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Metaphysics & Psychology

The Science of Reincarnation

by Sean Lyons

U.Va. psychiatrist Jim Tucker investigates children’s claims of past lives

When Ryan Hammons was 4 years old, he began directing imaginary movies. Shouts of “Action!” often echoed from his room.

But the play became a concern for Ryan’s parents when he began waking up in the middle of the night screaming and clutching his chest, saying he dreamed his heart exploded when he was in Hollywood. His mother, Cyndi, asked his doctor about the episodes. Night terrors, the doctor said. He’ll outgrow them.Then one night, as Cyndi tucked Ryan into bed, Ryan suddenly took hold of Cyndi’s hand.

“Mama,” he said. “I think I used to be someone else.”

He said he remembered a big white house and a swimming pool. It was in Hollywood, many miles from his Oklahoma home. He said he had three sons, but that he couldn’t remember their names. He began to cry, asking Cyndi over and over why he couldn’t remember their names.

“I really didn’t know what to do,” Cyndi said. “I was more in shock than anything. He was so insistent about it. After that night, he kept talking about it, kept getting upset about not being able to remember those names. I started researching the Internet about reincarnation. I even got some books from the library on Hollywood, thinking their pictures might help him. I didn’t tell anyone for months.”

One day, as Ryan and Cyndi paged through one of the Hollywood books, Ryan stopped at a black-and-white still taken from a 1930s movie, Night After Night. Two men in the center of the picture were confronting one another. Four other men surrounded them. Cyndi didn’t recognize any of the faces, but Ryan pointed to one of the men in the middle.

“Hey Mama,” he said. “That’s George. We did a picture together.” His finger then shot over to a man on the right, wearing an overcoat and a scowl. “That guy’s me. I found me!”

Ryan’s claims, while rare, are not unique among the more than 2,500 case files sitting inside the offices of Jim B. Tucker (Res ’89), an associate psychiatry professor at the U.Va. Medical Center’s Division of Perceptual Studies.

For nearly 15 years, Tucker has been investigating claims made by children, usually between the ages of 2 and 6 years old, who say they’ve had past lives.The children are sometimes able to provide enough detail about those lives that their stories can be traced back to an actual person—rarely famous and often entirely unknown to the family—who died years before.

 

 

Tucker, one of the only scientists in the world studying the phenomenon, says the strength of the cases he encounters varies. Some can be easily discounted, for instance, when it becomes clear that a child’s innocuous statements come within a family that desperately misses a loved one.

But in a number of the cases, like Ryan’s, Tucker says the most logical, scientific explanation for a claim is as simple as it is astounding: Somehow, the child recalls memories from another life.

“I understand the leap it takes to conclude there is something beyond what we can see and touch,” says Tucker, who served as medical director of the University’s Child and Family Psychiatry Clinic for nearly a decade. “But there is this evidence here that needs to be accounted for, and when we look at these cases carefully, some sort of carry-over of memories often makes the most sense.”

In his latest book, Return to Life, due out this month, Tucker details some of the more compelling American cases he’s researched and outlines his argument that discoveries within quantum mechanics, the mind-bending science of how nature’s smallest particles behave, provide clues to reincarnation’s existence.

“Quantum physics indicates that our physical world may grow out of our consciousness,” Tucker says. “That’s a view held not just by me, but by a number of physicists as well.”

Little Controversy

While his work might be expected to garner fierce debate within the scientific community, Tucker’s research, based in part on the cases accumulated all over the world by his predecessor, Ian Stevenson, who died in 2007, has caused little stir.

Michael Levin, director of the Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology at Tufts University—who wrote in an academic review of Tucker’s first book that it presented a “first-rate piece of research”—said that’s because current scientific research models have no way to prove or debunk Tucker’s findings.

“When you fish with a net with a certain size of holes, you will never catch any fish smaller than those holes,” Levin says. “What you find is limited by how you are searching for it. Our current methods and concepts have no way of dealing with these data.”

Tucker, whose research is funded entirely by an endowment, began his reincarnation research in the late 1990s, after he read an article in the Charlottesville Daily Progress about Stevenson’s office winning a grant to study the effects of near-death experiences.

