Saturday, July 12, 2014

thoughts on past life hypnosis session London, July 2nd 2014


I sat on a reclining chair for over three hours with a hypnotherapist by my side. Her name is Lorraine Flaherty. Dear God, I am beside myself as I type this. I feel great, but what I went through would be hard to describe. I sobbed uncontrollably for I am not sure how long. It was a past life session, with only a little bit about the UFO stuff. What emerged blew my mind. 

I wrote that on a beautiful summer afternoon in a London coffee shop about an hour after the session ended. The story that I whispered from that chair was exceedingly dramatic, so much so that I am cautious to believe it entirely. It might be a metaphor, or it might have happened just as I described. What emerged was a brutal account of vanity, alcoholism, beatings, blindness and suicide; all from some previous life in the British Isles.

Before the actual session began Lorraine asked me some questions about what I was hoping to uncover and solve with the hypnosis. We spoke for a few minutes, and I tried to describe some of my issues, something I've gotten quite good at after being in and out of therapy for decades. I've had a lifetime of clinical depression, and this can manifest itself as a kind of sallow lifelessness. It can feel like my feet are trapped in cement, I told that to her as a way to describe this oppressive sensation of being stuck.

 this is a long essay, read more below 
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Then I took my shoes off and we reclined the chair. I took some deep breaths as she lead me through a formal hypnotic induction. When she felt I was sufficiently under she asked my higher self to go to the time and place that would offer up the best healing for my needs right at that moment. It took a little bit of exploring, but with her steady questioning, I told of being a young student from Ireland studying art on the English mainland. This would have been sometime in the early part of the previous century, maybe the 1920s. I sensed I was a talented young artist all full of himself. I felt certain I was terribly arrogant and acting like a dandy. I even wondered if I might be gay.

Then things shifted, I described being in a hospital bed, or some sort of convalescence home. As I lay there on a reclining chair in an office in London, I very clearly felt that my face was swollen and stiff. 

I spoke slowly, "Both my cheek bones are broken, and my teeth, and I'm blind." 

I had the feeling that I'd been terribly injured from some sort of beating. Afterwords, Lorraine said that at this point she watched my face swell up as I lay on the chair next to her. 

Then I said, "The man who beat me felt so guilty that he committed suicide."

It was at that point I came unhinged. I sort of folded in on myself and sobbed uncontrollably. I am not sure how long I cried, but it seemed like forever. Eventually I calmed down enough to position myself back down into a reclining position in the chair. For the remaining hours of the session, I could feel a steady stream of tears rolling from my eyes to my beard.

Several characters within this story seemed to have reoccurred as important people in this, and other previous lives, including the man who beat me. Lorraine had me address each one of these players, and she instructed me to visualize a contract, and if the lesson was learned, to rip it up. She ushered me through a formal forgiveness process, and then we moved on. 

Eventually Lorraine reversed the induction, and counted down from ten, with each number easing me out of the hypnotic trance and ushering me back to normal waking reality.

When I came out of it, I sat up and looked at Lorraine and the first thing I blurted out was, "I am so fucking hungry."

This plays into what I said before we started the hypnosis, when Lorraine asked me about my life and my issues. I described what is usually my very first symptom of clinical depression, I lose the ability to feel hungry; something as normal as feeling the very human desire to eat food disappears. So when I said I was hungry, I absolutely recognized the power and meaning of that simple statement. Saying I was hungry meant I was healthy, and I knew that in the moment.

Initially after coming out of the hypnotized state, Lorraine told me it had been over four hours since we started. I was astonished, it felt like it had barely been 40 minutes. She calmly told me we started at a bit after 10 in the morning, and now it was well after two in the afternoon. This feeling of distorted time really emphasized that something had remarkable had just gone down.

After the session Lorraine and I went out for lunch. We ate at a Japanese restaurant that was right across from her office. I felt like I was positively skipping as we crossed the street, I felt amazing.

I asked her if the session we'd just had would be was something normal for her, and she answered, "Well, yes. This is what I do."

"And all the crying?"

"I seem to have that effect on people." She said that with a calm understatement.

While eating, I wondered aloud if the "story" that emerged under hypnosis might not have been real, but more of a metaphor. 

Lorraine thoughtfully replied, "That might be so, but from my experience, people don't sob uncontrollably from a metaphor."

The story that played out under hypnosis was oddly exact, it perfectly matched my own phobias and insecurities in a way that was remarkable. The narrative seemed purposely exaggerated to hammer home specific revelations. I feel strongly that my logical mind could never have invented such a tidy storyline, this could mean that my unconscious mind was the author. Whatever the source, whether it was a real set of events lived by me in a previous life, or if it was scripted by some deeper part of myself, the story itself was remarkably healing. So in the end, it doesn't matter. 

