As part of the research for my book, Mystery of Reincarnation (Llewellyn, June, 2005), I explored the subject of hypnotically induced past-life memories, known more commonly as past-life regression (PLR), during which I had the opportunity to not only observe the procedure being done on others, but had the chance to experience it firsthand. In discussing my experiences since then, people have frequently asked me how it felt to be hypnotized, which seems like a good question (and one left unexplored in my book.) As such, what follows is my impressions of these experiences—a first-hand account, if you will—that should give you some idea of what it was like. I offer it here as a means of not only satisfying your curiosity, but as an opportunity to hopefully clear up a few misconceptions of how PLR works and give you my opinion as to its effectiveness as a tool for proving the existence of reincarnation.

Of course, these experiences were unique to me. Those who might be considering having a past-life regression done themselves will likely come away from the experience with markedly different impressions. Also, what I write here is only the opinion of a layman who is neither a practicing hypnotist nor a clinical psychologist familiar with the inner working of the human brain, and should be understood as such.

Defining PLR
For those unfamiliar with the term, past life regression is the practice of hypnotizing subjects and having them recount events and experiences supposedly from a previous existence or past life. Working from the premise that memories or, more accurately, impressions, from previous incarnations are stored deep in our subconscious minds where they can only be accessed through hypnosis, PLR is considered the best evidence in support of reincarnation available (the celebrated Bridey Murphy case—recounted briefly in Appendix A of my book—is probably the best known example of a past-life regression, though there have been many other and, some would say, better, examples since).

The main objection to this procedure from skeptics is that PLRs are an unreliable means of acquiring hidden or suppressed knowledge, especially in light of the fact that "memories" recovered through hypnotism have frequently proven to be inaccurate or erroneous (i.e. bogus accounts of alleged child abuse and sexual assaults, alien abductions, etc.) As such, PLR has been frequently dismissed as little more than play acting, with the person unwittingly creating events from their imagination in an effort to please the therapist or in response to the therapist's suggestion, or possibly an example of what is known as cryptomnesia, a phenomena in which a subject is recalling scenes from books or movies they have been exposed to years earlier (but had since forgotten) as though they are genuine memories from a previous existence.

Those predisposed towards believing in reincarnation are not easily swayed by such objections; however, the careful researcher would be ill-advised to discount them too easily. There is such a thing as a fantasy-prone personality and many people are easily influenced by suggestion (plus cases of cryptomnesia have been scientifically verified) so even the best past life memories must be viewed with some suspicion.

There are, however, those cases that prove more difficult to explain, especially when the past-life details can be verified through historical records (for an excellent example of just such a case, see Chapter six in my book). As such, despite the problems inherent to the practice and the often erroneous information that has emerged from hypnotically induced memories in the past, it still frequently produces some of the most compelling evidence available and remains an important element in the search for evidence that reincarnation is a fact.

Two Cases
It became apparent early in my research that if I were to write on the subject of reincarnation and PLR with any degree of authority, it would be necessary I not only observe the procedure being performed on others, but experience a past-life regression myself. As such, I set about looking for a qualified hypno-therapist who was not only experienced with the practice, but was not emotionally attached to "proving" its reality and, further, was willing to let me sit on and even tape-record some sessions being performed (with the subject's approval, of course). Being such a specialized practice that comparatively few people perform on a regular basis initially made it a daunting task, but I was fortunate enough to, through some associations at my church, locate just the right person, a local Denver-area hypnotherapist named Jim Schwartz. A professional hypnotist with over ten years of experience, Jim had not only performed the procedure numerous times before, but was agreeable to discuss how the process worked in some detail and allow me sit in on some sessions. He also agreed to perform the procedure on me at a later point for a very nominal fee.

That, at least, had proven to be the easy part. Now I needed to find some volunteers willing to let me observe and take notes for what could only be described as an often very personal experience. Fortunately, again, I was soon rewarded when my sister and a niece both agreed to undergo the procedure while I watched, and we were ready to roll. (For those who might contend that I had "stacked the deck," so to speak, by selecting two blood relatives, all I can say is both freely volunteered to undergo the procedure with no coercion by me, and though both are favorably inclined towards the concept, neither are passionate proponents of reincarnation.)

