By Rhonda Leifheit
Our souls are on an evolutionary journey towards spiritual awakening. Just as our past life choices affect our present lives, the choices we make now are creating our future. The seeds we are currently planting contribute to both the “near future” of this life and the “distant future” of our next incarnation. These seeds consist of our thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions. From life to life, we carry the wisdom of lessons learned and those karmic lessons we have yet to learn. The soul’s journey is a heroic adventure to self-actualization.
In a recent lecture I gave on reincarnation, a participant shared reading a story about a couple who had been together in twelve lifetimes. In each life, one had killed the other in some futile attempt at retribution. Another woman asked why in the world people would do that! My response was simply that “hate binds us every bit as much as love”. “Well”, she said, “that’s the best reason I’ve heard yet to work out my problems with my brother. I don’t want to continue this into my next life!” In an instant she took in the story’s meaning and its application to her life.
I hear this type of comment often as people begin to grasp the concepts of reincarnation and karma. It has been said that, “If everyone takes an eye for an eye we will all end up blind”. If we do not change our patterns, they will persist. We change patterns through exercising our free will--our mental muscle for change. Fortunately we live in a time and place where we have a wealth of spiritual practices, healers, and wise teachers that can facilitate positive change. We also have the freedom to follow our chosen path to the Divine, by whatever name.
Is it possible to see the future? While the future is malleable (we all have free will) we can indeed see where our strong tendencies will lead us. Such insights are especially accessible to us in an altered state such as hypnosis or meditation. When we do see the future, how do we know we’re not making it up? Perhaps the best answer is the one given for past life exploration: if the insights we receive bring healing, self-correction, greater compassion and soul growth, does it matter where in our consciousness the information originates? It’s the end result that’s important.
The following example from Same Soul, Many Bodies by Dr. Brian Weiss, illustrates the usefulness of future life exploration. A client named David was experiencing deep unhappiness. By all external standards he felt he should be happy. He was an attorney in a respected firm and was married to a wonderful woman. He had ample money for a lavish home and travel. Yet he found no joy, no purpose in his life. In his past life regression, he relived a purposeful life as a nun working in a hospital and attending to a sickly orphan girl. Before dying, the girl expressed profound gratitude to the nun, “You came into my life and brought me peace. You made me happy.” This inspired the nun to redouble her efforts to give hope and comfort to many others. (185).
After a series of past life regressions (where David was again of service, although sometimes overwhelmed and discouraged) Dr. Weiss helped him progress to some future lives. (Weiss sometimes guides clients to explore potential lifetimes to see what results different choices might bring.) In one of these “futures” he was aware of damaging effects globally by abuse of the earth’s resources. He saw himself working with others to restore ecological balance through advanced spiritual techniques (Weiss 192).
Through these explorations David discovered what would give his current life meaning and purpose. “He quit his father’s firm and returned to Harvard to study environmental law. He felt he had to oppose the deleterious effects of certain big business practices—many of which his former firm defended—so that he could alter the future for the better” (Weiss 193). Thus he took hold of his future in this life, which also meant he was doing what he could to insure a more fulfilling future life.
This story illustrates what may be the most important aspect of this work: future progression can have profound benefits in the present. It gives us a bird’s eye view. When we are so close to our situations (or enmeshed in our patterns of relationships, thoughts and emotions) it is difficult to see things any other way. The use of hypnosis lifts our consciousness to “cloud heights”, from which we can tap into the higher wisdom of our divine nature.
It is similar to the process of past life exploration, which allows us to see the elegance of karma, the longing of the soul for wholeness (holiness), and the joy of understanding the gifts and opportunities that each lifetime holds. Reincarnation reminds us that soul growth is on going. Those spiritual concepts that we did not fully comprehend in our past lives are our soul’s curriculum in this life. And what we don’t fully understand this time becomes our soul’s curriculum for the next life. We also carry within us the strengths gained through kindness and service.
Karma reminds us that we are always meeting ourselves. We have a hand in creation by the choices we make. Some of these choices draw us closer to the Divine and the divinity within. These are choices of the heart: patience, compassion, and forgiveness. Other choices result in feelings of separation, isolation and pain. These are choices of the ego: control, fear, and bitterness. To be patient with ourselves in the process is to achieve the clarity of “cloud heights”. Having insights to our future can enrich our present; the wisdom of our past can guide us toward a richer life today and in our future.
Weiss, Brian L. Same Soul, Many Bodies: Discover the Healing Power of Future Lives Through Progression Therapy. New York: Free Press, 2004.
First published in Pathfinder News January 2006
© 2006 Rhonda Leifheit – All Rights Reserved