This covers day 21 of 30 for the Hypnotherapy Project, which I'm collaborating on with Los Angeles-based hypnotherapist Greg Beckett. You can read more about this experiment, what motivated it and what we hope to accomplish here.
I've never had a past-life regression before. And quite honestly, even though I saw myself as a 15-year-old boy with only one, much-beloved parent who died shortly thereafter, even though I saw my pretty face and ugly feet, my mother's light eyes and our tiny house in some rolling green hills, I'm still not sure I had one on Thursday.
Whatever it was, I had an "experience". Of being a boy named, improbably enough, Adam. In what looked like England at one point, and Burma at another. In 1653. I was 15 when we started the memory, and lived fairly unhappily to a ripe old age of 45, at which point I died, alone, still in service to some sort of royal family. (There was a coronation or wedding ceremony in the palace when I was 16 or 17 that looked suspiciously like a scene from The King and I.)
Uh-huh. I know, I pretty much feel the same way.
I've discussed before how I'm an eager and willing subject. I have a natural skepticism, but it mostly has to do with my ability to tap into any of this other-worldly, past-lifely type of stuff. I have no problem with the idea of other people being facile with it, or the idea of other dimensions and reincarnation; the chief feeling I had upon discovering that other people believed in this thing I'd never been able to put a name to was one of relief. Not-so-alone-ness.
But as with so much of this hypnotherapy project, whether a thing is absolute and verifiable is less important than my decision to conjure it up. Before I went under, Greg asked my subconscious to pick a life that would hold some sort of significance for me today, in this life, on this day, given what I was going through right now. The life I saw was significant for its insignificance: 45 years of no particular happiness, then nothing. Greg asked me to watch my own death in this life, and to note my last words or thoughts. Which were "That's all?"
I was so very, very lonely in this lifetime I dreamed up. I had no friends, no family. I had a job I was good at but didn't particularly like, and not much else, it seemed.
My life now is very rich, so full of love and great friends and meaningful work that I am often blown away at the thought of it. And yet, there is always a feeling of aloneness that creeps and creeps, and wondering if I am enough, if I am doing enough. If this is all.
The day raised more questions than answers. But then, that's what I'm beginning to see as my life's work: the asking of questions, and the exploration that follows.
There may never be answers. I'm starting to see that the answer most likely lies in the looking. And in appreciating the connections when they do happen.
We are all of us alone; we are all of us together.
We are all of us a 15-year-old Burmese-English boy who lost his mother too young, who spent his life trying to find his way back to the connection and happiness that was his birthright...