Is it really possible that we’ve all been here before? Mention reincarnation and many will look at you skeptically. Yet the concept of reincarnation has been known about for thousands of years. Not only is it mentioned in spiritual and religious texts, it is a tenet among many philosophies and religions including Hinduism and Buddhism. No such thing as reincarnation? Think again!
Reincarnation is not something “just made up” by the New Age community. The concept of past lives and rebirth has existed among major religions for thousands of years. It is widely accepted in Eastern religions, particularly Hinduism and Buddhism. And according to Tibetan Buddhism, each Dalai Lama is considered a reincarnation of a former spiritual teacher. Elder monks look for a boy that exhibits the qualities of the former Lama before choosing their leader. In fact there was a touching film on this subject called Little Buddha released in 1993.
The concept of past lives and rebirth has existed among major religions for thousands of years.
It has also been noted that the concept of reincarnation was held by early Christians, particularly the Gnostics. Many researchers suspect that this doctrine was removed from various Biblical texts during the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. Theories are often based on this biblical quote from John 9:23 when the disciples ask Jesus, “Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” How could someone sin before birth unless they lived a prior life?
Edgar Cayce (1877-1945) an American psychic was known as the “Sleeping Prophet” for his technique of using a sleeplike trance to perform readings. Among his 14,000 psychic readings, nearly 2000 of them contained extensive details about people’s past lives. Cayce’s readings have all been documented and recorded into transcripts. These famous writings are still available for study today thanks to his non-profit Association for Research and Enlightenment established in 1931.
Famous writings from the modern age are found in many areas, but among the most notable is a book written by Brian L. Weiss, MD entitled Many Lives, Many Masters. A traditional practicing psychiatrist, Dr. Weiss discovered the world of reincarnation through one of his patients who recalled her past life traumas.
Anecdotal and Scientific Evidence
If the numerous religious faithful and famous writings aren’t enough to make you a believer, consider the scientific and anecdotal evidence available. Dr. Ian Stevenson devoted over forty years researching the past life memories of children instead of relying on traditional hypnosis to document reincarnation. Whereas hypnosis can be deemed as somewhat unreliable, a child’s memory can be investigated using the scientific method.
Dr. Stevenson documented the children’s claims and would verify them based on the information received. He would research the previous life mentioned by the child, then verify the facts from the deceased person’s life. He even matched up telling details like birthmarks, scars and other signs that could be confirmed by medical records. Amazingly this man documented over 3000 such cases.
And let’s not forget about the anecdotal evidence out there. Thousands of people claim to remember details of previous lives through intuition, dreams and hypnosis. Unfortunately that’s not enough evidence to convince skeptical minds. However there is a unique case that may win these people over. The claim comes from a boy in India named Taranjit Singh.
This young boy of six remembered a previous life as Satnam Singh in a neighboring village not far away. Satnam was killed in an accident in 1992 while riding his bicycle home. Insistent upon this former life, his family investigated and found that indeed Satnam’s parents were in the nearby village. The details Taranjit described about his life as Satnam and the accident were uncanny, down to the blood stained books and the money in his wallet. What other explanation could there be?
So the next time you wonder about reincarnation and past lives, you may think twice about the phrase “you only live once!”