Thursday, January 14, 2021

Part 2 : Many Lives, Many Masters...

Many Lives, Many Masters

Dr Brian Weiss

THE TRUE STORY of a prominent psychiatrist, his young patient and the past-life therapy that changed both of their lives 

Chapter 4  

I see a square white house with a sandy road in front. People on horses are going back and forth." Catherine was speaking in her usual dreamy whisper. "There are trees .. . a plantation, a big house with a bunch of smaller houses , like slave houses. It's very hot. It's in the South . . . Virginia? " She thought the date was 1873. She was a child. 

"There are horses and lots of crops . . . corn , tobacco. " She and the other servants ate in a kitchen  of the big house . She was black, and her name was Abby. She felt a foreboding, and her body tensed. The main house was on fire, and she watched it burn down. I progressed her fifteen years in time to 1888. 

"I'm wearing an old dress, cleaning a mirror on the second floor of a house , a brick house with windows . . . with lots of panes. The mirror is wavy, not straight, and it has knobs on the end. The man who owns the house is named James Manson. He has a funny coat with three buttons and a big black collar. He has a beard. .. . I don't recognize him [as someone in Catherine's present lifetime]. He treats me well. I live in a house on the property. I clean the rooms. There is a schoolhouse on the property, but I'm not allowed in the school. I make butter, too!" 

Catherine was whispering slowly , using very simple terms and paying great attention to detail. Over the next five minutes, I learned how to make butter . Abby' s knowledge of churning butter was new to Catherine, too. I moved her ahead in time. 

"I am with somebody , but I don't think we are married . We sleep together . . . but we don't always live together . I feel okay about him , but nothing special . I don't see any children. There are apple trees and ducks. Other people are in the distance. I'm picking apples. Something is making my eyes itch." Catherine was grimacing with her eyes closed. "It's the smoke. The wind is blowing it this way . . . the smoke from burning wood . They're burning up wooden barrels. " She was coughing now . "It happens a lot . They're making the inside of the barrels black tar to waterproof." 

After the excitement of last weeks session , I was eager to reach the in-between state again. We had already spent ninety minutes exploring her lifetime as a servant. I had learned about bedspreads, butter, and barrels; I was hungry for a more spiritual lesson . Forsaking my patience, I advanced her to her death. 

"It's hard to breathe . My chest hurts so much. " Catherine was gasping , in obvious pain . "My heart hurts ; it' s beating fast. I'm so cold .. . my body's shaking. " Catherine began to shiver. "People are in the room, giving me leaves to drink [a tea] . It smells funny . They're rubbing a liniment on my chest. Fever .. . but I feel very cold. " She quietly died . Floating up to the ceiling, she could see her body in the bed , a small, shriveled woman in her sixties. She was just floating, waiting for someone to come and help her. She became aware of a light, feeling herself drawn toward it . The light was becoming brighter , and more luminous . We waited in silence as minutes slowly passed. Suddenly she was in another lifetime, thousands of years before Abby.  

Catherine was softly whispering, "I see lots of garlic , hanging in an open room. I can smell it. It is believed to kill many evils in the blood and to cleanse the body, but you must take it every day. The garlic is outside too, on top of a garden. Other herbs are there . . . figs, dates, and other herbs. These plants help you . My mother is buying garlic and the other herbs . Somebody in the house is sick. These are strange roots. Sometimes you just keep them in your mouth, or ears, or other openings. You just keep them in. 

"I see an old man with a beard. He's one of the healers in the village. He tells you what to do. There is some type of . . . plague . . . killing the people . They're not embalming because they're afraid of the disease. People are just buried. The people are unhappy about this. They feel the soul cannot pass on this way [contrary to Catherine's after-death reports]. But so man  have died . The cattle are dying , too . Water . . . floods . . . people are sick because of the floods. [She apparently just realized this bit of epidemiology.] I also have some disease from the water. It makes your stomach hurt . The disease is of the bowel and stomach . You lose so much water from the body. I'm by the water to bring more back, but that's what is killing us. I bring the water back. I see my mother and brothers. My father has already died . My brothers are very sick." 

I paused before progressing her in time. I was fascinated by the way her conceptions of death and the afterlife changed so much from lifetime to lifetime . And yet her experience of death itself was so uniform, so similar, every time. A conscious part of her would leave the body around the moment of death, floating above and then being drawn to a wonderful , energizing light. She would then wait for someone to come and help her. The soul automatically passed on. Embalming, burial rituals, or any other procedure after death had nothing to do with it. It was automatic, no preparation necessary , like walking through a just-opened door. 

"The land is barren and dry . .. . I see no mountains around here , just land , very flat and dry . One of my brothers has died. I'm feeling better, but the pain is still there. " However, she did not live much longer. "I'm lying on a pallet with some type of covering. " She was very ill , and no amount of garlic or other herbs could prevent her death . Soon she was floating above her body , drawn to the familiar light . She waited patiently for someone to come to her. 

Her head began to roll slowly from side to side , as if she were scanning some scene. Her voice was again husky and loud. 

"They tell me there are many gods, for God is in each of us." 

I recognized the voice from the in-between-lives state by its huskiness as well as by the decidedly spiritual tone of the message. What she said next left me breathless, pulling the air from my lungs. 

"Your father is here, and your son , who is a small child. Your father says you will know him because his name is Avrom, and your daughter is named after him. Also, his death was due to his heart. Your son's heart was also important, for it was backward , like a chicken's. He made a great sacrifice for you out of his love . His soul is very advanced . . . . His death satisfied his parents' debts. Also he wanted to show you that medicine could only go so far, that its scope is very limited." 

Catherine stopped speaking , and I sat in an awed silence as my numbed mind tried to sort things out. The room felt icy cold. 

