The Intuitive-Connections Network

Current Update as of May 04, 2004

Inspired by The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies

Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.

Explore Our Contents Here Learn how to Use Intuitive Guidance! Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies

Life Between Lives

Life Between Lives

Commentary by Gayl P. Woityra

One of the chief fears of human beings concerns death. It is the great unknown, and yet it is an inescapable event in each of our lives. Part of the fears surrounding death involves what happens to us after we die.

Is there an afterlife, a heaven, a hell? Will we be punished for our misdeeds and mistakes? Would we have fewer fears if we could know what happens after we die?

Like most people, any knowledge I have acquired about any afterlife has derived from spiritual or esoteric works which I could choose to believe or not, largely based on faith.

Also I have I gained possible insights from the many reports of near-death experiences in various books, or case histories from psychiatrists like Brian Weiss, M.D., whose clients occasionally report on experiences between lives in the course of their past-life regression therapy.

Then I read an article about Michael Newton, Ph.D., and I immediately ordered his two books: Journey of Souls: Case Studies of LIfe Between Lives (Llewellyn Publications, 1994; 5th Rev. Ed, 1996); and Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives (Llewellyn Publications, 2000).

It is no exaggeration to say that these two volumes have completely changed my thinking about life after death. Fascinating in their content, the two works totally gripped my attention while I explored this rare glimpse into the world beyond.

First it is important to have a context for the data and that necessarily begins with the author, Michael Newton, Ph.D. Michael D. Newton holds a doctorate in Counseling Psychology, is a certified Master Hynotherapist, and a member of the American Counseling Association. He has taught in higher educational institutions and has had a private practice in Los Angeles.

Trained in traditional therapy, Newton avoided requests for "past-life regressions" from clients in his early days of practice. But like many other therapists, he rather accidentally worked into past-life regressions while trying to help a client find the cause for a lifetime of chronic pain.

Discovering the cause in a past life and thereby able to eliminate the pain, Dr. Newton began to experiment with other clients who requested this kind of therapy. He "came to appreciate just how therapeutically important the link is between the bodies and events of our former lives and who we are today."

But then Dr. Newton made an amazing discovery "of enormous proportions." He reports, "I found it was possible to see into the spirit world through the mind's eye of a hypnotized subject who could report back to me of life between lives on Earth."

This discovery became the focus of his practice. He notes that, "There are many books about past lives, but none I could find which told about our life as souls, . . ." He "learned that finding their place in the spirit world was far more meaningful to people than recounting their former lives on Earth."

Both of his books contain numerous case histories and actual dialogues from client sessions, all of which detail amazing facts and insights about the soul's life between lives. Cynics would likely question the authenticity of the reports.

Are they just examples of client's imagination and fancies? Dr. Newton makes important points about hypnosis, his techniques, and the consistencies in clients responses.

He says, "Once in hypnosis, . . . in response to questions, subjects cannot lie, but they may misinterpret something seen in their unconscious mind, . . . . In hypnosis, people have trouble relating to anything they don't believe is the truth."

Dr. Newton developed a technique rather like cross-examination that he uses with his clients. He treats "each case as if I were hearing the information for the first time."

He says, "I found no evidence of anyone faking their spiritual experiences to please me." What he discovered over many years and hundreds of subjects was "that once subjects were regressed back to their soul state they all displayed a remarkable consistency in responding to questions about the spirit world."

The only differences in reporting "was due more to the level of soul development than to variances in how each subject basically saw the spirit world."

By the time he wrote his second book, Newton unequivocally says, "It did not matter if a person was an atheist, deeply religious, or believed in any philosophical persuasion in between--once they were in the proper superconscious state of hypnosis, all were consistent in their reports."

Such consistency is important to me as a reader because it reinforces my trust in the content of these books.

Journey of Souls has a logical progression in its organization. Using 29 cases out of hundreds in his case files, Dr. Newton presents the story of the experiences of souls from the moment of their death from their physical body to the moment of their next rebirth.

In between we learn of the gateway to the spirit world, homecoming to old soul friends, problems for displaced souls, various steps of orientation and transition to life in spirit, our guides, the various levels of soul development and what that entails, and finally the steps in selecting a new life, choosing a new body, and the embarkation into the physical once more.

It's an astounding trip I can assure you. Reading the pages is as gripping as any adventure novel. Newton includes many excerpts of the case reports with actual client dialogues. This adds great authenticity and reality to the work. Many questions that readers have about "after death" are answered in these pages.

