JOHN CAMERON: Have we all got a '˜past life'?

There are few books I have read more than once, or recommended to other people. But if asked to name one it would undoubtedly be Many Lives, Many Masters by American psychiatrist and hypnotherapist Dr Brian Weiss (pictured).

Saturday, 30th April 2016, 6:00 am
Renowned hypnotherpist Dr Brian Weiss

A graduate of both Columbia and Yale Universities, Weiss was a much-respected professional when he published the potentially career-destroying book which documents his treatment and hypnotic regressions of a patient ‘Catherine,’ an attractive, intelligent and professionally successful young lady whose life was in turmoil through a number of phobias and fears.

Being a scientist at heart, used to dealing in facts and things that can consistently proven to be true, Weiss was not himself totally convinced in regressions under hypnosis when, having exhausted all other treatment methods, he decided to try it as a last resort to help Catherine.

Over several weeks Dr Weiss recorded the sessions where very detailed past-life experiences, some from Egyptian times, were communicated by his patient.

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Any doubts he had about the authenticity of these regressions were dispersed when Catherine communicated messages from deceased members of Dr Weiss’s close family.

One consistent finding from these regressions is that spirits might transcend in groups, though the relationship between these spirits changes between lives, so your brother in this life could be your mother in the next.

The book was given to my mother by a friend who had gained some comfort from it following her son’s death at just 21.

Ironically I first read the book following my mother’s death and passed it on to my cousin following the death of his 13-year-old daughter. Most people that read the book find it very convincing and have gained some comfort and reassurance about life after death.

Growing up as a child, I always thought it strange that my mother and father always seemed to know the parents of friends I had made independently of their influence, and history repeated itself with my children’s friends, many of whose parents I had been friends with though we had long since lost contact.

Are such patterns of human behaviour just coincidence, or are our paths linked by as yet unproven scientific forces?

A few years after my wife and I were married in Portsmouth we asked the same priest who married us to christen our first two children. Over afternoon tea Father Keith asked my wife about her Liverpool accent, having himself once practiced there many years before. Now Liverpool is a much bigger city than Portsmouth and, like many Victorian cities, has hundreds of churches, so we thought it a funny coincidence that his first church was the same one in which my wife took her first holy communion.

Further questions revealed he had lived in the same street as her grandmother, and when she confirmed the house number, he confirmed he had lived next door and then asked, ‘Your grandmother isn’t called Kitty is she?’

Not only were they neighbours but Kitty would occasionally look after his house while he was away. The mathematical odds of this baffle us. If we do transcend in groups and change relationship roles, consider your actions towards both your kids and parents, as they might literally come back to haunt you.