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Reincarnation Cases
#1
Hey everyone. So, this is a post I made on Skeptiko a couple months back for Paul. I was waiting for him to respond to me in order to assess/analyze the case, and tell me what he thought, but he never got back to me.

Here's the case:

Quote:Here is one I've typed out, from Dr. Tucker's book Life Before Life, chapter "Recognizing Familiar Faces": 

The Case of Gnanatilleka Baddewithana

Gnanatilleka Baddewithana (hereinafter referred to as "G" for brevity's sake, Dante's edit) was born in Sri Lanka in 1956, and when she was two years old, she began saying that she had a mother and father along with two brothers and many sisters in another place. After hearing about a town, Talawakelle, that was sixteen miles away, G began saying that she had lived there, and she said that she wanted to visit her former parents there.

When G was four and a half years old, a neighbor wrote about her to H.S.S. Nissanka, a journalist who had written several articles about reincarnation and who later obtained a PhD in International Relations. He subsequently wrote a book about G's case, and I have taken numerous details from it. Dr. Nissanka decided to go see the girl, and he asked a well-known Buddhist monk and a teacher at a nearby college to accompany him. They interviewed G, and she described a number of incidents from a life in Talawakelle, including one in which she saw the Queen as she traveled by train.

She had not given any names other than Talawakelle and a sister named Lora - or sometimes Dora. Since Queen Elizabeth had traveled through Sri Lanka in 1954, Dr. Nissanka and his companions assumed that G was describing someone from Talawakelle who had died between the time of that visit and G's birth in 1956. Actually, they assumed that the previous personality must have died before G's conception, but that is not an assumption that we would automatically share. Dr. Nissanka wrote two articles about the case for a popular weekly newspaper, and the three men then went to Talawakelle to investigate.

While in Talawakelle, the group met a man who said that the information in the articles matched the life of a family member, a teenage boy named Tillekeratne (hereinafter referred to as "T", Dante's edit), who had died in November of 1954. Soon after that meeting, T's teacher went to G's home along with two men that T had not known. Each of the men asked G if she knew him. She said no to two of them, but to her teacher, she said, "Yes, you are from Talawakelle!" After a moment, she commented that he had taught her and had never punished her, and she climbed into his lap.

The next day, the investigation team arranged for G to meet members of T's family at a rest house, or inn, in Talawakelle, but they did not tell G the reason for her trip there. G sat in a room with her mother, the monk, and Dr. Nissanka, who recorded the events with a tape recorder. G's father and T's teacher stood near the door, and other observers watched from the next room. T's mother then entered the room. The monk asked G, "Do you know her?"

G looked up and suddenly appeared excited, and she stared at the woman. When asked again if she knew her, G said, "Yes."

T's mother handed her a candy bar and then held her arms out to G, who quickly hugged her. T's mother said, "Tell me, where did I live?"

G slowly answered, "Talawakelle."

T's mother said, "So tell me who I am."

G, after making sure that her own mother could not hear her, whispered to T's mother (and to Dr. Nissanka's microphone), "Talawakelle mother."

After a minute, the observers asked G again, "Who was that lady... tell us," and she replied, "She's my Talawakelle mother."

Next, T's father came in, and G was asked, "Do you know him?"

She answered yes, and when she was asked who he was, she answered, "He's my Talawakelle father."

Following him, one of T's sisters, one who had accompanied him to school every day, came in, and when G was asked who she was, she replied, "This is my sister from Talawakelle."

"Where did you go with this sister?"

"To school."

When asked how they had gone, she correctly answered that they had gone by train.

Coming in next was a man who had moved to Talawakelle after T died. He asked her, "Who am I?"

"No."

Dr. Nissanka asked her, "Do you know him? Look again carefully, who is he?"

She answered, "No, I don't know him."

Three women came in next. One asked, "Do you know me? Who am I?"

G answered, "Yes, you're my fair sister."

Another asked, "Who am I?"

"The sister who lives in the house below ours."

G's mother then asked her who the third woman was, and she answered, "The sister to whose house we go to sew clothes." These were all correct for T's sisters.

Two men from Talawakelle were sent in separately. One was a very close friend of T's family, while the other one had taught T at Sunday School. G said that she knew each of them at Talawakelle but did not give other specifics.

Lastly, T's brother went in. He and T had constantly quarreled, and when G was asked if she knew him, he angrily answered "No!" She was asked again, and she answered "No! No!" Dr. Nissanka then told her that she could just tell her mother if she knew him, so she whispered to her mother, "My brother from Talawakelle." Dr. Nissanka asked her to let everyone else hear, so she said, "My brother from Talawakelle." When Dr. Nissanka told G to let the brother hold her, she began crying and said that she would not.

G made some very impressive recognitions, as she not only knew the relationship that the previous personality had with each individual but other facts that she could not have known from appearance alone. She stated correctly that she had not known individuals that the previous personality had not known - the two men who accompanied T's teacher to her home and the stranger whom the investigators brought in as a test for her.

