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Dr. Ian Stevenson's Reincarnation Research

By Kevin Williams

 http://www.near-death.com/reincarnation/research/ian-stevenson.html

 

Ian Stevenson (1918-2007) was a psychiatrist who worked for the University of Virginia School of Medicine for 50 years. He was Chair of the Department of Psychiatry from 1957 to 1967, the Carlson Professor of Psychiatry from 1967 to 2001, and a Research Professor of Psychiatry from 2002 until his death. He was also the founder and Director of the University of Virginia's Division of Perceptual Studiesinvestigating parapsychological phenomena such as (1)  reincarnation, (2) near-death experiences, (3)out-of-body experiences, (4) after-death communications, (5) deathbed visions, (6) altered states of consciousness and psi. He became internationally recognized for his research into reincarnation by discovering evidence suggesting that memories and physical injuries can be transferred from one lifetime to another. He traveled extensively over a period of 40 years, investigating 3,000 cases of children around the world who recalled having past lives. His meticulous research presented evidence that such children had unusual abilities, illnesses, phobias and philias which could not be explained by the environment or heredity. 

The Past is Still Present

When most people look for evidence of their past lives, they usually overlook evidence that is "hiding in plain sight".

Seeing the World With New Eyes

Looking at the present day world through past life eyeglasses can give one a whole new perspective on and an explanation for certain phenomena that has been and is present in "real life". Here is some evidence of past life carryovers that explain several observable present day situations and phenomena.

1> GENDER IDENTIFICATION CONFLICTS

The most common and most overlooked impact of past lives on the present is in the area of gender identification. Past lives contribute the most to an individual "feeling like" a man or a woman "on the inside".

Consider the lengths - physically, socially, and financially - that some (commonly called transsexuals) go to in changing their outer gender appearance to correspond to their inner emotional reality. It is then you will gain an appreciation for how compelling the drive toward correct gender identification is and how deeply such conflicts can run in an individual. This is an outgrowth of that person having incarnations that are predominantly of one gender.

For example, in my case, having been a General in many lifetimes, my incarnations have been predominantly male. Although I am a female now and I do embrace this gender, if given a "free" choice, I would choose to be male. I would choose that simply because it is more comfortable for me as an expression of my life path.

2> DEJA VU EXPERIENCES

The "deja vu" experience is the feeling that we have been somewhere or done something before when we could not possibly "have been there or done that".

For example, Peter Ramster investigated Cynthia Henderson who "remembered a life during the French Revolution. When under trance, she spoke in French without any trace of an accent, understood and answered questions put to her in French, used dialect of the time, and knew the names of streets which had changed and were only discoverable on old maps".

A more compelling case of deja vu is the "800 Year Old Case of Synchronicity" reported by Dr. Bruce Goldberg who had two clients unknown to one another who shared the same lifetime. In different sessions years apart, they reported identical events from the opposing viewpoints of their past life personalities. Only Dr. Goldberg knew of this synchronicity (for more see Ramster "In Search of Lives Past" and Goldberg "Past Lives, Future Lives").

3> CHILDREN WITH ADULT MEMORIES

Children who claim to remember a previous life have been found in many parts of the world, particularly in areas where the concept of reincarnation is accepted "as in the Buddhist and Hindu countries of South Asia". There are also cases "among the Shiite peoples of Lebanon and Turkey, the tribes of West Africa, and the American Northwest. Stevenson has collected over 2,600 reported cases of past life memories of which 65 detailed reports have been published. Specific information from the children's memories has been collected and matched with the data of their former identity, family, residence, and manner of death."

Many believe that children's past life memories are among the most compelling because, given the level and complexity of detail "remembered", it would be almost impossible to fake this information by coaching. (For more see Ian Stevenson's "Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation","Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect", "Children Who Remember Previous Lives", "Unlearned Language: New Studies in Xenoglossy" and Carol Bowman's "Children's Past Life Memories").

4> CHILD PRODIGIES & IDIOT SAVANTS

Extreme forms of past life manifestations in children are the phenomena of "child prodigies" (children who are born with extremely advanced expertize) and "idiot savants" (children who can perform complex mathematical or scientific calculations but are lacking in very basic social skills).