Catherine knew very little about my personal life. On my desk I had a baby picture of my daughter, grinning happily with her two bottom baby teeth in an otherwise empty mouth. My son's picture was next to it. Otherwise Catherine knew virtually nothing about my family or my personal history . I had been well schooled in traditional psychotherapeutic techniques. The therapist was supposed to be a tabula rasa, a blank tablet upon which the patient could project her own feelings, thoughts, and attitudes . These then could  be analyzed by the therapist, enlarging the arena of the patient's mind. I had kept this therapeutic distance with Catherine . She really knew me only as a psychiatrist, nothing of my past or of my private life. I had never even displayed my diplomas in the office. 

The greatest tragedy in my life had been the unexpected death of our firstborn son, Adam, who was only twenty-three days old when he died, early in 1971 . About ten days after we had brought him home from the hospital, he had developed respiratory problems and projectile vomiting . The diagnosis was extremely difficult to make. "Total anomalous pulmonary venous drainage with an atrial septal defect, " we were told . "It occurs once in approximately every ten million births. " The pulmonary veins, which were supposed to bring oxygenated blood back to the heart, were incorrectly routed , entering the heart on the wrong side. It was as if his heart were turned around, backward. Extremely, extremely rare. 

Heroic open-heart surgery could not save Adam, who died several days later. We mourned for months, our hopes and dreams dashed. Our son, Jordan, was born a year later, a grateful balm for our wounds. At the time of Adam' s death , I had been wavering about my earlier choice of psychiatry as a career. I was enjoying my internship in internal medicine , and I had been offered a residency position in medicine . After Adam's death , I firmly decided that I would make psychiatry my profession. I was angry that modern medicine , with all of its advanced skills and technology, could not save my son, this simple, tiny baby. 

My father had been in excellent health until he experienced a massive heart attack early in 1979 , at the age of sixty-one . He survived the initial attack , but his heart wall had been irretrievably damaged , and he died three days later. This was about nine months before Catherine's first appointment. 

My father had been a religious man , more ritualistic than spiritual. His Hebrew name , Avrom , suited him better than the English, Alvin. Four months after his death, our daughter, Amy, was born, and she was named after him. 

Here, in 1982 , in my quiet , darkened office , a deafening cascade of hidden , secret truths was pouring upon me. I was swimming in a spiritual sea , and I loved the water. My arms were gooseflesh. Catherine could not possibly know this information. There was no place even to look it up . My father's Hebrew name , that I had a son who died in infancy from a one-in-ten million heart defect , my brooding about medicine, my father's death, and my daughter's naming—it was too much, too specific , too true . This unsophisticated laboratory technician was a conduit for transcendental knowledge. And if she could reveal these truths, what else was there ? I needed to know more. 

"Who," I sputtered , "who is there ? Who tells you these things?" 

"The Masters, " she whispered, "the Master Spirits tell me . They tell me I have lived eighty-six times in physical state. " 

Catherine's breathing slowed , and her head stopped rolling from side to side. She was resting. I wanted to go on, but the implications of what she had said were distracting me. Did she really have eighty-six previous lifetimes? And what about "the Masters"? Could it be ? Could our lives be guided by spirits who have no physical bodies but who seem to possess great knowledge. Are there steps on the way to God? Was this real? I found it difficult to doubt, in view of what she had just revealed, yet I still struggled to believe. I was overcoming years of alternative programming. But in my head and my heart and my gut, I knew she was right. She was revealing truths. 

And what about my father and my son ? In a sense , they were still alive ; they had never really died. They were talking to me , years after their burials , and proving it by providing specific, very secret information . And since all that was true, was my son as advanced spiritually as Catherine had said ? Did he indeed agree to be born to us and then die twenty-three days later in order to help us with our karmic debts and , i n addition, to teach me about medicine and humankind, to nudge me back to psychiatry? I was very heartened by these thoughts. Beneath my chill, I felt a great love stirring , a strong feeling of oneness an d connection with the heavens and the earth. I had missed my father and my son . It was good to hear from them again. 

My life would never be the same again. A hand had reached down and irreversibly altered the course of my life. All of my reading, which had been done with careful scrutiny and skeptical detachment , fell into place . Catherine's memories and messages were true . My intuitions about the accuracy of her experiences had been correct. I had the facts. I had the proof.

Yet, even in that very instant of joy and understanding, even in that moment of the mystical experience , the old and familiar logical and doubting part of my mind lodged an objection. Perhaps it's just ESP or some psychic skill. Granted , it's quite a skill , but it doesn't prove reincarnation or Master Spirits. Yet this time I knew better . The thousands of cases recorded in the scientific literature, especially those of children speaking foreign languages to which they had never been exposed, of having birthmarks at the site of previous mortal wounds, of these same children knowing where treasured objects were hidden or buried thousands of miles away and decades or centuries earlier , all echoed Catherine' s message . I knew Catherine's character and her mind. I knew what she was and what she wasn't. No, my mind could not fool me this time. The proof was too strong and too overwhelming . This was real. She would verify more and more as our sessions progressed. 

At times over the succeeding weeks I would forget the power and immediacy of this session. At times I would fall back into the rut of everyday life , worrying about the usual things. Doubts would surface . It was as if my mind, when not focused, tended to drift back into the old patterns, beliefs, and skepticism. But then I would remind myself—this actually happened! I appreciated how difficult it is to believe these concepts without having personal experience. The experience is necessary to add emotional belief to intellectual understanding . But the impact of experience always fades to some degree. 

At first, I was not aware of why I was changing so much. I knew I was more calm and patient, and others were telling me how peaceful I looked, how I seemed mote rested and happier. I felt more hope , more joy , more purpose , and more satisfaction in my life . It dawned on me that I was losing the fear of death . I wasn't afraid of my own death or of nonexistence . I was less afraid of losing others, even though I would certainly miss them. How powerful the fear of death is . People go to such great lengths to avoid the fear : mid-life crises , affairs with younger people, cosmetic surgeries, exercise obsessions, accumulating material possessions, procreating to carry on a name, striving to be more and more youthful, and so on.  We are frightfully concerned with our own deaths, sometimes so much so that we forget the real purpose of our lives. 