The lesson wasn't vague or ethereal, I was pummeled with vivid symbolism. I've always had issues with my role as a creative type. I've always been terribly insecure about appearing in any way vain or prideful about my skills with a pen. Calling myself an artist has been fraught with a sort of irrational schizophrenia. I am 51 years old and I've never truly been able to call myself an artist. I came out of this hypnosis session realizing that I've manifested a terribly unhealthy relationship with my own ego.

This wasn't a peaceful dreamlike journey, the sensations during the session felt tense. I was aware of noises out the window, and that my bare feet might seem smelly in such a small office. There were moments where it seemed I was slipping away into sleep, but I would hover right on that edge. I have tried hypnosis before, and in those previous sessions I never felt as if I was truly under, but this time I was definitely hypnotized, I can say that with absolute confidence. 

I offered up very little without Lorraine first asking me a question. Even in the moment I was fully aware of the pitfalls of hypnosis from critics. Was I trying to please the hypnotherapist? I am a naturally polite person, and I was wary that this could be an issue, and there may even have been some moments at the onset that I did as much. 

What I tried to do, was to simply allow any thoughts that popped into my head to get articulated, just say the first thing that emerged without any judgment. I feel that some of the stuff I would blurt out was probably wrong, but I said it anyway. Things like places and dates, in retrospect, feel suspect. At one point she asked, "Where are you?" and I calmly replied, "Glastonbury." That was the instantaneous thought, and I said it aloud. But, I had been talking about Glastonbury during the previous few days, so it may have been the wrong answer to her question.

At several points we got into what felt like a strong call-and-response rhythm. She asked questions and I answered without any hesitation. I was saying things that made absolutely no sense. She would ask, "How many lifetimes had you lived with the spirit of your father?" I would immediately reply, "Ninety-six." Could that be a literal truth? I have no idea, but as a kind of symbolic framework, it holds a very real power. 

My eyes were closed the entire time, except for one brief instant. We were at the point when I had just said the single most important thing of the entire session, the one pivotal event, the thing that made me sob like a dam had burst. As I was crying my body was going through a set of spasms, and Lorraine was calmly telling me not to worry, that I was fine, to release whatever I was feeling. It was at this point that someone from the hall opened the door and stepped into the small office. I heard a man's voice say something in a British accent like, "Here I am—Whoops—Sorry…" I opened my eyes just long enough to see Lorraine though my tears with her arm outstretched and her palm out in a forceful pose that exuded the command STOP!

I knew whatever was happening at that moment was terribly important, and it felt like my life depended on not snapping out of the hypnotic trance. I just tried to hold on and continued to cry. What seems absolutely bizarre is that whoever interrupted made his entrance at the single most intense moment of the entire four hour hypnosis session. Not sure what to read into that.

I've chosen not to share all the details of the story that unfolded, some of it just seems a bit too personal. What I can say is that the stuff that made me cry had nothing to do with UFOs. It had a lot to do with my role as an artist in a previous life, and how I acted out in a prideful arrogant way, and how this lead to an irrational punishment.

I did not expect this hypnosis thing to go down like it did. That said, I'm amazed at how much of what I explained to Lorraine at the onset was then played out in the session. Again, I am not locked into a need to frame anything as "literal" but the deeper concern is how I can use this session to pull my feet out of the cement, my way of describing how stuck I've been feeling.

During the session Lorraine asked me where I was from in Ireland, without any hesitation I said Murray. After the session I tried to search out any place in Ireland that would go by the name Murray, but couldn't find anything that matched, including a long string of spelling variations. But there is a Moray Scotland, pronounced Murray in Gaelic. I had no knowledge of this before searching that word. My family ancestry is from Scotland, and Lorraine's is from Ireland. Could it be that I was trying to tailor some of my answers in way to please her? The imagery in my mind's eye could have been anywhere in the British Isles, there was nothing particularly Irish about what I was seeing.

As far as the UFO stuff, it was remarkably minimal in the context of the four hour session. I didn't have any sort of on-the-craft kind of memories emerge. What did come up was that I had an alien entity that had been following me throughout this, and previous lives. She asked if this being had a name, and without hesitation I said Quentar. I think I might have made an audible groan after saying that, it just sounded so cheesy. Quentar, my guardian angel from space, how embarrassing!

