Life in the Boomer Lane has been giving some thought lately to past life regression. She has noticed that a lot of people (herself included) have characteristics that no other family members have. This can easily be explained as imprints from a past life. As virtually all of her friends are the only self-proclaimed sane people in their families, she must conclude that in their past lives, they were descended from rational, sane people. Other reasons to ascribe to the multiple lives theory is an unwillingness to believe that death is the end of the road, a wish to see departed loved ones, a need to be able to rectify past wrongs or to be rewarded for past rights or for excessive altruism. This last item comes in handy when we are raising children.
In an effort to connect with past lives, many people go through past life regression. LBL has tried this several times. On one occasion, everyone stood in a circle and subjected themselves to the leader droning on in a very quiet, uninflected voice until the group was sufficiently sedated to believe anything that was put forth. The group was then instructed to look down at their shoeless and sockless feet. What they saw would determine the era they were regressed to. Sure enough, everyone started yelling “I’m wearing woven sandals!” which would pinpoint their exact time frame as somewhere between 8,000 BC and the present day. LBL, on the other hand, merely noted that she was in dire need of a pedicure.
Another past life regression involved people in recliners, around a room. After a period of guided meditation, people were asked to describe where they were. One person was an Indian, standing on a mesa. Another was in war. A third was wearing a calico dress and was somewhere on the frontier. A fourth person was wailing, smack in the middle of some Victorian-era family crisis. LBL was asleep in her recliner.
A third attempt was one-on-one, in which LBL reveled to the regressor that she felt pretty strongly that she(LBL, not the regressor) had been an American Indian in several past lives. This was based on many life experiences she has had which could not be explained in any other way. Sure enough, the guided meditation took her smack into the middle of a tepee. LBL described the tepee, etc in great detail to the regressor, knowing all the while that she was giving the regressor exactly what she wanted. LBL was pleased to have satisfied the regressor, although she is relieved that her life now does not include clothing made of stiff, heavy buffalo hide, but does include the ability to readily purchase antihistamine/decongestants.
LBL has spoken to a lot of people about their past life regressions, assuming that they were more successful at regressing than was she. Most people say that in a past life they were people who had actual names that we recognize today (Cleopatra, Napoleon, etc). Others have no names but are of significant status (the guy who advised the Pharaoh to try to cross the Red Sea, the soldier who accepted the Trojan Horse, etc)
LBL is impressed, since the history of mankind has usually involved countless nameless people with rotted teeth and extremely short lives. The odds of actually having been someone of note is sort of like winning the lottery. LBL, herself, believes that all of her past lives were spent grubbing in the dirt and either dying of some really distasteful condition involving pustules, or being run over by something (mammoth/horse-drawn wagon/a crowd of people fighting for the last potato).
LBL will not be deterred. She is sure she will one day find a past life regressor who will enable her to identify some of her past lives. She holds out that in a past life, she was tall, athletic, and could carry a tune. She would also like to have been brave about approaching heights, icy patches of pavement, or onions. Or maybe she would settle for just having been tall.