I recently read an article in my alumni magazine that featured a Dr. Jim Tucker, a psychiatry professor at the UVA Medical Center of Perceptual Studies. The article described a young boy who had dreams of a past life, one that was so recent that his parents were able to glean, from the details that he provided, an actual person who the young boy ultimately indicated was him. What I found so extraordinary about this is that actual scientific research is being done on the phenomenon of past lives.
Tucker’s research is based on more than 2,500 case files accumulated by himself and his predecessor. Most scientists would not give his field of interest much time simply because there is no way to prove or disprove Tucker’s findings. However, the research does beg a lot of questions, many which we pose to ourselves often enough with regards to God and religion.
This particular article grabbled my attention because I find this stuff fascinating, and also because my most recently completed novel touches on the idea of near-death experiences. I keep an open mind about most things (except Brussel sprouts and selfies while driving) and this is one that I, at one time about fifteen years ago, personally explored.
My wife at the time and I had some time on our hands (obviously BC), and we saw a flyer indicating a past-life regression session that would be taking place at one of these community center-type places in the Valley. Fifteen bucks, how could you say no?
When we arrived, there were six of us who had shelled out for the experience. After a little preliminary talk about past-lives, the woman who would be sending us under started the process. We were instructed to lie down on the floor and relax. She began the hypnosis steps of telling us to breath slowly, imagine a calm peaceful place and then she told us to imagine stairs and to go down them. Slowly, she brought us to the bottom stair, and she said to imagine a door there and when we walked through, we’d be in our past life.
By this time, I was completely relaxed and could actually see the door and, when I opened it, I was in an open field, sun shining overhead in a clear blue sky. In the distance, I could see horses approaching. From what I could see, the riders wore medieval garb. Not knights in shining armor, but clothing from that period.
The next thing I remember I was walking through a narrow street in a small village, at times speaking with peddlers. They seemed to know me.
Next I found myself in a town square. I was with a woman, who I felt was my wife, and we were confronted by a man dressed all in black. It was someone from my wife’s past (again, that’s what I felt as I looked at him) who attacked and kill my wife. I was unable to stop him. Oddly enough, although I definitely felt like I was in the town square, I could also feel tears rolling down the side of my face as I looked down into hers; actual tears on my face back where I lay on the floor in a room of that community center.
The last image I had was me in a room in my house, a large one, possibly a castle, but that was only a feeling (maybe wishful feeling), mourning over the loss of my wife.
What conclusions do I have from this? Well, it was certainly an interesting experience. Obviously, I can’t definitively say whether this was a past-life or simply something my mind dreamed up while I was under hypnosis. Did I want to have something to show up, so I imagined this or was it an actual glimpse into a previous life? It certainly seemed real enough that it brought me to tears, but I also cried when Mark Wahlberg scored that touchdown in the movie “Invincible”. Who knows what makes me tick?
Was I some medieval lord? Or was I simply looking to get my fifteen bucks worth? No way to know, but for those that do believe it’s possible (and maybe I’m one), you can be one of those that says — YOL(MT)O – You Only Live (More Than) Once.
Until Next Time – Don’t Look Down
by W. Darrah Whitaker