Book Review: Many Lives, Many Masters  

Posted by Divya A L in

I wouldn't say its a "must read", nevertheless, the book has in store for us, a new dimension to life and meaning of our existence. Well, it talks of philosophy to a little extent, but largely is presented as a "proof based theory" for the existence of life or lives before and after death. Based on a true story of the author, Dr Brain L Weiss, who is by profession a 'very rational Psychiatrist', (his education and professional background prove to be worthy of considering him so), and his patient Catherine, the book attempts at making the God-believers strengthen their faith in Him, and the atheists to at least ponder over on the possibility of a super nature.

He records and pens down the words of his patient Catherine, whose psychic disorder stems from several displeasing, horrific experiences, covetous acts in her previous births. The doctor ends up uncovering her past life stories when he takes her through a series of hypnosis sessions, a last resort, after all his traditional treatment fails to cure Catherine.

The after-death experience is the highlight of this read. What Catherine revealed was found to be true with many other people who had had a near-death experience. (I guess the Hindu scripture 'Garuda Purana' also has a theory on similar lines).

According to Catherine's revelation of her past lives, one can deduce the following:
1. That people close to us in the current life have some kind of implication in their past. The implication could be as close as being with the same person in the same role as well. (For instance, one's mother in this life would be his/her close relative in their past life)
2. The concept of kharmas being carried from one life time to another 'seems' "real". (Similar to what Hinduism believes in)
3.There are several GODs (or Masters or caretakers) who keep guiding us throughout. (Remember the fairies??)
4. We tend to carry the knowledge and memories of our past lives (reflects as dreams or real incidents) and sometimes even derive the skill sets from them. In Catherine's case, she understood the Roman artifacts very well, though in her current lifetime she never had a "learned" knowledge about it.
5. Every life is a learning and as we learn we gain knowledge and move up the different levels in the "spiritual planes" to become one with the God! (This wasn't convincing enough for me! Sounded complicated than rocket science :) )

The Catherine's recordings are now being used by many researchers who are on exploration of super-nature.

Well, though not completely convincing, its definitely a good starter to explore God!

Finally, what left me wondering was why Catherine always took a human form in all her past lives, and if all that theory held good even for other forms of life on this planet!!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at Wednesday, June 29, 2011 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

17 comments

First things first. Welcome to the book reviewers club :)

About the book, sounds like Harry Potter and The Immortals of Meluha. Not even a sentence is convincing enough for me on it's face value :) I am wondering how old is this, and what did those researchers referring to this find in their exploration.

June 29, 2011 at 9:58 PM

and after that " Dr Brain L Weiss" started earning millions and millions of dollars selling his books, CDs and DVDs.

karma carrying from previous births is totally stupid to be even slightly true.

June 29, 2011 at 10:48 PM

@Srini: Thanks for the welcome! I can now see how "effective" my reviews will be! :)

:(( Thats only the reviewer's perspective (in general, ppl usually like what I don't like or vice versa) :) So, I suggest you read it anyway :) I guess it is around 20 year old info! About the researchers, they tried to reason some of the paranormal behaviors exhibited by humans, like a 5 year old kid correctly pinpointing to a place holding treasure and wealth, about ppl's ability and access to info they are never exposed to in their current life etc....

BTW, I was wondering how harry potter was related to this ;)


@Anoop: Well, the term "kharmas" is a little heavy but it simply means, "you need to pay for all the wrong you've done" - which I think is pretty true, considering my observation of ppl around me or even myself... :)))

June 30, 2011 at 8:15 AM

If I get this ability to hypnotise a person and find out what will do.. ? I may be selecting few of my rational friends like Srini.. , Roopesh and try on them first. Then only I will get convinced that it is true... And also involve scientists in it.

Now Weiss is doing is selling his seminars and books and making money.


The "kharma" in previous birth makes you a sudra ( bad deeds) or a brahmin ( good deeds) , right ?

June 30, 2011 at 10:42 AM

:) You can even now take them to a psychiatrist and get them hypnotized! hehe... (I'm sure it'll be fun! ;) There are lots of TV shows about this these days! You can take them to one of them and even make them super stars :))) )

Why would you think Weiss had to do only this to make money?? He might have, not denying that, but he does have his videos n recordings to prove it.

