thoughtful child

Western research on reincarnation

Books to start with

Children who claim to remember previous lives. Parents and previous families who might start out skeptical and end up persuaded by the child's statements and what they recognize. The methods researchers have developed to "solve" cases.

Y'all, these books blew my (Claire's) mind when I first read them, and they're the reason I now believe reincarnation isn't just a metaphor for this life's changes. There's evidence that it really happens.

If you're just beginning to wonder whether previous lives might be real, these are the books I recommend starting with. You'll find level-headed scientists considering all the fact. Ian Stevenson, the founder of this field of research, was the University of Virginia's med school's youngest head of the Psychiatry program -- until he left that job to start researching children's statements full-time.

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From the Amazon page:

This is the revised edition of Dr. Stevenson's 1987 book, summarizing for general readers almost forty years of experience in the study of children who claim to remember previous lives. For many Westerners the idea of reincarnation seems remote and bizarre; it is the author's intent to correct some common misconceptions. New material relating to birthmarks and birth defects, independent replication studies with a critique of criticisms, and recent developments in genetic study are included. The work gives an overview of the history of the belief in and evidence for reincarnation. Representative cases of children, research methods used, analyses of the cases and of variations due to different cultures, and the explanatory value of the idea of reincarnation for some unsolved problems in psychology and medicine are reviewed.

Children Who Remember Previous Lives, Ian Stevenson

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From the Amazon page:

For the past forty years, doctors at the University of Virginia Medical Center have conducted research into young children's reports of past-life memories. Dr. Ian Stevenson, the founder of this work, has always written for a scientific audience. Now, in this provocative and fascinating book, Dr. Jim B. Tucker, a child psychiatrist who currently directs the research, shares these studies with the general public. Life Before Life is a landmark work—one that has the potential to challenge and ultimately change our understandings about life and death.

Life Before Life explores the various features of this world-wide phenomenon, describing numerous cases along the way. We meet a boy in Michigan who, after being born with three birthmarks that matched wounds on his deceased brother, begins talking about events from the brother's life; a boy in Turkey who gives a number of accurate details, including the name, of a man who lived 500 miles away and died fifty years before the boy was born; and a girl in Sri Lanka who is able to recognize the family members of a deceased stranger as they are presented to her one by one, giving specifics about their lives that she could not have known from their appearance.

Life Before Life, Jim Tucker

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From the Amazon page:

In this fascinating, controversial, and groundbreaking book, Carol Bowman reveals overwhelming evidence of past life memories in children.  Not only are such experiences real, they are far more common than most people realize.

Bowman's extraordinary investigation was sparked when her young son, Chase, described his own past-life death on a Civil War battlefield--an account so accurate it was authenticated by an expert historian.  Even more astonishing, Chase's chronic eczema and phobia of loud noises completely disappeared after he had the memory.

Children's Past Lives, Carol Bowman

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From the Amazon page: 

"I Saw A Light And Came Here" is the result of decades of scholarly research and investigations into past-life memories, primarily of children. Erlendur Haraldsson, a psychologist, has over two decades of experience behind him, having investigated some one hundred cases in the field. He worked closely with Ian Stevenson, M.D., of the University of Virginia, who began systematic studies of “cases of the reincarnation type,” but soon broke new ground with psychological studies of children who insist they remember episodes from past lives.

Haraldsson invited anthropologist James Matlock to join him because of his thorough familiarity with research around the globe. This book deals with various aspects of past-life memory and attempts to answer the questions that will inevitably come up in the minds of thoughtful readers.

I Saw a Light and Came Here, Haraldsson and Matlock