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Interesting that you bring up cases of possession because that's basically what I'd call it, although I'm unfamiliar with his work and don't know the ages of the children. Are they prior to the age of accountability? If so, I don't think it would be demon possession. I realize it's not very popular these days, but I believe evil exists and also think demonic possession is more frequent than we could imagine. I tend to agree with the belief that SOME people who believe they are reincarnated are simply hosts for a demon(s) who continually looks for new hosts as his previous ones die or voluntarily cast him out. When a demon takes possession of a new victim, it brings some "memories" (from want of a better word) from it's former hosts, hence the previous memories of other lives in so-called reincarnated people. Did you notice Dennis Rader has joined so many other serial killers in saying he feels he is demon-possessed? I firmly believe it. In believers circles it's called time-sharing and is the most difficult to discern because it's not always obvious since the demon is not always in the victim. If Rader recognized it, one can only wonder why he didn't seek help in being exorcized - unless he really didn't want to be.
>And in a very large majority of cases, the deceased person died young, in pain and trauma because of some illness or violent act. "Past life" memories of old people who died peacefully in their sleep are rarely, if ever, found by Stevenson.

The deceased person typically has strong feelings of attachment to his family and home, often impelling the child to visit and "reestablish" old ties. In some cases the deceased seems anxious to bring his murderer to justice or to rectify some wrong done to him, or done by him. <
None of that sounds like a "good" spirit...what kind of spirit would "impell" a child to undo a past wrong for him? At the very least it has it's own interests #1, not the child. It's just using the child for it's own purposes.

This seems a reasonable hypothesis - especially since these "reincarnations" always seem to be temporary.

What puzzles me, however, is that even channeled communications - while consistent as to many aspects of the afterlife - conflict as to reincarnation. Some communicators insist it is a reality and that they themselves have lived many past lives. Others adamantly deny there is any such thing. It is strange that even those on the "other side", who presumably should know one way or the other by this point, cannot agree whether reincarnation is a fact or not.

Suzie,

I would call them earthbound spirits rather than demons, though there may well be some overlap. Some of these earthbound souls may simply be confused, rather than malicious. If raised in a culture that accepts reincarnation, they may be more likely to attempt it, and even to think that this is what they are supposed to do.

No doubt there are malevolent spirits, but there are also "lost souls" seeking guidance. Many examples of the latter type are given in Wickland's Thirty Years Among the Dead, which may be read in its entirety at:

http://www.harvestfields.netfirms.com/etexts/57/00.htm

As for the age of the children, most are just old enough to talk when they start describing their "past life." Most forget by age twelve or so.

I do think that serial killers and other evil persons are, in some cases, under the control of malevolent spirit entities - though their own "low vibrations" probably attracted the entities in the first place.

Virginia,

You're right that reincarnation is one of the few areas where there are significant disagreements among mediums. One possible explanation is that the communicators themselves do not know the full story. It is also possible that some souls are frequently reincarnated while others are not, and that the communicators tend to be of the first type. One thing that mediums do generally agree on is that there are degrees of advancement in the afterlife, with some souls having more wisdom and fewer earthly attachments than others.

Another option is that the concept of time is inapplicable to the afterlife, so that what might seem to us like a chronological series of incarnations could appear quite different to the communicators.

As Yul Brynner would have said, it is a puzzlement.

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