Woolger, Dr Roger - Other lives, Past Selves – A former life as the daughter of Russian peasants who have been massacred by cossacks
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Other lives, past selves [A Jungian Psychotherapist discovers Past Lives] – Dr Roger Woolger
Rick was complaining to me in therapy about how miserable and lonely his life was now that his wife had left him. "I’ve got to do it all alone" was the phrase that kept recurring in one form or another.
"I want you to close your eyes and keep repeating 'I’ve got to do it all alone,'' I say to him. "Pay attention to your body and your feelings and just see where it takes you-in this life or any other."
My instruction is designed to give him full rein to go anywhere on the lotus wheel that the phrase may take him.
"I'm in my childhood, cleaning the house. My mother is dead and Father is at work. I'm eight years old. I've got to do it all alone."
Tears begin to well up in him as images from his lonely childhood come to mind. Next I instruct him to go to any other time when these words had strong meaning for him.
"I’ve got to do it alone," he says again. "It's not fair, I can't manage alone. I'm terrified. Who’s going to help me?"
"Where are you?" I say.
"I'm inside my mother. It’s her speaking. Father's away in the army. She's terrified of giving birth," he continues.
We pursue further in utero messages that he absorbed from his mother, helping him to be conscious of how her voice is still active in him.
"It's not fair. Why did he have to leave me? What am I going to do? There's no one here. I just can't face it. How am I going to manage?"
Then I say, "Go to any other life repeating the phrase 'I’ve got to do it alone."'
Almost immediately Rick finds himself as the eight-year-old daughter of Russian peasants who have been massacred by cossacks. She is digging their grave in the hard earth as the only remaining survivor. Again, tears and bitterness. When it is over we move through the peasant child's life to its completion. It becomes clear that the eight-year-old Russian girl never recovers from the shock of finding her parents massacred. She lives alone for much of that life never marrying.
Rick is still carrying the frozen affect from that life, still repeating the miserable, lonely eking out of a life. It has, it seems, become a deep habitual response, a miserable way of being in the world that still rules his life today.
First the perinatal memory traces are reinforced in utero and, much later, as a child of eight, the memory is awakened in an emotional reverie of his dead mother while he struggles to clean the house all alone. Each experience only seemed to reconfirm an old residue of anguish and sorrow.