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HOW PAST & PRESENT LIFE RELEASE PROCESSING IS DIFFERENT FROM
PAST LIFE REGRESSIONS
Morris Netherton's method is a psychological therapy rather than a type of Past Life Regression. Those who do not believe in past lives, or think psychics are phony, will still gain from the information in this section. I wrote it to distinguish this kind of psychological process from what are called psychic or metaphysical practices. I, myself, have found both helpful. For actual personal self-development and for resolving psychological problems, the therapy is generally more powerful and effective.
Regressions are often practiced by psychics acting as counselors. Or, more commonly and I would think more therapeutically, by hypnotherapists, some of whom are also trained psychotherapists. The sessions give the client information about a past life that he or she can use to take action in this life. The idea is to get a bigger picture about what's happening now by seeing the causes in previous times. With the broader view, a person could then act more appropriately.
Sometimes, especially with a psychotherapist-hypnotherapist, there is also a goal of releasing the energy of the past life out of the client, the emotions. And there can be role playing of the people in the event and in one system, there is psycho-drama. I know of one Structural Integrator who does this method.
But for the observational technique
part, here is some explanation of the benefits of this kind of session.
Thus, a regression supplies information to your conscious mind from the memories in your unconscious mind. It's a kind of observational too. Depending on the kind of process used, either the psychic, or the client, or both, will see, or intuit, the information. I've read that this past life material is stored in the outer layers of the aura, the body-mind's energy field.
However, I should make clear what is really happening. We really do not access memories in the way you or I would remember what we ate for breakfast or what happened when we had a specific experience when we were 10 or 7 years old. We are, instead, accessing the energy stored in parts of our bodies or energy fields. (And sometimes in some other place called The Akashic Record.) There are questions and actions that can help the conscious mind access this material.
So when I say unconscious or subconscious mind, I am really saying the material is usually not consciously available, but it is still in us. And in psychotherapy, such as in Freudian and Reichian therapy, we access unconscious material in THIS lifetime, again that is in the body and its energies, and we then gain insight and even can remove some of it through emotional releases.
However, just talking or observing does not usually release the material from its physical and energetic storage. This was a shortcoming of Freudian Analysis. So when psychiatrist Wilhem Reich MD studied the mind-body connection after studying with Freud as a student, he discovered that the emotional charge was indeed in the physical storage and devised methods to help remove it and bring it to consciousness as it cleared out of the body and was no longer there to give us the energetic blockages not the negative psychological patterns. (Please see my article on the website, Postural Integration Plus for good additional information about this.)
Now, returning to the observational method again. Whether all this information we find out is truly from a past life or not doesn't seem to matter. We use it in the same way we use the information we discover from times in early childhood we never remembered in the brain. In fact, I've known people who've been helped by this kind of counseling and no one could actually prove there are past lives. The information they obtained from the readings made sense for their lives. Often, in additional ways that the childhood remembrances do not do. As I said above, you can see why you are with people in your life now, and the best spiritual and pragmatic ways to relate to them for our greater success. So, regardless of where it comes from, some accurate information does seem to be available. It can provide us with a bigger overall view of what's happening to us than we're usually able to see.
Rather than being an observational technique like a regression, Netherton's Past & Present Life Therapy is a way of immediately releasing the patterns of behavior we're stuck to. And while everyone is consciously aware of what’s happening while they process, the material that comes out of them appears as if it were happening right now. It is not a descriptive story or explanation.
The first part of a session is a lot
like other therapy sessions, with the client and practitioner discussing,
investigating and bringing out the issues. Once the release part of the
therapy begins, however, no one is talking about what
happened. In a controlled setting, people are being what
happened, but in a way that releases the original tape recording.
English grammar, I call it a first-person, present-tense way of working.
This system, therefore, is not hypnosis.
No trance work is needed and it is not helpful to induce. People remain
conscious and alert and can even pause in the middle to go to the
bathroom. As I described a little above, Netherton's therapy agrees with many of the principles first
set down by Sigmund Freud MD and amplifies on some of the understanding
explained by Wilhelm Reich MD. It is among many that are now used in
psycho-therapy for old trauma release. But its use of the words, and
especially other people's words is unique.
The therapy has specific advantages
over regressions for the purpose of actually correcting "automatic"
"excessive" reactions that regularly control us. Even if you know the 'past life' reason for your issues
in your conscious mind, your unconscious mind (body and energy
field) is still storing the
trauma and its belief systems that you got in the old episodes.
