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Observations placeholder

Whitton, Dr Joel - Case history Gary Pennington 04



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Life between Life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher

Had he and Elizabeth also reunited after sharing other lives?

The next trance session, which showed Gary to be Jeremy Everett, a nineteenth-century mathematics lecturer at Oxford University, answered strongly in the affirmative . . . For years Jeremy has been leading a double life. On weekends he breaks away from his lectures and tutorials to rejoin his wife and two young sons at their home in Oxford's neighbouring countryside.

During the week, however, Jeremy lives on the university campus. Nearby he keeps a mistress who has two infant daughters. Jeremy has fathered these children and has promised repeatedly to take good care of them and to ensure that they are well-educated. It's a pledge that will never be fulfilled, for, in his late thirties, Jeremy develops pneumonia and dies unexpectedly, leaving two dependent families.

His wife is well looked after. She has received the ownership of the family property, miscellaneous assets, and a small personal inheritance. But his mistress and her children are not nearly so fortunate. Jeremy, still young and lacking foresight, has failed to make enduring provision for them. Full of rancour at her lovers demise, the mistress blames him for the extremely difficult and impecunious circumstances that ensue , . .

Gary's wife in this English incarnation is unknown to him today. But the trance state revealed that his current wife and the mistress whom he abandoned through death are unmistakably one and the same. Elizabeth has exchanged roles - a hallmark of the phenomenon of group reincarnation. Gary went on to learn that he and Elizabeth had shared several previous lives as secret lovers. Indeed, the present life appeared to be the first time that their relationship has been enjoyed openly.

Further hypnotic regression revealed a life in ancient Egypt when Elizabeth, prized for her ornamental value, was a consort to Pharaoh Amenhotep III; Gary, meanwhile, was captain of the palace guard. A clandestine affair developed between them, only for Elizabeth to lose her lover when Gary was killed in a brawl. Under these circumstances, it is little wonder that Elizabeth has always feared her husband would leave her; precedents had been set in earlier existences. The past-life reasons for Gary's own fears were progressively being enlarged upon.

Because of his unfulfilled promises to the mistress in England, he was able to understand his exaggerated anxiety regarding the financial security of his family. His greatest fear of all was that he would not be able to provide adequately for his wife and children. Now he knew why he had felt driven to sign up for large amounts of life insurance just in case he should suffer a fatal accident.

When Gary returned to the bardo, bridging the death of Peter Hargreaves in 1944 and his own birth some two years later, he received the strong impression that the emotional momentum from previous lives had once more pitched Elizabeth, Caroline and himself into the task of refining their natures through intense interaction.

As Gary was about to meet the judgement board, he became aware of the sensation that had he possessed a body, that body would have had no fingers - clearly a throwback to his treatment by the Nazis.

He perceived the Three as idealized forms of Jesus Christ, a representation that most probably can be traced to Hargreaves' Catholic background. Gary felt strongly that these adjudicators were well-acquainted with his soul-identity and, as the review of Peter Hargreaves' life proceeded, he was aware of the missing fingers being returned to his 'shadow' body. This, he believed, symbolized that he had been forgiven - or more precisely, had forgiven himself - for the recklessness which had led to his premature death.

The Three cautioned him about his characteristic foolhardiness that had reached across several incarnations and warned him not to get involved in another military career until the tendency had been controlled. (During the early 1970s, Gary wanted to join the US Army in Viet Nam as an intelligence officer. But he was dissuaded from this idea by the insistent promptings of an inner voice.) The Three also told him that the pride he held in his knowledge and intellectual ability must give way to humility, he must become not weak, but meek. In this life, Gary is still grappling with innate recklessness, pride in his abilities - which often surfaces as arrogance - and a susceptibility to betrayal in both personal and professional situations. This latter theme was not addressed by the judgement board, but it appears that his soul's anger at being betrayed was so incorrigible during the interlife that Gary has carried his negativity back into this incarnation. Consequently he has difficulty trusting even those who are close to him - including his elder brother, Graham.

Shortly after Gary and Caroline started their affair, Elizabeth confided in Graham and asked for his help in restoring the equilibrium of their marriage. Graham then invited his brother out to dinner, and Gary looked forward to the opportunity to voice his most personal feelings to a sympathetic listener. But Graham, acting as Elizabeth's agent, condemned his behaviour. Gary was deeply wounded by this reaction.

Four months of hypnotic sessions provided Gary with a greater awareness of his own situation as well as a broader understanding of the motivations that underlie human behaviour. Before journeying into past lives and meta-consciousness, he tended to be harshly judgemental. Now, mindful of the unseen influence of karmic forces, he shows greater tolerance towards himself and others.

In his own mind, Gary has thoroughly resolved the reasons for the affair which ended not only as a result of Elizabeth's desperate protest but also because Gary and Caroline were being constantly challenged by circumstances. Emotional momentum brought them together, but the absence of interlife planning – the glue of relationships - decreed that they had no future together in this incarnation. 'It felt as though we were two actors who simply ran out of lines,' said Gary. His relationship with Elizabeth, on the other hand, can be likened to a duet that, although briefly interrupted by a third voice, is expected to continue until curtain call.

Gary's karmic case study raises a monumental question about the nature of all romantic involvement. As long ago as 1953, the celebrated sex researcher Alfred Kinsey reported that in the United States, approximately half of married men and a quarter of married women participate in at least one extramarital affair during their lifetimes. Most partnerships of this kind arise from marital boredom invaded by compelling sexual attraction to a person who is conventionally 'out-of-bounds'. The genesis of such liaisons usually ensures their early collapse, the affairs foundering when initial passion subsides. But there are other affairs in which powerful emotions join forces with sexual magnetism to create an adulterous relationship of genuine affection. Gary's hypnotic experiences suggest that intimacy in other lives may be one of the most important factors in the awakening, or reawakening, of these emotions.


The source of the experience

Whitton, Dr Joel

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps