While I enjoy blogging about skeptic issues, there’s only so many times I can write about Bigfoot, tarot cards, and curing rabies with coconut juice. So it was with glee that I unearthed the ideas of Dr. Michael Newton and his application of hypnotherapy.
Hypnosis can be used to help persons deal with their present life, but some of the more ambitious hypnotherapists use it to delve into past lives. There are also future life readings. But Newton rushes in to fill the gap by examining what the hell we do between incarnations. And it’s more than just floating in another dimension or showing up in poltergeist form is someone’s drapes.
Newton claims that between-life specifics have been revealed to him by 7,000 patients. He has pieced together what they told him and put it together in four books. Despite the trepidation most people have about death, Newton finds that most end up embracing it since the afterlife is so pleasant. But there are a smattering of exceptions. A few bitter souls prefer to stay on Earth and annoy us as ghosts. Then there are souls who suffer from what Newton dubs “criminal abnormalities.” These cursed types “are not activated along the same travel routes as other souls.”
But it works out in the end. Newton lets us know that, “All souls eventually arrive at a central staging area where returning souls are conveyed in a spiritual form of mass transit.” Pretty sure he stole that from Defending Your Life. Or they stole it from him.
The next stop on the Soul Train is an appearance before a Council of Elders, who pepper the undead with questions about decisions made in the previous life. The unexamined death is not worth living, I suppose. From there, souls are dispatched to join their appointed clan. Newton says of the clans, “These tightly-knit clusters are composed of like-minded souls with common objectives and they continually work though issues with each other.” The gist is, you reunite with your old drinking buddies.
Newton said his sessions are designed to awaken dormant memories of the time between incarnations. He sprinkles his work with esoteric goodness, such as “reconnect with your soul self,” “understanding your immortal identity, and “incredible support offered by countless Higher Beings in the inter-life.”
Those in the Beginner Soul state keep working at it until full maturity is reached, an idea pilfered from Buddhism and Hinduism. At the intermediate level, souls are akin to student-teachers, as they start working with netherworld neophytes. However, Newton cautions, “Only if this preliminary training is successful are we allowed to function even at the level of a Junior Guide,” which seems to be the Tenderfoot equivalent in these Cosmic Boy Scouts. Some never gain competence and are sent to do some other, unspecified task. Apparently none of the 7,000 patients got around to telling Newton what this is.
The final stage is advanced status. Newton says he can tell us little about these beings because souls this far along would never seek a between-lives therapist. If that’s his standard, there are about 6 billion advanced souls wandering the planet.
Whatever level a soul is at, it eventually must return to Earth. To prepare for departure, souls are mentored by guides and are then shown various lives in a setting similar to a movie theatre, presumably complete with extra-butter popcorn. After further consultation and a return trip to the Council of Elders, the souls decide which body to occupy. Yep, you chose your current circumstance as opposed to being born again as Mikhail Prokhorov or Jennifer Lawrence.
With regard to the plunge into amniotic fluid, Newton reports that, “You begin to cross this bridge between your current life and your soul’s true home.” Sounds like Dr. Kevorkian.
Newton’s claims could be true. But it could also be true that a long series of highly relaxed patients, on a comfortable couch and in a suggestable state, who were there with the intent of accessing these memories, would come to these conclusions, while satisfying their desire to please the cordial doctor with a pleasant voice.
Furthering the likelihood of this development is that Newton’s ideas come with the promise of an eventual home “where only pure, unconditional love, compassion, and harmony exist side by side.” There is also no sickness or injury, so you can leave the coconut juice behind.