Amy Shapiro, M.Ed.
Can past-life therapy assist relations between the sexes? Using five cases of men and women who uncovered prior lives as the opposite gender, Amy Shapiro discusses how their newly reclaimed soul-memories expanded their identities to transcend gender stereotypes and prejudices. The author distinguishes between her application of the term “trans-gender” in this context and its use in discussions about trans-sexuality.
The past few decades have witnessed intriguing shifts in relations between men and women. In our search for gender truth and meaning, we struggle to understand our drives and the consequences of their activation in our evolving society. The most visible contributors to this sexual sea-change are the availability of birth control, the feminist movement, the AIDS epidemic, genetic engineering and a mushrooming of homosexuality, bisexuality, transvestism, transexuality, and submissive-dominance sex-game behaviors. While some of these trends have brought greater fulfillment between the sexes, much remains to be desired.
What has become painfully clear to me is our need for self-love and empathy as a missing and vital ingredient between men and women, and I believe that uncovering our past lives as the opposite gender is a key ingredient in achieving those goals. In 1995, I began reviewing my clients’ reincarnation cases, about which I had saved notes over the years, looking for instances where individuals regressed to see themselves as members of the opposite gender. I was curious to see if a pattern might emerge from such a study which could contribute to our cultural dialogue about how one’s sense of gender identity effects one’s degree of struggle or satisfaction within gender relations.
The dozens of cases I reviewed of reincarnational switches from male to female, or female to male, suggested to me that our souls do not identify exclusively with either gender, but transcend gender altogether. I thus coined the term “trans-gender soul” to express that quality of gender-identity transcendence of the psyche. These cases represented a mix of both heterosexuals and homosexuals or lesbians, none of whom had any desire to alter their biological genders, but all of whom were struggling to understand the deeper dimensions of their gender identities.
I later learned that others use the term “trans-gender” in the context of discussing the phenomenon of transexuality, with the prefix “trans” implying the cross-over between sexual identities within the same lifetime. The term “trans-gender” was recently featured in the journal Reincarnation International, (Issue 9, July 1996). In an interview, “Transexuality and Reincarnation,” between author Rabbi Yonassan Gershom and a transexual born female who goes by the pseudonym Joseph Winktay, Mr. Winktay said his “inner body image” was always male, which, he says, makes him a “transgender” person. This use of the prefix “trans” is somewhat confusing; however, as Mr. Winktay experienced his inner identity as always male, thus his inner gender identity as male remained constant.
When Rabbi Gershom asked if this “inner body image” might be a past-life memory, Mr. Winktay said he believes he was a soldier in a past life, whose body image carried over into the present. Mr. Winktay’s words, excerpted from that interview, are most profound:
Trans-gender people have been around for many thousands of years. The real issue is inner identity, not physical genitalia or medical procedures…I don’t think the ‘soul body’ has a sex, but the denser astral layers [around the body] probably do…We are not ‘bodies with souls.’ We are souls temporarily clothed in bodies!…All of us have been both men and women in different incarnations. The only difference with me is that I have experienced making the change within the same lifetime.
In my past-life therapy practice, I have served a clientele base of about three hundred individuals whose gender-ratio is roughly 5:1 women to men. In general, within this group runs a sexual-preference ratio of about 5:1 heterosexual to homosexual/ lesbian. To date, no client has ever specifically asked to review a past life as the opposite gender, nor do I suggest to clients that they should review past lives specific to either gender, so as not to influence their regression experiences. This is not to say I would refuse an individual’s request to direct him or her to review a past life as the opposite gender; only that such requests, curiously, have not yet surfaced. There are likely several reasons for this pattern of non-request, among them being that the idea of past-life regression is so new to most people that they arrive without any expectations as to who or what they were before their present lifetimes, and do not know that they can make specific requests to review specific past-life circumstances. The idea of having lived in another time and place requires enough mental adjustment for the average person, never mind having been another gender!
