In May 2008, Dr. Oz introduced viewers of The Oprah Show to Dr. Brian Weiss and his study of past-life regression. Dr. Weiss uses hypnosis to lead his patients back in time to their earliest memories. Then he takes them even further back to what he says are their previous lives. From that point, Dr. Weiss says he and his patients are able to examine the experiences that seemed to have formed the roots of their current fears and phobias. Dr. Weiss says if you can connect your current fears to a past life, those fears will often disappear.
For as long as she can remember, Jodi says she has been terrified of dolls. One of her earliest memories is having her picture taken with Santa. To her horror, the photographer asked her to pose with a doll for the photo. "I can remember holding this doll and trying to smile, Jodi says. "I was screaming inside, 'Please
don't make me hold that doll!'"
Jodi's fear is so strong that she says she doesn't even let her daughter own dolls. One day when picking her daughter up from day care, Jodi arrived to find her little girl holding a baby doll. "My heart went to my stomach and tears welled up in my eyes and I started to shake," Jodi says. "I thought, 'There's my baby, she's got this doll, and I can't pick her up.'"
Jodi says even photographs of dolls scare her and nothing she does can rationalize her fear away. "I know that that doll cannot come to life. I know that there's nothing that doll can do to physically harm me," she says. "I'm still terrified.
After Jodi meets Dr. Weiss and explains her fear of dolls to him, he begins their session by hypnotizing her and guiding her into her past lives. "Go through the door and through the light," he says. "Join the scene where the experience or the person on the other side of the light is in a past life."
Jodi says she sees her grandfather, who died almost 20 years ago, welcoming her. She says she's happy to see him, but misses him. Dr. Weiss says Jodi's grandfather is her spiritual guide.
Then she mumbles the words "died too soon." Dr. Weiss leads Jodi to the moment when, in a past life, she died. "I see an accident scene ... car," she says.
"Was there anyone else in the car with you?" Dr. Weiss asks. "Who did you leave? Who was in the car?"
"My babies," Jodi says. "It feels real. And then I'm kind of gone. And then I'm with papa."
As she continues examining the scene of her death in a past life, Jodi says she sees the emergency personnel comforting her crying children. Jodi is worried about the babies. "Do they see me dead?" she asks through tears.
To comfort her, Dr. Weiss asks Jodi to look beyond the moment in which she died, and to focus on the lives of the survivors of the accident, specifically her babies in the car.
Jodi does, and says she sees them as they grow up. "They're healthy and good kids," she says.
Dr. Weiss says his session with Jodi was a long and intense one. "It was very emotional, but that's where the healing often comes from: from the catharsis, from the emotion, from remembering," he says. "And this was really important for her to go through."
Dr. Weiss believes Jodi's fear of dolls originates from not being able to protect her children in a past life. "This is a fear she would have carried over [to her next life]," he says. According to Dr. Weiss, the dolls Jodi is so fearful of are representative of the children she left behind. "The doll was a metaphor symbol for babies."
\Jodi says the lessons of her past-life regression were put to the test almost immediately when she watched the episode of The Oprah Show that featured an Osmond family reunion. During the show, Marie Osmond presented Oprah with a gift: a one-of-a-kind doll of Oprah as a child.
"My instinct says to me, 'Flee. Turn it off.' Because that's what I would have done in the past," Jodi says. "[Instead] I immediately thought of the light and I heard my grandfather's voice say, 'It's okay.' Before, there's no way I could have watched that show, absolutely no way."
While one in five Americans say they believe in reincarnation, Dr. Oz wonders if what Dr. Weiss calls past-life regression might be something else. Are the people he treats really reliving memories from lives they have lived before?
"When symptoms disappear, that's usually not from imagination or something like that. It's usually from the real memory, the experience," Dr. Weiss says. "Imagination doesn't cure symptoms."
We are multi-leveled conscious beings with many levels of awareness, ego states, and past life scenarios, actively at play at any given moment in time.
The physical, spiritual, and emotional levels are not often in harmony or aligned with each other, and states of dis-equilibrium or dis-ease are created.
We have an innate drive or instinct toward wholeness, integration, and equilibrium.
Pain and disharmony focus our attention on the non-alignment aspects of our psyche, so that we are eventually forced to create a homeostatic balance, whether it be pathological or healthy. On a spiritual level, movement is toward karmic homeostasis.
Past life therapy enables a therapist to move a client to explore deeper parts of the psyche. The process allows a client to understand her/his inner myth and the emotional, attitudinal matrix that unconsciously influences her/his physical and motivational system.
Because these life scripts, problems, and life style patterns are replicated on many developmental levels, we can approach the resolution of these patterns in many ways and at different levels, such as in the current life patterns, or the peri- or pre-natal experience, or past life experiences.
Past life therapy's primary concern is not only in the alleviation of symptoms, but also focuses on the dynamics and attitudes that support the systems. The mental, emotional, and physical levels often need to be examined for symptom relief.
Past life therapy helps us to understand more profoundly the mind-body-spirit connection, and how we as evolving souls are responsible for creating our universe for our own spiritual growth.
The primary aim of past life therapy is to help the individual to live a more integrated life style, to live in the here and now, to realize her/his connectedness to the universe, and to participate in the creative process that gives meaning to each moment of awareness.