In my first class of transpersonal regression therapy my teacher asked me: “How sure are you that you are the I of today? How much of you is truly you?” I believe I took a long time to think and wonder about that question. But then, with every regression session I went on to have with her, I realized that in many of the ways I am as a personality, I was not actually the I of today. I was also not sure whether whatever extra I was, whether it was mine or not. And that is how I learned the central idea of transpersonal regression therapy.
The central tenet of regression work is to bring the present day personality in charge. For it is never that we are in the “here and now” of today. My behaviour, attitude, personality, symptoms, opinions, beliefs and ideas—all of them have a point of origin. And I, knowingly or unknowingly, am carrying it ahead without ever questioning whether it is mine or not. For example, most victims and survivors of rape or molestation go about their whole lives extremely ashamed and guilty of what happened to them. If we look at the event logically, it is the abuser, the rapist or the perpetrator who should have felt the guilt and the shame for whatever they did to their victims. But it happens the other way round, because energetically they dump their unfelt guilt and shame onto their victims. And the victims, unbeknownst to their own docility, pick them up and carry forward living tragic lives. In regression therapy, we take the person back to the point of trauma; not to re-traumatize them of course, but to help them energetically give back all of what they have picked up, and eventually take back everything that they lost in the event of trauma, absorb it, anchor it and integrate it.
Now as regression therapists, since we work with energy as well as the body, we also understand that it’s probably not the mind that is carrying the traumatic charges, but actually the cellular memories of the body. Each cell of the body has a memory of its own, and each of us have been carrying these memories, playing and replaying them in our lives again and again, until the trauma is resolved.
For example, I had a client who had come to me just after he’d got married, and upon the request of his wife he had started learning to drive. He was thirty-three when he came to me. Every time he would find himself at the steering wheel, he would begin to feel his feet going numb, his hands trembling with anxiety, his face turning pale and his heart would start pounding. For the longest time, he was totally unaware why that would happen to him. When he came to me, his first statement was: “I am not a fearful man. I don’t know why my body goes into this terribly scary state whenever I am about to hold the steering wheel.”
It was only in regression work that we found out that as a seven-year-old boy this man had gone out on a stroll with his father and was almost hit by a car. It was in that moment that his body went through shock. His legs froze, his hands trembled, his face turned pale and his heart started pounding. Before the regression session, my client was unaware of this memory since it had seeped into his subconscious, but through regression we could not only discover that young part of my client, but also heal the trauma. We all have similar younger versions of ourselves who probably are trapped in a time/energy capsule. In transpersonal regression our job is to find that particular part of us who is still trapped in trauma, and is interfering with the present day personality’s behaviour. We refer to these vulnerable and traumatized younger versions of ourselves as inner children. And inner-child integration therapy is the crux of all regression work.
A major portion of transpersonal regression therapy is also exploring past lives. However, it is questionable whether past lives exist or not. In fact most of my clients do ask me if whatever they saw was real or not. And as I always tell them: it doesn’t matter!
What matters is, whatever issue they came with—be it a psychosomatic knee pain, or the loss of a parent, or an unexplained phobia or say diseases like thyroiditis, fibromyalgia or even kidney stones—is whether or not it’s resolved after the sessions! Resolution may take time, but the idea behind seeing a past life is not just to see it or discover it or know that it exists. The idea is to go beyond the discovery, which means: explore it, go through the catharsis, understand the decisions, postulates and survival mechanisms you used in that lifetime, and also how you might be the victim of the same survival postulates and coping mechanisms even in your current life.
The idea is to find that exact connection to your present life and heal it. Also, whenever we connect past life “physical and emotional charges” to our present life, we end up finding an inner child. An inner child therefore is that connecting doorway from the present lifetime to the past lifetime. Because ultimately therapy is about putting the present-day personality in charge, bringing the present-day consciousness into the body and stop living in the past.
Human conflict, either in the form of emotions or in the form of disease, only happens when one is in the body of today and the consciousness is in the body of someplace else. Therefore it is through transpersonal regression that we intend to go back to those parts of ourselves which we have been carrying from someplace else—call it a past life or the collective unconscious. We discover them, we bring out catharsis and insight, we heal them and finally we integrate them. That’s how we become the “I” of today—by shedding off that which is not ours.