« Can I learn to love the deficit? | Main | Mrs. Piper »

Comments

clearly this is an attempt by Satan to deceive people away from Jesus. Just like Dinosaur bones.

“clearly this is an attempt by Satan to deceive people away from Jesus. Just like Dinosaur bones.”

Except for this family as both the father and mother claim it has enhanced their beliefs about the soul surviving death. They look at their son now as a soul deciding to come back and completing its life on earth.

This mother and father deserve kudos for doing the research to validate there son’s story. Nice touch on their part.

As far as Christian beliefs it appears there were a lot of Christians that believed in reincarnation but when Rome took over the church reincarnation become heresy and often a belief in reincarnation was punishable by death.

Most Christians will I suspect discount this story, as they did not experience what this family experienced. It appears experiences often can be a great teacher.

Now I have read what the ultra skeptics say about this story and they are in their usual denial stage of any evidence. They live on a very slippery slope.

That was a pretty good report. Packed a lot of information in short time. Took it seriously. Much better than I expected it to be.

Excellent find.
I think that this (Like NDE) will be found to be more common than imagined if and when it becomes OK to talk about it.

Yes I agree with Sonic, well publicised accounts like this one, will encourage other parents of "past life" children to come forward with their experiences. In the West, Cases Of the Reincarnation Type (CORT) are still taboo. In the East, where belief in reincarnation is widespread, there is less taboo and these accounts are easier to come across. I suspect potential reincarnation cases in the West get readily dismissed as imaginary friends, or other childlike delusions. Hopefully, this will change soon.
Personally, I'm not convinced about reincarnation, but suspect that the material comes from a transcendant source, maybe an example of non-local knowing. Larry Dossey has recently commented on the CORT phenomena in Explore Journal. It can be found here: http://www.explorejournal.com/article/S1550-8307(08)00210-3/fulltext

I found it an extremely interesting editorial.

"As far as Christian beliefs it appears there were a lot of Christians that believed in reincarnation but when Rome took over the church reincarnation become heresy and often a belief in reincarnation was punishable by death."

-See the longer article below to put this BS to rest once and for all. For someone who is always writing about "moving targets" and rational minds, you certainly seem to have blinders on that only allow you to see what you want to see. Would you care to account for all the Catholic apparitions of Mary, Jesus Christ, stigmata, etc.? I'm betting that isn't proof of anything to you, yet "memories" are!

-First, countless accounts: "there is no time, there is no distance"...well then how on earth can there be "re" incarnation?!? Doesn't anybody get this? If it's not "re" incarnation then it can only be two other things: 1-misplaced clairvoyance 2-attachment


The article (read it carefully William):

REINCARNATION- Did The Church Suppress It?
by Joseph P. Gudel, Robert M. Bowman, Jr., and Dan R. Schlesinger
Toward the beginning of this century belief in reincarnation was restricted to such small groups as the Unity School of Christianity, the Theosophical Society, and Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment. (1) By the 1980s, however, not only had these groups gained well over a million followers, but celebrities such as Jeanne Dixon and Shirley MacLaine had popularized reincarnation for the masses. While fifty years ago relatively few Americans believed in reincarnation, today roughly one-fourth of all Americans accepts it, along with about one-half of the world population. (2)
Virtually all modern proponents of reincarnation in the West claim that it "is in complete harmony with the true spirit of Christianity." The early church taught reincarnation, some say, until the sixth century when it was suppressed at a church council. In this article we will examine this claim that the church suppressed the doctrine of reincarnation.

REINCARNATION DEFINED
The doctrine of reincarnation derives from antiquity, originating in the East, but also found in ancient Greece. It "teaches that the soul enters this life, not as a fresh creation, but after a long course of previous existences on this earth and elsewhere . . . and that it is on its way to future transformations which it is now shaping for itself." (3)

According to the Eastern concept of reincarnation, man depending on his deeds in his previous existence can come back in any type of life form, including various animals, as well as human form. Reincarnationists in the West, however, generally hold that men and women can be reincarnated only as human beings. Western reincarnationists often refer to the Eastern view as "transmigration" and to the Western view as "reincarnation." Traditionally, though, the terms "transmigration," "reincarnation," and "metempsychosis" have been used as synonyms. (4) On the other hand, reincarnation is to be distinguished from preexistence of souls. While all those who believe in reincarnation must believe that the reincarnated souls preexisted, not all who adhere to preexistence of souls accept reincarnation. A modern example would be the Mormons.
The underlying, often unspoken assumption of reincarnation is "monism," the belief that only one reality exists. Since this means that all things are part of one essential reality, there is no real distinction between God, the world, and people  they are all "one." In this system of thought "God" is regarded, not as a personal Creator, but as an impersonal force or consciousness of which we are all part. (5) Thus, Shirley MacLaine states that "God" is "the word we use for a concept of incredibly complex spiritual energies," and suggests that "the tragedy of the human race was that we had forgotten that we were each Divine." (6) A soul's reincarnations, then, have classically been understood as a journey from God to God, the goal being reabsorption into the One. (7)

REINCARNATION AND THE BIBLE
The beliefs which form the context of both Eastern and Western reincarnationism are clearly incompatible with biblical Christianity. Thus, the case against reincarnation being "Christian" goes far beyond its implications for the afterlife, and involves much more than a few prooftexts from the Bible. Rather, the entire biblical revelation in its teaching about God, the world, man, sin, and salvation, stands as a whole against reincarnationism.
Nevertheless, adherents of reincarnation in the West invariably try to reconcile their belief with Christianity. The New Testament is said to have been written by unknown authors at a time too late to be reliable in their report of Jesus' teachings, and thus His teachings on reincarnation were largely lost. (Many people reject the Bible while claiming to be followers of Jesus, even though apart from the Bible we have no real knowledge of Jesus' teachings.) Also, the New Testament text is said to be riddled with deletions and interpolations foisted on the text in the sixth century and later by anti-reincarnationists, who even removed whole books, so that the text itself is unreliable. Finally, despite the alleged attempt in the sixth century to remove reincarnation from the Bible certain "vestiges" of the doctrine are said to be detectable in a scattering of texts (e.g., Matt. 17:10-13; John 3:3,7; John 9:1-3; Eph. 1:4; Rev. 3:12). (8)

