by George Schwimmer, Ph.D.
Speaking with the higher self of a client during regression, immediately after a past-life recall, will not only clarify the issue a client has brought but also offer insights and advice from the higher self which often can not be accessed in any other way.
The higher self is the most critical “player” in past-life recall and therapy. The lower self has a very limited perspective—its job is to deal with the current physical life. So the lower self is normally unable to see beyond the needs of survival, unless its view is somehow refocused and repositioned. The higher self, however, has a limitless perspective, is able to view any point of the time/space continuum and to access knowledge not available to the lower self. It is the best source for getting accurate answers for important questions facing anyone.
It’s not totally clear to me what the higher self really is though, especially since on occasion it refers to itself as “we,” when it identifies itself as a group consciousness. However, when it’s evoked while a person is in an altered state of consciousness, the higher self usually brings a marked shift in the individual’s energy, vocal qualities, syntax, attitudes, and perceptions. I’ve often experienced this myself while regressed. The higher self is very loving but unemotional, non-judgmental, always helpful, and greatly concerned about and supportive of all its selves. It wants to work in partnership with the lower self and—in the case of two or three of my regressed clients—asked me to connect it with its current lower self. So, I believe many of us have lost touch with our higher self.
Without the use of the higher self, discovering what is really happening or has happened in this or any other life is mainly a guessing game. The answers are inside each person, so a guide’s job is to direct the person to the appropriate level of consciousness to obtain the needed answers. Since 1982, I’ve depended on my own higher self and my clients’ higher selves for answers to seemingly unanswerable questions. The higher self is a fabulous resource, which should be consulted in every regression, or for any need.
I’d like to recount two sessions in which the higher self was employed. During a PLT training workshop that I attended in 1986, I was paired for a regression with another student, named Will. At the regression, observing, were a couple of other trainees and one of our trainers, Dree K. Miller, Ph.D.; president of APRT at the time. We were asked to choose a personal issue and I picked anger in relationship to authority figures.
Although the transcript below isn’t very long, the regression actually took almost an hour, since I was continually searching for words and thoughts to explain what I was experiencing.
After Will had guided me into an altered state of consciousness and suggested I return to the origin of my anger, he asked me where I was, assuming I had picked up a past life.
GS: I don’t understand—I’m just perceiving light. All to my left. And I…have no impression of having a body.
Will: How does it feel, having no body?
GS: That’s…the way it is.
Will: What are you doing right now?
GS: I’m watching.
GS: The creation.
Will: Of what?
GS: The universe.
Will: How does that feel?
GS: It’s…not words. I’d say it’s fascinating…but that wouldn’t describe it. I could say it’s awesome…but that wouldn’t describe it.
Will: What’s your purpose being here, watching the creation of the universe?
GS: I will become part of it, somehow.
Will: Can you say how?
GS: I have to learn…to be. Words, again, are not very good. In human terms, it would be…standing up to become yourself. I’m not really me yet—and I don’t know what that means. I’m aware, and I’m perceiving, but I’m not me.
Will: Imagine standing up to become yourself. Go directly there, when you first stood up to become yourself. What is it like?
GS: Ah…it’s probably an area somewhere between the Middle East and Africa, maybe a land that is now under water. There is very great vegetation, sort of tropical vegetation, the shapes not as they are now. Some of the plants are massive. It is the skin of the Earth.
Will: Let the name of this area come to you.
GS: It seems to be something like Argano.
Will: Look down at yourself. What do you notice about yourself?
GS: I enter the body. It is a grown body. And I enter it. To experience creation.
Will: Is this your body, or someone else’s body?
GS: It is the body’s body. The body is an entity in itself.
Will: Is there anyone else in the body beside you?
GS: No. There weren’t entities in bodies then.
Will: Are you female or male?
GS: Male. I’m very strong—and healthy.
Will: What age are you?
GS: In Earth years, about twenty-eight.
Will: You mention “in human terms” and “Earth years,” does that say you’re not of the Earth?
Will: You aren’t of the Earth?
Will: Where are you from?
GS: I’m from “the Light.”
Will: What are you involved in at this moment, in that life?
GS: Just experiencing it. I’m sent to—I have to, have to, experience it.
