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Perhaps those souls which deny reincarnation actually have a personal or cultural distaste for it, although I've never seen a source say this explicitly. The parapsychological evidence is stronger in favor of reincarnation than for any other phenomenon I know of.

FYI, I did order the Stringfellow book from the publisher for $14.95 + $5 shipping. Not sure why Amazon sells only used copies, at a hugely inflated price. Why would anyone pay $95 and up for a used copy when you can buy a new one for so much less?


Great post. What kinds of things does The Risen say against reincarnation, and how credible do you find that testimony?

I don't think we can doubt the existence of reincarnation, but the discrepancies among communications are strange.

I think our general assumptions are that everyone who "crosses over" is given enlightenment about what happens to everyone when they die. While reincarnation may be possible for some, and even encouraged, there is no reason for others to do the same - such as Myers with the Group Soul environment. As many communicators tell us, we shouldn't be surprised when we find that those who were abrasive, mean, funny, annoying, etc, share that same quality when they get to the next realm.

I would think - the focus of a communicator (and the one receiving the communications) is not simply "do you come back?" but is more concerned with "what's going on over there?" An emphatic denial of reincarcation may mean that the communicator simply knows nothing about it because 1) it is unneeded for their particular growth and 2) that knowledge has not been presented to them by the particular "souls" he is in contact with. Nobody in his "group" has a need to be reincarnated and nobody knows anything about it. Similar to how nobody in my profession knows a thing about rocket science. Heck, I don't even know if there is a "rocket science".

But, in a nutshell, I think its ok to assume that if personality and knowledge is not lost in the next world, people can still be skeptical about one area of survival research when they "cross - over."

And I guess that means Paul-Wu will still be "trolling" us as well. Without changing his screen name. And still trying to convince us ridiculous we are.

Don't many Christian NDErs see something of reincarnation in their accounts of of the other world?

Interesting, but don't most people have enough opportunity to "perfect" their souls during one lifetime - that is, presumably learn to be kinder, more compassionate, merciful, etc.? It seems wearisome and pointless. I prefer Borgia's view in "Life in the World Unseen," where one can still redeem themselves even after they've died with a change of heart.

Someone, I'm not sure about Christian NEDers mentioning reincarnation, but I was surprised to see a Christian channeler and their Christian subject (deceased) very much state that there is reincarnation.

Avery, I am curious about why you think the evidence for reincarnation is stronger than for any other phenomena?

Here is some of my own channeled information.

I was in a channeling class, and I made contact with one of my previous incarnations, one to whom I feel very close. She appeared to me and said, "I'm still alive." For one of the few times in my life I felt the divine love, the kind that NDErs talk about, coming from her to me. It was overpowering, and I almost had to push it away (but did not) feeling, "I don't deserve this."

This struck me as a pretty clear indication that our incarnations do not disappear in the Afterlife. The teacher of the class said that everything is happening all at once, so that is why she is still "there." I certainly think that is part of it.

I think the group soul or soul family concept is another part of it. I am an incarnation of the Higher Self, just as she was around 1782 to 1840. I carry the memories and karma (not quite the right word--soul vector?) of her and our other incarnations, but they all continue to exist.

Depending on your definition of reincarnation, you could say that reincarnation does not happen, that only memories are passed on, etc.

"I think our general assumptions are that everyone who "crosses over" is given enlightenment about what happens to everyone when they die."

very shaky assumption, IMO

I agree with Matt. I recently had the experience of talking to a ghost that told me he was coming back as another child of his own father. He said that even after he is reincarnated, he will still be able to communicate with me as a ghost. I didn't think that made any sense, but he says it makes sense to him.

I don't usually try to figure out how the afterlife works. It's hard enough figuring out how this life is supposed to work. But that was what I was told, for whatever it might be worth.

why you think the evidence for reincarnation is stronger than for any other phenomena?

Because it's hard to objectively dismiss reincarnation.

NDEs are often explained away by low oxygen, DMT, etc

Reincarnation is a bit different. We have a child who states X and researchers can determine if X is real or not.

The only argument skeptics have against reincarnation is that it's fraudulent. Kids are making stuff up, they're lying to get attention, or they're lying to get benefits from TV or book deals.

While this latter may be true in western countries, eastern countries lack this. In India it's apparently normal for children to talk about their past life. But these children gets no book signing or TV show.

