Academic Journal – Hypnosis, Memory Retrieval & Past Life Regression

This academic journal explores the past life regression (PLR), “a posited journeying into past lives, undertaken while the individual is subjected to hypnosis,” and how the theory of reincarnation “may offer an insight into several features of human personality and biology that contemporary theories do not clarify adequately… Alternate explanations proposed for previous life memories include wishful thinking, cultural construction, deception, self deception and paranormal explanations other than reincarnation.” Memory retrieval through hypnosis is a common practise of psychotherapy. The theory of hypnotic regression in order to achieve memory recall is an incredibly powerful and exceptional example of navigating the mind and engaging with cognitive thinking and consciousness. In the TV show, Teen Wolf, the first part of its final season sees three of the main characters undergoing hypnotic regression in search for a memory that holds an emotional connection to the show’s most beloved character, Stiles, who has been taken from the Wild Hunt, thus being erased from reality. It is in this state of consciousness where they regain access to their memories, each memory they unlock regressing them back to reality, thus coaxing the memory of Stiles further to the surface until it bursts through their subconscious and breaks through the dimensional rift of space time to pull him out the Hunt. The ways in which both hypnosis and PLR work in order to regain lost memories is so intriguing but there are complications and possible ramifications that come with the practise in that “hypnosis may increase the confidence with which a memory is held, while reducing the veracity of the memory,” meaning that the therapy can release the “dramatizing powers of the mind” and increase the chances of triggering false memories as hypnosis, as the “imagination runs wild. We have our limitations when it comes to exaggerating truth, but we have apparently inexhaustible powers of imagination as far as stretching a lie is concerned.” can release the “dramatizing powers of the mind”. As shown in my research into myths and legends, the myth of Lethe, meaning oblivion and forgetfulness introduced the idea that in death you can chose to forget all you learnt and experienced in order for your soul to be reincarnated. Past life regression “presupposes a belief in some form of reincarnation” and in the book, Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Aetiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects, author Ian Stevenson muses that: “Irrefutably, if reincarnation were to become generally accepted in the future it would be untenable to regard PLR as a pseudo-therapy. Reincarnation is not yet a scientific truth, yet PLR may be considered a useful form of psychotherapy in the appropriate culture when applied correctly, but damaging when abused and misapplied.”




Natasha Perkin

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