A. I cover three forms of reincarnation investigations in Book 1: (1) the Children-Who-Remember (CWR) phenomenon, (2) Dr. Helen Wambach’s past-life group regression studies of historical trends, and (3) Dr. Walter Semkiw’s investigations of independent reincarnation recall cases and his own experience in finding similarities in appearance, personality, and family members with those in a previous past life.
In the CWR cases, young children (2 to 7 years) “remember” their last human life. To these children, their last life is more real than their current one. They will often tell their current parents that they are not their parents and that their parents live somewhere else. Often they provide fairly detailed accounts that have been verified by scientific investigators. The major research group investigation this phenomenon is the University of Virginia’s Division of Perceptual Studies. This effort was started by the late Dr. Ian Stevenson. Their website is:
Wambach’s information provides historical trends of past-life recalls on gender, race, social status, clothing, footwear, eating ware, and diet that can be compared to known historical accounts or understandings. Wambach’s results provide strong evidence that her subjects remember past lives associated with their souls and not just ones they had affinities for (for example, famous historical persons). This information is presented in her 1978 book, Reliving Past Lives.
Dr. Walter Semkiw’s research is summarized at the website www.johnadams.net and in his 2003 book, Return of the Revolutionaries. There he outlines the many similarities of living individuals with those of the American revolutionary period. Semkiw found a strong case for one of his previous lives being that of John Adams. This along with information from independent research cases has led Semkiw to hypothesize that a soul tends to have the same appearance, personality traits and companions from one lifetime to the next (see Semkiw’s attached photos, including Semkiw as the reincarnation of John Adams and my matching of JK Rowling with Charles Dickens).
The upper left match is that of Indianapolis homicide police Captain Robert Snow with the artist Carroll Beckwith. Snow received the information that he was the reincarnation of Beckwith in a past-life regression session along with 28 pieces of information about Beckwith. Snow was latter able to verify 26 of these facts. See Keene’s description of his experiences at www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3wewwJuxUk.
The lower left match is that of fire department Assistant Chief Jeffrey Keene with the Civil War Confederate Col. John Gordon. Keene’s awareness of his connection with Gordon first came in a spontaneous experience of himself as Gordon when visiting a Civil War battlefield in which Gordon was wounded by several bullets. Later Keene received more information on Gorden from a clairvoyant. Keene then followed-up with his own research into Gordon. See Keene’s description of his experiences at www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQbtp8fpJQU.
Key References Used for Reincarnation Investigations
Jim B Tucker, Life Before Life (St. Martin’s Press, 2005).
Jim B. Tucker, “Ian Stevenson and Cases of the Reincarnation Type,” Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 36–43, 2008.
Tom Shroder, Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence for Past Lives (Simon & Schuster, 1999).
Helen Wambach, Reliving Past Lives: The Evidence Under Hypnosis (Bantam Books, 1979).
Walter Semkiw, Return of the Revolutionaries: The Case for Reincarnation and Soul Group Reunited (Hampton Roads, 2003).
Paul Von Ward, The Soul Genome: Science and Reincarnation (Fenestra Books, 2008).
Carol Bowman, Children’s Past Lives: How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child (Bantam Books, 1997).
B. Paul Von Ward and Carol Bowman: Additional sources of scientific and systematic investigations of reincarnation (12.20.14)
1. Paul Von Ward’s book The Soul Genome: Science and Reincarnation. Ward’s research and book expand on what I present in Frontiers of Knowledge with information and insights on the following phenomena:
- Child prodigies that exhibit capabilities that they could not have learned in their short lifetime
- Anomalous/unexplained knowledge about historical time, events, and language
- Knowledge provided in unusual dreams and aspirations
- Past-life healings by psychologists and psychiatrists of current life pains and illnesses
Ward continues the investigative lines of Stevenson and Tucker of the Univ. of Virginia on the children who remember their last past life and Semkiw’s discoveries of the similarities of current-life individuals with their personalities in a previous incarnation. Below I present highlights for two of Von Ward’s phenomena.
- Child Prodigies. Von Ward starts his chapter on prodigies with several accounts from print and TV of extraordinary prodigies in math, music, and dancing skills. He quotes parents as saying their child “was born with it.” Some of these prodigies are savants who have limited social skills. Von Ward also introduces a “milder” version that he calls “quick starts”: these are individuals that have a specialized skill that is far beyond the norm in math, music and athletics for which there is no genetic trail.
- Past-Life Healings. Von Ward provides highlights from regressionist Roger Woolger on how his clients experienced emotional and physical healing/release when they went back to a past life that was the source of their problem.
Developing a Scientific Hypothesis for Observed Reincarnation Phenomena. Von Ward’s goal had been to develop a scientific perspective for reincarnation. In Part 2 of his book, he describes how his investigation and research morphed into finding an explanation for how we–in our current life–can have appearances, traits and capabilities similar to those we had in a past life, even when there is no “genetic trail” for them. In chapter 8, Von Ward presents an overview of anomalous phenomena that has been documented by scientifically trained researchers. [In Frontiers, I summarized the main findings from many of these sources.] From this information, Von Ward developed a hypothesis of how these strange phenomena are created. It is through a subtle-energy-information field that he calls the soul’s psychoplasm. It includes energetic versions of the core elements of the human body and its personality, and Von Ward writes that it seems to include an energetic repertory of cognitive patterns, emotions, behavioral styles, memories, and learned skills that can be associated with the personality [Kindle Locations 1417-1419].
[Note: in Frontiers, I discuss the human subtle-energy body system that includes multiple subtle-energy bodies that provide specific functions and information for the human-soul’s development and capabilities.]
2. Carol Bowman, Children’s Past Lives: How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child. Bowman’s interest in children’s past-life memories was initiated by her five-year old son’s sudden terrifying fear of the loud noises created by a July 4th fireworks. Fortunately, she found the answer from a hypnotherapist who was able to regress her son back to a terrifying past-life event that had similar noises and other elements. The boy remembered being a soldier in a Civil War battle with loud noise from the musket and cannon firing and remembering how scared he was. After this session Bowman’s son’s fear of loud noises never reappeared.
By integrating and simplifying her research findings, Bowman was able to identify four signs that a child is remembering a past life event (Bowman, pp 198-99):
- Matter-of-fact tone
- Consistency over time [of the story’s description]
- Knowledge beyond [child’s] experience
- Corresponding behavior and traits
Not all childhood past-life remembrances have all four signs. Bowman also notes that these are subtle clues that only a parent would usually pick-up on. In her chapter 10, she goes on to give case history examples of the four signs. Bowman also emphasizes that her typical case is not to be confused with Stevenson’s detailed information and memories in his CWR cases. She labels these “extreme examples of past-life memory.”
In her chapter 11, Bowman presents information on “triggers” for past-life recalls by children. These can be a sight, sound, taste, smell, place, or event that reminds the child of a past life and triggers a spontaneous recall. Sometimes it is a combination. In the case of her son’s recall, she describes several items that came together to trigger his remembering: the loud noises, tasting powdered sugar, and the physical setting: high view looking down over people below him (this had many similarities to a scene in his past-life recall: being with an artillery unit looking down over the main battle.
I have just provided a few highlights from these two sources. For those interested in researching reincarnation discoveries in greater depth, I recommend both books. When I do a revision to Frontiers, I will include these two sources in my chapter on “Scientific and Systematic Investigations of Reincarnation.