Book blog: Journey of Souls by Michael Newton
Perhaps covid-19 has made many of us reflect about our mortality, and wonder if this increasingly strange world is a preparation for something else. I have long believed that our soul lives long before and after a human lifetime, and this book offers evidence I find persuasive.
Michael Newton was an American hypnotherapist, who died in 2016. He started out sceptical about lives beyond this one. However, he discovered a talent for helping his clients use regression to travel back through their soul’s journey before this lifetime. Several hundred clients, independently, over a 30-year period, described similar experiences, which he sums up in this book.
For me, this is as close to objective validation of something unearthly as you’ll find. And much of what he reports makes intuitive sense, has echoes in my exploration of my own soul’s journey, and tallies with accounts of near-death experiences.
Newton reports that most souls’ journey through human incarnations spans hundreds of years, and the gap between each lifetime can be tens of years or more. Much of his book describes what happens in the Life between Lives (LBL) periods, when souls return to the ‘soul cluster groups’ which are their real home and core support and learning group.
A cluster group typically has about 15 souls, and is like a study group, with shared interests, and souls at a similar developmental stage. These groups typically share a senior or master guide, who has this role right through a soul’s journey.
There are senior or master guides, likely to work with a whole group of souls, and often a soul also has contact with a junior ‘guide in training’. A guide usually stays with a soul over many lifetimes, maybe thousands of years. Many guides still incarnate – so your guide may be an actual person you know: e.g. a friend, maybe a sibling – not usually a spouse. Guides often prefer to give clues to help us solve problems, rather than them solve them.
“There is so much fear to overcome here. It is a world of conflict because there is too much diversity among too many people.” But “for all Earth’s quarrelling and cruelty, there is passion and bravery here.”
Newton says that incarnations can be on other planets, also in other life forms, but souls incarnating on Earth mostly just incarnate here.
He believes that “before coming to Earth, souls are frequently placed in the bodies of creatures with less intelligence than human beings”, but after human lives, don’t go down again.
Most dying souls report floating above their body; also a sense of frustration that their attempts to comfort grieving relatives don’t get through. He says the key for the relatives is to “relax and clear your mind, at least for short periods.”
Most of his LBL clients report a sense of excitement and freedom after physical death, and feeling drawn towards light: sometimes through a tunnel. Then a sense of others waiting for them, after the tunnel, and often, they meet an individual guide.
Sometimes we’re met by friends/relatives first, and later by our guide. This may also be a series of meetings between “light bodies”.
Souls who were in a human body that behaved in ‘evil’ ways are separated out from others, and closely supervised, in a kind of purgatory.
After initial arrival, souls are typically taken to a “place of healing”. This relieves any damage from the recent incarnation. After this, typically there’s a debrief on this recent life with your guide. The guide helps with healing distress and gaining insights.
The strength of realisations in the debrief can hit us hard, but “A soul grows by trying to overcome all negative emotions connected to fear through perseverance in many lifetimes.” He says, “because the human brain does not have an innate moral sense of ethics, conscience is the soul’s responsibility.”
Souls then move to a big “central port” or “staging area”, and beyond that they return to their familiar soul cluster group – this is joyful for them, they’re very welcomed. After this, “they are summoned to appear before a Council of Elders”, for a review of their recent life, with their guide acting as advocate and interpreter. The groups are a bit like a classroom for shared learning.
The first stage is to choose place and time: a soul is usually offered a few options, and can explore them in a special place, sometimes called The Ring, with video screens, where a soul can actually enter the scenes on screen, and have a sense of how this potential life would meet their aims.
“While souls carefully consider the physical attributes of an Earth body … they give much more attention to the psychological aspects of human life.”
Part of the choice process can be negotiating with other souls you know who may play key roles in your next life, e.g. parents.
He also describes how souls may volunteer for a brief, “filler” incarnation, e.g. a baby who dies in infancy.
There’s a phase known as “recognition class” or prep-class where souls contact others involved in their next life, shortly before incarnating. The soul is given signs or cues by a “prompter” to help recognise key contacts when incarnated, including your soulmate (e.g. spouse). There’s also a meeting with a Council of Elders, to reinforce the significance of the soul’s goals in the next life, e.g. reminding of lessons to learn from previous lives.
Newton’s clients say the shock of being born is greater than dying.
The soul joins a baby sometime during pregnancy, not at conception.
“Souls may come and go when the body is sleeping, (or) in deep meditation” – also comas or brain damage. In the womb, the soul has to synchronise with the baby’s brain and personality, which takes considerable skill and patience.
Description of how several souls may agree to related human lives, like parts in a play – then debrief in detail, and possibly repeat the play, with the refinements, and changes in roles.
“Exchanging the cup of sorrows” – ‘full mind exchange’ between two souls whose relationship while incarnated was very difficult.
About life between lives – some souls need a lot of solitude, some may revisit Earth to re-experience physical joys here, as an invisible spirit. Some will recreate a house or place they enjoyed on Earth, in the spirit world.
He offers his views on why it’s now becoming more possible to understand soul intentions and one’s history before this life – to offset “the eroding of individualism and human dignity in an overcrowded society dominated by materialism”.
“On earth we must learn to cope with intolerable anger and sadness while searching for joy and love… living in an imperfect world will help us to appreciate the true meaning of perfection.”
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