GS: I can’t become, unless I experience it. I have to do it.
Will: Someone needs you to experience it?
Will: Who is that?
GS: “The Light.”
Will: How do you feel about it?
GS: I’m upset.
Will: At “the Light?”
Will: What is the most upsetting?
GS: That I’m separated from it.
Will: How does it feel being separated from “the Light?”
Will: Any thoughts about that?
GS: It feels confusing and a little frightening.
Will: What confuses you?
GS: I’ve never been by myself.
Will: It’s a new experience.
Will: Do you know what it means being by yourself?
GS: No. I know I have to do it, but it doesn’t make me feel good.
Will: It’s a little frightening.
Will: What’s the most frightening?
GS: I’m separated and there are other things out there, and I have to deal with things outside myself. And there never was anything outside of myself.
Will: So, you have a problem dealing with the things outside yourself?
Will: Problem of not being able to control those things?
GS: Yes. I’m afraid of some things. I was never afraid before. I didn’t know what it was to be afraid.
Will: Why don’t you contact “the Light” and ask the purpose of all this.
GS: I need to grow.
GS: Grow in knowledge and consciousness, and creativity.
Will: Perhaps this would be a good time to ask your higher self about not being able to control the other things outside.
Notice that Will asked me to ask my higher self, rather than directly asking my higher self to speak with him, so I just passed on to Will what I got from my higher self.
GS: There really is nothing outside.
Will: It’s an illusion.
GS: Yes, it’s an illusion, and at the same time I have to create what’s outside, but I must learn to let go of the creation, once I’ve created it. And I’m afraid to let go of it.
GS: (Emotional) It feels too much like when I left “the Light,” and I don’t want what I have created to feel what I felt.
Will: You want to protect it.
GS: Yes. I know I must let go, but…(very emotional) I’m afraid for my creation.
Will: I understand. Did you create your creation to be strong?
Will: Is it strong enough to handle what it needs to?
Will: Perhaps then it’s time for you to let go of your creation. (Will did some guidance and healing with me here.) And every time you let go, notice what comes in.
GS: New creations.
Will: Good. How does that feel?
GS: There is no end to the creation. So, if I don’t let go, I block the flow.
Will: Now, just tell me whatever comes through you from “the Light.”
GS: I never left.
Will: It was an illusion.
Will: How does this relate to your present life?
GS: Part of my contract is to let my creations go. If I don’t let them go, they can’t create. I must let them go to create.
Will: You must release control?
GS: I must. Oh…I see. Fear is the opposite of love. If I fear for my creations, I can’t love them. I cannot fear and love at the same time.
Will: So, it’s your choice now.
GS: To release fear.
Will: Would that also mean to release control and let in choice?
There was more guidance and healing by Will, and then he began to bring me back to normal consciousness. However, when I told him, “I’m not quite back yet,” Dree quickly cut in and asked Will if she could work with me for a couple of minutes, realizing that my issue hadn’t been completely addressed.
Dree: George, before you come back I’d like to know, is it possible for me to talk with your higher self at this time?
Dree: Higher self, George has come with some issues about anger, in relationship with authority figures. Could you tell me whether his issues are related to a past life?
Notice that Dree was addressing my higher self directly. My voice, when I answered, slowly, was very different from my voice earlier.
GS: They are reflected in past lives.
Dree: Are his issues located primarily in past lives?
GS: No, in “the Light.”
Dree: So, then, is the issue of anger linked to the issue of resentment of authority?
GS: (Slowly, very softly.) It is a misinterpretation. There is no authority, there is no anger. He misinterpreted his separation from “the Light.” In coming into the human physical consciousness, he had to take on the emotions and mental processes of a physical human being. Anger is of the Earth plane.
Dree: In that misinterpretation, how has he been living it out in his current lifetime?
GS: Feeling separated from his connection, and then feeling he had been abandoned by his connection—the loss being so painful, the perceived loss, although there was no loss—so, like a child, wishing to strike back at what it feels has hurt it. But there was no hurt. That was simply the interpretation of the ego of the Earth self.
Dree: Higher self, I notice as I look at George’s body, it seems to be retaining still some energy of that pain. Is that accurate?
Dree: Is there anything that can be done to rid his body of that pain?
