Abstract:A humorous description of a past-life regression is described. A visit to a past life revealed an existence as a village idiot and a death in a dungeon.
Full Text :COPYRIGHT 1992 Smithsonian Institution
"I just got back from a session with a past-lives therapist," says my friend Eva, "and you know that neck problem I've had for years?"
"Let me guess," I say. "You were hanged."
"Nope," says Eva. "Guillotined! It was really something--you've got to try it."
"I was sort of hoping not to get executed,"l say wistfully.
"Don't play dumb," Eva says. "I know, I'll give you a regression for your birthday! You'll see."
I make an appointment with the pastlives therapist to be regressed the following week. In the meantime, I am to make a list of my aversions. These could provide clues to pivotal events in my previous lives. I have no problem identifying them: getting up in the morning, any type of marine conveyance, and those scenes in movies where people falling in love throw Frisbees as a cute dog rushes back and forth.
The therapist shows me to a comfortable couch and asks me what issue has come up in my present life that merits a look at my previous existence. I explain that I don't believe in reincarnation and would like to find out why. The therapist giggles and says that this "will be fun." Although I have undoubtedly lived many lives, she explains, we will explore the most recent that might shed some light on my current skepticism. She tells me to lie down and shut my eyes.
Five minutes into the regression I know I'm in trouble. Although I am being asked to do two simple things, relax and respond to guided imagery, these are the two things that I am least good at. When I am asked to say what I see as I walk down a long, winding path, I draw a blank. "Nothing,"I say.
"Is it dark or light?" asks the therapist patiently.
This is easier to answer since my eyes are shut. "It's dark,"l reply.
"Good. Now, when I snap my fingers, you will be on the bank of a river. There is a small boat there, and I want you to imagine getting into it." "I hate boats,"I say.
"Just get in and start paddling," says the therapist. "Tell me when the boat is drawn to the shore."
"OK," I say, and picture myself fretfully paddling down the stream.
"Are you at the shore yet?" asks the therapist.
"Not yet,"I say, and continue to paddle. I am beginning to feel bored, as I always do in boats.
The therapist sighs. "When I snap my fingers, you will be on shore, out of the boat." She snaps her fingers. "All right, where are you?" she asks.
"On a couch."
"Please try to imagine that you have just stepped out of a boat and are on a strange, yet familiar, shore."
I strain to cooperate. Into the blankness of my mind comes some mud, some trees, some grass. "I got it," I say.
"Good," says the therapist, "Look at your feet. What do they look like?" Miraculously, into my mind's eye comes a set of feet. "They're bare," I say. "And dirty. And really big." "What are you wearing?"
I look down at my outfit. "A sort of tunic and a rope belt."
"Now start walking. Tell me whatever you see or hear." "I hear an answering machine."
"Don't pay any attention to it," says the therapist. "Do you see any buildings?"
Architecture is not my strong suit. Desperately, I rummage through my mind for a building. Success! I remember a village from a painting I saw yesterday. "Little white buildings with red roofs,"I say proudly. "It looks like a 15th-century Italian village." "Any people?" My spirits sink. "No," I say. "How do you feel?" asks the therapist. "Totally baffled; really, really stupid." "Are you drunk?" "Certainly not." "Have you been hit on the head?" Suddenly I see my head! It is flat on top with the apelike face from the cover of a pamphlet on creationism I found on my way here. "I can see my face! "l say. "I'm like an animal!" "Have you always felt this way?" "Yes," I say, picturing myself scratching my head. Suddenly, a gang of urchins appears and throws stones at me. "Hey,"l say, "I think I might be the village idiot!"
"Good," says the therapist. "Now when I snap my fingers, you are going to go to the last important event in that lifetime. OK, where are you?"
I am getting the hang of this. "A dungeon," I say definitively. "How do you feel?"
"Miserable. There's a ball and chain attached to my leg, and I seem to have some kind of terrible skin disorder. "My stomach growls in my present existence.
"And I'm hungry," I add.
"Do you have any food?"
"There's a dog dish next to me on the floor, but it's empty," I say sadly.
"Now you're going to go to the time of your death. OK, where are you?"
"Still in the dungeon. Lying on a filthy pile of straw. I feel like I'm dying."
"Good. Now when I snap my fingers, you will be released from that lifetime. Open your eyes. How do you feel?" "Like an idiot."
The therapist nods sympathetically. "It's not uncommon to carry emotional baggage from one life to another."
"Well?" says Eva.
"I was a village idiot in the Middle Ages and died in a dungeon."
"That makes perfect sense!" cries my friend. "No wonder you've been denying your past life-it was dysfunctional!"
"Thank heavens there's an explanation for everything," I say.
Source Citation:Segal, Elaine. "Ouch! Sometimes it hurts to bring up the past." Smithsonian 23.n6 (Sept 1992): 150(1). Academic OneFile. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 22 Oct. 2009
Gale Document Number:A12535984
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