My brother recently explained to me and my siblings that he believes in past life regression. He went on this long explanation about how hypnotherapy has proven that past life regression is real and can be verified. The things he was saying were very unsettling to me. For instance, he believes that when you die you enter a life between life phase in which you meet up with a “pod” of familiar people who also have passed on and a spirit guide who helps facilitate what your next life will be. He believes that within this pod of people, the members actually choose their roles in their next life based on what they did in their previous life or lives. In order to work out some sort of karma, the choices they make about the roles in the next life are correlated with whatever deed (good or bad) they did in previous lives. He gave a disturbing example: if a Nazi perpetrator helped facilitate the gassing of a Holocaust victim then that perpetrator could possibly choose to take on more of a victim role in their next life (and visa versa for the victim) to somehow work out their karma so that they can perfect themselves with each life. He believes that you can even have subsequent lives on other planets and that souls will actually carry markers such as birthmarks or moles from life to life. No where is the idea of Heaven, Hell or sin suggested in this disturbing philosophy. I know that hypnosis can be legitimate for very limited things such as to overcome smoking or lose weight but in general it is a dangerous thing to do because people can be very suggestive and create fantasy realities with their subconscious while they are under. Although the idea of reincarnation is ancient especially in the Hindu and Buddhist faiths, this past life regression sounds very New Age, Gnostic and pseudo-scientific in it’s bent. Does anyone have any past experience with this stuff and/or could you point me to some good resources to help me refute it? Much appreciated and God Bless.
Try the Skeptic’s Dictionary:
The entry on past life regression is at:
For a start, try:
for the second one, focus on paragraph 1013.
Reincarnation is fantasy. The “pod” idea sounds like something out of Castaneda or Monroe. The idea of getting to choose is new, I think. As I understand it, one gets no choice “between lives” since it is what one does during life which determines what one is reincarnated as in the next life.
Since we have yet to find intelligent life on other planets, the idea that one might be reincarnated on another planet is laughable. If it were true, we would know exactly where to look to find another intelligent species in the universe.
Hypnosis when used for “past life regression” is damaging to one’s faith.
Is your brother a Catholic? We only get one life, and after we die, we are judged and we either go to Heaven to be with God, to purgatory for purification, or to Hell. There’s no coming back. Ask your brother to find this in the Bible. There is no such thing as “karma,” but we do get judged for our sins during our one life.
“When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead". (Deuteronomy 18:9-11).
Past life regression is a form of divination, which is proscribed in the Mosaic Law. From what I’ve read on this forum, I believe it also exposed participants to a risk of demonic possession.
A few years ago a priest wrote a book on curiosity that was pretty well panned in the media. Curiosity is a positive value in science, and probably should be to some extent. This is one of those areas however, where curiosity should be avoided. If you want a good reference, try the Bible.
I agree that in the hands of someone trustworthy, hypnosis can be a valuable tool but does indeed enhance suggestibility. I would stay far away form the past life regression stuff. It is indeed new age of the worst sort in that it is not innocuous.
I am speaking here as a mental health professional and Catholic. In seminars over the years I have run into many of these types, as well as some in other religions who believe in reincarnation. My statement to the latter is, “Hmm, well, in this life I was born Catholic and so I guess I just have to be the best one I can be”. The Buddhist etc, just nod and let it go, it is the new age types that want to argue me into a new position. I do not engage in the argument.
Good luck to you and your brother. I will say a prayer for him too.
Pray for your brother.
It is my belief that religious faith itself is an altered mental state, or form of hypnosis. Choosing to believe is essentially what the hypnotist’s subjects are doing when they allow themselves to enter that state of mind.
I think the nescient reason why many religions are mistrustful of practical hypnosis is that it demonstrates the tractability of the human mind and provides an alternative way to understand religious experience. Since hypnosis is a phenomenon that is subject to a reliable epistemology of empirical investigation, it lends itself well to the parsimony of science.
Perhaps for this reason, some churches naturally mistrust religious experiences that are of a mystical or divine nature and sometimes label these as “deceptive” or “untrustworthy.” However, the alternative narratives (said to be “rational” or even “historical” in nature) that replace these religious experiences require much the same sort of mental investment. We come to believe in an alleged historicity, completeness, reason, or sensibility of a religion. Only it can make sense of the world because only it contains a purity of truth. Hence the certainty of the True Believer and his propensity to view the beliefs of outsiders as dangerous, disturbing, or even detestable.
