‘To be… is the same as watching the first flower of spring open and the flower is you. And, as it opens more, you become aware of other flowers in a glorious field and there is… unbounded joy.’
Michael Newton Institute Website
Interview with Dr. Michael Newton on Life Between Lives
Journey of Souls: Case Studies for Life between Lives (1994)
Dr Michael Newton
In Summary

If reincarnation is true, then what happens to the soul on its journey between lives? Michael Newton explores this question, revealing a liminal holy land much more elaborate and glorious than anything on Earth.


Surrounded by his peers, young Michael Newton felt more alone than ever. His parents had sent him to a military-style boarding school at the age of five, leading to a lifetime struggle with abandonment issues while breeding within him an ‘original cynicism’. Perhaps seeking professionally the fulfilment he had lacked personally, Newton grew up to become a counsellor and psychologist, exploring the complexities of the human psyche and its relationships. To aid in this exploration, he would often use hypnosis to access childhood memories buried within the subconscious. While many clients wanted to regress further to memories of their previous incarnations, Newton always rejected these requests in his sessions, actively dismissing any hint of past lives. Yet no one warned him to look out for past deaths.

During one hypnosis session, a patient burst into tears while describing being surrounded by everyone she had ever loved, including individuals who had never lived at the same time as one another. Since this did not sound like an actual memory from a life on Earth, Newton was willing to probe a little deeper. He soon realised that his patient was not describing a past life, but the ‘life between lives’ – the memory of the soul’s journey between dying and being reborn. She was describing the past memory of being greeted post-mortem by the souls of those who had died but not yet returned to Earth to reincarnate. Exploring this disembodied realm further, Newton discovered an ever increasing constellation of guardian angels, soul guides and cosmic companions, realising he had never truly been alone. He eventually documented and published 29 case studies of life between lives in Journey of Souls (1994).


According to Newton, all of us have a spirit guide. Before rebirth, spirit guides help their pupils to understand what lessons they need to learn and to then choose a life on Earth that will help them learn those lessons. Once on Earth, our guides watch over us, whispering wisdom from a distance and providing gentle correction if necessary. After death, they meet with us to debrief our most recent incarnation, highlighting areas of weakness and improvement. Our spirit guides also have guides of their own, and there is a complicated hierarchy (though without the power-plays of hierarchies on Earth) of junior teachers, senior teachers, master teachers, and so on. As we rise up through these ranks our colour and frequency changes as we come ever closer to ‘assimilating with the source.’ Yet this spiritual community does not only expand vertically but also horizontally. Our souls are grouped into a ‘home cluster’ of usually three to 25 other souls based on shared traits or struggles. These are ‘intimate old friends’, who often joke and relax together in the spirit world, even poking fun at each other’s flaws. This home cluster is like a ‘lily pad’ that exists within a broader ‘pond’ of thousands of other souls who are not our closest companions but who we might repeatedly develop relationships with through shared life experiences on Earth. Social connections in the spirit realm only expand from there, for there are enough souls to inhabit the estimated millions of other life-bearing planets in the universe.

Newton claims that upon death we have an out-of-body experience where our soul looks down upon its former body. We then feel a magnetic pull towards a searing light at the end of a tunnel; those who resist this light may become ghosts for a time, while those who give into it are greeted by friends and loved ones on the other side, who help to ease the transition. One is then sent to the Place of Healing where the deepest traumas and wounds of this Earth can be cleansed and washed away, allowing us to move forwards. This is followed by the Orientation Stage, when our spirit guide gently confronts us with the reality of our actions on Earth (those who have committed violence or atrocities may also face an extended period of isolated reflection). Our souls are subsequently corralled into a giant staging area in a ‘spiritual form of mass transit’, where we each take a highway to our home cluster. Once in our spiritual home, we go to ‘school’, learning from our spirit guides along with our fellow cluster-mates (some patients describe actual books and desks, though we are often reminded that physical descriptions of the spiritual realm are analogous at best). After a period of intensive study within your home cluster, you then watch through a series of possible lives – similar to sitting in a ‘movie theatre’ – in order to pick the life in which you will learn the most. We are then reborn as that person. In this sense, we truly are the ‘masters of our destiny.’


Those who accept the accuracy of Newton’s claims may find new meaning amid their life and suffering. We are not the victims of happenstance or bad luck but are undergoing a series of trials that we designed to learn and grow. As the saying goes: he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how. We are not fools in a cosmic joke but willing participants in a meaningful and ordered cosmos that has an end goal to which all our sufferings are directed. Everything has a purpose.

Furthermore, Newton claims that we have a deeper self: ‘If you carry away nothing except the idea you may have a permanent identity worth finding, I will have accomplished a great deal.’ Those who were never deemed valuable on Earth may find their deeper sense of self in the spiritual realm. The worth of our soul transcends our failures in this finite life, as well as the failures of those who were supposed to love us. Come what may, we always ‘have a home of everlasting love waiting for us…’

Further Reading By This Author

Building on the popularity of Journey of Souls, Newton subsequently released Destiny of Souls and Wisdom of Souls, expanding his original terrain by adding more case studies. He also edited the book, Memories of the Afterlife.

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