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The Present Power of Past Lives: The Experts Speak


Hi, Everyone,

I am delighted to announce the publication of my new book,
The Present Power of Past Lives: The Experts Speak.

It is now available on Amazon!

In late 2013, I conducted a series of radio interviews on globally-based VoiceAmerica with experts in the field of past lives, past-life regression, and the expansion of consciousness. Based on those interviews and with additional materials, my book starts with my practices and tips for helping a client achieve a successful past-life regression and finding an appropriate regressionist.

After I interview three of my clients about the healing that past-life regression can provide, I discuss what Karma is and is not. In contrast to a time-bound, cause-and-effect mechanism that tends to focus on what amounts to predetermined punishment for transgressions committed earlier in the present or in a past life, I see a pattern of freely-chosen contracts/choices made with others to try out a different path.

Following the chapter on Karma are ten other chapters devoted to the different contexts in which practitioners have accessed past lives. See the Table of Contents below.

Through the text and Endnotes, I comment on what is presented in the interviews from the point of view of Seth, that “energy personality essence” channeled by Jane Roberts from 1963 to her death in 1984.

Making this perspective even more concrete are the interviews with two of Jane’s ESP students, Rich Kendall and the late Lawrence Davidson, who share what it was like to have Seth comment on several of their own past lives.

This book will appeal greatly to followers of Seth, those interested in the expansion of consciousness, those curious about past lives and related matters, and novice and experienced practitioners of past-life regression.

I hope you will purchase and read the book and, if you like it, write a review of the book on Amazon.


Table of Contents
Preface 13

Introduction 23

Chapter One: The Nature of Past-Life Regression and
Participants’ Stories 37

Chapter Two: Karma: What It Is and Is Not 57

Chapter Three: Past Lives and The Seth Material, Part 1: 70
An interview With Rich Kendall

Chapter Four: Children’s Past Lives: 89
An Interview with Carol Bowman

Chapter Five: Past Lives and Attached Entities: 111
An Interview with Greg McHugh

Chapter Six: Past-Life Regression and Shamanic Journeying: 130
An Interview with Dana Robinson and Shana Robinson

Chapter Seven: Past Lives and Soul Contracts: 151
An Interview with Linda Baker

Chapter Eight: Past-Life Regression for Intact Groups: 169
An Interview with Janet Cunningham

Chapter Nine: Past Lives and Natal Regression: 187
An Interview with Tim Simmerman-Sierra

Chapter Ten: Past-Life Regression to Capture Lost History: 205
An Interview with Joanna Prentis and Stuart Wilson

Chapter Eleven: Edgar Cayce and Past Lives in Atlantis: 225
An Interview with Nancy Eubel

Chapter Twelve: Past Lives and Life-Between-Lives: 241
An Interview with Dee Chips

Chapter Thirteen: Research on the Positive Effects of
Past-Life Regression: 259
An Interview with Heather S. Friedman Rivera

Chapter Fourteen: Past Lives and The Seth Material, Part 2: 275
An Interview with Lawrence Davidson

Postscript 288

Appendix I: Further Tips for Having a Productive Past-Life Regression 291

Appendix II: Grounding Exercises for Spiritual Journeying 295

Appendix III: Comparing Shamanism to Past-Life Regression 303

Appendix IV: Images and Words from Dr. Janet
Cunningham’s Book, A Tribe Returned 318

Bibliography 323

Guest Bios 332

Host and Author Bio 344

Chapter Notes 347



Seekers of expanded consciousness will revel in Dr. Joe Mancini’s compilation of cutting-edge work and key practitioners in the field today. As a talk show host, he takes the reader on a journey into other dimensions that offer new ways not only of healing ourselves, but also of recharging and reconfiguring our minds, hearts, physicality and spirituality. He dares to lead us into our own natal experiences, past lives and life between lives. He explores the Seth Material’s perspective on Karma, time and space and leaves the reader empowered with choice. This is a powerful book for novices and professionals alike!

Barbara Lane, Ph.D., CHt., is a past-life researcher and has regressed thousands (of people). Her work has been featured on TV, radio and in newsprint. (For over a decade, she served as hypnotherapist at George Washington University’s Center for Integrative Medicine in Washington, D.C.) Her most recent book is Celebrity Past-Life Clues: A Closer Look into the Past Lives of 50 Famous People.


This remarkable book, heavily influenced by the Seth material by Jane Roberts, is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the concept of past lives and their influence on the current existence. With a Harvard Ph.D. and other impressive degrees and certificates, including a specialization in Spiritual Hypnotherapy, Dr. Joseph Mancini Jr. has become a unique explorer into the past lives—and the implications of those lives—of many people. In crystalizing the concept through his own knowledge and the expertise of twelve practitioners whom he interviewed as host of a very popular radio show, Joe opens our own insights to a spectacular degree. This book is one-of-a-kind and not to be missed!

–Lynda Madden Dahl is Co-Founder of Seth Network International and author of eight, Seth-based books, including her Living a Safe Universe series.


Dr. Joe Mancini, Jr. takes the reader on a very interesting journey into not only past-life regression, but also, among other topics, Soul Contracts, Children’s Past Lives, Life-Between-Lives, Edgar Cayce’s Atlantis—all glossed through the perspectives of the Seth teachings. His book is a fascinating blend of interviews, case histories and even helpful hints about experiencing a past-life regression. Those new to metaphysics and professionals alike will benefit from this material.

Katherine Zimmerman is an internationally known author and speaker, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master, and EFT Practitioner. She is the Director of the California Hypnotherapy Academy, a former guest lecturer for the University of California Medical Center, Davis and a conference presenter.


Through interviews with experts in the field, Dr. Joe explores a fascinating array of topics related to past-life research and past-life regression therapy, ranging from natal regression to the Interlife to the true meaning of Karma. Encompassing both personal accounts and professional perspectives, Dr. Joe delivers the equivalent of a full-length course in a single volume. Best of all, Dr. Joe locates these conversations within the framework of Seth’s teachings on the nature of reality. In so doing, he makes a substantive contribution to the body of secondary writings that support and extend the Seth Material.

