In 1994, life as we know it, with all of the angst-inducing questions of why we are here and where we are eventually going, came to an end with the publication of Journey of Souls, by Michael Newton, PhD. In this book, the culmination of over 20 years of research involving the hypnotic regression of over 7,000 clients to their life between lives, Dr. Newtown reports some startling discoveries about our continued existence in the spiritual realm following physical death. Included in these findings are: how it feels to die, what is seen and felt immediately upon death, the meeting of our spiritual guides, the origin and significance of soulmates, the purpose of life, and manifestations of a "creator". Using 29 case studies for his first book, he mapped out the sequence of events a soul experiences from the moment of physical death to the choice of returning once again to the physical realm.
In his second book, Destiny of Souls, published in 2000 and voted "Best Metaphysical Book of the Year" by the Book Expo in Chicago, Dr. Newton explores the inner workings of the spiritual realm in greater detail with 67 more cases. Topics covered include astral planes, soul group systems and community dynamics, the council of elders, soul advancement, time lines, body choices, how spirits communicate with the living, and much more. These two books, both best-sellers and tranlated into over twenty-five languages, comprise what can be considered a traveller's guide to the spiritual realm.
Dr. Newton, now retired from practice, has been training other hypnotherapists for years in the techniques he uses to induce hypnotic regression into the life between lives state. His newest book, Life Between Lives: Hypnotherapy for Spiritual Regression, written for practitioners and published by Llewellyn Publications, is a step-by-step guide to the methodology and key words used in facilitating hypnotic regression to the spiritual realms. Drawing heavily from new and more recent case studies, the book will also appeal to non-practitioners familiar with Dr. Newton's work, who are hungry for more information on life between lives.
Together, these three books represent the complete trilogy of what can only be described as the most astonishing, life-changing, ground-breaking advance in knowledge ever offered to the human race. Passing the ultimate scientific methodology test of duplication, the findings of Dr. Newton's research have been verified by other LBL hypnotherapists located throughout the world.
Dr. Newton, counseling psychologist, master hypnotherapist, teacher and author, is also the founder of the Society for Spiritual Regression, an international organization designed for the purpose of training experienced hypnotherapists in the techniques used for life between lives regression.
Mary: According to the literature, you stumbled on life between lives regression by accident through a routine past life regression hypnosis session. What were the circumstances surrounding this discovery?
Dr. Newton: Well, one day a woman had come to me with a presenting problem of depression, claiming she felt isolated from society and that she felt a terrible yearning to be with her old friends. I asked her if these old friends who were no longer around were childhood friends and she said no, I don't see them in my current life, just in my dreams. I took this woman into deep hypnosis and asked her if these missing friends were perhaps people she had known at any time during her adult life. "No," she said. Were they missing childhood friends? "No," she again said. Then we began to explore a number of past lives and a couple of these dear friends began to crop up. But she kept saying that she hadn't seen most of them and that what she really wanted was to see them all together. This, according to her, was why she felt so isolated. At this point, I had no idea where we were and was getting frustrated. I didn't realize that this was a highly receptive woman who was taking herself deeper in a way, I was to later learn, was the proper procedure for getting somebody into what I call a superconscious state. I had been inadvertantly using words with her that I later found were "key words" in facilitating the spiritual regression process. In this instance, it was the word "group". I finally asked her if there was ever a time in her existence that she was not lonely because she was with her "group" of friends and she immediately exclaimed "YES!" So I simply said, "go there" and in the next moment, with her eyes closed, she was laughing and pointing to my office wall saying "I see them all right now!" I asked her where we were - were we in a past life? "No", she said. "I'm in the spirit world!" This opened the door for me. I had already been involved with past life regression, something that I had never before used in my traditional practice, so you could say I was ready to "come to the party" as regards metaphysical work. However, the results of this session changed everything for me. I became obsessed with what had occurred, replaying the tape over and over and over, making refinements with other clients, and slowly this complex jigsaw puzzle began to come together.
Mary: How was your work received in the academic community?
Dr. Newton: When I first made the discovery that it was possible to reach people's immortal soul and mind through deep hypnosis I did not tell anybody about it. Of course, the people I worked with knew about it and they told friends, many of whom became clients, but I did not go to metaphysical conventions, I did not go to bookstores for metaphysical material - I did not want to be biased or influenced by anything. I simply worked alone trying to put the pieces together. Most of the research was done in the 60's and 70's and I didn't even begin writing Journey of Souls until the 80's. It took me quite a few years to write that first book because nothing like it had been written before and I wanted the material to be clearly understood. When I finally did publish and my old colleagues saw this, they thought I had lost my marbles! They couldn't believe it! Some were fascinated, mostly those working with hypnotherapy, but by and large this is not a subject that is appealing to a very conventional type of psychotherapist. The people who really embraced my work were the general public who wanted information on what life is like on the other side, what their purpose is in being here, why they chose the body they have, etc.
