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Oprah's Show on Past Life Regression and Phobias with Food..

Oprah had a great show this week on Past Life Regression.

It was about meeting someone that you have never met before but have this immediate connection with and it can be from a handshake, a hug or even a brief meeting...
(this just happened to me a couple of months ago)

Dr. Brian Weiss states it's based on cellular memory and a past life connection, IMO, does exist...they mentioned that it applies to food as well...food phobias, gluttony, etc..

It got me thinking of my disdain for strawberries..
I never understood why I just can't eat them and I've made jokes about it for years that maybe in my 'past life', I choked on a strawberry or got whacked in a strawberry field..

It's a very interesting topic and would love to know what you Chowhounds think.

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    1. I don't watch Oprah and haven't seen the episode, but think that this past life thing can be a possibility. There is nothing to prove it, but there is nothing to disprove it. When I was a kid, I've had dreams that were way beyond my years and have had certain reactions to things that were totally irrational. I've met certain people where I've felt an instant connection with (beyond compatability) and felt that I've known and understood them forever. I've felt affinities with certain cultures that I haven't felt with others.

      I've always been afraid of pickles. I probably drowned in a pickle vat in a former life (as I also have this fear of drowning). : )

      8 Replies
      1. re: Miss Needle

        Miss Needle..
        Thank you for your insight into something that has more creedence than we will ever know..there really is something there..hang in there on the pickles too.
        I always enjoy your posts..
        Best to you!

        1. re: Beach Chick

          Thank you so much, Beach Chick! And I really appreciate you bringing this topic up. Have to check out this Oprah past life regression episode if it ever airs again.

          I'm a Korean-American, but have had different people come up to me and ask me if I was part black, Hawaiian, Thai, Native American, white, Indian and Chinese. The Chinese and Hawaiian thing is more understandable as I can understand why people would say that (actually, I probably look more Hawaiian than anything). But the black thing is kind of an out-there statement. Actually, I've had a lot of people insist that I'm black. So perhaps these were my past lives coming through.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

            AGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! I think I may need therapy! : )

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                ROFL!!!!

                LOL He made ya look! he made ya look!

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Love that Sam!
                  If you find a strawberry with the pickle that would even be funnier..

              2. Grew up in a small town in western PA where there were no asians (or many other minorities for that matter.) At 5 had chinese food for the first time and it was like I had come home! Anytime we went to the city I begged for chinese food. In college in Boston, I had vietnamese for the first time and that was the real revelation - like all the chinese food I had been eating was just standing in for this. I definitley think I had lifetimes in asia, particularly vietnam. I like other asian cuisines (thai, korean, japanese, etc.are all good,) but I don't have the same kind of pavlovian response to them as I do to Vietnamese. (By the way I'm a hypnotherapist and have done a bunch of Past Life Regressions with clients and it is fascuinating!)

                33 Replies
                1. re: foodhypnosis

                  Love that you are a hypnotherapist!
                  Thank you for sharing your own stories of Chinese food when you were 5 years old and feeling like you had gone home...cellular memory is a hard thing to erase.
                  I'm sure you have some stories that are probably not suited for this forum but know that I think what you do is very noble and I love Vietnamese food too!

                  1. re: foodhypnosis

                    I know what you mean. The first time I stepped off a train in Lyon, France, I felt as tho I had come home. I had never been there before. I have traveled a lot, and never had that instant sympatico with a place and/or its people.

                    and every time I return there, I feel so at home. sometimes I cry when it's time to leave. and I seem to know where things are that I've never seen before... If I didn't believe in past lives, I'd be really freaked out!

                    1. re: ChefJune

                      I was married in Moorea, Tahiti and the first time, I arrived in Moorea, I started crying and I knew I was finally home..same feeling I have in Paris and most of France but when we took the Eurostar over to London, as soon the train touched English soil, both of us looked at each other and said, 'Can't wait to get out of here'..

                      1. re: ChefJune

                        This is how I feel about Vermont, Chef, also about Native Americans. Have several NA cookbooks and cook from them frequently. Classmates in college thought I was Native Am....especially given the odd sounding translation of my Italian last name. Though I try not to dwell on these things it is curious.

                        1. re: Gio

                          Just to play devil's advocate—I feel the exact same way about Orvieto. But does anyone feel this sort of connection to, say, Gary, Indiana? Or a third-world slum? If this were a real phenomenon, some of us would have to be experiencing it from the less lucky side.

                          1. re: tatamagouche

                            Well, my cousin is extremely drawn to India, and I'm not talking about the Taj Mahal.

                            1. re: ChefJune

                              And one of my friends who's an Ashkenazi Orthodox Jew said she felt so much at home when she visited India (and not the Taj Mahal variety either). She said the dirtiness of it made it feel so real (not quite sure what she means by that).

                              And I felt very connected to Ubud, Bali when I was there (outside of my glorious hotel).

                            2. re: tatamagouche

                              Good point! I can only speak for myself, though.

