Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives - Dr. Michael Newton
"Are you afraid of death? Do you wonder what is going to happen to you after your die? Is it possible you have a spirit which came from somewhere else and will return there after your body dies, or is this just wishful thinking because you are afraid?" --Dr. Michael Newton
At one time or another, everyone wonders what happens to them when they die, and what lies beyond the grave. In his book Journey of Souls - Case Studies of Life Between Lives, Hypnotherapist Dr. Michael Newton chronicles the experiences of 29 people that were under deep hypnosis and their experiences between lives. Many books have been written about past lives, but this book addresses what happens between lives.

Dr. Newton did not set out to regress people beyond their current earthly lives. In fact, as a skeptic by nature and one oriented towards traditional therapy, he resisted requests to do past-life regression--feeling that this was unorthodox and unethical. However, one of his clients complained of a lifetime of chronic pain on his right side, and during one of their regular sessions, the client made stabbing motions to describe the kind of pain he felt. When searching for an explanation for this client's choice of images, he uncovered that his client had a past life as a WWI solider that was killed by a bayonet in France. Through this discovery, they were able to eliminate this pain altogether.

He then began to do past life regressions, but then stumbled on a discovery of enormous proportions: he found that it was possible to see into the spirit world through the mind's eye of a hypnotized subject who could report back to him about life between lives.

Dr. Newton explains:

"The research was painfully slow, but as the body of my cases grew I finally had a working model of the eternal world where our souls live. I found thoughts about the spirit world involve universal truths among the souls of people living on Earth. It was these perceptions by so many different types of people which convinced me that their statements were believable. I am not a religious person, but I found the place where we go after death to be one of order and direction, and I have come to appreciate that there is a grand design to life and afterlife."

Dr. Newton shares actual dialogue culled from audio recordings of regression sessions between he and his clients about what happens at the gate of death, who meets us on the other side, what we do once we're there, the purpose of our life, the role of guides, the nature of karma, cluster "study groups", inter-soul communication, what happens to "disturbed" souls, aura colors, the different levels of souls, and much more.

I found Journey of Souls utterly fascinating, as well as Dr. Newton's sequel Destiny of Souls. However, my experience with these books was much more than mere intellectual fascination: both my husband and I experienced an utter paradigm shift about the afterlife, the Creator, and the purpose of life. Up until reading these books, I was still on the fence about reincarnation, and my husband's perspective was "no way!" The compelling regression sessions chronicled in this book convinced us otherwise, largely because of the consensus among regressed clients and how their reports confirmed some spiritual notions we were discovering on our own through direct experience.

No other model made sense to either one of us; we long concluded that there was no literal hell, but what of suffering on Earth? Are our bodies, and our lives, completely random and arbitrary? Is it really possible we live more than one life? Why are we born into the family we are, especially if it results in abuse or pain?

In these books we discovered that individuals carefully choose his or her own body and life circumstances to bring about certain experiences and to draw the soul closer to the perfection of the Creator. The whole point of incarnating is for self development. Yet, no one is rushed back into incarnating, and every soul has a chance to enter a dimension of time/space to "try out" a life and decide if this is the best choice for their own path.

On the other side, there is playfulness, exploration, role playing, lessons, growth, past life examination, and so on. It is a place of rest, healing, rejuvenation, and self-examination. There are "schools" and our learning is a part of a specialized soul group. We have guides who teach us how to work with energy, and others who open up "books of life" so we can scrutinize our past life performance--and decide where we messed up, and how we can best grow in future lives.

A helpful aspect of this book is the explanation of why some individuals go through difficult relationships, especially as children:

"When clients tell me how much they suffered from the actions of family members, my first question to their conscious mind is, 'If you had not been exposed to this person as a child, what would you now lack in understanding?' It may take awhile, but the answer is in our minds. There are spiritual reasons for our being raised as children around certain kinds of people, just as other people are designated to be near us as adults...

...whatever happens to us in life, it is important we understand that our happiness or pain does not reflect either blessings or betrayal on the part of a God-oversoul, our guides, or life selection coordinators. We are the master of our own destiny."

Most encouraging though, especially to those who fear a vengeful God awaiting them after death, is that we are not condemned or punished in the afterlife. Newton writes:

"All soul evaluation conferences, be they with our guides, peers, or a panel of masters have one thing common. The feedback and past life analysis we receive in terms of judgment is based upon the original intent of our choices as much as the actions of our lifetime. Our motivations are questioned and criticized, but not condemned in such a way as to make us suffer."

I highly recommend Journey of Souls, especially if you're searching for answers about the meaning of your life, why things happen, and what happens after death. Truly, we are never alone and are always surrounded by a supportive "great cloud of witnesses".

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