Without question reincarnation is one of the most misunderstood aspects of life among the majority of people – or at least those who believe in it in the first place.
Most people who do believe in reincarnation believe that the current personality which represents themselves on Earth now will return to the inner spheres for a time, for example the Astral, before deciding to return again in the “future” as another person.
What does reincarnation mean?
To answer this question about reincarnation we need to look at who we really are.
Our true Self is actually our “Higher Self” or “Soul”, Who is the total of all our experiences on Earth and in the Astral and then Mental worlds before reincarnation takes part with that particular “package” of experience. Each “package of experience” in a reincarnation enhances the Higher Self and therefore the entire Being that comprises the Higher Self – the soul.
It is the objective of the Higher Self to collect as much experience in a particular reincarnation, as necessary to move on from the cycle of sending “representatives” to Earth to collect experience, to much greater things, the likes of which are beyond the comprehension of most – everyone will, without exception, achieve these exalted states.
It is worth pointing out at this stage that the Higher Selfis a perfect reflection of the Universe – everything that occurs does so in the direction of experience, expansion and thereby perfection – this applies to every level of life from The Source all the way to individual expressions on Earth.
As we evolve, groups of Higher Selves get together to form Entities that empathetically cooperate to help evolution lower down the ladder, and so it is until eventually all Beings are just one single entity – The Source, The First Cause – God, the Logos.
Now the process of reincarnation can be related to a wheel – the wheel, along with the seed and fertile fields makes an excellent analogy for explaining sometimes difficult, conceptually, subjects to understand.
If we look at a wooden cart wheel, we see it has a hub at the centre, spokes radiating from the hub, eventually joining the outer rim of the wheel.
In this context the wheel represents the following:
Hub – the Higher Self Spokes – time lines relative to EarthRim – the physical Universe
The hub, the Higher Self is the total of all physical lives and “future” lives relative to Earth. It can be likened to the facets of a glittering rough diamond which becomes a perfect diamond once all of the facets have been polished – each physical life reincarnation adds a bit more polish to the diamond as a whole.
Each spoke represents an individual reincarnation experience which takes place by first starting at the rim, for example Earth, and then progresses back up each spoke eventually returning to the hub.
Now – before sending another personality down a spoke to arrive on Earth for another life, the Higher Self first needs to understand exactly what “package” of experience is required for a certain aspect of evolution and therefore perfection.
The Higher Self will then send a suitable personality down that spoke.
As you will remember, the rim is the planet Earth and the rim is also circular – this means that the Higher Self can send a personality down any spoke and arrive at any time-line in the history of Earth or any other planet in the physical Universe.
The Higher Self also chooses for the incarnation cycle which country, location and parents would best present the opportunities and experiences required for this particular “incarnation”. So the Higher Self could for example send a personality as a female in one incarnation, who will be born to a family of bakers living in London, England in the year 1862.
Another reincarnation personality of the Higher Self might be a male born to a doctor and his wife living in India in 1999.
Another personality might be a son born to a Saxon noble family of land owners in early medieval times and so on. It is important to understand that these personalities are not sent by the Higher Self sequentially, i.e. one at a time. All reincarnations of a human being take place concurrently, i.e simultaneously relative to the Higher Self – we only experience the illusion called “time” while here on Earth.
It is therefore possible for hundreds or even thousands of yourself to be living in the Astral all at the same time, although you might not know it. This is why the Astral is populated with countless trillions of people and beings from other planets living in the infinite Astral planes all at the same time.
The Astral planes are only transient however – they have been created by the Minds of Beings such as humans after what they experienced on Earth, believing it to be reality”.
The reality is that the Astral will dissipate once this phase of evolution of the Universe is complete, an eternal process, just as all illusions dissipate sooner or later.
The Astral worlds are not “home” or “heaven”, they are simply a necessary step for most people at this time on their way back to their own Higher Self with the package of information gained on Earth, then the Astral and then Mental realms of life and reality.
The spoke of each life passes through the Astral and Mental planes before reuniting with the hub of the Higher Self.
I hope that has provided some useful insight into this most important process.
The highest and most noble condition to aspire to and achieve on Earth is self-realization, at which the cycle of reincarnation is broken forever.
Unfortunately mankind has traveled a path for the last few thousand years at least that goes against achieving these objectives as materialism, self interest, service to self before service to others, fuelled by an uncontrolled ego, creed, dogma and indoctrination have ruled.
Time is running out as we approach the end of this great age, and everyone must make every effort to make maximum use of the time that remains – this is why you are here on this page by the way…
Scientific proofs for reincarnation !!!
If you’re like me, you probably have some doubts when amazing revelations come through hypnosis. It’s not that I doubt the truthfulness of subjects in the trance state, but the potential for the hypnotist to suggest ideas or manipulate the hypnotic experience always present. After all, the hypnotherapist is in control.
Thanks to the lifetime work of Dr. Ian Stevenson we can forget about hypnotic suggestions and possible manipulations of reincarnation stories. He realized that flaw in the research and avoided it completely. His research focused on the real memories of reincarnated children. He meticulously documented these memories, identified the actual person whose life was remembered, and compared the two.
Dr. Stevenson is no weird scientist. His 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.
He devoted the last 40 years of his life to the study of reincarntion, collecting data on more than 3000 cases. Scholars and skeptics agree that his work represents the best scientific proof of reincarnation.
