Scientific Proof of Reincarnation

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Scientific Proof of Reincarnation

A lot of people are resistant to the idea of a “soul” because of how this term has gotten wrapped up in religious superstition and dogma.

Some people think it is outright silly. But the concept of consciousness being able to detach from the body offers a lot of explanatory power when it comes to phenomenon such as Near Death Experiences, Out-Of-Body Experiences and even reincarnation.

In fact, the evidence for reincarnation is the best hard scientific evidence we have for the existence of a soul. This is a bold claim, but the evidence for reincarnation is undeniable and cannot collectively be attributed to chance or any other physical explanation. If reincarnation exists, the soul exists. Let’s take a look!

Before we explore the evidence, it’s helpful to remember that we do not need hard PROOF in order to be justified in believing in something.

If the weatherman says there is a 70% chance of showers, I don’t need proof that it’s going to rain before I am justified in bringing an umbrella with me. I don’t have to be certain that a meteor isn’t going to fall on my head before I go outside. I don’t need hard scientific proof of extra-terrestrial life in order to be justified in believing that life exists on other planets, because there are so many good reasons that, when taken together cumulatively, provide a plausible account for belief in life on other planets.
This is known as “abductive reasoning” and is the kind of reasoning we use most in our every day lives.

Reincarnation is not something you can objectively measure in the same way you can measure a chemical reaction, so it may even be in principle non-provable using the scientific method. Science is the empirical measurement of the natural world, and the soul is something which would exist beyond the natural world. So, the question is, “Are there enough solid pieces of evidence that, when taken together, provide a compelling case for reincarnation?” I think the answer is a resounding yes.

The scientific evidence for reincarnation

Dr. Ian Stevenson, Ph.D., former Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, spent 40 years researching reincarnation stories within children.
This former chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology investigated over 3000 independent stories of children who claimed to have memories and know people from their alleged past lives. According to Stevenson, the number of cases that are worth considering is so high that it exceeds the ability of him and his team to investigate them all.

Dr. Ian Stevenson

Probably the best known, if not most respected, collection of scientific data that appears to provide scientific proof that reincarnation is real, is the life’s work of Dr. Ian Stevenson. Instead of relying on hypnosis to verify that an individual has had a previous life, he instead chose to collect thousands of cases of children who spontaneously remember a past life. Dr. Ian Stevenson uses this approach because spontaneous past life memories in a child can be investigated using strict scientific protocols. Hypnosis, while useful in researching into past lives, is less reliable from a purely scientific perspective. In order to collect his data, Dr. Stevenson methodically documents the child’s statements of a previous life. Then he identifies the deceased person the child remembers being, and verifies the facts of the deceased person’s life that match the child’s memory. He even matches birthmarks and birth defects to wounds and scars on the deceased, verified by medical records. His strict methods systematically rule out all possible “normal” explanations for the child’s memories.

Dr. Stevenson has devoted the last forty years to the scientific documentation of past life memories of children from all over the world. He has over 3000 cases in his files. Many people, including skeptics and scholars, agree that these cases offer the best evidence yet for reincarnation.

Dr. Stevenson’s credentials are impeccable. He is a medical doctor and had many scholarly papers to his credit before he began paranormal research. He is the former head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, and now is Director of the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia.

In order to help the reader become familiar with Dr. Stevenson’s work, a 1988 Omni Magazine Interview is reprinted below. Following the interview is a summary of one of Dr. Stevenson’s most famous cases.

Birth Marks

Facial recognition software confirmed that there was in fact a facial resemblance to their alleged prior incarnation. Some had birth marks on places where they allegedly suffered fatal wounds from in their past life. They were often dramatic and sometimes bizarre lesions, such as malformed digits or missing limbs, misshapen heads, and odd markings.

As Dr. Stevenson writes in his paper “Birthmarks and Birth Defects Corresponding to Wounds on Deceased Persons” in the peer-reviewed Journal of Scientific Exploration: “About 35% of children who claim to remember previous lives have birthmarks and/or birth defects that they (or adult informants) attribute to wounds on a person whose life the child remembers. The cases of 210 such children have been investigated.

“The birthmarks were usually areas of hairless, puckered skin; some were areas of little or no pigmentation (hypopigmented macules); others were areas of increased pigmentation (hyperpigmented nevi).
“The birth defects were nearly always of rare types. In cases in which a deceased person was identified the details of whose life unmistakably matched the child’s statements, a close correspondence was nearly always found between the birthmarks and/or birth defects on the child and the wounds on the deceased person.
“In 43 of 49 cases in which a medical document (usually a postmortem report) was obtained, it confirmed the correspondence between wounds and birthmarks (or birth defects).”