And they will still have a tendency to make you act out the unwanted
behavior. That is, their energy being created in times of strong
energy when it was embedded, stresses and violence, or strong grief, then
it will overpower even ones conscious mental intentions to act
differently. The only way to not have these feelings come up is by
tightening muscles. But then the material stays in us and can also
cause physical illnesses due to its tension and often, chaotic physical
In the therapy process, some of the reasons for our life's direction are also uncovered. In addition, many of these issues are actually resolved, or diminished, right there. The trauma and belief systems are eliminated as you process out the energy that was stuck to you. Then, by reflecting upon what you’ve just revealed to yourself, you can look at your life in a whole new light, or at least a clearer one. You cannot do this with an observational technique because as I am emphasizing, the removal of the emotional charge and the actual understanding of the specifics of what other people's attitudes toward us were saying, give us the clearer mental understanding and behaving abilities.
Also, when the material is released from their un-conscious minds, that is, their bodies and energy fields, people seem better able to carry out what they learned from their psychic regressions.
Emotionally charged issues always have some underlying fear, anger and confusion. This creates limitations and covers up our abilities to love and make satisfying contact with others. These conditions are an integral part of the old experiences still stuck inside us. When you get rid of the old material, you remove the attitudes that have brought the old battles into the present. Then you not only understand the situation, but you can express the natural love that's always inside you. When it's covered up with old patterns, we're unable to express it in troubling situations
In a regression, a person can learn
what path to take to work with their life tasks. In the
therapy, the negative aspects of our past residues of negative energy are eliminated on the spot.
But you don't necessarily know what you're 'karmically' or 'divinely' supposed to do in
the relationships with people you've 'been with' for 'many lives.'
(Again - this is just in the vernacular of the method - not believing in
past lives have called it creative unconscious or genetic ancestral memory
- it still works psychologically & for personal development - which is the
foundational reason for doing this stuff anyway.)
The kind of information obtained from a regression can be helpful in the therapy. It can give some conscious clarity to your current problems, even if you still have trouble doing what you find you're supposed to do. That information can help you better define the issue you can work out further.
Both past experience release therapy and behavioral therapy can, and need to, be used effectively. But they're only effective if they're done at the appropriate times. Behavior therapy is very effective when there are no blocks that prevent the person from doing it. When there is a block, many people resist moving in that direction, or get too upset when they try.
Netherton emphasizes that the earlier blocks to development must be released before a person can grow in that direction. Behavior modification is not that effective until they are cleared. He says the same things about affirmations. When there are no blocks, affirmations help. But when a block exists, you're putting a second belief system on top of another one that's already there. And the underlying one is much more powerful. So we have a new belief on the outside, the old belief under that, and the 'real' person underneath that, in the 'core' of the body. It's three layers, and the person's inner interpretation of the world will still be filtered through the old beliefs they developed years ago.
It's also necessary to develop expressions from the deeper parts of our being. But the original growth of a person was stifled, or distorted, way back in childhood. And that block has remained. So the deepest parts of the body and mind have never been freed in the direction we're dealing with. After therapy removes the block, a person can develop that part of themselves. The fear of moving in the new direction will be gone, and the energies of physical and emotional expansion will be freed up.
Adding behavioral therapy on top of this kind of block may create an awkward and somewhat shallow way of doing it. You're not using all the muscles of the body and those you do have access to are shortened. This affects your emotional expression and energy fields in the same way. Affirmations may bring events into our lives and might help us accept them easier, but if there's a real imbedded refusal against them, or if the person is wound up in their problems, they don't seem to work.
People who are having good results with affirmations are using them in the areas of their lives in which they are not blocked. This includes people who go around advising others to use them without deeply understanding what the other people are experiencing. Most people who act in this way are re-acting to fixing something fearful. Unless someone with this pattern has looked at themselves from an observer standpoint, they are unaware of what they are doing, and why. The only means I've found to get to this observer point of view are Structural Integration Bodywork and concentration meditation practice.
Yet, even when we haven't removed the entire block, some behavior modification can be of great help. While we can only add these new abilities on top of the block that's still there, we can gain confidence in the world's reactions to the 'new us.' This can happen as long as we have enough space in our psyche, and in our environment, to develop this, and we're not always being run by our negative behavior. Structural Integration Bodywork removes the physical rigidities so that the old pattern is not always there. It will come up when it gets triggered, but it will also go away when it's run its course. That will give us more internal 'space.'