G also made a couple of spontaneous recognitions later. She developed a relationship with T's teacher, and one day when they were out together, G pointed to a woman in a crowd of people and said, "I know her." She told the teacher, "She came to the Talawakelle temple with me," and he confirmed with the woman that she had been friendly with T when they worshipped at the temple. Another time, G pointed out one woman who was in a group of others and said, "she is angry with my Talawakelle mother." The teacher checked with the woman and found out that she was a neighbor of T's family who had previously had disagreements with T's mother, but they had since patched up their differences.

Dr. Stevenson (Dante's note: referring to Dr. Ian Stevenson - this case was handled by Dr. Nissanka and Dr. Stevenson, not Dr. Tucker) arrived on the scene a year after the controlled recognition tests and interviewed people from both families as well as T's teacher. Following the initial interviews, he continued to check on the family from time to time. One item that he discovered was that T did not have a sister named Lora or Dora. He had been classmates with a girl named Lora when he was younger and they had had some contact before his death. Dr. Stevenson interviewed her in 1970. She had never met G, so he took her and one of her friends, whom T had not known, unannounced to G's home. He asked G, who was almost fifteen years old by that time, if she could recognize the two women. She called Lora "Dora", confusing the names just as she had done as a young child, and said that she had known her in Talawakelle, but she could give no other details.

This was a remarkable accomplishment, even if we accept the possibility of reincarnation, since Lora had gone from being a teenager during T's life to being an approximately thirty-year-old woman, though we might suppose that this was not so different from being able to recognize an old classmate at a high school reunion. G did accomplish the recognition. Though she might have guessed the location of Talawakelle, given the context of Dr. Stevenson's previous contact with the family, her ability to state the name, which she had not given for any of the other women that people had asked her to identify, demonstrated knowledge that is hard to dismiss.

G's case was a sex-change case, but she did not show particularly masculine traits. When she was young, her parents noted that she was more boyish than her sister was, but not to a severe degree, and as a teenager, her appearance was that of a typical Sinhalese girl. The previous personality, however, tended to be rather feminine. He preferred to be with girls and at times painted his finger nails. He enjoyed sewing and liked silk shirts. In that area at that time, these characteristics made him different from most other boys.
 


I was hoping to get some people's thoughts on the case - what are the weaknesses, or potential normal explanations, in your estimation? What are the case's strengths and what make it difficult to fit it into a reductive theory of mind, consciousness or memory? Ultimately, do you think it's a strong case, weak case, or somewhere in between? Malf, if you're around, I would love to see what you have to say. I was hoping Paul would respond ages ago, but I suppose you'll do if you're able to respond  Wink Thanks guys. Looking forward to your responses.
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#2
(08-17-2017, 01:44 AM)Dante Wrote: Hey everyone. So, this is a post I made on Skeptiko a couple months back for Paul. I was waiting for him to respond to me in order to assess/analyze the case, and tell me what he thought, but he never got back to me.

Here's the case:



I was hoping to get some people's thoughts on the case - what are the weaknesses, or potential normal explanations, in your estimation? What are the case's strengths and what make it difficult to fit it into a reductive theory of mind, consciousness or memory? Ultimately, do you think it's a strong case, weak case, or somewhere in between? Malf, if you're around, I would love to see what you have to say. I was hoping Paul would respond ages ago, but I suppose you'll do if you're able to respond  Wink Thanks guys. Looking forward to your responses.

I can't answer most of the questions but I'd say it's a prettt strong case, I find cases like this very striking, it really does point to reincarnation or some sort of memory transfer etc. What do you think?
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#3
(08-17-2017, 01:44 AM)Dante Wrote: Hey everyone. So, this is a post I made on Skeptiko a couple months back for Paul. I was waiting for him to respond to me in order to assess/analyze the case, and tell me what he thought, but he never got back to me.

Here's the case:



I was hoping to get some people's thoughts on the case - what are the weaknesses, or potential normal explanations, in your estimation? What are the case's strengths and what make it difficult to fit it into a reductive theory of mind, consciousness or memory? Ultimately, do you think it's a strong case, weak case, or somewhere in between? Malf, if you're around, I would love to see what you have to say. I was hoping Paul would respond ages ago, but I suppose you'll do if you're able to respond  Wink Thanks guys. Looking forward to your responses.

Very strong case, as are many in the literature. Actually I would say nearly irrefutable if the facts are accurately portrayed. 

In my opinion there are enough cases out there that most objective people will reach the conclusion that reincarnation is real. At the risk of being hyperbolic: it would almost be irrational NOT to reach this conclusion.

For me, I've stopped looking for new cases to consider, because the question is closed for me. Although,, it's occasionally fun to find a new one to be amazed over.
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#4
(08-24-2017, 12:13 PM)jkmac Wrote: For me, I've stopped looking for new cases to consider, because the question is closed for me. Although,, it's occasionally fun to find a new one to be amazed over.