Some answers may differ considerably from what most of us have been taught to believe. All the answers, however, should offer enlightenment and comfort to all. Those who expect a "hell" in the afterworld may be exceptionally relieved to discover that "hell" is on Earth and not in the afterworld.

There is no way that I can begin to mention all that I have learned from Journey of Souls. Hence, we'll limit our discussion to three topics: death and the return to the spirit world, levels of soul development, and choosing a new life.

Newton's case reports on death and the immediate after-life experiences are similar to those reported in many other sources, such as reports of near-deaths, or in other books about past-life regressions. Nevertheless it is clear that we receive extensive help and assistance from those on the other side.

Most of Newton's subjects "report the first person they see in the spirit world is their personal guide." Also, "after any life we can be met by a soulmate" and other important people in our lives. Moreover, "unseen intelligent energy forces guide each of us" on our passage from the physical world to the spirit world.

How does each individual adjust to being in the spirit world after a life on Earth? There are apparently diverse reactions. Newton says, "The time of soul adjustment depends upon the circumstances of death, attachments of each soul to the memories of the life just ended, and level of advancement."

Nearly all souls seem to require some kinds of healing after time on Earth, and this takes place appropriately. Souls are also "debriefed" of the life just ended and in counseling sessions, "held accountable for their past lives." Nevertheless, "there is overwhelming forgiveness in the spirit world."

A good question many of us ask is, "What is the purpose of living on earth and experiencing the pain and violence of this world, especially if the spiritual matrix is one of love and wisdom?" Newton provides answers throughout his books, but most concisely when he says, "If a soul only knew love and peace, it would gain no insight and never truly appreciate the value of these positive feelings.

The test of reincarnation for a soul coming to Earth is the conquering of fear in a human body. A soul grows by trying to overcome all negative emotions connected to fear through perseverance in many lifetimes."

Upon returning to the spirit world each soul moves back to its "group." It was a surprise for many of Newton's clients to discover that "everyone has a designated place in the spirit world." Group placement "is determined by soul level" and "Peer members have a sensitivity to each other which is far beyond our conception on Earth." It feels comforting to learn from Newton's subjects that "Members of the same cluster group are closely united for all eternity."

Such clusters "are often composed of like-minded souls with common objectives which they continually work out with each other." Newton discovered that these peer group members most commonly manifest as siblings and close friends on Earth. Parents, in general, are not from one's soul group, but from "secondary" or other related groups.

One point in the stories related so consistently by Newton's case histories is the structure and organization in the afterworld. There is nothing haphazard about it. Gentle, patient guidance is always operative. Everything and everyone has a "place."

For Newton the spirit world resembles "one great schoolhouse with a multitude of classrooms under the direction of teacher-souls who monitor our progress." Is it not comforting to know that throughout eternity "we are always protected, supported and directed within the system by master souls"?

Whereas some people may be uncomfortable with the idea of different "levels" of souls, "Newton notes that "the whole idea of a hierarchy of souls has been part of both Eastern and Western cultures for many centuries." Haven't we all heard the term "old soul" and hoped (or believed) that we are one?

Newton warns that the idea is not to be thought of in an elitist way, either socially or intellectually. All souls start as "beginners" and earn their development. What we see on Earth may have little to do with a soul's "level."

It may be disconcerting to some readers that "souls in a high state of advancement are often found in humble circumstances on Earth. By the same token, people in the upper strata of influence in human society are by no means in a blissful state of soul maturity. Often, just the reverse is true."

Newton devotes a chapter each to discussions and examples of beginner, intermediate, and advanced souls. From his experience and research with hundreds of clients, Newton "believes almost three-quarters of all souls who inhabit human bodies on Earth today are still in the early stages of development."

He admits this is "a grossly discouraging statement," but quite appropriate considering our current "world population beset by so much negative cross-cultural misunderstanding and violence." On the other hand, his research indicates that "each century brings improvement of awareness in all humans." So we are making progress, even if it seems to be at a slow pace.

Michael Newton has maintained a statistical count of clients soul levels in his case files. In his first book he acknowledges that his cases could over-represent souls at the lower level of development because those are the ones who most often need assistance in life and seek counseling.

Nevertheless, his statistics by soul level of all his cases are: Level I, 42%; Level II, 31%; Level III, 17%; Level IV, 9%; and Level V, 1%. This suggests to Newton that there are "only a few hundred thousand people on Earth at Level V, meaning most advanced.

