Whether or not you believe in science, this is one book that’s bound to give you food for thought.
Penned by a psychiatrist, Dr Brian Weiss, Many masters, many lives is what he claims to be the true story of one of his patients. Catherine, a young girl troubled by inexplicable phobias, seeks his help, and when typical psychiatric treatments don’t bare results, he resorts to the rarely used practice of hypnosis. What follows is plain bizarre. In her hypnotic state, Catherine appears to visit her past lives, reincarnations of herself in varied geographical locations and time periods. Often, Catherine reaches an in-between stage, where she’s dead but not reincarnated yet, and she communicates to the doctor the messages of highly evolved spirits (called the Masters), including personal details from his own life.
I know it sounds like the plot of some psychological thriller, and as I re-read it, even the highly predictable story-line of a horror Hindi movie. But that’s the beauty of it – what you believe is completely your choice. At one point, I passed it off as a self-help book in disguise, one that will make you feel more aware about life and why it throws what it throws at us.
What makes me think though, is why there are barely any conspiracy theories about what might have happened in Dr Weiss’ office. The book was first published in 1995. There are tapes which recorded the hypnosis sessions, there are psychiatrists who have reviewed the treatment, and if anything, Dr Weiss has abandoned his practice to teach fellow psychiatrists the art and benefits of hypnosis. It sure makes me wonder; if we are to buy that life and death are really the way the book defines them, it will undoubtedly put into perspective everything else we have believed thus far. It’s a matter of faith, yes, but the ideas the book puts forth have an uncanny similarity to Hindu ideologies. For instance, it affirms the entire cycle of life, karma, death and rebirth. I must confess that the book tempted me to abandon my recently acquired nihilistic stance, at least briefly.
If you have ever questioned life and the after-life, pick up a copy and read it. There can be no firm evidence for or against the book, because as google says of the topic, all evidence is anecdotal. It sure however, is an enticing case to brood upon.