I was also becoming less obsessive . I didn't need to be in control all the time . Although I was trying to become less serious, this transformation was difficult for me . I still had much to learn. My mind was indeed now open to the possibility, even the probability, that Catherine's utterances were real . The incredible facts about my father and my son could not be obtained through the usual senses. Her knowledge and abilities certainly proved an outstanding psychic ability. It made sense to believe her, but I remained wary and skeptical about what I read in the popular literature . 

Who are these people reporting psychic phenomena, life after death , and other amazing paranormal events? Are they trained in the scientific method of observation and validation? Despite my overwhelming and wonderful experience with Catherine, I knew my naturally critical mind would continue to scrutinize every new fact , every piece of information. I would check to see if it fit into the framework being built with every session. I would examine it from every angle, with a scientist's microscope. And yet I could no longer deny that the framework was already there.

Chapter 5

We were still in the middle of the session. Catherine ended her rest and began talking about green statues in front of a temple. I roused myself from my reverie and listened. She was in an ancient lifetime, somewhere in Asia, but I was still with the Masters . Incredible , I thought to myself . She's talking about previous lifetimes , about reincarnation, and yet compared to hearing messages from the Masters , it feels anti climactic. I was already tealaing, however, that she had to go through a lifetime before she could leave her body and reach the in-between state . She could not reach this state directly . And it was only there that she could reach the Masters. 

"The green statues are in front of a large temple building, " she whispered softly , "a building with peaks and brown balls. There are seventeen steps in front , and there is a room after you climb the steps . Incense is burning . Nobody has shoes . Their heads are shaven. They have round faces and dark eyes. They are dark skinned. I am there. I have hurt my foot and have gone there for help . My foot is swollen ; I can't step on it . Something is stuck in my foot . They put some leaves on my foot . . . strange leaves . . . Tannis ? [Tannin , or tannic acid, which occurs naturally in the toots, wood , bark , leaves, and fruit of many plants, has been used since ancient times as a medicine because of its styptic or astringent properties.} First my foot was cleansed. This is a ritual before the gods. There is some poison in my foot . I stepped on something . My knee is swollen. My leg is heavy with streaks on it [blood poisoning?}. They cut a hole in the foot and put something very hot on it." 

Catherine was now writhing in pain. She was also gagging from some terribly bitter potion that she was given to drink . The potion was made from yellow leaves. She healed, but the bones in her foot and her leg were never the same again . I progressed her in time. She saw only a bleak and poverty - stricken life . She lived with her family in a small one-room hut without a table. They ate some kind of rice , like a cereal, but they were always hungry. She aged rapidly, never escaping the poverty or the hunger, and she died. I waited, but I could see Catherine's exhaustion . Before I could awaken her , however, she told me that Robert Jarrod needed my help . I had no idea who Robert Jarrod was , or how I could help him . 

There was no more. After awakening fro m the trance , Catherine again remembered many of the details o f her past-life recall. She remembered nothing at all of the after-death experiences, nothing from the in-between state , nothing of the Masters or of the incredible knowledge that had been revealed . I asked her a question. 

"Catherine, what does the term 'Masters ' mean to you? " She thought this was a golf tournament! She was improving rapidly now, but she still had difficulty integrating the concept of reincarnation into her theology. Therefore, I decided not to tell her about the Masters yet. Besides, I wasn't sure how you broke the news to someone that she was an incredibly talented trance medium who could channel wonderful , transcendental knowledge from the Master Spirits. 

Catherine agreed to allow my wife to attend the next session. Carole is a well-trained, highly skilled psychiatric social worker, and I wanted her opinion about these incredible happenings. After I told he r what Catherine had said about my father and our son , Adam , she was eager to help . I had no trouble taking notes of every word from the lifetimes when Catherine whispered quite slowly, but the Masters spoke much more quickly, and I decided to tape-record everything. 

One week later Catherine came in for her next session. She continued to improve, with diminished fears and anxieties. Her clinical improvement was definite, but I still was not sure why she was so much better . She had remembered drowning as Aronda, having her throat slashed as Johan, being a victim of a water-borne epidemic as Louisa, and other terrifyingly traumatic events. She had also experienced  or re-experienced lifetimes of poverty and servitude and of abuse within her family. The latter are examples of the day-in and day-out mini traumas that also get ground into our psyches. The remembrance of both types of lifetimes could be contributing to her improvement. But another possibility existed. Could the spiritual experience itself be helping? Could the knowledge that death is not what it appears to be contribute to a sense of well-being , of diminution of fears ? Could the entire process, not just the memories themselves, be part of the cure? 

Catherine's psychic abilities were increasing , and she was becoming even more intuitive . She still had problems with Stuart, but she felt able to cope with him more effectively. Her eyes sparkled; her skin glowed. She had had a strange dream during the week, she announced, but she could only remember a fragment of it . She had dreamed that the red fin of a fish was embedded in her hand. 

She went under quickly and easily, reaching a deep level of hypnosis within minutes. 

"I see some type of cliffs. I'm standing on the cliffs, looking down. I should be looking for ships—that's what I'm supposed to be doing. . . . I'm wearing something blue, a blue type of pants . . . short  pants with strange shoes . . . black shoes . . . and they buckle . The shoes have buckles , very funny shoes. .. . I see on the horizon there are no ships." Catherine was whispering softly . I progressed her i n time to the next significant event in her life. 

"We're drinking ale , stout ale . It's very dark. The tankards are thick. They're old, put together with metal stays. It's very foul-smelling in this place, and many people are in there. It's very loud. Everybody is talking, very noisy." 