What I find to be exceptionally interesting in Newton's Journey of Souls are his descriptions of the various soul level characteristics. For beginner souls typical characteristics include: "a lifetime of getting into disastrous ruts;" a lack of "generosity of spirit toward others;" not taking "much personal responsibility" for one's actions; an "inability to bond with people;" an inclination to surrender their will to authorities; a "lack of independent thinking;" and a tendency towards self-centeredness and not accepting "others for who they are."

Now it must be emphasized that these are not bad people. Like small children, they are just learning. Newton emphasizes: "No stigma should be attached to these souls, since every soul was once a beginner." Clearly, a major task for all souls beyond the "beginner level" is to aid, instruct, encourage, and assist beginners, just as parents or other helping adults would do for a small child. Here we may recall the wise statement, "We are our brothers' keeper."

Newton says that "intermediate" souls reincarnate less frequently than "beginners," and they are "ready for more serious responsibilities." Characteristics apparent in the intermediate souls include: high standards of morality and conduct, modesty about achievements, more composure, "trust rather than suspicion toward the motives of others," and a "forward-looking attitude of faith and confidence for the future of humanity."

Newton also reports, "The more advanced souls of the world possess remarkable comprehension of a universal life plan." He says, "Levels III and IV are significant stages" for evolving souls "because now they are given increased responsibilities for younger souls" and "these are trial periods for potential teachers."

Newton reports that highly advanced souls are "scarce." They generally don't turn up in his practice because "a person whose maturity is this high doesn't seek out a regression therapist to resolve life-plan conflicts. In most cases, Level V's are here as incarnated guides." The fulfillment for advanced souls "comes from improving the lives of other people."

Newton describes the characteristics of advanced souls as: "one who has patience with society and shows extraordinary coping skills;" has exceptional insight; "radiates composure, kindness, and understanding toward others." Dr. Newton's session with an advanced soul, Case 23 in Journey of Souls, is exceptional in its insights and wisdom.

Finally we must at least touch upon the grand finale of this book which involves the soul setting about to return to Earth again. The soul must decide if it is ready for a new physical life, what specific lessons it wants to address, who it should be, and where in the world would offer the best opportunity to work on its goals. It may console some readers to learn that souls can refuse to be reborn. Nothing is forced in the spirit world.

The soul makes some of its decisions based on a kind of "movie preview" that is similar to today's "virtual reality" in that the souls can actually get "into" the "movie" and try out the various possible "roles" they could assume in a physical body. It all sounds quite like science fiction, but again, Dr. Newton says all his clients "use remarkable similar descriptions" of this process. The resulting life still includes much free will.

Readers can acquire thoughtful insights from Journey of Souls. All of it, for me, was reassuring, comforting, and corroborative of other studies. I have only included small bits of the extensive information and unique insights in this book which also delves into topics including infant death, suicide, physical and emotional pain, relationships, physical and mental handicaps, the Holocaust, racial and gender choices, childhood traumas, intelligence, abortion, birth, and more.

Newton emphasizes, "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 masters of our destiny."

He concludes his first volume with some of the insights he gained from his experiences interviewing his clients. He acknowledges there is "no scientific foundation to prove the statements" of his clients. For those who find the information "too unprecedented to accept," he hopes, "If you carry away nothing except the idea that you may have a permanent identity worth finding, I will have accomplished a great deal . . . . The awareness that we do belong somewhere is reassuring and offers us peace, . . ."

One of Dr. Newton's missions in Journey of Souls was to "combat the fear of death by offering people understanding about the nature of their souls and their spiritual home." In that first work Newton "presented a tight, orderly progression of events of what it is like to die and cross over--who meets us, where we go, and what we do in the spirit world before choosing our next body for reincarnation."

It was a kind of "travelogue through time using actual case histories from clients." He thought he was done with this exploration and that the material was relatively complete, but people at his lectures and interviews wanted more and clients clamored for his attention. When he resumed his client practice he "noticed a higher percentage of more developed souls" turning up in counseling sessions, perhaps because they wanted to explore life between lives and didn't need to solve earthly problems.

What he learned through these clients led to his second book, Destiny of Souls (Llewellyn Publications, 2000). Newton "designed this book by topical categories rather than by progressive time and location." Hence this "second expedition" into the spirit world deals in much greater detail with some topics introduced in the first volume.

