A Row of Tombs Documentary

A Row of Tombs - Jung & Reincarnation is based on three filmed, unfinished interviews held with the late Jungian therapist and New York philantropist , Erlo van Waveren, in 1985 about his analytical work with C.G. Jung on his own past life dreams and visions. In the interviews, van Waveren discloses previously unknown facts about Jung's and his inner circle's preoccupation with reincarnation at a time when the Zeitgeist would not allow it to come out into the open.

Dr. Sabine Lucas, a Zurich trained Jungian analyst and the author of Past Life Dreamwork introduces Erlo van Waveren and his material while commenting on it and amplifying it from her own perspective as a psychotherapist having worked with past life dreams for over thirty years. Marcelina Martin and Grant Taylor, both documentary filmmakers, have molded this raw footage into a visually elucidating, evocative, finished film.

The Background Story

The film discusses a delicate subject, as every Jungian analyst will tell you. Not only was Jung's discovery of and preoccupation with past life dreams a strictly guarded secret during his lifetime, but his successors, after his death, have persistently denied the existence of such dreams. There have been only four analysts who have dared to draw attention to past life material in the unconscious after Jung's death. Erlo van Waveren, who is interviewed in the film, Dr. Elisabeth Ruef, who was a senior lecturer and training analyst at the Jung Institute in Zurich and also the co-editor of Jung's Collected Works, Dr. Roger Woolger whom many of you will know, at least by name,  and myself.

After Woolgers unexpected death, I am the only surviving analyst in this group. "Group" is actually a misnomer, because the four of us were never recognized as a group or in support of each other's work.  What all of us had in common, however, was that we were marginalized by the Jungian school. Van Waveren, though there is no mention of it in the film, had been professionally quite isolated in New York. Elisabeth Ruef, after giving a public lecture series on past life dreams in 1987 was ridiculed by her colleagues and eventually stripped of her teaching position. Roger Woolger, who was an Oxford scholar as well as a graduate of the Jung Institute in Zurich complained in his book that as soon as the word got out that he was doing past life regressions all his speaking engagements were cancelled. He ended up leaving the international organization and founding his own school. I was the last one in line. After my book was published by Bear and Company in 2008, I made several futile attempts to present my research at Jungian Conferences. And when Paul von Ward, a renowned author and past life researcher offered a scholarly, crafted review of my book which had already appeared in the Journal of the Association for Humanistic Psychology to two Jungian journals he never heard back from them. 

It must have been Erlo van Waveren's intention to leave a public record of his past life work with Jung and his sharing of past life dreams with Jung's inner circle. For why else would he have taken the trouble to let himself be interviewed and filmed in three seperate sessions at the end of his life? He wanted to truth to come out when the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the time, would allow it. With the Red Book having been released to the public the time has come. As the last survivor in this trio of marginalized Jungian analysts I felt called to help van Waveren complete his mission.

Comments about the Film

In this seminal and groundbreaking documentary, Dr. Sabine Lucas pulls back the veil on Carl Jung's belief in and fascination with other lifetimes, as told through the revelations of his colleague, Jungian therapist, Erlo van Waveren, who was privy to some of Jung's innermost thoughts and speculations on the matter. This previously hidden facet of Jung's cosmology rounds out the brilliance of the diamond that was Jung.
- ANNE DILLON, writer and filmmaker

I love the film. It has it's own dream-like quality, mainly from the music, I think, but also from the text and subtext, which are about dreams, after all. It's wonderful how you 'dance' with the van Waveren interviews, correcting the information while at the same time obviously respecting it. This dialog also places you in the direct line from Jung to van Waveren to you, as an authority on this very sensitive subject. Each time the camera cuts to you, I noticed the wood carving on the right which may have been meant to represent an opening flower (a perfect symbol for the unfolding of information in the film), but which I took, also, as a sunrise...in this case, the sun rising to light up a previously dark, hidden part of psychotherapy. It is a striking image, particularly when coupled with the idea of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
- JOSEPH DISPENZA, film historian, founder of the Greer Garson Film Studios in Santa Fe, author of God on Your Own: Finding a Spiritual Path Outside Religion and many other books

The coming generations of those who explore the mysteries of the human psyche will be grateful for the contributions of Sabine Lucas. The layer deep within us that carries the knowing of past lives has been described by the Hindu sage Patanjali, the Buddhists, the clairvoyant Edgar Cayce, the transpersonal psychiatrist and researcher Stan Grof and is found in the memories of young children. Sabine now opens the door of Jungian thought to these possibilities.
- BERNICE H. HILL, PH.D. Senior Training Analyst, C. G.Jung Institute of Colorado