“I was curious about the idea of life after death and whether the scientific method could be used to study it,” Tucker says.

He began volunteering within Stevenson’s department and after a few years found himself a permanent researcher in the office, where his duties included overseeing the electronic coding of Stevenson’s reincarnation cases.

That coding took years—Stevenson’s handwritten case files reached back to 1961—but Tucker said the work is yielding intriguing insights.

Roughly 70 percent of the children say they died violent or unexpected deaths in their previous life. Males account for close to three-quarters of those deaths—almost precisely the same ratio of males who die of unnatural causes in the general population.

More cases are reported in countries where reincarnation is part of the religious culture, but Tucker says there is no correlation between how strong a case is deemed and that family’s beliefs in reincarnation.

One out of five children who report a past life say they recall the intermission, the time between death and birth, although there is no consistent view of what that’s like. Some allege they were in “God’s house,” while others claim they waited near where they died before “going inside” their mother.

In cases where a child’s story has been traced to another individual, the median time between the death of that person and the child’s birth is about 16 months.

Further research by Tucker and others has shown the children generally have above-average IQs and do not possess any mental or emotional disorders beyond average groups of children. None appears to have been dissociating from painful family situations.

Nearly 20 percent of the children studied have scarlike birthmarks or even unusual deformities that closely match marks or injuries the person whose life the child recalls received at or near his or her death.

Most children’s claims generally subside around age 6, coinciding roughly with what Tucker says is the time children’s brains ready themselves for a new stage of development.

Despite the otherworldly nature of their stories, almost none of the children exhibit any signs of being particularly enlightened, Tucker says.

“My impression of the children is that while a few make philosophical statements about life, most are just typical kids,” he says. “It might be a situation similar to not being any smarter on the first day of first grade than you were on the last day of kindergarten.”

 

 

Other Explanations

Raised as a Southern Baptist in North Carolina, Tucker has weighed other, more earthly, explanations to the phenomenon.

He’s looked at fraud, perhaps for financial gain or fame. But most claims usually don’t net a movie deal, and many of the families Tucker’s met, particularly in the West, are reluctant to speak publicly about their child’s unusual behavior.Tucker has also considered simple childhood fantasy play, but that doesn’t explain how the details children offer can sometimes lead back to a particular individual. “It defies logic that it would just be a coincidence,” he says.

Faulty memories of witnesses are likely present in many cases, Tucker says, but there are dozens of instances where people made notes of what the children were saying almost from the beginning.

“None of those possibilities would also explain some of the other patterns, like the intense emotional attachment many children have to these memories, as Ryan exhibited,” Tucker says.

Tucker believes the relatively small number of claims he and Stevenson collected during the last five decades, especially from America, is partly because parents may dismiss or misunderstand what their children are telling them.”If children get a message that they aren’t being listened to, they will stop talking,” Tucker says. “They see they aren’t supported. Most kids aim to please their parents.”

How exactly the consciousness, or at least memories, of one person might transfer to another is obviously a mystery, but Tucker believes the answers might be found within the foundations of quantum physics.

Scientists have long known that matter like electrons and protons produces events only when observed.

A simplified example: Take light and shine it through a screen with two slits cut in it. Behind the screen, put a photographic plate that records the light. When the light is unobserved as it travels, the plate shows it went through both slits. But what happens when the light is observed? The plate shows the particles go through just one of the slits. The light’s behavior changes, and the only difference is that it is being observed.There’s plenty of debate on what that might mean. But Tucker, like Max Planck, the father of quantum physics, believes that discovery shows that the physical world is affected by, and even derived from the non-physical, from consciousness.

If that’s true, then consciousness doesn’t require a three-pound brain to exist, Tucker says, and so there’s no reason to think that consciousness would end with it.

“It’s conceivable that in some way consciousness could be expressed in a new life,” Tucker says.

Robert Pollock, director of the Center for the Study of Science and Religion at Columbia University, said scientists have long pondered the role observation might play in the physical world, but the hypotheses about it are not necessarily scientific.”Debates among physicists that center on the clarity and beauty of an idea but not on its disprovability are common to my mind, but are not scientific debates at all,” says Pollock. “I think what Planck and others since who have looked at how these very small particles behave, and then made inferences about consciousness, are expressing a hope. That’s fine; I hope they are right. But there’s no way to disprove the idea.”