Is it your opinion that reincarnation exists mechanically as "another life" in a concurrent, continuous sense? That there are 'past' and 'future' lives that are independent existences one following the other in an orderly fashion?
Existence is not subject to time; time is subject to Existence.
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#5
(08-28-2017, 08:58 PM)Pssst Wrote: Is it your opinion that reincarnation exists mechanically as "another life" in a concurrent, continuous sense? That there are 'past' and 'future' lives that are independent existences one following the other in an orderly fashion?

No. The evidence I've come across is that there is a pause as you heal, rest, recoup, learn, and generally take a break. After a time, a new adventure is envisioned and planned with the assistance of those with whom you have planned countless other adventures, and with whom you've embarked before. This is not a "mechanical" process, it is a creative and self-directed one.

You decide when and how you will experience another life. It is not necessarily sequential. It may not even be forwardly chronological, although that is unclear to me at this point.

FWIW: I have come across one person who seems to be having two lives simultaneously right now. She ends up switching bodies with her other half (if I can use that term) unpredictably, and occasionally, for short periods while the other entity that she seems to be paired with (maybe a part of herself?) switches in the other direction.

At some point in this cycle of living, learning, healing, planning and living, you will decide that you have experienced life sufficiently and wish not to incarnate again, and decide to move in another direction of existence. Many move one to help mentor others in their journey.

I can imagine the eye rolls that are going on right now from many,,, so be it... These are the things I have learned through reading channeled materials as well has having personal experiences with medium readings, hypnotic regression, dreaming, and lucid dreaming. Of these things, I have little doubt.
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#6
Then it would be fair to say that you would hold time is NOT an illusion, that there exists continuity of it in in a strict linear sense?
Existence is not subject to time; time is subject to Existence.
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#7
(08-28-2017, 10:09 PM)Pssst Wrote: Then it would be fair to say that you would hold time is NOT an illusion, that there exists continuity of it in in a strict linear sense?
No I wouldn't say that at all.

I have run into too many cases of people who have had non-physical experiences tell me that time doesn't exist the way we think it does. I've learned to listen when I hear the same thing said multiple times by multiple people who have glimpsed the deeper aspects of our reality.

So at this point, I am convinced that time as we experience it, does not give us a true indication of its actual nature. Alas, I have yet to even slightly comprehend what that true nature is, but I will keep looking and listening in an attempt to try and make sense of it.

I am also quite sure however, that in our incarnated state, we are probably cognitively incapable of comprehending most of how reality works. It is quite literally beyond our ability to comprehend. I suppose it will have to suffice to understand little pieces here and there, and to assemble an understanding that, although horribly incomplete, is vastly expanded from what most people experience in their day-to-day life.

Maybe a deeper and more accurate understanding of time from our material life perspective is possible, but my instinct is that this full understanding, if it ever happens, is far in the future, as time is so ingrained in our evolutionary cognitive machinery. 

OTOH: I think we may have a fantastically improved understanding of these things when we are aware in the non-physical realm and can apparently see it more clearly.
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#8
(08-24-2017, 10:51 AM)Roberta Wrote: I can't answer most of the questions but I'd say it's a prettt strong case, I find cases like this very striking, it really does point to reincarnation or some sort of memory transfer etc. What do you think?

I think it's a decent one, and from the others in the book it's probably in the "better" or stronger half, but there are stronger. I think that this isn't one of the best is telling about how difficult these cases are to attempt to explain using a reductionist model... there's pretty much no normal explanation for the good ones except fraud or lying. Having read all of them (in this book - I've work yet to do on the others), I think it's disingenuous to suggest coincidence in the strong cases.
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#9
(08-28-2017, 11:33 PM)jkmac Wrote: Pssst Wrote: [url=http://psiencequest.net/forums/post-2215.html#pid2215][/url]Then it would be fair to say that you would hold time is NOT an illusion, that there exists continuity of it in in a strict linear sense?

No I wouldn't say that at all.

I have run into too many cases of people who have had non-physical experiences tell me that time doesn't exist the way we think it does. I've learned to listen when I hear the same thing said multiple times by multiple people who have glimpsed the deeper aspect of our reality.

So at this point, I am convinced that time as we experience it, does not give us a true indication of its actual nature.

If we agree that time is an illusion, then how can there be "reincarnation"? Reincarnation requires a death, a release of spirit, a choosing to take on a new energy form (human since we are discussing discarnates), entering that new incarnation...this is the pathway of time. This is what "past lives" and "future lives" as terms requires....time.

Yes time doesn't exist. Id there is no time, then we have the Now, the eternal moment. Where reincarnation cannot be possible.
Existence is not subject to time; time is subject to Existence.
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#10
(08-24-2017, 12:13 PM)jkmac Wrote: Very strong case, as are many in the literature. Actually I would say nearly irrefutable if the facts are accurately portrayed. 

In my opinion there are enough cases out there that most objective people will reach the conclusion that reincarnation is real. At the risk of being hyperbolic: it would almost be irrational NOT to reach this conclusion.

For me, I've stopped looking for new cases to consider, because the question is closed for me. Although,, it's occasionally fun to find a new one to be amazed over.

For me, if the facts of the cases are true, these are the strongest evidences against reductionism available.
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