Johnny Burke: Welcome to Closer to Venus I’m Johnny Burke and today’s guest is John Koenig. He’s a board-certified hypnotist, past life facilitator, and author of My Autobiographies. An Introduction to Past Life Exploration for Personal and Spiritual Growth. Today, we will be talking about his journeys as a past life explorer, John, welcome to the program.
John Koenig: Thanks for having me.
Johnny Burke: So being a board-certified hypnotist, was the interest in past lives, a normal progression, or did that interest come from something else?
John Koenig: It was really something else. The truth is I wasn’t particularly interested. I was very interested in Buddhism and Zen, that kind of thing. I was interested in telepathy, but not reincarnation. I met a wife of a friend who was doing past life facilitation. On a whim, I went to a session with her and immediately found myself experiencing life as an 18th century, member of the First Continental Dragoons. And it blew me away. I couldn’t believe that I was having this incredible experience, rich experience.
Johnny Burke: Past life facilitator, is that the same thing as past life regression?
John Koenig: Yes, fundamentally, but she did a technique that I’ve never run across before or since obviously. I don’t even know what she did. All I know is I sit down; I take a few deep breaths? And I’m very, very adept at going into trance. They used me as a Guinea pig at hypnotist events. So I went out pretty quick, I guess. So yeah, she was a regressionist.
Johnny Burke: You said that you experienced a life in the 18th century. Tell us a little bit more about, what it felt like and how you kind of knew that it wasn’t a dream or your imagination?
John Koenig: it was fascinating. First, she had me speak and you could either speak about the experience, whereas you can speak from who you were. And I started speaking from who I was and introduced myself as I started to say Corporal Riley, but then I edited to Private Riley and he was a pretentious little guy. He had a silk shirt, it was his big claim to fame and he was on a mission to give a message to his captain. And he went to this house, there was either a party or a big, meeting taking place. I walked into the room and there was something weird. This happens to me over and over in past lives that I don’t quite understand. Then I realized I was looking at a big, big room lit by candles.
The light is very different. In my life I’ve never been in a big room, lit by candles. And what happened to Riley is the officer who met him at the door, said,” I’ll take the message. And Riley is a pretentious little soul who had pretensions of being, a modern-day American Napoleon back in the day, became very upset. He died shortly after he died in great upset. A lot of the lives I’ve experienced – maybe 24, 25 lives. Usually, there’s some traumatic end to the life in my experience. And also people that I’ve worked with some traumatic end that leaves unresolved issues flopping around. And in Riley’s case, it was, ‘they don’t respect me’ I’m not respected. He had an idea’ I’m going to the big room, like the officer, this message. I’m a big man’ and he dies with that thought. So I experienced his consciousness flying up through the pub. He was in up three floors and that was also interesting.
Johnny Burke: I’m trying to imagine what that must have felt like when you walked into a room,
John Koenig: Hmm.
Johnny Burke: There’s no TVs. There’s no smartphones. None of the trappings of modern 21st-century life. Did you feel kind of spooked or what did that feel like?
John Koenig: I felt intrigued. When I began to realize that I was experiencing something profoundly different. For example, one of the lives I experienced was as a female, a woman and she had three sons. And suddenly I began to sense that her idea as a mother was radically different from mine as her father, and it’s with surprise. It’s like wonder, like how can this be. You know you’re experiencing something that’s odd that’s not typical. That’s one of the ways I kind of validate these experiences. There’s something about them that is unexpected and, and yet real.
Johnny Burke: Everyone would ask, how do we know whether it’s a genuine past life memory or not? I’ve heard from other speakers that they remember often painstaking detail, which dreams don’t because often dreams evaporate almost when you wake up, seems like. Do you find the same thing?
John Koenig: Yeah. Detail. I will say this from my perspective, I really don’t know. Riley was one that a friend of mine investigated, and found that that the First Continental Dragoons did exist, and it was in a certain area where I reported it as Riley. But generally, I really don’t know. Some people think that there’s a DNA thing. Other people think that these are genuine. Some people will tell you that they are manufactured by our subconscious, like a dream. We talked about the idea that adults can be contaminated by television books, media. I’m really impressed with the work of Ian Stevenson.