Child prodigies have developed certain skill sets in such a high degree in past lives that they become deeply ingrained in their persona. So when that Soul reincarnates, the skills come along in the new body fully intact and a child prodigy is born. For example, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart believed that he had been a musician in many past lives where he had developed his amazing technical skills.

Similarly, idiot savants reincarnate with fully developed skill sets but there is usually such a serious imbalance between their mental and emotional bodies as to put the mental body completely in control of the individual. The mind "out of control" drives the emotions and the physical body of the savant to act in ways that are considered to be socially unacceptable. The karmic goal of this existence is to "knock" the emotions back into shape and restore balance.

5> UNLEARNED LANGUAGE (XENOGLOSSY)

Xenoglossy is someone's "ability to speak or write in a language that has not been learned". Cases of xenoglossy are the hardest to explain - other than in the context of past lives - where the individual involved "spontaneously" can write in languages long extinct and known only to a handful of research scholars.

For example, "Dr Morris Netherton reports one case of a blond, blue-eyed eleven year old boy who under hypnosis was taped for eleven minutes as he spoke in an ancient Chinese dialect. When the tape (recording) was taken to a professor at the Department of Oriental Studies at the University of California it turned out to be a recitation from a forbidden religion of Ancient China" (see Ian Stevenson's work "Unlearned Language: Xenoglossy" for more).

6> MULTIPLE BIRTH DEFECTS & DISTINCTIVE BIRTHMARKS

Multiple or severe birth defects are usually the result of an individual being on the spiritual "debt consolidation karmic payment plan". Since birth conditions can never be ignored and usually last for the entire lifetime, they become the perfect vehicles for the working off of serious and complex karmic conditions arising from past lives. It is as if all the individual's problems have been rolled into one big, gigantic ball that the individual will be dragging around for "the rest of their life".

"Birthmarks or other physiological manifestations have been found to relate to experiences of past lives, particularly violent death. Writing as a specialist in psychiatry and as a world-renowned scientific investigator of paranormal events, Ian Stevenson asks us to suspend our tendencies to disbelieve in reincarnation." Consider the reality of the burgeoning record of cases now available detailed in his book "Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect: Birthmarks and Birth Defects".

7> LOVE OR HATE AT FIRST SIGHT

Many people dream about looking across a crowded room and seeing the love of their life. "Love at First Sight" is a well documented historical phenomenon. Caesar and Cleopatra acted as man and wife from almost the first moment they met one another. Once Czar Nicholas met Lady Alexandra, he - in an uncharacteristic act of stubbornness - refused to consider marrying anyone else. After Queen Victoria met Albert, she became determined to marry him. The same with King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and the list goes on.

8> OBSESSIONS & COMPULSIONS

Every attitude and belief you have comes from somewhere. Obsessions and compulsions in this lifetime are usually directly traceable back to a past life where they originated. If the traits or the behaviors are disempowering enough in one's life today, then it becomes a Obssesive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

The spiritual purpose of OCD is force the individual to seek the answer to why they are now being "plagued" with thoughts and behaviors that they have "no control over". When the life lesson associated with OCD has been fully learned and "absorbed" into the individual's body-mind, the "disempowering" trait or behavior will fall away. Often all that is needed is for the individual to confront the past life(s) where the OCD originated and integrate the necessary learning.

9> MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES & SCHIZOPHRENICS

Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) and/or Schizophrenia (SCH) can be caused by the emergence of past life personalities that arise to help the present day person solve problem(s). The trouble comes when these past life personalities are not properly reintegrated back into the present day person's memory.

What normally happens is, that when an individual is in crisis, they access the "unused" part of their brain where their past life personalities are stored to help them overcome it. When the crisis is averted, the pathway to that part of their brain is automatically shut off (see also Top Ten Serious Past Life Problems).

In cases of MPD or SCH, the crises are so severe or so chronic that this shut down mechanism can no longer function properly. The mind then has difficulty distinguishing between the current and all prior personalities. In a sense, the prior personalities come back to life and fight for the attention of the current body-mind.

In SCH, there is a dominant prior personality which drives out all others except themselves and the current day personality.

