Many spiritual traditions agree that until we discover our ultimate, divine nature, which lies within ourselves, we will continue to reincarnate over and over again, going through different lessons and experiences which ultimately guide us back home, in the heart of God.
Although people tend to disregard the idea of reincarnation as wishful thinking, it might be interesting to know that reincarnation has become a solid subject of scientific research. Besides this, there are already many cases of people who do remember their past life experiences and whose stories have been verified and validated.
Here is the real case of a child who could remember his past life as a soldier.
Adib was three years old when he started telling people around him that he misses his son, Aiz. He would cry and ask to see his wife and family. He asked his mother to take him to the village of Usfiya, in Israel. When they arrived there, he directed her to what once was his house. He entered the house and opened a closet where he found his old army uniforms, and although there were many children in the house, he immediately recognized his “own” son, “Aiz”.
After that first visit, he regularly came back to see his old family. This made him feel very happy. He recognized numerous people who were his friends in his past life and told them intimate details that only his old self could have known. In this way even skeptics were finally convinced that this young child was indeed the reincarnation of Nahoud Abu Rokon, a border patrol policeman who was killed in an explosion in the first Lebanon war.
Adib remembered the details of his past life just like a normal human would remember his own past experiences. He even remembered his last moments with his friend Said and told his friend’s wife about her husband’s last moments.
Adib’s case is indeed fascinating, but it’s far from being the only one. Professor Ian Stevenson from the University of Virginia studied thousands of similar reports of people who remembered their past lives. For 40 years Professor Stevenson researched cases of children who claimed that they are the reincarnation of someone who recently died, and could remember details from their previous existence. His studies were scientific. He validated the details that these children would remember by comparing them to the data that he could gather about the life of the deceased ones.
Stevenson travelled to many countries across the continents, studying all cases in great detail and dismissing the ones that were not authentic or that would not verify. He found children who could remember the exact name, details and history of the person which they claimed to have been in their previous life. He would then go and verify all these details by himself, visiting the families of the deceased. He would thus cross check the data he got from the children with the details he got from other people. He would always check very attentively for alternative explanations, making sure the story is not some kind of fraud. It could be that the child got the information from another source and then lied to the parents, or that the child’s parents themselves would make up some story and make the child believe it.
He was especially interested in the most intimate details which were only known to the deceased and not written or recorded anywhere. After gathering information from the relatives of the deceased, he would come back to the children and test them with difficult questions that could only be answered correctly if they were indeed who they claimed to be. Hundreds of the thousands of cases that he researched and described in his articles and books, are cases where he found no other reasonable explanation but reincarnation.
Another case studied by Professor Stevenson was that of James, a 3 years old infant who claimed he was a pilot in WWII, who was killed in a battle in Japan. Despite his young age, the infant could tell all the technical details of the aircraft. He told his parents about the aircraft carrier which he was on and mentioned the names of the other pilots. His dad checked the information and, to his amazement, found out that all the details were correct. He then connected James with his sister from his previous life, who by now was very old. Hearing James’s story and all the details he remembered made her cry.
A documentary that was made about James reached Japan, and he was invited to visit the island where his plane crashed. He went to the island and with much excitement and many tears, he placed a bouquet of flowers on the spot where he was killed in his past life. During his visit to Japan, he experienced a great catharsis and his nightmares, which until then were recurring almost every night, completely stopped afterwards.
Past lives birthmarks
One of the most interesting subject Stevenson studied was that of birthmarks. He came across many cases of children with birthmarks that precisely matched injuries from the past life or which clearly indicated the way the person was killed in their previous incarnation. Once, at a science conference, he presented 41 cases with images, which showed clear matches between the injuries a person had in their past life and the birthmarks they had in their new incarnation.
One interesting case describes a boy with two birthmarks, who claimed that he was killed by gunshots in his previous lifetime. Stevenson studied the case in a pathological institute and he was able to get photographs of the body of the deceased person. He discovered that the murder victim was hit by a bullet in the exact places that the boy had the birthmarks, in both the entrance and exit of the bullet.
Stevenson got a lot of criticism from his colleagues. Most of the criticism referred to the fact that he didn’t offer any explanation or description of how the “soul”, or the personality travels from one body to the other. With that being said, even his most harsh critics point out that his work and the way he conducted his studies was done in accordance with the most rigurous scientific requirements. Stevenson got an interesting feedback from Professor Robert Almeder, who claims, after reading Stevenson’s research, that it is not only reasonable to believe that reincarnation is real, but it is unlikely to believe that it isn’t.