understand reincarnation, we need to understand the nature of our mind,
and how our body and mind are separate entities. If we understand the nature of the mind, we can understand the existence of
past and future lives.
~ About Reincarnation
Is there any evidence at all suggesting reincarnation?
There are so many documented cases of past life memories that it
would be impractical to list them all. Below is a selection of cases
which are impossible to explain with conventional modern scientific
Glenn Ford - mysterious language abilities
There are now many recorded cases where under hypnosis a subject has not
only recounted details from what appears to be a previous life, but also
spoken a foreign language of which they claimed to have little or no
previous knowledge.A notable case of this is the famous Hollywood actor Glenn Ford.
Under hypnosis, he recalled five previous lives - one in particular as a
French cavalryman under Louis XIV. The astonishing part was that though
Ford said he knew only a few basic phrases in French, under hypnosis he
spoke French with ease while describing this life. And when recordings
of his regression were sent to UCLA (University of California), they
discovered that not only was Ford speaking fluent French, he was in fact
speaking the Parisian dialect from the 17th century.
Jane Evans - unexplained knowledge of 12th century Jewish
Jane Evans, a Welsh housewife, agreed to be filmed for BBC television
being regressed back to a past life by Arnell Bloxham, president of the
British Society of Hypnotherapists and a respected practitioner. She had
originally consulted him about rheumatism and under hypnosis, revealed
seven past lives including one life - where the regression was televised
- where she identified herself as a Jewish woman living in the city of
York in 12th century England.
She described many details of Jewish life at the time and how she and
the local Jews were forced to wear badges to identify themselves. She
also spoke of a terrible massacre of the Jewish population by the local
townspeople. During this event, she recalled taking shelter with her
children in the crypt of a local church, but they were discovered by the
mob and that is where she died.
Professor Barrie Dobson, an expert on Jewish history at York University,
was called in to check the information from her memories. He found that
her description of 12th century Jewish life was impressive with its
accuracy and in fact he was convinced that some of the details would
have only been known to professional historians. However it also seemed
that some details appeared to be quite incorrect. Firstly, it was not
until the 13th century (1215 to be precise) that the Church authorities
in Rome decreed that Jews in Christian countries were to wear special
identification. Secondly, from her description, the church had to have
been St. Mary's Castlegate, but it did not have a crypt.
However further investigation revealed that the practice of making Jews
wear identification was already widespread in England during the 12th
century before the church decree. Then astonishingly several months
later, during renovation of the church a sealed chamber was discovered
below the floor which appeared to have been a crypt - a very rare
phenomenon indeed for churches in the area.
So not only did her regression bring forth obscure details which were
historically accurate, it also yielded historical information which
should most definitely not have been available at that time.
Jenny Cockell - did she find her children from a past life?
Jenny Cockell had always been haunted by dream-like memories of a
previous life she had lived as a young Irish woman named Mary Sutton -
who died over two decades before Cockell was born, leaving eight
children. After many years researching the clues given in her memories,
she finally tracked down Mary Sutton's children and wrote a book about
the experience, Across Time and Death: A Mother's Search for Her Past
Comment by reincarnation expert
Rabbi Yonassan Gershom: "This is one of the most convincing
reincarnation cases I've come across in a long time. Jenny Cockell not
only had memories of a past life, she actually found her children -- now
all grown up -- from that life. This story was featured on a number of
U.S. TV programs when the book first came out, featuring both Jenny and
the children from that life. Her still-living children, being devout
Roman Catholics, do not believe in reincarnation per se, but went on
record as saying that somehow, their mother "speaks through" Jenny, and
they verified details of her memories. I met Jenny Cockell at a
conference in Oslo, Norway, in 1994 and found her to be totally sincere
and quite credible. I highly recommend this book!"
Children's Past Life Memories
The area of children's past lives is quite remarkable - especially in
western countries, where children have seldom been exposed to the
concept of reincarnation. Often such memories can fade as some grow up,
while others will be able to recall past incarnations all their life.
Thousands of cases have been documented by various researchers from
around the world and some children are recorded as having described and
their past life residence and recognized family members by name - even
when these families live in a different district - and even successfully
passed tests set by the identified family. What is remarkable here is
that in most cases the children appear to have no incentive, financial
or otherwise, to make such claims.
Dr Ian Stevenson
Personality Studies at the University of Virginia
, has devoted the
last forty years to the scientific documentation of past life memories
(without hypnosis) of children from all over the world - and has over
3,000 cases in his files.
Children's Past Lives web
- cases, stories, research, and discussions describe how young
children spontaneously remember their past lives.
How can events or memories from a past life affect people in this
There are a number of ways in which people claim that the events
from a past life are somehow affecting them in this life.
Often the first hint about a past life people have is an inexplicable
interest in a particular country, language, time period, historical
event, etc. And often when presented with photographs or movie footage
which related to their past life, they might feel an emotional rush and
even identify themselves somehow with what they are seeing.
For example, an English TV documentary showed a American who had become
so fascinated with the American Civil War that he had turned his house
into a Civil War museum. Not surprisingly, under hypnosis he remembered
being a soldier in the Civil War. This can be viewed by the skeptic as
wishful thinking, but conversely it follows that a Civil War veteran
would always have a fascination for that period - probably even into
their next incarnation.
And an example of these obsessions with history which often seem
irrational to the outsider are the current proliferation of military
re-enactment groups all over the world, covering formations as diverse
as medieval knights, through to soldiers of the American Civil War, WW1
and WW2.Recurring dreams or nightmares
Recurring dreams or nightmares are a common way people claim to be able
to view their past lives. This can vary between vague dreams of an
unpleasant nature with a recurring theme all the way through to vivid
dreams where other participants can be clearly recognized. Good examples
of such dreams can be found at the Shoah Dream Project.