 

Associate Professor of Psychiatry Jim B. Tucker

Tucker says his hypothesis is based on more than just wishful thinking.

 

“It’s much more than a hope,” he says. “Having direct positive evidence for a theory can have value, even if negative evidence against it is not possible.”

Ryan’s Past Life

Cyndi Hammons wasn’t considering any of that when her preschool son was pointing himself out in a photo from more than 80 years ago. She wanted to know who that man was.

The book didn’t provide any names of the actors pictured, but Cyndi quickly confirmed that the man Ryan said was “George” in the photo was indeed a George—George Raft, an all but forgotten film star from the 1930s and 1940s. Still, she couldn’t identify the man Ryan said had been him.Cyndi wrote Tucker, whom she found through her online research, and included the photo. Eventually it ended up in the hands of a film archivist, who, after weeks of research, confirmed the scowling man’s name: Martin Martyn, an uncredited extra in the film.

Tucker hadn’t shared that discovery with the Hammons family when he traveled to their home a few weeks later. Instead, he laid out black-and-white photos of four women on the kitchen table. Three of them were random.

Tucker asked Ryan, “Do any of these mean anything to you?”

Ryan studied the pictures. He pointed to one. She looks familiar, he said.

It was Martin Martyn’s wife.

Not long afterward, Tucker and the Hammonses traveled to California to meet Martyn’s daughter, who’d been tracked down by researchers working with Tucker on a documentary. Tucker sat down with the woman before her meeting with Ryan. She’d been reluctant to help, but during her talk with Tucker, she confirmed dozens of facts Ryan had given about her father.

Ryan said he danced in New York. Martyn was a Broadway dancer. Ryan said he was also an “agent,” and that people where he worked had changed their names. Martyn worked for years at a well-known talent agency in Hollywood—where stage names are often created—after his dancing career ended.

Ryan said his old address had “Rock” in its name. Martyn lived at 825 North Roxbury Dr. in Beverly Hills. Ryan said he knew a man named Senator Five. Martyn’s daughter said she had a picture of her father with a Senator Ives, Irving Ives, of New York, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1947 to 1959.

And yes, Martin Martyn had three sons. The daughter of course knew their names.

The meeting later between Ryan and Martyn’s daughter didn’t go well. Ryan shook her hand then hid behind Cyndi for the rest of the time. Later he told his mother the woman’s “energy” had changed. Cyndi explained that people change when they grow up.

“I don’t want to go back [to Hollywood],” Ryan said. “I always want to keep this family.”

In the weeks that followed, Ryan spoke less about Hollywood. Tucker says that often happens when children meet the family of someone they claimed to have been. It seems to validate their memories, making them less intense.

“I think they see that no one is waiting for them in the past,” Tucker says. “Some of them get sad about it, but ultimately they accept it and they turn their attention more fully to the present. They get more involved in experiencing this life, which, of course, is what they should do.”

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Man is able to induce controlled hallucinations without psychotropic substances

The human brain is so cunningly designed that accidental damage or malfunctions in the neural network can generate large-scale effects that do not harm a person, but, on the contrary, deliver a lot of new sensations. 

We are talking about hallucinations, influences on the sensory system, which stem from the inside of the brain itself. Modern technologies make it possible to purposefully launch such reactions without harm to humans.

The technique of guided hallucinations is based on the Ganzfeld effect, which states that when the brain receives a powerful stimulating signal in only one area, it automatically begins to “think out” signals in other areas. 

For example, if you peer into the darkness and listen to white noise, the brain draws an imaginary picture, although the eyes do not receive a single photon of light. And if you run noise on the screen in absolute silence, the brain will complement them with sound hallucinations.

Hallucinations

One interesting experiment with guided hallucinations was conducted by TV host and inventor Derek Müller, who locked himself in an anechoic and completely darkened chamber for 45 minutes to conduct a sensory deprivation experiment. 

His brain, which at once lost 90% of the signals from the outside world, remained fully functional, and Derek did not go crazy. Moreover, in the absence of external stimuli, he began to feel the subtlest vibrations of his heart and the flow of blood through the veins. 