It is not possible within the space of this article to give a thorough refutation of each of these arguments. (9) The issues of the date, authorship, and textual transmission of the New Testament documents have received definitive treatment by evangelical scholars, to whose works the reader is referred. (10) These scholars have shown that all of the New Testament was written in the first century, by apostles or their close associates, and that the text of the New Testament has been faithfully transmitted through the centuries. In regard to the canon (books accepted as inspired) of the New Testament, (11) it was not bias against reincarnation that motivated the acceptance of certain writings and the rejection of apocryphal gospels and other writings which were excluded from the canon. Rather, the New Testament books were accepted because they were written by apostles or apostolic associates and were traceable to the first century. The books that were excluded were not apostolic, and were written between the second and the ninth centuries. (12) Furthermore, the New Testament canon was developed in the second and third centuries and received final form in the fourth century, (13) not in the sixth century, as the reincarnationists claim. Therefore, the reincarnationists' criticisms of the New Testament are invalid.
The argument that vestiges of reincarnationist belief can be found scattered throughout the New Testament is basically incompatible with the other arguments already discussed. If the New Testament books were written by unknown authors too late to be historically reliable, and if sixth-century scribes tampered with the text of the New Testament, of what value are these alleged "vestiges"? In any case, the reincarnationists have no right to quote the Bible in defense of their beliefs if at the same time they argue that the Bible is unreliable.

A detailed examination of these alleged prooftexts for reincarnation is not possible in this article. However, several helpful studies of the question have been published by Christians, showing that the Bible simply does not contain even a hint in favor of reincarnation, while its most central teachings contradict it. (14)
REINCARNATION AND THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS
Reincarnationists in the West today typically argue that the early church held to a belief in reincarnation until the sixth century, when it was suppressed by the Roman emperor through the agency of a church council. In order to refute this claim, we must first examine the records to see if the early church fathers taught reincarnation. Our examination will reveal that reincarnation was not a subject of great concern to the early fathers, who held to the biblical hope of the resurrection, (15) but that whenever they discussed reincarnation they thoroughly condemned it. Reincarnationists have fabricated a false history of the early church based on 1) a deliberate reconstruction of the evidence which ignores the vast majority of the fathers' testimony; 2) partial quotations of the fathers, usually out of context; 3) interpolations into the quotations from the fathers; and 4) fabricated quotations.

Justin Martyr (c. 100-165)
Justin Martyr was one of the earliest of the church fathers. He is often claimed as "an early Christian reincarnationist. (16) Referring to chapter IV of Justin's Dialogue with Trypho, reincarnationists claim that "he taught that human souls inhabit more than one body in the course of their earthly pilgrimage." (17) What does Justin actually say? He does present a dialogue in which he discusses with Trypho the question of reincarnation; at the end of this discussion, the dialogue concludes as follows (note that "I" is Justin and "he" is Trypho, the Jew with whom he is debating; Trypho speaks first):
"Therefore souls neither see God nor transmigrate into other bodies; for they would know that so they are punished, and they would be afraid to commit even the most trivial sin afterwards. But that they can perceive that God exists, and that righteousness and piety are honorable, I also quite agree with you," said he.

"You are right," I replied. (18)
Clement of Alexandria (c. 155-220)
Another church father often alleged to have taught reincarnation was Clement of Alexandria, on the basis of his statement in the first chapter of his Exhortation to the Heathen that "before the foundation of the world were we." (19) At most this statement might be construed (apart from context) to teach preexistence of souls. In fact, though, Clement's statement in context does not even go that far. Rather, he is simply asserting the preexistence of Jesus Christ as the Word (or Logos), and God's foreknowledge and purpose to create and love us before creation:
But before the foundation of the world were we, who, because destined to be in Him, pre-existed in the eye of God before,  we the rational creatures of the Word of God, on whose account we date from the beginning; for "in the beginning was the word." (20)
Note that Clement carefully qualifies his statement that we existed in the beginning with the words "in the eye of God," meaning, of course, that our "preexistence" was as an idea in God's mind, not as substantial entities.
Origen (c. 185-254)

Origen was admittedly one of the most brilliant and innovative theologians of the early church. He was also, however, infamous for his theological speculations. He is the church father most often cited by reincarnationists as teaching their doctrine. One passage frequently cited is the following, from Origen's Against Celsus (I.32), exactly as cited by reincarnationists Head and Cranston:

Or is it not more in conformity with reason, that every soul, for certain mysterious reasons (I speak now according to the opinion of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Empedocles, whom Celsus frequently names), is introduced into a body, and introduced according to its deserts and former actions? It is probable, therefore, that this soul also, which conferred more benefit by its [former] residence in the flesh than that of many men (to avoid prejudice, I do not say "all"), stood in need of a body not only superior to others, but invested with all excellent qualities. (21)

Several comments regarding this passage need to be made. First, Origen qualifies his statement by saying, "I speak now according to the opinion of Pythagoras, and Plato, and Empedocles, whom Celsus frequently names." This qualification indicates that Origen is arguing on the basis of Celsus's beliefs, not Origen's own beliefs. One reincarnationist, Anthony J. Fisichella, omitted this entire clause when quoting the passage. (22)
Second, the insertion of the word "former" in brackets preceding the phrase "residence in the flesh" by Head and Cranston in the citation as produced above completely changes the meaning. Origen is not talking about a previous incarnation distinguished from a subsequent incarnation, but about a single incarnation.
Third, the point that Origen is trying to make in the context has been completely missed. Origen is not talking about the natural birth of an ordinary human being, but about the miraculous conception of Jesus in a virgin's womb. In the first half of the chapter Origen refutes the legendary explanation of the virgin birth which was circulating among the Jews (and had been picked up by Celsus) that Mary had committed adultery with a Roman soldier. He then puts forth the following question:
Is it at all agreeable to reason, that he who dared to do so much for the human race . . . should not have had a miraculous birth, but one the vilest and most disgraceful of all [i.e., an illegitimate birth]? And I will ask of them as Greeks, and particularly of Celsus, who either holds or not the sentiments of Plato, and at any rate quotes them, whether He who sends souls down into the bodies of men, degraded Him who was to dare such mighty acts, and to teach so many men, and to reform so many from the mass of wickedness in the world, to a birth more disgraceful than any other, and did not rather introduce Him into the world through a lawful marriage? (23)
Then follows immediately the original quotation produced above, appealing to the Greek philosophers so respected by Celsus, to prove that according to their teaching someone as noble as Jesus obviously was could not have had so ignoble a birth as Celsus had claimed. With this context in mind, it is evident that Origen is not here arguing for reincarnation, nor does his argument even imply it. He does argue on the basis of the preexistence of souls, an opinion which he himself held, although even here he gives as the source of that opinion pagan Greek philosophy, not Christian doctrine.

