by Esther M. Iseman, M.S., D.C.H. and Roger E. Spitzer, M.D.
Past-life regression of a single individual has revealed 500 sequential years of repeated soul incarnation between two lineages of soul mates. In addition, the existence and function of “helper souls” has been delineated. In each lifetime, including Columbus’ voyage, the Civil War, Post Reconstruction, The Indian Wars, World War I and World War II, soul mates have bonded only to be separated and required to return to a subsequent life in order to restore their love. Verification of these stories was obtained by war records and independent regression of both soul mates in the present to the same past lifetimes leading to identical stories.
It has been amply demonstrated (Weiss, Brian L., Many Lives, Many Masters and Woolger) that each of us has lived multiple past lives. The past lives recorded in this study were the result of multiple regressions in a single individual who was initially skeptical of the process and participated out of curiosity rather than any need for therapy. During these regressions, it was possible to delineate approximately 500 years of past-life experiences in this single individual. This study is remarkable in the fact that soul mates in the here-and-now were able to be regressed independently to the same lifetimes to compare and supplement descriptions.
The Subject: Our subject, Keith, is a sixty-four year old man who initially was very skeptical of the validity of past lives and regression. He began this study out of interest and curiosity. He has been an academician for over 30 years. At the request of the subject, his name and those of others in his past lives have been changed to preserve confidentiality. None of his observations, however, have been altered or embellished.
Methods of Regression
Three different methods of regression were utilized. The first was the more traditional facilitated or guided regression. The second method was that of self-regression utilized on several occasions by the subject. The third technique is a corollary to facilitated regression. With this method the subject is purposely directed to a specific lifetime, previously visited, in order to obtain more detailed information. This technique is best done with a therapist, but was also accomplished by the subject himself on occasion.
Time Course of Analysis: Five directed and five self-regressions were performed over a period of eight months.
(There are a large number of individuals mentioned in these past-life accounts. To facilitate easy recognition, a “cast of characters” appears in the appendix.)
Seven distinct lifetimes, over 500 years, have been explored. Only some of these will be presented in detail. The others will only be briefly summarized.
The subject was a seaman, Raul, on one of Columbus’ ships. He was accompanied by his close friend, Juan, who was identified as the soul of Maggie, a dear friend in the here-and-now. Raul and Juan became separated after leaving the ship and never saw each other again.
In this lifetime, the subject was African American. At the inception of this regression, he was an eight year-old boy, Noah. He immediately and confidently recognized his house from among many others. He was also able to recognize and describe the interior of his house and the clothing he was wearing, especially a rough-hewn vest of multi colors made by his mother. He noted that the vest always itched and caused discomfort. Seeing the vest elicited considerable pleasure for the subject. “There’s the vest that Mother made for my birthday. I loved that vest.” Noah’s mother was easily and fondly described but did not remind him of any person in his present life.
Noah was taught to read by his mother using books dropped off at their doorstep. As the regression continued, it was revealed that Noah had a Caucasian friend named Celeste. Celeste was recognized as a close friend, Elizabeth, in the present lifetime. As time progressed, Noah and Celeste became more involved with Celeste’s closest friend, Katherine, acting as a go-between. A go-between was necessary because Celeste’s parents were very much against the relationship based on racial and social class differences. Katherine was very much in love with Noah, but never revealed her feelings because of her friendship with Celeste. It was Katherine who brought books to Noah. The subject, Keith, had a strong and immediate recognition of Katherine, again as his current friend, Maggie. Noah became well educated by virtue of the fact that he used to sweep and clean the one room school house and, because of their friendship, was often asked by Celeste and Katherine to participate in the class. (Since he was African American, Noah was not permitted to enroll as a student.)
Noah went on to become a teacher at Meharry, an all black college, which at that time was a part of Central Tennessee College, and Keith was able to visualize Noah in the classroom on one occasion. Walking along the road to “sit for his exam,” Noah met a U.S. Congressman on horseback who mentioned that he was going to Washington, D.C. for the first time, rather than to Philadelphia, a fact that dated this past life to 1800 when the U.S. Capital moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.
Subsequently, Celeste was sent away by her parents for the purpose of dissolving her relationship with Noah. Noah and Celeste were never able to say “good bye,” and they never saw each other again. Noah never married and, sadly, died alone at the age of 50.
