by Trisha Caetano, B.S.
The Structure of Core Issue Patterns
A core issue is the result of an incident which causes an individual to form a viewpoint, feeling, or emotion that originates a pattern of behavior. Core issues are basic: anger, fear, control, worth, loss, guilt, etc. There can be one primary core issue active in a specific lifetime, with other issues associated with it or derived from it, or there can be more than one primary core issue in re-stimulation in a lifetime. For example, fear and guilt could be inexorably linked in the present, but could have originated in different lifetimes and therapeutically, must be dealt with individually. Core issues underline behavior, which is why, at best, behavior modification simply compounds existing coping mechanisms. The function of past-life regression therapy is to locate cause for the purpose of eliminating effect. To locate cause, the therapist must find the specific experience that originates the core issue pattern.
Concepts of “good” and “bad” are usually formed early on the time line of the reincarnation cycle and are primary core issues. There can be a number of lifetimes when, due to perhaps entirely different circumstances, the person concluded that he was “bad” and then associated other viewpoints with this core issue, programming and cross-referencing them on the same tape in the memory banks. Once the viewpoint of “bad” is assumed in the present lifetime, it re-stimulates the entire tape and the individual reacts subconsciously to the program.
The core decision and viewpoints associated with the core issue form a pattern of behavior. A program model can look like this: “I am bad (core issue)…When I’m bad I’m not acceptable…I need to be accepted…I need to be good to be accepted…I will do anything to be good…I have to do the right thing to be good…I can’t let myself make a mistake…I have to do what they tell me so I won’t make a mistake…If I don’t make a mistake they will accept me…If they accept me, I will be good.” The patients reacting to the core issue, manifest this pattern as compulsive, people-pleasing adults, rigidly structured, always afraid of making a mistake, always going outside of themselves to try and feel “good” about who they are.
Through elaborate machinations based on the viewpoint, “I am bad,” the individual has created a massive, inverted pyramid in an attempt to cope with one core issue, which has then been woven into a complicated, reactive pattern. When we unravel the various skeins of this pattern and resolve the core issue, we find that it did not begin with this lifetime. To reach the cause of the core issue, we must go earlier.
Personal Relationships and Core Issue Patterning
With past-life regression therapy we seek to find the origin of a pattern, the feelings, decisions, and viewpoints that perpetuate the pattern. Looking into childhood, where early theorists in psychology, such as Freud, suggested that we would find the cause, usually reveals that the pattern did not originate in this lifetime but was merely triggered there. The intense repetitive patterns that relate to the core issues of a client as an individual are not only manifest in the present life, but have been played over and over during previous lifetimes. Relationships with parents, mates, and friends often merely provide an opportunity for a particular pattern to come into play and are based on the need of the individual to recreate that which, throughout many lifetimes, has become a familiar pattern. The more frequently this pattern is triggered during this and other lifetimes, the more rigidly the individual becomes entrenched within the confines of that pattern.
It is important for the client to identify the present-life personality as a significant figure in a past life if the issues with that person are to be completely resolved. The following account is an example of core issue patterns related to a specific person.
Mary Ellen was a middle child who opted to be a “good girl—caretaker.” Being “good” became a survival issue and was equated with worth. She left college after her third year to support her husband through medical school. Shortly after completion of his internship, he left her for a younger woman. After the divorce Mary Ellen, even with counseling, was unable to refuse favors for him, the latest being a request that she file the income tax for him and his new wife.
When I first saw Mary Ellen she had lost the profession for which she had studied, the children she always had wanted, the financial and social position she had worked seven years to achieve, and her husband. She had just agreed to file the tax returns for the man and woman who had created this situation. Her marriage had ended after her best attempts to be “good” to her husband, and her entire, tenuous coping pattern had collapsed. She remained in an agony of self-doubt as the childhood feelings of worthlessness came surging into the present. She had finally hit bottom and decided to try a past-life regression, more out of desperation than hope.
