Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical concept that the soul or spirit, after biological death, begins a new life in a new body. This doctrine is a central tenet of the Indian religions.
It is also a common belief of various ancient and modern religions such as Spiritism, Theosophy, and Eckankar and is found in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Siberia, West Africa, North America, and Australia. In recent decades, many Europeans and North Americans have developed an interest in reincarnation.
Probably the best known, if not most respected, collection of scientific data that appears to provide scientific proof that reincarnation is real, is the life’s work of Dr. Ian Stevenson. Instead of relying on hypnosis to verify that an individual has had a previous life, he instead chose to collect thousands of cases of children who spontaneously (without hypnosis) remember a past life. Dr. Ian Stevenson uses this approach because spontaneous past life memories in a child can be investigated using strict scientific protocols. Hypnosis, while useful in researching into past lives, is less reliable from a purely scientific perspective. In order to collect his data, Dr. Stevenson methodically documents the child’s statements of a previous life. Then he identifies the deceased person the child remembers being, and verifies the facts of the deceased person’s life that match the child’s memory. He even matches birthmarks and birth defects to wounds and scars on the deceased, verified by medical records. His strict methods systematically rule out all possible “normal” explanations for the child’s memories.
Ian Pretyman Stevenson (October 31, 1918 – February 8, 2007) was a Canadian-born U.S. psychiatrist. He worked for the University of Virginia School of Medicine for fifty years, as chair of the department of psychiatry from 1957 to 1967, Carlson Professor of Psychiatry from 1967 to 2001, and Research Professor of Psychiatry from 2002 until his death.
Books about Reincarnation
Books by Ian Stevenson:
(1960). Medical History-Taking. Paul B. Hoeber.
(1966). Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. University of Virginia Press.
(1969). The Psychiatric Examination. Little, Brown.
(1970). Telepathic Impressions: A Review and Report of 35 New Cases. University Press of Virginia.
(1971). The Diagnostic Interview (2nd revised edition of Medical History-Taking). Harper & Row.
(1974). Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation (second revised and enlarged edition). University of Virginia Press.
(1974). Xenoglossy: A Review and Report of A Case. University of Virginia Press.
(1975). Cases of the Reincarnation Type, Vol. I: Ten Cases in India. University of Virginia Press.
(1978). Cases of the Reincarnation Type, Vol. II: Ten Cases in Sri Lanka. University of Virginia Press.
(1980). Cases of the Reincarnation Type, Vol. III: Twelve Cases in Lebanon and Turkey. University of Virginia Press.
(1983). Cases of the Reincarnation Type, Vol. IV: Twelve Cases in Thailand and Burma. University of Virginia Press.
(1984). Unlearned Language: New Studies in Xenoglossy. University of Virginia Press.
(1997). Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects. Volume 1: Birthmarks. Volume 2: Birth Defects and Other Anomalies. Praeger Publishers.
(1997). Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect. Praeger Publishers (a short, non-technical version of Reincarnation and Biology).
(2000). Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation (revised edition).
(2003). European Cases of the Reincarnation Type. McFarland & Company.
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