Authors’ Notes: It is of interest that Keith, the subject, who is Caucasian, has been extremely active in African American affairs in his community. Keith also has extremely sensitive skin with substantial pruritis and has an affinity for bright multi-colored clothes.
In his current life, Keith’s close friend of 30 years, Elizabeth, was never able to say, “good-bye” to him at the time of her death, a fact that caused Keith great distress. His feelings of anguish over Elizabeth’s death without closure were quite similar to the feelings he experienced in this past life when Celeste departed suddenly and unexpectedly as well as when Juan and Raul separated in a past life 400 years earlier. Maggie, who the subject clearly identified as Katherine in this past lifetime, remains a close friend who bonded immediately with the subject. The soul of Katherine is the second soul recognized as Maggie, Juan being the chronological first. An interesting parallel that exists between the life of Keith and Noah is that Keith recalls his mother in the current lifetime as being extremely supportive and someone who “educated him at every turn.”
It is curious that Keith knew about Katherine’s affection for Noah despite the failure of Katherine to express that love to Noah. Perhaps our subconscious is able to discern such secrets and express them during regression.
It is of interest that today, Meharry is solely a medical school but Noah was not a physician. Apparently Noah taught at Central Tennessee College when Meharry was a part of that institution (from 1876 to 1915). None of this was clear in the regression. The subject only knew that Noah “taught at Meharry,” a fact that was confusing, given the current existence of Meharry as a medical college and the fact that Noah was not a physician. It was months later that we became aware of the relationship of Meharry and Central Tennessee College, which offered a satisfactory explanation for that apparent contradiction.
1863 – 1864
During the Civil War, our subject, Keith, was a woman named Agnes who was raped by a plantation owner in Macon, Georgia. She gave birth to a son, Jonathan, who was also identified as the soul of Maggie. During the regression, the subject, Keith, experienced much of the rape, pregnancy and delivery, an opportunity not generally afforded to men.
Jonathan was killed fighting for the Confederate Army while Agnes ran away during the war.
The subject was a Sioux Indian, Dreamer, who was very happily married to Long Legs, again dearly recognized as the soul of Maggie. During a battle with the Army at Little Bighorn, Long Legs was captured and raped. Dreamer looked for her for two years, all to no avail, and he died lonely and broken-hearted.
Author’s Notes: It is striking that the subject was able to speak the Sioux language during his regression. Verification of this observation may be found in the Discussion.
In this lifetime, the subject, Gregory, was a sergeant in World War I. His first memory was of being wounded and cared for in a small hospital by a lovely, empathic, ethereal, romantic nurse, Helen. Yet again, Helen was immediately and emotionally identified as Maggie, Keith’s current confidant and friend. Helen and Gregory were very close and even intimate on one occasion, recalled fondly and vividly by both Keith and Maggie. After recovering from his wounds, Gregory went back to the front lines, and Helen remained on duty as a nurse in the hospital. Soon after leaving, Gregory learned that the hospital had been destroyed, and Helen had been killed. Gregory went back and found Helen buried beneath rubble. In an emotional, heart-wrenching regression session, Keith described the feelings of pain, anguish, loss, guilt, and grief he experienced as Gregory while carrying Helen out of the rubble to a courtyard and garden where the two had spent many happy hours during Gregory’s recuperation.
When Gregory finally went back to the fighting, he was soon wounded again and cared for by another nurse, Priscilla who was characterized as very aggressive and full of vigor. Priscilla had a strong sexual drive and desire and often used vivid language and told bawdy jokes. Gregory was soon seduced by Priscilla. Eventually Gregory died from his wounds and Keith, the subject, was able to visualize Gregory’s soul leaving the body and being guided toward a bright light by Helen and Katherine. During this journey, Gregory stopped often to look back for Priscilla who had died at the same time because she remained with Gregory rather than retreating to safety as ordered by her superiors. Unfortunately, Priscilla did not appear because her death was too recent, an explanation given to Gregory by Helen.
