COMING BACK: A Psychiatrist Explores Past Life Journeys by

COMING BACK: A Psychiatrist Explores Past Life Journeys

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The psychiatrist who popularized near-death experience in Life After Life does the same for reincarnation, with an assist from science/health-writer Perry (Psychology Today, etc.). Will this book match its predecessor and top the best-seller list? Doubtful; for one thing, near-death experience fits the belief cherished by many Americans in a blissful afterlife, while past-life memories, by giving credence to reincarnation, seem more of a fringe phenomenon. Also, after initial forays using hypnosis, Moody discovers that the best way to explore past lives is through ""scrying""--i.e., gazing into a crystal ball--scarcely an activity to appeal to the American mainstream. Nonetheless, Moody writes convincingly about his strange experiences, which began in 1986 when, under hypnotic regression, he uncovered his own past lives as an early African, a mammoth hunter, a Roman nobleman, a Chinese woman artist, etc., discoveries he calls ""simply astounding."" Moody soon was teaching regression techniques to college classes and to patients. He finds that past-life experiences are visual, have ""a life of their own,"" and--here's the kicker--mirror current problems suffered by the subject. As ""metaphors for the way people see themselves,"" past lives thus have diagnostic and therapeutic value, and Moody fills his book with anecdotal material about patients who overcome various ailments, physical and mental, by tripping into their own past. For the most part, Moody avoids the Shirley MacLaine syndrome of starry eyes, offering instead a lucid, sensible discussion of a mind-boggling subject. Do-it-your-selfers will enjoy his last chapter, which tells how to record your own audiotape to guide you through self-hypnosis back to ancient Egypt or wherever.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 1990
Publisher: Bantam