I can't quite recall all of what came up with Quentar, but it dovetails with a lot of what I've read over the decades, so I am cautious to fully trust this part. I said I agreed to this in a previous life, and that matches what I've heard over and over in the UFO literature. Lorraine asked, "Who is Quentar?" I calmly answered, "He is myself." Not sure what that might mean, but I have to say this reply felt honest. 

Lorraine told me at the end of the session that she had used a small crystal pendulum at the very beginning of the session. She asked, yes or no, if we were alone in the room, or if there was another entity present. The pendulum indicated that someone else was there with us. This was the reason she asked me the questions that eventually brought out the stuff about Quentar and his (or it's?) hidden role in my life. 

There is over three hours of recorded audio from that session. I haven't listened to it yet, but when I do, hopefully I'll find some deeper clues.

While talking with Lorraine over Japanese noodles, I spoke about how Dr. John Mack, someone trained in scientific imperialism, was confronted by something that challenged his logical mindset. He had interviewed a native shaman from the Brazilian rain forest, and he told of legends where flying saucers had landed in the Amazon basin, and how men would emerge from these space ships. When Mack asked if this was literally true or metaphoric, the shaman replied succinctly that among their people it made no difference.

Mack had a series of examples where other shamans said the same thing. These mystics would all be from what we would call primitive cultures and they weren't in any way tied down to literal truths. This is in direct opposition to the way we pragmatic westerners would cling to the literal. 


Dr. Leo Sprinkle also uses past life hypnotherapy in his counseling. He is very clear that he has no answer if the recalled experiences are literally real. What he does say is that there can be a deeply therapeutic result from these sessions. So he is unconcerned over any objective truth, because the results can be so powerful.

A few short years ago, I would have been apoplectic trying to make sense of this stuff from this hypnosis session. I would have seen it only in the confining framework of our overriding consensus reality. I think I would have crumbled if I had this same session back in 2006, it simply would have been too much for me. But at this point my view of reality has changed so dramatically that I'm no longer tied down to the literal, I'm at peace (well, almost) with the metaphorical.

There were a few other things that came up, and these all felt like the kinds of things I would say, but in the context of the hypnotic trance they seem worth noting here. Follow your heart was a message that was repeated several times, as was forgiveness. I need to meditate and draw more. I need to be less stubborn, to let go of everything and move on. I need to truly live and I need faith in my own soul. And I spoke about the owls too, they are a metaphor for the mystery.


Lorraine Flaherty is a past-life hypnotherapist based out of the UK. She was one of the speakers at the conference in Leeds, England. This was an event where I was also a speaker. 

Her book, Healing with Past Life Therapy, is available HERE.

Her website is linked HERE.
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16 comments:

lhl said...

Hi Mike

Regarding the question of reality versus metaphor you might be interested in a Danish tv-series from 2003 that examined the reality of the regression experience. They regressed half a dozen people and subsequently conducted investigations in order to verify the information obtained during the regressions. The episodes are edited for brevity and entertainment value but are worth watching none the less. There is some success in verifying the information (and some failures..), but what stands out and is conveyed very well, is how moved the persons become and the deep sense of recognition they experience upon seeing the place where they alleged lived in a previous life. A link to the tv-series can be found in the following post in Skeptiko-podcast forum, which also has English subtitles attached (in case your Scandinavian is a bit rusty ;-). Most of the investigations are conducted in English, but the subtitles are definately helpful for the actual regression sessions.

http://skeptiko-forum.com/threads/243-scott-de-tamble-explores-lives-between-lives.765/#post-18251

Anonymous said...

Thank you for such powerful truth, Mike. The story is riveting for its truth, metaphor or otherwise. What resonated for me was the difficulty we have in finding forgiveness for ourselves and how that offering to ourselves is the catalyst for understanding peace and even joy.

I attended one group regression session many years ago and came face to face with my self imposed loneliness. Because this was no therapy session, I took quite a few years to work through all that, but it never mattered much if I ever lived that particular life. There was truth in the emotions and my fear was real enough whether suffered in the long ago or yesterday.

Seems to me fear and forgiveness are a dancing pair. Sounds like you're in the lead and I'm very happy for you. Thank you for your honesty.

eattherich said...

This was very interesting and moving. Thanks, Mike, good for you:).


I think, really, it´s all symbolic AND real. And certainly so, the different aspects of deep regression and resonant past life memories.

I agree with Anonymous, metaphor is also truth."It makes no difference"-great quote!.

We´re living in a metaphorical universe. Dreams whithin dreams.

(BTW thanks much for posting the link to the danish tv-series! Have been looking for them, watched them when they came out (I´m in Sweden). Like you said they´re kind of too edited down but still
REALLY interesting.)