He began that work, getting little kids. Five-year-olds and he’s got University of Virginia Perceptual Studies. Thousands of kids say this and they go back, and they actually document everything the kids said. So one of the things we talked about is what’s what is it like to live believing that past lives are a fact.? I think it’s wonderful., I get certain things out of that. One thing is I don’t have to get it perfect in this life. And I find, I find
Johnny Burke: Regarding, the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson, it’s a bit hard to really try to debunk that because if I’m not mistaken, he found the kids that have past life memories. They went and found the families and the kids knew so many different things about the families, including family secrets, that in about 1500 cases, they accepted the kid as the reincarnation of their loved one that passed a some time ago.
John Koenig: Yeah. You can choose to willfully not believe that, but I think that’s a choice. You got to bend over backward to refute these things and Stevenson was meticulous. In being ethical and thorough, these things really just happened. These little kids had this very clear image of another life. And when he went back and checked, they did. So, how does that inform you how to live? I think it’s been profound in my life. It’s changed the way I look at people look at myself, and look at what life is all about. I believe this is how it’s done.
Johnny Burke: Do you get a sense that we’re all responsible for our actions?
John Koenig: Absolutely.
Johnny Burke: it’s not as if we get a free do-over, let’s say we live a life We hurt people we break the law , but it’s not like at the end of our life, we think, ‘oh, great. I’ll get to do this all over again.’
John Koenig: That’s not the intention of, it. One of the thoughts I’ve had is that humanity- we are growing individually. I call earth spiritual kindergarten and I’ve heard it described as earth school, that we’re here to grow, and I believe we’re growing individually, but also as a species. I think we’re all in this boat together and we’re moving towards something. So if it is spiritual kindergarten, I would prefer not to be left behind this year.
Johnny Burke: I think a lot of us do not want to be left behind, but do you get a sense that we can build up good karma or bad karma and that will have an impact on the next incarnation?
John Koenig: I think there is that. The last life before this life. I experienced myself as a Polish auxiliary SS guy, a young guy. He was a guard at one of the ancillary camps at Auschwitz. Here’s the thing about that, about weird details;
If he looked on your wrist and you had a number, you were already dead. You were just being stored. You were already dead. He dehumanized the people entirely. I picked up karma as a result of that. In this life, my father, his dad died in 1939 or 38 when Adolf Hitler was still a big guy, Time Magazine, front cover man of the year, dictator of the year.
My dad was a wannabe Nazi, so I got to live with a lot of stress that came up from living with a wannabe Nazi. I got to the other side of the fence, the side of the wire, plus a whole bunch of other things. I picked up some bad karma and like most people like Nazis. The guy Ernst wasn’t diabolical, he was just uncaring or banal. His big complaint was that his uniform was not as nicely tailored as the real Germans. He was Aryan but he was basically a Pole. He thought that they thought of him as being a Christian Jew if you can picture that. And these thoughts were unusual to me.
Johnny Burke: How did that life lead from Ernst? That’s his name, right?
John Koenig: Yeah.
Johnny Burke: What was the life, the incarnation, right after?
John Koenig: You’re looking at it -born in 1948.
Johnny Burke: Oh, so, okay.
John Koenig: A lot of people would write about this, say that typically reincarnation occurs like 18 months or so after death. And you know, for me, it would’ve been three years.
Johnny Burke: 18 months?
John Koenig: I’ve heard that said.
Johnny Burke: I would’ve no idea.
John Koenig: I’m not sure. I try to avoid speculation in this stuff. I’ve always was a pragmatist and that’s one of the reasons why I was not interested in past life work, it seemed fanciful or made up. But I’ve learned a lot.
Johnny Burke: It seems exactly like that. A friend of mine who is really interested in this type of thing, he’ll make jokes about people talking about past lives; they’re always like a king or Queen of Sheba or someone important and famous. That seems a little strange to me, but I’ve also heard other people recount experiences from a past life as if they just told me about a trip to the grocery store. Like it’s very matter of fact. So I’ve seen that too.
John Koenig: Well, the Queen of Sheba type people are the least favorite people like me like to work with. They want to experience something. They’re going to shift it into what they want. Most lives like all of my lives were peasants pretty much. I was never a king or usually I say in my book, there’s one king of few nobles. The rest of us are always peasants. And in this life, I’m a peasant, a very privileged peasant to live in 21st century America, but a peasant., when someone wants to do that work, I will actually try to discourage them. Most of the problems people have, I think are generated in our current life. So I will try to discourage somebody if, if they think, “oh yeah, I was Marie Antoinette. “Really? Maybe you were lucky enough to be Marie Antoinette’s, hairdresser!
