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Reincarnation & Past Lives

Ian Stevenson, the Copernicus of a New World Vision

Trutz HardoAn extract from Wiedergeburt - Die Beweise (Reincarnation - The Hard Evidence) by Trutz Hardo, one of Germany’s leading regression therapists.

I would now like to tell you about something the significance of which in my eyes ranks with the discoveries of Copernicus. In the 16th Century this man unequivocally established that the earth moves around the sun, contrary to the Christian belief of the times that the sun, the planets and the stars all rotate around the earth.

This discovery had the effect of changing the whole world concept, even though the Counter-Reformation tried to reverse it. This change also heralded the beginning of a new scientifically based concept of the world where only that which could be proven to be true by technical and scientific means was considered valid. Belief and intuitive knowing were no longer taken seriously.

The intellect, now the symbol of the scientific world, has driven out other-worldliness, wonder, the numinous, the belief in anything spiritual and even in God and godliness itself. Ideas of life after death, the possibility of contact with the dead or even the return of someone in another body - namely reincarnation - no longer fit the scientific concept of the world. These are all things that were not possible to prove with technical gadgetry used as an extension of intelligence. Where there was no proof there was also no truth.

The representatives of the scientific worldview, who are still in control of the way people think in the western world at the end of the twentieth-century, see those who still believe in old or very new truths which cannot be proven with anything as not in their right minds. In their eyes people who believe in life after death or even reincarnation are to be pitied. They are obviously unable to think rightly, clinging to wishful thinking or evading the truth.

This is why those same representatives of the scientific worldview even declared null and void what they have called 'alleged evidence in favour of reincarnation'. This included evidence based on children's statements who remembered their past lives as well as evidence retrieved during regression by means of trance techniques.

Those who keep the banner of the scientific worldview flying have not been shaken in the slightest by even the most convincing evidence. Whatever they are unable to prove by scientific means has no validity and is not to be taken seriously, so in their view should either be challenged or ignored.

There is a whole army of scientists, however, who grew up with this scientific concept of the world themselves and yet, while completely buying into it at the beginning of their careers, have due to their wider-ranging interests or outstanding new findings arrived at realizations, which clearly did not fit those scientific concepts of life. To stand up for these new discoveries takes great courage.

One of these brave scientists is the Canadian psychiatrist Professor Dr. Ian Stevenson, who out of curiosity, got to grips with the possibility of reincarnation in 1960. He heard of a case in Sri Lanka where a child claimed to remember a past life. After having gone there and thoroughly questioned the child's parents, the child and the people who the child claimed were its parents from the past, he was convinced of the possibility that there was something in the idea of reincarnation.

He was well aware that in seeing only one case there was still the possibility of coincidence. He could only prove the rebirth of a child claiming to remember a past life scientifically, if he had evidence of many such cases and were able to establish correspondences or differences among them.

This would require a vast amount of work in the office where the threads of evidence would be linked and scientific reports compiled, and by travelling all over the world wherever a case showed up. Such an undertaking would be a life's work that would involve the work of other scientific assistants as time went by. Amateur practices would not be allowed to creep into this investigation. So he set to work.

The more cases he pursued, the greater became his drive to scientifically open up and conquer an unknown territory among the world's mysteries, which until now had been excluded from scientific observation. Nonetheless he believed he could approach and possibly furnish proof of its reality with scientific means.

In 1960 he published two articles in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, about children who remembered past lives. Parapsychologists and medics open to his explanations may have encouraged him to continue to apply himself to this new area of research.

It was only in 1974 that Dr. Stevenson publicised his book, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. Dr. Stevenson became well-known wherever this book appeared by those people who already had a long-standing interest in this subject. They were pleased to finally be presented with such fundamental research into reincarnation from a scientific source.

When writing about various cases Stevenson is extremely careful not to jump to conclusions about the truth of reincarnation. He calls these cases which have been researched suggestive of reincarnation , meaning that they have not as yet been proven.

If in the past he had written about it with total conviction he could well have lost his teaching post at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, USA. He did not want to commit himself to making such a claim as yet, because it was very clear to him that during the course of his scientific research many related questions would arise which he first hoped to follow up in greater depth. He published many of his findings in the scientific newspapers for the scientific community to examine.

In 1987 he published his second book entitled, Children Who Remember Previous Lives. Of this he says, "This book is written for the ordinary man in the street."

Meanwhile, the interest in reincarnation among the people had risen dramatically. Hundreds of thousands of Americans attended regression seminars or one to one regressions in which they hoped to understand and re-enact some of their own past life experiences.

The television reported many interesting cases relating to this subject. People wanted to know more about reincarnation, especially from an expert such as Stevenson who kept himself well concealed behind his scientific image.