Red Pill Junkie said...

Glad to learn you recovered your hunger back.

Your sudden sobbing episode reminded me of something I heard while listening to my friends the Grimericans interview Sara Chetkin, author of the book The Healing Curve: A Catalyst to Consciousness; most of what she said could be interpreted as 'new age fluff' but there's something that had the ring of truth: She said that perhaps we should think of emotions as 'e-motions' --i.e. energy in motion, because they're meant to be always flowing; and whenever we don't let our emotions flow, a blockage in our body is formed, like a dam trapping water. Sometimes those dams are translated into physical or psychological illness.

And about Quentar, when you Google the name the only thing that appears is a little town in Granada, Spain. The name seems to be derived from the Arabic Qaryat al kantar, which means 'bridge or pass' to the alquería, which is a rural village located near the cities of Andalucía.

So, you could say Quentar is a 'bridge'. And I for one find that analogy meaningful :)

Anonymous said...



I wonder if the hypnosis
session will have a deepening
effect on certain aspects of
your dreaming..?...

Lucretia Heart said...

So powerful an experience!

My own opinion, having had regressions (both good open ones and the bad 'led' kind) is that generally speaking, most of what comes out, unless its pushed by the hypnotist, is literal truth. The mind leaps to guess to fill in blanks, so having some doubts about certain details makes sense. But the overall underlying truth of the session is what is useful in the end, regardless.

I agree that people do NOT sob uncontrollably from metaphors and self-told stories. I think its quite likely you were who you remember, even if some particular details are 'off.' Its been a long time and you're using a new brain, can't expect that memory to be perfect. The story itself is what you remember and that is what is important.

I've also said under hypnosis that I agreed to the abductions by aliens before I was born! Even as I was saying it while under I winced to myself because-- well, you know how I feel about that. But I said it too, dammit!

What I remember without hypnosis makes it clear to me that real, physical stuff is happening, including relationships of an odd and ongoing nature over multiple lifetimes. I'll be writing more about that soon.

I'm glad you took the plunge and learned something new about yourself. And if I happened to be any of those people (I was, after all, a soldier in World War One in my last life-- we could have run into one another) then just know I have no awareness of any issues with you, so I assume you're already forgiven on my end. =^)

Thanks for sharing your journey!

Red Pill Junkie said...

Re. the not sobbing uncontrollably from metaphors & self-told stories: I once dreamed I was some sort of guerrilla fighter that had been captured in some Latin American jungle, and was about to be executed by a firing squad. I remember waking up from that dream sobbing so loud & uncontrollably my father went out to check on me --I guess I probably yelled or something-- (also bear in mind I was already in high school when this happened!)

So what am I to think of the aforementioned remark, and my emotional response to that dream, or others I've had in which I wake up myself without able to stop the flow of tears pouring out of my eyes? The 'simple' explanation is that during the dream I 'remembered' a past life in which I was this young guerrilla fighter who died too soon at the hands of his enemies; but I for one am not willing to jump to that conclusion just yet.

Our minds are a vast uncharted territory. We've barely begun to explore it.

Mike Clelland! said...

The one detail that makes me cautious about the story that emerged, is that it is just *TOO* perfect.

I so cleanly matches my present day issues, albeit within a wildly exaggerated storyline.

BUT - on a very real level, I don't care, I feel I can reap the benefits and lessons regardless it it's real or not.

Mike C

Red Pill Junkie said...

You deserve to reap the benefits, Mike :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. This story really strike a cord with me. I had one of those past life regression session 12-13 years ago. And it was life changing for me as well, or should I say a big weight off my shoulders.

Early 1940's, farmer in western Canada, young wife and 2 kids, got called up for "duty", or the butchery of WW2. Never seen the sea. Put on a boat, never made it across the pond, got torpedoed or sunk (that's the only part of the story I couldn't verify, name of the ship and what really happened to it). Up to that day, I was scared shiitless of water, boats, pools and beaches. Still wary of them, but at least I can hit the pool since that time.

But there was a lot more to it with research afterward. Son died in car accident, wife died in burglary a few years later, farm was sold, new family of 6 died in house that I built, from electrical fire, this life I'm an electrical engineer (to fix up the karma I guess...). Daughter lost the trail after her marriage and move overseas. Got so obsessed with it I even took a 3000 mile trip to the place, just had to come to terms with it. Had some major flashbacks and goosebumps when I drove by the farm and village. Really spooky feelin'. When asked how many previous lives, my answer was 11. Never went back for the others.

John Burke said...