It was not a hallucination, it was just that the brain switched to processing the signals that remained at its disposal, amplifying them and presenting them in the form of sensations understandable to the mind.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Angels showed the End of the World to a child from Indonesia?

In early October, on many eschatological and conspiracy sites (The End Times Forecaster , 444prophecynews.com), a video was posted by a girl named Jacqueline, who lives in South Africa. The video tells that on September 16, in some altered state of consciousness, similar to a lucid dream, Jacqueline was given a warning: on October 10, 2020, there will be some kind of nightmarish geological catastrophe – either a volcanic eruption, or an earthquake. 

Jacqueline does not specify where the catastrophe will occur, but immediately after the volcanic eruption, she saw President Trump in Washington and the destruction of the Washington Monument with fiery stones falling from the sky. The full text of Jacqueline’s video was posted on the forum and can be viewed at the link, but her revelation itself is not very informative. It is only clear that on October 10 something may bang, and very strongly. Another thing is much more interesting. 

Since Jacqueline was shown truly creepy things, she, like anyone in her place, doubted that all this was true. However, she noticed that in her dream, before the horror broadcast began, she was shown a calendar on which she read the KIMIKO inscription.

“Kimiko” is a popular Japanese female name that literally means “wonderful unusual child”, so Jacqueline decided: if she got it right, then she needed to look for a girl from somewhere in Japan who would kind of hint at her deciphering what was shown in her dream. 

Kimiko was never found, but another girl named Catherine was found. She lives in Indonesia, is in 4th grade and is 9 years old. Jacqueline had her dream on September 16, and on September 18 some angels took this Catherine to heaven in a dream and showed her what would be on Earth in the very near future. 

According to Catherine, everything will begin on October 10, 2020, when some kind of catastrophe occurs – a catastrophe, most likely of a geological nature. Buildings will collapse and coastal cities will suffer from terrible tsunamis. At the same time, a terrible rain will pour, which in some regions will flood buildings up to the fourth floor. Thunder will thunder in the sky, which is 10 or even 20 times stronger than ordinary thunder, and after the thunder, hail will fall the size of a car windshield. But besides the hail, all the planes located there fall from the sky. 

However, the End of the World will not happen as life goes on and Trump wins the US election. After that, Israel will begin to restore the Temple, but they will not have time, since a war will start around. At this moment, the Earth will face unprecedented catastrophes.

A huge new planet will appear in the sky and the atmosphere will take on a reddish tint. It will get hotter. H achnut erupting volcanoes, and terrifying winds will become commonplace. And further, in the region of the Bermuda Triangle, a hole is formed in the lithosphere, and armada of some strange flying machines will appear from there. On TV they will say that these are good aliens. 

In parallel , a total vaccination will take place on Earth, after which people who have received the vaccine will be endowed with some unthinkable ability to communicate with their gadgets – phones will show them everything at the click of a finger and connect to subscribers with the power of thought. But happiness will not last long, because then the skin of the vaccinated will begin to turn green and many will be covered with ulcers. Further, these people mutate into a kind of zombie who will engage in cannibalism and those who have not taken the vaccine will become their preferred food. And for those who will not be eaten by mutants, aliens will chase in their flying cars, kidnap, throw bombs at them and burn them with rays. 

Finally, to top it all off, mutations will affect flora and fauna. So, insects will become gigantic, and algae will begin to crawl ashore and whoever gets into their nets will be devoured. Mutations will affect birds, jellyfish, and the rest of the fauna. Dinosaurs and real fire-breathing dragons will appear, which will fly everywhere and pour fire on everything. 

In general, the girl tells something that is impossible to believe – no reality can stand that. However, the probability that reality is real, according to estimates of the theory of probability, is no more than 50%. That is, we live in the Matrix with a probability of 1/2, although nothing can be proved / disproved somehow. But if we take into account various strange quantum effects and other miracles, then the probability of the Matrix is ​​already seventy percent and 30% remain for a flat / round Earth, for the rest of “natural science”. Therefore, maybe we are now on the eve of the reboot of the Matrix, during which we will begin to load characters from other entertaining games. 