Joyce Kilmartin, M.B.A., MTP, Ph.D. is a former corporate consultant and now

a transpersonal coach and counselor in Barrington, R.I.; she is also the author of Worldviews in Transition: Applying Three Models of Human Development to the Seth Texts, and the creator of the blog, “Seth Says: Worldly Advice From Out of This World.”


For any reader new to metaphysics, Dr. Joe Mancini, Jr. has done an excellent job focusing on a number of intriguing topics within spiritual counseling, hypnotherapy and past-life regression. Using the Seth Material and Past Lives as a helpful lens, Joe interviews experts who discuss important areas that do not typically receive a great deal of visibility. Topics include, among others, Soul Contracts, Attached Entities, Natal Regressions, Shamanic Journeying, Edgar Cayce and Atlantis, and Life Between Lives. Plus he offers a helpful discussion about the research into the positive benefits that can come from exploring one’s Past Lives. I heartily recommend this book to those who are eager to learn more about these fascinating topics.

Peter Wright is a Santa Barbara-based, Board-Certified, Past-Life Regression Therapist with 24 years of experience in this field.


I’m delighted and honored to review Dr. Joe Mancini’s marvelous achievement, The Present Power of Past Lives—What the Experts Say. Dr. Joe is a modern day “psychic archaeologist,” whose broad talents include his first-rate ability to help people access not only their past lives, but also their future, probable, and parallel lives while under deep hypnosis. We are all multidimensional beings; and, indeed, Dr. Joe’s subjects reveal a rich tapestry of vivid, past-life experiences, many of which allow the regressed the opportunity to explore their own inner landscape and permit the regressionist, Dr. Joe, the opportunity to balance their inner and outer spiritual needs as necessary.  Dr. Joe’s work offers unique insights into consciousness explorations via various hypnotherapy modalities as accepted means of assisting people who wish to explore their “past.” I feel that we owe Dr. Joe a debt of gratitude for bringing us, with the help of other experts he interviews, to the cutting edge of this exciting field. Go Joe!

–Ron Card is a retired photojournalist and a Seth presenter and practitioner who has read and applied the principals and philosophy of the Seth Material for over forty years.


As a practicing, certified, clinical hypnotherapist who specializes in past-life regression, I found Joe’s book not only insightful, but also compelling and greatly enjoyable.  Dr. Joe’s book lovingly furthers the conversation on reincarnation and the very real potentials for healing and learning in the present lifetime by including a wealth of perspectives from first-person experiences of past-life regression.  The Present Power of Past Lives—What the Experts Say is accessible and coherent, and is presented in a practical format, which is of use to both the clinician as well as lay explorers of consciousness.

Jeff Ennor, CCHT


Joseph Mancini’s new book is an exciting array of eclectic therapeutic disciplines. Comprising a broad selection of inspiring, thought-provoking information, this book appeals to a broad, avid readership for both the curious professional and the spiritually-oriented reader. Using the “Seth” material and past-life regression as the focal point, The Present Power… introduces some of “the worlds beyond our ordinary space-time reality,” e.g., prenatal regression, earth-bound entities, between-lives material, soul contracts and group reincarnation. Shared in the format of radio interviews, the amassed information is easily understood and has a nice flow. Curious professionals can glean a number of valuable techniques for expanded exploration. This book contains also an excellent section of clarifying notes interspersed with Seth material, as well as the therapeutic perspectives, beliefs, and findings of those professionals interviewed. Mancini’s book is a most welcome edition to the expanding field of transpersonal regression therapy.

–Albert Marotta, MA., CHt.


This book is one man’s journey through the fields and valleys of his intellect and intuition with the Seth material and his Self as his guides—as he explores the minds he meets and tries to answer metaphysical, psychological and practical questions for himself and all of us, questions concerning how the existence of simultaneous time and past and future lives expand our present awareness and identities, and greatly impact our present experiences.

Barrie Gellis is a teacher, poet and one of the original New York Boys in Jane Roberts’ Elmira ESP Seth Classes in the 1970s. Among Barrie’s 4,000 poems is the poetry book, Outside Is A Secret Key.



“Explorations in Consciousness With Dr. Joe”: A New Radio Show


Hi, Everyone!

Yes, I am now the host of my own radio show, “Explorations in Consciousness with Dr. Joe”!

The show will start on Tuesday, August 13 and will continue every Tuesday for an hour at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time until November 5. It will be hosted on the 7th Wave Channel of VoiceAmerica (NOT Voice OF America). Each episode will be re-broadcast several times during the week it first airs, and there will be an archive of past episodes.  You may access the episodes for free, either by going to my homepage on the VoiceAmerica website,  or by downloading the Voice America app to your smart phone and searching for my show.  If you subscribe for free to VA, you will get a program by email.

If you miss the first broadcast, you can hear, via my VoiceAmerica home page, the show re broadcast at 10:00 pm Eastern time.  If you cannot tune into the re-broadcasthow, don’t worry, for you can go to my Voice America Homepage and check out the Episode Directory (Archive).  Click on the show you want and then the “Listen Now” link to hear the show.  There are also links to download the episode as an MP3 file and to get it free from iTunes.

During the thirteen weeks, I will focus with my guests on past-lives, past-life regression, and related matters. We will  cover many topics including the nature of past lives, the therapeutic effects of past-life regression, soul contracts, reincarnating souls groups, children’s past lives, incarnations in Atlantis and in the time of Christ, Life Between Lives, “spiritual birth control,” and much more.  My underlying metaphysical approach is based on the Seth Material channeled by Jane Roberts.  For more detail, check out the list of episodes following this introduction.

You may be interested in how all this came about.  On April 18 of this year, I was able to purchase Jane Roberts’ work table on which she wrote some of her own books, accessed her “spiritual library,” painted her sketches, and read proofs of the Seth Books.  The table was in her writing room in the “Hill House” in Elmira, New York, and later in the house in Sayre, Pennsylvania, that her husband, Robert Butts, and his new wife, Laurel Davies-Butts, lived in for a number of years.  (Jane died in 1984, and Rob in 2008).

Jane's Table in the Corner of My Group RoomI am awed and joyous over the presence in my home of this table filled with great psychic energy.  I hope to do some of my own channeled writing (though with a computer rather than with a typewriter or pen!), while seated at the table.  It is no accident that the table found its way to my group room–what a great thing for me to manifest!

And it is no accident that, on the same day that I received from Laurel the first half of Jane’s table, I received also a phone call from the Senior Executive Producer for VoiceAmerica, the largest creator and distributer of internet radio in the world.  I thought with excitement that maybe he wanted to interview me about some aspect of my work.  Well, I was wrong–he wanted me to submit a proposal to host my own radio show once a week for an hour for thirteen weeks!  I was flabbergasted, awed, and, I must admit, a bit scared.  Geez, I would be heard in 32 countries!

Within a week, my proposal was accepted.  The producer said that he had asked his staff to search for potential hosts on the internet, focussing on spiritual counseling, hypnotherapy, and past-life regression.  I was one of about 12 individuals who had made the final cut out of 300 contenders.  And I knew nothing about any of this (though my soul certainly did) until he called on the 18th. He also told me that what clinched the deal for him was that I said that the Seth Material would serve as the underlying metaphysics for my discussions!

So, please join my guests and me for a spectacular exploration in consciousness!



Date:  August 13, 2013

Episode Title: Past Lives and the Seth Material, Part 1: An Interview with Rich Kendall

In this episode, Rich Kendall, one of the New York Boys in Psychic Jane Roberts’ ESP class in the early ‘70s, will help set the stage for the entire 13-week focus on past lives.  Seth, the “energy personality essence” channeled by Jane from 1963 through her death in 1984, talked a great deal about past lives, including the idea that they do not actually exist in our “pasts.”  Besides discussing Sethian notions about the true nature and influence of past lives, Rich will share some of his own encounters with Seth and what that gentle, but provocative personality said specifically about Rich’s past lives.  Rich will also share the impact of Seth’s teachings on his life then and now.  Some of his reflections can be found already in his book, The Road to Elmira, the first volume of a proposed three-volume work.


Date: August 20, 2013

Episode Title: The Nature of Past Life Regression and Participants’ Stories

In this episode, Dr. Joe’s guests are several individuals who have participated in either a group or individual past life regression with him.  With their help, he will explain the process of a typical past life regression and the difference between the individual and group modalities.  They will discuss what is most important to remember in order to have a successful journey to a past life.  They will focus also on the pitfalls that can frustrate success, such as fear both of not being able to access a past life and, paradoxically, of being able to do so.  Tips for overcoming other potential obstacles in the process will be offered, as well as tips about how to select a regressionist.  Finally, one or more of the guests will have a chance to discuss aspects of his or her past life regression and the effect the journey has had on his or her present incarnation.


Date: August 27, 2013

Episode Title: Children’s Past Lives: An Interview with Carol Bowman

In this episode, Dr. Joe will ask Carol Bowman, M.S., to discuss her fascinating and paradigm-busting research on children’s past lives.  Stimulated by the voluminous, pioneering work on this topic by Dr. Ian Stevenson at the University of Virginia, Carol furthered his research in her first book in 1997, Children’s Past Lives.  In that book, she describes how she came to believe in her own children’s accounts of past lives and gives guidance to parents about the nature of this phenomenon and how to respond appropriately to the past life disclosures of their children.  Her second book published in 2001, Return from Heaven, is the first to describe reincarnation in the same family, that is, for instance, the return of a deceased adult as the newborn of the daughter of the deceased adult. While family return in particular has many implications for family members, the greatest implication is that children’s past lives offer the greatest proof for the actuality of past incarnations.


Date: September 3, 2013

Episode Title: Past Lives and Attached Entities: An Interview with Greg McHugh

In this episode, Dr. Joe invites Greg McHugh, CHT, to share the ideas incorporated in his book, The New Regression Therapy.  Greg’s trainings and initiation experience in a semi monastic Gnostic Christian order contributed to the development of protocols for the healing of past life and present life wounds and limiting beliefs through the application of Divine Presence.  Such Presence may be drawn upon from the client’s Higher Self, Interlife resources, from Angelic Higher Resources, and great beings like the Heart of Elijah. Greg will discuss how he releases attached entities (mostly spirits who have left their bodies but have not gone into the Light). He will explain how such spirits’ own feelings and issues affect the client. He may also talk about his remote regression protocol with the use of a surrogate for a client who cannot be physically present in the therapy room.


Date: September 10, 2013

Episode Title: Past Life Regression and Shamanism: An Interview with Dana Robinson, B.A., C.S.C. and Shana Robinson, M.S.

In this episode Dr. Joe discusses with Shana and Dana, authors of Shamanism & the Spirit Mate, the connections between Past-Life Regression and Shamanism.  After discussing the nature of core shamanism, Shana and Dana and Dr. Joe share how they c0-created and c0-facilitated the first ever workshop combining the techniques of past life regression and shamanic journeying to effect healing.  Lasting two days, the workshop showed how seemingly very different modalities were in many ways very similar in their intentions, actions and effects.  Workshop participants who call in will discuss their impressions of this unique merging of disciplines, including their enlarged sense of their multi-dimensionality.


Date: September 17, 2013

Episode Title: Past Lives and Soul Contracts: An Interview with Linda Baker

In this episode, Dr. Joe interviews Linda Baker, RN, CHT, author of The Bridge Between the Worlds, Soul Contracts  and co-author of Alchemical Scents..  Linda will describe the nature and purpose of Soul Contracts, particularly how they affect our lives and relationships today.  In the first of two kinds of contract, souls reincarnate together to work through unresolved issues between them; in the second kind, the personality makes a contract with his or her soul to end a pattern of events that persists no matter who the other players are.  Linda will also talk about what she calls Spiritual Post-Conception Birth Control, a very loving process wherein the pregnant woman can communicate with her unborn child about whether the time is right for a birth; when it is agreed that the time is not right, a natural miscarriage can occur.  Of course, what karma is and is not is a theme that will permeate the discussion.


