Book Review: Your Soul’s Gift

The subject of regression therapy and using what has happened in our previous lives to guide our current lives has always fascinated me. As a practicing witch and pagan, I accept the notion of reincarnation as a distinct probability (but lack the hubris to claim it is a firm reality). I have had experiences with things I believe to be otherworldly in origin. I once lived in a haunted house. Yet I also adopt a healthy dose of skepticism regarding claims made by certain parties when discussing the subject. When it comes to all things metaphysical and regression therapy in particular, I temper my openness to the concept with the very Christian warning to “Beware of false prophets.”

Which brings me to The Soul’s Gift. Author Robert Schwartz takes the concept of past lives a step further, claiming that all souls “plan” their future lives and that all of the bad things that occur in our current lives are the result of fighting against this plan. It is an intriguing concept. The idea that things happening in the present were planned in a past life, and that understanding that plan can empower an individual to reach one’s full potential, is something I was interested in exploring.

Unfortunately, the author lost all credibility for me in his opening chapters as he introduced the readers to the mediums and “spirit guides” who helped him write the book. This group includes…Jesus. Or Jeshua, as it prefers to call itself, a spirit that speaks through and with medium Pamela Kribbe. I afford no credence to anyone, whether New Age spiritualist or Judeo-Christian theologian, who claims to speak with the authority of either mythological beings or the holy personages of other faiths. There is something very smarmy and dirty about usurping the holy figures from other faiths for one’s own ends.

One of the most uncomfortable parts of the book was when “Jeshua” was discussing the idea that a woman had “planned” to be the victim of incest. I won’t even get into the specific of the discussion. Just sit there and try to rationalize that for a moment. According to Schwartz, women chose to be raped by planning their assaults as part of their soul’s spiritual development. Among other bizarre claims: Souls “plan” to have miscarriages in order to develop self-forgiveness and then the insinuation that abortion is the result of the souls of the mother and the unborn child failing to come to an agreement. Because even pregnancy is not a biological function well understood by science, but rather a metaphysical contract negotiation that sometimes falls through. Even as a woman who is Pro-Choice, I find this entire concept insulting.

The entire book is essentially a “blame the victim” cult sermon wrapped up in a faux blanket of love and universal harmony. I’ve read plenty of tripe out of the New Age moment over the years, but this book is beyond harmless tripe and fundamentally dangerous for the emotional well being of anyone who would adopt the concepts here.

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