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Synopsis

The idea of immortality has always very controversial, an idea which is easily traced back to its Indian origins, particularly in Hinduism. According to reincarnation, the soul moves from one body to another upon death and the cycle continues as the soul decides to be born repeatedly out of desire. The technique to revisit these past lives is through what is called the past life regression (PLR) and is achieved through hypnosis.

A Brief History

There are very limited accounts on PLR in history. The more substantial writing is that of Patanjali, a Hindu scholar, who said that the soul is always burdened by its karma and thus introduce prati-prasav or reverse birthing. This is a technique where the subject revisits memories to address present issues. Prati-prasav is currently being practiced in yoga.

PLR was revived through the efforts of Madame Blavatsky. She is the co-founder of the Theosophical Society and her studies have re-introduced the concept in the west. The practice was further developed in 1950's when credible medical practitioners began their advocacy on PLR as an instrument to improve mental health. In 1967, Dr. Denys Kelsey was the first to use regression as a therapy.

The Practice of Past Life Regression

Studies made on religions believing in reincarnation did not take into account nor accept the idea of repressed memories. The practice of PLR is usually done to simply experience this spiritually and therefore, be able to venture the unknown.  To draw information on the subject's past life, practitioners would use hypnosis and ask their subjects a series of questions. With the use of bridging, the unearthed memories are brought to consciousness. This is very important for both the doctor and patient as unresolved issues in past lives are believed to be significant in healing the present issues of the patient. However, they are not always easily dealt with as in most cases; the memories are of a negative nature.

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