Nonetheless, while most of my regression work uncovers same-gender past lives, approximately one out of every five clients is internally guided to review a lifetime as the opposite gender to his or her present one. I suspect that ratio might be substantially changed with a more non-heterosexual client population, and I would be most interested to hear from other practitioners on this subject.
Over time, I have observed a wonderful effect which results from opposite-gender past-life recall experience: Through it, the individual comes to understand that while the soul inhabits a male or female physical body, the soul itself is neither exclusively male nor female. The soul transcends gender stereotypes, going beyond the limiting cultural standards of beauty, sexual prowess or charisma. Past-life therapy shows us that our souls have aims which transcend stereotypical thinking about gender.
As a soul switches genders, both identities integrate within the psyche. By consciously reviewing our past lives as the opposite gender, we can more fully evolve as trans-gender souls, so that men-who-were-women and women-who-were-men come to understand that the soul is simply and wholly human.
The following five trans-gender past-life cases are the stories of five clients who discovered through regression that in at least one prior life, they occupied bodies of the opposite sex to their present genders. They are culled from many more cases, and each expresses a slice of humanity which, I believe, speaks to the heart as well as the head, showing us something about ourselves in the telling.
Each story begins with the client’s problem, expectations or needs prior to the regression, and relevant background information, followed by the actual details of the regression, generated from the client’s own extra-sensory perceptions. My role as a therapist was to guide clients through their experiences, asking relevant questions and structuring the flow of perceptions so as to maintain coherency. After the details of the life were reviewed, I asked individuals to find the purpose of the life, the lesson he or she was learning, the character quality being acquired, or soul obligation that was being fulfilled.
Equally important is understanding how each past life relates to the present, based on the client’s inner perceptions and stated in the client’s own words. Naturally, other insights as to connections often occur hours, weeks or years after a session. I conclude each case by summarizing its therapeutic value to each client, whose confidentiality is here protected by using false names and no session dates.
Case I: Inner Strength
Too often, men feel trapped by the confines of a macho stereotype that they learned to emulate and project throughout their growing years. While some men may find the image of a rugged persona a fine role model, other men may experience that image as an obstacle to their own emotional growth as well as to enjoying meaningful relationships with women.
Steve was struggling to reconcile the idea that real men dominate in relations with women with his conflicting emotional attraction for more assertive women. The strong, powerful male stereotype had been deeply reinforced through generations of males within his very traditional family. At the time of his regression, Steve was a bachelor of 36 and felt that this conflict was keeping him from being able to commit to a stable relationship. He was captivated by a very take-charge woman, yet intimidated by her strong will and personality, and confused about the feelings she stirred in him. Having nurtured an interest in meditation and spirituality over many years, Steve was open to the possibility that he had lived before, and wondered if he and his girlfriend had shared any past lives that could help him understand this dilemma. His familiarity with meditation along with his earnest desire to solve this riddle made Steve a good candidate for regression.
Steve regressed to the year 1516, to a past life as a seventeen-year-old female named Joan. Joan was wearing black shoes with a square buckle and a brown dress, in a small English village. She was waiting for a man to arrive in whom she was interested. The man, as described, was “a real strong person.” After a few years, they married, making a home where she felt “comfortable and protected,” describing their house as “basic but warm, made of wood, with a big fireplace.”
When I directed Steve to move ahead to the next important event of that lifetime, he saw Joan’s husband being badly injured in a serious accident he had while doing some kind of work with wood. The accident resulted in the loss of one of his arms and, understandably, his morale. Thereafter, Joan’s husband was “not himself” as he could no longer work as before and assumed Joan would feel as he did, that he was now less of a man. But, to his great surprise, Joan did not think less of him as a man, as he feared; Joan’s love for her husband grew.