I asked her if she could hear anybody calling her name. 

"Christian . . . Christian is my name. " She was a male again. "We're just eating some type of meat and drinking ale . It's dark and very bitter-tasting. They put salt on it." 

She could not see a year . "They're talking about a war , about ships blockading some ports! But I can't hear where it is. If they would be quiet, we could hear, but everyone's talking and noisy." 

I asked her where she was . "Hamstead . . . Hamstead [phonetic spelling] . It's a port , a seaport in Wales. They'r e talking British. " She went ahead in time to when Christian was on his ship. " I can smell something , something burning . It's a terrible smell . Burning wood , but also something else . It burn s your nose . . . . Something in the distance is on fire, some type of vessel , a sailing vessel . We're loading ! We're loading something with gunpowder." Catherine was becoming visibly agitated.     1

"It's something with gunpowder , very black . It sticks to your hands. You have to move fast. The ship has a green flag on it. The flag is dark. . . . It's a green and yellow flag. There is some type of crown with three points on it." 

Suddenly Catherine grimaced with pain. She was in agony . "Uh," she grunted, "the pain in my hand, the pain in my hand! There's some metal , hot metal in my hand . It's burning me ! Oh! Oh! " 

I remembered the dream fragment and understood now about the red fin embedded in her hand . I blocked the pain , but she was still moaning. 

"The splinters are metal . . . . The ship we were on was destroyed .. . the port side. They have the fire under control. Many men have been killed . . . many men . I have survived . . . only my hand is hurt , but it heals with time. " I took her ahead in time, letting her pick out the next significant event. 

"I see some type of printshop , printing something with blocks and ink. They're printing and binding books. . . . The books have leather covers and strings holding them together , leather strings . I see a red book . . . . It's something about history. I can't see the title; they haven't finished the printing . The books are wonderful . Their covers are so smooth , the leather. They're wonderful books; they teach you." 

Obviously Christian enjoyed seeing and touching the books, and he dimly realized the potential of learning this way . He seemed to be largely uneducated, however. I progressed Christian to the last day of his life. 

"I see a bridge over a river. I'm an old man . . . very old . It's difficult to walk. I'm walking over the bridge .. . to the other side . .. . I feel pain in my chest—pressure , terrible pressure—pain in my chest! Oh! " 

Catherine was making gurgling sounds , experiencing the apparent heart attack that Christian was having on the bridge . Her breathing was rapid and shallow; her face and neck were covered with sweat . She began to cough an d to gasp for air. I wa s concerned. Was re - experiencing a heart attack from a previous lifetime dangerous? This was a new frontier; nobody knew the answers . Finally, Christian died . Catherine was now lying peacefully on the couch , breathing deeply and evenly . I let out a deep sigh of relief. 

"I feel free . . . free, " Catherine gently whispered . "I'm just floating in darkness . . . just floating. There is a light around . . . and spirits, other people." 

I asked if she had any thoughts about the lifetime that had just ended, her life as Christian. 

"I should have been more forgiving, but I wasn't. I did not forgive the wrongs that people did to me , and I should have . I didn't forgive the wrongs. I held them inside, and I harbored them for many years. .. . I see eyes . . . eyes. " 

"Eyes?" I echoed, sensing the contact. "What kind of eyes? " 

"The eyes of the Master Spirits," Catherine whispered, "but I must wait. I have things to think about. " Minutes passed in tense silence. 

"How will you know when they are ready, " I asked expectantly, breaking the long silence. 

"They will call me," she answered . More minutes passed . Then, suddenly, her head began to roll from side to side , and her voice, hoarse and firm, signaled the change. 

"There are many souls in this dimension. I am not the only one. We must be patient. That is something I never learned either. . . . There are many dimensions . ... " I asked her whether she had been here before , whether she had reincarnated many times. 

"I have been to different planes at different times. Each one is a level of higher consciousness. What plane we go to depends upon how far we've progressed . . . She was silent again. I asked her what lessons she had to learn in order to progress. She answered immediately. 

"That we must share our knowledge with other people. That we all have abilities far beyond what we use. Some of us find this out sooner than others. That you should check your vices before you come to this point. If you do not , you carry them over with you to another life . Only we can rid ourselves . . . of the bad habits that we accumulate when we are in a physical state. The Masters cannot do that for us. If you choose to fight and not to rid yourself , then you will carry them over into another life . And only when you decide that you are strong enough to master the external problems , then you will no longer have them in your next life. 

"We also must learn not to just go to those people whose vibrations are the same as ours. It is normal to feel drawn to somebody who is on the same level that yo u are . But this is wrong. You must also go to those people whose vibrations are wrong . . . with yours. This is the importance .. . in helping . . . these people. 

"We are given intuitive powers we should follow and not try to resist. Those who resist will meet with danger. We are not sent back from each plane with equal powers. Some of us possess powers greater than others , because they have been accrued from other times . Thus people are not all created equal. But eventually we will reach a point where we will all be equal." 

Catherine paused. I knew these thoughts were not hers. She had no background in physics or metaphysics; she knew nothing about planes and dimensions and vibrations. But beyond that, the beauty of the words and thoughts, the philosophical implications of these utterances,these were all beyond Catherine's capabilities. She had never talked in such a concise , poetic manner. I could fee l another, higher force struggling with her mind and vocal cords to translate these thoughts into words, so that I could understand. No, this was not Catherine . 

Her voice had a dreamy tone. 

"People who are in comas . . . are in a state of suspension. They are not ready yet to cross into the other plane . . . until they have decided whether they want to cross or not. Only they can decide this. If they feel they have no more learning . . . in physical state . . . then they are allowed to cross over. But if they have more learning , then they must come back , even if they do not want to . That is a rest period for them, a time when their mental powers can rest." 