So to conclude my random ranting, reincarnation is stronger because it can objectively be proven. It's hard to prove "I had an NDE and saw god" but it's easy to prove "I was once a carpenter, my name was X, I lost 3 fingers on a job site, and my wife and children names are ____."

The Afterlife of Leslie Stringfellow."
I like this little book. It seems to be a very "natural" exposition.
I don't remember seeing anything about reincarnation in it.
I believe Conan Doyle said something to the effect that:
reincarnation, if it happens, only happens after a long time.Let us take one step at a time.

If we cross over to the next world as we are,( i.e. we don't suddenly become wise) it is inevitable that there will be as many different beliefs there,at first, as there are here.
Summerland is the 2nd level; Myers was giving information about the 4th level.

But Matt and Sandy, we have cases such as those researched and recorded by Ian Stevenson where the children claim and present some very convincing evidence - right down to birth marks - to be/have been the actual deceased person; not some member of an esoteric group soul. Ditto James Lenienger and a few other cases outside of Stevenson.

The birth marks seem to me to be suggesting that it is the exact same personality, or mental body, in a new physical body. Occam's razzor and all.

Friggin' typepad italics curse...

no one,

I don't see any contradiction with what you wrote and I wrote. I *do* believe in reincarnation.

No one, I didn't say reincarnation couldn't occur. But I think you can be more than one "you" at a time. Both a discarnate "you" and a living "you". This idea of linear time is just what we are used to in this life. Timeless was what my NDE was like, with a now that was both really small (right now) and really big (it's always and continually now, isn't it?). So why can't every person I've ever been or ever will be coexist in that timelessness?

I just wrote an email to someone who had a question about NDEs, and although the topic is different from reincarnation, I thought my (admittedly longwinded) answer might be somewhat relevant. The person was asking about those comparatively rare NDEs in which a living person shows up, and wondering if these cases undercut the reality of NDEs. I wrote:

My impression is that people see what they need to see (though not necessarily what they *want* to see). The Tibetan Book of the Dead says that the early stages of postmortem existence involve quasi-real figures and environments — not hallucinations exactly, but imagery reflecting the mindset of the experiencer. If you need to see Jesus (or still-living rapper Kid Cudi, as one person did), then that's who you'll see. The NDE seems to occupy a borderland between objective reality and subjective imagination. The same seems to hold true, by the way, for so-called alien abductions, which have much in common with NDEs. I don't think there are real, physical aliens abducting people, but there may be an element of the OBE that corresponds to this experience and which is (mis)interpreted as being physically real. Shamanic vision quests, often precipitated by ingesting hallucinogens, follow a similar pattern.

Probably the most helpful way of looking at it, at least for me, is to think in terms of the famous 19th century book Flatland, in which A.Square, a two-dimensional person who lives on a sheet of paper, is magically lifted up into the three-dimensional world. He finds the experience awe-inspiring and incomprehensible. When he returns to Flatland, he tries to tell his fellow Flatlanders about it, but his words make no sense to them, and they decide he is crazy.

(Text of Flatland: )

I suspect that the transition from this space-time universe to the "higher plane" of postmortem life is equally disorienting and equally hard to put into words or to encompass with our "limited" minds. A skeptic would say this is a cop-out, but really, why should we expect that we, as Flatlanders, can grasp higher dimensions unknown to us in our physical incarnation? The whole distinction between "real" and "unreal" may fail at a certain point, even though it is highly necessary here and now.

My guess is that the early stages of death, including what we call an NDE, are so disorienting to the mind that it does its best to make sense of it by coming up with familiar, and comforting, images and symbols. And since the creative power of the mind is much greater in the postmortem state than it is during physical incarnation, these imaginative leaps produce "real" people and environments. The committed Christian may find himself meeting Jesus or singing in a choir of angels, while the Buddhist may encounter Buddha and the Hindu may be greeted by Krishna. The mind does its best to smooth the transition and find safe ground. Later, after a period of R&R, the spirit may be better able to face this new environment and to process it. At that point he finds himself in a world of shared consciousness that is consistent and apparently "real." And it is real, yet by all accounts it's not the final or highest reality, and from a higher perspective it will appear dreamlike, just as our earthly world appears dreamlike to those who have transcended it.

