The possibility is always there that 'past lives' are simply a metaphor, that when a reader or other practicitioner is accessing a past life they are, indeed, 'reading', but not another life. How can we know for sure? It may be that as we allow ourselves to 'see' another person, we pick up a general gestalt of who they are, what their issues may be, what their current needs or relationships may look like, and then create a 'past life' which recapitulates these things. Even if that's true, does it invalidate past life readings? Of course not. If a reader can create a working metaphor that generates growth, learning, change, or healing, that's always a good thing. Maybe I never really was Tutankhamen, but maybe in his story, of a boy king put in place after the rule of a very upopular monarch, a boy king murdered in his youth, probably by the people around him, maybe I have something to learn from that.
Who can really say for sure? when I was quite young the story of Bridey Murphy was nig news. Under hypnosis a woman experienced a past life and was proven (some people said it was a hoax, but it was certainly proven to the satisfaction of many people) from her life in the 1840's that the subject could never have known.
For me, I think so. I have had dreams from a very early age with information that I could not, and in one case certainly should not, have possessed. These have come back in later life, and I'm certain that they reflect a particular historical trauma dating from the early eighteenth century,.
When I was fifteen my parents took me to New York City. It would be difficult to describe the absolute familiarity I felt with it. This linked with a certain white stucco apartment building and the death of a young pilot in World War II. At that time in my life I just lived those things - didn't think much about them or draw any conclusion. I'm pretty sure now that they reflect the experiences of another lifetime.
Each time I do a past life reading I discover something I can't really understand or translate. The struggle is not to access the information, but to decipher it. Especially when the lives are set in places or times very remote from our own, I find myself trying essentially to translate someone else's thoughts, not being thought in words, but in shapes. It's kind of like trying to untie a knot in the dark. I'm fairly certain that these knots aren't resident in the mind of the person I'm reading - they're resident in another culture. It's very interesting, and these tend to be the locus of real discovery for the person I'm reading.
I guess what I come to is this: of course past life readings can be used as metaphor. Whether they are extrapolated from data of a present life, or are actually part of another one, matters less than the struggle to find the kernel and open it out.
Again, as always, I'm very interested in your thoughts about this. If you want to discuss it more, or find out more about what I do, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm waiting for you.