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Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Heather Whiteholme 04

Identifier

026309

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

Life between Life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher

Isobel is lying in a hospital room. Nurses in white uniforms are soaking large gauze bandages and placing them over parts of her red and blistered body . . . She moans in pain. The entire right side of her body is badly burned. Her right eye and eyebrow disappear in swelling, oozing redness. The nurses keep applying sopping wet gauze, leaving it on for a few minutes, then carefully lifting it off. They are remarking that she must receive all the morphine she needs. They feel that their patient, whose embryonic child has been aborted in the accident, will die within twenty-four hours . . .

Heather surfaced from the trance feeling physically sick, and Dr Whitton waited for several minutes before telling her that he believed she had penetrated to the heart of her allergy problem by re-experiencing the inhalation of fumes from the car wreck. Naturally Heather was overjoyed to be free of her allergies, but, even as she rejoiced at this development, the familiar 'rolling waves' of depression seemed to redouble in intensity. Moreover, the gruesome trance memories and the waves of despair seemed inextricably entwined.

As Heather laboured under the strain of aroused memory, she became more and more curious about Isobel, a curiosity she felt compelled to satisfy. Dr Whitton actively encouraged further past-life exploration, believing there was every chance that Isobel could also account for the depressions. For the next few weeks, each self-hypnotic trance that Heather embarked upon added to her knowledge of Isobel's life leading up to the car accident. The experiences were not always pleasurable. In fact, the more Heather learned about Isobel, the less enamoured she became with her immediate past-life personality. .

 Beneath the delicate assurance of her piano playing, her affluent background, her charm, popularity and ravishing good looks, Isobel is afflicted by deep psychological problems. An exceptionally talented concert pianist, she has everything a young woman could wish for, and yet she is selfish and self-destructive and seemingly incapable of feeling, or understanding, real love. Perhaps this is because her childhood was devoid of affection.

Orphaned at an early age, she is raised by a housekeeper envious of her wealth and beauty. At nineteen years of age, Isabel crosses the Atlantic Ocean to study piano at a music school in New York City. The year is 1924. Her manager, a Russian Jew named Nickolaus, has booked several recitals for her in the United States. Soon after her arrival in America, however, Isobel's professional dedication begins to wane. She is distracted by the appeal of a socialite's butterfly lifestyle, and heavy drinking, parties and promiscuity take up more and more of her time.

When Isobel returns to England, she decides to marry Nickolaus who, being like a father to her, represents her only security. But her rakish way of life is by now well-established, and she continues to indulge in a succession of affairs, both in London and the south of France. Her sexual aimlessness expires only when she meets Robert at a Mediterranean yacht party. They return to London together and, discovering that she is carrying his child, Isobel wants to run away with him. This leads to a showdown with Nickolaus. While the couple are arguing, Isobel storms out of their London townhouse.

Only later, some days after she has fled with Robert in the Bugatti, does Isobel leam that Nickolaus is dead and that their row provoked the massive heart attack that killed him . . .

Heather became increasingly aware that she had inherited much from Isobel in terms of predispositions as well as karmic debt. Growing up in Mexico City, Heather, too, played piano, had been told she possessed a 'genius' for the instrument, and had enrolled as a student at the finest music school in Mexico.

Intriguing as it was to make such connections from one life to the next, there was much she would have preferred to forget, particularly the recurring image of Isobel's fire-ravaged body wrapped in gauze bandages. This oppressive vision begged the question: Did Isobel survive the car crash? The answer - produced in a succession of trances - prompted nightmares and sporadic weeping as she witnessed the grotesque descent of a gifted and beautiful soloist to a horribly maimed and suicidal woman isolated from the flamboyant society that had once succoured and adored her.

The source of the experience

Whitton, Dr Joel

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities

Observation contributed by: Rosie Rock-Evans