An investigation into memories of past lives and the periods between lives
Author: Wagner Alegretti
314 pages, 5½" X 8¼", soft cover.
Also available in Portuguese and Spanish.
In Retrocognitions , Brazilian engineer and consciousness researcher Wagner Alegretti analyzes past-life recall in a comprehensive way rarely found in other books on the subject. Many books have been written about memories of past lives, some based on case histories from hypnosis sessions, others based on painstaking research with children who report past lives. But such approaches, while invaluable, can only glimpse at the greater context for this experience.
By contrast, Alegretti approaches Retrocognitions from the leading-edge branch of consciousness research called conscientiology, which he has been researching since the early 1980s, in which consciousness (the essence, soul, or ego) is studied from a multidimensional perspective. Primary premises of conscientiology are that consciousness has multiple bodies (physical, energetic, emotional, and mental), and that it has multiple physical existences interspersed with periods when it does not have a physical body. Alegretti elucidates these concepts in a rational, serious, and objective manner, with no mysticism or over-extrapolation, leaving the reader with a much expanded sense of their own nature and purpose.
Alegretti's first introduces core concepts about memory and consciousness that lay a foundation for the discussions to come. He then anatomizes all aspects of the retrocognition phenomenon, beginning with an analysis of possible objects of the experience, possible subjects, possible causes, and the varying degrees of certainty that are attainable. He then details related phenomena such as clairvoyance, déjà vu, intuition, and the out-of-body experience. He also registers the states of consciousness within which the phenomenon may be experienced, including dream, nightmare, and hypnotic trance. And he sets out a number of factors that can help induce the experience, including youth; music; emotional states; historical films; scents; being in the hypnagogic state; hypnosis; energetic connection with objects, places, or people; travel; and self-analysis.
Beyond the core anatomization, a number of techniques are given for inducing the experience, as well as several means of optimizing one's chances of success. These include energetic techniques that lead to increased mental, emotional, and energetic balance.
One of the key themes of the book is that retrocognition's benefits transcend the therapeutic ends to which it is customarily applied. Those benefits include: increasing self-knowledge; making positive intra-personal changes; understanding and improving our relationships; expanding our sense of universalism; and identifying our life objectives (existential program). Yet Alegretti does not see accessing a life from 3000 years ago, for example, as being the optimal means of achieving this. Instead, his premise is that:
"[w]e grow much more by remembering our last period between lives, than by recovering the memories of several previous, repetitive and semiconscious lives. This can, and should, be the main goal of retrocognition."
That is, we can gain a broad perspective on our past and nature by accessing memories of the period prior to our current life, when we were preparing for this current life. By contrast, our physical history is replete with omissions and mistakes that, taken alone, confer few benefits other than to reinforce our shortcomings.
The book also offers a refreshingly sane chapter on hypnosis, in which the practice is likened to surgery: an intervention of last resort. Alegretti does not discount its benefits, but he lists several precautions that anyone considering hypnosis should take to guard against having "memories" that are not their own. Also included is a highly original section on factors that block or inhibit our capacity to remember our past. Alegretti concludes with a discussion about time, including the phenomena of simulcognition and precognition, and gives some proposals for how our society might develop in the future.
Overall Alegretti writes in a very agreeable style, with a liberal use of sub-headers to demarcate topics. Technical terms are used in places, but they are gradually explained as the book unfolds, and there is a glossary at the end for reference. The book also includes an index and a bibliography, as well as a rich filmography. Retrocognitions is highly informative and is strongly recommended for anyone interested in this intriguing and enriching phenomenon.