Authors’ Notes: Helen seems to be identified as the soul of Maggie as were Katherine, Juan, and Jonathan in previous lifetimes. The soul of Keith, the subject, was separated from Helen and then Priscilla (both by death). The subject’s attachment to Helen was very strong and a subsequent second regression to the time of her death was tearful and difficult. When Maggie was regressed to this lifetime, she also had the same strong feelings. In a most unusual session, Maggie and Keith regressed together to the time of Helen’s death and recorded separate but similar emotions at the same scene. In this session, both Keith and Maggie visualized identical happenings and even talked to each other in their altered states.
1933 – 34
Keith was a Nazi (Gerhard) in the Gestapo and helped manage Dachau, a concentration camp, shortly after it opened in 1933. He was involved in medical experiments, mostly on children and adolescents, but was not a doctor. His job was to select the victims and help to hold them down during the experiments, which were often done without anesthesia.
Despite his obvious cruelty and hatred, he befriended a Jewish girl, Ruth, in the camp until he chose her for an experiment. Many people in the camp resembled those in this lifetime, especially the ones he chose as victims.
After choking a little girl to death, Gerhard killed himself. The subject noted that Gerhard’s soul had no escorts after death.
Authors’ Notes: This is the first lifetime recalled where Maggie’s soul was absent. Perhaps, Gerhard’s cruel and hateful soul did not have the capacity for such love. Despite the fact that many languages were spoken in the camp, during regression, the subject didn’t understand any of them. Important is the fact that in the here-and-now, our subject is Jewish and a pediatrician who works primarily with underserved minority children and is active in reform activities for these groups. These features are, perhaps, in keeping with Jung’s concept of opposites and the Tibetan concept of karmic gravity or Woolger’s Loop of Rebirth (Woolger, 274 and 276).
This end of this lifetime occurred just one to two years before our subject’s present life birth in 1935. This may seem to be a very short time for re-learning. The concept of time, however, exists only in the physical world and is irrelevant in the soul world. Further, returning may have been prompted by the opportunity for a soul re-entry into a family with a kind, influential woman who was our subject’s present life mother. Conceivably this is an example of another pathway for re-learning, a process accomplished or finished in the here-and-now by influential souls.
1935 – Present
In the current life, Keith has endured separations from three close individuals, although not soul mates as in the past. These include: (1) Alice, who was Keith’s first serious girlfriend and who left late in the course of a lengthy, intense, and meaningful relationship, (2) his dear friend and professional associate for 30 years, Elizabeth, who died prematurely, and (3) a friend, Rebecca, whose relationship with Keith also ended prematurely. After the loss of Elizabeth and separation from Rebecca, Maggie appeared and assumed the role of friend, confident, and intimate companion.
Authors’ Notes: In this current life, Maggie has incorporated several past souls and finally became attached to her soul mate, Keith, after 500 years of repeated separations. Although Alice and Rebecca were not soul mates, their separation from Keith was in keeping with these previous partings.
This case study documents that past-life regression is a powerful tool to trace soul lineage. In these past lives, there appear to be two linear paths:
- Raul to Noah to Agnes to Dreamer to Gregory to Gerhard and now to the subject, Keith.
- Juan to Katherine to Jonathan to Long Legs to Helen to Maggie in this lifetime.
Although it has been generally accepted that soul patterns repeat themselves on many levels, (Lucas, Vol. I, page 25) few examples exist which are as dramatic and complete as the patterns recalled by Keith, our subject.
From these regressions, it appears that souls from our past lives continue to reappear and are steadfast in their mission. In this case, one could easily postulate that Long Legs, Helen, and Katherine returned to finish their relationship with each of the souls of Keith. The motivation in each case seems to be an abiding friendship/love which had been short-circuited and not allowed to completely develop.
That soul learning has not been completely efficient up to the here-and-now can be inferred from the persistence of Katherine’s loyalty to Celeste, which led to the failure of soul mates (Katherine and Noah) to bond more closely. That characteristic of abiding loyalty, despite its destructive nature in this case, remained with Maggie for a long time until her separation and divorce. It may be that soul learning is really soul editing, a term we believe is more descriptive. Soul editing, then, is the modification of traits which may have some value or redeeming feature, such as loyalty. In soul editing, traits such as these may not be totally eliminated; rather, they are first modified and only when they become dysfunctional or destructive are they completely eradicated.
