In the past five years, Chinese President Xi Jinping has paid 28 state visits covering five continents, exchanging views with numerous heads of state and …
Past life regression (PLR) may be both an experimental technique and a form of therapy, but it has scientific credibility only if reincarnation itself is proven scientifically to exist. The existence of reincarnation is not yet a scientific truth. Recent studies indicate that reincarnation merits acknowledgment as a scientific hypothesis because it can be falsified or confirmed through scientific investigation. For this reason Dr. Ian Stevenson's international field studies are immensely important. Any idea that has clinical usefulness has clinical validity, but the clinical validity of PLR has yet to be convincingly demonstrated.
The most famous case of past life regression (PLR) is undoubtedly that of Bridey Murphy. It is a historical case. In the mid-twentieth century Morey Bernstein, a Colorado businessman who had practiced hypnotism for ten years with hundreds of different persons, decided to attempt to regress someone to one or more past lives. He chose as his subject a woman called Virginia Tighe, knowing that she had the ability to go into a deep trance with ease. Between 29 November 1952 and 29 August 1953 Bernstein made six attempts to facilitate the regression of Virginia. During those sessions she recalled one brief life as a baby who died. After that there emerged the figure of Bridey Murphy – more formally Bridget Kathleen Murphy.
Following her first experience as Bridey, Virginia mutated into her alter ego whenever invited to do so in a trance state. She proffered a significant amount of information about Ireland, none of which she had any explicable way of knowing as Virginia Tighe. She said she had been born in Cork in 1798, the daughter of a Protestant barrister called Duncan Murphy and his wife Kathleen. She had a brother named Duncan Blaine Murphy, who had married Aimee Strayne. Another brother had died in infancy. At the age of twenty, Bridey said, she was married in a Protestant ceremony to a Catholic, Brian Joseph McCarthy, the son of another Cork barrister. Brian and Bridey moved to Belfast, where he attended school and eventually progressed to teach law at Queen's University. They had no children, and Bridey lived until she was sixty-six.
No record of any of these facts has been identified in Ireland. However, during her narration of her experiences as Bridey, Virginia mentioned the names of two Belfast grocers, Farr's and John Carrigan. It proved possible to verify that two grocers with those names did operate retail enterprises in the city at the appropriate time. She said that her address in Cork was The Meadows, and it was established that there is an area in that town named Mardike Meadows. Queen's University in Belfast is of course a renowned educational establishment. Virginia used certain distinctive words that on investigation proved to be in use in Ireland at Bridey's time, such as 'ditched' for 'buried', a 'linen' to mean a handkerchief, and 'lough' for river or lake. It was pointed out by those convinced of the veracity of Virginia's recollections that a girl born and raised in the United States, as Virginia was, would be unlikely to have been acquainted with these terms. Investigative reporters connected that there was some evidence for 'something', as yet unexplained. Credible hypnosis experts claim to have debunked this case, but the late Professor Ian Stevenson who has investigated maximum cases of children remembering previous lives, considered it worthy of closer scrutiny.
"Looking For Carroll Beckwith" (Robert L. Snow, 1999, Looking for Carroll Beckwith. Pennsylvania: Daybreak books) is an interesting case of past life regression. Carroll Beckwith was a minor portrait painter who had lived and worked in New York city in the late 19th and early20th century. He had never done anything outstanding that would make him immortal as an artist. Captain Robert L. Snow is a commander of the homicide branch at the Indianapolis Police department. He discovered while under hypnosis that he was Carroll Beckwith in a previous life. Snow wanted to disprove the images he had experienced while under hypnosis as a form of cryptomnesia. Mr Snow was already disenchanted with hypnotherapeutic procedures in child sex abuse cases. The regression took place in 1992 and Captain Snow was able to find 28 details to his regression that could be proven or disproven.