I won't go into great detail about either session other than to report that my sister recounted at least a half dozen previous incarnations—including one as a man—while my niece recounted only two past lives—though, again, with one of them as a man. Neither recalled past lives as famous people (a common misconception among skeptics) nor were any of their pasts particularly note-worthy. Further, all of the recounted past lives seemed to have been lived in either America or Europe (though both were uncertain of their geographic location in several of their incarnations) and the timelines for both were comparatively recent (the oldest being possibly from Medieval times.) Curiously, my sister couldn't (or wouldn't) recount any lives lived in the twentieth century—in opposition to my assumptions that she would—while my niece recounted having lived a life as a printer in the early to mid twentieth century. The most interesting past life, I felt, was that recounted by my sister, who recalled a life lived as young Native American male. What was particularly intriguing about this memory was that while she described that incarnation, her voice took on a decidedly masculine tone and she came across sounding very "native American" (of course, a real nineteenth century native American would not likely have spoken English. However, I postulate in my book that our past lives are "filtered" through our present personality, making it possible to describe the things and events we see in our present, native tongue.)

All-in-all, both were interesting experiences, though I was disappointed that neither managed to come up with information of a verifiable nature (names, precise dates, places, etc.) However, I was impressed with the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) transformations—in both speech and personality—that emerged (especially evident in the case of my sister). It was also curious to me that neither seemed particularly interested in repeating the experience again, nor did their experience appear to change their perspectives on the subject. Obviously, if either were out to "prove" reincarnation, at least to their own satisfaction, it appears to have been a bust.

So what was my final verdict? Did my sister and niece really recount genuine past lives or was it all figments of their imagination? It's hard to say, but I leave the reader to ponder the following points:

Neither has demonstrated any particular fascination with reincarnation in the past, diminishing any rationale for wanting to prove it so badly that they were willing to "fake it" or delude themselves to obtain the required evidence.

Neither was known for any special acting talents, making the changes in voice and mannerisms inexplicable.

Neither have exhibited a tendency towards "play acting" or fantasizing in the past, nor has either shown any evidence of what would be labeled a fantasy-prone personality. Nor does either seem particularly prone to responding to suggestion (plus, in observing Jim closely, I found no evidence of suggestion or "fishing" on his part. He simply asked them to describe what they saw and, while he did occasionally ask for details, he never suggested what they were seeing or tried to convince them of anything.)

None of the recounted past lives were particularly interesting or glamorous, making them poor material for a novel or movie, thereby reducing (though not entirely eliminating) the chance that the memories were being lifted from a forgotten book or movie.

Neither seemed particularly altered by the experience and to this day remain largely indifferent to it and the entire theory of reincarnation.

My Turn
Of course, observing a past-life regression in others and experiencing one personally are two different things. How would I do were I to agree to undergo the procedure? What would I discover and, for that matter, could I even be hypnotized?

I would be less than honest if I didn't admit I had serious misgivings about undergoing the procedure myself. It's not that I was afraid of being hypnotized—observing the procedure being done had convinced me it was a safe and relatively simple process—but I was uncertain I could "shut off" my intellect and let myself be hypnotized. I have always had trouble meditating or getting in touch with my "intuitive" side, and so was strongly concerned that the procedure wouldn't work on me at all.

The bigger problem, however, at least from my perspective, was that by this time I had come to accept reincarnation as a fact, presumably making me prone towards "creating" past life memories in an effort to support my personal bias. Further and even more of a concern was that I had come to accept the idea that I had been a German soldier in my last life, making me especially susceptible to creating a past-life that would correspond to that preconceived belief. Unfortunately, my interest in World War Two combined with the extensive reading I have done on the subject over the years meant I possessed enough historical knowledge of the era to easily manufacture a credible past life memory, making myself a prime candidate for self-deception. In other words, I wasn't sure I could trust myself.

The other problem, however, was with what if I failed to recount a past life as a German soldier and instead came up with something entirely unexpected? Would that strengthen the possibility that I was having a legitimate past life memory by eliminating a potentially bogus preconceived past life persona, or demonstrate the entire idea was nonsense by contradicting everything I had already come to "discover" about my past life as a German soldier? Either way, it seemed, I was screwed.

I discussed these concerns with Jim at some length and he suggested a solution: if I did recall a past life as a German soldier, he would try to acquire specific, verifiable details that might be confirmed through historical records, thereby strengthening the chances that it was a genuine past life recollection and not merely a product of my imagination. And, second, we agreed he would attempt to take me back to earlier lives as well-areas where I had fewer preconceived ideas about whom I may have been-thereby reducing the chances of self-deception. Though not a perfect solution, at least in being aware of the problem, we could both be on guard for anything that appeared contrived or otherwise manufactured, and with that piece of the puzzle in place, then, I was ready to get on the couch and let myself be subjected to the mystery of hypnosis.

Dispelling Some Myths
Before moving on, however, I thought this might be a good place to clear up a few misconceptions about what hypnosis is and how it operates. I know I came into the process believing all sorts of erroneous things about the practice and assume many of my readers who've never been hypnotized likely share these misconceptions, making it important we digress a moment in an effort to dispel some of the most entrenched myths about hypnotism we hold as a society.

Myth #1: Hypnosis puts you to sleep or otherwise renders you unconscious. I always imagined when one was hypnotized, they essentially went to sleep and "woke up" later with no memory of what had happened, just like in the movies. In reality, you remain fully conscious of your surroundings throughout the procedure and able to "snap out of it" any time you wish. It is more akin to being taken through a process of guided imagery than falling asleep, which I found the most surprising aspect of the procedure. (It does affect your sense of time, however, in that hours can seem to pass in a matter of minutes. I felt the session had lasted only about twenty minutes when in reality I had actually been "under" for an hour-and-a-half.)

Myth #2: You are under the complete control of the therapist while under hypnosis. This is a common fear largely created by Hollywood in which people imagine that while under, the therapist can make them do things they would never do otherwise (such as flap their arms like a bird or take all their clothes off). In fact, you never lose your free-will and cannot be made to do anything out of character or against your will, largely because you remain fully conscious and aware throughout.

Myth #3: People can be hypnotized against their will or without their knowledge. Again, another example of Hollywood nonsense, but one still widely accepted by many people today. In reality, no one can be hypnotized involuntarily or inadvertently. Being hypnotized requires a considerable amount of time and patience, making it impossible to put a person under without their full awareness and cooperation. Also, watching a flashing light or other shiny object will not induce a trance either (another bit of Hollywood shlock.) As such, no legitimate hypno-therapist would have you gaze at a swinging watch or study a twirling light to put you under.

Myth #4: Not everyone can be hypnotized. This is partially true, but largely unimportant. According to Jim, people who are mildly retarded or are diagnosed with certain psychological disorders cannot be hypnotized (or, at least, are extremely difficult to put under). In most cases, however, anyone who wants to be hypnotized can be hypnotized. Your beliefs about hypnotism, however, can determine how good a subject you might make. A person convinced that they can be possessed by demons while under hypnosis (or, by extension, believe that hypnotism is evil or occultic) are almost impossible to hypnotize, not because they can't be put under, but because they are afraid to be. The mind is a powerful tool that dramatically affects what the body-and the brain-can or cannot do (or, more accurately, what it will or will not respond to.)

Myth #5: Hypnotized people are so eager to please their therapist that they often feel compelled to make things up. While there are those who might be so disposed, I never personally felt that sort of pressure, nor did my sister or niece report such feelings. I don't deny that I fervently hoped to "see things" during my session, but this desire was not generated by the therapist but was a byproduct of my own frustrations.

Another common belief about hypnotism is that the therapist, in having you imagine scenes or pictures in the early part of the process (guided imagery) is forcing you to make things up. This also was not my experience, however. While the session does begin with some suggested imagery ("Picture yourself moving down the river in a boat. Now see it coming to a stop alongside the river and step out. What do you see?") this is not the same as suggestion ("You see a white house in front of you. It is the year 1895. You live in this house with your wife and children. You enter the front door. Describe what happens next.") In the former, the therapist is guiding you to a starting point, whereas in the latter he is building a stage for you and making you a character on that stage. The therapist may help you get started, but once you begin seeing things, a good therapist steps back and lets your visions guide you to where you want to go, not where he wants you to go.

Myth #6: Since past-life regressionists already believe in reincarnation, they are more susceptible to believing everything you tell them without question. While this is a legitimate concern, it underestimates the therapist's intelligence, honesty, and capacity for rationale thought. Just because a therapist may personally believe in reincarnation doesn't necessarily make them any more gullible than anyone else. In fact, just the opposite may be the case: in being aware of their own personal bias towards the idea, it should make them more careful about interpreting information in a prejudiced manner. Additionally, it should be recognized that not all past-life therapists believe in reincarnation. Working from the premise that the mind will create whatever mechanism it requires to induce emotional healing, some therapists simply find PLR to be a useful tool for helping patients deal with idiomatic phobias and traumas without believing that what their patient recounts experiencing actually took place.

Myth #7: People can "fake" being hypnotized. In reality, Jim, my therapist, told me there are very distinct signs that someone has been successfully hypnotized (REM, body positioning, etc.) and that only the most inexperienced or incompetent therapists could be taken in by someone pretending to be hypnotized. Even the most gifted hoaxers can't keep the charade up for long, and will usually give themselves away fairly quickly. Additionally, Jim told me genuine past-life memories are usually expressed differently than manufactured memories in that they tend to be more emotional, disjointed, and fraught with superfluous and unnecessary detail than created memories, which are usually recounted in better order and with little emotion.

My Trip to the Couch
With the basics out of the way, then, I am now ready for my own adventure into uncharted territory. Though it all happened a couple of years ago, I still recall the experience with considerable clarity, which I shall endeavor to recount with equal clarity here.

As I recall, Jim first spent a few minutes going over the procedure in some detail, explaining to me not only how hypnotism works and what's happening on the subconscious level, but also going over a few misconceptions about what hypnosis is and how it operates, (which I described above). That's an important preliminary step in that it puts the subject at ease and answers many of their questions up front (at least, it did for me.) The next thing he had me do was some simple "imagining" exercises, which permits him to gage each subject's imagination and, with it, how likely they are to be a good subject (apparently, the better your imagination, the easier it is to hypnotize you.) What he had me do was close my eyes, put my arms straight out from the side of my body, and imagine I was holding an empty bucket in each hand. Then he told me to picture someone pouring sand into each bucket and had me open my eyes. Most people will find that their arms have lowered from the perpendicular position as though they were actually holding two heavy buckets of sand, but I saw through his feeble attempt at mind control and found my arms still in their original position, thereby demonstrating that I am either way too paranoid to make a good subject or I have the imagination of a rock. Of course, he tried to assure me there's no "passing" or "failing" the test, but I decided it did not bode well in any case.

Next I was ready for the couch (or, in this case, a very comfortable recliner.) After a moment of squirming to find the perfect position, I closed my eyes and tried to clear my mind, which is when the trouble started as I quickly found myself unable to shut my mind off. I tried hard not to think about anything at all but, of course, the more I concentrated on the effort the more things crept into my mind (it's like asking someone not to think about giraffes; after a few minutes, that's all they will be able to think about.) Shutting off the intellect and allowing myself to surrender to the process proved to be the most difficult aspect of the whole procedure to me, and it took some real effort to "let go" of my tendency to observe myself intellectually and instead let myself "feel" instead of "think". Of course, you don't entirely shut off your rationale senses, but you do have to learn to make them secondary rather than primary, which I found took some practice and patience.

Eventually, however, I felt myself slide into a deep state of relaxation, at which point Jim told me he was going to begin counting backwards from one hundred. My only job would be to listen closely and lift a finger whenever he said an even number and lower it with each odd number, which sounded simple enough and, at first, proved fairly easy to do. Eventually, however, you begin to lose track, especially when he starts jumping around (say from the nineties to the seventies and then back to the eighties) until after a while you begin to lose interest in the whole thing and start forgetting to raise your finger, which Jim told me afterwards is an early and positive sign that one is sliding into a trance.

After the numbers game, he next had me do some guided imagery. I assume I was fully "under" at this point, though it still felt like I was merely laying on the recliner with my eyes closed in a very relaxed state (the only difference being that I had no sensation of my body and no interest in opening my eyes. In fact, I felt like I had become one with the recliner.) In any case, he had me picture myself walking through a meadow where I could smell the flowers and feel the sun on my skin, and then had me see myself walking down a road that cut through the meadow until I came to a door (no house, just a door by itself.) When I was ready, he told me to open the door and go through, at which point I was to describe what I saw on the other side.

Many Lives, Many Memories
At first, I didn't see anything, which is when I started getting frustrated. I expected to see some kind of movie, sort of like the trailers one sees at the theater, but all I saw was a blank screen. I felt like an annoyed patron sitting in the front row of a theater waiting impatiently for the movie to start, and growing more frustrated as time went on.

