter, the words of that old hymn are the words that always occur to me when I ponder past lives.
In OUT OF THE ASHES, Rabbi Yonassan Gershom's book about people living today who believe they've reincarnated
after a lifetime during the holocaust, he states, "...a question (was) asked " of Jesus in the Gospel of John: 'Rabbi, who
sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'...implies a belief in reincarnation, as there is no other way that
the blind man himself could have sinned before birth!...the story does indicate a belief in reincarnation among Jews
during the Roman period." So, perhaps my connecting the song "I Love to Tell the Story"
with the subject of past lives is not inappropriate after all.
I can't count the number of people I've told about Cayce and past lives through the years. As I've read other books
about reincarnation, like Rabbi Gershom's, for example, I've added other understandings to my litany, but the
major source for my past life crusade has continued to be Cayce. Through the years as I've spontaneously
spread the word, I have had many times when, "I Love to Tell the Story" sang in my mind.
I became a believer in the efficacy of psychotherapy many years ago during the divorce I mentioned at the beginning
of this. I saw a therapist for quite some time and resolved a major issue in my life. I have always been glad I had
therapy and have assured others who were hesitant about it that they would probably be glad, too.
I couldn't imagine then, however, that one day I would also be a believer in past lives, and would bring these two interests
together by writing about a form of psychotherapy called Past Life Therapy. I must admit I've wondered what
Dr. Hugh T. Carmichael, the Chicago psychoanalyst I saw would think of my activities on behalf of past life
therapy. If he were still living I doubt that he'd be use it. I like to think though that if he's passed
on he would now have the perspective to be pleased.
I remember a heated verbal sparring match I had years ago with a minister after he impatiently dismissed my notion
of treating emotional ills with past life therapy. Many years after that Jess Stearn delineated how one woman, world
famous author Taylor Caldwell, did just that. I can still recall being almost beside myself because the minister
friend would not even try to see the possibility of such a thing. I'm sure he must have been as baffled by
my very emotional presentation of the idea as I was by what I thought was his unreasonableness.
For the past several years I have interviewed Past Life therapists with the idea of putting these interviews
together as a book. Interviewing these therapists has been inspiring. So have their stories about their clients.
I believe their stories will have the same effect on others. Some of the interviews in this book have appeared in
print in a newsletter about Past Life therapy and have been popular with its professional readers over the past few years.
There is no hard evidence that can prove the existence of past lives, but one can make a case for the inner consistency
of the Cayce readings as a sort of proof of their reality. After all, Cayce in an altered state could zero in on a certain
past life for a client then many years later refer to the same lifetime again, describing it the same way each time and
pointing to the same material in that life as an influence on the present lifetime. The thousands of readings he spent
his life giving for people took up so much of his time that he couldn't have had enough left to
cunningly plot all these connections in order to contrive consistency in the "lives" he cited.
Occasionally, as Dr. Brian L. Weiss in his recent book THROUGH TIME INTO HEALING says, two people unhappy
about a present life relationship will do separate regressions, as did one of his clients and her daughter, unbeknownst
to each other. The mother had a past life regression because of their troubled relationship, unaware that the daughter
had also had one for the same reason. Later the two told each other about their regressions and discovered
that they'd regressed to the same lifetime as having laid the foundation for their present relationship.
One can point to this kind of occurrence in past life therapy as proof of past lives, too, it seems to me. Edgar Cayce
also found this kind of connection among people he did readings for, and the recent book MISSION TO MILLBORO
is, of course, a book that resulted from a whole series of such overlapping regressions.
It doesn't really matter whether or not one can prove past lives, as the P.L. therapists all say, they use it because
it usually gets quick results. A belief in past lives is not necessary on the part of either the therapist or the client for it to work.
And how does a girl from Indiana become convinced of the value of Past Life therapy? She regresses to a past life
and, as a result, symptoms that have troubled her for years disappear. That's what happened to me. Of course,
that's what happened to Taylor Caldwell in Jess Stearn's book about her regression therapy, and she
continued to be a firm disbeliever in reincarnation even after her symptoms were gone.
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