So people in comas can decide whether or not to return , depending upon how much learning they have yet to accomplish in the physical state. If they feel there is nothing further to learn , they can go directly to the spiritual state , modern medicine notwithstanding . This information meshed nicely with the research being published about near-death experiences, and why some people chose to return . Others were not given the choice ; they had to return because there was more to learn . Of course , all of the people interviewed about their near-death experiences returned to their bodies . There is a striking similarity in their stories. They become detached from their bodies and "watch " resuscitation efforts from a point above their bodies. They eventually become aware of a bright light or a glowing "spiritual" figure in the distance, sometimes at the end of a tunnel. They feel no pain. As they become aware that their tasks on earth are not yet completed, and they must return to their bodies, they are immediately rejoined to their bodies and once again are aware of pain and other physical sensations. 

I have had several patients with near-death experiences. The most interesting account was that of a successful South American businessman who was seen by me for several sessions of conventional psychotherapy about two years after Catherine's treatment ended. Jacob had been run over and knocked unconscious by a motorcycle in Holland in 1975, when he was in his early thirties. He remembers floating above his body and looking down at the scene of the accident, taking note of the ambulance, the doctor attending his injuries , and the growing crowd of onlookers. He became aware of a golden light in the distance, and as he approached it , he saw a monk wearing a brown robe . The monk told Jacob that this was not his time to pass over, that he had to return to his body. Jacob felt the wisdom and power of the monk, who also related several future events in Jacob's life, all of which later occurred. Jacob was whooshed back into his body , now in a hospital bed, regained consciousness, and, for the first time, became aware of excruciating pain. 

In 1980 , while traveling in Israel , Jacob , who is Jewish , visited the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron , which is a holy site to both Jews and Muslims. After his experience in Holland, he had become more religious and had begun to pray more often. He saw the nearby mosque and sat down to pray with the Muslims there . After a while, he rose to leave . An old Muslim man came up to him and said, "You are different from the others. They very rarely sit down to pray with us. " The old man paused for a moment, looking closely at Jacob before continuing. "You have met the monk . Do not forget what he has told you." Five years after the accident and thousands of miles distant , an old man knew about Jacob's encounter with the monk , an encounter that happened while Jacob had been unconscious. 

In the office, pondering Catherine's latest revelations, I wondered what our Founding Fathers would have thought about the proposition that all humans are not created equal . People are born with talents, abilities, and powers accrued from other lifetimes. "But eventually we will reach a point where we will all be equal." I suspected that this point was many, many lifetimes distant. 

I thought about the young Mozart and his incredible childhood talents . Was this also a carry-over of former abilities ? Apparently we carried over abilities as well as debts. 

I thought about how people tended to congregate in homogeneous groups, avoiding and often fearing outsiders. This was the root of prejudice and group hatreds. "We also must learn not to just go to those people whose vibrations are the same as ours." To help these other people . I could feel the spiritual truths in her words. 

"I must come back," Catherine resumed . " I must come back." But I wanted to hear more . I asked her wh o Robert Jarrod was. She had mentioned his name during the last session, stating that he needed my help. 

"I don't know . .. . He may be in another plane , not this one." Apparently she could not find him . "Only when he wants, only if he decides to come to me, " she whispered, "he will send me a message. He needs your help." 

I still could not understand how I could help. 

"I don't know, " Catherine answered . "But you are the one to be taught, not I." 

This was interesting . Was this material for me ? Or was I to help Robert Jarrod by being taught ? We never did hear from him. "I must go back," she repeated. "I must go to the light first." Suddenly she was alarmed . "Oh , oh , I've hesitated much too long. . . . Because I hesitated I have to wait again." While she waited, I asked her what she was seeing and feeling. 

"Just other spirits, other souls. They're waiting, too." 

I asked her whether there was something to teach us while she was waiting. "Can you tell us what we must know?" I asked. 

"They are not here to tell me, " she replied. 

Fascinating , If the Masters were not there for her to hear, Catherine could not independently provide the knowledge.

"I'm very restless being here. I do want to go. . . . When the time is right , I will go. " Again , minutes silently passed . Finally the time must have been right . She had fallen into another lifetime. 

"I see apple trees . . . and a house, a white house . I live in the house . The apples are rotten . . . worms, no good to eat. There is a swing, a swing on the tree." I asked her to look at herself. 

"I have light hair, blond hair; I'm five years old. My name is Catherine. " I was surprised . She had entered her present lifetime; she was Catherine at age five. But she must be there for some reason. 

"Did something happen there, Catherine?" 

"My father is angry at us . . . 'cause we're not supposed to be outside . He . . . he's hitting me with a stick . It's very heavy; it hurts. . . . I'm afraid. " She was whining , speaking like a child. "He won't stop till he's hurt us. Why does he do this to us ? Why is he so mean?" I asked her to see her life from a higher perspective and to answer her own questions . I had recently read about people being able to do this. Some writers called this perspective one's Higher Self or Greater Self. I was curious whether Catherine could reach this state , if it existed. If she could, the would be a powerful therapeutic technique, a shortcut to insight and understanding. 

"He never wanted us, " she whispered very softly. "He feels we're an intrusion in his life. .. . He doesn't want us." 

"Your brother, too?" I asked. 

"Yes, my brother even more . They never planned for my brother. They weren't married when .. . he was conceived." This proved to be startling new information for Catherine. She had never known about the premarital pregnancy. Her mother later confirmed the accuracy of Catherine's revelation. 