I'm not sure of what kharma makes a man... all that i meant was - "what you give is what you get back"! whether we take it across lifetimes or not is something unknown. The author was told so, when he speaks to the "masters" through Catherine.

But, the concept of "becoming" a brahmin or sudra seems illogical to me. I guess all this originated in those days based on the occupation of the people. Other than that, to me, it holds no higher significance, relevance or meaning.

June 30, 2011 at 8:14 PM

The relation is, Harry Potter 'also' is an incredibly interesting work of fiction :)

I already started reading it and will write about it soon. Till then, will keep it in 'fiction' category only. Let us see, whether reading it end-to-end will make any difference.

About visiting psychiatrist and getting hypnotized (to get to know lineage of my soul): I am game, provided it will be video recorded and I will have access to it, once I am done. When shall we go ?

July 1, 2011 at 8:45 AM

@Srini: Oh!! You are talking about the "fiction" part!! :-|

About recording, I cant help saying "wow"!! I'd like to watch it live!! :D Anytime!! Will look forward to it...
@Anoop: Arrange for some HD cam!

July 1, 2011 at 9:30 AM

BTW, my nokia N8, should be good enough for HD recording ;)

July 1, 2011 at 9:32 AM

another review i found on web

http://weshagen.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/a-skepticatheist-critic-of-the-bestseller-many-lives-many-masters-by-brian-weiss/

July 3, 2011 at 5:31 PM

The comment below is purely a personal view and not intended to question or contradict any faith or beliefs in this matter...

1. Current medical science understands only less than 1% of human brain functions..in such a scenario a psychiatry based conclusion seems very abstract-relative-left to individualistic perception.

2. Life as what we see now is the ultimate end point of the evolution process which is happening since billions of years..human race is probably putting an end to this process by consuming the resources more than the supply in store...when such scientific outlook of life and evolution are conclusively proved i do not know how relevant is the concept of a "super-natural" power..

3. concept of karma..well it is good to adopt the principles of karma etc in practice in life..but linking this again to super natural forces etc may not be appropriate..

4. recently the big bang theory was more or less conclusively proven...so currently the origin of universe and the origin of life can be much better explained than may be what we understood few yrs ago...so it is a matter of understanding the knowledge lying around and be more realistic in outlook...

July 3, 2011 at 5:57 PM

@Anoop: He has done a thorough dissection of the book!! I think this book is for ppl who are skeptical like me, being unable to fall into either extreme. Reviews from them the other two categories are generally biased! :)

Well, let me drift off this topic a little... Let me reason it from another angle... I have heard of many yogists doing wonders, and yoga has roots in the very ancient era... which means to say ppl then, had complete knowledge on human body and mind, a hundred or thousand fold times better than the most renowned doctor of this day! Even Patanjali's book of yoga does talk about single soul many bodies concept. And as proof, there are lots of ppl who have successfully practiced and are extremely happy and contented with that. (Many colleagues of mine here also have said that) If practising it makes such a difference, then there should be something special about it.... And if that something special in about no more than knowing our body and mind well, this knowledge was gained long long ago.... And what are the present day doctors here doing??? Re-inventing the wheel!?! If, yes, then why??

That is all I can say...

July 3, 2011 at 5:59 PM

@Anoop: May be we can visit this once :
Sanskruti Holistic Institute, Bangalore offers 7 therapies in Hypnosis and Past Life regression. The therapy usually involves 2 days treatment with 2.5-3 hour on both days. Please take appointments in advance to get confirmed slots.
Contact Us for taking a Past life regression session in Bangalore or Call us on 9242756676 or 080-2543779 to find more.

:))) Srini has volunteered anyway :)

July 3, 2011 at 6:12 PM

@Anil: "Current medical science understands only less than 1% of human brain functions" This I understand is under normal circumstances.... May be yoga or hynotics (a meditating state) where the mind or the subconscious (if at all such a thing exists), concentrates a little more than usual, the percentage could be a little more and hence can remember "more" things isn't it?? I am just trying to reason out...

About kharmas, yes good to follow - but where did those originate from??

