© Kit Constable Maxwell

Chapter 9.


The story of mankind's spiritual awakening,
and of the part we play in it.

© Kit Constable Maxwell


Powerful energies steer our path through life - sometimes even against our will; we are unknowing hosts to profound sentiments of unmeasured depths.

The complex needs of our developing emotions are only slowly becoming understood, through our research and learning and the scientific curiosity that characterises our questing age. We now recognise that the damage to an emotionally deprived child lays open the sufferer to a lifetime of stress, with all the attendant symptoms which typify the experiences of psychological neurosis.

A doctor in America was working with a young student. The student was telling of the emotional neglect of his childhood when suddenly he uttered a great wailing cry, the soulful voice of a tortured mind, the primal scream of mankind. Both doctor and patient were silenced at this unexpected and involuntary outburst, which neither immediately understood. Subsequently the young man's neuroses abated, as if purged, and the doctor, Arthur Janov, spent the next 20 years investigating the powerful, unseen and unconscious emotions which had caused this vociferous phenomenon. Janov's book "Primal Scream" and his associated 'primal therapy' have become a benchmark in the study of emotional development in humans, and the dark dangers of emotional neglect.

Our early experience of life, both before and after birth, is crucial to our emotional development. A neglected child, unwelcomed in the womb, unbonded to its mother at birth, unloved by an absent father, untouched, uncherished, unindulged, will miss the only opportunity it has for balanced emotional development, and spend the rest of his or her life suffering the resulting trauma, whether consciously acknowledged or not.

'Despair' - a sculpture that voices the
silent cry of spiritual desolation.

Trauma is a killer; unhappiness is the grim face of neurosis, and neurosis is the trigger initiating almost every human condition. We encounter illness because we are already ill, sick with the neurosis born of emotional deprivation. And we are deprived because our parents were deprived, or our siblings, or our elders, through ignorance, through circumstance, through neglect.

We must uncover and disarm the nature of our emotional wounds, quantify our stunted development and strive to understand the complex nature of our psychological inheritance. If we fail, then we fail not just ourselves but our children and our successors in this world; we suffer and spread emotional trauma, which feeds the neuroses that upset the balance of our human destiny; and pain, illness and grief are the contagion of ignorance.

This is not a religious or a spiritual matter; it is a matter of social and psychological development, and I believe we are all jointly responsible for our societies' emotional growth and social health. Our prisons are full of people with emotional wounds, drawing attention to their crisis in the only way they know how, through violence, outrage and disorders of every kind. We blame drugs; but narcotics are the refuge of neurotics, and we are fast running out of prisons....

In an unrelated incident recently, Mary, a young woman in her early twenties, closed her eyes and directed her unconscious mind to take her back, under hypnotic regression, to encounter the vivid mysteries of past life recall.

As she recalled a traumatic past in which she was betrayed, tortured and killed, her weeping turned to anger and her real feelings emerged for the first time; her fists clenched, her shoulders hunched and she filled her lungs with a great choking gulp. Then she uttered forth such a scream as could hardly belong to this slight, passive woman, or indeed to any creature. The pitch was inhuman, the volume shattering. The scream welled from deep within her inner being, a violent eruption of outrage degenerating into the desolate wail of a soul lost in time. I was one of several shocked observers to witness this event. We shuddered visibly and froze in silence, and for an eternity time stood still. As the scream reverberated and died away, an eerie silence descended.

No one, not even Mary, could have envisioned that explosive energy and outrage locked into her body. The power and depth of our emotions, be it from this experience of life or another, shocks and surprises anyone who encounters it. Yet we all possess this profound and unstoppable quality whose voice can be heard across the boundaries of space and time, and speaks of the fathomless nature of our spiritual being. This is the spirit of eternity whose realm is gut-reaction, not the ego-packaged lie that we are tempted to live in today's confused, competitive and conforming world.

