Tuesday 7 December 2010


The Flight of a Soul

Belief in the phenomenon we call reincarnation ~ a process where the core substance of an individual is reborn in a future lifetime ~ has existed in all major historical cultures. It has largely been rooted in dreams, hypnosis and psychic clues. Recently, more objective evidence has included memories of events or knowledge apparently based in the lives of deceased individuals. New research suggests that physical and personality traits may be inherited from the past.

More than half of the world's people believe in reincarnation, and polls suggest at least a quarter of U.S. citizens do. What is the basis of this belief? Is it rooted in delusions or wishful thinking? Or, is there a tangible basis for such ideas? It is beyond the current tools of science to definitively prove the general theory of reincarnation to a skeptical public. Likewise, it is also beyond the tools of modern science to disprove it. 

The objective evidence that led nature-oriented societies to postulate a process like reincarnation includes physical features and psychological factors. Facial architecture, body types, hair patterns, ear forms, hand-finger proportions, voice, and odor have been noted to correspond in two separate lifetimes. Some physical similarities also include special markings, birthmarks and deformities. Matching psychological traits include levels of mental development, emotional patterns, styles of interacting with others, and areas of creative interest.

Early human and later aboriginal societies based their beliefs in reincarnation on observations of their contemporaries that revealed similarities with known people who had lived and died before those being observed were born. Over several generations, people collected many persuasive correspondences between the present personalities and various ancestors that they posited some carry-forward of legacies from the past. As an example, an African tribe used the terms "babatunde" and "yetunde" to indicate the possible reincarnations of boys and girls, respectively, from earlier individuals two generations removed. These terms mean “the old father” and “the old mother”.

On a personal level, reincarnation is something I have not really studied too much; I was too busy dealing with memories that kept seeping through my memories since I was quite young. The first lesson learned when I was about 10 was to not speak of these matters because to do so unsettled those around me. As a result of my own experiences and people I have had the privilege of spending time with, educating me on these matters, I have done almost no research on the subject instinctively feeling that the impressions and words of others would only alter my perceptions, something I wished to avoid. 

Empirical evidence has never made much difference to me in matters of spirit, not with the wealth of experiences I read of around the globe. Great challenges I have faced during my life combined at times when specific lives were upon me, for lack of better words. I will add here, hindsight made me aware of just how dangerous this path can be. It is not for the faint of heart.

I do not advocate consciously seeking out past lives because we forget them for a reason. That reason being to fully participate in the current incarnation. Also, and to this I can attest, knowing some of the horrible things we have done in the past could be very difficult to deal with.  There are dangerous places to go to and it is all too easy to become lost in other lives that are best left behind.  However, science is finally being forced to notice what so many of us have known for a long, long time. The evidence is becoming impossible to ignore.  

I have come across references of Jesus speaking of reincarnation, something I believe he learned among the Essenes; apparently all references to recurring lives was erased by the Vatican because, if people knew they would be born again, the papal hold of heaven and/or hell would lose its clout with the flock. 

Does reincarnation influence our lives? Yes, I do believe so. I know, in my own experiences, I am left with no doubt that it does.  However, that is my reality. 

I can only say, as time allows, more to come.  

Does Reincarnation Influence Your Health?

Most theories about reincarnation emphasize its apparent spiritual nature, much of which is involved in an ethereal realm that cannot be validated. Others treat reincarnation as only a special case that involves the inheritance of distinctive physical features or a set of otherwise unexplained memories connected to a deceased individual. Belief in the recovery of apparent past-life memories reported in quasi-therapeutic or hypnotic sessions has also influenced the popular image of reincarnation.

Therapists may find that some clients access suspected traumatic memories from a posited previous life-time.

Such information in some of these cases (whether valid or not) result in a cathartic resolution of psychosomatic symptoms or psychological disorders. While most of these subjective experiences cannot be considered proof of reincarnation, some of them have been verified. They offer a form of credible evidence of past-life legacies that help us understand the origins of so-called "unlearned" individual behaviors and personal development.

What does science have to say?

Only a few researchers are involved in a significant and systematic scientific effort to gather empirical information on enough alleged reincarnation cases to develop a meaningful data base. One such project was initiated, and largely implemented, by the late psychiatrist Ian Stevenson, MD, at the University of Virginia during more than four decades. This effort continues under psychiatrist Jim B. Tucker, MD, in the Perceptual Studies Division at UVA.

