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Observations placeholder

Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Gary Pennington 03



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Life between Life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher

The next session enlarged upon his immediate past life and, in so doing brought him face to face with the other woman . . .  Peter Hargreaves has been raised in an upper middle class English Catholic home by an ltalian nanny. His fluency in the ltalian language is one of the main reasons he is called on to liaise with the local resistance fighters as the Allies gain a foothold on mainland ltaly.

In Salerno, his main contact with the resistance movement is a young woman called Elena Bocchi, who enables him to communicate with partisans in the mountainous hinterland. From the outset, Hargreaves and Elena are strongly attracted to one another, and they fall in love as they work together under the most harrowing conditions. Elena's father has recently been killed in combat, and Hargreaves steps in to provide as best he can for the destitute Bocchi family. He promises to marry her as soon as the war is over. Hargreaves, as we have seen, did not survive the war.

However, his brutal treatment by the Nazis and his love and concern for Elena detained him on the earth plane for several weeks after his death. On his first visit to the between-life state, Gary found his past-life personality still earthbound and over-wrought with emotion, particularly anger.

Meta-consciousness revealed that Hargreaves had been shot down because a Nazi agent had infiltrated the partisans and alerted the Germans to his intended escapade in the single-engine plane. Furious, Hargreaves' discarnate self kept replaying the circumstances of the betrayal.

Elena learned of Hargreaves' death through underground connections. Watching from the life between life, Hargreaves perceived her extreme dismay, which developed quickly into a deep and lasting depression ... With mounting apprehension, he watches Elena proceed to a clifftop near Salerno, determined to commit suicide. When she reaches the edge, Hargreaves' discarnate self tries desperately to materialize in order to prevent her from killing herself.

'If only I had a body,' his mind keeps repeating, 'this need never happen.'

Thoroughly frustrated with his disembodied state, he can do no other than look on as Elena leaps to her death. (Hargreaves 'fruitless efforts to prevent his lover's suicide did not go unnoticed. Caroline - who has recalled several past lives through meditation – has a final memory from her immediate past life that corresponds precisely to Gary's trance account. She remembers struggling with an invisible force before throwing herself over the cliff.)

Having failed to avert Elena's suicide, Hargreaves disembodied consciousness returned to the scene of his agony in the SS interrogation centre. There too he tried to intervene but was unsuccessful in preventing the torture of those prisoners who survived him. While still angry at being betrayed, he felt guilty about his unfulfilled promises to Elena and tormented himself for his inability to prevent her death. He also felt horribly inadequate in failing to stop the persecution of those languishing in the interrogation centre.

Only when he was approached by a wise and elderly being, presumably a guide, did he agree to surrender his earthbound attachment. With great reluctance, he left the tragic circumstances of Hargreaves' life.

Gary's attraction to Caroline had been accounted for by Peter Hargreaves' love affair with Elena Bocchi, but their association went deeper still…...

Dr Whitton assisted Gary in finding a Russian life in which he lived with his younger sister in an incestuous relationship.

Seeing himself as a somewhat portly figure named Sevastjan Umnov, Gary identified Caroline as Sevastjan's sister, Lisenka. Sevastian is an emissary of Czarina Elizabeth Petrovna to the court of Louis XV during the mid-eighteenth century. Because relations between France and Russia are capricious, his major diplomatic responsibilities are similar to those of a secret agent, and he specializes in counterintelligence operations and in arranging arms exports to his homeland. The demands of diplomacy require Sevastjan to be away from Lisenka for long periods of time.

Being deeply in love with him, she worries constantly that her brother is involving himself with other women in Paris or Versailles. Her jealousy is unfounded, but, on hearing a particularly disquieting rumour about her brother's behaviour, she reacts impetuously by marrying an admiring acquaintance. Only a few weeks later, she hangs herself in despair at having denied herself all hope of continuing the relationship she treasures most.

Sevastjan is heartbroken when the news reaches him in France, and he never again returns to Russia. He dies of natural causes, alone and unhappy. .   

It might have been coincidental that Gary and Caroline were dining at a Russian restaurant the night Elizabeth swallowed the sleeping pills. But Gary had less and less faith in coincidence, choosing to accept, in the words of Walter Pater, that 'taste is the memory of a culture once known'.

In the light of reincarnational experience, everything seemed to be charged with new meaning. Gary's trances reflected the self and its actions and reactions like a hall of mirrors. Two major themes were revealed - the incorporation of similar skills and abilities in Gary's working lives and Caroline's penchant for suicide which, as reincarnation investigators such as Dr Ian Stevenson have shown, can exert a domino effect from life to life. Given their past-life history, it was now clear why Gary and Caroline should have come to participate in yet another relationship. But this understanding led to even more pressing questions about Gary's marriage. Had he and Elizabeth also reunited after sharing other lives?

The source of the experience

Whitton, Dr Joel

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps