One night over 25 years ago I was listening to the Barry Farber show and Barry's guest was Brian Weiss M.D. His book Many Minds, Many Masters: The True Story of A Psychiatrist, His Young Patient and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both of Their Lives had just been published. I don't remember the interview but I must have been impressed since I bought the book and now many years later I've reread it to see if it holds up.
In Many Minds, Many Masters Dr Weiss tells the story of his patient Catherine who came to his office in 1980 to see if her anxiety could be cured. Regular therapy was. not working and so Dr Weiss decided to hypnotize Catherine back to her childhood to uncover possible traumas that led to her current problems. To the astonishment of Dr. Weiss, Catherine started remembering fragments of past lives she had lived. A soldier in battle, a servant girl in the 17th century, a woman living in ancient Egypt etc.
Dr. Weiss tells us that prior to meeting Catherine he was an agnostic. His life had been on a successful path. He was Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at a major teaching hospital, married, two kids, had the respect of his colleagues but he had also experienced tragedy. His young son Adam had died years before from a rare heart ailment. And so ten years later Dr. Weiss was not prepared for what Catherine would tell him.
During one of her hypnotic sessions Catherine was able to reach that in-between state where according to past life beliefs, souls that have died, recuperate and learn what they need to for the next life. Catherine told Dr. Weiss that Adam and his father were there and they were happy. Dr Weiss never revealed anything personal to patients. How could Catherine know that he even had children, let alone the name of his father and son and the rare disease that had killed Adam? This had a powerful impact on Dr. Weiss and as he says, his life would change forever.
If you are interested in learning about reincarnation Many Minds, Many Masters is a good place to start. I would say though that a large part of the book is taken up with Catherine's past life memories which would be okay if Catherine could give more details but since she can't we get pages and pages of brief fragments of her past lives and it can get boring.
Since he published Many Minds, Many Masters in 1988, Dr. Weiss has become a leading figure in the field of reincarnation and past lives. He's 70 now, lectures widely and holds seminars worldwide. He has written 6 more books on life after death and how past-life therapy can be used to treat people with anxiety, depression, addiction, the way Catherine's emotional problems were healed.
As for me I'm not a believer in reincarnation but there is something comforting about going through life knowing that this isn't it and that there is no hell but rather the mistakes we make can be rectified in the next life and that we will meet our love ones again. Finally, Dr. Weiss is an interesting man who in response to a tragedy decades ago found a new path to make sense of it and has stuck to that path all these years later. Its inspirinng