Many lives, Many masters book discussion.

#1
Many lives, many masters by Brian L. Weiss, M.D. (psychiatrist) is about a psychiatrist who during a hypnotic regression spontaneously has his patient Catherine live out her past lives. At the end of many of her past lives she reports floating above her body waiting to be taken by a white light, sometimes entering the white light results in her immediate rebirth and other times she is taken to the 'renewal plane' where the 'many masters' use her voice to give learnings to Brian.

Anyone read this book? It correlates with a lot of new age spiritualism I found, the purpose of life is to learn lessons, there's 7 planes of existence, reincarnation as a spiritual duty and suffering as a way to pay back karmic bonds, the ultimate goal is becoming 'god-like'. Also a blind faith in the masters or you will be punished (self punished through doubt) that they will guide you through life and protect you.
 
#2
The problem with Catherine is that these took place around 1980, which means that the parallels between her "waiting periods" and OBEs during NDEs can be dismissed by those skeptical of regression as having been influenced by the initial literature of the 1970s. Had this happened before Moody, et al., its likely that it would been of more interest to the parapsychological community at the time. Furthermore, Stevenson's dismissal did not help as he was the go-to guy when discussing reincarnation research.
 
#3
Well, as I haven't actually read the book, I probably shouldn't say too much. Though I'm tempted to add my two penn'orth any time someone mentions reincarnation. :)

I think I've seen one or more of his youtube video talks, which I guess have a different emphasis, such as giving an example of what a regression session actually is, and some audience or listener participation is possible.

As for the metaphysics or framework into which all of this is placed, I have a very lightweight take on all of that, I don't feel the need to burden myself with the heavy baggage of yet another belief system, my aim is to tread lightly without getting ensnared in someone else's (possible mis-) conceptions.

That is to say, I don't find fault with what he says, but nor do I support it.

As for the topic of regression itself, that may possibly be useful, I don't discount it. (in fact not so long ago I had a try at self-regression with the help of a youtube video, with some slight results). However, there are already plentiful reincarnation accounts of spontaneous and involuntary past-life recall which are sufficiently interesting without recourse to regression. Over at the reincarnation forum, there are first-hand accounts from both currently active and past forum members, which provide food for thought. That forum also has a search facility, a search for "weiss" might be fruitful perhaps.
 
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#4
I'm curious about this white light that features so much in NDE's, Ian stephenson iirc speculates that reincarnation is an automatic mechanism, considering so many report going into a white light I wonder if they are connected. Gnosticism has made me suspicious that this is a kind of moth to the flame type lure for reincarnation, anyone know any reports of people avoiding the white light?
 
#5
anyone know any reports of people avoiding the white light?
I don't have a reference to hand. However there was an NDE account I came across some time ago where during the out-of-body component of an NDE, a man found himself at a house not very far away where a woman was having difficulty giving birth. I think the baby was stillborn, and the experiencer reported feeling an almost overwhelming urge to thrust himself into the back of the baby's head and look through its eyes.

One might infer from that report than one possible alternative to going into the light would be instant reincarnation.

As for the inevitability or otherwise of reincarnation, one factor to consider is the time interval between the end of one life and the start of another. In some accounts of childhood past-life recall, two facts seem typical (I can't say universal). One, the previous life was abruptly cut short, for example by a murder or road accident or some event which curtailed what would have been expected to have been a much longer lifetime. Second, the interval between the end of one life and the start of the next seems fairly short in such cases, a few years, perhaps a couple of decades. Note that Ian Stevenson focussed strongly on such childhood recall cases, which may not be typical of the larger picture.

But what do others say about the interval between lives. I've seen some outrageously arbitrary fixed set of rules somewhere which states almost precisely how many years must elapse. I feel it is rather more flexible than that, but apparently the intervening non-incarnated period could be anything from say a half-century to multiple centuries - perhaps even longer. I don't recall anywhere hearing that those entities spent centuries trying to evade the light until they were finally ensnared. After all there are Eastern religious teachings which do discuss breaking the cycle of rebirth, but I don't think 'avoiding the light' appears most prominent among those teachings.
 
