Past Life Therapy: The Many Faces of Fear – Part II
“Fear of fire is another common problem, which often comes up in sessions. A healthy respect for fire is normal, but when one has a severe reaction to it usually it’s because of either being severely injured or killed by fire sometime in the past. This includes such experiences as being burned at the stake, dying in a house or building fire, having been burned or seeing someone else burned in this or some other lifetime. The emotions associated with these causal events often are buried at soul level, where they remain dormant until they are triggered by a future incident at which point they can develop into a full-blown, paralyzing fear.
Because Donna, a thirty-six-year-old woman, actually suffered panic attacks whenever she was around any type of an open flame, she took extreme measures to protect herself. Campfires and weenie roasts definitely were out. For that matter, she had nothing but electrical appliances in her home. In regression she found the cause of her fear was traceable to a past life when, as a child of five, she was trapped in a burning apartment building during World War II. Because her rescuers’ ladders were too short to reach her fourth floor apartment, they couldn’t rescue her. Unable to escape, she quickly was surrounded by flames, which quickly engulfed her. Unlike most others who have found themselves in similar situations and are asphyxiated, she suffered a horrible death by fire.
The emotional charge produced by her death was as powerful at the time of her regression in 1984 as it was in 1944, the year she died in her former life. Possibly, part of the reason her feelings were so intense was because her rebirth into this incarnation had occurred very shortly after her former tragic death. Like nearly everyone I’ve regressed, she also was able to neutralize her fear of fire within a few minutes. A year or so after her regression, she attended one of my lectures with her husband. There she proudly announced to the audience that she had completely recovered from her fear of fire. To demonstrate this, she stood up and proudly struck several book matches without any apparent reaction except for a wide grin and a delighted giggle as each match burst into flame.
Another example of how traumatizing past-life experiences with fire can affect us is that of Annette. She had been brutally tortured in a past life by having her feet held over an open flame. In this life she reacted to her former torment by always wearing very heavy protective shoes. After she released the feelings associated with her long-forgotten torment, she was able to enjoy wearing open sandals for the first time in her life.
Fear of enclosed spaces, in one form or another is said to be one of the most common fears affecting many people. Fortunately, it also usually is one of the easiest to eliminate through past-life therapy. Most of the time the primary cause of this type of fear involves being trapped, such as being buried alive or being imprisoned in some extremely small space while anticipating one’s death. Common situations people have found themselves in are being trapped in the basement of a bombed-out building or in a collapsed mining tunnel, being stuck below decks in a sinking ship, being locked in a gas chamber or maybe just being a victim of a childhood prank when one child locks another in a dark closet or other enclosed space.
Many people recount tales of past-life experiences in which they were buried alive during times of famine, plagues and/or wars. In other incidents people are overtaken by avalanches or mud slides, fall into chasms during earthquakes or become imprisoned in dark holes. Past-life situations easily can cause people to have fears, which “bleed through” into this life, many times causing severe psychological problems not only in this, but in their future lives. Although the actual cause of death in such cases may be from a severe wound, dehydration or illness, the fear is caused by the periods of entrapment prior to their actual deaths. It’s during this brief or extended period that the entrapped individual has the chance to dwell upon his imminent death. The fear preceding the death usually is carried by the soul from that incarnation to another until eventually it manifests as claustrophobia.
Jim’s experience is a typical example of this debilitating fear. He always experienced panic attacks whenever he found himself in small, restricted spaces such as elevators, windowless rooms, or even in subterranean parking lots, etc. This fear caused him to avoid riding in elevators or subways or driving through any kind of a tunnel. We discovered the original cause of his fear were two different past-life incidents, which involved dying after being trapped and unable to escape. They were followed by a third incident which occurred in his present life when he was a child.
The first trauma occurred during World War II when, as a Nazi soldier, he had returned home on leave from the battlefront. During one of the frequent Allied air raids, he and his family sought refuge in the basement of their apartment building. While huddled together in the dark, their building was completely destroyed by a direct bomb hit and collapsed above them. With its debris completely blocking all escape routes, they literally were buried alive. As the air turned stale, it became increasingly difficult for them to breathe, and one by one, they all suffocated. Being the last to die, my client helplessly watched his parents, wife and daughter succumb. In his last desperate attempt to live, he began taking small breaths, but his situation was hopeless. As he left his body, he took his grief and final terror with him. Regressing him back through his former death scene, enabled him to release his old fear within a few moments and move on to his other key past life.
