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The Interplay Between the Inner and Outer Worlds – Dianne Seaman (Is.17)

Dianne Seaman, B.S., C.P.L.T.

Here Dianne Seaman considers the surprising elements of the external world that seem to conspire to help us heal. Drawing on her work with clients as well as a past-life experience of her own, she discusses the seemingly “chance” events that the web of life leads us to find and use. As she might say, we may not always know where we’re going, but the world will make sure we get there anyway.

As past-life therapists we try to create a distraction-free environment to prevent anything external from pulling clients out of their experience. However I’ve begun to observe that some distractions actually do the opposite by pulling people into a relevant past-life experience.

Some examples: I have an office in my home, and last July I realized some urgent home repairs would cause distracting noise so I gave the scheduled client three options: to re-schedule, to do the session in the recreational trailer or do the session in the screened gazebo. The client, who is very intuitive, said she felt drawn to the third choice. Martha easily accessed a painful past life of being a conquistador full of enormous guilt for all the people he had murdered. She saw and felt this conquistador sitting in the woods in despair, with his horse tied nearby. Martha later told me that it was the various sounds my two horses were making that seemed to trigger her entering this scene and emotions. The horses, free to wander, “chose” to stand at the closest possible point to the gazebo during the whole session. She also shared that this inner figure provided enormous understanding of lifelong negative feelings she’d harbored toward herself. Therefore the session was quite significant for her. Of course the fascinating and unanswerable question is – would she have had the same experience if the session had been held in the house as usual?

My second example occurred when I was working with a client in my usual home office space. I grimaced when I heard the clock chiming eleven in the other room. I normally turn it off while I’m working but this time I had forgotten. My concern was that the sound would distract her. Instead her subconscious turned the clock chiming into a medieval church tower chime and she entered a scene and lifetime very relevant to her healing process.

I had never discussed this with other past-life therapists until I had a similar experience as a client. Working with APRT member Janet Cunningham, I accessed a past life who died as a result of a volcanic eruption. My body memory revealed itself through coughing and choking sensations, which would have been caused by the volcanic smoke and ash. Janet ritually lights an oil lamp at the start of a session. For some reason that day the oil lamp was smoking considerably – not typical. I believe that this smoke helped to trigger this particular memory, which was extremely relevant to a present issue. In sharing this with Janet and mentioning the above incidents with my clients, she told me of another environmental trigger she had observed.

During a session, right at the “appropriate moment”, a baby started crying loudly in the office above her. She works in an office park so the presence of children is rare. This specific “distraction” was very relevant to what the client was working on.

These auditory and sensory cues strike me as a form of synchronicity, similar to the story of the scarab beetle, a visual cue, appearing outside Jung’s window at a significant moment during a session. They appear to be part of the web of life, benevolently conspiring to help us heal.

Lately I’ve been using the phrase “inner theater” to symbolize the workings of the subconscious mind. Extending that image, the Higher Self, in this case playing the role of a “cosmic set designer,” somehow externalizes aspects of the inner set (the relevant past-life scene) such as horse sounds, smoke etc. to activate the person’s consciousness to go to that time and place most needed for the current process. Whatever external stimulus is needed to activate a particular memory somehow gets generated. It seems the outer world is constantly echoing our inner reality. It’s a mystery and I am once again in awe.

What I have learned more deeply from this is the paradox that there is perfection in imperfection. I was initially concerned with my “lack of professionalism” with both the gazebo setting and my omission of turning off the clock. Both turned out to facilitate conditions that the client needed. Another lesson for me is letting go of control and allowing the flow to happen. I seem better able to allow the inner flow while still wanting to control external circumstances. I encourage all therapists working in this area to reflect on these incidents and discover any relevancy of these examples for themselves.