Trying to nail down this phenomenon in simple either-or, black-and-white terms - the terms of objective reality as understood in the physical universe - is probably a hopeless task. It would be like trying to understand the physics of the 3D world in terms of Flatland's mindset. There's a natural inclination to try this, but I think it is self-defeating.

Nice answer, Michael.

It *is* rare for people in NDEs to see living people, but I don't think that's a problem unless the living people are represented as dead (i.e., there would be no content contrary to reality as we know it unless a living person were represented specifically as being on the other side). Now one could say that the rapper had to be a hallucination because that person was not actually participating in the "event." Yet I believe that I help people cross over in my dreams quite a bit, and it's possible that the rapper did the same thing in his dream.

More and more, I have sloughed the standard belief that dreams are just dreams, not real. I now think of them as OBEs taking place on the Astral Plane or elsewhere.

If we change our perspective on whether dreams are real or not, then we can (must?) also change with regard to the "reality quotient" of NDEs and other experiences. In a way, that's a sop to our opponents, who can just say, "See, it's all just a bunch of dreams and stuff!" In reality, however, it's the veridical content of NDEs that is going to convince people sitting on the fence; anything else can be dismissed as a dream anyway.

Yes. Nice answer Michael. I see it pretty much the same way you do.

Matt and Sandy, it's been a while since I've read Steveson and I don't have his books (there's a nice collection at the University of Arizona library). So. I can't provide an accurate reference. Any how, in several cases the subject recalled the period between the death of the original personality and the rebirth of the personality being studied (as did Lieninger). There seems to be a 100% continuity. It's very linear.

Maybe the group soul thing comes into play at more advanced levels of consciousness - as ego boudaries disolve more maybe these connections become more apparent - but for the more typical consciousness it very much appears that a unique personality is pulled out of one body, spends a period of a few years in a disembodied astral realm that has overlap with our physical realm and then reincarnates as a complete and distinct unit.

no one,

On one level I agree with you. I can trace my incarnations back to the late 1700s, and it seems that the gaps between them are very narrow.

At the same time, however, I have an incarnation that is telling me that she is "still alive."

So I am saying, can't two things be true at the same time: That I continued the chain of incarnations and *am* she, but she also retains her own... self? There would seem to be no contradiction with what you say is true.

But I'm going to throw a further wrench in all this. We've talked a lot about functional entities on this blog. We've also talked about super psi and the possibility that when your friendly neighborhood medium is talking to dear departed Aunt Sally, he might really just be pulling her persona out of your mind, other people's minds, or the air itself. But what if we apply the functional entity concept here and suppose that there is no dividing line between "real" spirits and functional entities--they are *all* functional entities.

Now what if we further blow our minds and suppose that there is no dividing line between functional entities and what we are right now?

Thus, it could be that our past and current lives are all brought into being through intentional forces, in which case our past lives are simultaneous with our current lives to the extent that our intentions bring our past lives into being.

Now that is somewhat the negative spin on things, rather like the Twilight Zone episode of the guy in prison who is dreaming everyone around him into existence. The positive spin is that life and myth coexist in this very complicated Web, and within it we have an indestructible nature that can take many forms. Or as Emerson says in his poem "Brahma," "the subtle ways I keep, and pass, and turn again."

Here's one clue that's leading me in this direction. I have noticed that dreams are sometimes time-stamped in a funny way. A dream that I *know* I had years ago seems as though I could have had it last night. And then I ask myself, "What if the dream is not *in* time, and it makes no difference when I had it?" And that, I conclude, is the truth in some sense.

Similarly with incarnations. In some sense, they follow as a progression. In my fourth life ago, I am in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars. I did not know anything about TV, etc. But in another sense, those incarnations are all in a pool of being that is not time-stamped, so to speak.

Matt, I could go along with all of that at least as a mental exercise. However, there is one issue that keeps coming to the forefront of my mind as a spoiler every time I get into one of these, "Maybe it's all happening at once" discussions.

That issue is free will.

If we are making choices that have an effect on not just the future, but who we are as spiritual beings, then there must be an element of linearity and progress.

This doesn't mean there has to be an unadultrated straight line. There probably are all kinds of feedback loops. Still there is directionality.

Unless you don't think we have free will. But that then opens a whole pandora's box that I think ultimately removes any sense of spiritual purposefullness and meaning from life.

