Is there any evidence for reincarnation?
One of the most debated subjects in both scientific and philosophical circles is: “Is there any evidence for reincarnation?” In this short blog I will try to sum up the evidence.
The basic idea of reincarnation is that, although we are born, live, and then die; death is not the end. One belief is that we come back and live another life, possibly many lives. In other words we experience reincarnation.
It might surprise you to learn that all over the world there have been many studies researching and evaluating stories and claims concerning reincarnation. Furthermore, these studies have findings that can only fit a reincarnation model.
One of the most respected researchers was the late Dr. Ian Stevenson who was chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Virginia in 1957. His work produced many convincing cases which involved young children. These children were generally between the ages of 2 and 5 and talked in great detail about people that they had never met and places that, demonstrably, they had never, ever visited. The majority of these cases were in Asian countries, in social cultures where the belief in reincarnation was very high. One should bear in mind that these are not a few random examples. Over many years of dedicated research Dr Stevenson collected data from all over the world and in doing so, uncovered over 2000 instances of children with supportable memories of past lives.
An interesting case is that of a young American boy who commenced talking about flying as early as two years old. The boy appeared to have extensive knowledge of WWII aircraft and spoke of details that were completely unknown to his parents. The parents became disturbed when the child began to have nightmares about being in an air battle and being shot down with fatal results. The boy described being shot down in a fighter aircraft of the time during the war with Japan. He further described the escort carrier from which he had flown. Research of the case determined that the boy was describing events that were historical fact right down to the name of the pilot in the boy’s nightmare, and also the name of the escort carrier.
Of course, what is mentioned above is only the research of just one important investigator; but it does provide evidence which is highly suggestive of reincarnation. However, the very fact of this suggestion must open many other questions such as who and what we are. Could we be players in a vast computer game, moving from character to character and world to world? Is there a therapeutic value in examining this phenomena?
As I am sure you can imagine, there have been many plausible explanations put forward for these glimpses of a past life and their attendant memories. You must choose whatever fits your own belief system. So, you can choose whether you think it is Fantasy, Genetic Memory, Reading the Akashic Record, or some other explanation. Notwithstanding this it has been established that Past Life Therapy can be a useful adjunct therapy to Hypnotherapy. Such studies are fascinating and uncovering possible memories of past lives using hypnosis and self hypnosis is extremely interesting. Formal studies of Past Life Therapy, and therefore of the reincarnation debate, may be undertaken with SNHS as an online/home study course.
Antony J. Edwards
ND MD(MA)Psychotherapy FLS FBIH MANM FRCP(MA)
Psychotherapist and Analyst – Registered Naturopath
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