Dr. Ian Stevenson’s studies with reincarnated children
Since the late 1960s Dr. Ian Stevenson, Carlson Professor of Psychiatry and Director or the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia, has documented cases in India, Africa, the Near and Far East, Britain, the United States, and elsewhere in which young children — some as young as 3 years old — have astonished their parents with precise details about the people they claim to have been in former lives. Some of these children have recognized former homes and neighborhoods as well as still-living friends and relatives. They have recalled events too, often including their violent deaths. Dr. Stevenson has even found that their birthmarks resemble scars that correspond to wounds that led to their previous deaths.
In his profession as a psychiatrist, Dr. Stevenson became dissatisfied with the methods used to help people. Traditional therapeutic theories attempt to understand a person’s personality and behavior in terms of their genetics — traits inherited from their family and parents — and their environment. He found many cases that did not seem to be a product of either factor and could not be explined. These cases are quite common: autism, phobias, savants, congenital deformities, irrational food preferences, as well as children who believe they were born the “wrong” gender.
The idea that these traits could be the result of past lives grew strong for Sr. Stevenson after he visited India in the late 1960s. The Asian culture does not readily dismiss such possibilities and so there were many cases which could be examined in detail. He quickly learned that reports from adults, claiming to jave had prior lives, were useless in trying to document reincarnation. In fact, after the age of 5 years old, the subconscious is already so active that imagination can not easily be ruled out as a source of past life memories. Dr. Stevenson decided to pursue only cases involving very young (3 to 5 years old) children.
“It’s so much easier to be confident about the amount of information a small child might have learned, especially one living in an Asian village. I saw how fascinating and valuable these cases were. Obviously children are too young to have absorbed a great deal of information, especially about deceased people in some distant town. In the better cases, they couldn’t have known about them … in India, many of which involve long distances, twenty-five to fifty kilometers or more, with no contact between the villages … Often the child has quite precise details.”
We’ll summarize a good example of one of these cases below. But Dr. Stevenson has also been interested in children with unusual abilities or talents, that do not appear to be either genetic or enironmentally induced. He suspects that this is a strong indication of reincarnation.
“It’s easy to see environmental influences, say, with such composers as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, all of whose fathers were fine musicians. But what about George Frederic Handel? His family had no discernible interest in music; his father even sternly discouraged it. Or take the cases of Elizabeth Fry, the prison reformer, and Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Both had to fight for their chosen callings from childhood onward. One can find endless examples that are difficult to explain given our current theories. But if one accepts the possibility of reincarnation, one can entertain the idea that these children are demonstrating strong likes, dislikes, skills, and even genius that are the logical results of previous experiences. I have found some children with skills that seem to be carried over from a previous life.”
In an interview with Dr. Stevenson, the magazine Omni (1989) asked about his study of birthmarks or congenital deformities. From his research, it appeared that these were sometimes related to injuries sustained by the individual in the former life! He had gathered a significant amount of proof to maintain this claim.
“I would be particularly interested if a child has a large birthmark or a congenital malformation. I’ve reported on a case of a child who claimed to have been his own paternal grandfather and had two pigmented moles in the same spots on his body that his grandfather did. It’s said in such instances that genetics is responsible. But one wonders why the one grandchild in ten who had the moles claimed to remember his grandfather’s life. Or take congenital malformations: Children born with deformed limbs — or even without fingers, toes, and hands — have claimed to remember being murdered and state that the murderer had removed these fingers, toes, or hands during the killing…
[left:] Hypopigmented macule on chest of an Indian youth who, as a child, said he remembered the life of a man, Maha Ram, who was killed with a shotgun fired at close range. [right:] The circles show the principal shotgun wounds on Maha Ram, drawn from the autopsy report of the deceased. Many more examples can be found in Birthmarks and Birth Defects by Dr. Ian Stevenson.
The theme of violent death comes up frequently in Dr. Stevenson’s work. He has found 61% of his cases report having died violently. This was also true for Dr. Helen Wambach’s cases. It appears that children often remember the final years of their previous life. Those who suffered are likely to recall a horrific end more so than if the prior life was mundane and quiet. Also similar to Dr. Wambach’s cases, Dr. Stevenson found that reincarnations happened quickly — often within 15 months of a violent or unexpected death.
Psychological Problems from Past Lives — Dr. Roger Woolger
No discussion of reincarnation would be complete without mention of Dr. Roger Woolger, author of Other Lives, Other Selves. He’s a British Jungian analyst and past lives therapist who has concentrated on the studies of hoe past life and death experiences impact the present physical and psychological states. He does this in a rather unusual way.
Carl Jung, the famous psychanalyst, devised a method for gaining access to his patient’s unconscious mind. He theorized that there was a mental process going on below our conscious awareness and that this hidden process was constantly monitoring our activity, persuading us to do certain things or to make certain decisions. It also could become obsessed with ideas that would make us do strange things without knowing exactly why.
In traditional psychotherapy, the analyst tries to get the patient to understand these hidden unconscious motives and to express them. Once they are known to the patient, they have less power to control their conscious lives. But the trick is knowing how to discover what is so effectively hidden deep in our minds.
Jung devised a method whereby he would ask his subjects to reply with the first thoughts that came to mind after he said a particular word or phrase. For example, if he said the word “apple”, the patient might quickly reply with “pie.” It’s called the “word association test” and it works in a clever way. First, it assumes that the unconscious mind will try to hide its honest reaction to the stimulus word if it is something it feels strongly about. It will quickly censor its spontaneous association and substitute a neutral response. But this censorship takes time and so the response will be delayed. Jung actually used a stopwatch and timed the responses. By reviewing the stimulus words that elicited a delayed response, Jung began to understand the nature of the unconscious dilema.
