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Articles

Entropy and the Structure of Time – David P. Armentrout (Is.16)

David P. Armentrout, Ph.D. The author, new to the Journal’s pages, writes “I was prompted to write this after hearing Joe Costa’s remarks about his view of time and his own regressions, made during the panel discussion at the APRT Phoenix Convention [Fall, 1998).” David has extended Joe’s ideas “a bit,” but concludes “I think Joe Costa’s guides have as good a practical explanation as I have otherwise heard, and I have tried to do them justice.” He extends Joe’s model to incorporate the findings of quantum physics regarding space and time and the infinite possibilities of the universe. Introduction The issue of time has never really been wholly resolved. We know that in memory we have access to everything that has happened. We know that in some cases people can accurately view the future. These ideas suggest existentially static views of time. We also know that our experience is

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Researching Past Lives: Facts or Subjective Experience? – Wade Bettis (Is.16)

 Wade Bettis, J.D. The author asks; “What is the best way to examine past-life regressions?” He discusses in depth two careful studies; Venn (1986) and Tarazi (1997). Although these studies are impressive, Bettis finds them both incomplete in the lack of value placed on the subjective experience of the clients. Only the factual data was analyzed. Bettis suggests that more sensitive methodologies would have revealed the deeper meanings to the clients of their past-life narratives. Introduction The question of whether or not the past lives that people produce in altered states of consciousness are real reincarnation memories or fantasies is an intriguing one and has not been answered yet. One common approach to the question is to research the factual material given in the past life for accuracy. Most clients do not give enough factual material to make this sort of research possible, or the lives they report are so

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Portals to the Psyche: Spirit Involvement – Isa Gucciardi (Is.16)

Isa Gucciardi, Ph.D. Dr. Gucciardi examines the conflicts between western “scientific” approaches to Dissociative Disorders (DD) and those of shamans and today’s spirit releasement approaches. She recommends that the task of therapists working with DD is to let their clients lead the way to “their own maps of their own psyches,” whatever that map might contain, because it is only there that healing can occur. Dr Gucciardi appeared in last year’s Journal. Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), now called Dissociative Disorder (DD), has only recently been recognized as a separate disorder within the field of modern western psychology. When Freud’s theories reigned supreme in this field, most cases of dissociative disorders were misdiagnosed as schizophrenia. In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) officially established the legitimacy of multiple personality disorders and defined a separate diagnostic category for dissociative disorders. Since that time, there has been increasing research and clarification of the

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Bridges to the Unconscious Living Images: A Case Study – Zelda G. Knight (Is.16)

Zelda G. Knight, Ph.D. In 1995, Dr. David Edwards presented an article in the Journal in which he discussed the case of “Marian” and her processes of healing and growth through spiritual emergence (Edwards, 1995a). From the perspective of transpersonal psychology, Dr. Edwards’ colleague, Dr. Zelda Knight, now adds to our knowledge of “Marian,” focusing on two of her past lives that involved traumatic sacred initiation rites and the effect they have had on her insights and growth. On page 99 of this issue of the Journal, Dr. Janet Cunningham discusses similar difficult initiation rites, those of the ancient Egyptians. Introduction Transpersonal psychology has developed a particular approach to psychotherapy – transpersonal psychotherapy – which seeks to incorporate and expand upon the assumptions and methods of traditional mainstream psychotherapy. Its principle assertion is that the experiences of non-ordinary states of consciousness – transpersonal experiences – have healing potential. Collectively, such

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“And if the Body were not the Soul, What is the Soul?” – Dianne Seaman (Is.16)

Dianne Seaman Dianne Seaman is no stranger to the Journal’s pages. Her article in last year’s Journal was a discussion of the relationships between astrology and the “new” physics, and she was invited to continue those explorations for this issue. However, as she says, synchronicity happens, and the personal experiences she shares with us below took center stage. Dianne has given us a heartening account of those experiences, and the good people who “happened” to come into her life when she needed them, to help her heal. “And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?” I chose this quote from Walt Whitman’s “I Sing the Body Electric” for the title because it so succinctly captures the main theme of this article: The interpenetration of the body by the spirit and the subsequent role past-life therapy can play in physical healing. A secondary concept, which explores the

