One of the most mysterious things I’ve ever experienced was when I did my first (and so far, last) past life regression. It was for the sake of research, a possible television project and I had the honor to be put under some kind of hypnosis by the world famous hypnotherapist Jörgen Sundvall.
On March 26, 2014, I rested comfortably under a blanket in a small yet cozy room. In front of me sat Jörgen, slowly counting down to the sound of relaxing music in the background, the kind of music that often makes me stressed, but Jörgen’s soothing voice effectively took me back into an (alleged) past life. This is what I wrote down directly afterwards, to never forget about it. I’ve done a pretty straightforward translation to English, very similar to the original text. It’s
“I am on a path in the middle of a jungle. It is night or very late in the evening, and I see the stars above me. It feels like the sky is spinning. It is very clear, with no light disturbances or smog or even clouds. I’m barefoot and wearing simple clothes, but no long pants. Everything is seen from my own point of view, so I can’t see myself from the outside.
I see three pairs of eyes: a lizard, a large bird of prey, and a white buffalo. Only the eyes and the skin around it are visible.
The hike continues through the quiet jungle until I reach a small valley. I can see how it’s lit up and there is some movement in it. Along with the valley, there are fires, as if there are always people on the lookout. I might be a guard there too, on my way home from my shift. Down in the village, I see people. The path or road goes through the middle of the village, and on the other side, near a small stream, is my home. It is a house that stands on four legs, with walls woven in some way and a dome-shaped roof.
Inside, my wife is waiting. She has Grzegorz’s eyes, and I see his face flash afront of hers. We have a small son, maybe five or six years old. We are quite young, maybe around 25 years old. The whole experience, from the hike to arriving home, is very pleasant and safe. I am really happy. I wish for nothing more than what I have at that moment of time.
Earlier in my life, something significant happened to me. I was four or five years old, sitting on the ground outdoors, watching a city burn. The fire was like a towering wall. Maybe it was the city walls that were burning, or it’s just that I was so small that what I saw burning seemed much bigger than it was.
I heard my mother burn to death inside and was left where I am now by my father, who sat me down on the ground and said, “Wait here. I’ll be back soon.” He never came back. I felt abandoned, but I also had the feeling that he had not left me willingly. He was dead. All around me, people were running, and it was chaos. I escaped. I sensed soldiers with blue loincloths or short blue pants. They also had blue headdresses.
Someone grabs me, and I am dragged away, my feet dragging along the ground. I end up in a carriage — which I assume is horse-driven — and sit with a group of other people. It is dark and crowded. I see some old women dressed in black. When I look out, I see the burning city disappear into the darkness. There, at that moment, I also gained an insight: never to let someone else control my life and never to lose someone again.
Now, I am very old. The year is 1232, and I am in the part of the world that today is Thailand, probably northeast of Bangkok. I am sitting in the same shape of a house on legs, but the wall is open, and I am looking out at a crowd of people. It feels like a lot of people, but it is probably only the village and the field in front of me that are small. I have something that feels like a wreath around my neck, and my family is around me, but I get the feeling that everyone there is part of a community that I helped create, and that means everything to me. The woman, my wife (who I sense is Grzegorz) is still with me. Once again, I feel total happiness and security. It is daytime, and the sun is shining; it is warm and nice. A good day.
Some time later, I am dying. I see how the days rush by. Sometimes when I look up, it’s day; sometimes, night. My wife is sitting beside me all the time, holding my hand. I see family members and friends all around me. I beg them to carry me out into the fresh night air so I can watch the stars. They put me on my back, with some kind of support for my back and head, and I have the sky directly above me. A fire is burning a little way from me, and I sense that there are people sitting everywhere. It is a night of movement. I feel like I’m slipping away, but I don’t really want to let go of my loved ones. Finally, a little girl, again maybe four or five years old, comes and waves to me when I look up at her. Then I can let go, and I see my loved ones disappear one by one. Finally, I hurtle backward across a dark field, maybe just dark furrowed soil, faster and faster.
In the end, I find myself in a very pleasant, cloudy, brown-red environment, floating. I have no body, just consciousness. It is not unpleasant or dangerous but very safe and pleasant. I have one last mission. The moment I lose my family in the burning city, it works like an anchor and I have to go back and untie it. Again, I find myself in that moment, but I run toward the little boy that is me, pick him up, hug him, and lead him away from danger. It’s as if I’m me but still a completely different person there, and the rescue is significantly safer and less dramatic than the first time.
Back in the dark “void,” I see how the walls loosen, become transparent, and I see hundreds, thousands of small white points of light, like pearls. There I realize that every bright spot is an opportunity, a path to take. And now, I will choose a new path to walk.
Summary of the facts: I died in 1232 in what is now Khon Kaen, Thailand. At the time of my death, it was ruled by the Khmers, and the border with present-day Thailand was different. This confused me during the hypnosis because I could point out exactly where it was, but the border was different compared to today. The city where I was as a child burned may have been the Champa city of Vijaya, which was invaded and destroyed by the Khmers in 1145, which is fairly accurate according to my age at that time.”
After all these years, I still don’t know what to think about it. Was it just me imagining stuff, using my imagination, or did something really happen? I remember asking Jörgen Sundvall afterwards, and he told me he had no idea if it was real or not. He was just as amazed as me in his work with past life regression. Somehow, I was happy to hear that because I’ve always had difficulties with those who claim to know the truth.
Many years later I heard about a concept from Buddhist philosophy: Indra’s Net, and it struck me how similar it felt to the void I had visited during hypnosis. Indra’s net is a metaphorical concept in ancient Buddhist philosophy that describes the interconnectedness and interdependence of all phenomena in the universe.
In Buddhist cosmology, Indra is the king of the gods who resides in the highest heaven of the realm of desire. His net is said to be a vast and intricate web that stretches infinitely in all directions.
At each intersection of the net, there is a jewel that reflects all the other jewels in the net, representing the interconnectedness of all things. The jewels symbolize individual beings, and their reflections represent the interconnectedness and interdependence of all beings and phenomena in the universe.
According to the metaphor, if one were to pick up one of the jewels and look closely at it, one would see that it contains reflections of all the other jewels in the net, and that each of those reflections also contains reflections of all the other jewels, and so on, ad infinitum. This is meant to illustrate the concept of dependent origination, the idea that all phenomena arise in dependence upon other phenomena, and that everything is connected and interdependent.
I might not get it right, but as I see it, it also symbolizes possibilities, directions in every way possible, and still stays in its place. An infinite roadmap of new paths, experiences, and destinies. The interconnectedness both between us humans and all other things, so even past, present and future lives.
At least that’s how I saw it myself, floating around somewhere, finding my way into a new life path. One thing I didn’t mention in my original notes from the experience was what I saw after choosing a light (which I tend to see as knots in this huge net). It was the foggy cityscape of old nighttime London, with the Thames running through it. I clearly remember the fog banks laying heavy over the city and dim lights forcing themselves through the moist. I wonder what kind of life began there? And I wonder what’s up next?
Fred Andersson is a Swedish story producer, researcher and writer with over twenty years of experience in commercial television and the author of three books. He lives in Märsta, outside Stockholm, with his photographer husband Grzegorz and two overly active cats. Join him on Twitter and Instagram.
Fred Andersson is a Swedish story producer, researcher and writer with over twenty years of experience in commercial television and the author of three books. He lives in Märsta, outside Stockholm, with his photographer husband Grzegorz and two overly active cats.