GS: It is again a question of release. He is holding on to his pain.
Dree: Is there an important reason for his holding on to that, higher self?
GS: There is a fear of letting go, a fear of nothingness if you let go, a fear of the void as he saw the separation, saw a void between himself and “the Light,” and he has tried to bridge the separation with pain. This is where the anger comes in—the pain is a bridge, a communication. He feels he’s in contact—if he throws his anger out at “the Light,” then “the Light” will notice him.
Dree: This is how he stays connected?
Dree: So, giving that up would not be appropriate for him, until he’s found a way to make a new bridge?
GS: Yes. He needs to make another bridge, otherwise he will be back to where he was originally.
Dree: Higher self, we have no time left to work on this today, so would you be willing to help George in understanding that his pain and anger are an important bridge for him to “the Light” and that’s what makes it difficult for him to let go, and also help him find ways to build a new bridge, if that’s appropriate.
GS: Yes—he has already begun. We have made some good contacts—the process has begun. It will be completed soon.
Dree: Higher self, could you tell George when it will be completed?
GS: He must move to California, to get the right energies, which will help him to create the true bridge to “the Light.”
Dree: Thank you, higher self. If there is any other information you feel is appropriate for George to have, could you supply that to him either in a conscious or in a sleeping state, in the near future?
Dree: Thank you.
GS: Thank you.
Dree then led me back to normal waking consciousness. This was a highly unusual regression, during which I often experienced a great deal of emotion as I spoke, but, as you’ve seen, it would have meant little without the insight of my higher self. The second significant element to note is that a guide has to know the right questions to ask, since the higher self may not respond without a specific request.
I did eventually move to Los Angeles, and toward the end of 2004, a woman from out-of-town came to see me, requesting a session with me. Although I’m usually very reluctant to meet just once with a client (as it normally takes several sessions to achieve significant results), I agreed to work with her. The woman, whom I’ll call Lora, brought an issue of anger. Regressed, she slipped into an altered state of consciousness effortlessly and began to recount her impressions to me:
She finds herself standing on the concrete platform of a large train station in 19th century England, wearing a long dress, black laced-up boots, and a hat; her hands in a “furry” muff. A lot of people are milling about, women dressed as she is and men with hats and canes. Her name is Mary, and she is eighteen years old.
Moved forward in time that day, she now is before an outer doorway, preparing to knock on a dark green door. No one answers her knocking, though, and—with some emotion—Mary says she is getting “a little puzzled, and a little scared” at the lack of any response. She quickly starts feeling frantic, because “Jeffrey” is supposed to be inside the dwelling. “Where will I go?” Mary says despairingly, “He is my only hope.” Though she’s never been there before, it seems she’s come to live with Jeffrey, her father’s forty-six-year-old brother.
Mary finally goes down the street to a butcher shop to ask about Jeffrey, but the owners say they haven’t seen him, making Mary feel “forlorn—lost.” When I ask what she does next, she replies, “I don’t know. I feel like I don’t have a sense of place, or time, or anything.”
Obviously, something had happened, but there was no point in having Mary struggle to discover what at this point. Instead, I directed her back to the moment of her conception and then slowly moved her forward through the gestation period.
At six months the fetus reports she is in distress, her heart beating faster. Lora’s breath and voice begin to waver as she repeatedly sucks air into her lungs, then forcefully blows it out. She tells of having no cognitive sense and of the baby’s body shaking in the womb—Lora is just barely able to shape the words with her lips to say this. Mary is clearly in distress, so I move her forward to the time when she is born.
A maid is helping Mary’s mother with the birth, but Mary is emerging feet first, stuck part-way, shoulders not coming out. “Oxygen, oxygen, oxygen, oxygen-deprived,” Lora finally manages to get out, “Then…my mother turns her head away—she doesn’t want me…she doesn’t want me. Something about what happened when I felt that trauma (at six months)—something happened to her…He left. She doesn’t know how she’s going to cope…I feel bereft because she’s not connecting to me…”
“The maid is nice, but my mother’s not connecting to me. My heart starts to beat a little faster. I’m afraid, and it feels like that trauma in the womb…I’m only a baby…I’m only a baby…I have nothing to be rejected about…but I feel rejected…”
The baby, psychically tied to her mother, has internalized her mother’s feelings at being rejected, and now her mother is projecting her rejection onto the baby, creating an emotional imprint that Mary will carry with her for the rest of her life. That’s why I always take a past personality back to conception; because there can be significant events in the womb or at birth.