Johnny Burke: So you’ve had 20 or 25 past lives?
John Koenig: Yeah, 24 or 25. I put 14 in the book, I experienced a few after the book. I paid some past life facilitator; regression hypnotist and I spent an hour as a bug. I don’t know that was worth the money. The thing about that is I’m crawling around as a bug and a bug view. I see these blades of grass. They looked like, of course trees, but there was this one big dome and I realized,’ oh my God, that’s a drop of water, the tensile strength holding it up.’ And I got a chill just mentioning that kind that happens in past life work.
Johnny Burke: What are some of the other experiences in any of your past lives that really kind of stand out that will teach people about past life work?
John Koenig: Here are two that I’ll mention, and I’ll mention some names, David Quigley. I went to a past life facilitation training at Quigley’s place in Santa Rosa, California. And he invited us to experience relationships. Have you been involved with somebody in this life? Maybe you were with them before. So I go into a state of trance and suddenly I found myself- I’m in a blacksmith shop. And this guy with this big black beard is pounding the metal and I’m his wife, I’m Lena, his wife, and he is my wife in this life, Maria.
And I feel like the luckiest girl in the village that I’ve got a husband that doesn’t beat me. I feel like I’ve won the lottery. I’m bringing him his lunch and- big black beard. And in this life, my wife couldn’t be more feminine if she tried. But in that life, she was this-
Johnny Burke: Big burly guy.
John Koenig: So he says to me, “what does your wife, what does Victor say to you?” And I started laughing. I said “nothing. He’s a man of few words.” And in my wife’s life, she doesn’t speak a whole lot. She’s not very chattery. She’ll talk when it’s important, but generally, I wake up in the morning talking, I go to bed talking. What I got out of that life, by the way, Lena has heard in the village from the old women, that the Cossacks were going to come and – this is Russia,draft men -take ’em away. And in my village, when they took the men away, they didn’t come back for 20 years. You became a widow, even though your husband was still alive. So I tell Victor, I said,” we got to get out of here”, but I’m just a female. And he tells me I shouldn’t be so foolish as to listen to the women in the village. I beg him, and of course the Cossacks come, they take old men in the village and Lena spent the rest of her life. as a widow whose husband is still alive. And to her death, she always felt she was the luckiest woman in the village that she had a wonderful man and that she dies, and that death was beautiful. Her daughter was with her. My takeaway from that, I wasn’t listened to in that life because of my gender. And in this life, I came back with a mission to be listened to. I’ve taught in college. I became an ad guy, wrote TV commercials, hypnotist, instructor of hypnotism, et cetera. That’s my mission in this life, to communicate.
Johnny Burke: How did you know the blacksmith was your wife in this life?
John Koenig: I just knew. There aren’t words to describe it, I just knew that that was Maria.
Johnny Burke: So you knew it. So you were in a female body- what, is it like?
John Koenig: Yes,
Johnny Burke: This I cannot imagine, but to be in a female body. Did you feel the same way about the blacksmith as you do about your wife now?
John Koenig: No, there was nothing romantic or sexual about it. I’ll tell you one thing though. another life, I was a woman in Alexandria, and I have three sons in this other experience. They’re builders. One of the ways you go back in your past lives is, do you want to bring forth the skill or talent. I wanted to bring forth talent, leadership. So I find myself as a female. Women have a different style usually of leadership, more mentoring empathetic. I’m my boy’s confidant. They tell me everything, and I advise them. So that experience, I was able to apply a bit more and at that time I had a bunch of employees.
So at that time, it was helpful. but I got to realize that being a mother is radically different from being a father. And I had no idea that was the case. They came out of my body. They were an extension of my flesh. And I don’t know how it ever would’ve felt that experience without having done this. It’s very different. To have a baby. they’re part of you nine months, which by the way, is I think how we reenter; we enter incarnation. We got nine months to get used to the idea, right?
Johnny Burke: Okay. Speaking of incarnations, did you experience what’s called the in-between or life between lives?
John Koenig: Another name, you might contact is Alita Grant and she’s out in Colorado. I went to the training she did back in May of this year or April. She guided on us to the between life place. That’s where I began to really understand why I chose my father. I got very much in touch with O’ Riley because that was my last time to plan this life. I signed up for it to not only reverse or account for the karma. but for my personal, growth.