Verifiable memories of past lives

The memories the children recalled were far too specific to be chalked up to chance. In an article where 3 cases were looked at in great detail by Dr. Stevenson, he reported that each of the 3 children made roughly 30-40 claims regarding memories that had of their past lives, 82-92% of which were both verifiable and correct. The particularities and specific details that were given by the children ranged from anything from the names, personalities, and occupations of their former parents and siblings to the precise layouts of the houses they lived in.

It was not uncommon for Stevenson to encounter a child who could go into a town he had never been in before and give him the details of the village, former personal belongings, the neighborhood in which he lived in a past life, and the people who he use to associate with. As he concludes: “It was possible in each case to find a family that had lost a member whose life corresponded to the subject’s statements. The statements of the subject, taken as a group, were sufficiently specific so that they could not have corresponded to the life of any other person.

“We believe we have excluded normal transmission of the correct information to the subjects and that they obtained the correct information they showed about the concerned deceased person by some paranormal process.”

Phobias from past-life traumas

Something which interested Dr. Stevenson was the phobias that were developed from past-life traumas.  As Dr. Jim Tucker writes: “Another area that interested Ian was the behavior of these children. He wrote a paper about phobias that many of the children showed, usually related to the mode of death from the life they claimed to remember (Stevenson, 1990a).

“He reported that 36% of the children in a series of 387 cases showed such fears. They occurred when the children were very young, sometimes before they had made their claims about the previous life. For example, he described a girl in Sri Lanka who as a baby resisted baths so much that three adults had to hold her down to give her one.

“By the age of six months, she also showed a marked phobia of buses and then later described the life of a girl in another village who had been walking along a narrow road between flooded paddy fields when she stepped back to avoid a bus going by, fell into the flood water, and drowned.”

Recognition from the scientific community

What seems to be more than mere chance is that children were able to accurately identify former acquaintances and relationships they had with people in their prior lives.

Most impressively was a Lebanese girl who was able to remember and identify 25 different people from her past life and the interpersonal relationships she had with them. His best findings were put together in a book called Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation.

For further reading, this book would really be your best bet. The American Journal of Psychiatry reviewed these cases and said there were “cases recorded in such full detail as to persuade the open mind that reincarnation is a tenable hypothesis to explain them.”

He had several other books and papers published and widely accepted in the mainstream community. As a review in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated ‘‘In regard to reincarnation he has painstakingly and unemotionally collected a detailed series of cases from India, cases in which the evidence is difficult to explain on any other grounds.”

The reviewer added: “He has placed on record a large amount of data that cannot be ignored.” His one paper called “The Explanatory Value of the Idea of Reincarnation” had thousands of requests for reprints by scientists all over the world.

His findings were also published in peer reviewed journals the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, and the International Journal of Comparative Sociology. During a presentation at Penn State University in 2005, Dr. Jim B. Tucker, a child psychiatrist at the University of Virginia, described how a mother was leaning over the changing table to change her son’s diaper.

Her young toddler unexpectedly said, “When I was your age, I used to change your diapers.” Sam Taylor, of Vermont, was born 18 months following his grandfather’s death. When he made this comment, he was only a few years old. When he was four and a half years old, however, Taylor was able to pick out his grandfather from a class picture of about 20 people and identify his grandfather’s first car from a photograph.

It’s important to note that this case is American, so the parents are not influencing or encouraging the boy to believe in reincarnation in the name of culture or religion:

Conclusion

This is just a small fraction of the amount of evidence that exists for reincarnation. Upon coming to a conclusion about all his findings and his publications, we have to ask ourselves “What is the best explanation that can accommodate all of this evidence?”

Why would there be so many cases of children who claim to have been other people, who know the specific names and interpersonal relationships of the person they recall being, who have similar behavior and personalities as the people they claimed to be, who have birthmarks and abnormalities where they claimed to have suffered wounds in their past lives, and who have specific phobias linked back to alleged past life traumas if reincarnation did not exist?

When we consider that there is no naturalistic explanation that can account for all of data, and when we consider the explanatory power of reincarnation, we are more than justified in subscribing to reincarnation for scientific reasons.The accounts are far too precise to be chalked up as chance, and all other explanations are impoverished in trying to explain such a wide array of data.

Reincarnation can no longer be looked at as some woo-woo, pseudoscientific, religiously dogmatic New Age fantasy, and neither can the soul.We can infer the reality of the soul because it is the best explanation for all of the given data. There must be a non-physical part of us (consciousness itself, perhaps) that contains memories that leaves our body and then enters into a new body.