That's when I decided that instead of straining to see images, I would just start picturing things in my mind and make up stories about what I saw to see if anything resonated with me. To that end, I decided to imagine myself as a young German soldier, in a green uniform with a rifle slung casually over one shoulder, marching alongside a dirt road somewhere in Russia, and see what happened. I even decided to add a little color by picturing the things I would likely see as I walked along-gutted homes, rubble, abandoned bicycles, and burned-out vehicles of every description—trucks mostly, charred and still smoldering—lining the ditches.

Of course, it wasn't difficult to "see" these things, for anyone who's ever watched newsreel film from WWII has seen countless scenes like this, which is why I suppose the skeptic would simply dismiss the whole thing as just a bit of play acting and, of course, they would have a point; it certainly felt like I was making things up.

Or, at least, it did at first.

As I continued to go along with the charade, however, something unexpected began happening: these pictures in my mind began taking on a level of clarity and detail that surprised me. I may have started with some images from grainy old black and white footage I'd seen on television, but as I continued to picture my surrounding, they quickly took on color and vibrancy, as though they were no longer flat bits of flickering celluloid but very real, three-dimensional objects. Even more curious was the growing feeling that as I continued my "march" across Russia, I was not so much seeing things as I was feeling them or, more correctly, living them. For example, I remember watching rows of brown-clad Russian prisoners marching into captivity in the opposite direction, their eyes full of despair and hopelessness, and of feeling excited about my march eastward, as though I were part of a magnificent adventure. It was like seeing the war through the eyes of a very young and innocent boy. Of course, the intellectual part of me knew that I was participating in a great evil, but the boy I was imagining myself to be saw it through more innocent—some might say naive—eyes, and felt proud about being a part of it.

The "march" soon took on an almost surreal air when I started to describe my comrades to the therapist. Astonishingly, I knew the name of my platoon leader (Sergeant Kreutz) and the name of another, older soldier in my platoon who had taken me "under his wing" (Heinrich); curiously, however, I didn't know my own name or where I was (or even when it was, though judging by the oppressively warm and sunny weather, I imagined it was summer.) I even went on to describe the first time I took another man's life (long range with my rifle) and could picture battle scenes in which I was tasked with the physically demanding job of running ammunition cases between positions.

The interesting thing was that as I described all this, it became increasingly clear to me I was no longer making things up, but actually living them personally. The images were vibrant and tactile, and the sounds and smells of battle were equally as genuine. As far as I was concerned, I really was a German soldier fighting in Russia in 1941 and not just a middle-aged writer sitting in a small office in Lakewood, Colorado doing research for a book about reincarnation!

It was when I described my death, however, that the most truly remarkable and completely unexpected thing happened. I saw myself running ammunition between machinegun positions during a battle against massed Russian armor and infantry somewhere in central Russia (and, I think, in late summer or early fall as it wasn't quite as warm) when I took a Russian sniper's bullet in the throat. The round severed my windpipe and, though I felt no pain, I remember panicking because I was unable to breath. The interesting part, however, was that while I recounted my slow death by suffocation, I began shivering uncontrollably (in spite of the fact I felt no sensation of being physically chilled). It was a most curious sensation, and one I can't remember feeling before or since. Even more curious, the shivering stopped the moment Jim began guiding me away from the scene and instructed me to go further back to a time before I was the German soldier, at which point I again relaxed and felt myself begin drifting once more.

After that, I no longer had to struggle to imagine things, but images and ideas came to me easily and naturally, and I let whatever came to me flow through me without hesitation or struggle.During the balance of the session I went on to describe two more lives before that of the German soldier, one as a history professor in New England sometime in the late nineteenth century and another as a "street tough" in London in the 1840's. I won't go into detail about either of these lives other than to say the thing that stayed with me in both recollections was not in what I saw, but in what I felt. During the memories of my life as a professor in New England, for example, I recounted the death of a favorite niece who died during childbirth with hot tears rolling down my cheeks, and recalled watching my London thug persona succumbing to tuberculosis in a London doorway early one winter morning and feeling what a waste his life had been. It seemed my emotions were not my own at that point, but belonged to others. I didn't even try to control them, but was content to let them happen through me, as me, in another life.