For the first time in their relationship, Joan became a source of strength for her husband and found great joy in this changed role, knowing that her husband could rely upon her for a change. Their commitment to each other pulled them through very difficult times. The couple was childless, but stayed together, drawing strength from each others’ presence in that house until the end of their lives. Joan died first, in her 50s. From the vantage point of being outside the body after her death, Steve saw Joan’s husband sitting at a table, wearing a beard. When I asked what the purpose of that life was, Steve replied:
It was a mutual endeavor; I was learning about mutual dependency. The lost arm forced us to find another way of getting strength and to have confidence that another person can be there.
Relative to his present girlfriend, Steve then understood, as a result of that regression, that the qualities of strength and endurance are not exclusive to men, as he was raised to believe, but are just as natural for women. This insight allowed him to go beyond the previously unbalanced macho persona that prevented him from experiencing real intimacy in relationships with women. By regressing to a female past life, he saw how superficial gender stereotyping had kept him from feeling truly whole in himself and from seeing women as whole beings. He no longer felt threatened by strong women and, equally importantly, no longer felt the need to repress feelings of vulnerability which he had previously believed to be strictly feminine qualities.
Not long after that session, Steve entered a more loving, committed relationship, which led to a lasting and fulfilling marriage of many years to a woman who had a daughter by her first marriage. Steve became a devoted parent to the girl and never let his former sexual stereotypes of femininity interfere with his ability to love and guide the child. Seeing himself as once having been a woman freed Steve to love a wife, and daughter, as whole people, too.
Case II: The Weight of Power
If we are taught to accept an institution’s doctrine or a religious belief which contradicts our own individual sense of what is right, true and good, we have the makings of a top rate dilemma. And, if a contradiction between doctrine and experience posed a dilemma for us in a former lifetime, we may still feel its effects in this one, though we would, naturally, be confused as to its origins. Sue Ann had such dilemmas.
At the time of her session, Sue Ann was unhappy with her appearance and complained of having a hard time managing her weight. This was an obstacle to her feeling fulfilled in love, as her poor self-image got in the way of nurturing healthy relationships with men. She wondered if something from a past lifetime might be related to her body image, especially as it pertained to being overweight.
Sue Ann’s spirit guided her to the exact portion of her soul records which held the key to understanding her dilemma. Sue Ann regressed to see herself as a thirty-five year old male clergyman named Charles, in England sometime around 1695. He was wearing black shoes with high lacing and pointed toes, and long, dark, flowing clothes which came down to the floor. The imagery of that lifetime was very vivid to Sue Ann:
I’m in a cold, huge castle, with thick walls, long corridors, big rooms. I’m doing something. I’m very big. I have a huge, smooth, round belly, not flabby, just big. My stomach always leads when I walk. I feel tired that I have to carry all this weight around. I’m a Bishop, and weight signifies power and authority. I’m supposed to be leading these people, as a spiritual leader, but I didn’t feel like the position was spiritual. There was so much decision-making. I didn’t feel like it was really my responsibility to make decisions about people’s spiritual lives, but that was what the church wanted me to do, although I was uncomfortable with it.
At that point, I thought it would be helpful for Sue Ann to see a little background information, so I asked her to go back to describe Charles’ childhood, and see at what point Charles knew he would become a member of the clergy:
I was my parents’ first born. It was the rule, to bring the family great honor. I was groomed for it. I led an inactive life, wasn’t allowed to do a lot of physical activity that other kids my age were doing. I began to put on weight from eating and studying. At first, I wasn’t happy. Later, as I got heavier, I justified intellectual pursuits and learned to like that.
Although Charles had been groomed for a religious life, I wondered if he might have had other desires. When I asked about whether Charles had known love in his life, Sue Ann said:
There was a young girl my age. She was being tutored by the same tutor. I liked her, but we were kept separated as soon as it was recognized that there was mutual interest. My mother loved me. It was a detached love. She knew I had a different destiny. I had one sister, about six years younger than me. She seemed very delicate. My parents worried about her. I wasn’t too interested.