Johnny Burke: In that space, what does it look like? Did they look like people? Are they bulbs of light?
John Koenig: I experienced more forms with people that look like people. The thing about it is when we’re in between lives. It’s pretty much blissful, my experience. Everything about incarnation is effortful- to pick your hand up, you’re fighting against gravity, right? Incarnation without resistance, you can’t learn. If you want to build up your strength, you do resistance training, you pull against something and that’s what incarnation is about. You wonder why anybody comes back? I belong to a Facebook group about past lives and this guy posted a couple of weeks ago. ” don’t care what anybody says. I ain’t coming back,” but nonetheless, we come back because we have learning to do.
Johnny Burke: I’m on Facebook too, but I have now kind of tuned out some of those things. It might as well be like truth social- a lot of people giving opinions.
John Koenig: I thought it was funny; I just took it as a joke.
Johnny Burke: That’s exactly what it is. I have asked that question to speakers that have been on the show before; do we have to come back? And one woman said, ‘ “no, you don’t, but the way to learn is to come back.” That’s the quickest route to learn. So you can eventually, ascend and then you get to the point where you don’t need to come back. But most of us are at that place where, as you indicate in your book, we’re here for a reason, we’re here to learn.
John Koenig: And I think I’m a slow learner.
Johnny Burke: One woman told me that you’re here to learn a specific lesson. And it’s usually the thing that you struggled the most with.
John Koenig: Right.
Johnny Burke: Would you agree?
John Koenig: A mission, yeah, absolutely. My opinion. No doubt about it.
Johnny Burke: When people hear that, they think, okay. So instead of running away for this challenge, I should probably run to it, right?
John Koenig: Yeah, but then again, it is so freaking painful to be on Earth. Everything is effortful. Every life has tragedy,
Johnny Burke: Every single one. Life between lives, that’s apparently where we make soul agreements. It’s like casting a play almost. Isn’t it?
John Koenig: I was doing a past life thing with a wonderful woman. Kristen Johnson, and she experienced the between life where she was pretty much done. She could have chosen to graduate, but her advisors talked her into coming back again with the idea of being a force. She has a new book out called Heal the People. Kristen Johnson, a really good book, but she came back clear with the idea that she had a mission. I think it’s a grand mission than mine, frankly, but she had a mission to heal the people. Can you imagine the power of that?
Johnny Burke: Yeah, many of us have no clue what our mission is. I talked to a friend of mine who spoke to a medium, which I think kind of freaked him out a little bit. And she said,” you need to figure out what your purpose is; you’re an old soul.” I can’t vouch for the veracity of this reading, I’ve no clue. How many people, do you think actually know what their purpose is?
John Koenig: That’s a good question. Again, I’d be speculating, but I think it’s a fairly small percentage. Most people live on the basis of, work, satisfy your carnal desires, including eating too much sometimes and go for recreation. So, eat, have relationships, and recreation. Sleep. Repeat. Most people live that, and we have goals, but they’re always limited;I want to buy a house. I want to get a summer place, whatever they think- want to get a new car. Most of us are based on that kind of thing rather than a soul purpose. And there’s nothing wrong with that, by the way, that’s what they sign up for.
Johnny Burke: They signed up for a vacation life?
John Koenig: No, no, they signed up for eat, screw, work, enjoy recreation, go to sleep. Most sign up for that. And everybody has challenges, whatever happens, there’s going to be a death in your life within that framework, you may have a physical illness, and you may lose people you love. I love this song by John Lennon. Instant Karma .”Instant karma gonna knock you in the head ” I experienced this one life in Egypt and he was a cattle rancher. He provided cattle to the military. And one day somebody above him in society, take his land, and he becomes a slave. So he wakes up that morning feeling rich, successful, and arrogant. And then, the guys come and his whole life alters. And if you think about it, that is more common than not. You’re going along life in a bubble. And then something horrible happens to all of us, that’s life and the learning there.
In that case with that guy, it was about arrogance, kind of like Ernst a little bit. He didn’t treat his slaves well. He regarded them as objects, I guess. What he got to learn in that life was to treat people, with respect and dignity. So, that was the lesson that life gave me. And you ask how do I use these things? I do meditate on these things. I look and see what lesson was there for me. I’ll reconnect with Riley or, or Ernst or, Lena, so I find that very, very useful. And that is the thing about doing past life work. get to know yourself.