@no one,

If we look at it from a materialistic standpoint, there is no such thing as free will. The brain creates the thoughts which in turn causes our action. So we can't really be responsible for anything we do.

But if we look at it from a spiritual version, free will exists. But this version of free will implies that we are somehow separate from the rest of society. No influence can be exerted on us and we can't exert any influence upon others.

In my opinion, both theories are flawed. I think we have a partial free-will existence. Friends, families, careers, etc all influence us in one way or another. Free will assumes that what we are doing is 100% our own. But in reality this is not true. Friends, families, community, etc all affect what we do and who we are. But the ultimate decision to engage in the action is in us. We decide if the action proceeds or not.

For example, why don't you use crack or heroin? It gives the best high and causes all pain and worries to disappear. You probably won't do it because of outside influences. Your family, friends, and community would probably frown upon such behavior.

However, the choice to use crack or heroin ultimately rest upon us.

In terms of spirituality, I don't think spirituality is necessarily free will. Rather, the free will is more like a choice of destinies.

passenger, I think there is a fundemental free will and that it is critical to spiritual development.

Here's a hypothetical example of the kind of free will I am talking about: A man has a loved one, say a wife, who is suffering from a medical condition that makes her less of a wife than she was when they were first married and makes her a financial burden on the man. The man can stay with the wife and show her love and compassion and care for her and live a less materially satisfying life or he can divorce the wife and leave her to the disability system (say she has no other family) and he can go on to enjoy a materially gainful carer in another part of the country.

He has free will. He can choose. There are societal pressures toward either choice.

Here's another example: A man can tell a lie and gain financially and socially with the "in crowd", but the result of the lie is that many people will die (think Colin Powell) or he can tell the truth and lose his social and financial standing, but keep his integrity.

Heres another example: I have been wronged. It's done and over. I was hurt badly badly by the wrong deliberately inflicted on me by another. I can go for bloody revenge against the one who wronged me or I can forgive and move on. It's my choice.

Here's another example: It's a beautiful day. I can go outside and enjoy it and feel genuine happiness or I can sit around inside staring at soap operas on TV.

I guess maybe I don't understand your point. We are constantly faced with choices. This seems self evident to me. Some choices perhaps more pivotal - more "standing at the crossroads" material - than others, but the choices are daily, hourly, 24/7/365.

"For example, why don't you use crack or heroin? It gives the best high and causes all pain and worries to disappear. You probably won't do it because of outside influences. Your family, friends, and community would probably frown upon such behavior."

No. I do a lot of things that are outside of the approval of family (which I don't have much left of) and community (who I see as a bunch of dullards). I don't use crack because I think it is very dangerous, addictive and makes the user into a crazy zombie, which is something I don't want to be. I did smoke some fine grade heroine once just to have the experience. If I was ever in great physical pain or unbearable emotional pain and I needed brief respite, I'd probably use heroine, sparingly, for that purpose (I have some tragedies in my life and have not yet felt the need).

Perhaps to your point, I think that there is a reason most spiritual traditions involve a period of time, when the initiate is finding his/her path, that the iniate must leave family and society behind.

Thanks Passenger. I don't see how reincarnation evidence is any less vulnerable to objection than some other forms of phenomena, other than NDEs - which I agree with you on.

It seems to me that reincarnation evidence is often reliant on the notes of those recording the evidence and satisfying themselves that there is no fraud. Isn't that true for other phenomena such as different forms of mediumship for example?

passenger, on further reflection, I guess I do know what you are saying about societal pressures and free will. It's just that, ultimately, I disagree that a self actualized - or spiritualy realized - individual has that as an excuse. In fact, I would say that overcoming societal pressures is one of the great challenges of the spiritual path.

On an extreme end of the spectrum, "I was merely following orders" just doesn't cut it.

That said, I do think that most people are just going through the motions that they've been taught. They seek security in the herd and confirmation in the eyes of the other members of their society.

Interesting post, Michael. It's some time since I read up on this stuff. I recall at the time being mightily exercised over the reincarnation discrepancy. My sense now is that people who are in the next stage of life don't know much more than we do about such things, and continue to speculate, while those that are further on are more likely to say that reincarnation occurs. If it turns out the latter are just as divided, then my comfortable theory will be shot to pieces.