Although she was recounting a lifetime , Catherine now exhibited a wisdom and a perspective about her life that had previously been restricted to the in-between, or spiritual, state. Somehow there wa s a "higher " part of her mind , a sort of superconscious. Perhaps this was the Higher Self that others have described. Although not in contact with the Masters and their spectacular knowledge , nevertheless , in her superconscious state she possessed profound insights and information , such as her brother's conception . The conscious Catherine , when awake , was much more anxious and limited , much simpler and comparatively superficial . She could not tap into this superconscious state . I wondered if the prophets and sages of Eastern and Western religions, those called "actualized, " were able to utilize this superconscious state to obtain their wisdom and knowledge. If so , then we all had the ability to do so, for we must all possess this superconscious . The psychoanalyst Carl Jung was aware of the different levels of consciousness . He wrote about the collective unconscious, a state with similarities to Catherine's superconscious. 

I would become increasingly frustrated by the uncrossable gulf between Catherine' s conscious , awake intellect and her trance-level superconscious mind . While she was hypnotized , I would have fascinating philosophical dialogues with her at the superconscious level . When awake , however , Catherine had no interest in philosophy or related matters. She lived in the world of everyday detail , oblivious of the genius within her. 

Meanwhile, her father was tormenting her, and the reasons were becoming evident . 

"He has many lessons to learn," I stated in a questioning way. 

"Yes . . . so he does." 

I asked her if she knew what he had to learn. "This knowledge is not revealed to me. " Her tone was detached , distant . "What is revealed to me is what is important to me, what concerns me . Each person must be concerned with him - or herself . . . with making him- or herself . . . whole . We have lessons to learn . . . each one of us . They must be learned one at a time .. . in order. Only then can we know what the next person needs, what he or she lacks or what we lack , to make us whole." She spoke in a soft whisper, and her whisper conveyed a feeling of loving detachment. 

When Catherine spoke again , the childlike voice had re -turned. "He's making me sick! He's making me eat this stuff that I don't want . It's some food . . . lettuce , onions, stuff I hate. He's making me eat it, and he knows I'm gonna be sick. But he doesn't care!" Catherine began to gag. She was gasping for air. I again suggested that she view the scene from a higher perspective, that she needed to understand why her father acted this way. 

Catherine spoke in a raspy whisper. "It must fill some void in him. He hates me because of what he did. He hates me for that, and he hates himself." I had nearly forgotten about the sexual assault when she was three years old. "So he must punish me . .. . I must have done something to make him do that." She was only three years old, and her father was drunk. Yet she had carried this guilt deep within he r ever since . I explained the obvious. 

"You were just a baby. You must now relieve yourself of this guilt. You didn't do anything. What could a three-year-old do? It wasn't you; it was your father." 

"He must have hated me then, too, " she gently whispered . "I knew him before , but I cannot draw on that information now. I must go back to that time." Although several hours had already passed, I wanted to go back to their previous relationship. I gave her detailed instructions. 

"You are in a deep state. In a moment I am going to count backward, from three to one. You will be in a deeper state and will feel totally safe. Your mind will be free to roam back in time again , back to the time when the connection to your father in your current life began, back to the time that had the most significant bearing on what happened in your childhood between you and him. When I say 'one,' you will go back to that lifetime and remember it . It is important for your cure . You can do that . Three . . . two . . . one. " 

There was a long pause."I do not see him . . . but I see people being killed! " Her voice became loud and husky. "We have no right to abruptly halt peoples' lives before they have lived out their karma. And we are doing it . We have no right. They will suffer greater retribution if we let them live . When they die and go to the next dimension , they will suffer there. They will be left in a very restless state. They will have no peace. And they will be sent back, but their lives will be very hard. And they will have to make up to those people that they hurt for the injustices that they did against them . They are halting these people's lives, and they have no right to do that. Only God can punish them, not us. They will be punished."

A minute of silence passed. "They are gone," she whispered. The Master Spirits had given us one more message today , strong and clear. We are not to kill, no matter what the circumstances. Only God can punish. 

Catherine was exhausted. I decided to postpone our pursuit of the past-life connection to her father, and I brought her out of her trance. She remembered nothing except her incarnations as Christian and as young Catherine. She was tired, yet peaceful and relaxed , as if a huge weight had been lifted from her. My eyes met Carole's. We were also exhausted. We had shivered and we had sweated, hanging on to every word. We had shared an incredible experience.

Chapter 6

I now scheduled Catherine's weekly sessions at the end of the day, because they were lasting several hours. She still had that peaceful look about her when she came in the following week. She had talked with her father on the phone. Without giving him any details, she had, in her way, forgiven him. I had never seen her this serene. I marveled at the rapidity of her progress. It was rare for a patient with such chronic, deep-seated anxieties and fears to improve so dramatically. But then, of course , Catherine was hardly an ordinary patient, and the course her therapy had taken was certainly unique. 

"I see a porcelain doll sitting on some type of mantel. " She had quickly fallen into a deep trance. "There are books next to the fireplace on both sides . It's a room within some house. There are candlesticks next to the doll. And a painting . . . of the face , the man's face . It's him. . . . " She was scanning the room. I asked her what she was seeing. 

"Some type of covering on the floor. It's fuzzy like it's . . . it is an animal skin, yes . . . some type of animal-skin covering on the floor. To the right there are two glass doors . . . that lead out onto the veranda. There are four steps—columns on the front of the house—four steps down. They lead out to a path. Big trees are all around . . . . There are some horses . outside. The horses are bridled . . . to some posts that are sitting out front." 

"Do you know where this is? " I inquired . 

Catherine took a deep breath. "I don't see a name, " she whispered , "but the year , the year must be somewhere . It' s the eighteenth century , but I don't . . . there are trees and yellow flowers, very pretty yellow flowers." She was distracted by these flowers. "They smell wonderful ; they smell sweet , the flowers . . . strange flowers, big flowers . . . yellow flowers with black centers in them." She paused , remaining among the flowers. I was reminded of a field of sunflowers in the south of France. I asked her about the climate. 

