My heart, sit only with those
who know and understand you.
Sit only under a tree
that is full of blossoms.
In the bazaar of herbs and potions
don't wander aimlessly
find the shop with a potion that is sweet
If you don't have a measure
people will rob you in no time.
You will take counterfeit coins
thinking they are real.
Don't fill your bowl with food from
every boiling pot you see.
Not every joke is humorous, so don't search
for meaning where there isn't one.
Not every eye can see,
not every sea is full of pearls.
My hart, sing the song of longing
The sound of your voice casts a spell
on every stone, on every thorn.
First, lay down your head
then one by one
let go of all distractions.
Embrace the light and let it guide you
beyond the winds of desire.
There you will find a spring and nourished by its see waters
like a tree you will bear fruit forever.
Rumi: The Hidden Music
by Maryam Mafi & Azima Melita Kolin
The phenomenon of past life regression, has been one of considerable controversy ever since its inception. I am not here to make arguments for, or against any beliefs on this matter, but instead I prefer to remain open to the possibility and the wonderfully easy way that everyone can experiment for themselves using hypnosis.
Age regression is defined as an intensified absorption in and utilization of memory. Age regression techniques involve either guiding the client back in time to some experience in order to re-experience it (called "revivification") as if it were happening in the here-and-now, or simply having the person remember the experience as vividly as possible *called "hypermnesia"). In revivification, the client is immersed in the experience, reliving it in a close parallel to the way the memory was incorporated at the time it actually happened. In hypermnesia, the person is in the present while simultaneously recalling vividly the details of the memory.
Most people have an intuitive understanding of how profoundly our previous experiences affect our current thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Certainly, psychology has amassed vast amounts of information to substantiate the point. Consequently, age regression is one of the most widely used hypnotic patterns in therapeutic work. Age regression as a clinical technique provides an opportunity to go back in time, whether it be into the recent or distant past, in order to recall forgotten memories of significant events that can serve to help redefine one's view of oneself, or to "work through" old memories in order to reach new and more adaptive conclusions. Memory is a process, not an event. Memory is based on subjective perception, and is therefore malleable and dynamic. Memories can change in quality over time, as new experiences mingle with and affect older ones. Memories can be influenced intentionally or unintentionally because of their subjective and suggestible nature.
In defining age regression as the intense absorption in and utilization of memory, the everyday aspects of age regression can become apparent, for people drift into memories routinely. If a song associated with a high school sweetheart comes on the radio, the listener can become absorbed in that person's memory and recall vividly things they did together and events taking place in their lives at that time. For a period of time, the rest of the world fades from awareness while the person is deeply internally absorbed and focused on memories, even re-experiencing profoundly the feelings from that time in his or her life.
Age regression is as commonplace as that kind of experience. Any cue that triggers the person to go back in time to remember or relive some event is stimulating "spontaneous age regression." Looking at photographs, hearing a certain song, seeing an old friend, and re-experiencing a feeling not felt in a long time are all examples of routine age regressions.
Age regressions can be structured to engage someone deliberately in some memory that seems to have relevance to the symptoms the person is experiencing. People literally define themselves according to their memories, especially those memories that are of highly charged significant emotional events. Many symptoms do, in fact,arise because of how people have interpreted the meaning of past events, and so exploring and addressing memories often becomes a critical part of treatment.
In using age regression clinically, at least two general strategies can e employed, each giving rise to a variety of specific techniques. The first general strategy concerns the use of age regression to go back to negative, or even traumatic kinds of experiences. The intention is to allow the client to explore the event(s), release pent-up feelings ("catharsis") while simultaneously providing new ways of looking at that situation ("reframing") that may help him or her release or redefine whatever negative influences from that experience may still be affecting his or her life. In this strategy, either revivification or hypermnesia may be employed, depending on the clinician's judgment as to how immersed in or distant from the experience the client can be in order to receive maximum benefit. For example, if a client felt rejected by his or her mother, and feels worthless as a result, the clinician may want to take the client back in time through revivification to relive one or more of the interactions critical in developing that feeling. This could be done by helping him or her to relive the feelings and re-experience the sights and sounds of that event while supporting him or her in expressing those feelings. Then, the clinician can focus him or her on dimensions of that experience previously not consciously attended to by him or her. By adding new understandings and insights to the old memory, one can help the client to re-shape the memory. Maybe the client can be encouraged to feel loved and cared for by a mother who was, perhaps, guilty of nothing more than expressing her affection in a distant way (or not at all) because of her own emotional limitations, rather than because of the daughter's presumed lack of worthiness.
Reaching a new conclusion about an old experience can change your feeling about yourself quite dramatically. Having the client immersed in the experience allows for its powerful emotional impact. In contrast, if one were working with a woman who had the terrible experience of being raped, putting her back in that intense situation through revivification is generally an undesirable alternative. She may be better helped through the more psychologically distant technique of hypermnesia. In this approach, she can safely be in the here-and-now while working through the trauma of the past.
The second general strategy of age regression is one of accessing and amplifying client resources, and is compatible with and easily integrated with the first. The strategy involves identifying and making use of specific problem-solving abilities the client has demonstrated in past situations but is not currently using, unfortunately to his or her own detriment. Often, the client has positive abilities he or she doesn't recognize, and because he or she doesn't have an awareness for them and a means to access them, they lie dormant. In using age regression, the clinician can help the client recover his or her own past personal experience the very abilities that will allow him or her to manage the current situation in a more adaptive way. For example, if someone were complaining of difficulty in learning something new, the clinician might guide the person back in time to a variety of past experiences of initially feeling frustrated in learning something and then showing how each frustration eventually led to mastery of that information and greater self-confidence in that area. Learning to get dressed, to read and write, to drive a car, and countless other experiences all started out being intimidating new experiences and later became routine, automatic abilities. Immersing the client in the experience of the satisfaction of mastering learnings that once seemed difficult can help him or her build a more positive attitude.
Any pattern of suggestion that helps the client subjectively experience going back in time is an approach to age regression.