The Mystery of Past life- Part 2
By Manik Gupta
This article is second in series of articles about Past Life and Reincarnation
Some reincarnation cases demonstrate that facial features remain consistent from one lifetime to another. Take for instance Jeffrey Keene, a retired decorated fire fighter in, Connecticut, USA. In his book Someone Else’s Yesterday, Jeff describes how he retrieved memories of his lifetime as John B. Gordon, who commanded a regiment in the battle of Antietam in 1862 in American Civil war. In his book, Jeff describes habits and traits he has in common with Gordon, but what is most striking is the similar facial features, including scars on his body and face, that reflect Gordon’s battle wounds.
In Born Again by Walter Semkiw, the author proposes that people reincarnate in groups based on shared karma, emotional attachments, and joint projects. While investigating Jeff’s case, the author suspected that Jeff’s fellow firefighters could be likely military acquaintances of John B. Gordon. One of these proposed past life pairing, which demonstrates a striking similarity in physical resemblance, involves Confederate General Cadmus Wilcox and Firefighter Wayne R. Zaleta.
The Book Born Again
Another case of reincarnation with similar facial features is Dorothy Dandridge (1922-1965), an actress who was denied an Oscar, in part because she was a black woman in a prejudiced time. She reincarnated as Halle Berry (born in 1966) and won an Oscar for Best actress in 2002.
Reincarnation provides a very logical explanation for the phenomenon of child prodigies-a soul that contains knowledge, talent, and artistic style from prior lives can download this talent into the body of a child.
Consider the example of a child prodigy, artist Akaine Kramarik. She spontaneously developed the ability to paint at the age of four, after having an experience in which she states that she was taken to heaven. Currently her paintings sell for $50,000-1,000,000. She is only sixteen years old.
Another famous child prodigy is Alexendra Nechita, who is identified as the reincarnation of Pablo Picasso in Born Again. As a toddler, Alexendra was obsessed with creating artwork, though she was not trained so by her family. At the age of four, she started to draw figures with two faces and four eyes in cubist-like representation of people. Picasso helped invent cubism and by the age of eight, having mastered cubism, Alexendra was known as the “Petite Picasso.” She works in multiple media, creating Picasso-like paintings and even giant, Picasso-like sculptures.
A case of similar artistic style is in Peter Teekamp and Paul Gauguin; the facial features and personality traits are consistent; and so is the painting style.
As a teenager, Peter Teekamp began to draw. Remarkably, his early drawings replicated sketches Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) had done almost a hundred years before, though Peter had no knowledge of these Gauguin sketches when he reproduced them. With these pencil drawings, Peter was actually retrieving memoires of his artwork from a past lifetime, the lifetime of Paul Gauguin. This phenomenon demonstrates how in each lifetime, we build upon accomplishments of a prior life.
CHILDREN’S PAST LIFE MEMORIES
Thousands of cases of children’s past life memories have been documented by various researchers from around the world. Some children are recorded describing their past life residence and recognized family members by name and even successfully
sed tests set by the identified family. What is remarkable here is that in most cases, the children appear to have no incentive, financial or otherwise, to make such claims.
Late Dr. Ian Stevenson was the head of the Department of Psychiatric Medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He devoted forty years to the scientific documentation of past life memories (without hypnosis) of children from all over the world and had over 3,000 cases in his files. In India, Dr. Satwant Pasricha, Head of Dept. of Clinical Psychology, now working in Dept. of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bangalore, has investigated and participated in about 500 cases of reincarnation involving children since 1973. She collaborated with Ian Stevenson in reincarnation research beginning in the 1970s. Her books include Can the Mind Survive Beyond Death? In Pursuit of Scientific Evidence (2 Vol.), and Claims of Reincarnation: An Empirical Study of Cases in India. She has also published papers on NDEs.
Hypnosis, as in “Raaz Pichle Janam Ka”, has been used for decades as a tool for trying to discover past life
memories.In the best selling book on this phenomena Many Lives, Many Masters, the author Dr. Brian L. Weiss, a graduate ofYale School of Medicine and chairperson of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical center in Miami describes real case studies of his patients.
Although hypnotic regressions claim to offer help in treating childhood phobias and irrational fears, there are skeptics like Dr. Ian Stevenson who urges caution in using them as a proof of past life. Dr. Deepak Gupta, MD, MRCPsych(Member of Royal College of Psychiatrists) and a Consultant Psychiatrist in Bury, UK, is an advanced hypnotherapist. He says, “Like past life regression in hypnosis, we can also ‘progress’ a person in hypnosis and ask what they will be doing in, say, one month or one year’s time. Usually the information they give turns out to be wrong. Secondly, in past life regressions using hypnosis, people always report human births. Therefore, I tend not to use hypnosis as an evidence for reincarnations. There may be some true cases of past life regressions, but I also practise regressions and all the time, I have been able to link it to this life’s fantasies.”
Dr Ian Stevenson covered birthmarks and birth defects in his book Where Biology and Reincarnation Intersect. About 35% of children who claim to remember previous lives have birthmarks and/or birth defects that they attribute to wounds on a person whose life the child remembers. 210 such children were investigated. In 43 of 49 cases in which a medical document (usually a postmortem report) was obtained, it confirmed the correspondence between wounds and birthmarks (or birth defects). Stevenson added: “It seems to me that the imprint of wounds on the previous personality must be carried between lives on some kind of an extended body which in turn acts as template for the production on a new physical body of birthmarks and deformities that correspond to the wounds on the body of the previous personality.”
WHY DON’T WE REMEMBER PAST LIVES?
Life is tough enough dealing with hurt incurred this time around. Remembering all the trauma and grievances associated with past lives – and deaths – would paralyze us with fear and phobias. Nor would we establish relationships with those with whom we have karmic issues and lessons. Without contributing to enhance the quality of our present life, the haunting past will only complicate our every day choices, actions and create volatile opinions. Mercifully, God spares us the pain.
IF THERE’S ONLY A FIXED NUMBER OF SOULS, HOW HAS THE WORLD POPULATION INCREASED?
There are unlimited souls. Look around. How many microbes and insects live in the air, water, and earth? Even if a fraction of them advance to the human species, the world will overflow with humans. Life also exists on many other places in the universe; the planet earth is only one of many places for souls to inhabit.
TO BE CONTINUED…
1. Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper, MINDSIGHT: Near-Death and out of body experiences in the Blind (Palo Alto,Califoria: William James Center for Consciousness Studies, 1999).
2. Searching for Vedic India, by Devamrita Swami
3. Born Again by Walter Simkiw, MD. Ritana books
4. Origin of Soul by Walter Simkiw, MD. Ritana books
5. Human Devolution by Michael A. Cremo