According to surveys, only 24% of Americans today believe in reincarnation. However, the topic has been interesting enough to attract several TV shows like The Dr. Oz Show. Looking into the “reality of reincarnation,” the show featured kids who remembered their previous lives and people who underwent hypnosis to recall their past existence.
Some scientists, however, are skeptical and think that such stories are fake and not credible, that they don’t have any true value or could be fabricated by people through listening to various forms of media. Some psychology professors such as Christopher C. French, believe that these recollections of previous life events are false.
Fortunately, this study was not discarded as fake and the Division of Perceptual Studies in Department of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences collected over 2,500 documented cases of children from various parts of the world with detailed recollections of their past lives. These studies included children with memories of the past lives living in poverty or being wealthy, remembering their old names, recalling nature of work, physical traits and even what type of addictions they had. There were reports of some kids who were able to speak fluently in other dialects they didn't know before.
Dr. Ian Stevenson’s documentation of the past life cases is probably the most recognized work on study of reincarnation. His research on reincarnation started in 1960 when he discovered a case in Sri Lanka where a child started remembering his previous life. He thoroughly questioned the child as well as his parents and the people whom the child remembered were his parents from his earlier life. This discovery strengthened Dr. Stevenson’s belief that reincarnation is real.
That same year, he published two articles about this child who recalled having a previous life. His desire to scientifically tell the possibility of reincarnation increased as he discovered more such cases. Dr. Stevenson focused on collecting information by using strict scientific protocols. Practice of hypnosis was ruled out of his investigation even though it was also a common method for data gathering and collection.
Dr. Stevenson authored around 14 books and 300 papers on reincarnation. His book “Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation,” published in 1966, became a classic in the history of reincarnation research. “Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects” is a 2,268-page, 2-volume book that he published in 1997. This research was focused on newborn children with abnormalities and deformities, which could not be explained by inherited genetic factors or prenatal events. The book documented 200 cases of kids with birthmarks and memories which matched the wounds and lives of dead people these children remembered as having lived as in a previous life. It also contains hundreds of photos presenting the proof he found.
“Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect,” a condensed edition of this book was published in 1997 for the general public. His reincarnation research also became the focus of two major works, “Life Before Life: Children's Memories of Previous Lives,” written by Dr. Jim B. Tucker, a University of Virginia psychiatrist and “Old Souls: Compelling Evidence from Children Who Remember Past Lives,” written by Tom Shroder, a journalist at Washington Post. “European Cases of the Reincarnation Type,” is his second book on reincarnation and was published in 2003. Many people agree that the cases documented by Dr. Stevenson provide the best proof yet for the reincarnation theory.
Case Study Process
Dr. Stevenson noted that children who remembered their past lives often bore lasting birthmarks that allegedly related to the death they suffered in their previous lives. His research into congenital defects and birthmarks has played a great role in proving reincarnation as it provides vivid and objective evidence of reincarnation better than the often incomplete reports and memories of the adults and children questioned.
In many of his cases, Dr. Stevenson presented medical documents that are usually compiled after a person’s death as further evidence. After his investigation, only 30 to 60 percent of these abnormalities could be traced to birth defects that related to chemical causes, virus infections or genetic factors. The medical professional also has no other justification for the other 40 to 70 percent of the cases than that of sheer probability. As a result, around three-quarters of cases have matched the real case and described individuals were identified.
Cases that Support the Theory
Swarnlata MishraSwarnlata Mishra’s case is typical of Dr. Stevenson’s cases. Her memories started when she was three. Swarnlata gave enough information to let Dr. Stevenson find the family of the dead person she recalled. She also provided over 50 specific facts that were confirmed. Swarnlata’s memories didn’t fade, making her case unique from the others. She was born to a rich and intellectual family in Pradesh, India in 1948. When she was three, she provided all details about her life in Katni and said her name was Biya Pathak in the past and that she was a mother of two sons.
When she was 10 years old, Professor Sri H. N. Banerjee studied the case and took the notes made by Swarnlata’s father. He visited Katni to confirm if Swarnlata’s recollections could be confirmed and matched her claim with real data. Dr. Stevenson studied the case in 1961 and witnessed one of Swarnlata’s visits to the Pathak family. He noted the warm relationship between Swarnlata and the other family members. They accepted Swarnlata as Biya reborn.
Burmese ChildAnother case example was from a study of Burmese child girl and her recollection of the life of her deceased aunt who had passed away many years ago during a congenital heart disease operation. This child had a long, perpendicular linear hypopigmented birthmark near the middle of her upper abdomen and lower chest. This birthmark matched the surgical incision for the treatment of her aunt’s heart.
Burmese WomanThere was also a case about Burmese woman who was born with two circular birthmarks in her left chest that slightly overlapped. One was around half of the other's size. As a child, she recalled the life of a woman who was accidentally shot with a shotgun and died. An investigator reported that the shotgun cartridge held bullets of two different sizes.
These are some of the examples of reincarnation cases that attracted a lot of attention in the academic community and studies about this topic continue to grow. When all the evidence is taken together and reincarnation is viewed without any scientific or religious bias, one’s belief in reincarnation is not only justified, but it may also serve as the best explanation for the most solid cases.
Other Mentions of Reincarnation in the BibleMany people believe that reincarnation theory is a primarily Eastern idea and is not found in the Bible. However, the Book of Malachi (Malachi 4:5-6) in the Old Testament as well as in Matthew 11:14 have a reference to the future events. In these verses, God is speaking through Malachi, a famous prophet quoted by presidents, and saying that Elijah is going to come again. Malachi was already familiar with a concept of coming again of the soul and therefore God chose to speak through him about the future events.
ConclusionEven some skeptics agree that these cases are the best evidence to prove the possibility of reincarnation. The realization of the law of incarnation makes the soul come to grips with its own past deeds. As Jesus instructed us to be perfect as God the Father in heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Stories about reincarnation make us realize that there’s always a chance to improve ourselves, or even our lifestyle before the final and eternal judgment at the end of the universal cycle.
Proof of Reincarnation in Scientific Terms
4/ 5By July iNet