Stories from Dr. Yukari, Story 27, The Story of ER

[ Stories from Dr. Yukari ]

Guided by the hope of St. Nichiren, we continue to work towards a peaceful society. Honolulu Myohoji Mission collaborates with Psychologist Dr. Yukari Kunisue, a trained and experienced therapeutic life coach, to offer a safe online space: Stories from Dr. Yukari


This story begins with Er, a soldier who died in a battlefield but miraculously came back to life after nine days.  During those nine days, he was taken to a mysterious place where all of the souls are judged to go up to heaven or hell. After spending roughly 1,000 years in either place, the soul will return to choose the fate of the next life. 


Once these souls choose their next life, they were led under the throne of Necessity to the River Lethe (Forgetfulness), where they were told to drink in order to forget the things that happened in their previous lives. Each soul chooses a new life with the goal of improving the overall quality of the soul. When a soul would fall asleep, it was being sent to a new body to lead a new life on earth. Er’s soul however, did not drink from the River Lethe and was instructed to remember everything he had experienced in this past life.


The myth of Er was depicted by Plato more than 2,000 years ago in his famous book known as the Republic. I found it very intriguing that many Greek philosophers often contemplated the world of the after-life along with the reincarnation of the soul.


I currently offer hypnotherapy sessions known as Regression Therapy. This method helps “recall” different elements of our past lives. When it comes to this form of therapy, it does not matter if you believe in reincarnation or not. This method is meant to give you an opportunity to understand what your subconsciousness holds. Similar to Er’s experience, we will pass the River of Forgetfulness and work to access the subconscious. This method can help us understand the causes and solutions to some of the issues we face in our daily lives. 


You may have heard of the best-selling book, Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss, a psychiatrist in Florida who was one of the first to use hypnotic methods to treat patients. He had a client who did not show any signs of improvement from traditional conversational therapy, but once he switched to hypnosis therapy she was transported back to her previous life in ancient Egypt. Dr. Weiss noticed a significant improvement in his client with the help of increased awareness of her past life. 


While receiving training for past life regression therapy, I had an unexpected vision. Suddenly, I was a young man who wore a white robe walking around a dark battlefield. I noticed that the bottom of my robe was soiled since I seem to have been walking around for a long time. For some reason, I arrived to the field after the battle was over. I seem to have been searching for survivors, possibly fellow soldiers through a sea of dead bodies. The vast field was dark and had an eerie feeling to it. One by one, I desperately turned over dead bodies searching for signs of life.


While my conscious mind immediately thought that this may have been a scene in a film, I noticed that a part of me was genuinely feeling the emotions of this man. While I may have been knowingly experiencing this through hypnotic imagery, I noticed that I deeply felt the pain and desperation of this man.


His cry repeated,


“Not even one, not even single person I could help!”


I also noticed that I began to cry. I had no idea how I was able to understand his feelings. At the end of the training session, my instructor asked me what I had learned from this experience. My immediate response to him rang with conviction as I told him that I needed to help people in this life. I was caught off guard at how I spoke with such conviction. It all came back to how I chose this profession to become a life coach. At this moment, everything was clear to me.


As a reminder, I want to emphasize that it really does not matter if one believes in reincarnation or past lives. We may never know scientifically if the concept is deemed true or can be proven. As Plato has told us of the myth of Er, we all drank from the river of forgetfulness. The baseline concept may not seem as important since what really matters is if we can accomplish something within this chosen life. We were given this life in order to learn something from our time. In my mind it comes down to a very simple goal:


Help others. 

Love others.

So that we won’t regret when this life ends.