Foreword Review — Mar / Apr 2002
The bliss of early infatuation can compel even skeptics to feel as if they had known their lover in a former life. How better to explain an overpowering passion than to conclude that it spans centuries? Past lives, however, may be more illuminating for people who are unhappy in love-those who can’t commit, who repeatedly choose unsuitable partners, or are just tired of being alone.
The author asserts that the “relationship karma” picked up during past lives dictates our romantic experiences. He defines karma as “the belief that all actions, words, thoughts, and intent will return to you.” Fear, anger, and sexual dysfunction may all stem from such karma. Because most people ignore karma, they’re doomed to keep smashing into “karmic blocks” on their quest for a happy love life. The solution, Petullo says, is to deal with these obstacles through past-life regression.
Petullo has a liberal arts degree with a minor in psychology from the University of Arizona. His career path has wound far outside the boundaries of traditional psychology (he once owned a dating service). Now he is in private practice, treating clients using techniques such as hypnosis and guided meditation.
The book contains numerous examples of people Petullo guided to past lives in search of the “karmic reason” for their relationship problems. A woman scared to wed regresses to seventeenth-century Italy, where she was trapped in an abusive marriage. Centuries later, she still equates marriage with brutal confinement. A man discovers that he and his girlfriend knew each other in a previous life-in 1608 when he was hanged after she falsely accused him of rape. No wonder their sex life was suffering.
Petullo gives detailed instructions for readers who want to explore past lives on their own and, for those who want a guide, advice on choosing a regression therapist. His brother contributes a section on numerology.
Petullo insists, “Whether or not the client believes in reincarnation or whether or not he or she has actually lived past lives is irrelevant.” This smacks of trying too hard to expand his audience. It’s a stretch to imagine a diehard non-believer benefiting from past-life regression. Also, sections on choosing a dating service and how to flirt seem out of place in a book devoted to spiritual self-discovery.
Still, for those who are open to believing in karma and reincarnation, this book provides an easy-to-read map for exploring past lives-a journey that may even end in romantic happiness.