Confidence in the fact that our new behavior works for us, and people accept us for it, makes it safe to be that way, and safety encourages more of the same behavior. It also gives us a certain amount of satisfaction. Eventually we identify more with this new way of relating to the world than with the old and want to remove the reservations and blocks inside that limit our abilities to do it more fully. Then we can use techniques to eliminate the old patterns.
A skillful way of knowing when to use each different kind of therapy is to make use of the 'cycles of therapy.' This cycle also relates to other things we do. It's a loop that has four parts: Rest, Insight, Nourishment and Efficiency. Then we move into Rest again. In a personal growth context, this cycle relates to improving our level of being and functioning in the world. It is about evolution, or the gradual change to becoming a different person, not just a person who learns to do different things.
Rest involves just stopping...everything. Rest can also mean vacation, or simply taking the time off from what we usually do, to do something else. If we're heavily into self improvement, then rest would mean stopping our work on ourselves. We need to rest to create 'space.' Some time must elapse to allow the energies of what we've been doing to die down, so our slate becomes clear again. Once it's clear, we might say that new things can be written on it. That's one of our normal functions. Once it's clear, however, we can relate to the world fresh and anew in each new moment. If we can keep it clear, and keep releasing the past ideas and feelings, we'll have an ongoing change in our state of being.
When we rest, even if it's just taking off a few hours or a weekend, we have the opportunity to gain insight. This may be through formal therapy, through a Netherton process, through meditation, or by reading a book. Psycho-therapeutically, we're talking about getting insight about ourselves, taking it to a deeper level than the way we normally see things. Usually we think this requires introspection and discovery, such as when processes bring material from the sub-conscious mind to the conscious mind. And on one level that's true.
On a deeper level, it's what we see after this other stuff is removed that brings the insight of a new state of being. All this other insight is information, which in itself is helpful. But we must remember that to improve our everyday behavior, we have to change who we are, not what we remember. We're trying to go beyond the usual patterns of our behavior, even the ones that produce efficiency. Seeing the world without our old restrictions gives us insight into the greater whole. This change in our level of being will allow us to change the way we do things because the way we see the world, and ourselves, is different.
Netherton processing produces a lot of personal growth insight because it gives us insight into the deeper nature of ourselves. While we gain a lot of valuable information about the nature of our mind and the patterns of our lives, the processes are not teaching us how to do something new. In fact, they unravel how we've been doing things in the past. As that material is unraveled and literally removed out of us, we become different. We act from a deeper part of ourselves, with more love and appreciation than exists near the surface, intertwined with all the old battles and fears. This is especially true if it's done hand in hand with Structural Integration Bodywork. We gain insight into how we've been relating with others, why we've been doing it, and we automatically get to be a way that allows us to relate differently.
I have found that the most profound change in being results from intensive and long-term religious practice with a true enlightened teacher. If a person also has the opening and realignment of the Bodywork, the processing of the Netherton method, good exercise for the body and soul, and a healthy living food vegetarian diet, I believe he or she will be an exceptional person.
With new insight about ourselves, we can become nourished. Even without extra new insight, we can do things that nourish us. Some people have what is called a nourishment block. Among other things, they find it very hard to receive. Nourishment block is another word for a block inside us that doesn’t allow us to take into our lives what we intellectually recognize we'd benefit from. In order to be nourished, we have to learn new, nourishing ways to relate in the world, and then do them. Netherton processing, Reichian and Bioenergetic processing, the Bodywork and to some degree, consciousness and awareness workshops like 'est.' help us remove nourishment blocks.
Concentration breath meditation in the lower abdomen is exceptionally nourishing. It feeds energy into major energy centers and energy flows of the body, thereby improving physical and mental body function as well as the size, openness and clarity of our energy fields. It releases our stuckness to psychological material. And it changes the way we see and relate with the world.
Once we begin practicing our new nourishing ways, we can improve our ability to do them, we can improve our efficiency. Once we approach the limit of that ability, it's time to rest again. In our everyday lives, most of the time we're in efficiency; we have sooo many things to do. Periodically, we have to give ourselves time to rest.
Many of the self study courses and 'est' like workshops focus on improving the efficiency of who we are now. We do have to take time out of our busy lives to do them, they do give us insight about our lives, and many people take with them new ways of relating. But they're mainly concerned with helping us do things more efficiently. Even self-hypnosis tapes work like this.
Behavioral modification, affirmations and even the information we get from past life regressions can also be categorized as improving efficiency. They help us get more of what we want out of the world, by working with the state of being we're already at and trying to make that better.
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Copyright 2002 Louis A. Gross All Rights Reserved