It is important, I believe, to remind readers once again of the consistency in Dr. Newton's clients' reports. He "found that it did not matter if a person was an atheist, deeply religious, or believed in any philosophical persuasion in between--once they were in the proper superconscious state of hypnosis, all were consistent in their reports." This consistency is important to me as a reader because it underscores the authenticity of the reported information.

The author begins this second volume with an overview of what he has learned through his clients' regressions into the world after death. Dr. Newton grew "to think of souls as intelligent light forms of energy" which can surprisingly "divide into identical parts." Readers will need to read the books to comprehend this because it is too complex to explain here.

Evil-doing is not punished, but rather, "rehabilitated" in various ways, including treatment in "intensive care units." "Wrongdoing, intentional or unintentional [is] redressed in some form in a future life." This is not considered to be punishment, but rather "an opportunity for karmic growth."

The concept of "soul groups" was introduced in the first book. "Soul groups may range between 3 and 25 members, with the average having about 15." The way souls "view their group cluster setting" depends on the soul's state of advancement. Education continues in the after life and "educational placement depends on the level of soul development."

The author found very meaningful in his research the discovery that souls display different colors. These colors have little or no relation to the aura associated with the physical body. Rather, these colors indicate a soul's state of advancement. For example, "pure white denotes a younger soul;" more advanced souls move into "orange, yellow, green, and finally the blue ranges" with greatly advanced souls displaying a deep indigo.

Again the author reiterates that "in the spirit world no soul is looked down upon as having less value than any other soul. We are all in a process of transformation to something greater . . . [and] each of us is considered uniquely qualified to make some contribution toward the whole, . . ."

The value system of the spirit world is one of "overwhelming kindness, tolerance, patience, and absolute love." Each soul can make its own choices:

"In the spirit world we are not forced to reincarnate or participate in group projects. If souls want solitude they can have it." One of the author's major insights from what he has learned is "that the only thing of true importance in this material life is the way we live and how we treat people."

Following this review of what he has learned in general about the spirit world, author Michael Newton begins his discussions of various specific topics, the first being "Death, Grief, and Comfort," chosen no doubt because so many people want to know more about connecting with departed loved ones. We see this concern manifested in current popular television shows, such as James Van Praagh's Beyond, and John Edward's Crossing Over.

Michael Newton's discussion should be comforting to everyone. Do you remember my mention several paragraphs back that souls can "divide into separate parts"? This difficult to comprehend point relates to an important insight that Newton and his clients discovered. It seems that we only bring part of our soul energy into any incarnation. "Part of your energy [self] was left behind in the spirit world. . . . When your [loved one] arrives back home again, you will already be there waiting with that portion of your energy which was left behind."

This was a whole new idea for me, but I find the thought quite wonderful. Also in this chapter Newton discusses many ways that spirits connect with the living, such as through objects, dreams, children, environmental settings, or even strangers.

Another very comforting chapter discussion is about "Spiritual Energy Restoration." Most of us can think of multiple examples of individuals who upon their deaths might need help of various kinds. Those who die traumatic deaths might need reorientation and understanding of "what happened?" Those in great mental distress or depression and suicides could use emotional healing.

Those who pass over after long debilitating bouts of cancer or other deteriorating diseases must feel great fatigue. It is stunning to learn that the spirit world is ready in all cases to help and heal each individual soul, according to its needs, when it returns from its tests on Earth.

There is often "emergency treatment" right at the "gateway." Newton reports that "most all returning souls will continue on to some sort of healing station before finally joining their groups." We also learn that those souls who work as healers in the spirit world often work as healers when they are in the physical state. Dr. Newton includes several such cases in this chapter, such as a woman who is a Reiki practitioner in her current life.

Another intriguing discussion involves the creation of souls and soul group systems. Just as in physical life where no two individuals are identical, as fingerprints and eye scans can prove, every soul is unique.

Newton's clients' descriptions of the "birth" of souls reads like science fiction. Nevertheless the point is reiterated by a client: "Each soul is unique in its totality of characteristics created by a perfection that I cannot begin to describe. What I can tell you is that no two souls are alike--none--ever!"

Some other points in this very complex chapter are very interesting. One statement is that "there are many physical worlds similar to Earth." Clients also continually refer to schoolrooms, libraries, and temples in the spirit world, explained by one client this way: "We can create anything we want in the spirit world to remind us of places and things we enjoyed on Earth."

