"If people really knew what they were, there'd be no wars, there'd be no poverty,
there'd be none of the ills that face humanity today."
William Buhlman, Monroe Institute
"As you stir in thought, winds begin to howl,
As you smile, waves of love lap upon eternal beaches,
As you speak, the floodgates of abundance and good fortune begin to tremble, and
As you dream, the stars realign."
Just Who Do We Think We Are?
Ian Stevenson Says...
"The most promising evidence bearing on reincarnation seems to come from the spontaneous cases, especially among children."
Ian Stevenson, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, p. 3.
"Reincarnation, at least as I conceive it, does not nullify what we know about evolution and genetics. It suggests, however, that there may be two streams of evolution – the biological one and a personal one – and that during terrestrial lives these streams may interact."
Ian Stevenson, Children Who Remember Previous Lives:
A Question of Reincarnation, rev. ed., p. 12
Just Who Do We Think We Are?
Jim B. Tucker Says...
"Some young children say that they have been here before. They give various details about previous lives, often describing the way in which they died. Of course, young children say a lot of things, and we may simply think that they are fantasizing as children often do. But what if, in a number of instances, people listened to the children and then tried to find out if the events they described had actually happened? And what if, when those people went to the places the children had named, they found that what the children had said about the past events was indeed true? What then?"
Life Before Life by Jim B. Tucker, Introduction
"Our cases contribute to the evidence that consciousness can survive death in at least some situations.... This means that each of us is more than just a physical body. We have a consciousness as well that is capable of surviving the death of that body."
Life Before Life by Jim B. Tucker, p. 229
"I think we each have a larger part of us that transcends the individual dream--the individual lifetime--and continues to take part in creating other dreams, other lifetimes or worlds."
Return to Life by Jim B. Tucker, p. 208
In the previous issue, I featured Carol Bowman, author of Children's Past Lives. This week I want to continue this theme with Dr. Ian Stevenson and his associate and successor, Dr. Jim B. Tucker. These three researchers are, in my opinion, among the most knowledgeable authorities in the world on the topic of children who remember past lives. I read Stevenson's book, 20 Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, in the mid 1970s. His book and another called Many Mansions by Gina Cerminara were the impetus that set me on a forty-five year study of reincarnation and past life stories.
Dr. Stevenson focused his research on cases of children in countries where reincarnation was accepted. Dr. Jim B. Tucker joined in this research and learned from Stevenson in time to be able to take the reins of the project. Dr. Tucker has expanded the cases to many in the United States. There are biographies and interesting videos of both men included below.
In future issues, I will share some of the mind-blowing "solved" past life stories of children and more of the fascinating adult experiences similar to those of Jenny Cockell (reviewed in issue 6) and Robert Snow (reviewed in issue 5), both of which which are still available on my website: www.shari-harris.com.
I hope that you are becoming as intrigued with stories of past lives as I am. My fascination with past lives is more than just loving the true stories. There is a point to it. If people realize that we all live more than one life, I believe it can change how we think and how we live.
Here are some of my thoughts about the benefit of knowing about reincarnation, listed somewhat randomly.
We are not victims of haphazard circumstances.
Why are some people born into wealth and others into poverty? How can that be fair--if we live only one time? But what if we get to experience many different walks of life over many lifetimes?
Most reincarnation researchers (Dr. Brian Weiss, Dr. Jim B. Tucker, and Walter Semkiw among others) assert that we most likely helped to plan our current life before we were born, and we chose our parents and circumstances on purpose.
What if we get a chance to correct behaviors from a previous life? What if we can perfect talents in another life that we began to learn in the last one?
There is meaning and purpose for our life.
We have lived many lives before this one, and we will live many more after this one, probably, I think, based on how quickly we advance toward our goals.
Death is not the end of our consciousness, which goes to "heaven" (or whatever you choose to call it) to rest, discover what we learned in this life, and eventually plan our next life.