The Reincarnation Experiment directed by Paul Von Ward has developed a psychophysical model of the theoretical mechanism believed to account for both the genotype physical inheritance and the personality predisposition that appears to be transferred from one life to another. See the website www.reincarnationexperiment.org for more details. The body of accumulating evidence suggests that not only physical features, but one's overall phenotype and psychological traits that shape one's health may be inherited by reincarnation.

For the first time, Von Ward and his colleagues have subjected the alleged evidence for reincarnation to a peer-reviewed scientific examination that considers it a natural aspect of biological reproduction. Wouldn't it make sense that if the Dalai Lama or other special cases indicate some form of past-life links, it is equally likely that all of us are influenced by the same process? Given the widespread reports of hypothetical cases, could reincarnation be a universal aspect of Homo sapiens' physical and conscious evolution?

The Reincarnation Experiment

The pilot study, initiated in early 2005, involved a scientific approach to answering such questions. Its testing of the psychophysical model suggested human reproduction involves an info-energetic psychoplasm with patterns that not only activate the physical genome, but mediate the factors (including intention) that influence it. Paul Von Ward's 2008 book The Soul Genome: Science and Reincarnation reports on the evaluation of project cases, examines alternative explanations, and considers their implications.

These results point to some as-yet-still-unexplained, but multifaceted package of genetic, energetic, and informational transfers from one life to another. Detailed case-studies found that predictable specific and verifiable traits or factors can be identified in the present and previous lives of the strongest reincarnation cases.

The integral model that emerged suggests that both physical (genotype) and personality (psycho-energetic) factors are involved. While they may be defined in different terms, the essence of the psychoplasm or "soul-genome" includes at least five core factors. They are the individual's phenotype (biometrics), cerebrotype (cognitive profiles), egotype (emotional predisposition), personatype (interpersonal style), and performatype (creative focus). All of these play a role in the physical and emotional health of each individual

Implications of the Research.

This ongoing work cannot yet be seen as proof of a general theory of reincarnation, or as validation of a definitive mechanism to account for the obvious patterns of connections between two lifetimes. However, the model's multiple categories of evidence (with high inter-factor reliability) and its predictive capability make it a useful tool for research and personal decision making about one's choices about lifestyle, career, relationships, health, and new creative directions.

Independent analysts can use it to replicate evaluations of alleged reincarnation cases. This may encourage a multidisciplinary effort to test the popular conception of reincarnation, and to determine when researchers are simply creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. The role of health-care professionals in evaluating the evidence is paramount.

The book and the project's evolving web site invite public testing of the methodology and help in refinement of the model. While there is still much work to be done, the preliminary evidence raises some tantalizing issues about both challenges and potential, including the origin of the knowledge and skills of prodigies in music, mathematics, and other fields.

Questions for the Healthy Person?

The best way to maintain one's mental and physical health is to know as much as possible about oneself, including the possible influences of previous lifetimes. What is the basis for precocious (unlearned) behaviors found in all groups of children? Where do childhood choices of successful careers arise? Can unexplained knowledge of people, places, and events reside in real memories? Are so-called instinctual or intuitive relationships based in more than the first "blink" of an encounter? Do we have physical and psychological predispositions that may be the hidden origins of seemingly unsolvable health or other problems?

Thought-provoking evidence evaluated by the project suggests that your physical appearance, the way you think, how you react emotionally to life events, the way you interact with other people, and the creative activities and vocations you choose may be predisposed by the experiences of one or more humans who lived in the past. It raises the possibility that even if you don't know who they were, their "soulprints" may be evident in who you are today.

You and Reincarnation.

Although this still tentative hypothesis must still be labeled speculative, well-developed case studies may change the way you think about human behavior. It may cause you to contemplate that much of what you are today might have come from experiences and knowledge gained in many lifetimes. You might consider the possibility that whom you marry, or not, what you study in school or college, where you live and work, your physical and mental health, how you spend your free time, who your friends are, and what you feel about it reflect the influence of events in centuries past.

How credible are these radical possibilities? Researchers now have thousands of cases where people recall or intuitively act on knowledge and traits that seem to come directly from the private lives of individuals who lived before they were born. Such individual life histories are better explained by something like reincarnation than any other theory.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful blog! I believe in reincarnation and past life's memories. In fact, I do believe in past life connections as well as karmas. I'm always stay curious to know things about past life and all . Literally I'm very happy and thankful to you that you shared with us. I'm very much fond of these types of knowledges and researches. I really want to know more about this. if you have more knowledge or researches please do share with us. Thanks for sharing with us.
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