Later in the same treatise, Origen made the following comment:

But on these subjects much, and that of a mystical kind, might be said; in keeping with which is the following: "it is good to keep close the secret of a king," in order that the doctrine of the entrance of souls into bodies (not, however, that of the transmigration from one body into another) may not be thrown before the common understanding, nor what is holy given to the dogs, nor pearls be cast before swine. (24)
This statement makes it clear that Origen did hold to the heretical doctrine that human souls preexisted their physical bodies, but did not hold to reincarnations. (25)
At about the same time as he wrote Against Celsus, around the year 247 (and therefore toward the end of his life), (26) Origen wrote a commentary on Matthew in which he discussed at length whether John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elijah. His answer to this question was unequivocal:
In this place [Matt. 17:10-13] it does not appear to me that by Elijah the soul is spoken of, lest I should fall into the dogma of transmigration, which is foreign to the church of God, and not handed down by the Apostles, nor anywhere set forth in the Scriptures . . . (27)
Origen then launched into a lengthy discussion of transmigration, arguing that it is contrary to the biblical doctrine of a judgment at the end of the age, and that John had not the "soul" but the "spirit and power" of Elijah (Luke 1:17). (28) No clearer statement rejecting the doctrine of reincarnation could be imagined.
It is true that Jerome, a leading church father in the early fifth century, argued that Origen held to reincarnation. Writing in a letter to Avitus about 409 or 410, Jerome accused Origen of holding to the "transmigration of souls," including the idea that both angelic and human spirits "may in punishment for great negligence or folly be transformed into brutes," that is, be reincarnated as animals. (29) However, in this same letter Jerome admits that Origen qualified his statements on the subject:
Then, lest he should be held guilty of maintaining with Pythagoras the transmigration of souls, he winds up the wicked reasoning with which he has wounded his reader by saying: "I must not be taken to make dogmas of these things; they are only thrown out as conjectures to show that they are not altogether overlooked. (30)
Since Jerome's criticism of Origen is based on Origen's earlier writings (particularly "On First Principles," written between 212 and 215), and in his later writings Origen explicitly rejected transmigration of souls, and since even Jerome admits that Origen wished to stop short of maintaining that doctrine, we may safely conclude that Origen did not teach reincarnation.

Jerome (c. 345-419)
As we have just seen, Jerome condemned Origen as a heretic partly on the basis of Origen's alleged leanings toward reincarnation. It is therefore surprising to learn that several reincarnationists claim that Jerome himself believed in reincarnation! One reincarnationist even cited Jerome's letter to Avitus as proof (31)  the very letter in which Jerome condemned Origen for teaching reincarnation!
Other reincarnationists have attributed to Jerome the following statement from his letter to Demetrius: "The doctrine of transmigration has been secretly taught from ancient times to small numbers of people, as a traditional truth which was not to be divulged." (32) A search of this letter, however, reveals no such statement. Instead, we find Jerome once again condemning the doctrine as a "godless and wicked teaching" which "lurks secretly like a viper in its hole." (33)
The Fathers' Rejection of Reincarnation
Not only did none of the church fathers embrace reincarnation  not even Origen, who did hold to preexistence of souls but they explicitly rejected the notion as wholly contrary to the Christian faith. We have already seen this in the case of Justin Martyr, Origen, and Jerome. In the ante-Nicene period alone (i.e., before the Council of Nicea in 325), church fathers who rejected reincarnation besides Justin Martyr and Origen included Irenaeus, Minucius Felix, Tertullian, and Lactantius. (34) Notable church fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries besides Jerome who rejected reincarnation included Augustine and Basil. (35) Apologists for reincarnation have admitted that many of these church fathers did in deed oppose the doctrine of reincarnations. (36)
In addition to this evidence, all of the church fathers taught doctrines which were incompatible with reincarnationist belief. The fathers taught that salvation was a gift won for us by Christ, and that at the end of the age the bodies of believers would be raised to eternal life and those of the wicked to eternal judgment. The writings of the church fathers are thus just as pervasively anti-reincarnationist as is the Bible.