I haven't got around to Betty's book yet, but will do soon - there are some sources there that I didn't recognise. I'm puzzled by one of the quotes you give here, about the blueprints. I recognised it from Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves, as a channelled statement from her friend Frances Banks (p. 34). Not sure why Betty attributes it to this other chap.



About reincarnation, I think the strongest evidence is the children who seem to remember past lives, because once we have excluded fraud, the ordinary ways of knowledge and mere coincidence, as we are prima facie cases of reincarnated. Other hypotheses can be formulated paranormal but
non-reincarnation, but they all break the link between memory and personal identity, making them very implausible from the start.

One problem is that even if we accept these cases as cases of reincarnation, these data suggest that only some human beings reincarnate. So we must ask ourselves whether all human beings reincarnate though not remember our past lives, where mediumistic communications become relevant. But the evidence on mediumship indicates that people have the same beliefs and knowledge after death than before death, as wrote Sleepers, so we expect no uniformity of views and many simply do not know if reincarnation is universal or who is meant by reincarnation.

And about free will, is not true that free will is to act separately from the rest of the world, with nothing to influence us, but free will is to act for oneself without being determined by internal or external processes, although we are under the constant influence of the world. Free will is a necessary condition of all our actions, and although free will can not be proven, denying free will is as absurd as to deny that we are conscious beings or that there is the external world. Philosophers may deny some of these claims, but these denials though not logical contradictions are practical contradictions. And it is true that from the third person perspective of the natural sciences there is no free will or consciousness, but from the first person perspective from everyday life we ​​know we have free will and we are conscious. Only lately due to the rapid advance of natural science has led to the objectivist attempt to reduce or eliminate the subjective perspective, which of course will never get because both perspectives are equally necessary for the compression of the world and ourselves.

no one,

I definitely believe in free will (passenger has some great points, however).

I don't see the problem for free will in non-linear time. My previous incarnations still exist and have free will in their dimension, and I have free will in my current life.

Or am I missing something?

I think the strongest case against reincarnation are ghost hunters.

Let's say hypothetically that a soul/ghost does exist and it somehow can communicate via EVP. Why aren't these souls/ghost reincarnating?

just something to think about


I think it is widely agreed that ghosts are spirits trapped "here," in the physical dimension, who have not moved on to the Afterlife proper. Hence, they cannot reincarnate.

OTOH, to your point, I've never heard of a medium saying, "Beloved Departed could not be reached, as he has reincarnated."

As a side note, today our six-year-old daughter was talking today about meeting her departed great-grandmother in her dreams. And seeing many of the dead people in our family, especially from Japan. She even has met my wife's departed dog, which died before our daughter was born.

Meeting the departed in dreams is the real deal. It is clear that the dream world is "close" to the Afterlife. What I gather from sources is that the dream world is the Astral Plane (4th dimension) and the Afterlife starts at the 5th. It is a relatively easy "step-down" for the departed to visit us in our dreams.

"I'm puzzled by one of the quotes you give here, about the blueprints. I recognised it from Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves, as a channelled statement from her friend Frances Banks (p. 34). Not sure why Betty attributes it to this other chap."

I must have gotten the quotes mixed up. I'll fix it. It's my mistake, not Betty's.


I also asked you about the testimony from The Risen and what you thought about it.

I'll tell you about my latest Michael Prescott read here so I can plug the book to everyone.

If y'all have not read one of Michael's thrillers yet, check them out! I just finished The Shadow Hunter, a great read. Abby Sinclair is a great character. I also found the villain, Raymond Hickle to be very well drawn. The psychological portrayal of the born loser and what motivates him is excellent. I suspect it's quite accurate how his filters distort the world to give himself a sense of self-worth that he can't find anywhere else. Did you research this or just go by gut on this?

What I really loved about the book was its pacing. Especially the third act. Just when you think it can't build any more, it does. Truly a book that was hard to put down. Well done, Michael!

Someone recently suggested that I need to work on writing down more of my ghost experiences because others might benefit from reading them. I'm not sure if anything I have to say is very helpful though. Some ghosts do believe in reincarnation, and I know of two cases where the ghost has told me who he is coming back as. In one case the baby will be born this summer, so I guess I'll find out if the ghost can still visit me after the baby is born.