July 3, 2011 at 6:22 PM

FROM ANIL:


When I say less than 1% of brain functions have been understood it does not mean that we “ do not know” less than 1% ..there is a difference…we understand the anatomy and physiology and biochemistry of brain…subconscious mind and paranormal behaviours have been well described..the areas of brain involved in “paranormal” behaviour also have been mapped…the view here is given the complexity of brain it is estimated that what we “know” is less..but definitely this does not bring in the supernatural or divine concept into picture…

Benefits of yoga are well proven…yoga definitely improves brain functioning, memory etc…but if you say that by yoga we can improve the percentage of our understanding brain then It may not stand as a valid statement…yoga improves functioning of certain areas of brain..lot of research has been done on this..but saying that by doing yoga we can “understand” brain more than what we know now might be a little bit overstatement…

Karmas…to understand this we need to talk little bit about ancient Indian science..science has conclusively proven the existence of the mighty ancient Indian civilization and has disproved the Aryan invasion theory (what we r taught in school thanks to the after effect of british rule!!)…the vedic era was the golden time of intellects..never ever in the world lived so many geniuses in a single space and time frame!!!....the principles of bhagavadgita cldve easily been framed by such an intellect..where does “divinity” come here??..over thousands of yrs of spreading by mouth from person to person these shlokas might have acquired the current “divine” context…one need not be a divine person to narrate the concept of karma..he can be a normal human being who is slightly on the intellect side!!....the mahabharatha is viewed as a real happening..story of a civilization…they were humans..not divine…there r so many illustrations in mahabharatha that show that this civilization was amazingly scientifically advanced..scholars have even mapped the dates of the important events in mahabharatha…(u shld remember that in the same frame of time on the other hand there was the scientifically amazing egyptian civilization in a different place on the same planet!!..this further proves mahabharatha is not “divine”..it was a “human” civilization)…again it comes to the process of evolution..evolution of life-science-knowledge etc…searching “supernatural” or “divine” concepts here is purely dictated by the faith or belief of a person..so the main point here from the view of ur blog topic is all these are ultimately “human”…putting divinity in them reflects a mere excuse to not explore what exactly happened then!!

July 3, 2011 at 7:46 PM

@Anil:
Ok.forget divinity, forget super nature. From what you say, I can more or less relate it to our computers... (I'm not sure if you doctors can comprehend the computer terminologies)

Its like this:

the memory of a computer can be used only if we have a handle or an object to access it... Without that, its as much a stale block or unused... Similarly the humans, may not have "access to or use the rest 99% of their brains which "might" hold some info!!" Under specific circumstances, when people show their paranormal behavior, it could be a trigger from a specific part of the brain that was invoked by some means (in this case, hypnosis acted as a handle... but the exact link is unknown). So, if that info gotten out of hypnosis, has no relation to the present world, one 'may' still see the possibility of the previous existence (that knowledge HAD to be acquired somewhere for someone to spur it out during hyptosis!). Forget Catherine, but the incident of that 5 year kid is stunning. She was born somewhere in Asia but could talk about the treasue in the west which sure she had never been to or heard from anyone else! And "death" could merely be a state of losing that access object...

"DO WE REALLY KNOW WHAT the FUNTIONATIONANING OF 100% OF THE BRAIN RESULT IN?? I DONT THINK SO!".

The above theory might sound too silly, but it could just be anything... Whether to call is supernatural or divine is left to one's discretion.

My whole point is "when there are still so many unknowns, how can one take side of either of the extremes and try to prove it! I'd say there isn't just enough data on both sides and I still rest in the middle!" :)

July 3, 2011 at 8:46 PM

@divya..

understanding 100% brain function is ro should not be equal to divinity...simply because brain arose as a part of evolution of life and is not created by supernatural power...

few hundred yrs before charles darwin, we could not explain how life arose..now we can explain it beyond any doubt..recent experiment done at CERN explains the origin of universe..what i mean is the gap between "known" and "unknown" is reducing considerably everyday..we have to wait for more answers...it is not about taking either extremes..my view is mainly concerned in understanding the knowledge..u can say even i am in the middle!!!

July 3, 2011 at 9:41 PM

another review...

http://www.amazon.com/review/R3CW2A4Z1G75OS/ref=cm_cr_pr_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0671657860&nodeID=&tag=&linkCode=

July 3, 2011 at 10:55 PM

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