Current Update as of May 04, 2004
Inspired by The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies
Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.
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.
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.
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,
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
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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."
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?
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."
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.
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."
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."
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."
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
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.
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, . . ."
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 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.
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
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."
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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."
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."
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."
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]."
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."
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.
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
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