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Over the years, I heard clients blame everyone and everything for the issues they were dealing with in their lives, but they seldom considered the possibility that this was what they put into motion in their life-between-lives session. My thought was—if they knew that whatever issue they were working on was something they had carefully planned to become a part of their karmic journey in this life, wouldn’t they approach it from an entirely different perspective?
I have come to see that past-life work—and it is work—is one of the greatest learning tools we have. I discourage clients who come to me, if it’s merely out of curiosity. The purpose of understanding reincarnation is not to see how many prestigious lives you’ve led, but rather as a transformational tool for your current life. The irony is that past-life work is not about the past. It’s about the here and now and what we are setting up for future incarnations.
The Topic of Life-Between-Lives
Until recently, I did not think about pursuing the topic of life-between-lives in my regression research. I was aware that other notable researchers had done extensive research on that topic. However, being curious about how I could apply the life-between-life (LBL) sessions to my own practice, I decided to familiarize myself with existing research to see if those findings concurred with those revealed in sessions with my clients. More importantly, I wanted to see if they paralleled with the Edgar Cayce teachings.
With those goals as my benchmark, I was surprised at how often I read a statement that was contrary to what I had experienced or had come to know through the Cayce readings. I often found myself writing “NO!” next to some paragraphs, which took me aback because it was uncharacteristically arrogant of me to do so. Who was I to challenge these renowned experts? And yet, I couldn’t deny there was an unmistakable disconnect between much of what I was reading with what I had experienced in my thirty years of studying the Cayce material as part of my ongoing past-life research.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Cayce, he was a twentieth century psychic, renowned mystic, and medical clairvoyant who has been called “The Sleeping Prophet” and the “Father of Holistic Medicine.” Cayce gave over 14,000 readings while in an unconscious state, diagnosing illnesses and providing insights into past lives. The A.R.E. is the organization he founded in 1931 to help people transform their lives. I have been a part of the A.R.E. since 1987 and consider Edgar Cayce my greatest spiritual teacher.
Three Especially Misleading Ideas about Past Lives
In the books I read as background research, I found several statements that did not coincide with my experience or those of my clients. Of these, there were three that I found especially misleading.
First, the idea that souls are categorized into “young, new, or beginner souls” versus “old and advanced souls.”
The truth is, there is no such thing as an “Old Soul.” Cayce said all souls were created in the beginning and therefore at the same time. [Author’s Note: I would refer you to Cayce’s story of creation for more details on this fascinating topic]. Since all souls were created at the same time, in essence, we are all “old souls” because we’re all the same “age”—even though the concept of age or time doesn’t exist in spirit.
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People use the phrase “old soul” to apply to someone who seems wise beyond their years. Children especially get targeted with this proclamation when they display skills or say things that give them the appearance of someone much older than their chronological age. They don’t seem to be on the same wavelength as the majority of other souls around them, but instead are elevated to a position of a great sage.
Many of them appear as prodigies. Think of children who can play classical music at a very young age. While those souls are exceptional, they are not technically “old souls” just because they display that talent.
The whole idea of an “old soul” emanates from how many incarnations we have had. Those souls who have returned to the Earth to explore life in a physical body and all that it entails, have gathered a significant amount of wisdom in various areas of existence. Their multiple lives on Earth have enabled them to acquire experiences that are not available in spirit.
Through their various incarnations, they have dealt with issues surrounding good versus evil; love versus hatred; compassion versus apathy. They have been faced with relationship issues between lovers, family and friends. They have acquired skills, talents and abilities and followed multiple career paths. They have been exposed to intolerance in all areas of their life—religious, political, cultural. They have dealt with rejection and abandonment; power and weakness; kindness and selfishness.
The list of Earthly lessons goes on and on and these souls who have been returning here for thousands of years have taken “courses” in all these areas of study—thus giving them the appearance of being exceedingly wise.