Things ended badly for Charles, as Sue Ann saw when she progressed forward to view the end that life:
I was 49. There was an insurrection. People were unhappy…there didn’t seem to be enough food or money or clothing for them. They were very angry with those of us in the castle who had an overabundance of what we needed. I tried to get food and clothing to them, but it was a last ditch effort. They were attacking us, so we fled. I was attacked by a band of peasants who killed us. It was very savage; they stabbed me with swords and mutilated the body.
The purpose of that lifetime was clear to Sue Ann, as she summarized the lesson she learned and how it relates to her present, especially as it concerns the issue of her body image:
To use authority more benevolently, not to have conformed to the dictates of an absent church…I am an authority of what I know. I just need to own it for myself, in order to be comfortable taking on leadership roles in my life. My sister then is my oldest daughter now. This time I can be present to her. I can express love and be without reprisal, to have a warm, loving relationship with her, and she can accept it. My negative body image is one of the things I can be free from now; I know now it’s okay to be intellectual and also physically active. That was where people were getting caught up, using weight as authority, assuming positions of respect out of their heaviness.
Before closing the session, I guided Sue Ann in a creative visualization exercise, where she imagined her physical body being the way she wanted it to look, and investing that image with desire. By understanding what was previously an unconscious conflict between her desire to use her intelligence, and a fear of being overweight, which made her a target of anger and rage in the past, Sue Ann was free to be active both physically and intellectually.
Another unconscious issue which played a role in Sue Ann’s self-image was also brought to light by this regression. The “weight of obedience” to an absent church forced her, as a Bishop, to act in a way that betrayed her own conscience and the people she was supposed to be serving. Sue Ann now celebrates being free to follow her own conscience and be true to herself without worrying about retribution from any outside authority. It was also helpful for her to recognize the connection between the celibate life of a Bishop and her present shyness about intimacy and commitment.
The trans-gender nature of this regression session helped Sue Ann see that men who hold positions of power can be just as unhappy as women who don’t have the privileges and burdens of power. This understanding gave her a new perspective about men, which would foster more fulfilling future relationships. No longer would she be intimidated by powerful men, nor resent their authority, knowing how illusory it is, after all. Now, if Sue Ann wants to “throw her weight around,” she knows she doesn’t have to do it from inside an overweight body!
Case III: The Herbalist and the Executioner
The next time you are tempted, as we often are, to compare yourself to another and think, “I’d never stoop to behaving like that!” remember this story and pause for a second thought. As Diane learned through her regression, she was not as bad as her present husband in one of her past lives; she was much worse! What Diane probably thought unconsciously all along in her marriage was “I vow never to be that bad again!”
At the time of her session, Diane was studying alternative medicine and planning to devote her life to healing, but knew she first needed to heal herself. She had been struggling with an unhappy and childless marriage of many years, wherein she endured frequent verbal, and occasional physical, abuse from an alcoholic husband. She hoped to learn through past-life therapy why she felt so helpless to change her situation.
Diane reviewed two former male lifetimes which gave her a completely new outlook on herself, her husband and her situation. These males were opposite in the extreme: one man was a peaceful herbalist; the other was a cold Executioner. They are described here in Diane’s words. First, The Herbalist:
I’m in a field, like an Indian, picking flowers. I’m a little boy. I’m picking flowers to use for medicines and collecting them in my basket. I feel really good. I love the woods, the moss and the stream. I’m very happy. There is an old lady in a big tepee who will help me, show me how to make herbal concoctions into medicines. She is a really nice old lady. I can talk to the animals. I love them and the earth. I feel so fulfilled, balanced and at home. I play and I’m learning to be at one. I’m full of love. I die at age 73, as an old man. I know I’m going to die. It’s not scary. I want to reassure those that love me that my spirit will be with them.
This gentle male lifetime was like a soothing balm to Diane’s soul. She said of her purpose in that lifetime, and its relationship to her present:
The purpose of that life was to find beauty and to experience the joy of love and being balanced. The lady who taught me is someone I knew in my present life, when I was younger; she inspired me to love nature this time, too. This time, I am interested in herbs, too, even though the mainstream culture doesn’t understand them. That’s part of what I’m doing now; helping to reestablish the wise use of herbal medicine.