This time we went farther back in time to explore another incarnation, which took place in the mid-1800’s in Colorado. In that life he discovered he was a hard-rock miner prospecting for gold. While working in his mine one day, he miscalculated the amount of dynamite needed to enlarge the tunnel in which he was working. The resultant explosion caused the tunnel to collapse around him. Although not killed by the blast, he was rendered unconscious for several minutes. When he came to, he found his route to freedom was completely blocked by tons of fallen rock. For the next two days he desperately struggled to dig his way through the debris, but finally gave up and fearfully awaited his impending death.
As a child, he had been taught bad people go to hell, and he believed it. Now, as a man about to die, his childhood beliefs returned to haunt him. Since he hadn’t exactly been a saint for the last several years, he believed he knew exactly where his soul would be going after he died. He was terrified to the bone by the prospect of what awaited him. After making the transition out of his body, his soul immediately left the collapsed tunnel far behind. Through regression he realized that as a Spiritual Being, he not only had survived, but also was still alive and able to talk about it. He immediately realized how pointless it was to hold onto his old fears any longer so he let them go. His courage built up, he now was ready to deal with whatever might have happened to him in another life.
To his surprise the causal experience occurred in his present life when he was about five years old. The scenario began when he found a string of safety pins in his mother’s sewing basket and hid them under his pillow. After his mother tucked him in that night, he retrieved them and proceeded to pin the edges of his blanket to the mattress. He figured this would keep out the cold night air, and for a few minutes he did seem to be much warmer. Then he realized he needed to pee and frantically began trying to free himself from his self-made cocoon, but he couldn’t. As his bladder pressure increased, he began to panic and desperately cried out for his mother. After what seemed like forever, she finally came to his rescue.
The fear he experienced as a child that night had remained buried in his unconscious for over thirty years. Although his childhood mistake certainly was not life-threatening, it might as well have been as far as his perception of it was concerned at the time. This childhood fear, along with the other two incidents from his past incarnations collectively created his fear of being trapped in small spaces. Once these accumulated fears were released, his fear of being trapped was no longer an issue. This case clearly illustrates how a debilitating fear often can be triggered by what otherwise might be an insignificant childhood incident.
Fear of heights is another common fear. At least, that’s how people define it. The truth of the matter is the real fear usually is of falling, which most often is the key factor causing a former death. The actual fear, however, may or may not have anything to do with height. For example, a person can die of injuries caused from falling off a stepladder as surely as if he plunged from the Golden Gate Bridge. The only difference between them is the length of time it takes to finish the trip. In either case, it’s the sudden hard stop, not the fall that kills the person.
Whether or not a future-life fear will manifest usually seems to depend upon whether the fall in question was the result of the victim’s choice or someone else’s. It appears many present height aversions are caused by events in a past life in which the victim had no control over his fate. Those who met their former death as the result of an accidental fall or from losing their footing on some precipice are definite candidates for acrophobia (fear of being in high places) in a future life. Being forced to jump off a cliff or being pushed over a castle wall also can cause a person to fear heights in a future life. On the other hand, when a person has chosen to leap to his death, whether to escape an enemy or some other threat or to commit suicide, the fear of heights is usually non-existent in their future lives. Although there may be other consequences later, the fear of heights usually is not one of them.
For instance, whenever forty-seven-year-old Janet was placed in a position of getting close to the edge of a hotel balcony or the windows of high-rise office buildings, she froze with fear, suffering a severe shortness of breath and breaking out in an embarrassing cold sweat. To avoid this, whenever possible, she made it a point to stay in the center of skyscraper rooms, safely away from the any window or precipice. Although she definitely had a fear of heights, oddly enough, she had no trouble riding up fifteen, or thirty floors in an elevator unless, of course, it was an outside glass elevator. The irony of this dichotomy puzzled us both until we discovered the reason.
