What if your deja vus were memories from your past lives? Professor Jim Tucker thinks that past lives are possible. As a child psychiatrist and Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, he has encountered enough children who claimed to remember past lives and prenatal memories to investigate it. His main research interest is documenting these stories.
He has since become the author of Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children’s Memories of Previous Lives, which is an overview of over four decades of reincarnation research. One story in particular of a two-year-old boy stands out and may be proof of reincarnation. See for yourself.
Recalling Another Life
Did you know that thirty-three percent of Americans think reincarnation exists, and some 10 percent of them report being able to recall their own past lives? The numerous accounts feel like they can’t be a coincidence. That’s why Dr. Tuckrt is set on investigating the cause and accuracy of these stories.
Dr. Tucker has gotten other doctors on board having been hosted by the Dr. Oz Show as well as Dr. Eben Alexander, another medical doctor who believes in reincarnation. While his research so far has only caught the eye of reality TV like The Ghost Inside My Child (children with past-life memories), and Who Was I: My Past Lives, he points to some of the signs that we may have lived had a past life that we should all be aware of.
A Second Chance
In case you’re wondering Reincarnation is a Buddhist principle at its core. It’s also the philosophical or religious concept of rebirth or transmigration. Reincarnation states that the non-physical essence of a living being begins a new life in a different physical form or body after biological death.
The belief is that once a living being dies, its atman will be reborn or reincarnated into a different body depending on its karma from its previous life. The better karma, the better odds of reincarnation into something better than they were previously.
There is hope in this belief because it gives people who didn’t get to have a great life this time around, a second chance to do better in their next life.
“With reincarnation, there is always another opportunity,” explains Stafford Betty, a professor of religious studies adding that: “The universe takes on a merciful hue. It’s a great improvement over the doctrine of eternal hell.”
False Vs Accurate Memories
So far there has been no scientific credibility to reincarnation. Even though the belief has been dismissed as spiritual or a scam, it has fascinated psychologists and scholars who have tried to define it in a way that would make sense to use.
Christopher C. French, a professor of psychology, explains reincarnation as “an intriguing psychological phenomenon.” The professor heads a unit that studies claims of paranormal experiences. To distinguish reincarnation from the paranormal, he adds that memories of past lives need to be validated: “it is far more likely that such apparent memories are, in fact, false memories rather than accurate memories of events that were experienced in a past life.”
The Cycle Of Life As We know It
Professor French is one of many who have been collecting stories of people who can recall their past lives. If they can validate the accuracy of these memories, their findings will revolutionize our assumed notion that our humanity ends with our death. Reimagining our purpose in the universe and the cycle of life as a continuum rather than having a beginning and end has fascinated scholars for decades.
These include people we have praised historically like the inventor, Thomas Edison, who has been quoted saying that: “the only survival I can conceive is to start a new Earth cycle again,” Edison wasn’t alone in his thinking. Henry Ford, the automobile industry pioneer, also adopted the theory of reincarnation when he was 26 explaining that:
Work is futile if we cannot utilize the experience we collect in one life in the next. When I discovered reincarnation, it was as if I had found a universal plan….Time was no longer limited….The discovery of Reincarnation put my mind at ease.”
Were these men on to something?
The 2-Year-Old With A Past Life
The most interesting part of these studies is the recollections and stories themselves as they usually come from the mouths of innocent children. There is no way for these children to know what they know and understand the magnitude of the stories of their past lives that they’re telling.
Take Sonam Wangdu for example, a boy born in Seattle in 1991. When he was only two years old, he expressed that he was the fourth reincarnation of the original Tibetan lama (“lama” is the Tibetan word for “guru”), Dezhung Rinpoche I.
What makes this story particularly noteworthy is that the signs that point to him being right were accumulating before he was even born. The little boy had visions of his mother and her own lama and could recite the words of the man he claimed to reincarnate. After all, that man had predicted his own reincarnation in 1987, the year of his death, stating “I will be reborn in Seattle.”
23 Years Later
Five years after his birth, that little only answered to the name, Trulku-la (which means “reincarnation”). He then left his family forever to be raised by monks. He studied Tibetan Buddhism in Nepal and eventually became the head of a monastery there.
23 years later, a journalist for the Seattlemet went to follow up with him. The boy was now a man, but he still believed to be in his 23rd year of life as the fourth reincarnation of Dezhung Rinpoche I. According to the story: “When asked how long he would stay in Nepal, though, the little boy was serene, almost stoic. ‘Lots of time,’ he said. ‘I’m just going to stay here a long time.’”
More Than 2500 Other Cases
Dr. Tucker has heard many other stories like that boy’s since being a child psychiatrist in private practice. His intrigue led him to become the leader of the division’s past-life research at UVA.
The UVA team had a collection of more than 2,500 documented cases of children from all over the world who had detailed memories of their former lives. The similarities between some of the children and the people who they claim to reincarnate are incredible. A five-year-old boy in particular even shared the same physical traits like blindness in his left eye, a mark on his neck, and a limp as a long-deceased brother.
Could these stories be proof?
The Memories Matched Historical Documents
Dr. Tucker explains that the children usually start sharing their memories of their previous lives around the ages of two or three years old and stop by the age of six or seven: “That is around the same time that we all lose our memories of early childhood,” Dr. Tucker says.
Before investigating the accuracy of the stories he asks two questions: “do the parents seem credible?” and “could the child have picked up the memories through TV, overheard conversations, or other ordinary means?” If he can rule those out, he starts interviewing the children for more details to start matching the memories.
Based on Dr. Tucker’s research almost three-quarters of the cases have been “solved.” In this case, that means that the team of researchers was able to match an actual person from the past to the child’s memories.
The team has also found that almost 20 percent of the children in the UVA cases naturally had occurring marks or scars that matched the injuries of the person they reincarnated.
Are these all coincidences?
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Aria Misty is a recent university grad. She did her undergrad in media, information & technoculture with a Master in Journalism & Communications in 2018.
Aria has a particular interest in all things astrology and spirituality. This is driven by her desire to create healing. In fact, Aria went back to school for A master’s in counseling p[…]