What I really liked about this piece was that you brought your unique style of objectivity to the experience. I don't recall reading a first-person hypnosis account with so much self-monitoring ... things like wondering whether you were trying to please the hypnotist while the process was actually taking place.
Good one!

Knocker said...

That's the great thing about hypnosis. It's entirely possible to self monitor, almost like lucid dreaming though different because the therapist is guiding, if only to an extent, to bring about results pertinent to an individual's experience. By experience, I mean one's issues and emotional make up. I wouldn't recommend it for anything else. But it's like having each of one's feet in different worlds and being able to navigate each effortlessly.

doubter said...

It is very important whether Past Life Regression Therapy "memories" are of a real past life or just a fantasy, because this bears on the supremely important question of survival of death. I think this experience was probably an elaborate confabulation by the unconscious mind, which because of the depression and other emotional problems was trying to heal itself.

Naturally the story created by the unconscious was extremely meaningful and tailored to the personality, because it needed to be for the healing to take place. The subconscious had years to create this fantasy from all the information and speculations and New Age material the conscious mind accumulated.

The famous reincarnation researcher Ian Stevenson rightly rejected hypnotic regression as a valid method and selected more empirical methods, because of the well known tendency of the mind to confabulate stories in response to inner needs and the suggestions of the therapist.

Knocker said...

Yes, I agree hypnosis is useless except for exploring the inner world. For me, it's guided meditation and valuable only in self exploration.

James said...

I havent even finished this thing... wow! The 4 hours was swallowed up...

James said...

Mike,
I wanted to re-read this… And make another comment. First however… and I thought about sending you an email but instead I will include in this comment…. But I thought I would check out Lorraine’s site and I went to her blog. Really interesting… but I found my whole body tingling from one of her posts and this is such a personal thing I don’t think it could mean anything to anybody but me. I have never told anyone this… and I don’t even have a meaning for it. It seems quite disconnected from most of my usual concerns and yet in some way I don’t fathom is not. Let me quote from her post…

“A voice in my head said 'You must bring some stones back with you. You will know them when you see them.'

...

I walked slowly really paying attention to what was below my feel and then I saw them, Two stones side by side. One was dark and angular and the other was paler, smoother and almost perfectly round.

Just as I bent down to pick them up I heard a strange sound.

I looked up and coming down the mountain and heading straight for me was a 30 foot twister. It was throwing dirt and snow into the air and I had no idea what to do. I though about running to get away from it but something held me in my spot. I am not prone to going into fear and I reckoned that this was some kind of test. I had been led to this spot with the stones so I figured it was the best place to be.

I held my ground and this twister came within feet of where I was standing. I swirled around in front of me for a few moments and then- just as suddenly as it had appeared- it disappeared into the trees.

My first thought was to say thank you to the mountain- it felt like a real honour- then my logical mind kicked in and I said 'Lorraine, do not be ridiculous- this is clearly something that happens up here all the time because the energy is so high.' There was not a soul to be seen so I had no one to ask.

I had arranged to meet someone who lived in the area and over a cup of tea I mentioned to her what had happened. She laughed and said that in all the many years that she had lived there she had never heard of such a thing. Dust devils would appear in the plains...but on a snow covered mountain.....unheard of.

So was I being welcomed by the spirit of the mountain.....I have no idea. I will let you decide.”

Now I have- I don’t really even know what to call it- a ‘thing’ about tornadoes, twisters, etc… they seem somehow to be a very personal symbol to me. I am not sure what that means exactly- just wind itself, since I was a child, has had some kind of special meaning to me- and I have this ‘fantasy’- something I have tried to write about- something that has to do with bringing a kind of offering of jewels to the wind, to a ‘twister’ or tornado… and here is Lorraine up in the mountains completely startled by this twister after having picked a couple special stones- without a doubt stones having a value quite unique and immeasurable- not unlike jewels at all in this context- clearly the stones and the twister are connected in a way that makes no sense here not in my usual way of making sense of things.

And she felt honored by this experience- by the presence of the twister. And that is something in this fantasy of mine too. I would have no reason to share this with anyone- and it seems to me so totally without much sense and yet here in Lorraine’s blog I find it acted out in a way I would never have imagined coming to pass. What can I make of this… well at first I didn’t even think about it but when I realized this was an enactment at some level of this ridiculous fantasy of mine I started tingling all over from I guess just the wonder of it…

Let me however get back to your post about past lives… I feel quite moved by it. I am struck by its effect on you and the deep sobbing it elicited. The experience touched something in you beyond words… and has touched me as well and even before I had read all of this post I felt like saying thankyou.
James