Johnny Burke: You just mentioned,” I reconnect with Ernst or Lena or any of your past life entities. You made it sound almost like they are separate from you. It’s almost like it is a separate entity or is it not?
John Koenig: That’s how I think of them, they’re not me in my current life. I’m fond of them all. And my favorite life was the African shaman. A beautiful, beautiful character. A very honored position in his village and he did everything right. All the rituals, the rattles, the right incense. Everything he did perfectly, and he didn’t necessarily believe it. He had a skeptical, open mind. Of all the lives I’ve experienced, his is the one I most cherish. He dies by trying to get power from a rhinoceros. He has this obsession that a rhino’s horn can be used for male potency must be powerful and if I can get the power of the rhinoceros in me, I can be like a rhinoceros for altruistic reasons. And he dies that way. And his lesson is he hadn’t sought any mentors. He hadn’t told anybody. He had this tree, he thought was his confidant. And he hadn’t had a conversation with the tree. And so that’s the lesson there is to talk to people. And in this life, I ask people’s opinions about things. I try really hard not to do everything myself.
Johnny Burke: So when we die, is our life uploaded to the Akashic Records? And if so, how does that work?
John Koenig: Some people think that when you have a past life experience, you’re just going up to the Akashic Records and you’re accessing one of the lives that’s there that helps you deal with whatever issue you have. So in that case, it’s not your life; you’re accessing a life. I’m inclined to think not. What makes more sense is your soul is evolving with the idea of becoming this new species I call it homodeus, a species that is more aligned with deity, and there’s also soul families, by the way.
Johnny Burke: The soul agreement is made with members of your soul family. You’ve had many past lives- besides your wife in this life, Maria, did you recognize anybody else?
John Koenig: No, I haven’t yet. I think by the way that thoughts about’, do I know anybody from a prior life, can be for many people recreational. But I think if you went back with the intention, let’s say you have a problem with your boss, and you wonder were your boss and you connected. I think that would work from that point of view. I’ve just never done it with anyone except Maria.
Johnny Burke: What if we were just curious about, my friends, family, acquaintances, girlfriends, that type of thing? Did I know any of them in a previous incarnation?
John Koenig: Absolutely, you set it up that way with that intention.
Johnny Burke: Okay. So in closing, I got this from reading the book. You’re convinced that there is nothing to fear in death?
John Koenig: True. But if I knew I was going to die this evening, I guarantee you I’d be a little bit nervous!
Johnny Burke: Your fear at least diminished somewhat?
John Koenig: Very much- it logics out for me, that there is nothing to really fear in death. That it’s part of the whole process. I’m not looking forward to that. I love my current incarnation.
Johnny Burke: It sounds like it’s quite interesting. Any other takeaways that, we did not bring up?
John Koenig: I’ve got a final thought, I’m sure you’ve heard of Landmark Education. I was doing a thing with them. And at the end of six days of training, we played a game where you were like a samurai and in the game, you could die if you were in a battle, and I died early on in the game, and to make it real, they had assistants drag your body out of the room into the morgue. So I’m lying in the morgue. I was like the fifth, sixth person to die and I heard the game going on, and I found myself thinking I want to be in the game. And it occurred to me that that’s how it is.
I have got a question for you; Why are you not doing your own past life explorations? You may not want to talk about that, but I’m curious; somebody that does this with lots of people. Why haven’t you jumped in?
Johnny Burke: I would think that’s probably a question for another day, but maybe in the future, I’ll talk about my own past life exploration, which I haven’t done yet.
John Koenig: Obviously you’re drawn to it.
Johnny Burke: I’d rather just be the spectator and the man with a notebook, just asking questions.
John Koenig: That’s your incarnation. That’s what your mission is, maybe.
Johnny Burke: Hopefully it is.
John Koenig: You’re doing great work, bringing this up to peoples’ attention. So
Johnny Burke: Hopefully people do find some value in it. John, thanks so much for joining us. How can our listeners learn more about you?
John Koenig: Thank you very much. Thanks for having me. My website, possibilities. nu or my book, My Autobiographies, Introduction to Past Life Exploration for Personal and Spiritual Growth.