Questions and Thoughts about Past Lives and Verification

2 Replies, 493 Views

A NYT piece from October in which they mention the work of Jim Tucker:
Quote:Dr. Jim B. Tucker, a child psychiatrist and director of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia, studies children who claim to have memories of past lives.

Dr. Tucker described some of the most compelling cases in his book “Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives.” One of the most well-known stories is that of James Leininger, from Louisiana, who started having nightmares about a plane crash when he was 2. He said he was killed when the Japanese shot down his plane, and described the name of a real American aircraft carrier; the first and last name of his shipmate (who turned out to be a real person); and specifics about the crash. His parents later discovered that these details aligned with those of an obscure World War II pilot named James Huston, who died in 1945. It seemed improbable that their son could have known anything about Huston.

Over the last 60 years, researchers from the University of Virginia have gathered the stories of more than 2,000 children, including Leininger, who claimed to have had past lives, raising questions about reincarnation or whether there’s “a part of us that can continue on after we die,” Dr. Tucker said.

But such specific and verifiable cases are rare. If your child recounts something seemingly spooky, like a detail about a deceased grandfather she has never met, it could be that she heard you talk about him at some point, even if it was months ago. Kids can be very observant and they most likely overhear (and understand) a lot more than parents realize, the experts said.
Despite the inclusion of that skeptical point in bold, a certain 'Philip Shane'-a documentary filmmaker and podcaster-complained of the use of the term 'verifiable' for 'toddlers reporting claims of the occult'...since when was reincarnation exclusively associated with the occult? Did he read into any of Tucker's work? They addressed this article on their podcast apparently:

The full discussion is quite a slog frankly, with them taking unnecessarily long pauses for example, so skimming through was necessary. They also address a few other comments that were left and how the term 'pseudoscience' is poorly defined. They also talk about hypothetical 'what ifs' in regards to reincarnation being definitive fact and how it would be 'proven'...and yeah, they're definitely not familiar with what research has been done. For example, at the 32:00 mark, they mention investigations into mediumship briefly and claim the SPR "aren't really active today", which isn't really true at all (thanks to Chris among others informing us!). They also reference the JREF Challenge briefly, even though I do not think they were interested in 'testing' that sort of stuff for the most part. They mostly just speculate how reincarnation could work and how it could be 'fully verified' but at no point in their whole podcast did they actually analyse, or even mention, Tucker's work...not even Stevenson's. 

It made me wonder though what kind of 'absolute verification' reincarnation cases would 'need' outside of the kind of work Tucker does. A lot of NDErs for example, as well as those under 'verified' cases of past life regression, seem to claim that reincarnation is either an option or a necessity (for circumstances where a life was 'cut short' or 'unfulfilled' I guess)-not everyone is reincarnated. 

How could we prove the process of reincarnation taking place if it is optional and/or a necessity for certain beings? If what most NDErs say is true about the 'hereafter', how would we ensure that the person being tested wouldn't change their mind and choose to not reincarnate? 

Do we control or have any influence over what we would reincarnate into? If we don't, then how would you be able to track the reincarnation process when the reincarnated being could be anywhere on Earth?

Additionally, the memories recalled always seem to be limited to some degree. Skeptics often argue that they won't be satisfied until 'useful' knowledge is retained (much like the complaint that no 'useful' knowledge is acquired from NDEs) or there's a definitive display of Xenoglossy in those reporting past lives. But how many past life memories/skills/experiences would be considered as 'sufficient' to be deemed as evidence? Why would a child's brain be expected to be able to retain entire languages from another life while it's still developing?

Apparently, in one of the 'tests' for HH the Dalai Lama, the suspected successor as a child is made to pick from a selection of objects that they can keep (or something like that), with one of these being a possession previously owned by his supposed predecessor. If he chooses correctly, then he's considered the likely successor. I'm unsure how many items are involved, but obviously 'the more the merrier'-but would that qualify as an 'experiment' of sorts?
(This post was last modified: 2020-12-17, 04:06 AM by OmniVersalNexus.)
[-] The following 1 user Likes OmniVersalNexus's post:
  • Smaw
(2020-12-17, 04:05 AM)OmniVersalNexus Wrote: They addressed this article on their podcast apparently:
Apparently the podcast isnt avaiable anymore so there's that.

Honestly I feel like that skeptical quote on the article is pretty generous. You know the connotation but even with that I think it's fair to say that not every weird kid moment would indicate reincarnation.

As for the rest of it, man I dunno. All the intricacies of stuff like that definitely sends my brain for a rattle, one of the reasons why I like evidence, helps narrow down all the theoretical options a bit, but for anything non physical I feel like there's a chance we just can't know. As for the other stuff about tests I'll have to sleep on it, though I do hope some other people comment, this seems like there will be some interesting answers.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Smaw's post:
  • OmniVersalNexus
I think some cases are a lot easier to pin down than others. For exampe, if a kid has memories of specific details like names, locations, and events with high detail, and then you can find either currently still living people who can attest to it, investigations of a death that match exactly the details the kid provides, newspaper articles, etc, that's pretty definitive in my opinion. Likewise if the kid knows things that no one else knows, such as the location of something they hid before they died that others know exists but have never found. James Matlock talks about some cases of that from india, of people hiding valuables because they either couldn't or wouldn't put them in a bank. But none of the other family knew where it is, whereas teh kid would just walk right to the location, in a house they've ostensibly never been in before, and just pull it out,

I find it somewhat ironic that the researchers say that they don't have any evidenced cases of reincarnations from other worlds, dimensions, or timelines because even if there was a genuine one in front of them, how would they possibly collect evidence for that? By definition they wouldn't have access to anything that could possibly verify the kids story. So its sort like, yes they have no evidence, but that can't really be taken as evidence that it doesn't happen just by the very nature of it.

Unfortunately my case falls under that, and one of the only things I've been able to do on my own to try to verify or falsify it is to test my memory of multiversal physics, that is, stuff that I remember being common regardless of what universe/dimension/etc you were in. With the idea that, if that turns out to be accurate, then maybe my memories of the other stuff around how I learned that stuff is also accurate. But it ultimately proves nothing. Until the people I remember are standing right in front of me, I can't really fully believe it, and even then there's still problems.
"The cure for bad information is more information."
[-] The following 3 users Like Mediochre's post:
  • Smaw, Sciborg_S_Patel, OmniVersalNexus

  • View a Printable Version
Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)