THE SECOND COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE

To this point we have shown that none of the church fathers commonly recognized as orthodox during the first five centuries of the church held to reincarnation. Faced with this evidence, some reincarnationists have resorted to a last-ditch argument calculated to undermine all of the documentary evidence from the Bible and the church fathers against their doctrine. This argument is a claim that all or nearly all evidence of belief in reincarnation was eliminated from the Bible and the writings of the fathers by the Second Council of Constantinople (also called the Fifth Ecumenical Council) in 553. Leslie Weatherhead, for example, claimed that reincarnation "was accepted by the early church for the first five hundred years of its existence. Only in AD 553 did the Second Council of Constantinople reject it and only then by a narrow majority." (37) Many reincarnationists claim that this council was specifically called by the Roman emperor Justinian to condemn reincarnation and delete all references to it from the Bible. (38)
There are numerous objections which may be raised to this claim. First, the New Testament canon as we have it today was finalized, at the very latest, in the fourth century, as we have already explained. Indeed, we have numerous manuscripts of the New Testament dating from between the second and fifth centuries, as well as manuscripts dating much later. The texts of the New Testament manuscripts dating from before the sixth century do not differ appreciably from those dating from sixth century and later. This fact alone is proof that the councils 553 did not alter the Bible in order to suppress reincarnation or any other belief.
Second, the Second Council of Constantinople had nothing whatever to do with reincarnation. The main item on the agenda was dealing with the Monophysite heresy, which taught that the incarnate Christ had only one nature (instead of the two natures of deity and humanity as taught by the New Testament and the early church). Either at that council or about that same time a list of "anathemas" or condemnations were issued against (among other things) the notion of preexistence of souls (as found in Origen and some of his followers), but there was no mention made of reincarnation, which was evidently not even a live issue. (39) Indeed, other reincarnationists have even argued that because there is some doubt that the council in 553 had anything to say relevant to reincarnation, there is no reason to regard reincarnation as officially condemned by the church! (40) Of course, what this argument overlooks is the fact that Christians disbelieve in reincarnation because it is antithetical to biblical Christianity, not because they think (mistakenly or not) that it was condemned in 553.

In conclusion, reincarnation was certainly not suppressed by the church in the sixth century or at any other time. It has been explicitly rejected by church leaders since the middle of the second century, and never taken seriously as a belief that might be adopted by Christians. Origen's belief in preexistence of souls was treated as a novel aberration by the church fathers and councils which came after him. Advocates of reincarnation have had to invent nonexistent texts, interpolate words into other texts, cite anti-reincarnationist passages as if they were supportive of the doctrine, and in general present a mythical reconstruction of early church history, in order to claim that the early church ever taught reincarnation. Theories requiring such shaky defense may safely be regarded as false.

They even show how reincarnationists misquote the Fathers - to prove this, they include the full quotes of the Fathers about reincarnation, so the reader can judge for himself.

Also, we can see virtually all the Church Fathers' posture on reincarntion by visiting Catholic Answers tract on reincarnation.
Therefore, none of the Fathers' postures on reincarnation give us any reason to think that the Early Christian Church believed in reincarnation. And certainly, human-only reincarnation wasn't even MENTIONED.


And since everyone here likes "spirit speak" and philosophy, here's a bit to add to it:

"...in that final hour, I was told that I had had many lives. The first past life they spoke about was that of an ancient Hebrew; it was in this life that I had made a pact with God and died in His service. I must admit that I liked this very much; it not only made me feel important, it also could have been a possible explanation for my burning spiritual desire. Next, they told me that I was in the Crusades and was killed trying to free the Holy Land. From there, I lived as a Frenchman and was robbed and murdered on the road to Paris. Following that life, I was a World War I soldier killed in the trenches of Europe. After that life was revealed to me, my body began to shake. And, with each additional past life they described, the shaking intensified. I didn't know what was happening I could only think that it was my kundulini rising. Then, all of a sudden, the door swung open, and the director of the school burst into the room and exclaimed, in a huff, "What are all these spirits doing in the room? Get them out of here!" And, she began to order the psychics about, “You, do this; you do that. This reading is over!"

"...I realized that their mistake was telling me that the lives they were reading were my past lives when in reality, they were the lives of the 'spirits in the room'."

"...through Mrs. Wickland's inspirational writing, a personal friend, the late Dr. J. M. Peebles (author, lecturer, and diplomat), stated, "When I reached the spirit world, I found such glory and happiness and beauty that I now realize this little earth is a grammar school, not a university or even a high school; it is only the first lesson of life." Why should anyone want to come back again, to be confined in a body? In the spirit world, you are free to travel everywhere. Why go back to that prison again? Dr. Peebles continued, "You can learn in one day here what takes years to learn on earth. Forget reincarnation, because it is a sandbag around your neck. You will have it so centered on your mind, that you will think of nothing else, and you will stay just where you are. You cannot progress because your mind will always revert to the earth again. You cannot live on the earth more than once."

"...The most powerful testimonial came from Helena Blavatsky. She stated, "I studied reincarnation in India and thought there was truth and justice in the theory that we come back to learn and grow. I taught the theory and wanted to bring it to the world. I felt that I remembered far back into my past, but I was mistaken. When you become sensitive and can feel the spirits around you, they speak to you by impressions, and their past will be like a panorama. A person feels it and will relive the past of spirits, but the mistake is made of taking this for the memory of past incarnations. I did not know this when I lived on earth, but when I came to the spirit side of life I learned differently. Once you reach the spirit world, where all is congenial, where all is life, where all is bliss, where there is no jealousy, no envy, where all is one grand harmony, do you think for one moment that you would want to leave that beautiful condition to come back to earth and be a little baby, restricted in mind and knowing nothing whatever?"

"Lincoln went into trance - his voice changed, and he gave an fascinating address from his spirit guide, Magnus. The one question which stuck with me was asked by a woman concerning reincarnation. The spirit guide, Magnus, replied that he had seen many spirits waiting to return to earth, but had never seen any spirits actually leave the spirit world. Furthermore, he added that he and his companions were more advanced than mortals and, therefore, could not imagine what would be accomplished by returning to the earth. I quickly glanced over at the woman to see her reaction. She was visibly taken back; obviously, this was not what she had expected to hear."

-Finally, George Anderson...relaying messages, and "until we meet again", etc. Who is doing the reincarnating then?? Higher self? Don't go there because this "higher self" is noticeably absent from all spiritualist writings until the new age gurus came out of the woodwork with their "higher selves".

I believe the evidence we have for reincarnation is real enough, I just question our interpretation and/or what it means. Reincarnation conflicts with my theory that we are here to become separate, unique, individuals. It sounds so schizophrenic and counterproductive.

Some children who haven't developed a strong sense of "self" sometimes tune into the memories of people who lived before. When they start to develop their own identity they "forget" or quit tuning into those other memories. Hypnotized adults have their sense of "self" turned off and might be tuning into someone else's memories. And as far as those physical manifestations? I suppose they might be examples of "thoughts being things and/or consciousness creating reality."