My therapeutic work began with tracing Mary Ellen’s relationship with Dan in earlier lifetimes as a way of resolving the present-life problem and addressing the nature and origin of the core issue. She moved easily into regression and we recovered two lifetimes that involved her ex-husband before she reached a third lifetime that appeared to be the origin of the present life pattern with him.
We established that in the late 1600s she lived in England, one of the minor nobility, and her name was Margaret. At 17 she was self-centered, immature, and engaged to a man (Dan in the present life) who held a military commission. Because he was slightly beneath her in social position and was so enamored of her, she dominated him and enjoyed feelings of power and control as she made him give in to her demands.
One evening after they had been out riding near her country home he told her that they must return home because it was getting dark and there had been highway men about. On a whim she refused, and whipping her horse, she turned and raced down a road that would take them the long way home. He was forced to follow her and try to keep pace.
In the near darkness she raced ahead of him and was rounding a corner near her manor when three men emerged from the side of the road. They twisted her horse to ground and began to rob her of her jewels. Her fiancé came around the bend and seeing the men, drew his sword, and engaged them in battle. Her screams brought the manor’s grooms, who chased the robbers away but not before her fiancé had been mortally wounded.
CL: He’s just lying there. I can see him. There is something wrong. I have to get to him. The dirt…gravel in my hands. His head…I’m holding him in my lap…I’ll help…Oh! Blood! Blood! It’s everywhere! On my hands, on my dress. Oh, no! Please live! If you just live I’ll do anything you tell me! Don’t die!…I’ll never go against your will again!
He died there in her arms and the trauma of that incident was never resolved. Margaret lived the remainder of that lifetime filled with feelings of guilt and remorse. When she died, the encapsulated energy of the trauma was locked into the time track by the vow never to go against his will again.
The energy released during the session suggested that an early manifestation of the core issue had been reached. From that experience I moved Mary Ellen to the present lifetime to find correlations with that experience. She realized that in this lifetime she was again the dominant personality, but when she became engaged to Dan, her vow, “I’ll do anything you tell me; I’ll never go against your will again,” was reactivated. For the present life Dan was a perfect choice for a husband because he fit into the pattern of her need to be a good caretaker and because her core issue of worthlessness had already been triggered.
As issues from the past lifetimes were resolved, the energy stored up in them was disbursed. The negative vows and decisions were released and the pattern of her present life relationship became clear. She felt the surge of released energy and realized, “That was then. This is now. I don’t have to do that anymore.” A week later she phoned to tell me that Dan had called because she sent his tax returns back to him. She told him that not only would she not do them but to never call her again—they were divorced!
Within conventional therapy, returning to the childhood of the present lifetime and moving through painful incidents can resolve some of the problems of the adult, but moving into past lives to find the actual origin of the problem can eliminate the behavior entirely. Often we find that a pattern originates not from what others have done to us, but from what we have done to others. This fact is demonstrated in Mary Ellen’s experience.
As with all core issues “worth” is multi-faceted in dimension. We eliminated energy from one facet of the core issue by resolving Mary Ellen’s present-life pattern by exploring three past-life experiences. In her following sessions we used past-life regression to release the associated viewpoints of having to be perfect, the fear of being wrong, the compulsion to take-care-of, and the feeling of helplessness. We addressed core issues of anger, guilt, trust/betrayal, control, power/powerlessness, and worth/worthlessness. At different times during 1½ years of therapy, we worked with material on her mother, father, and older sister to resolve present and past-life problems in relationship to her core issue of “worth.” In the end Mary Ellen learned to go inside herself for the information of who she was and to contact the core of her own existence, the “I Am.”
Core Issues and Healing Family Relationships
Relationships between parent and child are almost always based on the premise of altering behavior, of changing the other person. The more the child resists, the more the parent persists, and vice versa. Both parent and child develop intense energy patterns of suppressed emotion. Confrontation with the other person, as is encouraged in some forms of therapy, does not heal, and can even add additional negative energy to the existing pattern. It is necessary to move clients to the core of their own issues as these issues relate to other individuals. Once clients resolve their personal problems, they release their part of the negative energy and can position themselves within an adult role in present time. With such counter-resistance released, blocks are removed. The parent or mate with nothing to resist, then gains an opportunity to investigate and respond differently.