                              How do we know that Gary IN and the less desirable areas of this world don't have their own PLR travelers?

                              1. re: Gio

                                Since I was very young, I've had a recurring dream about an old woman somewhere in Africa who is starving. I've never quite known what to make of it, but as Shakespeare said in Hamlet, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,/Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Some things are unknowable by humans, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. People once believed the Earth was flat, that the Earth was the center of the universe. A century ago, the idea that a human could set foot on the Moon was considered crazy by most people. I've learned not to automatically rule out what I can't explain. :-)

                                1. re: Gio

                                  We don't; that's why I'm asking. Again, I'm a skeptic, not a naysayer. Bring on the evidence (as you're aiming to do), and I might be convinced! :)

                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                    I have no evidence, just an active (some would say overactive lol) imagination. Many years ago I read a book about past life regression called The Search for Bridey Murphy. I'm sure that many naysayers (since it was published) have found ways to discount it, but who knows?

                                      1. re: tatamagouche

                                        Yea, tata, I'm with you on the sceptic side -- I feel more at home in Berlin than anywhere else (ok, maybe on the beach), but I don't think this has anything to do with mystical "past life" experiences.

                                        I believe our likes and dislikes -- including food -- are created by our genetic, family, and cultural background.

                                        Yeah, I dream some weird stuff on occasion, about people I don't know, but I'm not jumping to conclusions based on what my brain throws around at night ---- jmo.

                                        1. re: tatamagouche

                                          LOL I'm not really "aiming" to bring on the evidence.... I have absolutely no desire to. Frankly, the whole thing scares me to death. Plus, the only real food aversion I have is to rabbit and that was entirely my own fault. Horrible recipe.

                                          1. re: Gio

                                            Yeah. It's like that scene in the Hall of Past Lives in Defending Your Life where Meryl Streep turns out to have been a princess or something, whereas Albert Brooks finds out he lived on the savannah being chased by wild beasts all the time. Sucks to be him!

                                            But I will say that certain foods have a way of tasting...ancient. By which I don't of course mean they're moldy...or actually, maybe in some cases I do. Sometimes you taste something and feel sort of transported to another era. I feel that way about potatoes when they're plain. There's just that hint of soil...

                                            That's not exactly the same thing—just saying.

                                      2. re: tatamagouche

                                        I actually don't believe in any of this, but there are people who feel compelled to work in slums, refugee camps and other really frankly horrible situations (lovely Ubud definitely doesn't count, LOL). They don't describe it in the same terms as people do who feel their spiritual home is Paris or whatnot, but some people, who we generally describe as selfless, etc, are drawn to hardship.

                                        1. re: julesrules

                                          Interesting. So I may, after all, have been a dog in a previous life.

                                          The animal crackers at Petco are not half bad -- too sweet, actually.

                                          1. re: dolores

                                            They say that a beloved pet reincarnates to his or her cherished owner through their lifetime.
                                            The animal crackers could have some scientific merit to it as well.. ; )

                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                              well every kitty i've had throughout my life has had a very distinct personality. guess it was working out karma, yet strangely still supposedly returned as -- a CAT AGAIN (despite breaking fine porcelain, clawing furniture, pissing on the rug, costing me at the vet BIG TIME, and other feline follies). Maybe it really returned as that flying ant outside, the one i think is a termite?

                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                Nice thought, Beach Chick. I hope so.

                                                1. re: dolores

                                                  If my next dog blows bubbles through it's nose, then I know for sure they come back!

                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                    Just got a Pom puppy and he blows small bubbles through his nose!

                                      3. re: ChefJune

                                        I felt exactly the same way traveling through the back roads of Tuscany... it felt like home. And shopping in the markets there, I experienced a cerebral, if not literal, understanding of the Italian language.

                                        1. re: CindyJ

                                          There are instances of children and adults who are able to exhibit fluency in a completely different language, sometimes ancient forms of a language that are not used anymore. People have had a very difficult time explaining that phenomena, especially where children are concerned. While it's not scientific proof of past lives, it does give some credence to the theory.

                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                            You are talking about Xenoglossy and it is extremely fascinating that one can speak in languages that are either none existent or an unknown language to the person under hypnosis.

                                            1. re: Beach Chick

                                              Yes, that's what it's called. It's also just not under hypnosis but has been shown to happen after meditation, an accident and without provocation as well. It really is fascinating and not much research has been done in this area. It's not a very well understood field. But because it's not well understood doesn't mean it's something to dismiss.

                                              When my mom was pregnant with me, she rejected the Korean foods that she always loved and started craving steak and potatoes (stuff she hardly ate). She couldn't eat kimchi at all -- and she was the type of person who ate it with every single thing. The cravings subsided after I was born and she resumed her regular eating pattern. I wasn't able to eat kimchi until I became an adult -- it was really an acquired taste for me. When she was pregnant with my sister she didn't have the steak and potatoes cravings as she did with me. It was definitely odd. Perhaps it could be explained my the whole past life thing.

