Alan Heeks

Aug 232021

Ever wonder about a life beyond this one?

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 exists before and after a human lifetime, and this book offers evidence I find persuasive. 

Michael Newton is an American hypnotherapist, who 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 thirty-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 a shared focus, and souls at a similar developmental stage.  These groups share a senior or master guide, who has this role right through a soul’s journey.  Individual souls usually have a junior or trainee guide also. Newton’s clients describe their joy at returning to this cluster, which is the soul’s true home community.

Some guides are in a human body themselves, and often a few souls in a cluster will choose related incarnations. So if you feel a deep rapport with a few people among your friends and family, it may be an ongoing soul connection.

The book describes in detail the stages a soul goes through from the end of one human life to the start of the next. These include a review of the recent life with a Council of Elders, supported by one’s guide.  There is also healing and support for souls who have suffered or feel they failed in their life’s mission. Especially interesting is the process of choosing a new incarnation: key scenes are shown on a video screen, and an intention discussed with the guide. 

Newton quotes case studies which help us understand how a soul might choose a life involving injury, disability, or premature death: “to overcome a body impediment does accelerate advancement.”  Part of the choice process can be negotiating with other souls in your cluster to play key roles for each other, such as sibling. 

His clients report that being born is a greater shock than dying. The soul does not join the body at conception, but during pregnancy, and has to align with the baby’s brain.  While most of us may feel little connection to our souls, I have found that it can be cultivated, and this book suggests that we can get help from our guides and our cluster group during our human journeys. He emphasises that a soul doesn’t control the life it enters: the brain, body and personality all have a big influence.

Newton describes souls as Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced, and says “souls end their incarnations on Earth when they reach full maturity.”  Newton’s analysis suggests that the vast majority of souls on Earth are Beginner souls: these only join a learning cluster around their fifth human lifetime. Intermediate souls are given trial assignments of helping guide a younger soul.

He says the mark of an Advanced soul is “one who has patience with society and shows extraordinary coping skills… [plus] exceptional insight. They may choose to keep returning to Earth, much like bodhisattvas.”

The book offers interesting perspectives on why souls choose a human life on Earth: it describes how souls may incarnate on other planets, and this one is seen as a severe challenge. An Advanced soul said: “there is so much fear to overcome here. It is a world in conflict… [but] for all Earth’s quarrelling and cruelty, there is passion and bravery here.”

If this sounds of interest, I strongly recommend you to read the book, which gives a much fuller account than I can here, with case studies and quotes from some of the souls involved. Newton has trained other therapists in his methods, and has written follow-up books: you can see more at

I value his affirming that our souls are on a growth journey, and that the challenges of human life have been chosen to enable this. This book has enriched my understanding of the soul’s journey, and has expanded my exploration of it.

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Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves

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Aug 262021

Is there an afterlife beyond this human one? What is it like? If we knew more about the afterlife, could that guide our human life here and now? This book offers some of the most convincing answers to these questions that I have found.

There are two voices in this book: the writer is Helen Greaves, but she is transcribing the voice of her dead friend, Frances Banks. Both were Anglican nuns, colleagues and friends: the book is written in the mid-1960s. Soon after Frances’ death, Helen started to receive a series of messages from her, describing her experiences in the afterlife.

Reading this book made me realise that my dominant images of the afterlife are quire flimsy and simplistic: a Heaven and Hell, loosely derived from the Old Testament and a lot of medieval art. Plus a bit of karma dogma from the East. Whereas Frances Banks describes a more subtle, encouraging afterlife, much closer to the original teachings of Jesus as explored in the work of Neil Douglas Klotz.

After death, Frances joins the team in a sort of Rest Home:

“Souls are brought here from earth and from other places… when they are ready…”

“Many who arrive here are either completely overwhelmed by the fact of a further existence, or disillusioned because … they have envisaged a heaven … (where) henceforth no efforts would be required from them.”

An example of this further work is “to right the wrongs they have done in their earth lives by concentrated thoughts of forgiveness and compassion.”

What we might call Heaven is not a static condition, but a long, exciting process of expansion:

“Our ‘inner eyes’ are opened gradually or swiftly to the errors of our old patterns of thinking and acting. We are allowed to progress into such experiences as will help us to put right these errors.”

“There are no tenets, no hard and fast rules… All is individual, yet all is for the good of the whole.”

“Each soul and each group moves onward towards greater expansion… Yet all the same time… directs ‘backward’ to the plane below,… the fruits of its knowledge.”

Her experience supports the idea of the soul’s life before and after human form, and of reincarnation. She believes there is “a Pattern and a Plan”, and that “the soul needs to ‘project’ some part of itself back into the denser environment of earth in repeated attempts to master the trials and stresses of those vibrations.”

And she believes a soul chooses the key events of its forthcoming life, to give it the experiences it needs.

She reports a conversation with Pierre Curie who says: “Mankind… learns slowly and such slow progress with many mistakes brings pain. But if you regard life from the angle of an eternal process you get a different feeling about it. The Life Force is not expanded on only one terrestrial globe.” (p54)

Frances finds that Soul Groups are an important part of the journey: “We are members not of one group but of many…” these include our Family Group, and Groups of Interest, such as the arts, education, social service. Typically these groups will include souls in a human life, and souls in the afterlife. These groups will include people we know in earthly life, possibly those we find repellent, as well as those who we feel strongly drawn to.

The form of “hell” she describes is far more encouraging than the archetypal pit of flames. She writes about the Shadow Lands, but explains that people can move beyond them when they choose to turn to the “Light of Love”, and many helpers visit to help souls make this change.

So what can we learn from all this to guide our life in a body? Firstly, the idea that we are part of Soul Groups who want to share their wisdom with us, and learn from our experience. Secondly, that “the great purpose of life in matter is to illumine matter with Spirit”, and “the great secret of finding that Spirit was the ‘letting go’ of self.” Thirdly, that “the inner life of the soul within the body-mind on earth decides the first future ‘home’ on this level.” Fourthly, as one of her mentors says, “Prayers and good thoughts for those who have left the earth life, by their fellows still in incarnation are a great aid to our work here.”

Her experiences give a great sense of continuity and scope for progression. For example, there are the chances to understand much more deeply what happened during ones earthly life looking back at it, and actually to rectify mistakes one made. She also comments “That much of what we thought praiseworthy on earth is mediocre to us in the Light of wider knowledge, and conversely much for which we blamed ourselves and were blamed by others, is viewed here from a wider angle and even becomes merit!”

These are only brief fragments of a really fascinating narrative: worth reading from cover to cover.

Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves is published in the UK by Rider: ISBN1-8441-3135-1