Instead of disproving the veracity of his images, Mr Snow proved that most every recollection he had while hypnotised actually took place nearly 100 years earlier. While holidaying in New Orleans, Captain Snow entered an art gallery in an obscure side street where he encountered the painting of his memory: the hunchbacked woman. He learned that Beckwith's personal diaries and an unpublished autobiography existed in a local library in New York. For a detective that was a definitive piece of evidence to close or prove the case. From Beckwith's diaries, he found that 26 points of 28 matched with the life of Carroll Beckwith. His recollections included that Beckwith used a walking stick even though he was not disabled, visited France, drunk wine (Whiskey was the popular drink in US), disliked painting portraits, upset over bad picture hangings and lighting in art shows, painted the portrait of a hunchbacked woman, mother died of blood clot, wife Berth was childless, Berth used to play piano or sing for friends etc. Captain Snow got the name of the previous personality's wife incorrect but his frank admittance of it adds to his credibility. Mr Snow claims that he has more proof of his previous life existence than most murder cases and is convinced that he carries some of the memories of Carroll Beckwith. Parapsychologists could offer alternative explanations even for such apparently true memories. Captain Snow simply concludes in his book: "I cannot accept that, with the billions of people who have inhabited the Earth, my case is unique, that mine would be the only case since John the Baptist, who some say that Jesus describes in Mathew as being a rebirth of Elijah ".
Extreme skeptics of past life regression might explain away the flash backs of hypnotic remembrances of previous lives as "walk in" phenomenon which has not been discussed in the scientific literature of parapsychology.
You may be changing careers, going back to school, or going back to an old familiar career that you've been away from for a while. Your transition may be voluntary or involuntary and either provides similar feelings of stress and uncertainty.
Voluntary transition can arise from being bored or dissatisfied from what you are doing, or simply deciding to do something different. Then there are those times when you can't figure out why you are not feeling the joy you think you should be feeling. I remember looking out from the 20th floor at the crystal blue Lake Michigan from my beautiful studio apartment. I had it all, yet I was feeling something amiss. It did not make sense to me why I should be feeling that way, but my gut was sending distinct signals that all was not well. Soon after I enrolled into a Fashion Design program, got married, started my own business in design for an equestrian who was in competition and required special riding apparel.
I do not want to mislead you into thinking that I immediately jumped into going back to school and then getting married once I noticed I was not happy in spite of my circumstances. It is a memory that remains with me to remind me to pay attention when I am not at peace with my circumstances, events or relationships. Because when you do not pay attention, your world can come crashing down. Mine certainly did! It can happen as little bits and pieces try to get your attention. If that does not work, then it gets more dramatic like loss of a job or breaking up of a relationship. Before going back to school, that is what happened to me. Today I have grown much wiser in paying attention to those signals of unrest.
Involuntary transition is caused by circumstances beyond your control. It may be loss of a job, loss of a loved one from dissolution of a relationship or death, or health issues. Even though a situation shows evidence of an ending, there is denial and then shock once it happens. It is a natural tendency to feel hurt and afraid of what the future will be without having the event, person or thing in your life. Despair can be crippling and one can easily sink into taking on the role of victim. I have discovered a much better choice is to be open to new possibilities. This is the moment you get to choose your path in the transition process. Choose to stay stuck in the unhappiness or choose to look at new possibilities.
Reflecting back on when I was gazing out at Lake Michigan, shaking off the dubious feeling regarding my present life situation, the involuntary circumstance that occurred was losing my job as Vice President of Operations for a small advertising business. The company lost a major account with very little in the pipeline, which resulted in staff reduction.
I have done some wild and crazy things in my lifetime and I was about to do another and then another. The job market was what you might call unfavorable at the time. I always loved fashion, so I enrolled in a community college Fashion Design program taught by instructors from the Art Institute of Chicago. Little did I know that there was absolutely no instruction on "how to sew" and I knew very little about attaching sleeves into armholes! This is another article for another time.
I was not long in school before I met my future husband. Again I did not take a stand when my gut was signaling this was not a good idea. Friends and family were telling me I was having the "normal" pre-marriage jitters. During my 5-year marriage I did start a horse riding apparel business for competitive equestrians. Remember what I mentioned above about my sewing abilities? Well there are others who professed to me they were skilled in doing the work required. This did not prove to be the case and finding suitable people to do the work was practically impossible. When I did find someone, she was limited with her time. Today she and I are the best of friends.
In actuality, most of the transitions we make are by choice. Getting downsized wasn't a conscious choice, however, getting an Associates Degree in Fashion Design, getting married, and starting a new business were definitely voluntary transitions. The involuntary transition led me to new directions – some were good and some not so good, but each has wonderful and unforgettable experiences with immeasurable teachings to my authenticity. I have come to trust my intuition at a higher level.
