Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Heather Whiteholme 02
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
Life between Life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher
Taking stock of Heather's acute vulnerability, Dr Whitton knew that the trend towards total incapacitation must be quickly reversed. Aiming to locate and eradicate the linchpin of her sickness, he first ordered a series of medical tests which revealed that Heather was indeed suffering from severe, intractable allergies exacerbated by an unusually low resistance to bronchitis and pneumonia.
Taking into account Heather's emotional problems, Dr Whitton formed the tentative opinion that - for the sake of her sanity - she must have repressed her psychological difficulties only for them to reappear in the form of physical disorders. Before hypnotic regression is even contemplated, Dr Whitton usually engages his patients in protracted consultations so that every relevant detail may be gleaned about the life at hand. But the urgency of Heather's case dictated otherwise. Together, doctor and patient opted for a headlong dive into Heather's past lives in the hope of awakening a trauma that held great therapeutic significance for the current existence.
Heather showed herself to be a remarkably good trance subject. So good, in fact, that as she lay in bed on the night after her first session, she copied Dr Whitton's technique and managed to hypnotize herself, much to her own initial terror. It wasn't long, however, before self-hypnosis became a familiar routine. To save consultation time and improve her chances of recovery, it was decided that Heather should explore her unconscious memories in trance at home and submit her findings in diary form for discussion at weekly sessions with Dr Whitton.
Heather's first few attempts to peer inside her unconscious mind were far from rewarding. But persevering until her inner eye was trained to pierce all obscurity, she was rewarded with a superabundance of material - all in glorious 3-D visions - that reached back through recorded history into the caveman era. Making sense of the imagery was another matter altogether. 'You're like a big Mack truck that dumps its load in my lap, 'Dr Whitton told her as he glanced over sheaves of diary transcripts weaving tales of seemingly irrelevant past-life action mixed with fantasy and untold imaginings. This 'dumping' went on for nearly six weeks and Dr Whitton was pondering a change of direction when, early one morning Heather settled into her favourite armchair, counted herself down into self-hypnotic trance, and found . . .
There was something very sad and wistful about Isobel Drummond. Tall and slender, her long, dark hair swept into a chignon at the nape of her neck, she wore a full-length dress of pink chiffon with double-ruffled sleeves. Moving gracefully through the living room of a beautifully-furnished English home, she seated herself before a black grand piano and began to play, exquisitely, Chopin's piano Etudes . . .
Heather, who could hear Isobel's recital as clearly as if the piano were in the same room, was crying bitterly when she emerged from self-hypnosis. Never before had she felt such pressing identification with any other individual encountered while in trance. She knew Isobel had borne her soul identity in a different body not so very many years ago But she didn’t know why the sight and sound of this young woman should make her so thoroughly unhappy.
Dr Whitton seized on this dilemma when Heather next visited his office .why does Isobel make you so depressed?' he inquired. 'Find her again and follow her until you can answer this question'' Heather thought of little else but Isobel for the rest of the day. She was still wondering why Isobel depressed her when, late that night, she went to tum off the bedroom light before clambering into bed. Her hand was resting gently on the light switch when a sudden, shuddering impact made her gasp her entire body was slammed internally by the most brutal shock.
‘I cannot describe the feeling, 'Heather said later, except to say that it was just like being in a very nasty motor accident in one's own home''
Initially she had no idea of the nature of the collision. Then she was very much aware of being in Isobel's body. She was lying on the ground, her right side was on fire, and she knew, in her terror, that the car in which she was travelling had careered over a cliff' The year was 1931 . . . The emotional thunderbolt, which lasted only for a second or two, left Heather in a state of breakdown well beyond the reach of her husband's words of comfort and reassurance.
All through the night, she wept intermittently as her conscious mind refused to relinquish the horrific scene. At five o'clock that morning, with husband Philip having finally succumbed to slumber, she wandered into the study, sat down before her typewriter, and tapped out these words: 'Have been shaking. Totally unable to sleep.'
Her ordeal didn't end there. For the next three days, a combination of sleeplessness, nausea, sobbing raw nerves and a harsh bronchial cough left Heather miserable and withdrawn. A diary entry made at 4.20 A.M. on Saturday, September 1, 1979, announced: I have had to cancel all my daily plans. How do I tell my friends that I am suffering from the shock and trauma of an automobile accident which took place four years before my birth? I just tell them I have another flu affecting my stomach. They are used to me being sick. As Heather turned away from her typewriter and slunk back to bed, she had no way of knowing she was only hours away from a magnificent breakthrough.
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
Observation contributed by: Rosie Rock-Evans