‘Yet, underneath the dirt, each person possesses within his or her breast a brilliant diamond with a thousand gleaming facets… The only differences among people are the number of facets cleaned. But each diamond is the same, and each is perfect.’
Dr. Brian Weiss’s Official website
The Truth of Your Soul
Dr. Brian Weiss's Official Youtube channel
Podcast Interview with Dr. Brian Weiss: Many Lives, Many Masters
Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives (1988)
Dr Brian Weiss
In Summary

A psychiatrist is stunned when one of his patients begins to report memories of previous lives, challenging everything he thought he knew about the universe, science and the human mind.


Dr Brian Weiss was the epitome of steady success – almost boringly so. Self-described as a ‘serious young man’, he graduated magna cum laude from Columbia, then undertook his medical degree and residency at Yale. Weiss soon became an assistant professor, then an associate and, inevitably, the chief of psychiatry within his department. Trained in the scientific method, he only believed in what he could see and prove, applying a scalpel to any sort of ‘funny business’. He settled down into a reliable marriage, produced two stable children and was reasonably content. While he was certainly successful, his story did not differ in any remarkable way from other medical professionals. Indeed, there was nothing unusual or mysterious at all about Weiss, except for the fact that a complete stranger seemed to know everything about him.

The name of the stranger in question – or rather, the name used to hide her true identity – was Catherine. She was a young lab technician who first met Weiss in 1980 when she came to him for treatment after years of constant anxiety, phobias and panic attacks. Together, they spent 18 months processing her childhood memories through conventional treatment methods without improvement. Yet delving deeper into her past through the power of hypnosis, they unearthed what appeared to be memories of previous lives. These lives apparently explained her current symptoms and allowed her to face her true past and find genuine healing. What is more, Catherine claimed to have encountered Weiss’s soul over and over again throughout history, shocking him with her intimate knowledge of his current life and secrets. She seemed to know him better than he knew himself. Converted from sceptic to believer, Weiss eventually published the record of their encounter in 1988 in his bestselling book, Many Lives, Many Masters, concealing Catherine’s true identity for her protection.


Though highly trained in the scientific method, Weiss was gradually convinced that reincarnation was real due to the historical accuracy of Catherine’s descriptions. In her hypnotic state, she provided nuanced descriptions of previously being an African slave, a Spanish prostitute, a young Moroccan boy, an Egyptian performing burial rites, a German pilot in World War II, and so on, for a total of 86 past lives. She did not make wild claims to fame (she was never Cleopatra or Napoleon) but recounted plausible and detailed stories of life as an average citizen, villager or worker. In turn, retreading her past lives was having a tangible impact on her current wellbeing, suggesting that real trauma was being processed. Catherine was opening up, getting over her anxiety and conquering her fears (for example, through processing how she drowned in a previous life, she was able to overcome her current phobia of water). Yet perhaps what Weiss found most convincing was how Catherine’s manner and voice would completely transform when she was channelling one of the many Masters.

In recounting her past lives, Catherine also inevitably recounted her past deaths. In the no man’s land between dying and being reborn, her soul existed in an entirely spiritual and disembodied state. During this time, she allegedly received council from what she described as the Masters – those who had already transcended the body once and for all and so existed permanently in a higher realm. When conversing with the Masters, Catherine would channel their unearthly voices back to Weiss’s office, filling the room with poetic wisdom. The Masters revealed many things, including that there are seven planes of existence; that all souls are equal; that unaddressed vices carry over into our next life; that we previously chose the time of our birth and death; that we can become God-like through knowledge; that if we are patient all things will eventually be revealed and that, in contrast to nature, humanity is overly-indulgent and imbalanced and accordingly, will soon be annihilated. Since Catherine had not been exposed to an extensive prior education within any of these areas, Weiss was slowly convinced that the source of this wisdom must exist beyond the inventions of Catherine’s mind, suggesting that the Masters might actually be real.


If one is convinced by Weiss’s case, then death does not signal the end as we know it. The soul survives the decomposition of the body, living to fight another day while surrounded by the loved ones with whom it regularly clusters over and over again throughout history. Surely no other discovery could compare to the realisation that Grandma is not truly gone, Father is not lost forever and that somewhere across the universe George Harrison is still singing. Yet this would not merely alleviate our anxiety about death but also how we think about life, about the meaning of our current actions and about the intensity of the eternal bonds that unite us. As Weiss joyfully recounts, ‘Shortly after her third birthday my daughter, Amy, came running over to me, hugging me around the legs. She looked up and said, “Daddy, I’ve loved you for forty thousand years.” I looked down at her little face, and I felt very, very happy.’

While the central message of the book surrounds the concept of defying death as a permanent state, there are also dozens of other lessons communicated by the Masters through Catherine. If one believes these are lessons from those who have successfully gone before us, then they hold the key to helping us also escape the karmic cycle. Those interested in the Masters, and more specifically in the seven realms and their other teachings, will not be left wanting. As Weiss summarises: ‘What a marvellous talent she possessed – the ability to see beyond life and beyond death, to talk with the “gods” and to share their wisdom. We were eating from the Tree of Knowledge, no longer forbidden. I wondered how many apples were left.’

Further Reading By This Author

After the success of Many Lives, Many Masters, Weiss continued to wed therapy and spirituality in his publications Through Time Into Healing, Only Love is Real, Messages from the Masters, Same Soul; Many Bodies, and Miracles Happen.

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