I like the way a guy who calls himself "Marineboy" explains it:

"I suspect that it is a time-based misreading of "interconnection". Also, when people say they felt that "I" had all these past lives, I think the I is not the I they think it is, but the I of interconnection, the I of universal presence incarnating in myraid forms everywhere. Because there are no absolute boundaries to this "I" it seems in an nde as if it is THEY personally."

"Some children who haven't developed a strong sense of "self" sometimes tune into the memories of people who lived before."

That doesn't explain how these children sometimes have birthmarks/birth defects.

Also, your theory doesn't explain how these children have memories of one certain individual. They don't have random memories, they have personal memories of one certain dead individual. Extreme emotions are sometimes involved with these cases. I don't believe that some random memories from universal mind could produce such strong emotions.

Sometimes these children may also remember their past life, event's of their life as a discarnate spirit and of course their present life. Thus they remember the whole process.

"Reincarnation conflicts with my theory that we are here to become separate, unique, individuals."

I don't see any contradiction between your theory and reincarnation.

That doesn't explain how these children sometimes have birthmarks/birth defects. - Raimo
------------

If we live in a Universe where thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality those birthmarks might be conjured up by those individuals.
____________________________________________
"Also, your theory doesn't explain how these children have memories of one certain individual."
----------------------

Their brains are tuned into that particular set of memories. Like a radio tunes into one station. Once their own sense of self kicks in and takes over those memories begin to fade.
____________________________________________

"I don't see any contradiction between your theory and reincarnation."
---------------------------------

If the main purpose of life is to become a "single" separate, unique, individual what is the point of thinking that "you" (the self) were actually thousands of other individuals. If the point of life is to experience separation, and become ONE separate, unique, individual don't you think that reincarnation would be rather schizophrenic - like having multiple personality disorder? Or do you believe that Heaven is a place where everyone has multiple personality disorder?

"If we live in a Universe where thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality those birthmarks might be conjured up by those individuals."

Birthmarks and birth defects are produced before birth, thus your theory is false.

"Their brains are tuned into that particular set of memories."

That would have to happen before birth. Why would brains of a fetus be tuned to some individual's "station"? If deceased individual's consciousness affects developing fetus, it would be very similar process as reincarnation.

"don't you think that reincarnation would be rather schizophrenic - like having multiple personality disorder?"

No. I think that same soul has many incarnations. Physical appearance and personality may change, but it is still same soul, same individual. There is nothing schizophrenic. I'm still same individual as I was 25 years ago. Much has changed (I was 4 years old back then), but I'm still same individual and I will be same individual after next 25 years. In the context of reincarnation this example is still valid; Same soul goes through changes but it is still the same soul, same individual.

We experience certain "paranormal" things in this life and then humans make up theories and stories to try and explain what it is that we see and experience. I believe the theory of reincarnation can just as easily be explained as being attributable to the transmission and recieving theory of the brain as to reincarnation.

"I remember understanding the others here.. as if the others here were a part of me too. As if all of it was just a vast expression of me. But it wasn't just me, it was .. gosh this is so hard to explain.. it was as if we were all the same. As if consciousness were like a huge being. The easiest way to explain it would be like all things are all different parts of the same body." - excerpt from Michelle M's NDE, http://nderf.org/michelle_m%27s_nde.htm

"I believe the theory of reincarnation can just as easily be explained as being attributable to the transmission and recieving theory of the brain as to reincarnation."

How does that theory explain cases where child remembers how s/he chose his parents? Cases, where subject remembers his past life, his death and life as a discarnate spirit and how he chose his parents or was drawn to them and also time he spent on his mother's womb? Thus the subject remembers a continuum from one life to next. How does your theory explain this?

Birthmarks and birth defects makes reincarnation theory even stronger. All these paranormal processes happen before birth.


Birthmarks and birth defects makes reincarnation theory even stronger. All these paranormal processes happen before birth. - Raimo
-------------------------------------------

According to some physicist and NDE's time and space is an illusion. Also near death experiencers say that we here in the physical universe can't begin to comprehend the overwhelming feelings of "oneness and connectedness" in the spiritual universe. According to Michelle M's and several other near death experiences there is is no such things as "souls" - just "soul." If this is true than the story we have concocted about reincarnation is something else entirely - some kind of strange holographic - connected - oneness thing that is going on - and the truth is that our soul isn't just the amalgamation of a thousand souls but instead is every single soul that has ever lived in the entire Universe, and perhaps will ever live in the Entire Universe. We are talking perhaps trillions of souls.

Excerpt from Cara's NDE:

"I was part of a collective consciousness, the universe. everything was connected. I felt the true essence of my spirit, I had no form but was only a pinpoint of free energy connected to thousands of other energies of other consciousnesses that were the perfect balance of the universe. I can't describe this in words. Words do no justice to describe how it felt to be only energy, only a speck of consciousness connected to everything in the universe. Time had no meaning, everything was one and everything was so awe inspiring. I had no realization of who I was humanly anymore, everything was me and I was everything and everything was all connected." http://nderf.org/cara_m_nde.htm

Capisce?

Mr. Raimo, here are some issues for you:

"That doesn't explain how these children sometimes have birthmarks/birth defects."

-Partly true, it doesn't. But neither does your reincarnation fantasy explain birth defects either, it only does in your own mind.

"Also, your theory doesn't explain how these children have memories of one certain individual."

-Perhaps his doesn't explain it but mine, Carl Wickland's, and numerous spiritualist messages certainly DOES explain it, I noticed that you have never addressed that and you seem to wish to choose to ignore it.


"Sometimes these children may also remember their past life, event's of their life as a discarnate spirit and of course their present life."

-As Ian Stevenson himself wrote...most of these so called "memories" are entirely imaginary. It also seems that you are willing to accept the events of their so called discarnate life before birth as being factual...with no proof whatsoever that any of that "pre-life" memory is even valid.


"Birthmarks and birth defects are produced before birth, thus your theory is false."

-It is not known WHEN birthmarks are formed...period. Also, if we live many, many lives and birthmarks are a "proof" of our many, many lives...then why are we not all walking around covered in birthmarks?

