…to find that ye only lived, died and were buried under the cherry tree in Grandmother’s garden does not make thee one whit a better neighbor, citizen, mother or father! But to know that ye spoke unkindly and suffered for it and in the present may correct it by being righteous—that is worthwhile!”

- Edgar Cayce reading 5753-2

I remember the first time I read this reading, I felt that the Cayce source wasn’t really big on past life recall. What is emphasized in this reading is the here-and-now and how, in the now, you have the opportunity to meet patterns, to bear your cross and act constructively when in the past, you may have acted otherwise.

Then I discovered that the 2nd most popular Edgar Cayce reading type was the “Life Readings” He gave approximately 2,000 of those (they are second in volume to his “Health Readings” which comprised about 2/3 of the total of his readings). In Cayce’s Life readings, an individual was told about 3 to 5 past lives, and the emphasis seemed to be on (1) connecting with ideals from past lives and seeking a continuity from the past into the present, (2) connecting to latent gifts and talents that would be helpful to explore again in the current life, (3) pratfalls from previous lives – basically destructive behaviors and patterns to be cautious about in the current life and (4) relationships from the past that are current in the present – for example, past lives with current family members, partners of work colleagues.

So past lives were very useful in this context of awakening the individual to these subconscious influences. I oftentimes say that when we are born into this life, it’s like walking into the middle of a movie. We won’t quite understand the drama that’s playing out very well. A regression helps to understand the missing scenes. For example, my attachment/abandonment issues have to do with at least one past life of being left at an orphanage. My intuitive ability has roots in a past life as a savant in Egypt. Living only in Massachusetts and Virginia, as an adult, has to do with a life during the American Revolution. My mistrust of one sister has to do with her being my mother when I was left at the orphanage. My family’s complex relationship with my father comes from having mutinied when he was a military leader. All of this recall, has helped me make sense of myself and has led to significant spiritual development. Once I realized that my mistrust of my sister was related to the experience of being left at an orphanage, and understanding it wasn’t personal (it was in Ireland and she and her husband couldn’t feed all the children), I was able to release this subconscious grudge I had and was able to “forgive” her.

In my almost 20 years at the A.R.E., Past Life Regression Hypnosis has become the focus of my work. I teach the A.R.E. course and have for several years. The almost 6,000 regressions that I have conducted so far have taught me a great deal about the process of regression. Let me emphasize two important aspects:

  1. I am a “poster child” for talk therapy! Both my parents were psychiatrists and I was in talk therapy for almost 30 years. It was enormously helpful, though a bit slow and largely intellectual. The classic criticism of talk psychotherapy is epitomized in this statement from Woody Allen: “In my 50 years of analysis, I have come to understand all my problems much better. Nothing much else has changed though.” I have found regression hypnosis to be of a different ilk as the experience is: (1) oftentimes highly emotional, (2) experiential (you are experiencing not thinking) and (3) spiritual – You are able to enter the “oneness”. In the experience of being left for adoption, I could also feel my mother’s pain, I understood that this was happening all over Ireland – it wasn’t personal. I realized I was identifying with the boy of my previous life. The healing happened as I entered the bigger picture – what I call the oneness. I now say that our injuries happen from the separation consciousness and our healing comes from the oneness consciousness.
  2. Experiences in regression hypnosis are much more vast than merely past life recall. In addition to past life recall, individuals can (1) contact their guides – we have a team of guides, or a council, that is with us from before we incarnate, helping us stay focused on what we’ve incarnated to accomplish, (2) future life progressions – individuals are able to project into future life experiences, such as Edgar Cayce did in his dream of 2100, (3) contact deceased loved ones, especially shortly after the physical death, and (4) enter dreamlike or symbolic experiences that help the individual understand some core question. There are more than these 5 experiences, but in my work these appear as the main types of experiences a client can encounter in a regression.

In summary, quite contrary to my original take on Edgar Cayce’s source view on past life recall, I now have come to experience it, both personally and with clients, as a profoundly helpful spiritual experience that has deep and lasting benefits to the individual.

You can now learn Past Life Regression online and become certified by the A.R.E. This year's training starts October 21 - 25, 2020. For more information visit EdgarCayce.org/PLR2020