Woolger, Dr Roger - Other lives, Past Selves – A former life as an epileptic taken to an asylum
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Other lives, past selves [A Jungian Psychotherapist discovers Past Lives] – Dr Roger Woolger
Another client from the days when I had just begun to use past life work was a young woman whom I will call Barb. Barb was not long out of college and suffered from extreme shyness combined with a strong attachment to her parents, whom she described as very overprotective.
Her only explanation for their overprotectiveness was that she thought they felt guilty over some neglect of her when she was a small child. We had probed for many months in conventional analysis for any childhood story of being either neglected or abandoned. None surfaced.
Then, in one session, as we were talking about ways she could meet new friends and overcome her shyness, I made a suggestion about her having a dress-up party. ”Oh no!" she said, "I couldn't do that. People would think I’m crazy."
It suddenly struck me that she had quite often used that phrase, "They'll think I'm crazy," so I asked her to lie down, close her eyes, and repeat, "They'll think I’m crazy." She immediately became quite scared and her whole body tensed. Today I would recognize that we had touched the somatic level of the complex, but then I was simply puzzled that repeating a phrase she used habitually should suddenly frighten her. "I don't want to," she said, "I'm scared."
A fleeting image came to my mind that she thought I was going to hurt her, so I reassured her and managed to persuade her, now in a state of some agitation, to lie down on the couch. She lay down and repeated the words, trembling and rigid as she did so.
"They'll think I'm crazy. They'll think I'm crazy." Then followed: "I mustn't do it. I can't help it. They'll think I’m crazy. No, don't touch me! DON'T TOUCH ME! They're taking me away. They've got this thing on me, I can't move my arms. Don't take me away! Don’t! Please, don’t! No, no, no!"
She wept and sobbed and writhed on the couch in evident anguish for some time until finally she was able to tell the whole story:
"I'm twelve years old. It seems like the early nineteenth century. My parents are kind enough but I have these fits and roll on the ground. They think I'm crazy. They don't know what to do. I can't stop the fits coming on. I'm afraid they'll think I'm crazy. They'll have me locked up. And that’s what does happen. These men came and put me in this thing (presumably a straitjacket) and take me to an asylum. I never see my parents again. I die at eighteen years of a fever. What a terrible life."