Date: September 24, 2013

Episode Title: Past Life Regression for Intact Groups: An Interview with Janet Cunningham

Dr. Joe interviews Janet Cunningham, Ph.D., author of A Tribe Returned, the amazing story of herself and 25 other people who have memories of being together in a Native American Tribe.  Told that she was the reincarnation of the daughter of Chief Silver Eagle, Janet will talk about how she unwittingly gathered together members of that past tribe.  Janet was told also that she was selected by the Grandfathers to be the next Chief.  As a past-life therapist, she then assisted the reincarnated members in releasing their traumatic memories of a devastating massacre. Janet not only did enormous healing work for the friends, family members and clients who were part of that tribe, but also pioneered a new regression modality practiced today by very few other practitioners: intact-group past life regression, wherein an entire group of individuals who were connected to each other in a past life are regressed together to that lifetime.  Listen to a discussion of an amazing collective journey.


Date: October 1, 2013

Episode Title: Past Lives and Natal Regression: An Interview with Tim Simmerman-Sierra

Dr. Joe interviews Tim Simmerman-Sierra, Certified Medical Support Clinical Hypnotherapist, the lead instructor at the Hypnotherapy Academy of America in Albuquerque, about Natal Regression, a modality not usually taught in hypnosis schools.  This process, which begins in the Interlife, may involve information from past lives that can be used by the soul to prepare for his or her current incarnation.  After becoming aware of agreements with significant others in the present incarnation, the person is taken through the moment of conception, womb time and the actual birth experience.  During this journey, the soul tunes into the varying feelings and thoughts of parents and the medical personnel present at birth.  Alternating between expansive and narrowed levels of awareness, clients can see patterns in their lives that are the result of unconsciously held beliefs formed during this period of development. This is one of the fastest ways to heal blocks to accessing your divine nature.


Date: October 8, 2013

Episode Title: Past Life Regression to Capture Lost History: An Interview with Joanna Prentis and Stuart Wilson

In this episode, Dr. Joe interviews Joanna Prentis and Stuart Wilson, authors of several books, including a trilogy on the Essenes that focuses in large part on the figure of Mary Magdalene. They will discuss how they worked using regression techniques and with the channeled help of an Angel named Alariel to capture otherwise lost history.  From the past-life perspective of Daniel, a friend of Joseph of Arimathea, they reveal Jesus’ healing in the tomb with the help of the Essenes.  Joanna and Stuart will tell us also how they facilitated other regression subjects to reveal the real significance of Mary Magdalene as a deeply beloved spiritual partner to Jeshua; as a charismatic, powerful and articulate leader of a group of female disciples; and as a counterpoint to the dominance of some of the male disciples.  Come join us for a mind-blowing excursion back to an erstwhile unknown past.


Date: October 15, 2013

Episode Title: Edgar Cayce and Past Lives in Atlantis: An Interview with Nancy Eubel

In this episode, Dr. Joe discusses with Nancy Eubel, MBA, CHT, Rt., QHHT, what the renowned psychic Edgar Cayce has said about past lives and karma and the effect of his perspective on her own teaching and facilitation of past life regression.  Focusing principally on the past lives in Atlantis that Cayce revealed in his readings for others, Nancy will share with us the main implications those past lives have for us today, especially since many Atlanteans have apparently reincarnated during the present time.  With its development especially of nuclear power and the potential for world-wide devastation, our current world seems eerily similar to Atlantis before each of the three cataclysms that apparently ultimately dropped the continent below the surface of the Atlantic.


Date: October 27, 2013

Episode Title: Past Lives and Life Between Lives: An Interview with Dee Chips

In this episode, Dr. Joe interviews Dee Chips, BSW, MHt., CRM, LBLT, owner of American Holistic University and President/Owner of the National Association of Transpersonal Hypnotherapists, NATH.  We will discuss the process of Life Between Lives Hypnotherapy, first popularized in the works of Michael Newton starting in 1994.  In 2000, Dee, along with her late husband, Allen Chips, DCH, and in collaboration with Newton, designed and implemented the first LBL certification training program under the auspices of NATH.  With the help of case studies, Dee will talk about how the process works: it starts from a client’s going back to a past life and then entering the Interlife after the death in that life and meeting guides, his/her soul group, various schools, the Council of Elders and those whom he or she will contract to work with in the next lifetime. Come join us for an absolutely fascinating excursion into a deeper reality.


Date: October 29, 2013

Episode Title: Research on the Positive Effects of Past Life Regression: An Interview With Heather S. Friedman Rivera

In this episode, Dr. Joe interviews Heather S. Friedman Rivera, RN, JD, Ph.D. about her personal and professional discovery of the uses of Past Life Regression and the recent research she has done on the positive effects of Past Life Therapy.  Plagued by chronic illnesses, Heather found much relief in Past Life Regression and decided to do research on what other participants in this modality had said were its most likely and most therapeutic effects.  Her research is unique in that it relies not on anecdotal data and individual cases, but rather on a broad cross section of data gathered from respondents of various ages, gender, religious upbringing, and experiences.  Among other therapeutic effects, the most prevalent reported is that death no longer holds as much fear for most participants in Past Life Regression.