I attended a demonstration of hypnosis once; how surprised was I when our hypnotist began with a statement I can only summarize as “fear not, only believe.” And to those who followed that directive, all of the stories came true.
Perhaps you should change your ‘religion’ in your profile as ‘over-read, but still confused’ :rolleyes:
Maybe the reason that
many religions are mistrustful of practical hypnosis is that it demonstrates the tractability of the human mind
is because it allows Satan a chance for easy access to the tractible human mind once their healthy fears (aka well formed conscience) have been pushed aside…he’s like that, you know…
Maybe so. That does have a nice ring to it.
Because it is difficult for me to see how one faith is superior, or more correct, than another. I accept that the competing beliefs of all people are similar in quality in each individual and therefore conclude that, as God would not give opposing truths, and as there is no reliable epistemology of faith that can grant absolute universal certainty, then it is most likely true that faith is a psychological phenomenon and not justifiable except as the mind has been conditioned (through culture,tradition, fear, innocence, or desire) to see the world in a certain way.
That’s because you are using your mind and not your heart.
You are using the wrong tool for the job.
Tell him you don’t think God recycles.
what’s his basis for believing i.e. why does he feel certain that this is the right path to God or whatever; did you ask by chance?
It is New Age.
The Unquiet Dead
May enlighten your understanding. Edith Fiore can be found on YouTube and she talks about this…she is the author of the unquiet dead…
There is no refuting this if someone believes it…humor them, acknoweldge them, and the less you resist them the better off you will be…Imagination can be creative and to get frustrated will only cause you unnecessary concern.
Do you concern yourself with people that get so tied up in the Hobit that they talk whatever language it is they talk or Star War Trekkies…?
Explain what you believe and listen to what he believes, have a good laugh and hopefully he will find your beliefs more tenable…read Jesus Christ Bearer of The Water of Life from the Vatican on the New Age…
PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE
PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE
PRESENTATIONS OF HOLY SEE’S DOCUMENT ON “NEW AGE”
John 3:13 refutes reincarnation. “No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven.”
It is not about refuting but understanding that there are people, I have met and spoken to them, that believe this. If you believe something, true or not, it is true for those that believe it.
What I ment was there was your scripture to defend against it. Reincarnation is the devils work to gain entrance into somebodys life. I believe somebody above pointed out deutoronomy about deveation.
These people are New Age and Scripture means nothing to them. They believe in Ascended Masters, and lots of other stuff. There is no defending or arguing. They make sense among themselves and what you think of them has nothing to do with what they think. To understand them, read…
Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life…the Vatican view of the New Age…
He did ask for something to refute it so I thought I help. But you are right, just offer a prayer and let it go.
He asked for resources. The Bible is a resource however may fall on deaf ears.
Does anyone have any past experience with this stuff and/or could you point me to some good resources to help me refute it?
PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE
PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE
THE BEARER OF THE WATER OF LIFE
A Christian reflection
on the “New Age”
The present publication calls attention to the need to know and understand New Age as a cultural current, as well as the need for Catholics to have an understanding of authentic Catholic doctrine and spirituality in order to properly assess New Age themes. The first two chapters present New Age as a multifaceted cultural tendency, proposing an analysis of the basic foundations of the thought conveyed in this context. From Chapter Three onwards some indications are offered for an investigation of New Age in comparison with the Christian message. Some suggestions of a pastoral nature are also made.
Those who wish to go deeper into the study of New Age will find useful references in the appendices. It is hoped that this work will in fact provide a stimulus for further studies adapted to different cultural contexts. Its purpose is also to encourage discernment by those who are looking for sound reference points for a life of greater fulness. It is indeed our conviction that through many of our contemporaries who are searching, we can discover a true thirst for God. As Pope John Paul II said to a group of bishops from the United States: “Pastors must honestly ask whether they have paid sufficient attention to the thirst of the human heart for the true ‘living water’ which only Christ our Redeemer can give (cf. Jn 4:7-13)”. Like him, we want to rely “on the perennial freshness of the Gospel message and its capacity to transform and renew those who accept it” (AAS 86/4, 330).
This is a resource…
Past life regression has been around for a while. I remember reading The Search for Bridey Murphy when I was just a kid and that was in the 50s.