It is possible, of course, that all these stories were invented by her mother, but similar stories are told by other children, and even adults, who were thrown either somewhere into the astral plane, or into the next world, or generally into the deepest warp. Different, unrelated people cannot tell the same tale. Therefore, most likely this is not a fairy tale and there is something in all this. But what – here we do not know, so we just have to wait and see. 

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Clinical death helped the inveterate egoist to change his attitude towards life. He is grateful for this experience

William F. did not live the most righteous life. His selfish, authoritarian behavior caused a lot of suffering to the people around him, especially his wife. And it is not known how his marriage would have ended if one day William had not had an accident.

On that fateful day, November 6, 2019, a man was riding a motorcycle and crashed into a truck as it changed lanes. William tried unsuccessfully to get out from under the heavy truck, as his helmet got stuck under the front axle of the car.

A policeman was the first to come to help, then an ambulance arrived. The motorcyclist was evacuated by helicopter to the hospital. The man in the helicopter told William not to sleep, but he collapsed into unconsciousness.

What William saw in oblivion made a strong impression on him and changed his future life.

xusenru / pixabay.com / Pixabay License

William’s near-death experiences

The next thing I remember happened on a large field. There was a fence about 100 meters away from me. There was a black hole in the fence on the other side of the gate.

I was drawn to the gate. The closer I got, the more love and warmth I felt, the more selfishness and bad feelings went away.

When the gate was about five steps away, and I was about to open it, someone’s hand stopped me, grabbing my forearm. Looking at this man, I noticed a few more.

– You need to stop. I watched you for a long time, son, you made a lot of mistakes. Do you know where you are? The man asked.
“I’m not sure,” I said, looking around.
“You are dead,” he said.

I panicked.

“You’re scared,” he remarked.
– No.
“Then [during your life] you were always afraid of it for no reason,” he said softly. I nodded in agreement, and our dialogue continued.
– Do you feel that everything is under your control?
“I don’t know… no.
– You have never controlled anything in your life. It’s an illusion …
– Yes, you’re right, – I nodded again.
– You are given a choice that many do not have. God gives you a choice: come back and correct your mistakes, or you can go through the gate. If you enter this gate, all the regrets of life will torment your soul until you are given another chance. It will feel like eternity.

I still have regrets about my past life, ”he added after a pause. – If you come back and do not start working on yourself to become better, if you do not find happiness in the righteous way, you will always remember and crave the feeling that you are experiencing in this place now, but you will not get here again.
When you return, recover, heart and mind will be restored. You are given something great … But you understand that God already knows your choice.

Then he looked at me and asked:

– What are you going to do?
“I’ll be back,” I replied.

At that moment, the feelings that gripped me were gone, and I let go of the gate.

“See you again very soon,” he said at last.

Then I woke up and saw my mother. I told her that I was back for good and that I would not go anywhere. She had a tired face.

“You’ve been in a lot of pain,” she said.

I said that everything would be all right with me, and told that I saw Him. She clarified who exactly. I replied that I did not know for sure, but they gave me a second chance. Mom laughed and said that probably my grandfather kicked me in the ass to bring me back here.

William’s life has changed

William underwent several operations, but the doctors said that physically he would not be the same. Among other things, the man had to learn to walk again.

About a month after the accident, thoughts of the pain inflicted on his loved ones and loved ones flooded into William, so he focused on correcting the mistakes of the past and changing his future.

Five months later, William was walking without limping. Now she runs for several kilometers, and the only evidence of an accident is scars.

The biggest proof of the reality of what he saw during clinical death is a complete change in himself, says William.

haomao57 / pixabay.com / Pixabay License

“I saw mistakes, especially in my relationship with my wife, and I understand things that I didn’t understand before. It is strange to think that someone was watching my life from a distance and knew about my actions. If I had not changed, I would have yearned for death. “

“I used to have sociopathic tendencies and no empathy. I have never felt guilt or remorse. Now I am selfless and empathetic, I feel the emotions of others, and it is overwhelming. I know how people feel just by looking at them. This is a kind of intuition.

Remorse and guilt help me re-evaluate the past. I also notice that when I do something instinctively, in the old way, I realize it and I can stop. “

“People believe when I share my experience because they see a big change in me.”

Source: NDERF

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