At some point in your life you’ve probably wondered what happens to us when we die. What does it feel like? Where do we go? Can we come back to visit the living? Are we judged on the basis of what we believed, or what we did in this life? What is the afterlife like? Is there an afterlife?
These questions, virtually unanswerable as long as we are still alive, have long been the provenance of organized religion. In the twentieth century, the emergence of hypnosis began to uncover startling evidence for the theory of reincarnation, long a central tenet of several Eastern religions.
In 1952 an American woman named Virginia Tighe underwent hypnosis and shocked hypnotist Morey Bernstein and the world by recalling specific details of a life in nineteenth-century Ireland. Speaking in a thick brogue and even using several words that had long fallen out of fashion, she recalled many elements of daily life in Ireland that would have been unknown to a modern American woman. Skeptics have tried for decades, but no one has ever been able to disprove Tighe’s account of her life as Bridey Murphy.
The Bridey Murphy case drew attention to both hypnosis and the idea that we have lived other lives on Earth. In the following decades, books such as Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss explored the case histories of people who were able to report details of past lives while under hypnosis. The idea caught on that past lives could be revisited and that we can even resolve present-life difficulties related to a past life. Many hypnotherapists became trained in the technique of past-life regression.
Dr. Michael Newton began studying hypnosis at a very young age and placed his first subject in a hypnotic trance in 1947—five years before the Bridey Murphy case made news. A seasoned skeptic, his interest in traditional hypnosis for self-improvement led him to full certification and a thriving private hypnotherapy practice.
As past-life regression gained notoriety, he says he resisted requests from patients due to his skepticism and his focus on “traditional” hypnotherapy. But one day he would meet a patient who would change his life—and contribute to a revolutionary change in our understanding of the afterlife.
A young man came to Dr. Newton complaining of chronic pain on his right side. Trained in pain management and familiar with age regression techniques to help uncover and heal childhood trauma, Dr. Newton regressed the young man to an earlier part of his life. Following up on a description of the pain as “being stabbed,” Dr. Newton probed his patient to go deeper to uncover the source of the pain. To his astonishment, his patient suddenly regressed to a life as a World War I soldier killed by a fatal wound from a bayonet.
The patient’s pain disappeared, but it was just the beginning of Dr. Newton’s research. As he began to explore past lives with his patients, he stumbled upon a shocking discovery—some of his patients could be regressed to their lives between lives.
In 1994, Dr. Michael Newton published his revolutionary first book, Journey of Souls. This utterly unique book contains firsthand accounts of the afterlife as reported by dozens of Dr. Newton’s patients while in a hypnotic trance. I can see why this book is considered by so many people to be a modern classic. I’ve never read anything quite like it.
It sounds glib, but in Journey of Souls, Dr. Newton stops just short of answering the perennial question, “What is the meaning of life?” Each chapter covers a different facet of the afterlife, from what death physically feels and looks like to how soul mates recognize each other. Journey of Souls contains hundreds of pages of transcripts, reproducing word-for-word what ordinary people have revealed about the afterlife and the depth, wisdom, and compassion of the human soul.
I couldn’t put Journey of Souls down, and I have a feeling I’ll be reading it several more times. I can’t recommend Journey of Souls highly enough. Apparently thousands of other people felt the same way, because after its publication, Dr. Newton has described being bombarded with requests for a follow-up. Ten years later he published Destiny of Souls, an even more in-depth look at the wonders of the spirit world.
These two books have the potential to forever change the way you look at life and the afterlife. Whether you’re a true skeptic or a true believer, I promise that you will be intrigued and fascinated by these amazing accounts of the world beyond.
Editor’s note: The pioneering Society for Spiritual Regression has been renamed The Newton Institute in honor of founder Dr. Michael Newton. To date this organization has trained more than one hundred people in Dr. Newton’s revolutionary spiritual regression techniques. New graduates each year continue to conduct research and help people around the world gain insight and knowledge of their life between lives.