"It's very temperate , but it's not breezy . It's neither hot nor cold." We were not making any progress in identifying the locale. I took her back into the house , away from the fascinating yellow flowers, and I asked her whose portrait was above the mantel. 

"I can' t .. . I keep hearing Aaron .. . his name is Aaron." I asked if he owned the house. "No , his son does. I work there. " 

Once again she was cast as a servant . She had never even remotely approached the status of a Cleopatra or a Napoleon. Doubters of reincarnation , including my own scientifically trained self until the past two months , often point to the much higher than expected frequency of incarnations as famous people. Now I found myself in the most unusual position of having reincarnation being proved scientifically right in my offices in the Department of Psychiatry. And much more than reincarnation was being revealed. 

"My leg is very . . . " Catherine continued , "very heavy . It hurts. It almost feels like it's not there . .. . My leg is hurt . The horses kicked me." I told her to look at herself. 

"I have brown hair , brown curly hair . I have some type of bonnet on, some type of white bonnet .. . a blue dress with some type of pinafore on the dress . . . apron . I'm young, but not a child. But my leg hurts. It just happened . It hurts terribly." She was visibly in great pain . "Shoe . . . shoe . He kicked me with his shoe. He's a very, very mean horse. " Her voice grew softer as the pain finally subsided. " I can smell the hay, the feed in the barn . There are other people working in the stable area." I asked about her duties. 

"I was responsible for serving .. . for serving in the big house. I also had something to do with milking the cows. " I wanted to know more about the owners. 

"The wife is rather plump , very dowdy-looking. And there are two daughters . .. . I do not know them, " she added , anticipating my next question whether any had appeared yet in Catherine's current lifetime . I inquired about her own family in the eighteenth century. 

"I don't know ; I don't see them. I don't see anybody with me." I asked if she lives there . " I lived here, yes, but not in the main house. Very small . . . the house is provided for us. There are chickens. We gather up the eggs . They're brown eggs. My house is very small . . . and white . . . one room . I see a man. I live with him. He has very curly hair and blue eyes." I asked if they are married. 

"Not their understanding of marriage , no. " Was she born there? "No , I was brought to the estate when I was very young. My family was very poor." Her mate did not seem familiar. I directed her to move ahead in time to the next significant event in that lifetime. 

"I see something white . . . white with many ribbons on it. Must be a hat. Some type of bonnet, with feathers and white ribbons." 

"Who is wearing the hat? Is it—" She cut me off. "The lady of the house , of course. " I felt a bit stupid. 

"It's the marriage of one of their daughters . The whole estate joined in the celebration." I asked if there was anything in the newspaper about the wedding. If there was, I would have had her look at the date. "No, I don't believe they have newspapers there. I see nothing like that. " Documentation was proving difficult to come by in this lifetime . 

"Do you see yourself at the wedding? " I asked. 

She answered quickly, in a loud whisper. "We're not at the wedding. We can only watch the people coming and going. The servants are not allowed." 

"What are you feeling?" 


"Why? Do they treat you poorly?" 

"Because we are poor," she answered softly , "and we're bonded to them. And we have so little compared to what they have." 

"Do you ever get to leave the estate ? Or do you live out your life there?" 

She answered wistfully . "I live out my life there. " I could feel her sadness . Her life was both difficult and hopeless . I progressed her to the day of her death. 

"I see a house. I'm lying in bed , lying on the bed . They'r e giving me something to drink, something warm. It has a minty odor to it. My chest is very heavy. It's difficult to breathe. . . . I have pain in my chest and my back . . . . It's a bad pain . . . difficult to talk. " She was breathing rapidly and shallowly, in great pain . After a few minutes of agony , her face softened, and her body relaxed . Her breathing returned to normal. 

"I have left my body." Her voice was louder and husky. " I see a wonderful light. . . . There are people coming to me . They are coming to help me. Wonderful people. They're not afraid. .. . I feel very light . . . . " There was a long pause .  

"Do you have any thoughts about the lifetime you just left?" 

"That is for later. For now, I just feel the peace. It's a time of comfort. The party must be comforted. The soul . . . the soul finds peace here . You leave all the bodily pains behind you. Your soul is peaceful and serene. It's a wonderful feeling • • • wonderful, like the sun is always shining on you. The light is so brilliant! Everything comes from the light! Energy comes from this light. Our soul immediately goes there. It's almost like a magnetic force that we're attracted to . It's wonderful. It's like a power source. It knows how to heal. " 

"Does it have a color?" 

"It's many colors." She paused, resting in this light. 

"What are you experiencing?" I ventured. 

"Nothing . . . just peacefulness . You're among your friends. They are all there . I see many people . Some are familiar; others are not. But we're there, waiting." She continued to wait, as minutes slowly passed. I decided to push the pace. 

"I have a question to ask." 

"Of whom," Catherine asked. 

"Somebody—you or the Masters," I hedged . " I think the understanding of this will help us . The question is this: Do we choose the times and the manner of our birth and our death? Can we choose our situation? Can we choose the time of our passing over again? I think understanding that will ease a lot of your fears. Is there anyone there who can answer that question?" The room felt cold. When Catherine spoke again , her voice was deeper and more resonant. It was a voice I had never heard before. It was the voice of a poet. 

"Yes, we choose when we will come into our physical state and when we will leave . We know when we have accomplished what we were sent down here to accomplish . We know when the time is up , and you will accept your death. For you know that you can get nothing more out of this lifetime. When you have time , when you have had the time to rest and re-energize your soul, you are allowed to choose your re-entry back into the physical state . Those people who hesitate, who are not sure of their return here , they might lose the chance that was given them, a chance to fulfill what they must when they're in physical state." 

I knew immediately and completely that this was not Catherine speaking . "Who is speaking to me," I implored ; "who is talking?" 

Catherine answered in her familiar soft whisper . " I don't know. The voice of someone very . . . somebody who controls things, but I don't know who it is. I can only hear his voice and try to tell you what he says." 