“Another woman, older, heavier, comes in later to nurse me,” Mary goes on, but the maid who helped with Mary’s birth “is the one who takes the most care of me.” As time passes, Mary sees a nursery with toys, and notes that “the maid is there—but my mother only looks in on me occasionally.”
“Lonely…” Lora begins to sob softly. “I was a long, long time there…seems like a long, long time.” Mary sounds heartbroken. The nursery seems almost like a prison.
At age seven, Mary, wearing a dress with a big bow tied in the back, is looking out of a large nursery window, down at two small groups of people on a broad lawn. At this point in Mary’s life, the physical and emotional absence of her mother is “simply a matter of course.” The maid is still taking care of Mary—”She’s nice to me”—but there is a “definite acceptance of the status quo with my mother and a feeling of isolation,” exemplified by Mary not being with the people on the lawn.
Next, at eighteen, she’s sitting at a dining room table. “My mother is there, and she is telling me, very matter-of-factly, that—her words are, ‘Circumstances are such that I cannot care for you.’ I don’t understand how that can be: the house is big. She’s telling me I must go.” I ask Mary what she says to her mother, but Mary doesn’t know. “I’m hopeless and resigned. She’s so distant that I only accept, I don’t argue. I’m sent to Jeffrey, although I don’t have a sense of knowing him.”
Perceiving herself in the butcher shop again, Mary realizes she had fainted. “Jeffrey…is gone—I must see if I can work for the people in the shop. ‘Help me, I don’t know what to do—help me. Help me…’ They hire me, but I must do as they tell me—and they’re not kind. I have to live with them—I have a very small room. I don’t like the smell of the butcher shop. Again there is the feeling of being isolated, not wanted.”
Then Mary is thirty-five, looking “bedraggled, unkempt.” She feels “a kind of gloom—no sense of recourse, no connectedness—no connected-ness…” Mary has no friends and the couple, though not abusive, neglects her. Lora starts to sob again. “I must pull myself together,” she finally says, “It serves no purpose, my sadness, my tears.”
At the age of fifty-two, Mary’s body is very heavy, and it is difficult for her to get around. The couple is still alive, but “I don’t know what to do with them, and I don’t know what I’ll do without them. They’re old, they’re old. I’m afraid of what will happen when they die—what will become of me.”
Reaching sixty-two, Mary finds herself running the butcher shop, the couple having died and left the shop to her. “It could be a time of hope, but I’m so hardened, I simply move on.” Mary has to pull the words out of herself and seems weary to the bone. She has found someone to cut the meat at the store while she waits on customers; something she hadn’t done before. “But I’m old and hardened. I’m hardened to the people that come into the store. I’m not friendly to them—I don’t want to trust anyone. I’m bitter,” Mary almost spits out, “and mean.”
“My knees ache, my shoulders bother me, and my weight is a lot to carry around.” She is weak and almost whispers now. “I’ve gotten heavier. My hair is hanging in my face. I don’t take good care of myself.”
Moved forward in time, Mary becomes aware of being in a bed. “I think I’m dying.” No one seems to be taking care of her. “Feel like I’ve been in bed a long time. No real perspective, not much will, a lot of passivity—surrender to whatever it is, and, if I die, possible relief from this life.”
At the moment of her death, Mary gives a laugh and says, “I don’t know, I don’t know what’s happening. Confusion: I don’t feel pain, I don’t feel. Peace. Relief. Peace. I feel light. Feels like I’m taken up into some kind of arms that are comforting, though it’s not a physical sensation. Feels comforting. A kind of peace and contentment I didn’t know before.” Lora’s voice is no longer heavy and weary—there now is relief and hope in her tone.
I direct her consciousness to merge with that of her higher self, then ask why Mary had chosen her life. “She needed to experience loveless-ness,” the higher self responds. “She was not heartful…in a past life. As a male, she harmed people. Mary’s life was experiencing the other side of the coin.”
