There are billions of people who believe in reincarnation – millions who read books like:
Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives
& hundreds of thousands who describe near death experiences or remembering past lives.
This is one of many topics I will address in my next book, tentatively titled:
Despite the orthodox view that we live once and that life and death in this form of existence are not repeated in numerous cycles of learning… even some devout Christians interpret the Bible to conclude that Jesus believed in reincarnation:
“According to the Bible Jesus believed in reincarnation. He was convinced that Elijah had already reincarnated again. Matthew and Luke tell us that he thought that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elijah.
This belief is based on Malachi 4:5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.”
The Bible is explicit on this:
Mark 9:11 They asked Him, saying, “Why is it that the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 12 And He said to them, “Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 “But I say to you that Elijah has indeed come, and they did to him whatever they wished, just as it is written of him.”
Matthew 11:14 “And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.
Matthew 17:10 And His disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.”
“The first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote that the Pharisees, the Jewish sect that founded rabbinic Judaism to which Paul once belonged, believed in reincarnation. He writes that the Pharisees believed the souls of evil men are punished after death. The souls of good men are “removed into other bodies” and they will “have power to revive and live again.” Josephus records that the Essenes of the Dead Sea Scrolls lived “the same kind of life” as the followers of Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher who taught reincarnation.”
But beliefs and religious views vary greatly between various sects of Jews, Greeks, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists… Is there scientific evidence?
“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 (without hypnosis) 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.”
Omni Magazine Interview
with Dr. Ian Stevenson
By Meryle Secrest
This interview was published in 1988. It shows yet more of the many fascinating ideas and views that Dr. Ian Stevenson holds, as he draws from his fifty years of education and research into the foundations of human personality.
The idea that some children of ages three to five not only remember a previous existence, but can identify loved ones from it, strikes most Westerners as so bizarre that it compels disbelief. Perhaps this is why the world’s foremost investigator of the phenomenon, Dr. Ian Stevenson, has attracted so little attention.
Since the late Sixties 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 have astonished their parents with precise details about the people they claim to have been. Some of these children have recognized former homes and neighborhoods as well as still-living friends and relatives. They have recalled events in their purported previous lives, including their often violent deaths. Sometimes their birthmarks resemble scars that correspond to wounds that led, they claim, to their deaths.
All this is the stuff of lurid fiction and pulp journalism, presumably unworthy of serious investigation. In this context Stevenson is considered unique: His studies are scrupulously objective and methodologically impeccable. The late Herbert S. Ripley, former chairman of the psychiatry department at the University of Washington in Seattle, noted, “We are lucky to have someone of his ability and high integrity investigating this controversial area. Wrote Dr. Harold Lief in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases: “Either he is making a colossal mistake, or he will be known as the Galileo of the twentieth century.”
Some are more certain, and claim:
Reincarnation Is an Irrefutable Fact
excerpt from the original full article at Beforeitsnews.com (Before It’s News)
To my surprise, when I focused closely on him, I could pick up on what he was feeling and thinking. I glanced at Wil, who nodded that he was also sensing the person’s reaction.
I focused again and observed that, in spite of a certain detachment and sense of love and support, he was in a state of shock at having discovered his body had died. Only minutes before, he had been routinely jogging, and while attempting to run up a long hill, his body had suffered a massive heart-attack. The pain had lasted only a few seconds, and then he was hovering outside his body, watching a stream of bystanders rush up to help him. Soon a team of paramedics arrived and worked feverishly to bring him back.
As he sat beside his body in the ambulance, he had listened in horror as the team-leader had pronounced his body dead. Frantically he had attempted to communicate, but no-one could hear. At the hospital a doctor confirmed to the crew that his heart had literally exploded; that no-one could have done anything to save his life.
Part of him tried to accept the fact; another resisted. How could he be dead; because he was still alive? He had called out for help and had instantly found himself in a tunnel of colours that had brought him to where he now stood. As we watched, he seemed to become more aware of the souls and moved toward them, shifting out of focus to us, appearing more like them.
Then abruptly he pulled back toward us and was quickly surrounded by an office of some kind, filled with computers and wall-charts and people working. Everything looked perfectly real, except the walls were semi-transparent, so that we could see what was happening inside, and the sky above the office was not blue, but a strange olive colour.
“He’s deluding himself,” Wil said. “He’s re-creating the office where he worked on Earth, trying to pretend his body hasn’t died.”
The souls moved closer and others came until there were dozens of them, all flickering in and out of focus in the amber light. They seemed to be sending the man Love and some kind of information I couldn’t understand. Gradually the constructed office began to fade and eventually disappeared completely.
The man was left with an expression of resignation on his face, and he again moved into focus with the souls.
“Let’s go with them,” I heard Wil say. At the same moment, I felt his arm, or rather, the energy of his arm, pushing against my back.
As soon as I inwardly agreed, there was the slight sensation of movement, and the souls and the man all came into clearer focus. The souls now had glowing faces much as Wil and I did, but their hands and feet, instead of being clearly formed, were mere radiations of light. I could now focus on the entities for as long as four or five seconds before losing them and having to blink to find them again.
I became aware that the group of souls, as well as the deceased individual, was watching an intense point of bright light moving towards us. It eventually swelled into a massive beam that covered everything. Unable to look directly at the light, I turned so I could just see the silhouette of the man, who was staring fully at the beam without apparent difficulty.
Again I could pick up on his thoughts. The light was filling him with an unimaginable sense of love and calm perspective. As this sensation swept over him, his viewpoint and knowledge expanded until he could clearly see the life he had just lived form a broad and amazingly detailed perspective. . .”
– Adapted from “The Tenth Insight” by James Redfield
The man described above was experiencing what is known as a “life review”, where our soul (our true, higher-self), immediately after its release from the body that it was using on Earth, has the life it has just lived reviewed and evaluated. It is congratulated for the good things that it had done and learned in that incarnation and will be punished for all of the evil that it has done and learned….”
read even more at the full article linked above