In this book, which marks a milestone in research into reincarnation he presents the reader with the most interesting cases he has researched in a simple and down-to-earth manner. He has already published some of these cases in specialist papers. This book and his articles were merely by-products of his main life's work on which he had been working for a long time, and which he hoped to complete before he died. After his death he would discover the whole truth, which while living on earth is hidden from us due to our somewhat limited vision.

The book that will dramatically change our way of thinking

Autumn 1997 marked the great moment: The great scientist Professor Dr. Ian Stevenson published his life's work in two volumes totalling 2268 pages. Its title is Reincarnation and Biology - A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects.

This monumental piece of work contains hundreds of pictures. In the first volume he mainly describes birthmarks, those distinguishing marks on the skin, which the new-born baby brings into the world that cannot be put down to inheritance. In his second volume Stevenson mainly focuses on deformities and other anomalies which children are born with, which cannot be traced back to inheritance, prenatal or perinatal (created during birth) occurrences. I will give you a couple of examples from his second volume since we have been confronted with children's birthmarks on many occasions in the first part of this book.

When I encountered Professor Stevenson's extensive book for the first time in 1997 I could not put it down. I am convinced that this book will completely change our way of thinking. We will no longer have to view reincarnation as a mere hypothesis but as a reality. What this could mean for all of us I will go into in greater detail at the end of this book.

Stevenson wrote his book as a scientific treatise so that even the world of academia would accept it and possibly study it. You, dear readers, will perhaps say regretfully that this is precisely the reason that this material will not be so accessible to you. I wish to thank Dr. Stevenson for considering the man in the street by publishing an easy to understand condensed version of his book, (i.e. one-tenth of his entire two-volume monograph). This he embellished with several important photographs and is called, Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect.

This book is likely to spread like wildfire throughout America on its way to becoming a best-seller. Every critic, journalist or member of the clergy who speaks of reincarnation will need to read this book in order to sound plausible, and be able to keep up with conversations on the subject.

During his original research into various cases involving children's memories of past lives, Stevenson did note with interest the fact that these children frequently bore lasting birthmarks which supposedly related to their murder or the death they suffered in a previous life; he was still unaware at the time, however, that his later in-depth study of these occurrences as documented in his recently published monograph would actually deliver the final and conclusive proof of reincarnation.

Stevenson's research into birthmarks and congenital defects has such particular importance for the demonstration of reincarnation, since it furnishes objective and graphic proof of reincarnation, superior to the - often fragmentary - memories and accounts of the children and adults questioned, which even if verified afterwards - you will remember the case of Shanti Devi -, cannot be assigned the same value in scientific terms.

In many cases presented by Stevenson there are also medical documents available as further proof, which are usually compiled after the death of the person. Professor Stevenson adds that in the cases he researched and "solved" in which birthmarks and deformities were present, he didn't suppose there was any other apposite explanation than that of reincarnation.

Only 30% - 60% of these deformities can be put down to birth defects which related to genetic factors, virus infections or chemical causes. (I.e. like those found in children damaged by the drug Thalidomide or alcohol). Apart from these demonstrable causes, the medical profession has no other explanation for the other 40% to 70% of cases than that of mere chance. Stevenson has now succeeded in giving us an explanation of why a person is born with these deformities and why they appear precisely in that part of their body and not in another.

Most of the cases where birthmarks and congenital deformities are present for which no medical explanations exist and for which according to Stevenson reincarnation  (i. e. in most cases how the person met his death in his previous life) can be considered a possible cause, have one to five characteristics in common.

Firstly, and the most unusual scenario, it is possible that someone who believed in reincarnation expressed a wish to be reborn to a couple or one partner of a couple. This is usually because they are convinced that they would be well-cared for by those particular people. Such preliminary requests are often expressed by the Tlingit Indians of Alaska and by the Tibetans.

Secondly, and much more frequent than this are the occurrences of prophetic dreams. Someone who has died appears to a pregnant or not as yet pregnant woman and tells her that he or she will be reborn to her. Sometimes relatives or friends have dreams like this and will then relate the dream to the mother to be. Stevenson found these prophetic dreams to be particularly prolific in Burma and among the Indians in Alaska.

Thirdly, in these cultures the parents or someone experienced in this immediately check the body of a new-born child for recognisable marks to establish whether the deceased person they had once known has been reborn to them. This searching for marks of identification is very common among cultures that believe in reincarnation, and especially among the Tlingit Indians and the Igbos of Nigeria. I know that various tribes of West Africa make marks on the body of the recently deceased in order to be able to identify the person when he or she is reborn.

The most frequently occurring event or common denominator relating to rebirth is probably that of a child remembering a past life. Children usually begin to talk about their memories between the ages of two and four. Such infantile memories gradually dwindle when the child is between four and seven years old. There are of course always some exceptions, such as a child continuing to remember its previous life but not speaking about it for various reasons.