-I also notice that you have not addressed the issue of the myth of linear reincarnation...would you mind explaining to all how in a timeless realm, there is "RE" incarnation please?

-It also seems that you neglect the fact that this is our most telltale statistic: A life cut short; the case histories of so-called past lives are top-heavy with sudden death. If you sampled the literature today, you would find that perhaps seven or eight out of ten such “previous personalities” met a violent or untimely demise. Contrast this 75% with a mere 7% in the general population who expire in a sudden, violent manner. How can reincarnation be natural, as exponents claim, if this lopsided statistic at once puts the lie to its normalcy? Clearly, there is something else at work. That something-else brings us to the unquiet dead, whose One of the most common criticisms of reincarnation being the supposed glamour or fame that one “finds” in his past life, defenders have made sure to answer the charge with various cases of a humble, poor, drab, uninteresting prior self. Bridey Murphy would be a good example. Yet a greater reproof exists, one that proponents have done nothing to offset: the glaring occurrence of sudden death among those who have “come back.”


traumatic demise becomes in turn, the source of a great array of ghostly disturbances. Perfectly at random, I select a recent book on children’s past lives, written by a psychotherapist. One can scarcely find here a normal sort of death for the various “previous personalities” mentioned – killed in a quarrel, killed by an angry customer, gunshot, killed by the train, fatal wound, shot in the back of the head, killed in a gang shooting, robbed and killed, hit by a car, one of the Marines killed in the barracks explosion in Beirut in 1983 -------- But, truth to tell, this is standard fare in the reincarnation literature! It hardly varies, continually citing past scenes of horrific shock, crime, accident, slaughter. Where is the 93% of natural deaths? It’s not there. I'll say this, those who BELIEVE this will TRY to come back.

Also Mr. Raimo, a few more "modern" facts for you to contend with instead of arguing with Art about his philosophy. From an article written by Michael Tymn:


Dr. Mitchell Gibson, a resident of Summerfield, NC, further explains that he developed the ability to see auras and attachments around people during his residency, but, for the most part, he did not share the information with others. A board-certified forensic psychiatrist, Gibson received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then completed his residency training at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. During his last year of residency he served as chief resident in psychiatry and received the Albert Einstein Foundation Research Award for his work in sleep disorders. He is the author of Your Immortal Body of Light, published in 2006 by Reality Press.


Dr. Gibson, would you mind giving an example or two of the clairvoyant impressions you began receiving?

“One client presented with marital problems and depression. I saw a large, portly man hovering over her…he was using foul language and berating her fiercely. The memory sticks out because his skin had very large discolored areas. The client stated that she had been having nightmares about her father, a large portly man who argued with her constantly and was verbally abusive. He suffered from a severe case of vitiligo, a rare skin disorder.

“Another client, an emergency medical technician, presented with intense suicidal thoughts and depression. I saw several entities around him that had died by suicide. The entities were entreating him to join them. I told him of my visions and he was shocked. He had hesitated to mention the entities because he did not want to lose his job. Depression was more acceptable a diagnosis than psychosis. We persuaded the entities to leave and he returned to work without the thoughts or depression.”

In your book, you talk about “attaching spirits, a form of possession.” Is this a common cause of illness?

“Attaching spirits are very common. I liken them to mankind’s discovery of bacteria. We can’t see them without special instrumentation, but they can still affect us. Many attaching spirits do not cause problems, but a some types are very problematic. The same is true of bacteria. In time, I believe that we will discover that disease may be caused by pathogens that are more energy than matter. In effect, they bridge the space between solid objects and thought consciousness. In my experience, when a person dies with an illness, the soul will carry the energy pattern of that pathogen. If the soul attaches to another living human, that human may then manifest the illness carried by the departed soul. I have seen a number of illnesses remit after the attaching spirit leaves the body. This is an ancient belief that is held by a number of cultures. I am hardly the first to report this phenomenon.”

Once you clairvoyantly diagnose a person with an attachment, how do you treat it?

“Over time, I developed a number of techniques that allow me to remove the entities that attach to an individual. Oddly enough, talking to the entity and asking them to leave is one of the most effective methods of treatment. I have also discovered some very effective ancient Taoist treatments that remove entities. There are a number of prayers that have a positive effect on the condition of attaching spirits. The Ana B’Koach, an ancient Hebrew prayer, has a powerful effect on spirits, especially when said over time. The Usnisa Vijaya Dharani, an ancient Sanskrit Prayer, has an equally powerful effect on attaching entities. We only remove the entity if the client wants to have the entity removed. There are some cases where the client does not want the entity to be removed. This happens mostly when the entity is a loved one or relative.”

No more philosophy now, deal with the facts, one by one, that I have presented to you.

Further Mr. Raimo:

"All these paranormal processes happen before birth."


-First, how do you know this? Are you a doctor? A pscyhic? A medium? An ardent reincarnation proponent who ignores all other evidence?

-Second, if you don't think a spirit can attach to a fetus, would you please explain how a "reincarnating" soul does?

-Third, why do you not think that perhaps some "memories" are nothing more than misplaced clairvoyance as well? Would you address this please. Are you a psychic? Medium? Surely this has been attested to by numerous spiritualists from Emmanuel Swedenborg and on...would you please discount this as well as all the other issues I have raised.

Just to expand somewhat on Art's "oneness" NDEs, I'm not arguing with you Art, only adding to what you have written:


NDE 1= "I was then absorbed into the Light and became One with the Light. I knew everything there was to know about “existence and the universe”. The experience of joy and unconditional love in the Light was so intense that I can not find words in the English language to convey the ecstasy that overwhelmed me. I became One with the Eternal Light, but still retained my unique personality, all at the same moment."


NDE 2= "Reunification is not entirely the same as "seeing". It is a joining together. The reuniting is much more completely a joining rather than physical touching. While there is complete separation for each individual to exist, there is also a complete joining. A harmonious blending together of everyone. There was this intimacy which permeated the whole while also remaining and retaining one's individual self and identity. It is a very complete, so totally satisfying "togetherness"."