Life is ever evolving and we definitely are part of evolution. Transformation is a vehicle to evolution. It is normal and natural. When making career changes, going back to work, or going back to school, what is it you want to do?
Questions Hold the Answers
- Are you in transition?
- Is the transition voluntary or involuntary?
- What are the possibilities?
- What is it you really want?
- What is your intuition saying?
- What is it you really, really, really want?
- Learn to trust your intuition
- I strongly believe in "stopping" the monkey chatter that rumbles around our head. Put some time aside each day to find a comfortable place to sit. Get in the silence and listen to your breathing. If you are not used to this, you will find that within seconds your monkey chatter is back by default. Notice it, let it go, and just be with your breathing. When you do this you will get in touch with the miracle of the simple act that we take for granted of breathing. This is to bring peace to your mind and body, as well as allow inspiration a place to show up. Build up to five minutes.
- Take 30 minutes to journal your thoughts without censoring. Just keep the pen moving. Julia Cameron in "The Artist's Way" espouses journaling every day before you get up.
Inspiration is everywhere. Be open and receptive without worrying about the "how." Get out of your way and any limited thinking. Remember, Anything is Possible!
It was a cold afternoon in Atlanta Georgia but insider the speakers auditorium of the Georgia State University (GSU) the energy level was high and the room was pulsating with positive vibrations as the author of the memoir that inspired the major motion picture, The Pursuit of Happyness, took the stage to inspire the group of young people eagerly looking forward to success in life.
Chris Gardner’s story is the “quintessential rags-to-riches American Dream story” as claimed by no less an authority than the San Francisco Chronicle. Deserted by his wife and left to take care of his son through joblessness and a year on the streets homeless – including many nights spent in a public restroom — he never gave up hope that he would one day make it big or renege on his promise to always be there for his child.
As is always the case for those who hold on to faith through persistence, his dreams became a reality when he made it to the boardroom in wall street; a millionaire whose story is best told by his memoir The Pursuit of Happyness and the number one box office title bearing the same name that starred Will Smith as Chris Gardner and his son Jaden as Gardner’s Son.
To the hundreds of students that filled the speaker’s auditorium at GSU Gardner’s message was simple: I broke a cycle! In addition to the millions of dollars he made against the odds, he said that his main achievement was the fact that in a generation that has seen kids being raised by female single parents, he has been there for his child to raise him up as a good and responsible son who is expected to do the same for his own children. And further more Gardner relishes the fact that his inspirational story lives on in distant lands inspiring millions of people.
He told the story of an Iranian woman who sent him an email telling him that she was lucky to read his book by paying a driver to smuggle the book for her (from Jordan) into Iran. And then Gardner paused to let the audience appreciate some of the benefits of living in American where we all take many basic freedoms for granted like being able to have access to any book of one’s choice.
I consider myself the luckiest among the group of students who came to have a glimpse of Gardner. I had him autograph my copy of his book but I would not stop there. Having given him a copy of my memoir Homegrown: The Student Experience of a Unique Canada-Africa University Program I also gave him another copy to autograph for me, telling him “this is my own pursuit of happiness”. But that opportunity was not to be the only one to satisfy the fastidious student in me. Indeed I was in a lift going back to the lobby of the GSU Student Center where Gardner sat patiently waiting to autograph books for a long line of students. I wanted to go back and just stand at a distance looking at Chris Gardner to fill my mind with the image of a real success story.
Lo and behold my elevator was to stop on the second floor only to see Chris Gardner come in with an escort. I rushed to sake hands with him thanking him for sharing his inspirational story. And of course I reminded him again that I had given him a copy of my two books (so he would not forget them). Stepping out of the elevator Gardner turned around and looked me in the face, looking pretty much like a father addressing his son: hey, remember this, there is nothing I can do that you cannot do. If I can do it, you can do it too!
Now if you think the odds are against you. If you think you do not have a chance to achieve success in life, just read (or watch) The Pursuit of Happyness. Your day with Chris Gardner may be the one most remarkable turning point in your life. Chris Gardner’s life story is truly inspiring. Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump calls it “a tremendous lesson in tenacity”!