Thanks, Matt! The Shadow Hunter will be out in a new edition (trade paperback and Kindle) in September. I just went by my gut regarding Hickle. It's not as hard for me to assume the mindset of a born loser as you might think! :-(

Re The Risen, I had mixed feelings about the book, as the author's claims about the nature and frequency of his contact with his deceased friend strained credulity somewhat. But it does contain some interesting ideas and is clearly a labor of love. The communicator in The Risen simply says that he expected to be reincarnated but was told by others wiser than himself that this never happens. Supposedly some spirits who are deeply committed to the idea of reincarnation convince themselves that it is happening to them, essentially creating a dreamworld existence in a new incarnation, but eventually they wake up and realize they are fooling themselves. So ... take it for what it's worth. It goes against the grain of a lot of other testimony and some empirical evidence.

"Or am I missing something?"

Maybe not, Matt. I don't know. It just seems like an overly complicated schema to me.

It is something I would need to think about with a clear mind and I don't have that right now.

My son is deploying to A-stan this Thursday. The mission is ill-equiped and poorly manned and would be dangerous even under the best logistics and supply (which, again, aren't in place). The Army is a F'ing bad joke wrapped in a worse political mess. In fact, the whole "war" is a ridiculous proposition born of imperial hubris and mil/industrial profiteering that should have been shut down years ago. My son - a decorated officer - doesn't believe in it either as he expressed in no uncertain terms once again to me earlier today. He is just doing his duty mostly because he doesn't have any viable options to get out of it. I have a bad feeling about it that I can't shake. His mother is besides herself. She knows the signs of FUBAR and he can't hide them from her despite his efforts.

This Fall we get to vote for elitist lying war mongering fascist #1 or elitist lying war mongering facsist #2.

Which one do you prefer?

I'm out of here for a while. I am looking to more earthly contemplations for the time being - like starting up an antiwar/truth in media type blog.

Best to all here.

no one,

Sorry to hear that. I will send the light of protection to your son.

I agree with you about the war and the candidates.

No one, I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I'm retired military, so is my husband and my step-son is on basic training at this moment. We tried to talk him out of it, but he says it's what he wants. I'm not looking forward to his career the way he seems to be. Sometimes all you can do is hope (and pray) for the best.

I hope your son stays safe, no one.

Good article, Mike... as usual! According to your thinking, I can add that reincarnation is a "hot topic" also for Spirits. If you asked about it to a saint woman as Natuzza Evolo was, she denied the existence of reincarnation, because she was a Catholic Fundamentalist. In the other hand, a friend of mine who is a reseracher in the EVP's field, has had many contacts from a Catholic Bishop, Saint Erasmus from Formia, and in these contacts (done using the reversing tape method) the Saint told him that reincarnation does exist, even if it's not the right time to spread these news among illitterate people. Who's right? I think that the astral planes are very COMPLEX and their inhabitants very different among each others, as well as it happens here. BTW, according to the Spirit that we contact, we can get different answers about reincarnation or other topics.
My 2€cent worth thought!

Hi Sandy, why did you start a new blog? Just curious..

Sbu, the old blog was getting too much attention from people I didn't like very much. I like having a public blog, but I couldn't do anything to terminate some of the troublesome links to the old blog from a couple of sites that were sending me nastygrams every time I posted anything.

Moderation is fine, and I would expect to need it to use it every so often. But My old blog became such a target that it stopped being fun. I missed having a blog, so I quietly set up a new one. I'm hoping to be left in relative peace in my new space. I guess we'll see how it goes.

I know this is a bit off topic but I was reading an article today concerning the Hamel's study on the gay gene.

This led me to thinking about the materialistic paradigm.

1) if we have no free (libet's experiment) then all our acts are caused by our brain or genes

2)So wouldn't that mean that homosexuality is caused by the brain or genes?

3) it seems like every gene study on homosexuality has failed.

4) so wouldn't the logical conclusion be that the brain for one reason or another causes homosexuality?

This is not a gay bashing thread. This is something I've been wondering about for a while

I guess I'll relate my first topic to reincarnation.

In Ian stevenson's reincarnation study and liz Dale NDEs studies, it looks like sexuality itself is an illusion.