In one of her past lives she had been pushed over the edge of a cliff to her death about 600 years ago. This single incident apparently was the sole cause of her present-life problem. To release the fear she incurred during her murder, she spent about a minute reliving the event and another twenty or thirty seconds releasing the fear she had retained from the final moments of that life. As is my usual practice, just to make sure that she was freed from the effects of her former trauma, I had her go back into that life and once more re-experience her death. Noting there no longer was any remaining fear, she relaxed. Her fear was totally gone. Consequently, this never was a problem again. In her case, a fear of falling was a key factor. Since elevators have floors and walls, the thought of falling while riding in one never had occurred to her. Interestingly, flying in an airplane never bothered her either.
Even though the following story doesn’t involve a “classic” fear of heights, it does illustrate a point. Jenny, a young woman in her early thirties, told me she couldn’t do anything which required her to raise her leg to step up stairs, ladders, ski lifts, etc. Whenever she had been forced to do so, she froze in her tracks. Ironically, like Janet, she could board an elevator and ride up thirty or more floors without difficulty and also had no problem flying in airplanes. Her self-diagnosed phobia only was apparent when she had to step up onto something.
She first became aware of having this problem when she had to climb a set of stairs to get to her second-grade class. The very first time she started to climb the school’s stairs, she had a panic attack and was unable to move. This irrational behavior got her into trouble with her teacher and caused her to be cruelly ridiculed by her classmates. Much to her distress, each day the same scene would be re-enacted. Her teacher always had to forcibly drag her up the stairs. This scenario continued until she finally persuaded her parents to transfer her to another school, one without stairs. Over the years that followed, her problem intensified to the point where she was totally immobilized each time she faced the need to step up on anything, including sidewalk curbs or any type of stairway. Her greatest blessing was the Federal Government’s mandate that placed ramps for the handicapped in all public buildings and “handicap curbs” on the sidewalks. Strangely, she had no problem stepping down.
To find the cause of her fear and eliminate it, she needed to explore two different incarnations. The first one took place during the 1700’s in Eastern Europe. In that life she was an extremely aggressive and arrogant, “macho male;” a total chauvinist who treated his wife like “dirt.” He earned his living as a trick rider with a traveling troupe of gypsies. As far as he was concerned, he was the greatest horseman of all time.
One night, while he was performing his act, one of the tents caught fire. Startled by the flames and screams of the crowd, his horse reared up and threw him to the ground. He could hear and feel his spine snap when he landed. From that moment on, he was a helpless quadriplegic, unable to do anything for himself. As far as he was concerned, he no longer was a human being, let alone a man. For the next ten years he saw himself as a total burden, useless to his tribe and a curse to his wife, who, by the way, never missed an opportunity to let him know exactly how worthless he was. Filled with self-pity, he hated his life, himself, and most of all, his wife. Eventually he mercifully died of a lung disease. Before leaving his body, he released all the bitterness, humiliation and hatred he had brought forward from that miserable lifetime.
Jenny then moved swiftly into her next incarnation which occurred about 100 years later, in which she was the only daughter of a wealthy family living in France during the late 1800’s. When she was sixteen, her father bought her a beautiful horse, which she rode at every opportunity. Within a year she had become an accomplished equestrian. When riding, she and her horse became one. Then one day, as she and her handsome fiancé were riding with a group of their friends, they decided to play “follow the leader.” She immediately headed the chase, leading the group swiftly across the open fields, through streams and over a succession of low hedges and stone fences. She was having a wonderful, exciting time and well ahead of everyone when her horse suddenly stumbled after jumping a fence. This caused her to be thrown over her horse’s head and land headfirst on the hard ground. Although dazed, she immediately knew something was wrong when she was unable to move. The sound of horses’ hooves came closer, and before she could cry out, her fiancé’s horse cleared the fence. As it landed, its hoof landed on her left leg. Another horse quickly followed and also landed on her leg, which was now badly mangled, broken, bloody and unbearably painful. At this point, she fainted. (As I’ve previously mentioned, when using my regression process, my clients do not actually feel physical pain; but they do get an impression of it.)
For the next few days she drifted in and out of a restless, drug-induced sleep, remembering only the excruciating pain and vile-tasting medicine her mother forced down her throat. It was several days before she became lucid enough to sip a little hot soup. When awake, she hardly could bear the relentless pain in her badly swollen leg, which by now was becoming gangrenous and poisoning her entire body. Though her mother kept insisting she was fine, she knew better. Her mother only talked about the many people who had been by to visit her, one of whom was her fiancé. It was quite obvious her mother was avoiding looking at her leg and also was ignoring any of her questions about her physical condition.