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#6
One, the previous life was abruptly cut short, for example by a murder or road accident or some event which curtailed what would have been expected to have been a much longer lifetime. Second, the interval between the end of one life and the start of the next seems fairly short in such cases, a few years, perhaps a couple of decades.
Analysis of the UVA database reveals the median interval seems to be about 16 months, as depicted in this graphical research summary:


Source: http://uvamagazine.org/articles/the_science_of_reincarnation

The median interval might have risen a bit since Omni Magazine interviewed Stevenson back in 1988:

Omni: Is the average space between death of one personality and that personality's rebirth in a new child about fifteen months?

Stevenson: Yes, but I think our figure comes mainly from Asian cases because, of our roughly one hundred Western cases, only fifteen to twenty have been verified, or, as we say, "solved." In my paper American Children who Claim to Remember Previous Lives" I analyzed seventy-nine cases. They are nowhere near as rich in detail as, say, the Indian cases.
It should be restated, however, that this short interval seems to pertain only (or mainly) to previous lives cut short by accidents or murder, as Typoz suggests. I think the interval is likely to be quite a bit longer for those who died naturally in old age.

If anyone's interested in reading the full Omni interview, it can be found here:

http://humansarefree.com/2013/10/scientific-proof-of-reincarnation-dr.html

Doug
 
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#7
Thanks for that Doug. My figures were by no means statistically sound, I pulled some figures from the air based upon reports I've come across here and there, for example at the reincarnation forum which I already mentioned. There were a number of accounts there made by parents based on what their own offspring were saying or doing and it would certainly fit with the sorts of figures you mention, though I felt it was often rather longer than that. Of course these tend to be western cases since its an English-language forum. Gathering statistics isn't the primary goal there, it's more of a counselling/discussion group to deal with the real-world problems such as nightmares or disruptive behaviour - among other things - the scope encompasses more than just childhood or traumatic cases of course
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#8
Anyone see Richard Martini's documentary Flipside: A Journey into the Afterlife, or read the book it's based on? He studied Michael Newton and hypnotherapists trained by him and what the clients come up with. He talks about it in this presentation, between 7:30 and 20:17, where he reveals intriguing finds about the seeming evidential value of some of these past-life accounts, and also, particularly, of his own when it was suggested that he should do it too (and was vigilant about being manipulated by the therapist).

(Like several IANDS videos, the title doesn't reflect the content well.)

He's also got a few other books (It's a Wonderful Afterlife vol. 1 and 2) where he interviews Bruce Greyson, Beauregard, and others and compares NDEs with hypnotherapy regression data. Sounds interesting.
https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Martini/e/B00GR4DWPS

There's also this talk:
 
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#9
Anyone see Richard Martini's documentary Flipside: A Journey into the Afterlife, or read the book it's based on? He studied Michael Newton and hypnotherapists trained by him and what the clients come up with. He talks about it in this presentation, between 7:30 and 20:17, where he reveals intriguing finds about the seeming evidential value of some of these past-life accounts, and also, particularly, of his own when it was suggested that he should do it too (and was vigilant about being manipulated by the therapist).

(Like several IANDS videos, the title doesn't reflect the content well.)

He's also got a few other books (It's a Wonderful Afterlife vol. 1 and 2) where he interviews Bruce Greyson, Beauregard, and others and compares NDEs with hypnotherapy regression data. Sounds interesting.
https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Martini/e/B00GR4DWPS

There's also this talk:
Interesting that at around the 7 minute mark of the second video he claims the brain stores everything and then this can be retrieved through hypnosis, we merely act like it doesn't and then proclaims that as science. Scientifically hypnosis cannot be considered a reliable tool for the retrieval of information due to memory falsification. There are many famous cases of this occurring where memories have been totally falsified and people have invented traumas to thus scar themselves with, one of the most famous of these being the Freud cases where he lead a series of women to believe that all their difficulties in life were caused by being molested by a father figure in their family which was later investigated and found to be false.
 
#10
My figures were by no means statistically sound, I pulled some figures from the air based upon reports I've come across here and there, for example at the reincarnation forum which I already mentioned. There were a number of accounts there made by parents based on what their own offspring were saying or doing and it would certainly fit with the sorts of figures you mention, though I felt it was often rather longer than that.
Just re-listening to an interview with Helen Wambach.
Dr. Helen Wambach - Regressing into the Past and Progressing into the Future, Part 1
where she gave an average period between lives of 54 years in the middle ages, but in the 20th century, average about 4 years.
 
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