She also knew this knowledge was not coming from herself, not from the subconscious , nor from the unconscious . Not even her superconscious self . She was somehow listening to , then conveying to me, the words or thoughts of someone very special, someone who "controls things. " Thus another Master had appeared , different from the one , or several, from whom the previous wisdom-laden messages had come . This was a new spirit , with a characteristic voice and style , poetic and serene. This was a Master who spoke about death without any hesitation, yet whose voice and thoughts were steeped wit h love. The love felt warm and real, yet detached and universal. It felt blissful , yet not smothering or emotional or binding. It relayed a feeling of loving detachment or detached loving - kindness, and it felt distantly familiar. 

Catherine's whisper grew louder. " I have no faith in these people." 

"No faith in which people?" I queried. 

"In the Masters." 

"No faith?"  

"No, I have lack of faith . That's why my life has been so difficult. I had no faith in that lifetime." She was calmly evaluating her eighteenth-century life . I asked her what she had learned in that lifetime. 

"I learned about anger and resentment , about harboring your feelings toward people . I also had to learn that I have no control over my life. I want control, but I don't have any . I must have faith in the Masters. They will guide me throughout. But I did not have the faith. I felt like I was doomed from the beginning . I never looked at things very pleasantly. We must have faith .. . we must have faith . And I doubt . I choose to doubt instead of believe." She paused. 

"What should you do, and I do, to make ourselves better ? Are our paths the same?" I asked. 

The answer came from the Master who last week had spoken of intuitive powers and of returning from comas. The voice, the style , the tone , were all different from both Catherine's and from the masculine, poetic Master who had just spoken. 

"Everybody's path is basically the same . We all must learn certain attitudes while we're in physical state. Some of us are quicker to accept them than others. Charity, hope , faith, love .. . we must all know these things and know them well. It's not just one hope and one faith and one love, so many things feed into each one of these. There are so many ways to demonstrate them. And yet we've only tapped into a little bit of each one. . . . 

"People of the religious orders have come closer than any of us have because they've taken these vows of chastity and obedience. They've given up so much without asking for anything in return. The rest of us continue to ask for rewards - rewards and justifications for our behavior . . . when there are no rewards, rewards that we want. The reward is in doing, but doing without expecting anything . . . doing unselfishly. 

"I have not learned that, " Catherine added , in her soft whisper. 

For a moment I was confused by the word "chastity, " but I remembered that the root meant "pure, " referring to a much different state from that of just sexual abstinence. 

". . . Not to overindulge," she continued. "Anything done to excess .. . in excess . . . . Yo u will understand . You really do understand." 

She paused again. 

"I'm trying, " I added . 

Then I decided to focus on Catherine. Perhaps the Masters had not yet left . "What can I do to best help Catherine to overcome her fears and anxieties ? And to learn her lessons ? Is this the best way , or should I change something? Or follow up in a specific area? How can I help her the best?" 

The answer came in the deep voice of the poet Master . I leaned forward in my chair. 

"You are doing what is correct. But this is for you, not for her." Once again, the message was that this was for my benefit more than for Catherine's. 

"For me?" 

"Yes. What we say is for you." Not only was he referring to Catherine in the third person, but he said "we." There were, indeed, several Master Spirits in attendance. 

"Can I know your names? " I asked , immediately wincing at the mundane nature of my question . " I need guidance . I have so much to know." The answer was a love poem, a poem about my life and my death. The voice was soft and tender, and I felt the loving detachment of a universal spirit. I listened in awe. "You will be guided in time . You will be guided .. . in time. When you accomplish what you have been sent here to accomplish , then your life will be ended . But not before then. You have much time ahead of you . . . much time. " 

I was simultaneously anxious and relieved . I was glad he was not more specific . Catherine was becoming restless. She spoke in a small whisper. 

"I'm falling , falling . . . trying to find my life . . . falling." She sighed, and I did, too. The Masters were gone. I pondered the miraculous messages , very personalized messages from very spiritual sources. The implications were overwhelming. The light after death and the life after death; our choosing when we are born and when we will die; the sure and unerring guidance of the Masters; lifetimes measured in lessons learned and tasks fulfilled, not in years; charity, hope, faith, and love ; doing without expectations of return—this knowledge was for me . But for what purpose ? What was I sent here to accomplish? 

The dramatic messages and events cascading upon me in the office mirrored deep changes in my personal and family life. The transformation gradually crept into my awareness . For example, I was driving with my son to a college baseball game when we became stuck in a huge traffic jam. I have always been annoyed by traffic jams, and now we would miss the first inning or two as well . I was aware of not being annoyed. I wasn't projecting the blame on some incompetent driver. My neck and shoulder muscles were relaxed . I didn't take out my irritation on my son , and we were passing the time talking to each other. I became aware of just wanting to spend a happy afternoon with Jordan , watching a game we both enjoy . The goal of the afternoon was to spend time together. If I had become annoyed and angry, the whole outing would have been ruined. 

I would look at my children and my wife and wonder if we had been together before . Had we chosen to share the trials and tragedies and joys of this life ? Were we ageless ? I felt a great love and tenderness toward them. I realized that their flaws and faults are minor. These are not really so important. Love is. 

I even found myself overlooking my own flaws, for the same reasons. I didn't need to try to be perfect or in control all the time. There really was no need to impress anyone. 

I was very glad that I could share this experience with Carole. We would often talk after dinner and sort out my feelings and reactions to Catherine' s sessions. Carole has an analytical mind and is very well grounded. She knew how driven I was to pursue the experience with Catherine in a careful, scientific manner, and she would play the devil's advocate to help me look at this information objectively. As the critical evidence mounted that Catherine was indeed revealing great truths, Carole felt and shared my apprehensions and my joys....



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