It is easy to imagine the damage we do to ourselves while we host the kind of supercharged emotions held by Mary. These violent and unexpressed tensions cause arthritis, paralysis, cancer, muscular contractions, back conditions and a host of related ailments; such is the nature of psychosomatic illness. Mary's outburst had occurred in the early part of a five day workshop in Regression conducted by the inspired and very grounded teacher Dr Roger Woolger. His book 'Other Lives, Other Selves' (see bibliography) reveals some of the undeniable and unquestionable facts of past-life recall, be they our soul's personal memories or our ability to tune into collective ones.

By the end of the seminar many of the participants had had similar experiences; without doubt our body remembers something that is far removed from our civilised, controlled persona. No one who witnesses the power and energy of a regressand can deny this, as they thrash and shout an involuntary tirade of pent up emotion that can only belong to another experience of life, another world. These are everyday people of diverse, mature and unemotional disposition; writers, therapists, professional people who will surprise themselves and others with the gripping reality of these unsavoured experiences racking their bodies.

This is no sham act contrived for curious observers, no day dream of an unbridled imagination; the cold sweat, the convulsive tears, the anger, the exhaustion - all belong to the rich reality of experiences gained on our long spiritual journey through the ages. Time and again a regressand will recall some powerful event or experience, and be able to recognise the source of their unexplained and unsolicited phobias which govern their current life. Phobias like guilt complex, persecution mania, insecurity, eating disorders, sexual disorientation, claustrophobia. All may have arisen through past life experiences which include, respectively, interrogation, starvation, rape, violation, incarceration: powerful experiences which are not healed by death alone. It is easy to see the connection.

Relationships of physical events to human conditions

Previous Experience
Current Sentiments
Interrogation Guilt complex, trauma
Starvation, famine Anorexia, bulimia
Rape, violation Frigidity, homosexuality
Imprisonment Claustrophobia
Enslavement Fear, self-deprecation
Martyrdom Persecution mania
Plague, pestilence Hypochondria
Suffocation Asthma, choking
Defilement Promiscuity, indifference

Past life recalls are real stories, not dreams, and as such are visually descriptive and clearly stated. A woman called Joan had suffered chronic backache all her life and recalled, under regression, her death under the wheels of a cart at an earlier time. Bringing this event to consciousness cured her ailment completely and permanently. Such events are commonplace in Dr Woolger's work.

Past life regression is not for the merely curious but for those seekers who have suffered the pains of spiritual desolation and visited despair. And in common with most new age disciplines, people must find their own way, unprompted, to these searchings. There are many paths to the inner self and psychic regression may be just one of them.

Regression raises another more delicate issue, that in the distressing events recalled in past lives we are at one time the victims of, say, rape, and at the next, the perpetrator - the rapist. Or we are prisoner and inquisitor, or aggressor and aggrieved; true to karmic teaching we appear to experience every event from both perspectives; for every positive act we also experience the negative counterpart; for every tyrannical victory we are also victims.

Memories of our spiritual past belong in the past, and Dr Woolger works to defuse and disarm those experiences still locked in our bodies and minds. But we could do well to acknowledge our shadow and our potential for evil, which exists in all of us and is an indisputable part of our psychic entirety. We spring from a lengthy inheritance; mankind has been wrestling with its worldly fate for half a million years, and yet we are only just becoming conscious of our spirituality in this century. We must accept these uncomfortable thoughts, accept our potential for evil as we accept our potential for good, not with denial but with humility and self-forgiveness. These experiences belong to the soul's rich history of perfecting, purifying and learning, and there is no judge but us.

It is easy to turn from the responsibilities of self-discovery - but to do so would ensure a self-perpetuating hell of emotional ignorance and social disorder. What we fail to learn in life we are unable to teach, and the children of our generation, as well as us, will suffer the consequences.

Arab boys on globe

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Table of Contents - click on any chapter to open it
Prologue                   Click here...
Space and Matter
Evolution of Life
Birth of Awareness
Spiritual Goals
Evolution and Astrology
Astrology and Fate
Light, Love and Feeling
Primal Scream This page
World Religions
Ethics of Caring
Thought Conditioning
Miracles and Prayer
Shadow and the Unconscious
Journey in Spirit
Pantheism and Matter
Appendix I
Glossary of Terms
Appendix II
Appendix III