Reviewing a male life so in harmony with nature reinforced for Diane the idea that all men are not necessarily as mean, selfish and abusive as her current husband. She had been using that stereotypical generalization to justify and overlook his abusive behavior toward her. The truth, she now realized, was that her husband was simply who he was, and not typical of all men. This helped Diane begin correcting her former mental tapes, which said she might as well stay married to him, since she couldn’t expect to find another man who would be less cruel to her, anyway.
As pleasant as that life had been, it offered little insight into why Diane’s soul chose to suffer within the confines of her current relationship with an abusive husband. I suggested to Diane that she remain open to her Spirit guiding her to review anything else which was relevant to her current situation. She then regressed further back, prior to the herbalist, to a very unpleasant male lifetime, where the seeds of her present marital karma were sown. This past life presented a stark contrast to the first. I call it The Executioner:
I’m an executioner. I’m chopping people’s heads off. I’m getting joy out of heads flopping in a basket. I’ve got a lot of power, but I’m afraid of death, afraid of the vengeance of all the souls who I decapitated. I need to absolve myself. I go into a lake with clear water to clean my soul, I baptize myself, to rid myself of anger and vengeance. At the end, I’m being stabbed.
Diane lived and died by a blade in that life. Its lesson, and how it related to her present lifetime, was clear to her:
To know how power can be misused. I have to learn to be humble about having power. My current husband was one of the men I executed. No wonder he never feels guilty for all the abuse he gives me! It’s no wonder I keep feeling I should take it!
The enormous violence of her life as an executioner was shocking to Diane’s rational mind, as she prided herself on being a passivist and a humanist. To see herself having been an even more vile male than her current husband helped her be less judgmental toward him now. She also realized that, just as the executioner chose finally to leave behind a violent life, so could she now. She understood that it was not up to her to reform her husband. He had to want to change. Knowing that in her present marriage, she was paying off a karmic obligation to a former victim, helped Diane see that their marriage was based not on love, but on his unconscious desire for retribution and her unconscious desire for redemption.
Once Diane understood these dynamics, she was more able to forgive her husband’s abusiveness and adjust her expectations of him. Furthermore, having suffered enough, Diane could now feel more truly worthy of a loving relationship. Ultimately, Diane initiated their divorce and eventually did find a mutually loving relationship with a man who had no unconscious axe to grind with her!
Another curious link connects Diane’s past and present: her career motivation and dedication to alternative medicine, which comes largely out of her desire to help minimize people’s need for surgical procedures. Here too, the thing she most reviles today is the very thing she most abused in the past. Having sliced off so many heads in the past, Diane now staunchly advocates avoiding “the knife” and trauma of surgery, whenever possible.
Case IV: A Shared Trauma
As Past-Life Therapists, our work involves locating the unconscious roots of clients’ deeply ingrained problems, then introducing the necessary alchemical ingredient that will release them from their suffering, such as forgiveness. The following trans-gender story is a good example of past-life therapy as a vehicle for healing.
Rape. Few other words have the same power to evoke an emotional response of outrage accompanied by images of cruelty, inhumanity, injustice and disgrace. Yet, for those whose job is to provide emergency care to women who have been victims of rape and who are in a state of shock, it is vital to maintain a state of emotional calm and a degree of professional, clinical detachment in order to assist these women in getting the attention and support they need to cope with their experience and move on with their lives.
Usually, that was not a problem for Dave, who was a competent physician in a hospital emergency ward, specializing in shock and trauma. But, lately, Dave had been finding it hard to separate his own feelings from those of his patients. Nothing in his medical school training had prepared him to feel so vulnerably empathetic, and he was afraid that his medical judgment might become impaired if he did not get these most unwelcome emotions more under control.
Dave shared this difficulty with his hospital colleagues, hoping to find a base of professional support to help him understand what he was experiencing. But, to his further confusion and aggravation, he met only unsympathetic and skeptical responses, which led him to wonder if his colleagues were too afraid to confess to having had similar feelings or if he, as they implied by their judgmental attitudes, was on the verge of a “nervous breakdown” due to the stresses of his job.
Dave hoped a better explanation could be found through tracing the roots of his problem, perhaps to something deeply unconscious within a past-life experience. As with many clients who approach past-life therapy, Dave had found other avenues of healing to be unsuccessful and figured he had nothing to lose. At the start of our session, he indicated that, besides wanting to find a reason for these irrational emotional responses to his patients, he also wanted to understand what he called his “karma in love.” While I suspected the two were related, I said nothing to Dave about my hypothesis, so as not to influence the direction of his session by suggestion.
Dave learned in regression that he had, indeed, experienced similar traumatic events in a previous life which explained his stressful and empathetic reactions to the women he was treating in the hospital emergency room. He regressed to a lifetime in France in the mid 1300s, where he was a young woman of 18 or 19 named Miriam. Dave saw that Miriam was wearing “primitive shoes, sandals, a robe and no underwear.”
Dave’s awareness of Miriam having no underwear on was a foreboding of very bad news. Miriam’s village was under attack: “I was raped and tortured by a group of soldiers who also killed my whole family.” At the moment of recognition of what had happened to Miriam, Dave experienced the same sensation of traumatic shock that he had so often encountered in his hospital emergency room patients. Only this time, Dave wasn’t just feeling for a victim; his feelings were those of a victim.
Words could not do justice to the intensity of Miriam’s pain and suffering, nor to Dave’s relief at uncovering the answer to his question. It was not easy, but it gave Dave a sense of vindication, that there was a good reason for his recent hyper-sensitive responses to patients who had been raped.
In cases where a client immediately regresses to a highly traumatic event, I always guide them back to review earlier times in the life to see what preceded the event. Scanning Miriam’s early years, Dave saw that her youth had been hard. She came from a large family where:
There was never enough to eat. There was social disruption, superstition and death from disease and war. Several of my brothers and sisters died young of common childhood diseases, with only four surviving into their teens. Our family is basically Catholic; we’re pretty superstitious. The people are not very bright.
After bearing so many children and struggling to meet basic needs, it was no surprise that Miriam’s mother’s body gave out. After she died, Miriam’s father was fortunate to remarry a woman who carried on with the necessary domestic activities. Miriam felt close to her brothers and sisters, and even recognized the soul of a then-brother as a being a present-life cousin with whom Dave was a very close playmate growing up. When I asked Dave what Miriam enjoyed, he saw: “Fields of flowers outside the village give me pleasure.”
Before closing, I returned Dave to the end of that life and beyond the death. When I asked Dave what was the purpose of that lifetime, he said:
To experience mindless hate and pain and to learn not to consume people as if they’re inanimate objects. Everyone has memories, feelings, simple pleasures.
This was profoundly meaningful relative to his being a physician in an emergency ward for shock and trauma victims, where he must be conscious of how others feel and empathize with how he effects them both as a person and a doctor. Summarizing how this past lifetime relates to his present, Dave said:
There are many kinds of rape. I’ve worked with many women who have been raped, and seeing myself as a woman gives me an understanding of women’s feelings that has stayed with me as I work with women, an insight, and a little more balance. I see things differently than my fellow males.
Dave actually reviewed three lifetimes in the same session. In the other two, he was a male doctor and priest, with many additionally meaningful connections to his present life. Only in the female life, however, did he(she) live in the shadows of others’ needs and desires, and experience being a victim of violence. Dave’s new understanding of his hyper-sensitivity at work gave him the permission he needed to grieve for the women he served who were victims of the same senseless violence he now realized he too had once known. Dave is now dedicated to helping women heal the wounds of rape, providing the kind of service that was unavailable in the past, thus turning a former helplessness into effective action now.
