altered states of consciousness

01 Mar: Brain Research, Meditation and Regression – Hans TenDam (Is.28)

by Hans TenDam, MA, CRT

The author discusses the research into the neurological correlates of meditation practices. There seem to be two general types of meditation, each with its own neurological signature. These are compared to regression therapy, which is hypothesized to be a third type. During meditation brain activity changes: in frequency, in location, in coherence. Meditation practices of the concentration-type eliminate all mental content, emptying the mind of everything besides the concentrating mind itself. Meditation practices of the mindfulness-type stay with the actual moment and all that entails, inside and outside. These practices focus on or contemplate what is present, while being as calm and complete as possible.

Regression seems a third road, though the results may Read the rest

31 Jul: Could an Altered Vision Exist in an Altered State? – Athanasios N. Komianos (Is.22)

by Athanasios N. Komianos


The intent of this paper is to debrief some research done on alter personalities of Dissociation Identity Disorder, who display significant and measurable physiological differences, specifically, in the domain of vision. If such research has been done on MPD patients, then why would it not take place with our regressed clients who impersonate their former incarnations? Would it not be a challenge to do so and bring about visible results?

“With sight concealed our psyche views our body’s torments”


 One day during my early days of experimentation my guinea pig (my wife) told me: “Do you know why I enjoy regressions?” Why I asked, “because it is the only time I see better … Read the rest

11 Jan: Shamanism and Past-Life Therapy: Travel Beyond Space and Time – Linda Adler (Is.17)

Linda Adler, L.C.S.W.

Linda Adler, L.C.S.W., APRT’s President from October 1997 to April 2000, has studied shamanism for many years and in many cultures. Here she draws on her extensive knowledge to discuss the similarities between PLT and shamanic practices and beliefs.

Shamanism may be the most ancient and widespread mind/body healing method known to man. It spans thousands of years and reaches across continents. Almost none of the ancient cultures left written records, so we can only learn of their practices through those who remain living and are willing to share them with us. Shamans are the spiritual leaders of tribal indigenous people, ordinary people with extraordinary powers. They are the keepers of a phenomenal body of ancient … Read the rest

01 Dec: Anomalous Sensitivity: The HISS of the ASP – David Ritchey (Is.16)

David Ritchey, Ph.D.

David Ritchey is continuing his exploration of Anomalous Cerebral Dominance, which he now calls “Anomalous Cerebral Laterality (ACL),” that he began in his Journal article of 1993. “The role of neurological differences in facilitating past-life experiences.” In the paper below he presents the concept of the “Anomalously Sensitive Person (ASP).” Ritchey has developed a questionnaire, the “Holistic Inventory of Stimulus Sensitivities (HISS),” to identify the characteristics of “ASPs.” The HISS is now in its fourth and final round of testing, with over 500 participants. Here he shares with us his preliminary results from the 66 participants in the third round of testing.


In an article that appeared in Volume VII, No. 1 of … Read the rest

01 Dec: Researching Past Lives: Facts or Subjective Experience? – Wade Bettis (Is.16)

 Wade Bettis, J.D.

The author asks; “What is the best way to examine past-life regressions?” He discusses in depth two careful studies; Venn (1986) and Tarazi (1997). Although these studies are impressive, Bettis finds them both incomplete in the lack of value placed on the subjective experience of the clients. Only the factual data was analyzed. Bettis suggests that more sensitive methodologies would have revealed the deeper meanings to the clients of their past-life narratives.


The question of whether or not the past lives that people produce in altered states of consciousness are real reincarnation memories or fantasies is an intriguing one and has not been answered yet. One common approach to the question is to research the … Read the rest

01 Dec: What’s in a Word? – Henry Leo Bolduc (Is.16)

Henry Leo Bolduc

Henry Leo Bolduc returns to the Journal’s pages with some wise advice about the uses of language in hypnosis. Although he focuses his remarks on hypnosis, his special field, all that he says can be applied to working with any altered state of consciousness, no matter what it may be called.

We, as hypnotherapists, are involved in a unique profession with vast opportunities. However, some of the terms used in the field of hypnosis itself might be misinterpreted by the public. How do we maximize our field’s therapeutic strengths while minimizing memories of the vaudeville era?

Our professional language is in dire need of renovation. Many words and phrases employed by hypnotists in past decades are now … Read the rest

01 Dec: From Shiloh to Saigon: Treating the “Nonbeliever” – Thomas G. Shafer (Is.16)

Thomas G. Shafer, M.D.

Multiple sources have said that belief in past lives is not a prerequisite for successful regression therapy. But exactly how do we use past-life therapy with the “nonbeliever?” The author, the Journal’s new Associate Editor Thomas Shafer, presents a case of a man who improved after exploration of past-life type dreams even though his religious tradition prohibited any belief in reincarnation or any work in altered states of consciousness.

(Author’s note: This is a case from my psychiatry practice but names and identifying details have been altered to protect confidentiality.)

 George M. was a 49-year-old white male US Marine Corps Vietnam combat veteran who presented to my office at the US Veteran’s Administration on referral … Read the rest

01 Dec: Past-Life Scenes in Spiritual Emergence – David Edwards (Is.13)

by David Edwards, Ph.D.

David Edwards is a newcomer to our pages, and a welcome one. He documents a process of intensive altered states psychotherapy as he works through the difficulties his client, “Marian,” encounters on her road to growth. Using breathing and bodywork interventions, he accesses and processes past lives related to the spiritual crises Marian was facing in her life. Dr. Edwards examines some ideas from psychoanalytic theory as they may relate to past-life therapy and spiritual emergence.

I am indebted to “Marian” for giving permission for the use of the material of her psychotherapy as the substance of this paper.


Stanislav and Christina Grof use the concept of spiritual emergence to refer to intensive processes … Read the rest

01 Dec: The Role of Neurological Differences in Facilitating Past-Life Experiences – David Ritchey (Is.11)

by David Ritchey, Ph.D.

In this paper, it is argued that a difference in neurological structuring, labeled “anomalous cerebral dominance” by neurologist Norman Geschwind, facilitates the experiencing of alternate states of consciousness and of other lives. It is suggested that all of reality, including the human brain, is organized holographically and that what quantum physicist David Bohm speaks of as the “implicate order” is the source of other-life experiences. Both this article and the Goldberg article which follows present some innovative theories linking the experiencing of past lives with the speculations of quantum physics.


Alternate states of consciousness (ASC’s) play a significant role in the experiencing of past lives, whether those experiences occur deliberately in the structured environment … Read the rest

01 Dec: Restructuring A Past-Life Body – George Schwimmer (Is.10)

by George Schwimmer, Ph.D.

Dr. Schwimmer proposes that the impacts and the memories of both physical and mental traumas – from either past or present lives – become lodged in individuals’ chakras. These energies and images, along with their concomitant feelings, are symbols (often expressed as symptoms in the present life) for an underlying issue/lesson that an individual’s Higher Self is using to prod the Lower Self to work upon. However, the traumas are very real in an individual’s being, and therefore the negative images must be replaced by positive ones and the underlying disorder in the human chakras must be healed, in order to provide the individual with the psychic energy necessary to learn the needed lesson and Read the rest