“Mary also needs to know that life has more to offer. She could have done much else in that life. She could have opened her heart to the people who walked into the store. Realizing how painful isolation is, she could have treated them other than isolating them. She could have reached out to people in that village. And she could have questioned her mother. The results might not have been different, but she would have felt more power.”
“Her experience in the womb at six months came about when her father hit her mother across the face and her mother almost aborted Mary. However, the father’s rejection was not of the unborn baby—it was of the mother. I need to say that again—his rejection was not of the unborn baby. Mary needs to know this. Her father did not get involved with Mary later because he did not want anything to do with her mother.”
“Lora has anger from other lives; Mary’s included. Lora has mistrust from other lives; Mary’s included. Lora has feelings of worthlessness from other lives; Mary’s included. That is why I reiterated that her father leaving had nothing to do with Mary. Her mother’s attitude had nothing to do with Mary, either. Her mother was a cold human being and Mary represented a relationship that the mother despised—her husband. Mary was the reminder of that relationship.”
“Mary did choose her life. She needed that experience, and she needs to know that she chose it. She was not a victim. And in Lora’s life, in the places Lora gets angry, she lives like a victim. The anger is from an experience of victimhood. All this goes back to a life when she had been a victimizer; a male warrior who slew without regard for life.”
This was striking. Lora first had been a victimizer, cutting and stabbing people to death, someone we’d call a butcher, then turned around and became a victim, though still with no regard for others. In Mary’s life, she feels cut off from her mother and others, winds up cutting and chopping meat in a butcher shop. The smell of the butcher shop may have reminded her of the carnage she caused as a warrior. What goes around does indeed come around, but now, instead of killing people with a blade, she is feeding them with a blade. What beautiful spiritual symmetry. This clearly demonstrates why it is vital to consult the higher self: to discover the hidden spiritual agenda beneath the surface events.
“In Lora’s life today, in the personal issues, if she can hold to the idea that she is not a victim, then she will find her anger transforming. Mary’s mother was Lora’s mother in the present lifetime. I want to say to Lora that, as a way to heal a feeling of worthlessness, you must hold that you were not the cause of rejection. This can help you. We are finished.”
I thanked the higher self and returned to Mary, asked if she had been listening to the higher self and whether she wanted to make any changes in her life, since all time is simultaneous.
Lora: What changes would I make?
GS: Well, one of the things your higher self said was, “why didn’t you question your mother when she said she was sending you away?”
Lora: I was stoic…stoic.
GS: You think that’s a good thing to be? Do you know what stoic is, Mary?
Lora: What is stoic?
GS: Stoic is stuffing your emotions.
Lora: So it is.
GS: Would you like to confront your mother when she tells you she is sending you away?
Lora: It would do no good…
Lora: …She doesn’t love me.
GS: You don’t need her love. You only need your own love. You’re expecting things from a person who is not capable of giving them to you.
Lora: If this is truth, then I can say what I will to her.
GS: Yes, absolutely; because you are not a victim. So, say to her whatever you want, when she tells you that you must go away. You can say it inside yourself, if you prefer, but tell me how she reacts.
Lora: There is shock on her face. I said to her, “I am not the cause of your unhappiness, but I was the target of it.”
GS: How do you feel, saying that?
Lora: Much more powerful.
GS: Exactly. Now I’d like you to move your consciousness into the consciousness of your mother, and find out where this woman is really coming from. What has been going on in the mind of your mother, all of your eighteen years?
Lora: …Holding against terrific grief—terrific grief, terrific grief, terrific grief…Shutting her heart, so she won’t touch my heart. (Begins to cry)
GS: So you can understand her pain. You think you can forgive her now? Remember, you chose her, Mary—she agreed to be your mother.
Lora: I think I can. I feel like I could put my hand on her head, like in a blessing.
GS: Do it. Just send your love to her, because she really needs it. (Sobs slightly)
Lora: It’s done. I feel like something is freed in me. I’m telling her, she needs to forgive herself, too.
GS: There’s one other thing you can change, Mary. You’ve had those experiences in that life and they won’t be erased. However, you can experience a different path, since there is no such thing as time and all paths are open to you. So, you can have more than one experience of the same life.
