Sea of Souls

I wanted to write this down somewhere while I still remember. I was just watching the BBC drama "Sea of Souls", which figured a story surrounding regression or reincarnation. It reminded me of an experience at University in the states twenty-five years ago.

At the time, I had a popular party sideline as a stage hypnotist as a consequence of my motivational psychology studies. And one of the thing that my fellow students used to ask me to do, was to hypnotise them to help them study for exams. Believe it or not, it used to be quite effective on some. I would put them under with their study materials for half an hour or so and they found that the single-minded concentration helped. Then one evening, with a young woman called Cathy, I chanced upon the phenomena of "spontaneous regression."

Cathy, a twenty-two year old from rural Maine, was one of those people, roughly ten percent of the population, who scored highly on what is called "The Stanford Susceptibility Scale." In other words, she was in a hypnotic trance within a couple of minutes of my starting the procedure. Instead of however having a subject who I could leave to study for thirty minutes, I suddenly found myself presented with a young woman who was looking out of a window two hundred years ago and admiring the figure of a handsome stevedore below her on Boston harbour.

I documented Cathy for several months. I had never encountered anything like this before and discovered that her new personality had been born in Wallasey on Merseyside in the mid-18th century to a merchant captain. Cathy, who had never been to England in real life, suddenly knew a great deal about the period and for example, that to reach the port of Liverpool, where her father's ship was moored, involved a long carriage journey to cross the river Mersey, quite different from today.

Perhaps she picked all this information up from a book? In the BBC drama, they refer to the unusual nature of the fictional subject having an ordinary life and for Cathy and perhaps a hundred other people I experienced, this was the norm, like a Catholic priest in Florida, who when hypnotised, claimed to remember drowning in an 11th century shipwreck between Scotland and Ireland.

None of these people remembered anything about so-called previous lives upon waking-up and all of them had two things in common. Their personalities led frequently dull and harsh lives, frequently with a violent ending with a death experience which was much the same, at a time, a quarter century ago, when this kind of experience wasn't widely known about. It's made me wonder ever since and arrive at my own theories, why create such a mundane and often unpleasant fantasy existence?

After all, if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains behind must be the truth or is it?


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