Date: November 5, 2013

Episode Title: Past Lives and the Seth Material, Part 2: An Interview with Lawrence Davidson

In this episode, Dr. Joe interviews Lawrence Davidson, another of Jane Roberts’ ESP students in the early ‘70s. Lawrence shares how he came to find out about Seth, the “energy personality essence” channeled by Jane, and why he came to Jane’s weekly classes.  He also shares his own memories of how Seth approached the topic of past lives and perhaps even what Seth said about Lawrence’s own. His anecdotes about the Seth phenomenon then and through the years, and about how those early class experiences changed his life, add much color to his story.  Finally, his perspectives on the San Francisco Bay Area Seth Conference he has organized for the last several years show the ongoing power of the Seth Material.

A Meditation on Judas

Though I am no longer what I would consider a Christian, every Easter I think about Judas.

Growing up Catholic, around age 12, I attended religious instructions to prepare for my upcoming Confirmation, the process by which Catholics consciously affirm that they are willing to die for their faith. But, while I was always drawn to things Divine, partly because of a pious mother, I was starting to think for myself, starting to wonder about whether the concepts I was being taught by the nuns were making sense.

During one of the weekly lessons, I recall when our nun—was she Sister Mary-Joseph?—started to talk about Judas, the Arch-Nemesis of the Good. In her rendition of him, which embellished a bit on the Biblical text, he appeared as a thin, pale, anemic and angular man permanently hunched over the way most villains have been melodramatically portrayed. How could he not be such, this infamous excuse for a human being who would dare to betray the Son of God for any reward, not to mention the legendary thirty pieces of silver? Suitable gasps of horror escaped the lips of my fellow students, while the Good Sister, nodding approval, pursed even more her already pursed lips.

I, meanwhile, sat deep in thought, thinking about how other presented doctrines, particularly the omniscience of God, squared with Sister Mary-Joseph’s portrayal of Judas and his actions. If God, I remembered thinking, is all-knowing, then He had to know from all eternity, that Judas was going to inform on Christ. Moreover, if Judas had not brought the centurions to the Garden of Gethsemane and kissed Christ to point Him out, there would have been no Crucifixion and no Resurrection, the latter being the most important event in all of Christianity. Somebody had to take on that role. Somebody had to take the rap and be cursed throughout the succeeding centuries. That person did not have a chance—he was set up; he could not have not chosen to be the Betrayer. So why was Judas the “fall guy” for this betrayal of betrayals? What had he done to deserve this horrible and crushing fate? Nothing in the Gospels suggests that he was a heinous individual before the betrayal.

While I am certain that, when I was twelve in that classroom, I could not have said anything quite as articulate as the reasoning above, I did raise my hand and, when recognized, did stand up and say something about what seemed like the grossest unfairness of the situation facing Judas. I was truly perplexed, hoping that my mentor in black and white would make sense of what seemed horrifying nonsense. But I recall that a chilling silence immediately prevailed as I looked at the immobile nun, arms interlocked at chest level, who must have experienced, for a moment at least, what I would now call “synapse failure,” a disconnect in the brain. Then, after an interminable second, only her lips moved, barely, as she voiced in an even, but hard tone, “Sit down!”

So I sat down. But I didn’t shut down. For years the enigma of Judas’ fate and the nun’s response continued to annoy, unsettle, and intrigue me. Looking back, I now know that the nun’s reaction was perfectly created to set me on the course I needed to take: to find my own answers in sources other than conventional authority. Yet, as my general education became broader and broader, I still could not find anything that could come close to granting me a satisfactory answer, even if I had known what “satisfactory” meant.

Then one day, I went to see Zorba the Greek playing at the local theatre. I was enraptured with Zorba’s (and, by extension, his creator’s) zest for and exuberance in life. So, I sought out another of Kazantzakis’ works and found The Last Temptation of Christ. As I settled down to read this magical text, I found myself in a powerful trance that, nevertheless, felt more like reality than the reality I had known. When Judas came on the scene, I was transfixed.

For here was a rendition of the man that Sister Mary-Joseph could never have imagined, or, if imagined, would have had to reject or face possibly a permanent synapse failure. (While I did not check my memory by skimming the novel before writing this post, I am telling you here what was imprinted on my consciousness about Kazantzakis’ portrayal.) If Sister Mary-Joseph could embellish the Biblical account, so, too, could Kazantzakis. Onto his scene strode, not the mousey, sniveling Judas of St. Mary-Joseph’s imagination, but rather a behemoth of a man, a mountain-man type, with huge muscles and stalwart stature.

This Judas was not only a disciple, but also a confidant and protector of Jesus. As a bodyguard, he accompanied Christ everywhere and swore allegiance to Him.

While this image of Judas was startling enough to me who had been programmed to think of him as extremely different, there was one scene between him and Jesus that brought shivers and tingles to my body, that made me jump from my chair and walk with great energy, arms gesticulating in triumph, around my room.

In this private scene, Jesus tells Judas that he has something very important and very sad to tell him. Wanting to ease Christ of any burden, Judas is very eager to hear the disclosure. Jesus goes on to tell him that he, Christ, is going to be betrayed, arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to death. Upon hearing this news, Judas is outraged by what his beloved Master is about to endure; and he is immediately ready and willing to crush the betrayer, fight the authorities and even take Christ’s place and be executed.

With great compassion, Jesus looks up at this man who, to confirm his faith in the conventional way, was more than willing to give up his life for Him; Jesus then says, “No, Judas, you have the harder thing to do…you have to betray me.” It still chills and thrills me to repeat those words.

Finally, I had found the answer I had craved in my youth. My intuition that something was not quite right with the conventional story of Judas was validated by an author who wrote, not from doctrine, but from the deepest well of his heart. In betraying Christ, Judas was not acting as the demonic figure he has been labeled as, but rather as the most loving friend who sacrificed his public honor and legacy for the sake of his Beloved Master and His Mission. Judas then agreed to, chose to, do what on the outside was viewed as the most despicable act, but whose true nature was not discovered and articulated until the heart of one, Kazantzakis—who loved life, often, like Zorba, in the face of death—dared to speak it.