                                            2. re: Miss Needle

                                              I've often wondered if "child prodigies" -- those with extraordinary musical abilities at a very early age, for example, acquired their talents during a previous lifetime. How else can it be explained?

                                              1. re: CindyJ

                                                I'm not an expert on past life regressions (actually, I know very little about the subject). But I believe that is another rationalization for the past life thing as well. I think there's so much about humans that we are not aware of. People tend to dismiss things that sound improbable. We live in a very evidence-based culture. But I believe there is more than meets the eye.

                                                I'll bet there are food prodigies as well.

                                                1. re: CindyJ

                                                  Thank you for bringing up the "child prodigies". They're the closest examples of the potential for past lives that I can think of. I've decided that I must have starved in many of my past lives because I am always HUNGRY!

                                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                                    <I've often wondered if "child prodigies" -- those with extraordinary musical abilities at a very early age, for example, acquired their talents during a previous lifetime. How else can it be explained?> If you do genetic examination of the families of musical prodigies, you find the genes in the family, even tho sometimes the ability is latent or not developed. I did a study on that when I was in high school.

                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                      I don't doubt that genetics plays a big role in one's abilities. But a 3-year old who has an innate sense of how to combine chords on a piano, or who can hear a piece of music for the first time and play it, has hardly had enough time to develop that talent. I've always been mystified by that phenomenon.

                                              2. re: ChefJune

                                                ChefJune:
                                                I can relate. I felt the same way when I first went to Paris. It was just like living back in Manhattan and just the most comfortable place I've been to. As you, I've traveled a lot but never felt such an affinity--and I've got family in Ireland but felt more at home in Paris. Maybe it was the Nutella crepes--but I cannot wait to go back in a few months.

                                            3. gee, i didn't realize cells had past lives in order to have "memories" about past lives! who knew. oh....yeah.....OPRAH! puh-leeze!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                I'm with you pal! I am who I am, and that's all I am!

                                                1. re: danhole

                                                  I yam what I yam and I don't give a dam or a sire!

                                              2. I've always had this irrational love of kool-aid. Good stuff. I often dream of a paradise in Guyana.

                                                2 Replies
                                                  1. re: aelph

                                                    How can something be so good yet so very bad at the same time?

                                                  2. Went to a book signing yesterday for James Van Praagh and the first thing when he shook my hand..he said "Wow..you have some of the best energy I have ever seen"..
                                                    "Have we met before" all I could think of was this post and I started laughing..

                                                    1. Past Life Regression is no different than any other superstition or pseudo-science like seances and ghost whispering. Pure baloney. The reason people think they have these connections is because you don't live in a vacuum - you read, watch tv, movies, etc. so these notions and ideas have a basis in vicarious experience, like deja vu.

                                                      There are plenty of charlatans who will gladly separate you from your money to "explain" your past lives to you. This "Dr." Weiss is one of them, like the guy who claims to talk to peoples dead relatives. They prey on your wishes and fears.

                                                      1. Just like I thought - this "Dr" is a charlatan. According to his website, he's the Chairman Emeritus of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. Well, MSMC Miami doesn't even HAVE a Psychiatric dept.

                                                        Apparently Oprah doesn't vet her guests as it's more sensational to have fools on who make outrageous claims without any substantiation. This "Dr's" website is full of info on how to buy stuff from him about past life regression. Caveat Emptor.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Rhody Dave

                                                          Rhody Dave..
                                                          Dr. Weiss is a graduate of Columbia University and Yale Medical School..
                                                          He is one of the most respected Psychiatrist in the world..he is not a charlatan by any means.

                                                          1. re: Beach Chick

                                                            Is there any independent verification of any of that?

                                                        2. my 2 ¢

                                                          what a load of bollocks

                                                          1. This topic came up at a party last weekend and everyone was fascinated and surprised with their own findings...from severe food aversion that they couldn't understand why, to food that was very foreign to them but felt a sense of deja vu and comfort...cellular memory perhaps.

                                                            Food phobias to doppelgängers... ;- )

                                                            5 Replies
                                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                You love your own post from 2 years ago?

                                                                Awww. Does that already count as a past life regression? :-D

                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                  ha ha ha
                                                                  I was having a regression of the 'cocktail' kind.

                                                            1. Interesting, I'd never thought of this in relation to food before. I feel like I have no food issues to speak of, though some might think I enjoy it a little too well ...

                                                              I had full-body goosebumps the first time I saw photographs of Rouen Cathedral. Not the paintings, just the photos ...

                                                              No one could teach me to swim as a child, and no one has to this day. I have passed a number of swimming classes, though, because it was easier just to fill out the certificate ;)

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: foiegras

                                                                The things we don't know about the universe are infinite.

                                                              2. Wrt strawberries, aren't some people deathly allergic? We all have medicine cabinets stocked with Benedryl, but I'm sure there are still plenty of places where it's unobtainable ...