Dr. Woolger uses a similar approach.
“I use highly charged phrases to provoke an inner psychodrama of imagery. For example, I get someone to repeat a phrase like ‘I’m never going to see him again’, or ‘Theyre coming to get me’, or ‘Nobody cares about me’, or ‘I’ve done something terrible.’ These are very very simple phrases, but they act like a fish hook for the inconscious and they bring up personal stories very quickly…I talk to the person in depth, to understand their life patterns and issues, listening, as a therapist, for specific themes. It’s how an astrologer would look at someone’s chart and say ‘This person has an issue around power, or abandonment, or health and their body.’ The astrologer would tune in from the horoscope. I tune in from the interview.””
In his work, Dr. Woolger has discovered that many ailments can be attributed to past lives that express themselves metaphorically. For example, people suffering from back pain could be carrying too much guilt from some previous life; sinusitis could be a failure to grieve about something; neck pain could be the result of being hanged.
A psychological complex is a life-long problem with a certain theme. Sometimes this complex can be expressed as a phobia — an irrational fear — and Dr. Woolger believes these can be the result of past life conflicts. Jung said that a comlplexarises where we have suffered a defeat. Woolger believes the last thoughts at the time of death can imprint upon the soul and dominate the next life. He calls this the “life script” and gives examples of potential complexes:
- “It’s not safe to go out in the world” — could indicate an accidental death.
- “I’m not good enough” — could be the result of a serious failure.
“It’s all my fault” — could come from a catastrophic error.
“You didn’t protect me” — could indicate dying suddenly as a child and feeling abandoned by parents who are supposed to protect them.
As Dr. Woolger puts it,
“The heightened consciousness that occurs at death imprints with exaggerated intensity the dying thoughts, feelings, or sensations on whatever we call the vehicle that transfers our essence from one lifetime to another.”
Sweet Swarnlata: A Case from Dr. Ian Stevenson
Swarnlata’s memories began when she was 3 years old. She gave enough information to enable Dr. Stevenson to locate the family of the deceased person that she remembered (the case was “solved”), and she gave more than 50 specific facts that were verified. But Swarnlata’s case was different from most because her memories did not fade as she aged.
Swarnlata Mishra was born to an intellectual and prosperous family in Pradesh in India in 1948. When she was just three years old and traveling with her father past the town of Katni more than 100 miles from her home, she suddenly pointed and asked the driver to turn down a road to “my house”, and suggested they could get a better cup of tea there than they could on the road.
Soon after, she related more details of her life in Katni, all of which were written down by her father. She said her name was Biya Pathak, and that she had two sons. She gave details of the house: it was white with black doors fitted with iron bars; four rooms were stuccoed, but other parts were less finished; the front floor was of stone slabs. She located the house in Zhurkutia, a district of Katni; behind the house was a girl’s school, in front was a railway line, and lime furnaces were visible from the house. She added that the family had a motor car (a very rare item in India in the 1950’s, and especially before Swarnlata was born). Swarnlata said Biya died of a “pain in her throat”, and was treated by Dr. S. C. Bhabrat in Jabalpur. She also remembered an incident at a wedding when she and a friend had difficulty finding a latrine.
In the spring of 1959, when Swarnlata was 10 years old, news of the case reached Professor Sri H. N. Banerjee, an Indian researcher of paranormal phenomenon and colleague of Dr. Stevenson. Banerjee took the notes her father made and traveled to Katni to determine if Swarnlata’s memories could be verified.
Using nothing more than the description that Swarnlata had given, he found the house — despite the house having been enlarged and improved since 1939 when Biya died. It belonged to the Pathak’s (a common name in India), a wealthy, prominent family, with extensive business interests. The lime furnaces were on land adjoining the property; the girls school was 100 yards behind the Pathak’s property, but not visible from the front.
He interviewed the family and verified everything Swarnlata had said. Biya Pathak had died in 1939 leaving behind a grieving husband, two young sons, and many younger brothers. These Pathaks had never heard of the Mishra family, who lived a hundred miles away; the Mishra’s had no knowledge of the Pathak family.
The next scene in this story sounds like a plot from Agatha Christie, but is all true, extracted from Dr. Stevenson’s tabulations in Swarnlata’s published case. In the summer of 1959, Biya’s husband, son, and eldest brother journeyed to the town of Chhatarpur, the town where Swarnlata now lived, to test Swarnlata’s memory. They did not reveal their identities or purpose to others in the town, but enlisted nine townsmen to accompany them to the Mishar home, where they arrived unannounced.
Swarnlata immediately recognized her brother and called him “Babu”, Biya’s pet name for him. Stevenson gives only the barest facts, but I can imagine the emotions ran high at this point. Imagine how Babu felt to be recognized immediately by his dead sister reborn.
Ten-year-old Swarnlata went around the room looking at each man in turn; some she identified as men she knew from her town, some were strangers to her. Then she came to Sri Chintamini Pandey, Biya’s husband. Swarnlata lowered her eyes, looked bashful — as Hindu wives do in the presence of their husbands — and spoke his name. Dr. Stevenson says nothing of Sri Pandey’s reaction at finding his wife after twenty years. Swarnlata also correctly identified her son from her past life, Murli, who was 13 years old when Biya died. But Murli schemed to mislead her, and “for almost twenty-four hours insisted against her objections that he was not Murli, but someone else.” Murli had also brought along a friend and tried to mislead Swarnlata once again by insisting he was Naresh, Biya’s other son, who was about the same age as this friend. Swarnlata insisted just as strongly that he was a stranger.