Thus, education of the soul may not only encompass relearning, or soul editing, but may also provide ways to eliminate negative characteristics of the soul in the here-and-now, as proposed by Jung in his concept of integration of opposites (Jung, Psychology, East and West). This is, perhaps, further demonstrated by the rapid return of Gerhard to a nurturing and loving mother. It remains to be seen whether this process of eliminating unwanted traits in the present lifetime is a viable method for altering soul behavior beyond relearning or editing.
Whereas some might construe Keith’s past-life memories as fantasy, almost like a soap opera, we are absolutely convinced that they are true and faithful recollections of past lives. We have attempted to document their authenticity in as many different ways as possible. By independent regression, Maggie has communicated with Katherine and Helen to confirm her soul identity as well as the details of the past lives involving these women. Further, in a very interesting technique, both the subject and Maggie regressed together to Helen’s and Gregory’s lifetime, and in a “conference call” like setting, all four were able to communicate with each other.
Recognize please! These lives were recalled randomly, out of sequence. Only when they are organized chronologically can one see that they are interrelated and follow patterns that we have interpreted as soul lineage. This feature speaks to the validity of these recollections, for it is unlikely that separate fantasies would blend together so completely and sequentially. A more striking form of verification is the fact that World War I records confirm the existence and dates of the deaths of Gregory, Helen, and Priscilla.
A persistent criticism of these “data” is that there may have been numerous individuals in World War I with the same names of Gregory Roberts, Helen Patterson, and Priscilla Starks, none of which is a distinctive name. That feature, therefore, would minimize or even negate the importance of finding these records. Although we agree that it is possible to have several persons in the war with the same names, it is highly improbable that more than one of the Roberts, Pattersons, and Starks died at the same times and in the same places as visualized in the regression. Even the most cynical “Thomases” cannot substantiate that viewpoint and would agree to the validity of these observations within a “reasonable shadow of a doubt.”
An internal type of verification also occurred in two of the regressions where the subject was able to converse in languages largely unknown to him. Sometime later, the subject wrote a poem in the Sioux language using a mixture of the Lakota and Dakota dialects. This occurred after the subject regressed a third time to the lifetime of Dreamer and Longlegs and remembered a Sioux proverb in the native language after returning from the altered state. Verification that the proverb and poem were, indeed, Sioux came from a Sioux author whose books are heavily flavored with phrasing and terms in the Lakotan language and have been critically acclaimed by The Sioux Heritage Society as excellent and faithful repositories of Sioux life. It is interesting that Maggie, the here-and-now soul of Longlegs, is unable to speak or recognize the Sioux language.
Although the existence of the soul has recently become somewhat “mainstream” (Weiss, Many Lives Many Masters), this case study further amplifies several interesting and generally accepted features of soul life. It is at the very minimum a striking demonstration, at least partially documented, that souls may reincarnate for the purpose of finishing work left unresolved in a previous lifetime. It is striking because apparently souls persevere in this work and in each subsequent lifetime become more adept as has Maggie by incorporating the skills of Helen, Long Legs, and Katherine. It also appears that there are souls who appear as “helpers” such as Priscilla, Elizabeth, and Rebecca. These souls track with the same soul mate lineages and serve as assistants or substitutes when needed while soul mates are absent.
This concept of helper souls is vividly reflected in our subject’s lifetimes. Certainly Celeste, Priscilla, Alice, Rebecca, and Elizabeth fit the definition of a soul who is able to fill in the gaps created by a loss, disappearance, or removal of a soul mate.
It is often difficult to distinguish soul mates from helper souls. Characteristics which separate the two entities are that helper souls have ill-defined soul paths or lineage in contrast to soul mates, and do not tend to invoke as much intensity and immediate recognition as that which occurs with soul mates. In addition, the attachment of helper souls is often poorly delineated. Finally, as noted above, helper souls most frequently are present at times when no soul mates are available. Priscilla (the second and more colorful of Sergeant Gregory’s nurses) is the best example of a helper soul in this study and, perhaps, the most difficult to differentiate from a soul mate. Priscilla does not seem to have any lineage and was not recognized by the subject as anyone in his present life. Although Priscilla evokes a clear recognition of her role in the subject’s past life, her attachment to Gregory is poorly characterized at a soul level. Priscilla entered Gregory’s life after his soul mate, Helen, died, which is an important feature of helper souls. Priscilla’s major role, beyond her professional function, was to help Gregory heal after his loss of Helen. Apparently this was accomplished primarily by sexual means, substituting physical bonding for bonding at a deeper, more meaningful level (soul level).