Terminating a Mother-Daughter Symbiosis
A woman of 38, after a devastating fight with her mother, came for help because of feelings of guilt and abandonment that persisted after her anger had been expressed. The patient’s father was an alcoholic, and her mother had left the father when the patient was seven. This was a second failed marriage for the mother and she was afraid to become emotionally involved with a man again. Instead, she turned to her children for her emotional stimuli and nurturing, and at the same time grew extremely critical of their behavior.
As the daughter moved into puberty, the mother lived vicariously through her daughter’s dating experiences and accomplishments, constantly trying to maneuver her to act as the mother would have acted. The daughter alternated between resisting and resenting this behavior, and trying to prevent her mother’s rejection by meeting at least part of her demands. Since the relationship was already explosive and this power struggle had gone on for 25 years, it was already clear that additional confrontation would not provide the answer. The client’s primary core issue was fear of loss and the pattern included associated core issues of guilt, anger, worth. One by one, the experiences and viewpoints anchoring these core issues were peeled off and released from both her present and past lives. With the core issues resolved the client realized that what she had most needed from her mother was approval, and that even now, she was not going to get it. However, she was sure that beneath the criticism and manipulation, she was truly loved by her mother. Since she could now give herself approval, she willingly settled for her mother’s love.
My client had by choice not seen her mother for over a year and at the close of therapy she felt confident about inviting her mother to visit. The mother arrived and began her old patterns of criticism and manipulation, but my client, having resolved her own issues, simply observed the behavior, and did not get triggered. This new pattern caused her mother to become confused and agitated; the game was no longer in play, and the anticipated responses were not forthcoming. On the fifth day of the visit, the mother became ill and stayed in bed for three days. When she emerged from her room her barriers had fallen down and she seemed to be asking where she could go from there. The daughter recognized the change and began to relate to her mother from a position of love and on an adult-adult basis.
Within this relationship, neither mother nor daughter was able to change the other. But when the daughter healed herself, both were able to change their behavior in response. After five years the love, care, and nurturing of each other has continued to grow. With merely behavior modification or confrontation, the core of the problems and the negative energy from the present and past lives would never have been resolved and the personal relationship would not have been healed.
As people heal themselves they often decide to heal their families and now have the tools to do so. One patient who worked with me over a three year time frame was able to trace abuse through her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She suspected it went into even earlier generations. She has brought the abuse out into the open and is in the process of getting her family into therapy. She is determined that the pattern of abuse will not go into future generations.
Parent Selection and Core Issues
From the standpoint of ongoing lifetimes and the fact that we take the overview position between lives, parents are often selected because of the experience they can provide, not in accordance with present-life logic. If a person dies with intense, negative emotion characterizing the process, or experiences a violent, unexpected, or unaccepted death, he can incarnate quickly with the emotions and viewpoints at the time of death still intact. Parents are then selected because they provide an arena for the individual to act out the unresolved emotions. Because these emotions are frequently connected with core issues that thread through other lifetimes, the therapist may prefer not to start with the parents per se, but with issues associated with the parent relationship.
Children of abusive parents are particularly unable to deal with parents directly when they first come into therapy, and abnegation of the childhood is a common coping mechanism. Their perspective of themselves and the world is warped, with few sane reference points or positive role models. Going into past lives and coming forward into the present life provides accurate childhood recall as well as locates trigger points of core issues. Recalling positive past lives is of particular value in these cases because such lives bring forward positive feelings from the past and anchor them in the present life body.
When working with a patient who has difficulties in personal relationships, it is often helpful to regress the patient into an earlier lifetime in which he has had negative experiences with a particular individual. Core issues associated with or exacerbated by that particular relationship can then be resolved. Completing core issues not only resolves difficulties in specific relationships but eliminates entire negative, subconscious reactive programs and moves the patient into a position of conscious choice in the present lifetime.