Most of the children talk about their previous identity with great intensity and feeling. Often they cannot decide for themselves which world is real and which one is not. They often experience a kind of double existence where at times one life is more prominent, and at times the other life takes over. This is why they usually speak of their past life in the present tense saying things like, "I have a husband and two children who live in Jaipur." Almost all of them are able to tell us about the events leading up to their death. (You will remember that even murderers have been convicted in this manner after the event.)

Such children tend to consider their previous parents to be their real parents rather than their present ones, and usually express a wish to return to them. When the previous family has been found and details about the person in that past life have come to light, then the origin of the fifth common denominator - the conspicuous or unusual behaviour of the child  - is becoming obvious.

For instance, if the child is born in India to a very low-class family and was a member of a higher caste in its previous life, it may feel uncomfortable in its new family. The child may ask to be served or waited on hand and foot and may refuse to wear cheap clothes. Stevenson gives us several examples of these unusual behaviour patterns.

In 35% of cases he investigated children who died an unnatural death developed phobias. For example, if they had drowned in a past life then they frequently developed a phobia about going out of their depth in water. If they had been shot, they were often afraid of guns and sometimes loud bangs in general. If they died in a road accident they would sometimes develop a phobia of travelling in cars, buses or lorries.

Such reasons for phobias are often revealed during regression therapy and can be swiftly dealt with and overcome in most cases. In my experience it is often the case that such phobias only become acute (or dramatically exacerbated) at exactly the time in the person's life at which the accident (such as drowning) had occurred in their previous life.

As you can see there is much work to be done in researching root causes from past lives that create consequences in the present. This is only the beginning, a hundred years from now many thousands of specialist books will have been written on the subject. They will give us a clear and detailed picture of the various conditions relating to past and present lives that trigger phobias of certain intensities at certain ages.

Another frequently observed unusual form of behaviour Stevenson called philias concerns children who express the wish to eat different kinds of food or to wear different clothes to those of their culture. If a child had developed an alcohol, tobacco or drug addiction as an adult in a previous incarnation he may express a need for these substances and develop cravings at an early age.

This confronts us with the question of whether many of today's addicts were already addicts in a previous life and are they merely continuing this habit in the present? Regression therapy could often give them relevant information and support.

Many of these children with past-life memories show abilities or talents that they had in their previous lives. Often children who were members of the opposite sex in their previous life show difficulty in adjusting to the new sex. These problems relating to the 'sex change' can lead to homosexuality later on in their lives. Former girls who were reborn as boys may wish to dress as girls or prefer to play with girls rather than boys.

Until now all these human oddities have been a mystery to conventional psychiatrists - after all, the parents could not be blamed for their children's behaviour in these cases. At long last research into reincarnation is shedding some light on the subject. In the past, doctors blamed such peculiarities on a lack or a surplus of certain hormones, but now they will have to do some rethinking.

Children that died when they were adults in their previous life and are able to remember this often behave like adults in many ways. When playing with siblings or friends they automatically slot into the role of an adult. Difficulties often arise if a child is reborn to a woman who used to be her daughter in a past life, for then the child usually does not want to listen to anything her previous daughter wants to tell her. Behaviour like this can of course also be found among children in general whether they remember their past lives or not.

As you can well imagine dear readers, research into reincarnation enables us to answer questions which are of enormous importance to the whole of mankind. Many questions, which had been shrouded in darkness are now being tackled and elucidated by the world of academia, as represented by Stevenson.

Regression therapists had long since noticed the connectedness of certain facts and even some of the psychiatrists who had taken up or were looking into regression therapy had pointed them out. Yet the fact that even scientists, and Stevenson is the perfect example of a meticulous man of science, are doing the same thing now is sensational news. Stevenson came to the conclusion that in cases where children's memories of past lives and previous families cannot be explained by cryptomnesia, thought-transferral, possession or impressions received through the mother, reincarnation offers the only feasible explanation.

So far we have been focusing a great deal on Prof. Stevenson, the Copernicus of our times, so now it is time to turn our attention to some cases in which reincarnation offers the only explanation. Stevenson describes these in his extensive book Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect. You can find the relevant illustrations to the examples I am about to present to you in his book, which will give you a more complete picture. I still recommend reading this book itself - more than a hundred similar (and occasionally completely different) cases presented make for fascinating reading.


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Keywords: reincarnation, rebirth, karma, pastlife, past life, past lives, life after death, proof of past life, past life regression, reincarnation stories, reincarnation case studies, reincarnation case study

 
 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Trutz Hardo is Germany’s best-known regression therapist and the author of many books, including the ground-breaking Seven-Colour Novel and Children Who Have Lived Before.
RELATED BOOKS
Children Who Have Lived Before
Children Who Have Lived Before
by Trutz Hardo

In this book children talk convincingly about their past lives. Subjected to scientific scrutiny and verification, their statements are invariably confirmed in every detail.

"The case for reincarnation moves up a notch in this absorbing, unique title, packed with case histories and reflections on how children's statements were verified." -- Midwest Book Review

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