Seeing the best in life's challenges

Reincarnation: Credible Evidence?

on March 4, 2012

The book that caught my eye in the bookstore in early fall of 2010 was titled “Old Souls.”  It just popped out at me.  I was already somehow aware that I should listen to these subtle nudgings, so, I bought it and read it.  It’s about a University of Virginia researcher named Ian Stevenson, who traveled to places in the world where there were reports of children who remembered past lives.  He researched cases where children could describe places they had never been, speak languages they had never been exposed to, and identify people in photos that they had never met.  This is legitimate research, by a well-respected professor.  Of course, it is difficult to “prove” anything we consider to be “paranormal” but the book really made me think.  What was even more interesting, is that when I told people about this book, several shared stories of people they knew who remembered past lives.


Then, there’s Edgar Cayce.  I had never heard of him, but I had come across several places that suggested reading about him.  I got a copy of The Essential Edgar Cayce in late spring of 2011.   Cayce was born in Kentucky in 1877 and died in 1945.

From the Intro to the book:

“Cayce was a Christian mystic philosopher and an intuitive healer.  For the forty-three years of his adult life, he taught by delivering discourses, or by giving “readings” while in a prayer-induced trance, which were transcribed by a secretary or family member because he could recall nothing once the sessions were over.

Cayce had a perspective on reincarnation, karma, and grace that is potentially acceptable to the Judeo-Christian world.  Cayce presents reincarnation as an inescapable reality of how the universe operates; but, according to his theories, the harsh, retributive flavor of karma is softened by insistence that the healing and reconciling influences of grace are also available to every soul.”

The essence of the Cayce philosophy is summarized in the book:

1.   Everything is connected – all is one.

2.   Life is purposeful.

3.   Approach life as an adventure.

4.   Be noncompetitive; show compassion.

5.   Take responsibility for yourself.

6.    Look ahead rather than back.

7.    Changing anything starts with an ideal.

8.    All time is one time.

9.    Success cannot be measured by material standards.

10.  Courage is essential to any spiritual growth.

11.   Evil is real and comes in many forms. 

12.   Learn to stand up for yourself; learn to say no when it’s needed.

So, this man who was born in rural America, who read the Bible through once for every year of his life, came up with ideas about reincarnation and spiritual growth that are strikingly similar to others I was coming across.

Hmmmm again….

By the time I read Many Lives, Many Masters in the summer of 2011, I had already “discovered” most, if not all, of the concepts that are presented in it.  The fun part about reading this book was that it brought everything together.

By the early 1980s, the author, Dr. Brian Weiss was already a highly credentialed psychiatrist, a Yale M.D. who had published many papers in scientific journals, and held the position of Chief of Psychiatry at a large university-affiliated hospital in Miami.  A very mainstream, conventional doctor/scientist.  In reading his book, I found that the way he explained his own reactions and thinking about his experiences to be very thoughtful, reflective, and insightful, which to me, made him an even more credible source.

Dr. Weiss wrote this book in the late 1980s, several years after the experiences he describes occurred.  His story is about a patient who had several serious phobias, who did not make progress after 18 months of conventional treatment.  When Dr. Weiss tried hypnotherapy, she started recalling her past lives. The woman began making amazing progress in healing her fears.   Dr. Weiss describes how he was totally unprepared for this, and did not know what to make of it.  So he started researching…

Dr. Weiss talks about reviewing a textbook from a comparative religions course he took at Columbia.  “There were indeed references to reincarnation in the Old and the New Testaments.  In A.D. 325 the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, along with his mother, Helena, had deleted references to reincarnation contained in the New Testament.  The Second Council of Constantinople, meeting in A.D. 553, confirmed this action and declared the concept of reincarnation a heresy.  Apparently they thought this concept would weaken the growing power of the Church by giving humans too much time to seek their salvation.  Yet the original references had been there; the early Church fathers had accepted the concept of reincarnation. “

Another hmmmm…

Personally, I grew up attending mainstream Protestant churches.  I’m not someone who remembers a past life or ever really thought about that, beyond the usual joking references people sometimes make.  But, I am aware that in the Bible, for instance, the people asked John the Baptist if he was Elijah (John 1:21).  There are obvious references in the Bible to prophets returning.  What else would you call Jesus’ second coming (as understood by most), but another incarnation?

So, if reincarnation is a possibility or even a probability, it seems to me to be a rather important thing to know about, right?  What would you do differently if you knew you were on a continuous spiritual journey?  Wouldn’t knowing this take away your fear of dying?  Doesn’t it make you wonder about the purpose behind it all?


It’s June 2013 and I have to add this video, very interesting:

believe reinc

Check this out:  where do you think this 5 year old got his talent?

12 responses to “Reincarnation: Credible Evidence?

  1. Rudraprayag is one of the Panch Prayags or five confluences of Alaknanda River.

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  3. […] This was the central factor described in the book, Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr. Brian Weiss.  (related post here)  His patient had terrible phobias that made it hard for her to live a normal life, yet there was […]

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  6. […] a physical body, what does that mean?  How does that work?  I’ve written about the idea of reincarnation, and also about the idea that we “plan” our time here, with the purpose of growing and […]

  7. Alyce Vollmar says:

    Interesting. Edgar Cayce was indeed a fascinating person. He was said to have memorized a great deal of the Bible by sleeping with it underneath his pillow (or maybe directly ON the Bible!)

    I’ve often mused, in passing, about what I would do differently if I knew I were to be reincarnated, but I’ve not considered this question in depth. My answer always seems to be, “Nothing in particular other than staying the course.” Not sure this is good enough, though.

    I have a few days off on sick leave, so maybe this would be a good time to ponder… : )

    Thanks for another excellent post, Meg!

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