Extract from the Introduction to The Wisdom of the Soul

© Ian Lawton 2007

The key aspect of the pioneering interlife research is the consistency of the experience reported by subjects. This can be broadly split into five underlying elements.

Transition and Healing

During this phase we shed the heavier and denser emotions and energies associated with the physical plane so that our soul energy gradually becomes lighter and less dense. Our recent research has found that interlife regression subjects often refer to ‘moving through or shedding layers’, and we have coined the term ‘delayering’ to describe this process. It is inextricably linked with emotional healing, and less experienced souls are usually assisted with this, whether they are aware of it or not, while more traumatized souls require more intense initial healing. It also represents the essential process by which we raise our vibration level sufficiently to return to our true home in the ‘light realms’ – because without it we simply cannot operate at these higher frequencies.

Research conducted initially by Michael Newton and confirmed by us has indicated that we usually make a deliberate decision about how much of our soul energy to take into incarnation, thereby leaving some of it behind in the light realms. We might regard this as our ‘higher’ or ‘soul self’. So an additional aspect of our transition is that at some point we will need to reunite with the energy we left behind, at which point we receive another dramatic infusion of soul energy and awareness.

Past-Life Review

Either as part of our initial healing, or not long afterwards, we will usually participate in some kind of review of the life just passed. We may do this alone; we may be aided by our spirit guide, who is a more experienced soul available to help us both in incarnation and during the interlife; or we may be aided by our elders, a group of still-wiser souls who help us to plot a path through our successions of lives. Some subjects describe such reviews as taking place in a ‘library’ environment in which the books in front of them ‘come alive’ like a film. Others even suggest that they can ‘enter’ the film to replay various events, or even to ‘role-play’ them by doing things differently and seeing what happens. And some report that they can place themselves in the shoes of others, to see exactly what effect their actions had on them.

Above all, however, during such reviews the only judgment comes, if at all, from ourselves – and not from the more experienced souls that might be assisting us. This is because our ‘soul perspective’ is totally unlike our human perceptions, and cannot include self-deception or excuses. All our actions and, even more important, our intentions are laid bare. And it is up to us, aided by our spirit guides and elders, to cope with our reaction to them.

Soul Group Interaction

All of us have a group of soul mates with whom we work closely in varied relationships over many lives, and our reunion with them is always a profoundly moving experience. But the primary aim of all souls is to learn, experience and grow. So our time with our soul group is often characterized by discussions about lives we have shared, how we reacted to each other, what we handled well and what we could have handled better. In this context the ability to replay and role-play events once more comes to the fore. Moreover we sporadically move to a different soul group to work on new lessons.

But what do we really mean by ‘learning’? It is apparent that in the first instance we all have to work on what we now refer to as ‘emotional lessons’, and to see both sides of every emotional coin. So we all need to experience not only all of the less attractive emotions such as loss, guilt, failure, shame, remorse, selfishness, sorrow, humiliation, jealousy, anger, hatred and revenge, but also the counterbalancing emotions such as patience, altruism, openness, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance and, ultimately and most powerfully, love – in all its guises. But in order to experience and understand these fully and properly, and to learn from them, we need to not only feel them ourselves, but also to feel what it is like to have them directed at us by others.

Such emotional learning can often be characterized by somewhat repetitive patterns of behavior, as we attempt to master particular emotions in a variety of life settings. However as souls gain in experience they start to move into more progressive patterns of behavior, which tend to be characterized by a more altruistic attitude. In particular, they start to develop the theme of what we now refer to as ‘altruistic skills’ – such as healing, teaching, guiding and so on – which they put into practice both in the physical and the light realms, often as part of a soul group who share the same skill set. In addition they increasingly choose to take on more ‘altruistic lives’, which tend to be primarily for other people’s benefit and learning rather than their own. The most obvious example of this is when souls volunteer for short lives that end in childhood or even before birth. Although such lives can sometimes be traumatic for the infants themselves, they tend to be far more aimed at challenging parents and other close relatives to learn to cope with the myriad emotions that surround such a tragic loss.

Next-Life Planning

At some point before our return we will usually engage in some sort of planning of our next life. At the very least this will involve an awareness of who our parents will be, where they live, their circumstances, and what sex we will be. But many subjects reveal that they receive a rather fuller preview, often describing it as akin to seeing a film that they can stop, rewind, fast-forward, and even enter to fully experience what is going on. We may even be given a preview of several different lives, and be asked to choose which one we think will be of most use to our learning and growth. And, as usual, our spirit guides and elders are on hand to provide assistance and advice. We may also spend some time discussing our plans with other members of our soul group who will be involved in that life, and even agreeing ‘triggers’ that will help us to recognize them when we meet.

Our planning is probably the most crucial aspect of the interlife experience, because it indicates that we have complete control over, and personal responsibility for, our lives. However in order to understand this properly we need to be clear that any life previews we glimpse represent major probabilities and lesser possibilities only. Our lives are not predetermined, and we have complete free will to depart from our ‘plan’.


One key aspect of our return into incarnation is our decision about the level of soul energy to bring back. Although we may want to leave as much behind as possible to allow it to carry on with various aspects of learning and growth in the light realms, if we return to the physical with too little – especially if we face a difficult life – then we reduce our ability to see our plan through. Andy has also specifically built on Newton’s research by establishing that we make additional decisions about what proportions of specific emotions we want to bring back to carry on working with, and even of past-life strengths that we may need to help us through difficult patches. Moreover, some of his subjects have indicated that this is achieved by what we now refer to as a ‘relayering’ process, in which they take on these heavier emotions as if putting on various layers of clothing.

The return is concluded by us finding ourselves in the womb, at anywhere from the point of conception to just before birth. The process of merging our soul energy with the new physical body is a gradual and sometimes difficult one, involving matching the individual pattern and frequency of our soul energy to that of the developing brain. Subjects also report that the stress of this process can be reduced by floating out of the body for short periods, and such activity may even carry on for some time after birth. However another aspect of our return is the gradual weakening of our connection to the light realms, and the gradual lowering of the ‘veil of amnesia’. The general reason for this is twofold: first, if we knew all about our life plans in advance it would be like taking an exam with all the answers, and we would learn nothing; and second, if we remembered too much about the bliss of the light realms we would be constantly homesick and longing to return.