Finally, Swarnlata reminded Sri Pandey that he had stolen 1200 rupees Biya kept in a box. Sri Pandey admitted to the truth of this very private act that only he and his wife had known.
In the following years, Swarnlata visited the Pathak family at regular intervals. Dr. Stevenson investigated the case in 1961, witnessing one of these visits. He observed the loving relationship between Swarnlata and the other members of the family. They all accepted this 10 year old as Biya reborn.
[Above taken from the case notes of Dr. Stevenson]
When asked once if it wasn’t a disadvantage to remember a previous life, Dr. Stevenson replied,
“Oh. I think so. These children become embroiled in divided loyalties. In many cases children have rejected their parents, saying they are not their real parents and have often started down the road toward their so-called real homes. In other cases, they insist on being reunited with their former husbands, wives, or children.”
Reincarnation Evidence: Stevenson’s Research
The fact that these cases are not brought out by hypnosis and often are not entirely beneficial to the person claiming to have been reincarnated only lends credibility to their memories.
Little James Leininger’s Story — Soul Survivor
James Leininger was not yet 2 years old when he began to have terrible nightmares. His parents knew he would outgrow them, but his screams frightened them. When they would come to his bedside, they often found him on his back, kicking his legs in the air and thrashing his arms — as if he were trying to escape from an imaginary box. He would also yell some garbled words that his parents could not understand.
When he was three, his Mom heard the words more clearly. “Airplane crash. On fire! Little man can’t get out!”
James had played with toy airplanes but he had never fantasized about them crashing or burning. He wasn’t exposed to war movies on television or in the cinema. His parents were puzzled. The boy’s nightmares seem to have started shortly after his father took him to visit a Dallas flight museum, containing some vintage aircraft, when the boy was just 18 months old. But why?
As his fascination with airplanes continued, so did his nightmares. His parents bought him more toy model airplanes to play with, thinking he would soon find other interests. They noticed that when he approached his toy sit-down airplane, he would perform a walk-around inspection before he got in — just like a real pilot. Once his mother gave him a model with what appeared to be a bomb on the underside. When she pointed this out to her son he immediately corrected her, telling her it was a “drop tank.”
“I’d never heard of a drop tank … I didn’t know what a drop tank was.” — Andrea Leininger
When James was a little more than three years old, his parents decided to take him to a therapist who specialized in treating troubled children. Almost immediately his nightmares started to diminish. James was encouraged to talk about the things he remembered just before bedtime, when he was relaxed and sleepy. It was then that his surprising story started to be revealed.
Among the amazing things little James told his parents was that he was a pilot and flew a Corsair airplane. According to James, “They used to get flat tires all the time.” He also recalled being assigned to a ship called “Natoma” and that he had been “shot down” by the Japanese in the battle of Iwo Jima! He further recalled that he had served with a buddy named “Jack Larson.”
All of this was too much for his parents to comprehend so they decided to see if this story had any factual basis. Almost immediately James’ father, Bruce, found that a Corsair was indeed a type of airplane used in the Pacific during WWII and that it didhave a reputation for blowing tires when it landed hard! He later found the record of a small aircraft carrier, Natoma Bay, that was in the battle of Iwo Jima! But the most remarkable fact was that there was a pilot named Jack Larson who served on the Natoma Bay. In fact, Larson was still alive and living in nearby Arkansas.
About this time James began to draw pictures of his airplane and of being shot down. The fact that he was both drawing and talking about these memories seemed to eliminate his nightmares.
Bruce quickly contacted Jack Larson and was informed that the only pilot shot down from the crew of the Natoma Bay was named James M. Huston Jr., who had received a direct hit and crashed in a ball of fire. Bruce says it was then that he believed his son had a past life in which he was this same James M. Huston Jr.
“He came back because he wasn’t finished with something.”
The Leiningers wrote a letter to Huston’s sister, Anne Barron, about their little boy. Now she believes it as well. In all there are over 50 distinct memories that have been validated i n this exceptional case of reincrnation.
“The child was so convincing in coming up with all the things that there is no way on the world he could know.”
An Interesting Side Note: Astrological Confirmation?
Walden Welch is an Astrologer who was asked to check the horoscopes of both little James Leininger and the dead WWI pilot, James M. Huston, Jr. Welch was already a believer of reincarnation and was aware that there were some unusual alignments observed between reincarnating souls. But he also recalled many hoaxes and was leary of getting involved in this case. Nevertheless, since the request came from a friend and Director of Events at the A.R.E. (also known as The Edgar Cayce Foundation), he agreed to investigate.
“Walden, have you heard about the little boy who recalls his previous life as an Air Force Pilot and who was shot down and killed by the Japanese during World War 11? His parents have written me and asked if you might look into the boy’s horoscope and give your professional opinion as to what your findings are regarding this matter … In your opinion, are the persons of James Huston and James Leininger one and the same? The boy was born on April 10, 1998 at 6:00 PM, Good Friday in San Mateo, CA. The pilot he claims to be was named James Huston, born October 22, 1923, in South Bend, Indiana. No birth time available. The family is eager to hear your astrological evaluation regarding this matter and I will forward whatever you have to say on to them should you care to reply.”