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What’s in a Word? – Henry Leo Bolduc (Is.16)

Henry Leo Bolduc Henry Leo Bolduc returns to the Journal’s pages with some wise advice about the uses of language in hypnosis. Although he focuses his remarks on hypnosis, his special field, all that he says can be applied to working with any altered state of consciousness, no matter what it may be called. We, as hypnotherapists, are involved in a unique profession with vast opportunities. However, some of the terms used in the field of hypnosis itself might be misinterpreted by the public. How do we maximize our field’s therapeutic strengths while minimizing memories of the vaudeville era? Our professional language is in dire need of renovation. Many words and phrases employed by hypnotists in past decades are now outdated, and often misleading. Some of our new terms are just as ambiguous—and just as misleading. As simplicity is considered the cornerstone of honesty, we should arrive at straightforward terms

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From Shiloh to Saigon: Treating the “Nonbeliever” – Thomas G. Shafer (Is.16)

Thomas G. Shafer, M.D. Multiple sources have said that belief in past lives is not a prerequisite for successful regression therapy. But exactly how do we use past-life therapy with the “nonbeliever?” The author, the Journal’s new Associate Editor Thomas Shafer, presents a case of a man who improved after exploration of past-life type dreams even though his religious tradition prohibited any belief in reincarnation or any work in altered states of consciousness. (Author’s note: This is a case from my psychiatry practice but names and identifying details have been altered to protect confidentiality.)  George M. was a 49-year-old white male US Marine Corps Vietnam combat veteran who presented to my office at the US Veteran’s Administration on referral from his internist. He complained that he had adjusted well after the war until recently, but now “was going crazy” and “can’t deal with it.” George had an unremarkable childhood history,

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Reframing: The Magic of Change – Tibor Magyar (Is.16)

Tibor Magyar, Ph.D. (aka Russell C. Davis, Ph.D.) Reframing is a simple but potent technique that may be used by a therapist to gain resolution to “unfinished” issues which continue to traumatize a client/patient. Although the term “reframing” came into the vocabulary of therapists through the work of Bandler and Grinder in the late 1970s and early 80s, the author points out that the technique itself actually was being used in some form or other much earlier. One example cited involved the use of reframing by a Veterans Administration therapist who was using this technique when working with Vietnam veterans who were hospitalized for PTSD. The Magic of Words Of all the words of tongue or pen, none is more sad than these: “It might have been.” There is magic in words and their meanings. With the exception of English, most of the world’s major languages still retain a full

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Past-Life and Interlife Reports of Phobic People: Patterns and Outcome -Thelma B. Freedman (Is.15)

Thelma B. Freedman, Ph.D. Saybrook Institute, 1997 In a study of 37 participants with 81 phobias between them, hypnotically-facilitated past-life and/or interlife reports of people with simple and social phobias and/or agoraphobia were examined when the participant’s “Upper Mind” in hypnosis said they were causal of the phobias. Also, earlier experiences in some participants’ (present) lives that they reported in hypnosis as causal of their phobias were examined. Three participants with 11 phobias between them were unable to reach the required levels of hypnosis, and received no deliberate treatment. Their phobias became an ad hoc control group for Research Question Two. Because many participants suffered from more than one phobia, sometimes of different types, for purposes of analysis the phobias themselves were used as the units of study rather than the participants. Two research questions guided the study: 1) Were there any significantly phobia-differentiating patterns in the phobia-related past-life or

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A Phenomenological Study of Post-Modern Transpersonal and Spiritual Experiences with Quantitative Survey and Case Study Interviews – Janet Cunningham (Is.15)