Another point involves so-called genetic memory, or what some writers today call "cell memory." Newton says this is actually "soul memory emanating from the unconscious mind." Part of this chapter also includes a much expanded explanation and discussion of the aforementioned colors associated with soul levels of advancement.

Because so many humans fear judgment and punishment after death, Dr. Newton's chapter on "The Council of Elders" is especially relevant and reassuring. Much of human fear derives from physical life experiences, such as "religious institutions, civil courts and military tribunals [which] give us codes of morality and justice which impact the conduct of millions."

From these institutions people have experienced patterns of "crime and punishment and cultural traditions of harsh judgment for human transgressions" and then they transfer these patterns to their beliefs in an after life.

What Newton and his clients report instead is very different. He says, "Rather than stages of punishment, we go through stages of enlightenment." Moreover, besides our individual guides, we have some major help along the way from very advanced souls. Dr. Newton says "the two most common names" he has heard "to describe these highly evolved masters are 'council' and 'Elders,' so I use these designations to describe this body."

As always, Newton tells us, "The spirit world is a place of order and the Council of Elders exemplifies justice. . . . These wise beings have great compassion for human weakness and they demonstrate infinite patience with our faults. We will be given many second chances in future lives."

Once again Newton confirms the consistency of clients' reports of their "between lives" experiences. "The descriptions about the form and procedure of council meetings are very consistent among all hypnosis subjects." The place of meeting is often domed like temples, mosques, synagogues, and churches. At the first meeting following an incarnation, the Council reviews with the soul "the major choices we made in the life [just completed]."

The soul's spirit guide always accompanies and supports the soul during the soul's review with the Council. The purpose of the meeting is not to "demean the souls . . . or to punish them. . . . The purpose of the Elders is to question the souls in order to help them achieve their goals in the next lifetime." Newton says, "The Elders are like loving but firm parents, managing directors, encouraging teachers and behavioral counselors all rolled into one.." What is most important is "our intent in life" and if our influence in life was positive and made "original contributions."

All of the information in this chapter and others in Newton's book is exceptionally relevant and applicable to each reader's current life. It all helps us understand better why we are here on Earth and what we are meant to do. We learn that even great problems, difficulties, and pain can have a positive outcome. One client reported a significant statement from a Council Elder: "That which you gain from each difficult life, you gain for all eternity."

A different client also shared a statement from an Elder he called "the Wise One:" "Forgive yourself . . . it is our desire that you accept yourself for who you are with the same unconditional love we have for you. We are here to support you in your work on Earth." Clients also learn that small, seemingly insignificant deeds of kindness on Earth are recognized as important. "In the spirit world nothing is insignificant. No act goes unrecorded."

It is clear that one could go on and on about all the astonishing as well as comforting information in this important work by Dr. Michael Newton. One outstanding chapter explains the importance of relationships, both on Earth and in the spirit world. Newton notes, "Always there are karmic reasons behind the serious events involving relationships in our lives." One significant, and huge, insight for many people is that "Being with the 'wrong' person for a period in your life does not mean that the time was wasted.

The relationship was probably intended in advance." This chapter also gets into the fascinating subjects of gender choice, and linkages between spiritual [groups] and human families. One thoughtful statement may help us feel greater compassion towards those we may consider abusive, or our enemies. "When we are hurt by someone close to us in life, or caused them hurt resulting in alienation and separation, it is because they volunteer to teach us lessons of some sort while learning lessons themselves."

Clearly, Dr. Michael Newton's two books, Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls, contain an exceptional richness of information. So much is thought provoking. So much is comforting. So much encourages each reader to grow, to evolve, to become more aware of one's soul. We feel empowered by these books. A few words from the author will conclude our discussion.

"We are not evaluated after death by our religious associations but rather by our conduct and values . . . we are measured more by what we do for others rather than ourselves. . . . You were not given your body by a chance of nature. It was selected for you by spiritual advisors and after previewing their offerings of other host bodies, you agreed to accept the body you have. Thus, you are not a victim of circumstance. . . . We must not lose sight of the idea that we accepted this sacred contract of life and this means the roles we play on Earth are actually greater than ourselves."

Google Search Our Pages or the Internet Here

Search WWW Search www.intuitive-connections.net

Please Visit Our Sponsors
Atlantic University
Association for Research and Enlightenment
The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies

Web Design by HENRY REED and MARIO HADAM. All Rights Reserved.

Atlantic University Association for Research & Enlightenment The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies