Reincarnation: Past Lives
Transmigration of the Soul
|Reincarnation: Past Lives (Pre-mortal Existence)
Transmigration of the Soul
The word "reincarnation" derives from Latin, literally meaning, "entering the flesh again".
beforelife, or pre-mortal existence refers to the belief that each
individual human soul existed before conception, and at conception one
of these pre-existent souls enters, or is placed by God, in the body.
belief is held to a varying degree in Abrahamic and other religions.
Alternative positions are traducianism and creationism, which both hold
that the individual human soul does not come into existence until
The boundaries of the beforelife are debatable, since there is controversy over when a human life formally begins.
Robert Snow a captain of a police department didn't believe in the paranormal which included past lives. Mr. Snow was dared to try 'Past Life Regression Therapy' from a
He believed that paranormal events such as reincarnation was something you only saw on TV such as the X-Files. What he was about to find out was something much more surreal then he could possibly ever imagine.
Reincarnation is believed to occur when the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, comes back to Earth in a newborn body.
This phenomenon is also known as transmigration of the soul.
This doctrine is a central tenet within the majority of
Indian religious traditions, such as Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism; the Buddhist concept of rebirth is also often referred to as reincarnation.
The idea was also fundamental to some Greek philosophers and religions as well as other religions, such as Druidism. It is also found in many small-scale societies around the world, in places such as Siberia, West Africa, North America, and Australia.
Although the majority of sects within Judaism, Christianity and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation; these groups include the Hassidim, the Cathars, the Druze and the Rosicrucian Christianity.
The historical relations between these sects and the beliefs about reincarnation that were characteristic of the Neoplatonism, Hermeticism, Manicheanism and Gnosticism of the Roman era, as well as the Indian religions, is unclear.
Théodore Flournoy was among the first to study a claim of past-life recall in the course of his investigation of the medium Hélène Smith, published in 1900, in which he defined the possibility of cryptomnesia in such accounts. Carl Gustav Jung, like Flournoy based in Switzerland, also emulated him in his thesis based on a study of cryptomnesia in psychism.
Later Jung would emphasise the importance of the persistence of memory and ego in psychological study of reincarnation; "This concept of rebirth necessarily implies the continuity of personality that one is able, at least potentially, to remember that one has lived through previous existences, and that these existences were one's own...".
Hypnosis, used in psychoanalysis for retrieving forgotten memories, was eventually tried as a means of studying the phenomenon of past life recall.
In the latter part of the twentieth century Ian Stevenson, a psychiatrist-parapsychologist at the University of Virginia, gained a level of prominence for publishing more than 2,500 case studies from around the world of children that seemed to him to be able to remember events in a life that had ended, often in a violent way, before the child was born.
Stevenson compared each child's account with the personal history of the deceased and attempted to gather information before any contact between the child and the deceased's family had occurred.
The cases that Stevenson reported were most often from children between the ages of three and seven years, and the children seemed to forget these reported memories shortly thereafter. Stevenson believed that the best evidence for reincarnation was the existence of birth marks and congenital deformities on children which he reported corresponded to fatal wounds of the deceased.
Stevenson also proposed that unusual behaviors,
such as phobias for the thing that killed the deceased, and in some cases the
mother having a dream in
which the deceased announces their intention to reincarnate in the
child, were also evidence of reincarnation or other paranormal process
such as extrasensory perception.
Stevenson also searched for evidence that
could provide alternative explanations for the reports aside from reincarnation, discounting some reports. Stevenson's
work tended to polarize opinion: While supporters
see him as a misunderstood genius, skeptics found him to be gullible and
Some reviewers praised Stevenson for the scientific rigor they saw in his investigations,
Though Stevenson avoided speculating on physical
mechanisms for reincarnation, subsequent researchers from his group have
appealed to quantum mechanics as an explanation in a way that is
criticized by experts as being based on incorrect or pseudoscientific
while others criticized his interpretations and conclusions as being unwarranted supposition.
Researchers who believe in the evidence for reincarnation have been
unsuccessful in getting the scientific community to consider it a
serious possibility. Reincarnation research is a branch of parapsychology.
Psychiatrist Ian Stevenson led a research group which spent several
decades seeking and interviewing children who claimed to remember a past
Past Life Regression
Past life regression is a technique that uses hypnosis to recover what practitioners believe are memories of past lives or incarnations, though others regard them as fantasies or delusions.
Past life regression is typically undertaken either in pursuit of a spiritual experience, or in a psychotherapeutic setting.
Most advocates loosely adhere to beliefs about reincarnation, though religious traditions that incorporate reincarnation generally do not include the idea of repressed memories of past lives.
The technique used during past life regression involves the subject answering a series of questions while hypnotized to reveal identity and events of alleged past lives, a method similar to that used in recovered memory therapy and one that similarly misrepresents memory as a faithful recording of previous events rather than a constructed set of recollections.
The use of hypnosis and suggestive questions makes the subject particularly likely to hold distorted or false memories. The source of the memories is more likely cryptomnesia and confabulations that combine past experiences, knowledge, imagination and suggestion or guidance from the hypnotist than recall of a previous existence.
|Once created, the
memories are indistinguishable from memories based on events that
occurred during the subject's life.
Memories reported during past life
regression have been investigated, and revealed historical inaccuracies
that are easily explained through a basic knowledge of history, elements
of popular culture or books that discuss historical events.
with subjects undergoing past life regression indicate that a belief in
reincarnation and suggestions by the hypnotist are the two most
important factors regarding the contents of memories reported.
In the modern era, it was the works of Madame Blavatsky, co-founder of
the Theosophical Society, which brought it a new found popularity,
especially in the West. French educator Allan Kardec also researched
into past life regression in The Spirits Book and Heaven and Hell.
Past life regression therapy has been developed since the 1950s by psychologists, psychiatrists and mediums.
The belief gained credibility because some of the advocates possess
legitimate credentials, though these credentials were in areas unrelated
to religion, psychotherapy or other domains dealing with past lives and
Interest in the phenomenon started due to American housewife Virginia
Tighe reporting and recounting the alleged memories of a 19th-century
Irish woman named Bridey Murphy; later investigation failed to support
the existence of such a woman and the memories were attributed to
Tighe's childhood during which she spent time living next to an Irish
consensus is that the memories are the result of cryptomnesia,
narratives created by the subconscious mind using imagination, forgotten
information and suggestions from the therapist.
Memories created under
hypnosis are indistinguishable from actual memories and can be more
vivid than factual memories.
The greatest predictor of individuals reporting memories of past lives
appears to be their beliefs about the existence in reincarnation -
individuals who believe in reincarnation are more likely to report such
memories, while skeptics or disbelievers are less so.
In the end, it is up to you to believe or not.
The origins of the notion of reincarnation are obscure. They apparently date to the Iron Age (around 1200 BC).
Discussion of the subject appears in the philosophical traditions of India and Greece from about the 6th century BC, but is conspicuously absent from the earlier Vedic texts of India.
Also during the Iron Age, the Greek Pre-Socratics discussed reincarnation, and the Celtic Druids are also reported to have taught a doctrine of reincarnation.