In MPD, a host of prior personalities jockey for position at the forefront of the person's awareness and end up "taking turns".

10> JINXES & HARD LUCK CASES

Ever met someone whose life was a "bad news buffet"? Ever met someone whose life - if put on a television soap opera - would be just too tragic to be believed? Ever met someone who never seems to get ahead and is the classic case of "when bad things happen to good people"? Most people have.

It raises the classic problem of "evil": for how does a truly loving God let "bad things" happen to some of His children and not others? The answer is: "as one has sown, so also shall one reap" and those who "sow the wind" will "harvest the whirlwind". In the context of present lives being the working out of past life causes, there is no hard luck... there are only experiences one has chosen. Often those experiences are to suffer for ourselves what we have caused others to suffer.

11> INFANT ADDICTS & DOWN'S SYNDROME CASES

The encounter with the "problem of evil" is greater nowhere than in cases of infants born addicted to drugs or severely compromised mentally and physically as in Down's Syndrome cases. If a person only "got only one shot at life" and it was with extreme birth defects like these, then how could belief in a loving, just, and merciful God be possible? I think it could not be.

When it becomes clear that these situations were chosen by returning suicides, Nazi medical experimenters, serial killers, and the like to understand the effects of their brutality, then the role of cosmic justice becomes clear.

12> UNEARTHING BURIED TREASURES

A tangible form of the "deja vu" experience is what I call "unearthing buried treasure". There have been documented cases of individuals retrieving things in a later life that they had stashed away in a previous one.

Take the case of Shanti Devi from New Delhi, India "who at the age of four began to mention certain details about clothes, food, people, incidents, places which surprised her parents. Briefly, Shanti mentioned the following which were later verified to be true. She identified herself as Lugdi and used to live in Muttra, 128 kilometres away... She knew in her former life where she had hidden 150 rupees in an underground corner of a room for safe keeping in the house. The husband of the previous life, Kedar Nath, confirmed that although the money was not there (when the case was investigated) he was responsible for (finding it) and taking it himself."

Luke’s story was told by the A&E network program “The Ghost Inside My Child.” 


The Ghost Inside My Child S01E02 by ghostvid

Erika was putting on earrings one day when Luke told her, “I used to have a pair like that when I was a girl.”

Whenever he had to come up with a girl’s name for a stuffed animal or all those things children name, he would choose Pam. His mother was perplexed, since she didn’t know where he would have heard the name and it seemed like a strange choice. She finally asked him, “Who is Pam?” He replied: “I was. Well, I used to be, and then I died and I went up to heaven and God pushed me back down, and when I woke up I was a baby and you named me Luke.”

Not wanting to put any ideas in the boy’s head, she did not mention Pam anymore. Nick was especially skeptical about any idea of a past life and no such beliefs were fostered in the home, he said.

When Luke was 4, he was watching TV and became upset upon seeing an explosion in a building. Erika turned the program off and told Luke it was OK, no one was hurt. He said, “Yeah, but I died and I don’t like to think about it, it makes me sad.” He said he remembered dying in a fire, that he jumped out of a window to escape the flames. His mother asked if it was like on TV, thinking he may have just gotten the idea from what he was watching. He said it was different; there was no explosion like on TV, it was just a fire.

He remembered that the fire was in Chicago. He was certain it was in Chicago.

A Google search of “Pamela Chicago fire” came up with a hit, said Erika, and it gave her the creeps. Pamela Robinson had died in 1993 in a fire at the Paxton Hotel in Chicago—she had jumped out a window while the building burned.

Erika and Nick were shocked. They continued to seek confirmation. Robinson was African American and it hadn’t occurred to Erika that Luke’s possible past life incarnation would be a different race (Luke is Caucasian).

Erika asked her son, “What color was Pamela’s skin?”

“Black,” he replied without hesitation.

The last piece of evidence was yet to come, and after hearing it, Nick described himself as “bewildered.” Erika printed out Robinson’s photograph on a sheet of paper alongside several photographs of other people and asked Luke if he recognized any of the faces.

Pointing to Robinson, he said, “That’s Pam.” He said he remembered the photo being taken, though “it was the other time.”

 

"Dear PAST, thank you for all of the life lessons----- I'm ready NOW"