For my final week of exploration, I read Dr. Brian Weiss’ Many Lives, Many Masters, which chronicles the treatment of patient who has experienced multiple past lives, and is therefore struggling to cope with her experiences in her current life. I found this story somewhat unbelievable, primarily because of the magnitude of her past experiences, however, found the therapy techniques enlightening and beneficial to forming my own opinions of reincarnation.
Throughout his sessions with the patient, Catherine, Dr. Weiss is working to uncover her past lives in order to help ease her anxiety, tension and panic attacks, which could not logically be linked to experiences from her current life. Week after week, Weiss uncovers more information about dozens of past lives and experiences that have shaped Catherine’s personality, feelings and psychological state in her current life. Often times, Catherine is able to provide vivid details of things she is experiencing (the nature she sees, the specific color of buildings or clothing, and often the date of the specific event she’s recalling). While some of the information Catherine is divulging could be purely her imagination, the strong links these happenings have to her current life anxiety was extremely captivating.
For me, I found this story to be somewhat unbelievable. However, as I worked my way thought it, I also wanted to find some kind of closure, given that this was my last piece of new material for the semester. After this independent exploration of spirituality and reincarnation, I’ve found that I was not able to entirely suspend my disbelief and become completely immersed in these ideas and theories. However, I have found other materials (such as Tucker’s Life Before Life), to be extremely compelling evidence that some types of reincarnation or communication with the other side is possible. I find it very difficult to completely disregard this evidence and attribute it to pure coincidence. That being said, it is difficult for me to place myself in a category of “believer” or “nonbeliever.” I’ve come to the conclusion that there are certain aspects of life that we are not going to be able to explain, and that not everyone will be able to reach agreement on. Reading Catherine’s stories, I’ve seen the comfort that these beliefs and theories can bring to those working to cope with difficult life experiences. Additionally, this type of material has allowed me to reflect on how I lead my life from day to day, and inspired me to consider aspects of my spirituality more often as I made choices in my life.