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Pardon Me, Your Archetype is Showing – Brad Steiger (Is.15)

Brad Steiger

Brad Steiger makes some witty comments about one of the common excesses of our field, but he also offers an excellent theory as explanation. Steiger’s theory is helpful to therapists who must deal with clients’ sometimes exaggerated notions, as well as a gentle warning to all of us not to believe everything we hear.

At the May, 1997 APRT conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I frequently heard such comments as the following: “There are no strangers here. Everyone I meet seems like a family member,” or “I have met so many people these past few days, but it feels as if I have always known them.”

Honored to be asked to make Friday’s Keynote Address on “The Healing Power of Forgiveness,” I told the audience, on behalf of my wife Sherry and myself, “Thanks for asking us to attend the family reunion this year.”

I can state with all sincerity that I met many people for the first time that weekend who seemed so very familiar to me and who seemed to stir vague memories of other times and other places. I had earnest conversations with men and women that will rank among the most insightful that I have experienced at such a conference. I truly did feel as though I was secure in the company of family.

Now I will heartily contend that this feeling of “knowing” one another at the APRT conference was something much more than the simple reality of “like-minded individuals” coming together. Throughout the years, I have been a member of a variety of professional groups composed of men and women of similar interests and vocations; and, sadly, far from a sense of warmth and family, I have often been more aware of feelings of rivalry, competition, betrayal, envy, and deceit. In my opinion, however, when a group of spiritually aware individuals gather at such a conference as one sponsored by APRT, a good many of the members will be more likely to be of a similar Soul Frequency, and thus will immediately perceive deep feelings of kinship with one another.

As I suggested in my book Returning from the Light, men and women who have attained some degree of enlightenment or illumination may spiritually be very close to being the same kind of receptive channel for higher energies that choose to utilize certain archetypes as models by which to educate and inspire us. And when that Divine transmission is beaming forth its message of guidance, humans of similar sensitivity may pick up its broadcast, and at the same time, may also receive a great deal of information about one another.

And while in some instances we may actually have shared past-life experiences with a person whom we have just met at such a gathering – and at an APRT conference the tendency to believe so may be especially tempting – the actual reasons that we seem so familiar to one another may not lie in the reality that we have been family, friends, or lovers in a prior existence, but that in our present life experience we are extremely close to being the same kind of receptive channel.

To fashion a somewhat playful illustration, I might be Soul Frequency MTE02001 and you might be MTE02002 or MTE02003 – just a digit or two from being the exact same spiritual frequency. Quite naturally, therefore, we might know a great deal about the inner workings of one another, although we have never previously met on the physical Earth plane. And we might certainly know very much on one level of consciousness about the archetype that has been employed by Higher Energies to provoke and inspire us – and maybe even to bring us together.

During the course of our workshop at the recent APRT conference, each of the participants indicated that they could recall at least one past-life experience as one who had devoted that prior existence to serving others as a priest, nun, monk, shaman, priestess, or some other expression of spiritual service. Because I, too, have such memories, as does my wife and so many others with whom I have discussed this kind of experience, it would seem that a good many individuals who have taken up a serious study of metaphysics would definitely respond to the Archetype of Spiritual Service.

In the esoteric tradition, a monk represents, among other things, an individual who has withdrawn into the Soul’s inner being intent upon consciously developing his spiritual nature in accordance with Divine law. A nun represents one seeking to harmonize the inner self with the discipline of the Higher Self. Shamans, priests, and high priestesses are those who must balance the subjective, intuitive, spiritual self with certain traditions, customs, and conventions – a task that has not grown easier with the passing of centuries.

I think it is important to all past-life researchers to be aware of the possible reality of such spiritual archetypes and learn to recognize them for what they may be. As those who seek to balance our intuitive selves with our practical selves, we should not so readily conclude that it is a prior existence expressing itself in those moments when shared feelings, emotions, ideas, and prejudices present us with what seem to be sudden shocks of remembrance.

Regretfully, far too many men and women have read one or two books on reincarnation and do not have the experience to recognize that the declaration of an aroused memory is very often more likely to be the physical arousal of triggered hormones. Thus, “Don’t I know you from a past life?” has become almost as common a pick-up line as “What is your Sun sign?”

While many serious-minded past-life therapists will consider themselves far removed from such blatant abuses of the philosophy of rebirth, I remind them that in their roles of teachers they should also do their part in attempting corrections of popular misconceptions whenever the opportunity arises.

What follows is a true story, although the principals shall remain anonymous. Some years ago I met with a very well known figure in the contemporary metaphysical scene who received me in her home in the company of several of her more adept students, a number of whom immediately began playing the “We were together in a past life” parlor game with me.