I agree that there are souls that are exceedingly wise when compared to souls who have chosen to incarnate only on an occasional basis. Some souls who don’t incarnate that often may be considered pre-schoolers while others who return on a regular basis are at the PhD level of life. But that doesn’t mean any soul is “older” than the others. They’re just more experienced in the ways of an Earthly existence.
I like to call old souls, “slow learners,” because they come back over and over again, often repeating the same exact lesson as before. I know this from the regression work I’ve been doing for the last thirty years. Patterns are repeated over the course of many lifetimes until we “get it,” graduate and move on, putting what we’ve learned in our karmic bank accounts for application in a future life.
Second, the misleading idea that souls are not perfect.
In some material discussing various “tiers” of souls, some researchers refer to souls as “impure” and since they are not created perfect, their nature can be “contaminated” when in a physical body. Contaminated? Impure? What does that say about our Creator? Could perfection create anything less than perfection?
This viewpoint pulls the soul away from its true esoteric definition and back into the self-serving teachings of religious institutions that tell us we are born evil and must be “saved” in order to enjoy the kingdom of heaven.
The journey we are on as souls is to remember who we are—part of the oneness with each other that emanates from our Creator. The experiences of the soul when in a human body may give the impression that perfection is out of reach, but that is an illusion.
And third, the erroneous idea that souls who have committed heinous acts were not permitted to return.
Are souls who are involved with truly evil acts considered at a lower level of development? Are they destined to continue that destructive pattern lifetime after lifetime? To avoid that, are they sent into a place of spiritual isolation where they are under close supervision? That doesn’t make sense, especially when you consider that the evil perpetuated by a particular soul is the result of its karma from a prior lifetime.
That soul has the right to balance its karma by designing a life in which that soul would reap what it had sewn.
Isolating that soul and not allowing it to return does nothing to further that soul’s development. There aren’t spiritual purgatories or worse, spiritual hells. We aren’t sent to a penal colony on another planet to learn to be good little souls. We stay right here on Earth.
Edgar Cayce said whatever is begun on the Earth has to be finished on the Earth. And so it is.
Challenges of This Research Study
In reviewing the work of other researchers, I found several areas that I knew would be difficult to integrate into my project. For instance, one researcher’s custom was to move subjects into their most immediate past life before entering spirit world.
That is all is well and good, but my goal was to enable the soul of my subject to take them to the lifetime that was most impacting them now. The volunteers in my research project went back to lifetimes that were sometimes thousands of years apart, from as early as right before the destruction of Atlantis up to the 1940s. These individuals often had multiple lifetimes between the one their soul was showing them in the regression and the one they were living now.
We don’t work on our karmic path chronologically or linearly. It isn’t a straight, steady, upward growth line. We skip around, choosing specific lives to deal with specific issues. Sooner or later, they all have to be addressed, but when and how is totally up to us.
Therefore, the life-between-lives session that my volunteers experienced prior to this life may not have been based on their experiences in their most immediate past life at all, but rather on something that happened thousands of years earlier.
In order to access that ancient past life and then seamlessly bring each person through their most recent LBL session in which they decided to work on those old karmic issues, I moved them back through the years of their current life, taking them to significant events when they were twenty-one, ten and two years of age before moving them into their infant body, then into their mother’s womb, and then back to being in spirit immediately prior to this life. This enabled me to guide them to the life-between-lives session where they reviewed events from the past life that spirit had just showed them—the life having the most impact on them now—so they could see how decisions made while in spirit became the blueprint for their current life.
The other challenge of the project had to do with the way I worded my script. I wanted open-ended questions that they could reject or pursue, so instead of saying something such as, “Before you is a Gateway or Welcoming Station,” I would ask, “Do you see something that resembles a Gateway or Welcoming Station?” The former question would put pressure on them to manufacture a Gateway so they could follow my line of questioning, whereas the latter question gave them the opportunity to say “yes” or “no” and we would go on from there.
Rapport between client and therapist is essential and I have had many clients who attribute the success of their experience to the feeling of being safe, protected and with someone who understands their anxiety and offers reassurance throughout the process. To heighten that sense of comfort, saying a prayer of protection and surrounding them with a protective shield enabled them to go into the session calmly and confidently.
