Have you ever had the feeling that you were experiencing something you had before, or have visited a place you know was for the first time, and yet, had this eerie sensation that things looked oddly familiar? There are many both metaphysical and more scientific rationales for such feelings of “Deja vu,” however, one of the most common ones is that you are experiencing something from a past life.
Reincarnation, the idea that our souls can and do live through many lifetimes over the centuries has been part of virtually every culture since ancient times. The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Aztecs all believed in the “transmigration of souls” from one body to another after death. Reincarnation is also a fundamental concept of Hinduism.
Although it is not a part of official Judeo-Christian doctrine, many Jews and Christians also believe in reincarnation or at least accept its possibility.
But is reincarnation just an idea, or is there real evidence to support it? Many researchers have tackled this question—and their results are surprising. But first, let’s take a look at some stories that cannot seem to be explained any other way than to be true cases of reincarnation.
Compelling Stories of Reincarnation
Most past life recollections can be easily dismissed with rational explanations. However, there are those few, such as those that follow, that are so rich with haunting details that, they will even have the staunchest skeptics wondering, “Could reincarnation be real?”
Four-Year-Old Recalls Life as Hollywood Agent
In 2009, at the age of four, Ryan Hammons began waking up, clutching his chest, and screaming about how his heart exploded in Hollywood. His mother, Cyndi, became intrigued when Ryan revealed more details from a former life. He insisted his name was “Martin” and that he once lived in a house in Hollywood on a street with the name “Rock” in it where he had three sons and a friend named “Senator Fives.”
One day, Cyndi was going through a book featuring photos from old Hollywood. Ryan peeked over her shoulder and excitedly identified one man as George and another as himself. Cyndi contacted a psychiatrist from UVA Medical Center who conducts research on reincarnation. The psychiatrist verified the man in the photo was a film star named George Raft and the other man was Martin Martyn, who died in 1964. Upon contacting Martyn’s daughter, she confirmed Martyn was a Hollywood agent, lived on North Roxbury Drive, had three sons, and once met with New York Senator Irving Ives.
Adult Female Fire Victim Comes Back as 5-Year-Old Boy
At first, Erica Ruehlman laughed off her five-year-old son Luke’s odd tendency to call toys and objects “Pam.” She was also unconcerned by his comments about having once been a girl. He would say he had black hair when he was a girl, or that he wore the same earrings as his mom when he was a girl. Out of curiosity, Erica eventually asked Luke who Pam was.
“I was,” he said, “Well, I used to be, but I died and I went up to heaven. I saw God and then, eventually, God pushed me back down and when I woke up I was a baby and you named me Luke.”
After pressing him for more details, Luke told his mother he lived in Chicago, took the train a lot, and died in a fire. After mentioning his death, Luke made a hand motion indicating someone jumping out a window. When Erica punched the information into a search engine, she discovered a news story about a fire in the Paxton Hotel in Chicago. In March of 1993, 19 people died in a fire at the building and a woman, Pam Robinson, perished when she jumped out a window.
A Grandfather Gets Reincarnated as His Own Grandson
University of Virginia psychiatrist Jim Tucker, who studies reincarnation professionally, met a boy identified as Sam who he believes to be the reincarnation of his own grandfather. Until he was four years old, Sam had never seen a picture of his grandfather. After his grandmother’s passing, his parents brought out an old photo album. Upon seeing his grandfather’s car, he exclaimed, “That’s my car!”
It would be easy to attribute this to an overactive imagination. This is what Sam’s Baptist mother did at first, as her religion does not believe in reincarnation. However, she became a believer after she asked Sam if he remembered anything else from his past life. He said his sister had been “turned into a fish” by bad men.
Sam’s mother was astounded. His grandfather’s sister had been murdered and her body was dumped in a river. Due to the frightening nature of the story, Sam’s parents never told him about his great aunt’s murder.
Other Evidence of Reincarnation
Besides dozens of other eerily persuasive stories such as those above, there have been other compelling evidence for the existence of reincarnation.
One of the most often used “scientific tools” is to use hypnosis for “past life regressions.” Using such techniques people have recounted stunning details of prior lives. However, the process is controversial, because the very nature of hypnosis puts the subject into a very suggestive state, and could cause what skeptics refer to as “false memory syndrome,” where the practitioner actually implants those memories of prior lives into the subject’s subconscious.
Then there have been those people who have suffered from chronic pain that can be traced to no current disease or injury. Some researchers suggest this is “phantom pain,” (such as when an amputee can still feel pain in an amputated limb) from injuries that occurred in past lives. In his book, “Have We Really Lived Before?,” Dr. Michael C. Pollack describes his lower back pain, which grew steadily worse over the years and limited his activities. He believes he found a possible explanation for the pain during a series of past life therapy sessions, “I discovered that I had lived at least three prior lifetimes in which I had been killed by being knifed or speared in the low back. After processing and healing the past life experiences, my back began to heal.”
There are other researches that suggest that phobias and nightmares, which are described as “irrational fears,” that have no relation to current experience, are victim’s reliving traumatic events from past lives.
And finally, there have been instances of supposed reincarnated individuals that bore striking resemblances to their “former selves” and some that even possessed similar scars, injuries, and birth defects.
But could any of these cases be verified?
In one bizarrely fascinating case, an Indian boy claimed to remember the life of a man named Maha Ram, who was killed by a shotgun fired at close range. The boy had an array of birthmarks in the center of his chest that looked like they might correspond to a shotgun blast.
So the story was investigated. Indeed, there was a man named Maha Ram who was killed by a shotgun blast to the chest. An autopsy report recorded the man’s chest wounds, which corresponded “dot-for-dot” directly with the boy’s birthmarks.