Quite frankly, such assumed intimacies upon a first meeting have always tended to turn me off. I did my best to respond courteously to their supposed shared memories, but I certainly did not react with the joy and excitement that they were experiencing over our many past-life adventures together, and it was obvious that they were disappointed that I was not contributing remembrances of my own.

Finally, I grew weary of the game. As diplomatically as I could muster my words, I offered my opinion that all their alleged memories of our shared lifetimes were coming a bit too quickly for me to accept their validity. Totally off the top of my head, I said to one of the more earnest of the individuals, “Bill, don’t you see that without the slightest trace of true feeling I could say to you, ‘Ah, yes. I see myself atop a windmill. It’s in the Dakota territory. It’s 1898. Oh, I see myself falling. I land and break my neck and die at your feet. Bill, you were my brother in that lifetime.’”

Bill immediately left his chair, crossed the room with tears in his eyes, and embraced me as he shouted earnestly, “Oh, Brad! You remembered!”

And there was no way that I could convince Bill or any of the others – including their well-known teacher – that I had spontaneously made the story up to illustrate my disapproval with past-life explorations being taken so lightly.

Maybe you agree with Bill that what seemed to me to be my imagination was really my Soul reminding me of my past-life relationship with him and with that nasty fall from the Dakota windmill. But I don’t think so. I really believe that one has to feel a true past-life connection in the deepest recesses of mind and spirit.  And sometimes – and this is the point of this article – we also feel a connection with a Soul Frequency Archetype.

Again, from my Returning from the Light, I will share the account of a young woman I called Tammy when she confessed to me that she had just learned through a past-life reader that she had been Judas in her prior existence. Yes, she meant that Judas. The Kissing-Jesus-on-the-cheek-damned-for-all-time Judas. Tammy was understandably upset. How could she work off that kind of Karma this time around? Then, answering her own question, she wondered how many lifetimes it would take to wash off the stain on the soul of the disciple who had betrayed the Master?

After I had asked her a few gently probing questions, I learned that Tammy had been feeling very guilty lately for having betrayed a boyfriend with a new lover. In fact, she tearfully admitted, after a few more questions, that she had throughout her young life established something of a pattern of feeling guilty for what she assessed as her weaknesses of the flesh.

I assured her that the odds were really very much against her being the actual incarnation of the infamous Judas, but I did acknowledge that she might very well be acting in the vibratory pattern of the Judas Archetype. In point of fact, she had been a “Judas” in the eyes of her former lover, and she had felt the pain of his accusations of betrayal. In her own words, she had “sold him out,” and she confessed that she had been “bought” by another lover’s seductive promises of a better life of sexual adventure.

I discussed archetypes and metaphysical metaphors with Tammy for as much time as I could spare before my next lecture, and I think that I finally did convince her that she was not the present incarnation of the “damned-for-all-time” betrayer of Jesus.

I placed her in a “twilight state” of relaxation and told her that Jesus had forgiven Judas because the disciple had been a part of the Divine Plan. And just as Judas may have become an Archetype of Betrayal, Jesus was certainly the ultimate Archetype of Forgiveness.

Esoterically, on the Soul Level, for Christians Jesus may be said to represent the indwelling Higher Self, the Divine Spark of God, that exists in each one of us. Jesus’ message that the Kingdom of Heaven lies within inspires that aspect of Soul within us that is evolving toward perfected humanhood, Christ Consciousness, to continue to strive to the goal of oneness with All That Is that shall end the soul’s cycle of rebirth.

During a conference on reincarnation and past-life recall in Phoenix some years ago, I had the opportunity to observe how negative aspects of the Soul Archetype can come into being. A number of attendees from widely scattered geographic locations had felt a pleasant rapport immediately upon their first meeting of one another. Sensations of companionable warmth soon led to small, informal gatherings at their hotel rooms where group meditations began to produce some startling channelings. The young woman who was receiving the messages said that Higher guidance asked that certain other men and women who were attending the conference should be invited to participate in these private meetings.

By the third evening of the week-long seminar, there were fourteen select members in attendance at the special group meditations being held separately and apart from the other participants in the organized lectures and workshops.

By the fourth evening, it was revealed that the fourteen select members in attendance were the present physical incarnations of the twelve disciples, (Judas included), Mother Mary, and in the small, pert frame of an attractive young woman, Jesus – and reborn, all reunited wondrously at a past lives conference in Arizona.

This was not the first time that I had witnessed such reunions of the holy family. Since 1966, while investigating various UFO contactee groups throughout the United States and Canada, I have frequently discovered that alleged benevolent and wise extraterrestrial entities had revealed to the inner circle that they had lived together before as Jesus and the twelve disciples.

