Have You Lived Before
Rick Philips & Hwee-Meng Tan

Over the last 26 years, I (Rick) have had the chance to witness an aspect of human consciousness that few encounter: the individual’s inner experience of past-life memories. I have facilitated over 1000 past-life sessions. 

Many skeptics challenge the validity of past-life memories.  How do we know the memories are real?  It is almost impossible to prove that the stories my clients tell me are indeed true past-life memories.   From my point of view, the validity of past-life memories does not affect the therapeutic and deeper purpose of such profound inner work.
So let me take you through some of the benefits as I see them:

  1. Experiencing past lives broadens our narrow vision of reality by looking from new points of view. For example, if I’m a man in this life, I can experience looking through the eyes of a woman in a past-life session. I can feel the body, the emotions and the different programming of what it feels like to be a woman. If I’m Chinese in this current life, I may experience the viewpoint of other races and other cultures in other lives.  If I am a victim in this lifetime, I may experience being a victimizer in a previous life.

  2. One of the most practical benefits of experiencing past lifetimes is releasing the fear of death. After undergoing a few rounds of birth, life, death, afterlife, and rebirth in sessions, we know death is not the final exit and is absolutely safe.  We remember that we have “survived” many, many rounds of death.  Past life work is wonderful therapy for anyone who is approaching their dying, such as patients with terminal illnesses. 

  3. We notice that we are more than just an ego defined by this particular lifetime in this particular locus of time and space.  We have reincarnated again and again in different bodies.  We know that who we are is beyond death.

  4. There are deep attachments, dependencies, addictions and destructive patterns that may possess and control our lives. Past-life sessions can reveal their origins in the past and their developments through lifetimes.  We can also glimpse the consequences of living a life that was so negative.

  5. For example, if a man is in great conflict because he is energetically and psychologically attached to rape and violence toward women, past-life experiences allow him to become more conscious, step out of his habitual destruction, and learn how this karmic habit affects himself and others. Through the sessions, this man can now witness himself abusing women repeatedly through lifetimes. The facilitation work guides him to stop the negative patterns, forgive himself and heal the past.

  6. Past-life work can provide a unique perspective into the nature of relationship.
  7. To experientially know that you have traveled together before with significant people in your current life, probably countless times, deepens current relationships.  Relationships do not end when someone dies.  Our relationships continue life after life.  Love is forever and once you love, it is forever even though the nature of the relationships may have changed.  To see the differing roles you play with one another through time gives you an awesome sense of the depth of bond between your souls.  Even though the role I play for you is mother in this lifetime, I may also have played your daughter, son, husband, enemy or friend in other lives.

    Any unresolved issues in relationships also continue into the next life.  The discovery of the karmic themes between you and another provides important insights to understanding the dynamics currently in play. Past -life work can expose the patterns that may again be in play today, though today we may have taken a new role with the other. The roles of the past may need to be energetically and consciously disengaged to free one of old habits or previous dependencies.

  8. Past-life work helps to de-condition the mind in order to be free of the urgency and pressures of time.  You are immortal and you have many lives at your disposal.   By freely moving forward or backward in time, you can experience the flow of time and your relationship to it. You can release any attachments to time and discover “no time”. This experience empowers the mindfulness of living in the moment and its consequent freedom.

  9. The evolution and development of the soul through time can also manifest in the expression of talents, abilities, and “knowings.” Past-life sessions can connect one to a history of expertise, whether it is physical or emotional expression, intellectual or artistic development, or the skill of multidimensional healing. You may retrieve valuable teachings or a sense of your soul’s purpose in order to apply the knowing of the past into the needs of the present.


This is how, I (Hwee-Meng) first connected to my life purpose.  My first past- life vision happened spontaneously, sparking my interest in this field of therapy.  I was lying on a massage table, receiving some bodywork.  My right shoulder and elbow were hurting.  When the therapist touched that part of my body, what felt like an inner movie sprung from within.  I was mesmerized as nothing like that had ever happened before.  I saw myself as a man walking through the hot desert in rope-like sandals.  I knew that I was a spiritual teacher and I was rushing to witness something terrible. The pain in my right shoulder and elbow intensified.  I was jolted out of my inner visions when the therapist vomited because she was not equipped to handle the energies in the session. 

I immediately looked for an experienced past life therapist and signed up for 8 consecutive sessions.    Lifetime after lifetime unfolded in the sessions.  It was like going to the movies except better as I was actually re-living the events. 

What were the benefits I received from watching the theatre of my soul?

    • First of all, I noticed to my surprise that in many of my past-lives, I was a healer or a spiritual teacher of some sort.  It was as if my soul used those past-lives to draw my attention to the healing arts.  So, I began to train in various healing modalities and re-discovered my passion in this field.

    • How wonderful to learn from the mistakes we have committed in previous lifetimes so that we do not have to repeat them again and again.   It is truly hard-earned wisdom.  For example, there was a lifetime where I was an orphan in a cold, mountainous region.  The monastery kindly adopted another orphan and I.  We grew up to be like brothers.  He fell in love with another woman and was kicked out of the monastery.  Years later, I was in succession to be the abbot.  One bitterly cold winter, my brother knocked on the monastery door and asked to be admitted.    He was starving.  In order to ensure that I would not be rejected as the future abbot, I closed the door on him. 

    I paid a bitter prize for my ambition.  He froze to death from the cold.  To relive the feelings of deep pain and sorrow as I held my brother’s dead body is a somber reminder to never sacrifice love for ambition.  I succeeded as the abbot but it was a lonely victory that I spent the rest of my life suffering.

    • Not only do relationships continue lifetime after lifetime, but physical symptoms, ailments and injuries.  For example, the neck is my area of weakness and I have chronic neck pain.  To understand if my neck pain had its origins in past life, I did some sessions.  It was an eye-opener.   I re-experienced death by choking, hanging, beheading, strangling and other fatal accidents to the neck such as falling from a horse.  No wonder I have such neck pain! Clearing the negative imprints from these lifetimes helped my neck pain considerably.

    Through experiential work with clients, I have noticed that if you have a repeated pattern of injuring a specific area of the body in many lifetimes, there is a high chance that you will re-injure that area again in this lifetime!

    • Fourthly, past-life work offers powerful spiritual teachings. The teachings are embodied on a cellular level and not on an intellectual level.  After experiencing all the multitudes of roles I have played, as sage and fool, as lover and enemy, as king and beggar, as leader and follower, and as man and woman, I realized we are all one. Does it matter that you are woman and I am man?  Does it matter that I am Chinese and you are African?  Does it matter that I am poor and you are rich? We have played them all. Sexism, racism, and national pride no longer made any sense.

    The sages have taught us that we are one global family. To re-experience your friend or your enemy as a family member in your previous life is to truly know that we are all related by deep bonds.   We meet again and again.

    Another spiritual teaching I gleaned from observation of my lifetimes was that accumulation of material goods is not the most important objective in a life.  IT IS WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED AND WHO YOU HAVE BECOME for you truly cannot take any gold and money from lifetime to another.  The only thing that incarnates with you is your wisdom and your life experience.

    • For me, the most profound gift of re-experiencing my lifetimes is to identify with the part of the Self that is immortal, to know that eternity is my playground and death is never the enemy.