I remember when I picked up Edgar Cayce’s biography, “There is a River” and was absolutely loving it. I found such an inspiring synthesis of so many difference ideas that I had explored in my years of spiritual seeking. But then I came across reincarnation and took pause. I wasn’t born into a belief in reincarnation and in the time when I was reading the book, Shirley MacClaine was being lampooned in the national media for her book “Out on a Limb” and her belief in reincarnation. I realized that I thought I would also be marginalized if I believed in reincarnation. But as I thought more about it, I wanted to look at why so many religions include the belief in reincarnation. What does the belief offer? First of all, if we are going to entertain a belief in God, we want to believe that God is somehow fair and just. If we look at life in the world today, it seems anything but just or fair. For example, I have hardly ever missed a meal. But as a child, my parents took me across the world. I remember as a boy of 6 or 7, seeing a beggar somewhere in North Africa. What stood out for me was how his eyes were moving. As I looked closer, I saw that he had flies crawling over his eyes! That memory has stayed with me since and has taught me that there is real poverty and suffering in the world. How can life be fair if I am in my privileged life in the United Sates and there are those who are so poor and handicapped? Reincarnation offers the possibility that we have multiple turns in life and that we get to experience the gamut of life possibilities – races, genders, social standing and all the other diaspora. That can seem to make life seem more fair.
The other belief I had in my upbringing as a Christian was that I had an eternal soul and that my soul would live on after my physical death. Well then, what does the soul do after death and where was it before birth? Reincarnation offers some possible answers to those questions. So slowly, though more and more exploration of the Cayce work, I came to believe in the doctrine of reincarnation and have come so far as to become both a practitioner and teacher of past life regression. Continue reading
I usually tell my clients that if they hang in with me for a year, they’ll notice I have some basic themes that I repeat. A year might be long just enough to learn what I have to offer. 🙂 One of those themes is about family being familiar. Of course, it seems quite evident that our family should be familiar. The word familiar is derivative from the word family. They share the same root. This becomes a theme in therapy because of the differences in our families and what exactly we become “familiar”/comfortable with. If we grow up in a healthy loving family, then that is what becomes familiar/comfortable to us. If we see our parents enjoy each others company, laugh and smile together, then we get familiar with that. Basically, whatever we see our parents doing, we figure is what adults in couples do, and that is what “love” is. So if we are exposed to a healthy family environment, then we get familiar and comfortable with healthy.
But if our family life was less that healthy then we get familiar with something else. If there was arguing, stress, fighting, disharmony and worse, then that is what we get familiar with. In an odd sense, that is what we get comfortable with. Again, whatever our parents do, on some level we incorporate that as what adults do when they form couples. Whatever they do must be “love”. So if they argue and fight, we, on some level, take that in as what “love” is.
In my practice, people come in sick over how they are repeating their family dynamics now as an adult. “I’m becoming my mother” or “I’ve become my father” or “I’m in the same crazy relationship I grew up in!”. I try and help them see that they have gotten familiar/comfortable with unhealthy patterns from their childhood. As I go back over their relationship history, they will often tell me about a relationship that just didn’t “feel right”, it was “weird” and as they talk more, it becomes clear that the relationship was healthy and thus “unfamiliar”/uncomfortable and they just didn’t know what to do with it.
Today in session, the theme of impatience came up and the fear that time is slipping away and that it’s getting “too late!”. I hear this a lot in my work. The personality, the ego, or the finite part of ourselves knows that time is limited. This creates anxiety and fear, and those are not two mind states are not adept at much creative thinking. They actually control short term survival and short term thinking. “Let’s survive this crisis”, is their best domain. These aspects of mind are not designed to be dominant thought patterns. They are great in a crisis but not really good for much else. But we oftentimes get stuck in these thought patterns. And they are self perpetuating in a way. If we are convinced that we are in constant danger, then we better stay prepared. But these mind sets take their toll on us mentally, physically and spiritually. They will run us down.
So, what is the alternative? Well, behind the personality, the ego and the finite self, is the individuality, the infinite part of ourselves or the soul self. This aspect of us has very long-term thinking and vision. This part of us always has been and always will be. It realizes that a life is a mere day in the life of the soul. The soul self realizes that in this soul day or life, we are here to do a few things. To do in a day what we can in a day. In response to this, I talk about how much more important it is for us to tune in to the direction and worry less about speed. Speed is of the ego. Direction is of the soul. And there is actually no time, so if we stay in the right direction, we are actually already there. Continue reading
In a session today, we were talking about all that we try and get from the people in our lives…partners, kids, friends, family…and how often we are disappointed or don’t really get what we need or what we are looking for. The problem, it seems, is that they are also looking for something, and trying to get it from us, and they probably feel disappointed as well.
The conversation was about her partner and how cold he is, aloof and detached, a lot like her father. She lamented why she kept finding emotionally unavailable men and why was that her curse. We talked about this idea that there were all these emotionally available men over “there” and she just couldn’t get there and was stuck in the mud here with the cold fish.
Knowing her quite well, I pushed her a bit. Is it possible there is another way to look at this? Had her soul wanted her to work something out? Had this pattern, initiated with her father, about being unlovable, needed to get resolved? “Well, why would I pick men that can’t love me thus proving to myself I’m unlovable?” she asked. “How does that resolve anything?” “Well”, I said, “it’s a faulty premise and you consciously know that, you know you deserve love and you want to be loved. So why then would you put yourself in this conundrum” – “I wasn’t loved by my father and now I pick someone like my father so that I can heal that wound, but he is just like my father and can’t really love me, thus I remain trapped”. Continue reading
I had a great time in Phoenix this past week. I gave my talk on “Many Lives, One Soul” at the Unity Church in Sun City. And I didn’t see the runaway llamas. 🙂 Then booked appointments for the week. The sessions went very well. I’m so impressed with hypnosis. If the individual opens up and can accept the suggestions, wonderful things happen. I oftentimes talk about how I didn’t really like hypnosis at first. You see, when I do conventional talk therapy, my mind is involved, all my education and experience come into play. I make a lot of choices and at the end of the day, I feel good about what has been accomplished. But I feel it’s me that’s been doing the heavy lifting. But with hypnosis, all I do is steer a process. I’m like a midwife. I have no idea if it’s going to be a girl or a boy or triplets or a hysterical pregnancy. I just guide a process. I’m a soul sherpa. I know how to get you to your soul. Then you and your soul take over. I say “yes” a lot, steer the person to feelings, guide, nudge, track time and bring the person back. I don’t feel a real sense that “I” did anything. It is not an ego building experience. It is very sacred and there is skill involved, but the greatest skill is in getting out of the way and letting the person’s own soul process unfold. I have learned to love it! Continue reading