Janet Cunningham, Ph.D. Walden University, 1997 The phrase “transpersonal and spiritual experiences” refers to the sense of identity of the self extending beyond the personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche, or cosmos. Western scientific exploration of such experiences has been nearly nonexistent, due primarily to the currently accepted scientific paradigm. But a study of the psyche that fails to deal with the transpersonal and spiritual realms is, by definition, unscientific in that it fails to take into account, or even to report, a large body of phenomena. All participants in this study were healthy, well-functioning adults. The study had two foci: first, to discover if people who claim to have had spontaneous transpersonal and/or spiritual experiences could be identified and validated by an instrument developed to empirically measure perceived mystical experience (Hood Mysticism Scale). The question was: Is there is a significant difference between them (Group C)

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EXPERIENCES. Regression by Self-Hypnosis: A Warning – Luciane Lopes de Mello (Is.15)

This articles describes some personal experiences of the author. Luciane Lopes de Mello warns of some of the dangers for untrained people in using a self-hypnosis tape to access past lives. I: Regression by Self-Hypnosis: A Warning Luciane Lopes de Mello I have been practicing different kinds of meditation for years, and I have never had problems or experienced resistance with it. Meditation has always been helpful to me, and I have gotten good results with it. So I decided to try regression with a self-hypnosis tape, which I myself had recorded. There was one particular problem I wanted to examine by regressing to my past lives: a troublesome relationship with a man, whom I shall call “M.” is a nervous, intense, emotional person. He gets hurt easily, and works very hard, because even though his family is well-off he is terrified of becoming poor. I had met him two

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Healing Through Time: Reconnecting with an Old Foe – Isa Gucciardi (Is.15)

Isa Gucciardi, M.A., C.Ht. Isa Gucciardi describes combining hypnosis, past-life therapy, depossession/entity release, and soul retrieval in the treatment of a client. She suggests that combining these modalities as needed can get better results than using only one or two alone. My work as a hypnotherapist takes me to many times and places in my clients’ psyches. I use many tools to help people discover the origin of the problems they come to me for help with. My work is inspired by some of the studies that Irene Hickman, Edith Fiore, William Baldwin and Michael Harner have presented on spirit depossession, past-life regressions and soul retrieval, but I have found that most sessions do not confine themselves into the neat patterns which these researchers have delineated. After listening to a client’s description of the problem, I never try to second-guess the cause of a particular presenting symptom, nor do I

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A New Understanding of Reincarnation through Past-Life Recall – Rabia Lynn Clark (Is.15)

Rabia Lynn Clark, Ph.D. Rabia Clark briefly discusses cultural and religious reincarnation beliefs and examines what past-life therapists say they have found in past-life therapy as well as what Stevenson has found in his researches into the spontaneous past-life memories of children. Reincarnation is a belief found in many cultures and religions: Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Sufi, Huna, and others. But recent past-life memories have brought us to a new understanding about reincarnation. The work of Ian Stevenson, M.D., and the relatively new field of past-life therapy have both made contributions in confirming some old beliefs while adding new insights. Concepts about an afterlife and reincarnation are very diverse in different religions and cultures. They offer models to deal with the eternal questions of death, grief at the loss of a loved one, and the meaningfulness and purpose of life. Millions of people base their everyday lives on their understanding

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Past-Life Therapy, Astrology, and the New Quantum and Space-Time Physics – Dianne Seaman (Is.15)

Dianne Seaman, B.S., C.P.L.T. Dianne Seaman explores possible relationships between astrology, the new physics of quanta and space-time, past-life phenomena, and transpersonal experiences. As she notes in her article, her explorations raise more questions than can be answered, but her findings are provocative and she links these areas together thoughtfully. Astrology, quantum physics and past-life phenomena are all complex subjects in and of themselves. Here I am attempting to show links among all three and how a more thorough understanding of each can be gained from exploring the other two – an even more complex undertaking. I am coming to realize that this is a lifelong project, and as I delve deeper into these matters, more questions are raised than answered. Astrology is a symbolic language of energy and cyclical time. The past-life phenomenon addresses a subjective experience of simultaneous (non-linear) time. According to Dr. Avshalom Elitzer, a physics professor