Such was the Sacred Contract, to use Carolyn Myss’ words, that Judas and Christ had with each other, the former probably in order to experience and pledge the deepest love possible, the other to set in motion a covenant of Love, no matter how distorted it would come to be by his followers. In effect, Judas went through his own Confirmation by sacrificing, not his body, but rather something more important—his good name—for his faith; if he had not betrayed Jesus according to their contract, if he had not believed Jesus knew exactly what he was doing and asking, Judas would truly have betrayed Christ and disconfirmed his faith.

So, now my Confirmation of Faith validates the belief that nothing happens without purpose, however as yet unknown; that, as Jane Roberts’ Seth says, we choose all that happens to us; that the Heart knows that which the Mind knows nothing about, and that we co-create freely and deliberately, often with love and atypical (even counter-intuitive) sacrifice, all of our shared reality. This is the New Understanding that rises, Easter-like, again and again, from the death of no-longer-useful and thus limiting beliefs.

Source of Judas Image: http://us.cdn1.123rf.com/168nwm/candyman/candyman1004/candyman100400183/8511695-judas-on-engraving-from-the-1800s-perfomed-by-george-lechner-in-the-oberammergau-passion-play-publis.jpg

Creating My Own Reality: Health

A few weeks ago, in an online course facilitated by Rick Stack, one of Jane Roberts’ original students, I read a quote from Seth that fixated my attention.  In one sense, it was nothing new to me, because it was a reiteration of his core principle that we all form our own realities.

But there was a bit of a twist in this iteration:

When that point of awareness strikes you truly—when beyond what you are told, beyond what you hear and read—you understand emotionally, intuitively, intellectually that you do indeed create your own reality—then, in your terms…a new kind of consciousness is born in you…You feel the birth of intellect and intuition together in a high intellect…It will come again and again, until it becomes a second, newer nature (from Seth Class Session).

What riveted my attention was the word “emotionally,” for I realized that I accepted the notion that I create my own reality intuitively and intellectually, but very rarely emotionally.  Seth was saying that without acceptance on all three levels, an individual cannot move fully into a “high intellect” that empowers the individual on a conscious level to direct his or her life in a total manner.

As I thought more about this issue, I realized that I, like many other seekers, have had moments of “high intellect” that, unfortunately, did not last.  One such occurrence took place almost six years ago while taking an advanced course in medical hypnotherapy.  I suddenly felt that I had to do something about my chronic health issues, and sought the services of “S,” one of the trainers.  Below are my notes from that experience.

Notes from Hypnotherapy Session with “S”, 8-15-06

I went in with the idea that I had to do something about my health.  I tried to get into one statement the feeling I was intuiting about my health and came up with, “I don’t want to take care of my body.”  The emphasis is not on my wanting someone else to take care of me; it is rather on not wanting to bother caring for my body.  I also felt some anger at having to care.  And maybe some fear.  “S” asked me where I felt the anger/fear in my body, and I said, “Around my abdomen.”  I also felt my hands clenched.

“S” helped me create an affect bridge with these feelings and body sensations.  She tried to take me back to a scene in this life, but I went to a scene in 1642 in England.  I was in a dungeon in England.  I was bound by steel/iron bands around my waist, wrists, and (as I discovered later) around my neck.  I was going to be left to die.  I was a member of an outlaw gang and had been caught without my family’s (wife and child) and perhaps my band’s knowing about it.  I was very dirty, with only a kind of loincloth around my genitals.  I had a lot of dark, black hair and a big beard.  I was 42.

It seems that I was probably being left to starve to death.  I was fighting against the restraints; and, when I realized that I was also bound around the neck, I started to panic.  I was trying not to believe that I was completely restrained because that belief, I thought, would make me go crazy.  I wished that I was let loose and given a chance to move and run, even if I was cut down or speared.  Being restrained was the worst fear.  I remember thinking that if I did not have my body, I would be free, free from bodily suffering.  I was angry that I had to worry about my body.

Then, when “S” asked if I saw my captors, I told her one man was approaching me with a metal cup of water, which I drank, but hated the taste and the fact that the water dribbled out of the corners of my mouth.  At that point, I flashed to an image of Christ on the cross being offered a drink on a sponge by one of the Centurions.  Then I realized that I was nailed or roped to a cross for crucifixion as one of the thousands of slaves led by Spartacus, who were crucified along the Appian way when the Romans foiled their great rebellion.  I did not stay long in this incarnation, only long enough to notice that, once again, I was restrained until I died.  Having a body was, once again, the means to suffer.

When “S” asked if I visualized any other experiences of constraint, I flashed to when I was a kid and, one or two times a year, found myself trapped under the covers that my mother had tucked in tightly.  I would wake up and feel trapped by the covers (though I did not know where I was for a moment or two) because my head was near the foot of the bed and my feet near the head of the bed.

Then “S” rolled my head and took me away from all of that and asked me to see myself in a chair a few feet in from of me and talk to me.  She asked me to consult with me.  After the suffering part of me said with anger and anguish to the other that this was not okay, etc., the other part said that it kept creating incarnations for the suffering one because it was “weak,” had not fought back against the constraints, etc.  The suffering part angrily said that it could not fight back with such constraints.  The other part said that the suffering part should still fight back, but the other part did not know any other way to offer the suffering part.

As Joe in 2006, I said that I knew I had created all of the incarnations, that I was the one who was restraining me.