One last thing on this note...this statement: "I knew everything there was to know about “existence and the universe”."

Seems to "qualify" what is written by the Wicklands in the messages from Madame Blavatsky about being in error, and learning in one day what takes a lifetime to learn on earth....well, so let's all just reincarnate and lose all of that knowledge...AGAIN.

ART: "don't you think that reincarnation would be rather schizophrenic - like having multiple personality disorder?"

Sorry for so many posts, but on this note, I had to throw in this article I just found...about the "reincarnation" of a "golden child" and the lamas of Tibet (with all of their reincarnation gained knowledge):

When a 'Chosen' Tibetan Lama Says No Thanks
Jun. 07, 2009

Lama Tenzin Osel.


"For the last time, I'm not your messiah," groans the title character in the 1979 comedy The Life of Brian. (They crucify him, anyway.) There's an echo of Brian's panicked renunciation in a shakeup currently underway in Tibetan Buddhism — in this case, nobody's laughing, although the ending will, no doubt, be happier.

Late last month, two Spanish media outlets confirmed that 24-year-old Tenzin Osel Rinpoche, one of the most renowned Buddhist "golden children" — toddlers determined through dreams, oracular riddles and their own "memories" to be tulkus, or reincarnations of high Tibetan Buddhist lamas — has abandoned his foretold identity. Instead of a Lama, he wants to be a filmmaker, and has reverted to his original Spanish name, Osel Hita Torres.

The abdication of the anointed tulku is a significant embarrassment to the group he was supposed to head, the powerhouse Foundation for the Preservation of the Monastic Tradition (FPMT), the foremost Tibetan teaching organization in the West. It also challenges Westerners who have adopted Buddhism to find more sophisticated ways of understanding its magical side.
In 1989, with the approval of his Spanish convert parents, four-year-old Hita was tapped by FPMT monks as the reincarnation of the group's co-founder Thubten Yeshe. Their methods will be familiar to anyone who has seen Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha or the current documentary Unmistaken Child: The monks reportedly heeded some dreams; the Dalai Lama consulted an oracle; and the capper was that young Hita "recalled" the color of the dead lama's car.

Last month, however, the magazine Babylon confirmed that the shaggy-haired Hita had long-ago dropped out of his Tibetan University, and that he no longer even considers himself a Buddhist. He was quoted more pointedly in the newspaper El Mundo as saying, "I was taken away from my family and put in a medieval situation in which I suffered a lot. It was like living a lie."

Britain's Guardian then added the delicious factoid that at one point the only people Hita saw were Buddhist monks and Richard Gere. Last Monday, a statement attributed to Hita appeared on the FPMT website calling the press reports "sensationalized," and insisting "there is no separation between myself and FPMT." Still, his confirmation of his career change in the same posting in fact suggests a major rift.

The West, he says, "has a romantic ideal that these lamas have some kind of super-vision and can look at a child and say, he's the one." While signs and portents may play a role in monastic successions, he explains, so do more worldly considerations. Tulkus often inherit considerable wealth and influence, and powerful monks will jockey to place their own candidates. The political needs of their lineage also figure. And sometimes the consensus-based system doesn't yield a clear winner: Tibetan history crackles with bloody battles between rival claimants or their camps.

None of this is unfamiliar to Western religious traditions. Roman Catholic Popes are supposedly chosen by the divine intervention of the Holy Spirit upon a conclave of cardinals — yet many have proven less than holy, and wars have been fought over successions. A bit like Catholics through the ages, says Baran, Tibetan Buddhists "assess a tulku's wisdom not by his title, but by his piety and learning." The monks try to pick the bright and promising children, he says; but Tibetans also assume the weeding-out function of the extensive tulku education: "no matter who they pick, the best and the brightest will surface in the course of the process."

By that logic, Hita simply weeded himself out. Robert Thurman, a Buddhist scholar, former monk and friend of the Dalai Lama, recounts that when told years ago that Hita was to receive a traditional Buddhist education in India he expressed concern. Thurman's argument: "If he wanted Tibetan traditional [education] he could have reincarnated in a Tibetan family in exile." The result of the misplacement, he says, is that Hita "has broken away in a full-blown identity crisis."

Just to expand somewhat on Art's "oneness" NDEs, I'm not arguing with you Art, only adding to what you have written: - Pat
--------------------------------------------

LOL! I can tell you feel about the same was as I do about "reincarnation." It's a made up story to explain some very difficult and complicated evidence. I believe the evidence (for the most part) might be real, but I am very skeptical of it's interpretation.

For last several years I've thought that most religions might have originated or be outgrowths from near death experiences, death bed visions, and mystical experiences but the sequence of events have most likely been changed, the stories have become highly embellished, and they have been influenced by the culture in which they originated.

Another words, there is a "grain of truth" in the story, but it's not "it's either all true or it's all lies" but instead "some of it's true and some of it's made up balogna." I think the Bible is a good case in point.

I'm fairly well convinced that Jesus (and the apostle Paul) were near death experiencers and then a story was woven and embellished around what happened to them. When that soldier in the gospel of John stuck that spear in Jesus side and and "water and blood" ran out Jesus's pericardium was perforated and the pressure on Jesus's heart was relieved and then when they quickly cut him down from the cross they flopped him on the ground and it was enough to re-start his heart. Then the women tightly bound up his wounds which was enough to keep him from bleeding to death and then he was in a coma for three days after which he came walking out of his tomb. Everyone had seen him crucified on the cross and then later here he is walking around talking about how he has been to heaven and all the amazing things he learned. That is why so many of the stories in the Sermon on the Mount parallel so closely what some near death experiencers say. I'm fairly certain that Christianity is a highly embellished, out of sequence, near death experience, religion.

By the way, Pat, I loved the two NDE's you quoted from! Very holographic... Good stuff. Thank you, Art

Mr. Pat, I have never heard of Carl Wickland and I don't trust spiritualists. If you can tell me about Wickland's theory, I'd like to hear about it.

I have very little time so spend on the internet, so I can only answer shortly to some things you wrote. If you write too long messages, I'll have to ignore them.