As the days passed, the throbbing in her leg became so unbearable, because the medicines no longer could deaden the pain. She also noticed a fetid smell in her room. Her entire body was bathed in sweat and she felt as if she were on fire. Her mother continued to give her more medicine, which, at least, caused her to drift into a deep sleep. When she finally awakened, the doctor and her parents were talking quietly several feet away from her bed, but she couldn’t understand what they were saying. Smiling, the doctor gave her some more of the foul-tasting medicine, and again she quickly drifted into semi-consciousness.
Although drugged, she tried to move, but her limbs had been tied to the bed. Suddenly she felt a yank on her lower left leg followed by a sharp, searing pain and a strange sawing sound. She felt as though her leg was being pulled apart at the sockets and she tried to scream, but her father covered her mouth. The pain was so excruciating, she once again lapsed into total unconsciousness. Because of the inadequate medical knowledge of the time, her leg now had become completely gangrenous and had to be amputated in order to save her life.
It was several days before she fully awakened. The pain in her leg was now but an aching throb. Her mother, who was sitting by her bed, assured her everything would be all right, but the fetid smell still permeated the room. It caused her to feel nauseated, however, the tea her mother gave her seemed to settle her stomach. After being given more medicine, she again drifted back into a restless sleep.
Her fiancé dropped by one afternoon to discuss their future wedding plans. He was noticeably shocked and quickly changed the subject when she told him that the pain in her leg was much better. Several days later, when she pulled back the sheet to look at her legs, she couldn’t believe what she saw. Her right leg was black and blue, but there was nothing but a bandaged stump left of the other. After screaming for several minutes, her mother burst into her room. Still screaming through her tears, she scarcely could hear her mother explain that the removal of her leg was the only way her life could be saved.
As far as she was concerned, she, was no longer a woman. Remembering the look on her fiancé’s face, she felt ugly, like a freak. Believing he was repulsed by her deformity, she immediately canceled the wedding and adamantly refused to see or talk to him again. With her leg gone, she felt as though she no longer could go on with her life. She felt useless, and extremely depressed.
As her depression grew, she refused to see or talk to anyone, even her family. She never left her room for anything except to go outside into her own private garden. The garden was shielded from the world by a high brick wall, which her father had built to ensure her privacy. In a way it was like the invisible wall she had built between herself and those she loved. Shutting herself up in her room, she soon began receiving her food only through a small opening, which had been cut in the bottom of her bedroom door. For the next several years she spent most of her time in bed reading, while occasionally staring out the window at her garden. Eventually, she even refused to bathe or brush her hair.
During the remaining twenty years of her life, she constantly grieved over her deformity. She despised what she had become and begged God to let her die to escape her crippled body and meaningless life. Over time, each breath became a painful effort, but she refused to tell anyone about her illness. Finally, she died. To her amazement, as soon as she left her body, she instantly was engulfed by White Light. While still in her room and floating above her bed, she gazed down at her corpse. It was hard for her to believe she had become that physically grotesque and unrecognizable as an old woman. (In this regression my client released her negative feelings as they surfaced throughout the session. Unlike many regressions in which there may be a single fleeting episode still affecting a client’s current life, her entire life was full of pain that needed to be neutralized as quickly as possible.)
One might think she would dislike horses in her present life or at least be afraid of them; however, that was not the case. She loved them but never could bring herself to ride one. This was because, as far as her soul was concerned, as long as she didn’t raise her leg to step up on anything, she couldn’t fall and be hurt. What had manifested as a major problem in this lifetime was, in fact, the soul’s way of safeguarding itself from a possibly greater harm. After understanding the past-life causes behind her fear of stepping up, she now could see how it all made sense. She also got some insights into a current life relationship she had recently ended. Interestingly, the “shrewish wife” in her gypsy life, the repulsed fiancé in her French life, and her ex-boyfriend in this life were all one and the same soul. Considering the way she had been treated previously by this entity, it’s little wonder she decided to break off the relationship.”
Excerpt from Exploring Our Forgotten Lives: The Amazing Healing Power of Past Life Therapy by Bryan Jameison
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