Mary: For most people, Religion has traditionally filled this gap of information regarding the afterlife. Did you have any particular religious beliefs or convictions prior to your research?
Dr. Newton: No, I was not a member of any religion or institution and, frankly, was turned off by them, and in many ways, still am, although I respect people's faith because it is what sustains us. My religious life, so to speak, consisted of philosophical inquiry and an interest in reincarnation. You could almost say I was an atheist and it has been curious for me why I was "selected" by whoever does the selecting, to do this work and reveal this information to the public. I can't think of anyone more unqualified. However, since my research, my clients have given me a new foundation of spiritual beliefs and I owe them a great deal.
Mary: How were you able to be sure that what people were reporting to you was a bona fide spiritual experience as opposed to a fantasy they simply made up?
Dr. Newton: Well, one of the main things a serious researcher has to do is to never suggest an answer to a question. This introduces bias. I treated each case as if I was hearing the information for the first time. I never asked questions such as, "Do you see so-and-so?" rather I would ask "What is it that you see?" I did have fears in the beginning that maybe people were constructing a fantasy, even though I knew that in deep hypnosis this is not something that happens. People just don't fantasize. Their minds are too organized. What convinced me to continue with the research was the consistency of the reports. I was amazed that it didn't matter what a person's religion, culture or nationality was, once in deep hypnosis they all pretty much told me the same things. Additionally, over the past years I've trained others around the world to do this and their findings are the same as mine. That's real validation and I'm delighted with that.
Mary: Regarding the religious convictions of your clients, have you found that their beliefs undergo some kind of change after experiencing their life between lives under hypnosis?
Dr. Newton: Sometimes, for example a Christian, first entering the spiritual realm and seeing someone coming towards them will say something like "I see Jesus coming towards me!" I am very patient with people and careful about their religious beliefs. I say, "That's wonderful! Let's let this being get a little closer and tell me what you see." As this entity comes closer however, they change their mind and say "No, it's not Jesus, it's so-and-so" which could be a friend or their spiritual guide. After the session, many wake up crying with joy, clutching their tape recordings tightly in their hands. What is most empowering for them is the knowing that as opposed to any other religious teachings they may have had, this information is coming directly to them through their own memory banks.
Mary: Have you ever experienced a Life Between Life regression yourself?
Dr. Newton:Yes, but I must tell you that I waited a long time to find the right person. I'm such a stickler. In one of my training programs I found a very intuitive, skillful woman psychotherapist and asked her if she would be willing to do me. I had a wonderful session with her.
Mary: Have you or any of your clients ever looked into old records to verify more recent past lives?
Dr. Newton: Some clients will check on the veracity of their experience through old records when they are available. Although I generally leave such checking up to the client, I did follow up on one case myself recently, mostly because it occured near where I live in the High Sierras. This woman said she had been a member of the Donner Party, who were stranded in the mountains and had to resort to cannibalism to survive. The center where this occurred is not far from me, so I was able to check original diaries and verify what this woman had to say. It was amazing what she knew!
Mary: Do you have any theories as to why, at this point in history, we are finally allowed access to information regarding our life between lives?
Dr. Newton: I personally think that there are two factors in operation here: one is the tremendous overpopulation of the Earth. Never before in history have we had so many people alive on Earth and we are like rats in a maze - especially the people living in the big cities - and this produces a loss of identity. I think the powers that be, perhaps have allowed me and others to uncover a little more information than what maybe would have been permitted in earlier eras because of this one fact. The second reason, I think, is the pervasive use of drugs. Certainly alcohol has been around for thousands of years. However, now elementary school kids have access to drugs like coke and heroin and are getting zonked out of their minds. That's just what our guides and masters do not want us to do. The soul can't function through a drugged mind. Escaping from reality is not why we are here.
Mary: Your latest book, Life Between Lives: Hypnotherapy for Spiritual Regression, gives step-by-step instructions for a hypnotherapist to perform Life Between Lives regression. Is this book all that is needed for a hypnotherapist to begin performing LBL regressions or do you recommend additional training?
Dr. Newton: Although a seasoned hypnotherapist could theoretically use my book as a guide for performing Life Between Lives hypnotic regression, an actual session takes about three to four hours and is very demanding mentally and physically for both the therapist and the client. Most hypnotherapists are used to sessions utilizing only the alpha state, lasting approximately 45 minutes or so. For LBL regression, the client needs to be in the theta state, that state we reach just prior to falling asleep, and it usually takes an hour just to get the client into this state before any of the work can even begin. It takes a certain kind of therapist to do this kind of work. It's definitely not for everyone, and I highly recommend additional training before attempting to add LBL regression to one's practice.