This is a hypothesis which has gotten serious attention in the mainstream academic community, and is still ripe with investigation to this day.When we take all the evidence together and look at it without religious or scientific bias getting in the way, it seems as though we are not only justified in believing in reincarnation, but it also may be the best of all explanations for the strongest cases.


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Birthmarks / Scars clues of Past Lives | Regression Therapy

past life therapyIf you are trying to blend into a crowd, the last thing you need is a birthmark. That’s because birthmarks are identifying features that are unique to us. Some birthmarks are so rare and uncommon that they have even been used as identifying characteristics in police investigations. (Police have used birthmarks to give the public a better description of a person of interest, and in some cases, birthmarks have helped witnesses identify perpetrators of a crime.) But birthmarks don’t just shed light on one’s identity; they can also shed light into one’s past lives.

When people move from lifetime to lifetime, there are certain things that they tend to carry with them. Often emotional baggage of traumas from past lives can come up again in a current lifetime. If you feel like you keep making the same mistake or suffering the same inner wound, it may be a karmic lesson that you failed to get in a previous lifetime.

It’s also common for people to bring fears from one lifetime to another. You may have been afraid of fire in multiple lifetimes, or perhaps you died in a fire in a previous lifetime so flames instill fear in you today. We also tend to have relationships with the same souls in multiple lifetimes, so we bring our loved ones with us from lifetime to lifetime.

Birthmarks can also be passed from one lifetime to another. Sometimes a soul will have the same unique identifier in multiple lifetimes. There have been cases of past life regression in which a client recalls a previous life in which they had the same birthmark that they have in a current lifetime. Just as the eyes often stay the same from lifetime to lifetime, a birthmark can transcend death.

In other cases, a birthmark may be indicative of a wound you experienced in a past life or even your death in a past life. For example, one might have been stabbed in the arm in a past life and that same soul may have a birthmark in that very spot in this current lifetime. A person who was shot to death in a past life might have a birthmark in the location of the body where the bullet struck.

Sometimes you can even discover clues into a past life based on the shape of a birthmark. For example, a birthmark could have the smooth, circular shape of a bullet hole or the jagged edges of a knife wound. A birthmark might even resemble a place on a map where the soul lived in a previous life. It’s also possible for people of the same soul group to share a birthmark so if you meet someone who you feel a deep connection with and they happen to have a birthmark that is similar to yours, there is a good change that that person and you have have shared multiple lifetimes.

There are cases that have documented the remarkable connection

Do birthmarks have something to do with one’s past life? Apparently, some do have  a connection, but perhaps not all.

Birthmarks are marks or blemishes found on the skin of a person at birth.

The first Western scientist I know who had conducted serious research on reincarnation and birthmarks was the late Dr. Ian Stevenson, head of the Psychiatry Department at the University of Virginia, USA.

 He investigated around 3,000 cases of spontaneous past life recall by children ages 3-13. He found remarkable evidence of past life memories and wrote around 20 of them in his pioneering book  “Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation,” published by the University Press of Virginia in 1974.

The following are some of the remarkable connections between birthmarks and  past lives from 210 individuals investigated and reported by Dr. Stevenson:

1. A boy named Maha Ram in India could remember being killed in a previous life with a shotgun fired at close range. He remembered enough details of his past life for Stevenson to find an autopsy report of the man supposedly reincarnated as Ram. The birthmarks on Ram’s chest corresponded to the bullet wounds.

2. A 12-year-old boy in the Middle East born with a ring-like mark or scar around his neck remembered two uncles who beheaded him in order to get his inheritance.

Stray bullet

3. Karen Kubicko posted photos of herself in high school with a birthmark on her neck and a photo of herself later in life without the birthmark. She said she remembered that in a previous life she was a woman named Helen who was hit by a stray bullet in the neck and died in 1927. The mark was where the bullet had hit her in her vision. After she remembered this, the mark gradually disappeared.

 

In yet another interesting case studied by Dr. Jim Tucker, who continued the works of Dr. Stevenson, a birthmark was traced to a past life.

“An old woman died in Thailand with a wish to reincarnate as a boy. Her daughter dipped a finger in white paste and marked the back of the woman’s neck with the paste. Not long after the woman’s death, her daughter gave birth to a son with a white mark on the back of his neck that looked like the white paste left on the woman’s nape.”

When Dr. Stevenson was asked how come the birthmarks still appeared on the skin of a reincarnated person when it was a new body he is now occupying, he replied that it must be because the memory of the previous life may still be strongly embedded in his mind. Or maybe it is necessary as a reminder of the person’s previous life.

 


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