The people closest to us have most likely been in our lives before, although relationships change (mother, daughter, father, son, friend), our race and nationality can change, and even our gender from life to life.
How can we harbor prejudice against another race if we know that we may be reborn as a member of that race next time?
Dr. Ian Stevenson spent forty years of his professional career investigating declarations from children, mostly in Asia and India, who remembered past lives. He established the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia to conduct research using scientific methods to investigate phenomena which could not be explained by current scientific theoriesabout the nature of mind or consciousness.
He made many trips to other countries in attempts to verify children's statements and to find information about the previous personalities that they claimed to have been. He was able to factually verify statements in over half of the 2500 cases he researched by speaking with family members and friends who knew the children and also with those who knew the deceased person, when possible. Dr. Stevenson retired in 2002 and passed away in 2007 at the age of 89.
Dr. Stevenson was the author of three hundred papers and fourteen books on reincarnation, including Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation (1966) and European Cases of the Reincarnation Type (2003). His major work was the two-volume Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects (1997). This book describes over 200 cases where fatal injuries seemed to resurface as birthmarks or defects on the child who remembered the past life.
Stevenson was researching and writing for a targeted audience, which was the psychiatric community. As his interest was in "solving" the cases, his work has been described as academic and "dry," with many factual charts, graphs, and pictures. When Carol Bowman was first looking for literature about children and reincarnation, his was all she could find, but it did not include what she wanted.
Bowman's intention was to find information to help young children process their memories and to resolve phobias or other difficulties they may be experiencing. Carol Bowman herself eventually wrote the book she had been looking for. Her 1998 book, Children's Past Lives, was geared toward helping parents and child psychologists work with children who had past life memories.
In the video link below, Dr. Stevenson speaks about his work and shows slides of children who were born with birthmarks that correspond with their past life memories of their death and, in some cases, with hospital records obtained by Stevenson. You'll see that his speech is quite monotone and methodical, but he is thorough in presenting his captivating information.
Jim B. Tucker, M.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is Director of the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies, where he is continuing the work of Dr. Ian Stevenson with children who report memories of previous lives. A board-certified child psychiatrist, Dr. Tucker worked with Dr. Stevenson for several years before taking over the research upon Dr. Stevenson’s retirement in 2002.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a BA degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill, followed by a medical degree four years later, he received training in general psychiatry and child psychiatry at the University of Virginia. When he completed his training, he stayed in Charlottesville and began a successful private practice in psychiatry.
Upon learning about Dr. Stevenson's work, he became intrigued both by the children’s reports of past-life memories and by the prospect of studying them using an objective, scientific approach. In 1999, he began working with Stevenson half-time, and a year later, he gave up his private practice completely to work full-time at the university. Dr. Tucker began to look for and find cases of children who remembered past lives in the United States. He has now published two books about American cases, as well as numerous papers in scientific journals. He has spoken before both scientific and general audiences and has made a number of television appearances, including Good Morning America, Larry King Live, and CBS Sunday Morning.
My husband, Bob, and I loved the singer Marty Robbins. He wrote and sang the song El Paso in 1959. You may remember it. He wrote a sequel in 1976 called El Paso City, which thrilled me because it was about a cowboy who was remembering a past life, reliving the story in the first El Paso song. People didn't talk much about past lives back then, so it was a special treat for me whenever I heard it. Click the link to listen to El Paso City. I included the lyrics on the second link in case you'd like them. I had so much fun hearing the song again today and including it here for you! I hope you enjoy it too!
Louise Hay dedicated her life to teaching people how to live a positive and empowered life, often with the aid of positive statements and beliefs, which she called affirmations. Louise taught that your point of power is always in the present moment, where you plant the mental seeds for creating new experiences. You’re never stuck, for you can choose new thoughts and new ways of thinking.
I trust the process of life.
We are all family, and the planet is our home.
Whatever I need to know is revealed to me at exactly the right time.
Filling my mind with pleasant thoughts is the quickest road to health.
I am healthy, whole, and complete.
In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete.