Psychiatrist and past life regression therapist Brian Weiss tells Nona Walia why he firmly believes in the continuity of individual souls.
It was quite by chance that psychiatrist Dr Brian Weiss started believing in past life regression. It was back in the mid-1980s, when he was treating a woman patient. During psychotherapy, he asked her to look into her past when she was a child, but she went back a thousand years to another life, with vivid memories of herself as another person. After successfully treating her, Weiss started researching on the subject and came out with his bestseller Many Lives, Many Masters. Since then, he has written several books, Through Time Into Healing, Only Love is Real, Same Soul, Many Bodies, among others. In his latest book, Miracles Happen, he talks about everyday miracles in people's lives, which they fail to recognise. "Our rational minds often attempt to minimise or negate the mystical encounters. We forget the power of our experiences. We mustembrace the reality of that event, which is a miracle," says Weiss. Excerpts from an interview:
Do people find it difficult to believe in reincarnation?
I have been documenting physical and emotional healings in my patients and workshop participants over the past 32 years. These are amazing accounts of the power of past life memories to transform people's lives. The Greeks and Indians have always believed in thetheory of reincarnation. I firmly believe karma is not punishment but an opportunity to learn our lessons. If the lessons have not been learnt in a previous lifetime, we come back to work on them. The lessons are about love, compassion, non-violence, patience, understanding and non-prejudice.
When do we attain moksha?
When the lessons and learnings are complete. Then there's no reincarnation.
Why don't we remember our previous lives?
I see that changing, that's what my past-life therapy is all about. We're trying to remember our past lives and learn from our mistakes. In my experiments, people are remembering through therapeutic techniques such as hypnosis, dreams and meditation. According to mythology, if you were born again and you drank from the River of Lethe, you would forget your previous lives.
You say, before we are born, our soul plans the trajectory of the life that lies ahead. How?
Every individual soul chooses the significant people in that life. Destiny will place you in the particular circumstance; it will dictate that you will encounter a particular person, at a certain time, place. The people it arranges you to meet are frequently the people with whom you have lived or have known in your past life. Once you meet them, you then exercise your free will: Do you stay? Or do you leave? You may love them, work with them, befriend them, or marry them. Or you might reject them. These are your choices and this is how you learn. Everything is part of the master plan of the soul's growth. We are here to learn deep lessons.
What is the biggest thing that stops people from living their lives in the present moment? Fear and we must learn how to overcome fear.
How can people eliminate their fears, which often draw them back?
Understanding dissolves fear. When we understand the true nature of our being, fears dissipate. We are spiritual beings, not human beings.
Your belief is that miracles may be large that affect an entire group, or they may be small and silent. How do we recognize miracles?
It is not the size of the healing or transformation that matters. It is the powerful spiritual effect that manifests at the physical or emotional level. It is evident when it occurs.
How can we go back in our past lives?
We can pray and ask for divine intervention but to experience the transformational power of past life memories, one needs to experience a regression. The human body is a vessel for the soul. With each life, we complete some part of the whole learning process. That's why I believe human beings are essentially immortal.
How can we experience magic?
You can experience magic when you are mindfully living in the present moment. It's a matter of awareness and mindfulness. It's also important not to live with any regrets of the past or worries of the future.
In what way does past life regression help a person?
It's very important to remember and remind yourself of the unfulfilled goals from your past lives. It eventually helps you get past all the obstacles of the present life. Past life regression therapy permanently heals the body and the mind.You have to know about the exact nature of the problem before seeking answers or solutions to overcome them.
We are living in a world full of anxieties that cripple us. How can we heal and be free of them?
This is a matter of recognising our true nature. We are spiritual beings. We are immortal and eternal. Anxieties and other negative emotions are merely temporary states.