Walden was familiar with the readings on reincarnation and astrology given by the great American psychic Edgar Cayce. Although he was a clairvoyant and not an astrologer, Cayce did hundreds of readings in which astrology was mentioned.
“Cayce said that whatever the Sun’s position was in one’s prior lifetime is usually the Moon’s position in the next incarnation and the Moon’s position in the past lifetime experience becomes the Sun position in the new incarnation. This pattern is typical of the planetary pattern when an individual dies before completing a full life time, as would be the case in accidental death. Otherwise, for a fully lived life, when the bodily death occurs wherever the Sun and Moon positions were upon the day of death become the Sun and Moon Signs in the next incarnation. This sounds like a real brain twister, but in truth, the process is very simplistic … so simplistic, in fact, that I could not help but doubt the validity of these Readings and I did not expect it to work. This planetary pattern would be almost comparable to an ink blot, taking one page of paper on which the inkblot has been printed and pressing it upon another. It is much like a mirror’s reflection of itself.” — Walden Welch
Statistical Proof from Dr. Wambach
People who claim to have lived prior lives have always seemed fake to me. Too often they claim to have been someone famous, like an Egyptian Pharaoh, Napoleon or Joan of Ark. Certainly, if reincarnation is real, it is not limited to the rich and famous.
I was surprised that someone else had addressed this obvious flaw. Her name was Dr. Helen Wambach and she set about to prove how foolish the whole idea of reincarnation was by conducting a scientific investigation of her own in the 1960s.
Dr. Wambach questioned 1088 white, middle class subjects from California while they were under hypnosis. The subjects were asked to regress to a former life. If this was successful, they were told to remember everything when they awoke from their hypnotic state.
Not satisfied to just ask who they were or when they lived, Dr. Wambach also made them describe their status, gender, race, clothing, footwear, utensils, tools they used, their money, housing and even the food they ate!
The subjects frequently reported viewing the former lives much like watching a movie. They said they could experience whatever the individual experienced in that particular time. They heard ancient languages but did not understand them. The full details of their experiences were recorded both during and after the sessions. Never before had past life inquiries been that specific or involved such a large population. The results of her 10 years of research surprised everyone.
The detailed reports were thoroughly investigated to see if they corresponded with historical facts. In all but 11 cases (less than 1%), the descriptions were totally accurate. Some of the results are as follows:
- 50.6 % of the past lives reported were male and 49.4 % were female — this is exactly in accordance with biological fact.
- The reported class or status was exactly the same proportion as the estimates of historians of the specific period of the former life.In general, this was approximately 10% upper class, 20-35% from the middle class and the remaining 55-70% from the lower class. Although the proportion of middle class was higher around 1000 BC, the proportion later dropped and increased again after 1700 AD.
- The recall by subjects of clothing, footwear, type of food and utensils used was better than that in popular history books. She found over and over again that her subjects knew better than most historians — when she went to obscure experts her subjects were invariably correct.A subject who lived around 1000 B.C in Egypt described different types of clothing worn by the upper and lower classes. The upper classes wore either a half-length or full-length white cotton robe. The lower classes wore something like an exotic-looking type of pants that was wrapped downwards from the waist. The researchers viewed historic records of clothing worn during the respective periods and could therefore compare it to the descriptions of these subjects. The descriptions were found to be correct.
- Between 60-77% of the ancient population lived at or below the poverty level. They wore home made clothes and lived in simple, even primitive, abodes. The majority were farmers who labored every day in the fields. None of the hypnotized individuals recalled being a famous historical figure. Those who recalled a high social position seemed highly dissatisfied with their lives, as if it was a burden to be alive. Those who recalled being a farmer or a member of a primitive tribe appeared to be content.
- Their recollections were from different geographic areas and races during their prior life. Dr. Wambach divided them into several categories: Caucasians, Asians, Indians, Blacks and Middle Eastern descent.Around 2000 BC, only 20% of the subjects reported that they were Caucasians. They lived widely dispersed throughout what is now known as the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Europe and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc., called the central steppe during historical times).
Five subjects stated that they lived in Central Asia between 1000 and 2000 BC. They recalled living in tents, which was common to the migrating population of that region. Amazingly, they found themselves to have white skin color and yellow or golden hair! At first, this didn’t appear to be historically accurate as Asian people should have black hair and darker skin. However, recent discoveries of mummified corpses along the ancient Spice Route have shown that there were indeed light skinned and blond haired people!
- Eating habits of people who lived around 500 B. C. were not that bad. Twenty percent of the subjects recalled that they ate poultry and sheep meat. However, between A.D. 25 to A.D. 1200, people’s eating habits were rather poor. The subjects recalled that the food was tasteless. One young man said: “I will never bad-mouth McDonald’s food”. It is not surprising that those who recalled the best tasting food were those who remembered a prior life in China.
- Among all the subjects, 62% died of old age and illness, 18% percent died violently during war, or some other manmade catastrophe and the remaining 20% died in accidents. Many of the prior lives ended during the two world wars, as well as civil wars in Asian countries. Thus, these people reincarnated shortly after they died. We will see more evidence for this in our next striking example.Surprisingly, Dr. Wambach found that 69% of the subjects who had died during the 1850’s were Caucasians, while between 1900 and 1945, only 40% were Caucasian. It seems that transmigration of the different races increased after 1945. This is still not understood
Dr. Wambach went on to publish her findings in Reliving Past Lives: The Evidence Under Hypnosis and Life Before Life (1984). Although she began her work as a skeptic, she would later write,
“…Fantasy and genetic memory could not account for the patterns that emerged in the results. With the exception of 11 subjects, all descriptions of clothing, footwear, and utensils were consistent with historical records…”
And in later interviews, she stated,
“I don’t believe in reincarnation — I know it!”
The Strange Case of Captain Robert Snow
Robert Snow avoided using psychics in his police work. The idea was totally lame to him and after 35 years on the force he wouldn’t even talk seriously to anyone about it. But a buddy “dared” him to go to a past life regression therapist and explore the “unknown.” At first he agreed but then put it off for as long as he could. He was quite sure that his mind was too strong and would never allow him to be hypnotized. But he was wrong. Soon after sitting on the couch of Dr. Mariellen Griffith, a psychtherapist with 15 years of experience, Snow was experiencing visions of his former lives.
The Strange Case of Captain Robert Snow
Reincarnation Evidence: Stevenson’s Research
Many people who are exposed to scientific proof of this phenomenon worry that it conflicts with their faith and so they are hesitant to seriously consider its validity.
Since the majority of American and European readers of this series are likely Christians, it was my plan to cite some Biblical passages and parables that endorsed reincarnation. But in doing my research into Judaism — after all Jesus was a Jew — I realized this was a better place to start. Implicit in the story of Jesus and his teachings are the traditions and beliefs of Judiasm. And even deeper lie the teachings of Jewish mystics whose foundation is the belief in reincarnation.
Reincarnation in Judaism — Rabbi Gershom
Rabbi Yonassan Gershom is a Hasidic Jew and author of Beyond the Ashes — Cases of Reincarnation from the Holocaust. Hasitism is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality and joy through Jewish mysticism. This very ancient mystic tradition is based on the Talmud and the teachings of the more recent Kabbala.
The purpose and method of reincarnation, as it would have been understood by Jesus and his followers, is described by Rabbi Gershom:
“The goal is to remain in the spiritual world — to return to The Garden of Eden, that is our metaphor. Once the soul has reached that exalted pinnacle it no longer needs to return to this earth to learn its karmic lessons. Judaism preaches that these elevated beings return voluntarily, sometimes for thousands of incarnations, in order to help the rest of mankind. They are called Zaddakim or ‘righteous holy ones’. While some Zaddikim are openly recognized, some come to this earth as ordinary human beings and do their work in disguise, as it were. It is said that there are at least thirty-six hidden Jewish saints on this earth, leading exemplary lives and helping the world turn on its axis.”
Peronally, Rabbi Gershom spent most of his time helping reincarnated Holocaust victims who, because of their sudden and traumatic death experiences, had myriad problems adjusting in their new lives. Although there are many cases involving Jews, the Rabbi concentrated on studying survivors who had reincarnated as Gentiles (non-Jews). He believed those were more convincing — especially when the cases involved a children who had not been exposed to the history or tradition of Jewish culture.
Often these children experienced terrible nightmares in which they were separated from their mothers, made to live in wooden sheds and even burned or buried alive. One child would scream and pat himself with his hands in an attempt to extinguish flames on his clothes. Other children recalled in vivid details how they looked up from a ditch at the black boots and guns of soldiers who covered their face with dirt.
Some children and adults exhibited strange behaviors. One young child would refused to drink milk if the glass were placed on the same table as meat, but he readily accepted juice or water. When his parents tried to force him to drink the milk he would throw the glass on the floor. This was later discovered to be carry-over from his past kosher habits. Some adults experienced terror at the sight of barbed wire, or could not stay in a crowded train station without experiencing extreme panic. Rabbi Gersham documented more than a thousand such cases — and again, these were non-Jews with little knowledge of Jewish history or culture.
Good life & Bad life
Rabbi Gershom believed, as do Hindus and Buddhists, that it is possible to be reborn in a higher or lower position, depending on how the previous lives were lived. But he said the Jews had a slightly different teaching on this.
“In our teaching it is said that the core group at the Covenant of Sanai always come back as Jews, and that it is a step backwards on the spiritual ladder to be born as a non-Jew. Of course there are some individuals who wander in and out of Judaism but there are those souls who are like lighthouses, that are always there specializing and learning one path very deeply for many incarnations.Personally, I believe the that the trauma of the Holocaust has driven many Jews from their own religion to seek other spiritual paths. They died thinking, ‘If I am being starved and tortured and persecuted because of my religion, then I do not want to be a Jew any more. In their suffering and haste to come back they grabbed the first body they could get. But their souls are still Jewish.”
The concept of reincarnation in Hebrew is called gilgul, gilgul neshamot or gilgulei ha neshamot. In Hebrew, the word gilgul means “cycle.” Neshamot is the plural for “souls.”
The Rabbi tells of five levels to the soul and he defines them as follows:
- 1. nefesh – the biological life force of the body
- 2. ruach – the lower emotional spirit or ‘ego’ – the mind
- 3. nashamah – the individual higher consciousness – higher self
- 4. chayah – the collective unconscious of the souls group
- 5. yechida – the supreme consciousness, unity with God
Levels one and two do not survive death because they rely upon the physical body (brain). But level 3, the nashamah, does survive death and can be consciously developed. It is this level of soul that can remember, between lives, our past incarnations and which helps us choose our next life situation.
Souls “cycle” through “lives” or “incarnations.” These souls attach themselves to different bodies — human and nonhuman — over time. The most basic component of the soul — called the nefesh — is always part of the gilgul process. It must leave the physical body at the stage of death but it then moves into another body where life has begun. This is the “cycling of souls.”
Level 4, the chayah, is a collective soul that we share with our fellow karmic group — simiar to Carl Jung’s collective unconscious — while level 5, the yechida, is where we are united with God.
Like Buddhists, Jews believe in a kind of karma which is projected forward in time and will effect the situation of future lives depending on the lessons and development that are needed to attain the perfection of the soul and escape the cycle of rebirth.
It should be obvious that the Jewish belief and tradition on reincarnation was well known to Jesus and his followers. The confusion comes because the narratives about Jesus and his teachings were written after his death, at a time when there was both persecution and internal power struggles of the new Christian religion.
The focus of Jesus’ teachings were on the prophesied and imminent “second coming” — a time when early Christians believed that Jesus would return in glory and liberate the souls and bodies from their graves. Prolonged reincarnations would, theoretically, not be needed.
There was also the need to consolidate the church’s power and legitimize the authority of the hierarchy. This was done by establishing a doctrine of beliefs concerning the identity and nature of Jesus and solidifying the interpretations of his teachings. The powerful Christian church was also used by Roman politicians to control their citizens.
Prior to 325 AD, Jesus was viewed by many intellectuals as a very high prophet — a Zaddikim — and was considered to be a mortal man who had been reincarnated to reveal the spiritual relationship between humans and their Creator (Father). His teachings were an extension of Judiasm. Indeed, for the first 150 years after his death, the followers of Jesus held their religious services in the Jewish temple and observed many of the Jewish traditions. Jesus’ teachings, however, undermined the necessity for priests and allowed a direct relationship between man and God. The temple authorities were soon threatened by this and the new Christians became an autonomous group.
What did Jesus say about reincarnation?
Many scriptures are often cited to support the belief in reincarnation during Jesus’ time on earth.
“And as he was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who has sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” Jesus answered, ‘Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents, but the works of God were to be made manifest in him.'” (John 9:1)
This clearly shows that reincarnation and “karma” were well known concepts. Although Jesus does not elaborate on reincarnation in this passage, neither does he condemn the belief or correct them.
In the following passage, the deciples ask Jesus about Elias, who is long dead.
“And the disciples asked him, saying, ‘Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ But he answered them and said, ‘Elijah indeed is to come and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also shall the Son of Man suffer at their hand.’ Then the disciples understood that he had spoken of John the Baptist.” (Matthew 17:10-13)
This implies that the soul of Elias was reincarnated as John the Baptist! So what happened to reincarnation in Christianity?
Reincarnation is outlawed
Around 250 AD, a brilliant theologian named Origen understood the teachings of Jesus and wrote about the pre-existence of the soul. He taught that the soul’s very source was God (the Father) and that the soul was traveling back to oneness with God via the lessons learned in multiple lives. He taught that Christ came to show us what we can become — on our own, without the need of an organized religion or church.
These views were precisely those that Jesus had taught, but they soon became a huge threat to the Roman Empire, which was desperately trying to use the Christian church to maintain its political control over the population. If there was no need for the church and its priests, then the people would be difficult to control and tax.
By 325 AD, the Council of Nicea effectively discouraged belief in reincarnation, but Origen’s writings continued to be popular among those seeking clarification about the nature of Christ, the destiny of the soul and the manner of the resurrection.
Some of the more educated monks had taken Origen’s ideas and were using them in mystical practices with the aim of becoming one with God. But the mass of ignorant Christians could not understand these concepts and insisted on interpreting the “final resurrection” as meaning that one’s old and buried body would be re-animated. They claimed Origen’s ideas were heretical and reincarnation was eventually condemned in 545 AD by the actions of Emperor Justinian and his control over the Fifth General Council of the Church.
It was all over then.
Church politics notwithstanding, mystics in the Christian Church continue to practice divinization. They follow Origen’s ideas, and are still seeking union with God. They wait for a time when Christianity will become the religion of Jesus and not the religion about Jesus.
While most people think of reincarnation as a dogma of religion or an interesting philosophy, the Buddhist monks in Tibet have developed it into a science.
This ancient and isolated Himalayan community has a tradition of contemplating and recording the aspects of human consciousness. Buddha, himself, began these thought experiments as a means of understanding human suffering. He discovered that our misery comes from our reluctance to accept change and our emotional attachment to both situations and material objects. Buddha understood that change is an inevitable process with time and he devised a method for detaching oneself, mentally and emotionally, from transient phenomenon.
Detachment and Meditation: Who’s Watching Who?
Tibetan Buddhism is a bit different from the usual philosophy of “dry detachment” from the world. The teachings incorporate an attachment to one thing which is the foundation of the universe — compassion. They seek the goal of enlightenment not for their personal accomplishment or mastery — but so that they will be able to likewise liberate all sentient beings from their suffering. This grand goal is accomplished through good works and meditation.
In Tibetan Buddhism, meditation is not merely thinking about “nothing”, as some people have written. It’s much more complicated process with definite goals.
It was explained to me as follows:
Imagine you are an actor on stage, performing a very emotional role in a play. To be convincing, you must believe, at that moment, that you are actually the character you are portraying. You must try to feel the emotion of the drama and express your reaction. But somewhere inside of you, at the same time, you know that you are an actor. The performance you are giving is not real.
Relate that same phenomenon to yourself right now. You are reading this web page and you have a pretty good idea about who you are — your identity. Yet, it is possible to step back from this in meditation and become the person who is observing yourself.