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Where Hard and Soft Sciences Meet: The Meeting of Science and Metaphysics – Paul James (Is.15)

Paul James This author examines, from an essentialist perspective, what must be involved if we are to have a “theory of everything.” This would include a meeting of the hard and soft sciences, or as Willis Harman put it, “the meeting of science and metaphysics.” James quotes Jared Diamond: “As to the relative importance of hard and soft science for humanity’s future, there can be no comparison…Our survival depends on whether we progress with understanding how people behave” (Diamond, 1987). This article is dedicated to the late Willis Harman for his outstanding contributions and incomparable leadership during his 19 years as President of The Institute of Noetic Sciences. “A theory of everything”! No theory could strike a more all-inclusive arc. The questions, then, become: Where and when will a theory be found that includes the unification of the hard and soft sciences? Or, as Wilber (1996) asks, “How close are

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The Other Eastern Religion: Reincarnation in Modern Jewish Thought – Thomas G. Shafer (Is.15)

Thomas G. Shafer, M.D. Dr. Shafer, a psychiatrist, addresses potential difficulties Jewish and Christian clients and patients may have dealing with the possibility of reincarnation suggested by past-life therapy. He surveys past and modern Jewish concepts of Gilgul or reincarnation and posits that this belief system may make PLT more acceptable to clients from strictly monotheistic religious traditions. I’ve been personally active in past-life regression therapy for a little more than a year. I find it a fascinating and highly effective modality, but in our Judaeo-Christian Western culture there is one major problem: the underlying concept. Survival after death is, of course, a commonly held belief. But what do we do with survival before birth? This implies some form of transmigration or reincarnation of souls, which is a totally foreign concept to our Judaeo-Christian tradition. Or is it? Multiple authors, including Drs. Raymond Moody (1992) and Brian Weiss (1988, 1992),

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The Client, the Therapist, and the Ethical Use of Language – Tibor Magyar (Is.15)

Tibor Magyar, Ph.D. In this article, the author calls to the therapist/reader’s attention the importance of language in the therapeutic process and presents the reader with a series of timely suggestions, caveats and admonishments for the practice of past-life therapy. There is a magic in words. Language has power. Every word has at least three meanings: connotative, denotative, and stipulative. Beyond the dictionary definition, each word is also defined by current usage and the experience/value system/understanding of the user and the receiver. To add further complexity, it is not only what is said, but how it is said. Ultimately, it is also what has not been said. According to Davis (1994) these are the three vital dimensions of any verbal message. As therapists we are often fond of referring to the so-called medical model. It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss whether or not the medical model

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The Trans-Gender Soul – Amy Shapiro (Is.15)

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

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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

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A Study of Spirit Releasement Therapy for Individuals Who Believe They are Involuntarily Possessed – Jacqueline Whitmore (Is.15)

Jacqueline Whitmore, Ph.D. Saybrook Institute, 1995 Although there have been many definitions and little agreement as to what constitutes “possession,” for the purposes of this study possession was defined as “a subjective belief in the involuntary, non-culturally and non-religiously sanctioned, undesirable influence by an outside entity such as a spirit, power, deity, or other person.” The participants were twenty-two healthy, basically well-functioning adults who had chosen to experience Spirit Releasement Therapy (SRT) because they had come to believe that they were possessed. The researcher was not the SRT therapist, but had the therapist’s full cooperation. Before SRT, 24 hours after SRT, and one month or more after SRT, participants were interviewed and completed pre- and post-treatment measures: the Hardiness Scale, a Semantic Differential Scale, the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES), and the Conversion Hysteria Scale (Scale 3) of the MMPI-2. The research questions were: 1) Will these individuals perceive differences in

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