I remember reading in india or Thailand that many children come back as close family members but changes sex for some reason.

just something to think about

Michael, I was truly happy my book was so helpful. You wrote a splendid blog. I was especially pleased to read your comments on reincarnation in early Spiritualist literature. In his classic "History of Spiritualism," Arthur Conan Doyle wrote (in 1924), “On the whole, it seems to the author that the balance of evidence shows that reincarnation is a fact, but not necessarily a universal one.” That sums up my own feelings on the question and, I gather, yours as well.

Thank you, Prof. Betty! Yes, your book helped correct my longstanding misconception that reincarnation was scarcely mentioned in older Spiritualist literature, and that it entered the picture only when Theosophy popularized the idea.

In addition, I found the whole book very interesting and readable, and I enjoyed the excepts you selected, though I might have steered clear of Borgia myself.

Testimony of Light is possibly the best of all these channeled documents, and I appreciated the special emphasis you gave it.

Michael, Borgia's "Life in the World Unseen" was the one book of the seven I summarized that made me worry just a little. You say it reads like fiction, and at times I had the same feeling. The reason was that in some places it's more specific than other books coming to us from the spirit world. It has a different flavor. I especially have in mind the detailed description of how a building was constructed out of astral matter. In the end I decided to give Borgia the benefit of the doubt and include his book. Maybe Robert Hugh Benson, the spirit coming through Borgia, was just a world-class communicator. So I told myself; so I hoped. In any case, the ever-present possibility of fraud shows why it's important to read widely in this genre.

My recent novel "The Imprisoned Splendor" grew directly out of my research, and I was constantly worrying about how specific I should be in drawing my afterlife settings. The research didn't encourage it, but, as you know only too well, a novelist makes his living being specific and concrete. So on top of the many, many generalizations provided by the research, I had no choice but to invent the details. Research and fantasy are always uneasy allies, but especially when one is describing a world he has never seen. All this aside, the spiritual laws, astral landscapes, and types of people we meet over there came out fine. Let's just hope Borgia didn't go through the same process I went through.

no one- its hard hearing that stuff, and I truly hope the best for your son. there's really nothing comforting we can say or do in a time like that, especially for the reasons you gave. His sacrifice, and others like him, is deeply appreciated and should never be forgotten, no matter the cause or reason for being brought into it. A day will never go by where I don't think about it. Truly.

Matt - Your 6 year old - that's interesting. I'm curious to know whether you think your beliefs, practices, etc, have anything to do with why she has those dreams (or says that she does)? Playing devil's advocate - do you think it might have been put into her head that's its possible for her to communicate with the other side? I know you have very strong beliefs on that end - could a skeptic claim that she has been conditioned to dream and say those things?

Im asking these questions not knowing anything at all about your interactions with your child, but knowing how impressionable kids can be at that age. So, yes, I'm making very broad assumptions - and asking skeptic type questions, but am doing so because I am really curious about what you think of that argument.


You wrote,

Playing devil's advocate - do you think it might have been put into her head that's its possible for her to communicate with the other side? I know you have very strong beliefs on that end - could a skeptic claim that she has been conditioned to dream and say those things?

She was talking at a young age about being reincarnated before we had *ever* discussed anything related to the afterlife. She says she saw herself "coming down into mommy," and talked about the world before this life.

She goes to a Catholic school, and we say of departed people that that person is "in heaven," but there has been no hot-housing when it comes to afterlife knowledge. :) We really don't talk about this kind of thing much.

There's no real reason for a 6-year-old to see a bunch of dead people at once in a dream unless one can really visit the Afterlife in dreams, which I'm personally quite certain is possible.

"She says she saw herself "coming down into mommy," and talked about the world before this life."

Great stuff about your daughter, Matt. And you've got my curiosity up. What did she tell you about that world?

"When he returns to Flatland, he tries to tell his fellow Flatlanders about it, but his words make no sense to them, and they decide he is crazy."

I love that you used this book in your explanation, Michael. Flatland is permanently installed in my brain as a way of grasping the futility of trying to understand the spiritual world while living in this one.

"When he returns to Flatland, he tries to tell his fellow Flatlanders about it, but his words make no sense to them, and they decide he is crazy."

I was just beginning to learn about NDEs when I read Flatland, and was startled at how closely A. Square's accidental journey to the the 3-dimensional world resembled an NDE, even in respect to its aftermath.

It's a very special book indeed, beautifully reconciling science and metaphysics.

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