GS: Would you like to try that life a different way? Since you forgave your mother and healed her, do you need to leave her now? Does she still want you to go?
Lora: (Sobs) My mother is saying the choice is mine!
GS: Of course.
Lora: (Sobs again)
GS: Do you want to stay with your mother?
GS: O.K., then give her a big hug, tell her you love her.
Lora: We’re both crying now (Sobs harder).
GS: Now, Mary and Lora, the lesson in all this is that you must always speak what is in your heart. Mary, you have the opportunity to lead that life in a different way, but we’re not going to try to script it for you—you will live it the way you want. However, remember that when you were in that butcher shop, you did not reach out to the people.
Lora: I would like to do that differently.
GS: Then, from now on, in this new life you’re going to lead, Mary, when people come to you—anyone who crosses your path, even a maid, a servant, a butcher, a chimneysweep—reach out to them, because they need you. Many of them are just as lonely as you were; many of them feel just as rejected as you did. So, from now on, reach out to everyone who crosses your path.
GS: And that is your mission for the rest of your new life.
Lora: (Through tears) I like that mission…
GS: It’s a good mission.
Lora: (Laughs and cries) It’s living this lifetime having learned from what happened to me, instead of revenging.
I went through a few more visualizations with Lora and then brought her back to normal consciousness. During the regression, Lora showed far more emotion than I’ve been able to indicate on the page, so her experiences—along with her higher self’s insights and advice—had obviously affected her greatly. This was a classic regression, and Lora’s higher self was like a laser cutting through the fog of her lower self’s confusion.
The technique I use for accessing the higher self is simple. Immediately after a past-life individual has died during regression a client is in a profoundly deep altered state, so all I say is, “I’m going to slowly count to ten, during which your consciousness will rise to the level of your higher self and merge with it. You will then allow your higher self to speak through you with me.” I next count to ten and begin with, “Higher self, …,” and thereafter always address the higher self directly. When we are finished, I thank the higher self.
The higher self is the best friend anyone will ever have, and its “silent voice” always tells what is true and helpful. In therapy, the higher self is a co-therapist who will not let you down.
- I have found that it is possible for a person in an altered state of consciousness to enter the consciousness of another person in a past life or the present life, since we are all one consciousness, with a great many little artificial cubicles set up in this oneness to establish “individual” areas of consciousness known as human beings. So, when I ask clients in an altered state to move their consciousness into the consciousness of another person, they have no difficulty doing this—since on a subconscious level they know we are all one—and they go right through the artificial partitions into the other consciousness.
I have been training in a Westernized form of Peruvian Q’ero shamanism with The Four Winds Society, and in one workshop students were asked to move into the consciousness of their parents and one other ancestor (for me, my dead father, mother, and maternal grandmother). This experience was very touching, emotional and real, tapping into both the thoughts and emotions, one at a time, of my three ancestors, especially my grandmother, who I have no conscious memories of at all.
- I not only believe that all time is simultaneous but that all possible choices and outcomes exist simultaneously as well, and that, in fact, a person can “re-live” any part of a previous life by re-choosing a decision she had made. It is like some of these electronic games which allow you to make many choices and then go back and start the game over and play it differently. I’m not suggesting that re-living a life is common, but I believe it is available. It allows the person the opportunity of approaching a life lesson from a different direction, a different perspective, within the same life. Notice that not only has Lora’s past self, Mary, been affecting Lora, but now Mary’s future self, Lora, is bringing choices to Mary which she never was aware of before. Thus the future can affect the past, as some have told us, since all time is simultaneous. The alternate life stream could also take place in another non-physical dimension, if that seems advisable to the entity. The only thing that matters to the physical client, of course, is that a constructive change has taken place within her.
So what I do is help the past personality of my client pick an alternative (“rescript”) at one point in her life, choosing a different thread that was available to her from the start. I usually refrain from giving direct guidance to a client during a regression, but in this case the client seemed to need this help, since she felt so battered by her past life as she had lived it. In her case, the rescripting and guidance was a form of healing for both the past and future selves. Interestingly, a couple of years after this regression, I was taught a very similar technique in my shaman training.
Excerpted from a chapter of Dr. Schwimmer’s book Adventures In Consciousness. See www.GeorgeSchwimmer.com.