Past lifetime regression is e technique, that uses a mild form of hypnosis, to “recall” memories of past incarnations of the soul. During regression a person, depending on their leading sense or degree of intuitiveness, may have different sensory sensations such as images, sounds, smells, or just intuitive knowledge about the past lifetime. In these spontaneous, sensory experiences, one could find the root of one’s fears, answer questions about relationships, or find the cause of repetitive patterns of behavior and problems in the present life. Regression is commonly used as a means of achieving a spiritual experience and / or as part of a psychotherapeutic work. The name regression comes from the Latin word regressionem and means going back. It happens through a deep relaxation, that aims to relax the body and weaken the control of the rational mind, by “adjusting” the brain waves on the frequency, observed during active sleeping, known also as the REM (rapid eye movement) phase. More often than during any other phase, the dreams that occur happen to connect to the more conscious levels of the psyche and accordingly to the human memory, which is why these dreams could be reproduced in an awake state. In comparison, the dream waves with even lower frequency, are characteristic of the deep sleep phase, when there is no connection with the conscious psyche and for this reason, it does leave any traces in the active memory of the dreamer.
Even though, some consider the past lifetime regression to be more of a guided meditation there is a tiny element of hypnosis, because the therapist guides the whole process, starting from the relaxation right to the end of the regression. The guiding voice of the therapist aims to help the person calm down the mind and relax the body, and afterwards to take off their soul to the relevant past lifetime, where together they could explore that reincarnation. Significant for a past lifetime regression are not only the experience and the attitude of the therapist, but also their ability to formulate together a particular request for the regression, because very often the person could not do it all alone and needs the therapists help. From my personal observations, I find a connection between the intensity of the regression and the accuracy in formulating the request. When a person is just curious and is not focused in e certain direction, quite often, but certainly not always, the images, sounds and the whole sensory information during a past lifetime regression, looks somewhat fragmented and in pieces for the person. As if the conscious mind is unable to make connections among the different elements, so that they could arrange them like successive images in time, so that they could tell one or several different stories. On the other hand, this depends on the overall level of being conscious, in other words, whether the person has built a good connection between their conscious and unconscious psyche.
Best-case scenario, the spontaneous images, sounds, smells, sensations, feelings or just knowledge, coming from the unconscious are being defined by the conscious mind and then used to composed one whole picture. Each of these inner connections gives a person the possibility to illuminate and recognize parts of themselves, becoming more whole and authentic. Such an experience has the potential to reveal the roots of our fears or the problems that we encounter in the relationships with other people and with our own self, as well as to give answers regarding repetitive patterns of behavior, that we are struggling to change. The more a person works towards strengthening the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious part of the psyche, the richer the material and greater the effect of their past lifetime regressions would be.
Like the regression, dreams are independent, spontaneous manifestations of the unconscious or fragments of involuntary mental activity, appearing in the form of images, feelings, sensations and thoughts (knowledge). They aim to present the current situation of the psyche from the point of view of the unconscious, as they could reveal material that complements, compensates or conflicts with the conscious attitude of a person towards a given situation. Dreams have the potential to change completely a person’s attitude, through the balancing function they have in relation to the conscious. This happens because the unconscious is infinite, omniscient, and it itself contains the consciousness, which in turn is built by illuminating and integrating unconscious parts. Just as a person could not stay focused for too long, one could not be conscious for a long period of time without getting tired and then immediately “fall” into the unconscious again. The fact is that we live a large part of our lives there, whether while we are sleeping or when we say and do things without knowing the specific reason for it.
Dreams, just like regression, have the ability to talk about things we do not remember anymore, such as childhood, as well as about things that are yet to happen, like the progression that is an alternative to the past lifetime regression but aimed at the future. This happens because the human memory has limited access to the unconscious, which in turn contains all the information about everything that has happened to us in the present and past lifetimes and much of the things that are about to happen – the so-called prognostic dreams. The reason for this phenomenon lies in the fact that the unconscious has no temporal dimension, and that is why very often the things we see in dreams or regressions seem too incomprehensible to us and we start struggling to make a connection between the different elements and set them chronologically and logically over time. On the other hand, in а regression, the human soul alone decides how much the conscious ego is capable of assimilating the experience during regression, and which elements are more important than others. For the same reason, some elements are experienced or seen brighter than others, not to mention a large part of the overall picture, which is totally lacking, as it may not be important or our conscious ego is still not ready to assimilate it. Similarly, in dreams we encounter a specific set of elements that can be distinguished by their color, form, or sensation that they leave in us.
Despite the many similarities between regressions and dreams, due to their common origin – the unconscious, there are two basic differences between them. The first is the intention or the so-called pre-request in a past lifetime regression. Another major difference is the participation of an “outsider” – the guide or the therapist, who is leading the whole process. These two elements turn the regression into a more conscious and therefore purposeful process. The presence of an “outsider” in the regression, who has been trusted to lead the process and make sure the client feels protected in order to calmly explore their past incarnation, contributes to the even greater therapeutic impact on the individual. It is important to emphasize that dreams themselves also do have a therapeutic or healing effect, even sometimes without consciously understanding them. Although there is no external presence during dreaming, there may later be such in the work with a specialist psychotherapist, that could significantly speed up and deepen the process of consciously connecting with the content of the dreams. According to the analytical psychology, whose founder is C.G. Jung, besides dreams of personal nature, there are also dreams of non-personal nature, which are also called archetypal dreams. They are extremely rich in collective, mythological images that prevail over the personal images and in such cases the role of the depth (Jungian) psychotherapist becomes even more important, as they could help reveal their meaning, using their knowledge of mythology and fairy tales.
From what has been said so far, it can be concluded that the dreams and past lifetime regressions share a common origin – the unconscious, and have very similar characteristics, therefore they can be effectively used in the course of a thorough psychotherapeutic / analytical work. For this purpose, the role of the therapist in both cases is key to the process, bringing serenity, unreserved acceptance, curiosity, support and skills to work with unconscious psychic material.