Next “S” asked me to summon and picture a wise figure.  I saw a guy with extremely long white hair and beard, both of which covered his face so I could not really see it.  She asked to talk to him directly.  When she asked his name, he said, “Joab.”  As I spoke for him, I could feel him quite amused.  He told “S” that Joe’s incarnations did not see that this was all pretense, a game, to get Joe to see in a deeply real way that he created his own reality, his own restraints.  He said that Joe was quite bright, but a bit dense about all of this.  He told “S” (paraphrased):

The problem with Joe’s food intake is his belief that food makes him gain weight and maintain his chronic illnesses.  He does not realize that this belief helps him to create the ILLUSION of constraints (that to get better, he has to restrict his intake of food and bind himself to the notion of exercising).  HIS BELIEF THAT HE WAS CONSTRAINED CAUSED HIM TO SET UP THE HEALTH SITUATION WHEREIN HE WOULD FEEL CONSTRAINED (HAVING TO DIET AND EXERCISE) IN TRYING TO OVERCOME IT.  If he dissolves the other belief that he is only strong if he fights against constraint, he will find that he can eat any food he wants and exercise little and BE HEALTHY.  But because he now so believes that only diet and exercise can help him out of his health situation, he will stay unhealthy if he does not diet and exercise.  So, for NOW, he needs to diet and exercise to convince his conscious mind that he has power.  In time, he will realize that he has far more power than he has ever thought; and then the focus will not be on how much exercise he does or how much food he takes in; it will be, rather, on which beliefs he will choose to manifest in his body.

He has worked minor miracles for others, but he now needs to work for himself a miracle around his health to move to the next stage of his spiritual development.  All this setup over many incarnations is his soul’s way of getting him to see in a very concrete way that he creates his own reality, to own that his body is his creation and that he has control over its processes.  That he is sick is an illusion, but he believes in his sickness, so it manifests.

Moreover, he must understand that his body is his instrument in this three-dimensional reality, that it enables him to enjoy the beauty of, for instance, the mountains of New Mexico.  Without this instrument he could not love concretely or be, himself, part of the beauty of the landscape.  He does not have to suffer in his body to prove that he is strong; rather he must show he is strong by being willing to recognize as such the illusion of believing that his body is fundamentally ill or ill-suited for his needs in three-dimensional life.  Had he not adopted these beliefs, he would not have been a slave to his own illusions nor an outlaw from the norm of Life itself, and thus he would not have ‘suffered’ those deaths while ‘constrained.’

I was the agent of the “blood incident”** today.  When he was most relaxed and non-defensive, I was able to cause him to bleed so that he could see that he could stop the bleeding by imagining and willing it.  If he can do that, he can stop the diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.  He will see that he created them for purposes that were well-intentioned to gain him strength, but which had the opposite effect of weakening his sense of his fundamental power.  He does not need these illness any longer; in truth, he never “needed” them.

Joe needs to remember the bleeding incident.  He needs to eat and exercise in the “healthy” way his conscious mind knows UNTIL he gets it completely that what is the root issue is his negative belief(s) about his control of his body.

I then told “S” that Joab was laughing, asking me if he had done well in his “get-up” of the Wise Old Man.”  I told her that I told him that he should get a haircut!

“S” then gave me a lot of relevant suggestions about living in my body for the joy it brings and its use as an instrument of transformation for me and those people I have yet to help.

**Blood incident:  This bizarre incident started right as “T” (the facilitator) was counting us out of the group hypnosis designed to send healing energy to people not in the room (such as “L” and “C” last November).  I felt some “liquid” running down my back on the right side, over my kidney.  I thought someone sitting in back of me had spilled some water on me.  But when I reached back, touched my shirt, and then looked at my hand, two of my fingers were covered in blood.  I was a bit freaked, and put my hand under my shirt in the same place, only to get more blood on my fingers.  So I immediately got up and went to the bathroom.  Synchronistically, one of the other students who is a doctor, “happened” to be in the hallway at the same time, and I asked him to come into the bathroom with me to investigate the bleeding.  When I took off my shirt, I found it soaked in blood (even staining, I found out later, the back of the chair I had been sitting in) and my back smeared with it.  I wondered if I had cut myself.  The doctor, “G,” wiped away the blood,  looking for the source and said, finally, that he thought a mole had come off because there was a minor “indentation” at the site of the bleeding.  He applied pressure and then led me hypnotically to imagine he was placing ice on the site and that the capillaries were capping and my blood was withdrawing from the site.  Well, I had some trouble imagining the ice until I touched the cool sink and was able to do some imaging.  Much to my surprise, the bleeding stopped in about a minute and a half, which is highly strange, given how much blood had dripped out and given that I am on a daily dose of aspirin which thins the blood and extends the time needed for coagulation.  I now believe, as Joab, said, that I was supposed to see that I could control my body.  And I could not understand how the mole got ripped out.  I do NOT remember any scratching of that area; and even if I had done so unconsciously, it would have taken a lot of painful digging to get the mole out.  Just amazing!


So many of the individuals who now come to me for spiritual hypnotherapy have significant  physical ailments (some of which have no medical cause) or simply do not want to be here, do not want to be embodied.  As with me, many of the people have had incarnations where they were abused in body for promulgating a new spirituality.  My experience noted above might be useful for them to know, for the best antidote to the fear of repeating such abuse is to realize, once again, that we are creating all of that because of “past” limiting beliefs that are fully present.

As I reread the notes for the umpteenth time, I, of course, wish that I could attain and retain that level of awareness I reached during the hypnotherapeutic process. I am relieved, however, to note what Seth says: “It will come again and again, until it becomes a second, newer nature.”  And that high intellect will have to come again and again and again and again.

The Safe Universe

A couple of days ago, Rick Stack, one of Jane Roberts’ original students in the ’70s, was lecturing online about the facts that each of us creates his or her reality and that the Universe is safe. Even after studying the Seth Material for over 30 years, I have had some doubts about the complete validity of these concepts, especially the latter, as have many other soul-journeyers.  Rick was telling the story of how he came to have a startling experience of just how safe the Universe is. While going to a restaurant with other students after a Seth class, he had “accidentally” walked through a plate glass window of the eatery and had shattered it.  He had sustained a couple of cuts that required just a few stitches; but most people, as you could imagine, might well have been very seriously injured, if not killed.  The next week, when Rick went to class, Seth, speaking, of course, through Jane, told him that he (Rick) had created this incident so he could experience what Seth has always said: that this is a SAFE universe.