Is It Just My Imagination?
One of the main concerns of my research volunteers, as well as my clients, is the fear that the information they provide would come from their imagination rather than their soul. I addressed this by reassuring them that what their soul shows them is real, as they would be incapable of giving me false answers while under hypnosis. They may misinterpret something, but that’s something we discuss once the session is over and they get a better perspective on what they just experienced.
Emotions cannot be faked during hypnosis because you cannot relate to something that doesn’t ring true for you. Those who burst into tears, yell and scream, or laugh uncontrollably, are reliving the emotion felt in real time. That emotion validates the experience in ways nothing else does.
For my regular clients, if they are still doubtful about what they would or did tell me during the session, I ask whether prior to coming to my office they intended to deceive me with an off-the-wall story and then pay me for the pleasure of listening? Of course, they laugh and say no. But just to be sure, at the end of the session I ask again if they would have made up a story like that—especially one in which there was considerable pain and suffering. Again, the answer is a resounding no!
Learning About the Death Experience
From my perspective, I was most interested in hearing about the actual death experience. I hoped my research would establish a sense of consistency in what my subjects reported because if it did, that would give the greatest comfort to those who are anxious about dying. Questions like—what did it feel like to die; what was the process of going into spirit world; who was there to greet you; what did the spirit world look like, etc. were meant to offer an opportunity for individuals to recount what they saw or heard in such a way as to find commonality among the other volunteers.
I was amazed at how many of them used similar words in describing their surroundings and experiences. If the unconscious memories from a diverse group of souls created similar scenarios, then much like those who relate a near-death experience, fears of the afterlife would subside because we would know what to expect based on the common experiences of others.
My goal with this life-between-lives research project was to enable my participants to get a greater sense of the true version of who they are. Gaining the understanding that only a past-life regression can provide, clients are led into a greater insight into their authentic selves. By seeing who they really are and why they are here, they are empowered and enlightened to pursue their soul’s mission in a way they could not foresee prior to the session.
Knowing who you really are on soul level is the greatest confidence booster I know of. No single past life is more or less important than another, for each is part of a mosaic that when completed, reveals the soul’s immortal character and the divine order that holds us one to the other.
©2020 by Joanne DiMaggio. All Rights Reserved.
Excerpted with permission of the publisher,
Balboa Press, a divn. of Hay House.
I Did It To Myself...Again! New Life-Between-Lives Case Studies Show How Your Soul's Contract is Guiding Your Life
by Joanne DiMaggio.
What does it feel like to die? What does the afterlife look like? Who are the Council of Elders and how do they assist in planning your next life? Who are members of your soul family and what role did they play in your past lives as well as in your current life? What are the karmic issues and attributes you brought into this life? Using past-life regression to identify a significant former life, followed by an exploration of the afterlife to experience the pre-life planning session for this life, this book answers the most commonly asked questions about death and rebirth. Follow the karmic journey of 25 volunteers as they come to understand their soul’s purpose and their role in designing their present life. In thinking about your life, you will discover that you did, indeed, do it to yourself for the greatest reason of all—your soul’s growth.
For more info, or to order this book, click here. (Also available as a Kindle edition.)
About the Author
Joanne DiMaggio had a long career in marketing and public relations before pursuing a very successful freelance writing career. She has had hundreds of feature articles published in national and local newspapers, magazines, and websites. In 1987 she became actively involved with Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.). She moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1995 and became Coordinator for the A.R.E. Charlottesville area in 2008. She earned her Masters in Transpersonal Studies degree through Atlantic University (AU). Her thesis was on inspirational writing and served as the basis of her book, "Soul Writing: Conversing With Your Higher Self." She leads workshops on the subject of soul writing to audiences across the country; has taught the process in a month-long online course through AU; and has been a guest on numerous radio programs. Using soul writing, she produced a small line of greeting cards called Spirit Song.