After the session was over, Jim told me how different my three personalities had been from each other, from the wise-cracking street tough bragging about the few teeth that remained in his head to the sensitive and lonely college professor who would one day take his own life over the death of a niece that had been as close to him as a daughter, to the youthful exuberance of a German soldier too young to appreciate the horrors of war. All in all, a remarkable afternoon, and one I will never forget.

So what do I make of this experience?

It's hard to say, but several elements jump out at me that demand careful consideration. The first and, perhaps, most significant, is that while I may have started out manufacturing the images I saw, I very quickly came to believe what I saw and, especially, that what I was feeling, was real. It's difficult to explain, but the images and emotions that came to mind just "felt right." This is in sharp contrast to how it works when I'm creating a character for one of my novels, who always feel contrived (at least until I get them "fleshed out" in my writings). Creating a character and keeping them consistent throughout an entire novel is hard work; what I experienced, however, was effortless to maintain—again, as opposed to a manufactured fictional character for whom every thought and action is carefully pre-planned and motivated. Also, with my works of fiction, the characters frequently evolve or change in subtle (or not so subtle) ways as I try different traits and pasts on for size; with the personas I encountered in my session, however, they already possessed strongly developed personalities and frequently clear and complete biographies. In effect, they were "complete" people in their own right to which I could find nothing to add.

The second thing I noticed is that the events and experiences these people encountered seemed to almost "pop" into my mind without forethought. The personal events and dramas of their lives simply emerged into my mind's eye, leaving me only to describe them as best I could. Essentially, I felt like both the narrator and the actor in the same play, as though I were both observing and participating in these events at the same time.

Third, while I expected the German soldier persona, I had not anticipated the academician or the street thug personas, making me wonder why, if I were simply confabulating a past life, I would create such characters. I suppose my love of teaching in this life and an interest in nineteenth century American history (combined with an affinity for Victorian houses) might have been factors in creating the professor, but the street tough in London was entirely unexpected and so different from anything I've known in this life that I can't begin to imagine what might have motivated me to create such a character in this case, and so the mystery remains.

So what do I come away with from this experience? Do I believe these characters were real, genuine parts of a past life, or just fantasies I had created to reinforce a preconceived bias?

Personally, I believe they were real and not only for the reasons I just mentioned. I believe they were real for the simple reason that I find reincarnation to be a better explanation for what happened to me than the idea that I am capable of creating three very different characters out of my imagination, imbue each of them with very specific personalities, experiences, and mannerisms, have them display the gamut of emotions from sadness and fear to excitement and pride, and do it all in a little over an hour. I'm simply not that creative or that clever, as much as I wish I were. In the end I must accept that these three individuals who live in some remote corner of my subconscious were once flesh-and-blood people who lived and died many decades before I was born. No other explanation makes sense, at least to me.

Some Final Thoughts
All-in-all, I can see how easy it would be for someone to convince themselves that what they had experienced was merely a figment of a very fertile imagination, and since these sessions rarely produce anything verifiable in nature (they just don't seem set up for very specific details—especially in terms of dates and places and names—everything is very generalized) it makes it easy for those so inclined to do so to dismiss reincarnation out of hand. What I couldn't dismiss, however, was the very profound emotions and strong feelings these "memories" elicited in me, which are so in contrast to my normal personality. I also find it difficult to imagine that people are such naturally good actors that they can easily and instantly change their personalities, mannerisms, and even tone of voice while moving from one personality to another with no more effort than it takes to change one's shoes. It simply doesn't follow that such should be possible, but every past life therapist can recount literally hundreds of cases of just such dramatic personality shifts in their subjects. Either there is a part of the brain capable of doing such things on a regular basis that science has yet to catalogue, or there is more going on in the universe than we might suspect. I see no other alternatives or, by extension, explanations.

Would I recommend that others undergo this procedure? I would neither recommend nor forbid it, but warn people that if they wish to undergo a past-life regression, they understand exactly what is motivating them to do so. It should be more than mere curiosity or merely for the excitement of trying something different; past-life regression opens a door into the human psyche that can have unexpected consequences, especially for those who lack the maturity and sophistication to understand what is going on. Hypnosis is a tool for understanding the human psyche and, with it, the human soul; as such, it should be used wisely. But for those who have a need to better understand their past so they might better cope with their present, however, it might be something worth considering. I guarantee you an adventure you won't soon forget.