Helper souls often are very important in a lifetime and can be very influential in leading to the eventual fusion of soul mates. As with soul mates, physical or sexual activity is not necessarily a part of love with helper souls, although Priscilla is an obvious exception. Elizabeth is a prime example of helper soul love, which is not physical. In the lifetimes we have studied in this case, Priscilla bridged the gap after Helen was killed. Similarly, Rebecca and Elizabeth filled in when Priscilla was killed. The need for several helper souls between Helen and Maggie suggests that the process of reeducation, or soul editing, was extensive, difficult, and/or at the very least lengthy. There are no strong and continuous lineages for these helper souls who are only necessary periodically and inserted sporadically, if not randomly.
It is clear that the past souls of Maggie, Juan, Katherine, Jonathan, Long Legs, and Helen, all were separated in one way or another from the past souls of Keith (Raul, Noah, Agnes, Dreamer, and Gregory). In addition, the helper souls, Priscilla, Alice, and Elizabeth were similarly removed from Maggie and Keith. Thus, in all of these cases, soul mates and helpers were separated, either prematurely by unforeseen circumstances or perhaps by thinking their work was done. It is, perhaps, reasonable to speculate that even separation mediated by unforeseen occurrences can be controlled as when Priscilla placed herself in danger by remaining at the front line of battle rather than retreating when she had the opportunity. Raul was safely on his way to the New World, so Juan had no further need to watch over him. Long Legs was satisfied that Dreamer had survived the attack and was safe. Katherine was content that Noah had become a teacher. Helen was pleased that Gregory had healed from his war wounds (as was Priscilla) before they were killed. When it was realized that the love generated by soul mates was dissipated by separation, and that Noah, Gregory and Keith needed further healing from their losses, soul mates returned only to be separated again.
The assertion of Brian L. Weiss in his book, Only Love Is Real, that the meeting of soul mates is “inevitable” is dramatized by the relationships described by our subject. It also appears that the concept of soul mates is a real one and that soul mates are perpetuated from lifetime to lifetime.
It is difficult, at best, to understand how a soul, like Maggie’s, can be a composite of so many others. One might facetiously ask if there is room enough for all of these souls within one individual. We would postulate that this combination of souls is no more unlikely than the passage of genes from one generation to the next. It is readily accepted, for example, that a child may have one or more inherited physical characteristics, a short index finger like Grandfather or Uncle Harry. So too, souls may exhibit characteristics of Grandfather or Aunt Lucy, or both, such as a quick sense of humor or an affinity for stray animals. The mechanism for the coming together of souls is unknown. It is perhaps reasonable to suggest that the soul merger occurs during times of reeducation or editing. If this is true, our current souls are likely to be an admixture of all of our eternity as is our genetic constitution.
It is even possible that there is soul DNA given the seeming genetic determination for several soul characteristics delineated by studies of twins (Segal).
Names and Descriptions of Past-Life Participants
(Listed In Chronological Order)
Raul – The subject in 1492.
Juan – Close friend of the subject in 1492.
Noah – The subject in 1800.
Celeste – Loved one of the subject, Keith, in 1800.
Katherine – Close friend of Celeste and Noah.
Agnes – The subject in the Civil War and the mother of Jonathan.
Jonathan – Maggie in the Civil War and son of Agnes (Keith).
Dreamer – The subject in 1880.
Long Legs – Wife of Dreamer.
Gregory – The subject in 1915.
Helen – Nurse who cared for Gregory (the subject) in World War I.
Priscilla – Nurse who cared for Gregory (the subject) in World War I.
Gerhard – Soul of Keith in Nazi Germany.
Ruth – Prisoner at Dachau.
Alice – Subject’s first serious girlfriend in the present lifetime.
Rebecca – Friend of the subject in the current life.
Elizabeth – Close friend of the subject, Keith, in this lifetime.
Keith – The subject in this current lifetime.
Maggie – Close friend and soul mate of the subject, Keith, in this lifetime.
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