Far from assessing such past lives revelations as blasphemous expressions of ego, I have come to regard such alleged prior life discoveries as little more than impromptu pageant plays. In my follow-up investigations, I have found that most of the men and women who had enacted the archetype of a disciple or Mary or Jesus for a few days or a few weeks generally felt embarrassed by their prior life presumption when the effects of group enthusiasm begin to wear off. Later, really none the worse for the experience – and sometimes much more aware – they resume their present lives in the real world with more conviction to fulfill their Earth missions properly than they might have had before they temporarily filled the role of a holy figure.

In effect, these men and women were really enacting the Soul Frequency Archetype of the Crusader, one who is inspired by the Divine to accomplish a great mission of spiritual change on Earth. Certainly, for those of us reared in Western culture and influenced on so many levels by the Christian tradition, the ultimate Crusader, the quintessential Changer of the world and its wrongs, is Jesus. And if one wishes to get as close to that energy as possible, then one may “become” a disciple of Jesus.

I have no doubt that many of us Christians in the metaphysical world have been charged both by the crusading spirit and the example of the Nazarene who defied social conventions and all aspects of the establishment. I can, therefore, easily understand how the comradeship of like-minded individuals at a conference and the soul-level recognition of others of the same Soul Frequency could temporarily cause a sensitive man or woman to confuse the archetype with one’s personal identity.

As children, many of us who come from a Christian background dressed up in our bathrobes at Christmas time and went out on stage to impersonate shepherds, wise men, and angels as we surrounded two of our Sunday School classmates who became Mary and Joseph to the hushed delight of an audience of our beaming parents. The baby Jesus was usually a dime store doll – or in some cases a light bulb in a manger – which, depending upon your point of view, may be no more or less a sacrilege than having a sincere past-life meditator assume the role for a few days.

On the other hand, it would be cause for some concern if the little impersonator of Mary should come to believe that she would one day really give birth to the Son of God, just as it would create ripples of potential tragedy if our adult pageant players should assume their roles of divinely appointed disciples on a permanent basis. As I have said, however, the adults that I have encountered in my research are usually willing to relinquish the archetype a few days or so after the “houselights have dimmed,” so to speak.

Two to three weeks after the aforementioned Phoenix conference, when I spoke to the young woman who had assumed the archetypal identity of Jesus, she was able to see how the archetype of a crusader on a mission against great odds had so blended with her psyche that she had shut off her own specialness, her own marvelous unique talents. She was embarrassed by her behavior, and she feared that she had lost her friendship with the sponsor of the conference – for there was no question that she and her “disciples” had become a disruptive influence during the final days of the week-long gathering.

In my research over the years, in addition to the Soul Archetypes discussed in this article, I have encountered the Prodigal Son Archetype, the Great Mother Archetype, the Unrequited Love Archetype, the Classic Warrior Archetype, The Vengeful Lover Archetype, the Woman Wronged Archetype, and the Casanova Archetype, to name only a few. In my opinion, recognizing the energy of these Soul frequencies can lead to a greater understanding of an individual’s true therapeutic needs and thereby permit the therapist the opportunity to avoid wasting precious time by being able to sidestep detours into dead end expressions of role playing due to acculturation and the unconscious absorption of classic archetypes.

A few years ago, fellow researcher and writer Faye Frost and I enjoyed a delightful correspondence when she confided that she felt that she may have been Mark Twain. I told her in mock seriousness that she could not have been Twain, because I had been. What was more, I told her, I knew at least three college professors who believed that they had been Mark Twain, too.

Among Faye’s metaphysical musings, I quote the following:

It is interesting that you yourself have wondered if you were Mark Twain…My question is: Why not? Perhaps all of our concepts regarding reincarnation have been too constricted. Why not five Mark Twains – or a hundred thousand? Using your archetype idea, that would not necessarily make any of them false. (My husband has suggested 100,000 Attila the Huns causing havoc today!)

In other words, we would have a generic Mark Twain packaged under many different labels, and with many combinations of ingredients. But the generic base would still be Mark Twain.

People I have encountered who, under very deep hypnosis, recall and relive lives as “great personages out of history,” all have that sense of mission. It would be interesting to find out if all the Mark Twains and Catherine the Greats have pretty much the same mission. In other words, a great spirit may divide itself into many segments.

In the final analysis, I believe that the ability to blend our spiritual frequencies and to recognize soul archetypes are additional tools of awareness which our multidimensional selves may employ to more effectively accomplish our spiritual mission on Earth.