"why do you not think that perhaps some "memories" are nothing more than misplaced clairvoyance as well? Would you address this please."

Because those memories are some certain dead individual's memories, not any random stuff.

"I also notice that you have not addressed the issue of the myth of linear reincarnation...would you mind explaining to all how in a timeless realm, there is "RE" incarnation please?"

We have linear time in physical reality. You could as well ask how could have we been born in the first place.

"It is not known WHEN birthmarks are formed...period."

It's obvious that they are formed before birth. That's an undeniable fact.

I don't know about the statistics you mentioned, but they don't offer any evidence against reincarnation. It's probable that lives that end violently are easier to remember. It's also possible that reincarnation research distorts the statistics. If everybody reincarnates, only few have clear memories. Also, it's possible that everybody doesn't reincarnate and violent death or other kind of premature death may cause the soul to reincarnate.

By the way mr. Pat, Raimo is my first name.

Art wrote:

"I'm fairly well convinced that Jesus (and the apostle Paul) were near death experiencers"

I don't believe in Jesus. I'm convinced that he's just a fictional character.

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/

There are remarkable NDEs, where reincarnation is mentioned. For example Mellen Benedict tells about his NDE:
"The center of the Earth is this great transmuter of energy, just as you see in pictures of our Earth's magnetic field. That's our cycle, pulling reincarnated souls back in and through it again. A sign that you are reaching human level is that you are beginning to evolve an individual consciousness."

You can have very distorted view, if you only read about NDEs, which support your theories.

There are remarkable NDEs, where reincarnation is mentioned. For example Mellen Benedict tells about his NDE:
"The center of the Earth is this great transmuter of energy, just as you see in pictures of our Earth's magnetic field. That's our cycle, pulling reincarnated souls back in and through it again. A sign that you are reaching human level is that you are beginning to evolve an individual consciousness." - Raimo

--------------------------------------------

If we all get mixed back together, like like a blender, and then spewed out again then we are for all intents and purposes "
all souls, billions and billions of them, and not just a few thousand. In fact, why should it be just limited to the Earth? Why not every planet with life on it in the entire Universe? There could be billions or even trillions of them. Why would be limited to reincarnating to just Earth? What is to stop us from being reincarnated on Alpha Centauri or somewhere in the Pleiades?

But the truth is that I'm extremely suspicious of reincarnation and think it's a made up explanation for something that we don't understand, and it has something to do with the holographic nature of the Universe and the "reciever/transmitter" way our brains are designed. Once we have developed our own sense of self, those so called past life memories start to fade away.

Pat -

Learn to post a link. And to relax a bit.

We know you're easily excited, but interestingly, lots of who are wholly disinterested in your opinion don't appreciate having to scroll for hours to get by your continuous comments.

Learning how to post a nice short link - and a friendlier attitude would be an awesome thing to work on this week - I promise, you'll thank me later.

A very interesting discussion about reincarnation and other things is happening here:

http://everythingelseatheism.blogspot.com/2009/06/they-still-do-parapsychology-research.html

Raimo

The Carl Wickland book is called "Thirty Years Among the Dead". Wickland was a psychiatrist and not a spiritualist as far as I can recall. I think you would find it a most interesting read. I don't think it can be adequately summarised on a blog. It will give you a potential alternative interpretation to the reincarnation model of survival. I recommend it to you if you can get a copy.

You could try this link as I think this is a free online copy but I don't know if it is the entire book.

http://dovercentrebooks.com/Spiritualism/etexts/57/00.htm

The link Vitor posted is interesting, but the writer is obviously working very hard to reject the reincarnation idea. Consider this excerpt:

"Admittedly there appear to be a couple of inexplicable hits. First, the child said he flew off a boat. When asked the name of the boat he says 'Natoma', and when asked the name of someone on the boat, he says 'Jack Larson'. While flipping through another book on WWII, James points at Iwo Jima and says that's where he got shot down. The father discovers there was a boat called the Natoma Bay, and finds there was only one Corsair pilot from this ship who was shot down at Iwo Jima, and his name was James M. Huston Jr. ...

" 'Natoma' is the name of a ship he could no doubt have seen in one of his father’s books. But 'Natoma' is not quite 'Natoma Bay' - and did he say 'Natoma' or just something similar? We’ll never know. Only 'John Larson”' can’t be explained easily. But even with this we really don’t know:

- If James really said these words
- If he was prompted
- If he said it after his father had read the name to him, and the father’s timeline is confused
- If he said something close that the father mis-remembered later when he read the name John Larson
- How many other things the kid said over the course of four plus years that did not match up but that the parents have forgotten ...."

So if James said "Natoma" and not "Natoma Bay," it's a big deal? Or maybe he didn't say it at all - or "John Larson" either. Basically, the writer's method is to assume that the parents are lying or mistaken about every detail of the case.

The article also accuses Ian Stevenson of "asking leading questions" of the children he's interviewed. Unfortunately, the link included to support this claim goes to an expired Web page. Oops.

There is a very good outline of the kind of questions Stevenson asks in Old Souls (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Old-Souls-Scientific-Search-Proof/dp/0684851938/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245334761&sr=8-1) which I highly recommend.

It's also pretty great because it is a journalist who followed Stevenson, and is notable because there is an American child in it whom the author investigates himself.

I found in "Past Life Memory Case Studies" (1990) by Matlock:

Rogo (1985, pp. 73-86) centers his attention on four cases in which he has detected problems. The first of these is the case of Mounzer Haidar (Stevenson, 1980). In investigating this case, Stevenson first sketched the location of a birthmark on the subject's abdomen. When he subsequently interviewed the previous person's mother, he asked her where he had been shot, and she pointed to the right side of her abdomen. Stevenson then showed her his sketch, and the woman said that the wound was in the place marked. For Rogo, this indicates that Stevenson sometimes leads his witnesses. He would prefer that Stevenson had asked the woman to sketch the place the bullet had entered the body before showing her his sketch.

I think this criticism is not valid in cases with written records before verification.

The comments to this entry are closed.