I recall the very first time I approached a regression therapist. This was many, many years ago and at a stage where I had just begun my spiritual journey. I had no clue as to what to expect, but I had read about past life regression and decided that perhaps such a regression therapy session might bring me some answers, mostly because I had run out of other options.
Indeed, this seems to be the reason most people end up in past life regression therapy. Nothing else seemed to work. The books on past life regression therapy that I was reading at the time, seemed weird and wonderful at the same time. I kept looking over my shoulder so to speak as I was not sure that it was proper to read this kind of information. Yes, I was still firmly sitting in the little box society had dictated was safe for me. I felt decidedly uncomfortable in getting out of my very convenient little box. But there was a tear in the box and I could see through it, so there was no turning back. I had to go and see what was on the other side of the tear in my little box.
So feeling as if I had embarked on a momentous journey, I arrived at the therapist’s office. I cannot recall whether the therapist engaged my imagination from the outset, while in the deepening stages of regressing me with the use of hypnosis, or whether she asked me to use my imagination only when it was clear that I was having trouble ‘seeing’ any images remotely looking like they could be memories from a past life. Not that I would have known what such images are supposed to look like. What I do recall very clearly, however, is how much her use of the word ‘imagination’ bothered me. Goodness, I thought, why would I pay someone to sit by me while I close my eyes, dream up a few images when prompted, and then pretend it is a past life recall?
Needless to say, the session did not go very well. I certainly was able to tell the therapist a fragmented story as images popped up in my head, as I was prompted to ‘keep imagining what comes next’. Each time my brain would oblige and I would see something. But there was no conclusion, no learning, no revelation and nothing that remotely resonated with me emotionally. With what I know now, I understand that the session had not only failed because I was not properly prepared and informed of how things worked, but also because there was no actual work involved in the sense of regression ‘therapy’ whereby the issues arising are desensitized and released. It would be many years before I would discover how powerfully past life regression therapy can assist us in making sense of what is happening around us.
My focus here is not on past life regression therapy and the myriad obvious issues around that. The important aspect to consider is the role imagination plays in hypnosis, meditation and regression therapy. Imagination is one of the most powerful tools available to each and every one of us. If only we could learn to use it for more than day dreaming. Hypnosis scripts often contain the phrase ‘just imagine that …’. It was only after I had completed my own course in hypnosis many years after that first regression that I understood that imagination is the gateway to our memories, whether those are memories of this life or soul memories. We engage our imagination to get us to the point where our ability to visualize is fully activated. When we imagine images, it is almost like a warm up exercise before getting to the point of actual memory recall. No-one tries to run a race without warming up properly. It is the same with preparing for any journey within, where you will need to find your way around using your ability to see internally, in other words, your ability to visualize with your eyes closed. Visualizing a memory or an imagined scene both require the exact same ability.
So engaging the imagination, activates the ability to visualize, which enables us to see the memories we recall. It is a well-known technique in regression therapy to allow clients, once they come up against a block and feel unable to ‘see’ any images, to use their imagination to trigger the flow of images. Once they have permission to use their imagination, the stress of ‘not being able to see’ anything, falls away, and the mind easily brings the images to the fore. In this process, the line between imagination and memory is crossed easily and soon the recalled visualized memories take the place of imagined visualized images, allowing the real story to unfold. There is ample time after a session to judge for oneself whether what came up was ‘real’. The emotional releases that sometimes take place and the peculiar personal nature of the insights developed during regressions, usually take care of convincing one that there was no imagination involved in the ultimate images brought forth by the mind.
In guided meditation, ample use is made of the imagination for purposes of visualizing certain things, for example colour and light and beautiful places. Many books have been written on the power of visualization to ultimately create our dreams and manifest our visions into our reality. Like intelligence is often the key to accessing knowledge in the outer world, so imagination is the key to accessing memories and healing in the inner world.
Exercising your imagination during the practice of meditation, will greatly enhance your ability to tap into the benefits of working with visualization, as well as assist you with the recall of memories during hypnosis or regression. It is not that you are imagining things, it is simply that through engaging the imagination (seeing yourself walk down a set of stairs or entering though a door) you unlock your ability to ‘see’. This is the ability you need should you ever need to recall memories from this life or your soul memories.