I want to spend a few minutes with you on reincarnation. Do our souls really come back in another life form? Is such a thing plausible? Do we have any evidence to suggest that maybe this is true? Socrates talked about the immortality of the soul and how it moves from the spirit world into our world and back again in the dialogue, The Phaedo. Many philosophers and spiritual masters have spoken to us about the idea that the soul comes back to the earth and takes on another form in order to learn and evolve. Over 50% of the world’s population believes in reincarnation. But where is the scientific evidence to support this?
The work of Dr. Ian Stevenson
The most compelling evidence of reincarnation comes from Dr. Ian Stevenson. He began his research into reincarnation at the University of Virginia around 1960. He was the former head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, and his work is the best, and most respected, collection of scientific data that appears to give scientific proof of reincarnation. He investigated the stories of very young children who had memories of previous lives. He spent 40 years of his life traveling the world and compiling evidence. He collected over 2500 cases of children making claims, half of which were solved, meaning they had been verified. He would methodically document the child’s statements of a previous life, and then, he identified the deceased person the child remembered being, and verified the facts of the deceased person’s life that matched the child’s memory. His studies are scrupulously objective and methodologically impeccable. I highly suggest you look him up and do the research yourself. If I thought it was necessary, I'd transcribe excerpts from his books, but the case I am going to discuss next will astound you, and thus, there is no reason to go into other verifiable cases.
The reincarnation case of James Huston, Jr/James Leininger
In my program, I have a video which vividly depicts the case that reincarnation actually happens, and it involves a boy named James Leininger, who was born April 10, 1998. This video is from a local news program here in the United States, Fox 8 News. The story of James has come to us through 4 years of research conducted by his parents, Bruce and Andrea. For Bruce, this involved a great personal struggle, for the idea of reincarnation conflicted with his beliefs, and by the end, he became a Christian who had accepted reincarnation as a reality. In the video we learn that:
- As a small boy, when he was just a toddler, James Leininger had a passion for Japanese warplanes from WWII. He seemed intimately familiar with the aircraft. He did drawings of airplanes shooting down other airplanes, bombing ships, men parachuting, etc.
- After turning 2 years of age, James started to experience vivid nightmares that would make him scream from out of his sleep. His parents would rush in and see him struggling and crying, kicking and clawing on the covers, like he was trapped in an airplane. James would cry out, “Airplane crash. Plane on fire. Little man can’t get out!” Andrea, his mother, would ask who the little man was in the plane. James replied, “Me.”
- Both Bruce and Andrea were surprised and impressed with James’s knowledge regarding Japanese WW II aircraft, as they knew he was not learning this information through normal means. He wasn’t getting this stuff from Sesame Street. They started asking more detailed questions such as:
- What plane did you fly? James: Corsair
- Why did your plane crash? James: My plane was shot down
- Who shot your plane? The Japanese
- Where did you take off from? A Boat
- Do you remember the name of your boat? Natoma
- What is your name? James (this confused his parents because his name was already James)
- James was not even potty trained and yet he knew intimate details of World War II. His father Bruce wanted to disprove all this. He decided to research the statements made by little James. He discovered there was indeed a WWII aircraft carrier named the Natoma Bay that had operated in the Pacific during the battle of Iwo Jima. He tracked down veterans from the USS Natoma Bay, and what they told him was that there was a James Huston Jr who died in the invasion battle of Iwo Jima. When little James met some of the Natoma Bay veterans, his parents were stunned when we recognized them by name!
- Bruce and Andrea also tracked down James Huston Jr. sister Anne. They set up a phone call between Anne (who was 84 years old when they contacted her) and little James. In the conversation, little James knew many personal details of James Huston’s life, which Anne confirmed as accurate. For example:
- Little James told Anne that he called her Annie. Anne confirmed that only James Huston called her Annie
- Little James told Anne they had a sister named Ruth, which was correct
- Little James said Ruth was four years older than Anne and that Anne was four years older than James, which was correct
- Little James reported that their father was an alcoholic and smashed things when drunk, and that he had to go into rehab for alcoholism. Anne corroborated this.
- Anne later sent a picture her mother had painted of James Huston to the younger James. Little James called Annie to thank her and asked where was the one mom painted of you. She went and found it, sent a copy, and told Bruce and Andrea, no one in the world except her brother and sister knew there was an identical picture of Annie at the same age.
- Little James was talking about a past life from 50 years before, so there was no way he could have known the details that he came up with.
- The family went to Japan, at the site of where the battle took place. Without any help, James knew exactly where the plane had crashed. They held a memorial service and threw flowers over the wreckage. Little James got very emotional.
- After the memorial, the death and destruction drawings were replaced with dolphins, whales, and the Japanese ships floating with their flags’ raised. War scenes were no longer depicted.
What do we learn from this? That reincarnation is possible. And what reincarnates? The essential self. It should be noted that evidence is not proof, but without question, there is a lot of empirical evidence for reincarnation. James Huston’s soul reincarnated as James Leininger, and through the diligent and thorough work done by his parents Andrea and Bruce, they helped to heal James of his painful past. Little James won’t have to repeat his previous life’s history to heal his wounds, and now, he can move on to create something new. Many of our souls come back to heal old wounds. And since we are tied in with our families, we come to heal those wounds as well. Much of what we go through is to heal us from our unremembered past, and when we heal it, we get to move on to the next level of our growth, evolution, and expansion. But, until we transform it, we continue to re-live the same problems over and over again. Transforming our pain is the only way to prevent us from repeating history, both on an individual and collective level. These problems affect individuals, families, and societies, and that’s why it is so important to take the time to heal the pains of your past. Making peace with your past is one of the most important things you can do to guarantee a better, healthier, and happier present and future.
Exercise: Whether you believe in reincarnation or not is always going to be a subjective decision. You are going to believe what you believe to be true, and our beliefs often stand in the way of our own ability to see things in a different way. Often, the best way to utilize the information I've just presented is to use your imagination while remembering your dreams as a child. So, for an exercise, I want you to go back and remember your childhood and reflect back on the things you loved doing. What were your dreams as a kid? What were your focuses? What did you come in already knowing? Some of us at a very young age were musically inclined and could sing or play an instrument with relative ease, as if we had this talent give to us by God. Others were fascinated by building things, or airplanes, or cars, and naturally gravitated towards those interests and seemed to just have a curiosity or knowledge or fascination about these particular areas of interest. Others loved to draw or paint; or imagined themselves as being superheroes, or feeling deeply connected to nature, any number of things. Why were you drawn to those things? We all have natural inclinations that, if we look deep enough, we had some kind of knowledge about that that is beyond any rational explanation. What were they for you? Finally, when you've answered all of these questions for yourself, I want you to use your imagination to the following questions: What if you had a past life? Who would you have been and why? The purpose of this exercise is to expand your mind and look at yourself in a new way. Chances are that after doing these exercises, you will see how expansive you really are, and re-discover the nobility that lives within you. We identify with those who are a reflection of our own inner nature. See your own nature in others, and you will see it within you.
Charlie Pacello is a PTSD, Depression, and Healing Trauma Recovery Expert and Life Coach, a former US Air Force Lieutenant, and creator of the program, 'Lt. Pacello's Life Training Program.' He can be reached by visiting his website at www.charliepacello.com