Atlanta, Georgia

This past Tuesday, when I was driving to the Atlanta airport after finishing a business gig, my GPS suddenly lost juice (ostensibly because, I found out later, the rental car socket for the charger wasn’t working properly); I found myself in the midst of six lanes of very heavy and seemingly dangerous traffic in the middle of Atlanta.  I did not really know for sure where the airport was, but I hoped I was probably going in the right direction.  Still, I have to say I could feel major panic starting to rise in my gut.   Thankfully, instead of giving into my growing terror, I surprised myself, asking what else I had available.  When I noticed my iPhone, I squeezed over to the shoulder and stopped–not always a good idea–clicked on my blinkers, and typed the address of the airport into the iPhone’s GPS.  It was not going to be very efficient because of the small screen and my difficulty in looking at it while trying not to hit anyone.  Then I called in the angels, big time, and told them I would stay on the main highway until I, hopefully, saw a sign for the airport.  And, after 20 minutes, that was what happened.  Then I realized that I needed to get gas or pay heavily for it at the rental place.  But I realized that if I got off the main highway, I might not find my way back on.  So, I resigned myself to paying $8.00 a gallon and just followed the signs to the rental center.  When I got there, I told them what happened with the charger.  Well, they did not charge for the gas, especially since, to my surprise, I had used only about 3 gallons!!

While it all worked out well, I had to ask why I had created this potentially dangerous situation.  Even when it was going on, I had the sense that I was creating what happened because of my chronic fear of being away from home in an unknown place and having to depend on various technologies to guide me to my destinations on time.  Moreover, before I left the rental car place, the attendant had warned me that the charging socket might not work in this kind of car, but I did not fully check out that possibility since the charger light was steadily on!  But there was another level to my creation, as I found out when I suddenly remembered Rick’s story and realized that I had created my own dilemma to experience the very same thing: the safe Universe!  The next day, though I was very tired from my trip, I felt better than I have felt in a couple of years, more energized, hopeful, grounded.

Barcelona, Spain

Reflecting on my experience in Atlanta reminded me of another, earlier incident, this one in Barcelona that had a less happy outcome.  My wife and I were taking a cruise in the Western Mediterranean last October and decided to stay in Barcelona, the embarkation and disembarkation point, for a couple of days before the cruise.  I was hesitant to stay in such a big city known for its pick-pocketing, but I did so to please my wife.

The first day went generally well, but it was evident to both my wife and me that my fear of being in strange places where I did not speak the language was at an all-time high; my fear adversely affected our fun as I nixed some of my wife’s ideas about leaving the relative safety of a bus tour to wander in sections of the city.  Later, after preparing to go out to dinner, we walked to Rambles, a very busy, pedestrian section, and went into St. Joseph’s Market, full of brightly colored fruits, vegetables, candy, and meats.  I began filming and taking pictures, while checking every minute or so for my wallet in my left front pocket.

Suddenly, I could not touch the wallet—it had been stolen without my feeling anything!  I was outraged, shaken and scared as I realized that the wallet contained about $900.00 in cash, two blank checks, two credit cards, my medical cards, and my license.  I could hardly contain my feelings of violation as my wife and I walked a long way to the police station to make a report.  While there, I used a toll-free phone to cancel my credit cards. Later, when I got on the ship, I used a cell phone at great cost to contact my bank to cancel my checking account.  After getting home 10 days later, I got a new license and had to make several calls to my medical insurance sites to get new cards.  In short, restoring some of what I lost was a monumental hassle.

But more was going on beneath the obvious: very shortly after the theft, as I was walking to the police station, I struggled to avoid falling into victim consciousness. I pushed myself into owning that I had created this reality by drawing the pick-pocket to me though my strong, long-time fears of being robbed in a foreign country.  As I kept reminding myself of Seth’s view that there are no accidents, no real victims, only manifestations of our own negative, limiting beliefs, I managed to prevent my slide into a deep, dark hole that would have ruined the rest of the trip.  What helped me claim ownership of what happened was the realization that I had done something unusual before leaving the hotel: I had carried with me all those things I listed above as stolen, when, usually, I would bring to dinner only one credit card, perhaps my license, and only enough cash to cover the check; and I would have kept those things in a carrying case hanging from my neck inside my shirt.  I was thus in a deep, ungrounding trance caused by my negative beliefs.

Yet, another, positive belief, that I could indeed prevent complete catastrophe, was also operating and prompted me to leave the rest of my money, my iPhone, and my passport back at the hotel.  I had also “arranged” for the theft to happen when I was with my wife, who helped me settle down and retained her own credit cards.   Moreover, these positive beliefs also allowed me to collect from our homeowner’s insurance almost half the cash I had lost, an opportunity I had not known was possible until my wife wondered about it.

Because of the Barcelona incident, I believe that I handled the Atlanta situation in a better way because I saw more quickly what was emerging from my negative beliefs and changed them by believing that I had more resources than I would have thought.

Truly believing that the Universe is safe is definitely NOT second nature to me; hence my creating, repeatedly, situations that offer opportunities to really, deeply tune into the notion.  As Seth has said, embracing the notion that we create our own realities must be achieved on all levels, not just intellectually.  While I firmly grasp the concept on an intellectual level, embracing it emotionally is much, much more of a challenge. Through the experiences in Atlanta and Barcelona, I did get something more of an emotional as well as an intellectual understanding of that seemingly elusive belief.

Fully embracing the notion that one creates ones reality has everything to do with acknowledging that the Universe is safe.  When I am feeling that the Universe is unsafe, it is because I am viewing it though a complex of limiting, negative beliefs.  What I am experiencing then are all the manifestations of my own fear.  The greater the fear, the greater the reinforcements of that fear in the outside world.  When fear is rampant, it blinds me to anything else that I might experience in that moment that would alter my perception and enable me to feel and be safe.  My fear sends out a vibration that brings to me that which is, indeed, fearsome.  But, if I believe fully that I create my own reality and believe that I am safe, I will be so, no matter what is going on in the outside world for others.

By the way, I have often wondered what was happening within my co-creator, the pick-pocket.  The contract we made served both of us!

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