As I have aged, I have watched my hair turn white and my face change. I noticed that I think about life and the world in different ways, from my accumulated experience and wisdom. Yet there is part of me that has not changed — it has been consistently there, through the good and bad, watching my life as if it were some play.
I’m told that Tibetan Buddhism encourages one to go even deeper into consciousness, to where exists the person watching the person who is watching the person who is watching one’s life. This is not as easy as it seems. The various personae of consciousness define our understanding of reality and they are not easily shed. But when they are, we discover who the “actor” really is; and with this awakening from our “character” we can voluntarily control our role in the drama of life and death. We can stop being an actor or we can define our character.
In Tibetan Buddhism these levels of consciousness are called the truth body orDharmakaya, the enjoyment body or Sambhogakaya and the emanating body orNirmanakaya. Ironically, you must thoroughly understand and use each of these levels of consciousness to be free from them. And it is often the case that the harder you try to be free, the more they tempt you to resist this liberation. It is often quoted that Buddha said,
“Use yourself to conquer yourself.”
Traditionally, the metaphor used to describe our normal consciousness is a dream, and the arrival at the primal consciousness is spoken of as “awakening.” This view is carried through one of the most famous works in Tibetan Buddhism, The Book of The Dead orBardo. This a an ancient text designed to actually be read aloud at the time of death, so that the dying soul can hear and be reminded of his real nature. I’ll include a short video of the Bardo here:
Tibetan Buddhists differ from other sects in that they believe in both reincarnation, which applies only to one who has gained control of their future life and rebirth, where a person is reborn according to their life’s moral accomplishments and karma. The latter can have many possibilities — both good and bad.
The Wheel of Life [above] is driven by karma at the time of death. A lifetime of good and bad decisions creates a set of experiences that are either beneficial or detrimental to the attainment of enlightenment. The quality and nature of one’s next rebirth is designed to modify these traits and advance towards that goal.
If one was a cruel person, one might expect to endure cruelty in the next life. If one were a kind and compassionate person, one might be reborn in a position to use their virtues to help others. A lifetime cannot be judged as a single entity. Each life is like one frame in a movie. And like a movie, our spiritual journey has actors, a plot and an ending.
Tantric Rules for a better rebirth
Very few of us will ever have the opportunity to run away to a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. But we can benefit from their philosophy of life. I like to think that, since they have already done all the hard work of fasting, meditating and debating, we can look at what they have discovered. Surprisingly, it sounds familiar to the golden rule, but it contains details that are even more specific.
I will show some of the rules of the so-called Tantric path here. These are designed to improve your rebirth and advance your enlightenment:
- It’s best to learn about enlightenment from someone who has already started along the path. They will know about the difficulties that you will encounter when you start to withdraw from your normal, materially involved life. You really cannot get everything from books.
- Wake up! Realize that you are alive and this is your opportunity to work on your REAL self. Seriously, take a moment to actually realize that you exist and what that means.
- Try to see the good and bad side in everything. Even things that you detest have something good in them. Hateful people and acts will be a challenge but you must learn to see that they have some goodness inside that you can recognize. Along with this comes forgiveness.The picture on the [right] is Mahakala. It represents the wrathful form of death. Yes, death is often seen as bad — maybe the worst thing that can happen to a person — yet it is also good. Death liberates us from the suffering of life and offers a new opportunity to advance to enlightenment, when we will be fully awake and realize who we are.With people, it helps to remember that each person is working out some problem in their current life. We may not understand what it is, but hopefully they will and it will serve as a lesson for either them, or someone they hurt. In this big “play” of lifetimes there are protagonists and antagonists — both are necessary to enable the victim and the perpetrator to work out their karma.Remember in our earlier narrative of the blind man, Jesus said that he was born blind so that, in effect, Jesus could demonstrate his ability to cure him! Was his blindness good or bad?
“And as he was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who has sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?” Jesus answered, ‘Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents, but the works of God were to be made manifest in him.'” (John 9:1)
- Recognize that all beings (including animals) are precious and part of our family. You may want to stop eating meat… or you could consider that the animal was sacrificed to advance its own karma.
- Always try to show kindness to others — especially when it is not easy to do so. This means being kind to people who insult you or show disrespect. It is a good way to minimize your ego and attachment to your transient personna.
- Understand that everyone just wants to be happy. We are all basically the same inside. Often miserable or hateful people are that way because they have shut out love and compassion. Maybe they have been hurt in the past. But they need to be happy, so try to understand their condition and break through their barriers. Show them it is alright to trust and experience joy.
- Avoid thinking that you are special or more important than anyone else. Repeat: Avoid thinking that you are special or more important than anyone else.
- “Walk in another’s shoes…” by this is meant that you should exchange problems with someone else and try to experience their pain, fears and needs. Imagine how you can give them some happiness and act on it.
- Develop compassion. This is the most important goal. It will motivate all the others listed here.
- Share your good fortune with others. Remember that your fortune was likely the result of your previous compassion and karma. But with this fortune comes the need to use it to help others along their path to enlightenment. Ease their suffering with food or material needs, share your intellect by teaching or comforting, share your love by giving it to the unlovable.
- Do not identify with your ego. If you do good works, don’t expect or anticipate recognition or even personal satisfaction. You do good because you are good.
I hope you are beginning to see some similarities in the view of many different religions with regards to reincarnation. The topic is too vast to cover in detail on any single page, let alone an article like this. For learn more about this and the spiritual world you can go to our website at http://GuideAngel.com