Dave’s “karma in love,” he saw, was to commit to sharing a loving relationship with a woman as his equal in his personal life. He understood better after his session why so many women he knew didn’t easily trust men to have and/or fulfill such a noble aspiration.
Case V: Of Flesh, Blood, and Spirit
As parents, we all hope to be able to provide our children with more than the basic physical necessities of life. We hope to be good role models for them and a source of inspiration and strength to last them through good times and bad. We hope, too, to be able to instill in them the kinds of values that will lead them to well-informed judgments within their own lives. This is what Beth asked of herself as a parent, but she was having a hard time fulfilling that desire.
Beth, approaching middle age, was concerned about her adult daughter, Jodi, and how best to guide Jodi through her own life struggles. Beth had long ago divorced Jodi’s father, and was openly lesbian. Jodi was also struggling to determine her own sexual preference. Beth knew Jodi had to make her own decisions, yet she also knew Jodi wanted her advice and appreciated her love. Beth felt a deep closeness to Jodi and wondered if they had been together in other lives as well. As it happened, Beth regressed to a past lifetime where she saw herself and Jodi together, both as men in a battlefield scene:
I see myself in Revolutionary times in the United States. We’re between Concord and Lexington in a field of men. Actually, it must be a time in between battles, because we’re just enjoying good spirits rather than harsh gunfire. We’re like good buddies. A camaraderie exists between us. He got killed in that war.
Beth could not hold back tears as she reviewed the above scene and had to pause to compose herself before going on:
That was very painful. I was with him. I survived the war. When I went back, a part of myself died with the tragedy of that war and the loss of this person in my life. For a while, I tried to take care of his wife and family as well as my family. Eventually, a husband came for her (his friend’s widow), and her family was taken care of.
The purpose of that lifetime and its relationship to Beth’s present life was clear to her:
To learn that it is possible to remain united in spirit, while separated physically. As mother and daughter, we came together in a very powerful physical way in this life, almost too powerful. Once again, we are expanding our beings in relation to each other, to help each other find illumination. I see the Kundalini energy being awakened within us both. I am to use it for healing. It’s like we’re soaring together spiritually.
While Beth and her daughter had been close comrades in war as men, they both had struggled in this life with confusion over their gender identities. As a man in her past life, Beth had loved women, yet felt spiritually united with another man. Although now in the body of a woman, Beth maintains her attraction to women and a close spiritual bond with her daughter, carried over from that lifetime as two males. Another strong link between these lives is that both men suffered the evils of war. Perhaps their souls’ revulsion toward war and men’s base drives for power led them to want to be female in their current lives. Yet, though dwelling in the flesh of the “softer” sex, their internal programming remained sexually attracted to women.
This perspective gave deeper meaning to Beth’s understanding of her own gender identity and enhanced her love for Jodi even more. Beth’s experience served to more fully confirm the real and inextricable interplay between the forces of spirit, flesh and blood.
This area of exploration of human sexuality, gender, and reincarnation inspires broad speculation and deserves much more research. Are transsexuals souls who inhabited bodies of the opposite sex in so many past lives, their psyches just cannot adjust to inhabiting their current form? Did some of the courageous women who founded the feminist movement live as male members of ruling-classes in so many former lives, they found it intolerable to be relegated to second-class citizenship as females in the present? A good many other questions remain to be asked and answered.
While most of us are motivated to review our past lives for personal reasons rather than for humanitarian purposes, the latter is often an unexpected result. As we discover that we have lived as members of the opposite gender, we stop judging the opposite gender as superior or inferior, as we understand that they mirror to us the kind of person we once were, or may yet become.
Men and women need each other to be balanced. By accepting our opposite-gender-within we become whole of soul, with identities that transcend the psycho-social stereotypes of, or prejudices toward, either gender. Once we respect and appreciate our inherent human worth and dignity as trans-gender souls, true empathy will foster a state of compassionate spirituality on Earth as a precious stage upon which our characters are expressed, each life a new act in the grand play.