Seemingly irrational fears or phobias
Some people have seemingly irrational fears from a young age for such
things drowning, aircraft crashing, loud noises, etc. Often when trying
to work through this problem under hypnosis, the person will state that
the cause of their phobia is an event from a time when they were someone
else - and often the event is the cause of their death in that life.
Unexplained or chronic physical afflictions
Another problem that can occur is when people have a chronic health
problem for which there seems to be no evident reason. Here again, when
working through this problem under hypnosis, sometimes people will state
that the origin of their problem is a traumatic event from a past life.
And surprisingly once this discovery is made (under trance, etc), the
person's problem are often reported as - almost miraculously - going
away of their own accord.
How do people claim to remember past lives?
People can be presented with what appear to be past life memories
in a variety of different ways.
Especially with small children, memories simple appear to surface from
nowhere. Some describe the process as being like a "waking dream".
Images and scenes may come to mind and the subject may often find
themselves as a participant in the memory, though often they report
feeling somehow different in the memory from their current self.
Although it might seem like a daydream, the subject is often surprised
by the unexpected nature of the experience and it can also be very
The memory is experienced in the same way "waking dream" fashion as with
spontaneous recall, but it is triggered by an event of some kind. This
event may be anything which appears to remind the subject of a key part
of the memory - for example a particular smell, the sight of an object,
a noise, hearing a particular word or phrase, a taste or being in a
particular physical setting.
Sometimes people have recurring dreams which do not seem at all to be
the usual surreal type of dreams, but which have recurring scenes which
seem strangely real. The vividness can vary from a dream which is
thought-provoking to one which leaves the subject in a cold sweat or in
Hypnosis has been used for decades as a tool for trying to discover past
life memories. Even though it has been studied for at least 150 years,
little is understood about the actual process by which humans can be
hypnotized. The effect of hypnosis is to put the subject into a trance
state where they essentially put themselves under the practitioner's
instruction. The main advantage with this method for gleaning distant
memories is that the subject's mind can be focused extremely sharply
under trance, to the extent that the mind can be made oblivious to
sensations of pain in the body.
Hypnosis is used for many different reasons, e.g. by police
investigators trying to glean extra pieces of information from witnesses
or by people trying to rid themselves of smoking habits or eating
disorders. Occasionally it has also been used effectively in the place
of surgical anesthesia.
Unfortunately as with many things, the results vary greatly from person
to person, with some people being very difficult to put under hypnosis
while others can be put into very deep trances indeed. With respect to
past life regressions, here too results vary greatly. Some people can
have session after session without getting any significant results,
while others can unleash a torrent of information the first time they go
Naturally one important prerequisite is having an experienced
practitioner who can guide the session responsibly and try to ensure the
subject answers all questions as honestly as possible.
Profound meditation is said to be able to give some subjects spontaneous
memories which appear to be from past lives. Once profound meditative
states can be achieved, the effect is similar to being under hypnosis,
except that there is no strong external influence over the subject. The
difficulty of this approach is that is can take years of intense
meditation in order to perfect a particularly deep trance and even then
there are no guarantees. Having said this, people who experience past
life flashbacks or fleeting memories often appear to have a head start
in this area, and can obtain results fairly quickly if they persevere.
It is worth noting that for thousands of years it has been the single
most common method used by people of all religions or philosophies in
order to gain mystical insights
Continued in FAQ II »
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When Ford was approached about a movie on Dutch psychic Peter Hurkos,
he decided he should first do some studying on the topic. So the
54-year-old actor witnessed some demonstrations by Hurkos, conducted
interviews of experts on the topic, and in December 1975, he underwent
three past-life hypnosis sessions during which he described what
appeared to be five previous lives he had led.
Dr. Maurice Benjamin conducted the experiment before witnesses, with
tape recorder running.
The hypnotized actor was regressed back to childhood, then beyond,
and described what were presumed to be memories of past lives.
The Past Lives of Glenn Ford
Jenny Cockell is an English author who in the mid-1990s came to fame
for her book about reincarnation called
Across Time and Death: A Mother's Search for her Past Life Children.
In the book, Cockell discusses her "past life memories" of life as Mary
Sutton in early-20th century Ireland. The book chronicles Cockell's
research into Sutton's life and Cockell's subsequent "reunion" with
Sutton's children, some whom accept Cockell as the reincarnation of
In 2000, CBS aired Yesterday's Children, which was a made-for-TV
movie adaptation of Cockell's book, with Jane Seymour in the title role.
Cockell is also the author of
Past Lives, Future Lives
, in which she discussed her visions of
what she believes will be her future lives, among these a girl, Nadja in
Nepal around 2050.
Carol Bowman, M.S., is an author, lecturer, counselor, and therapist,
known for her work in studying cases of reincarnation, especially those
involving young children.
Her first two books,
Children's Past Lives (Bantam, 1997) and
Return from Heaven (HarperCollins, 2001), about reincarnation, have
been published in more than sixteen foreign languages.
Ms. Bowman teaches parents that it's important not to make fun of a
child when he talks about his or her past life, because then he will
shut up about it. If there are fears left over from the previous life,
those fears that the child can't talk about can become phobias, or
irrational fears, like her son's fear of loud sounds. These fears can go
on through a person's life and interfere with being able to live life in
a normal way.
Six decades ago, a 21-year-old Navy fighter pilot on a mission over the
Pacific was shot down by Japanese artillery. His name might have been
forgotten, were it not for 6-year-old James Leininger. (Book ~
Quite a few people — including those who knew the fighter pilot — think
James is the pilot, reincarnated.
James' parents, Andrea and Bruce, a highly educated, modern couple, say
they are "probably the people least likely to have a scenario like this
pop up in their lives."
But over time, they have become convinced their little son has had a
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