Reincarnation is a view that holds that the essence of the individual, or the soul, can experience rebirth after the death of the physical body. Potentially, this may continue over a number of incarnations or embodiments. The belief that one lives many lives is regarded as fact by roughly half of the world’s population, primarily in the East. Yet, in the West, this view is often met with a great deal of scepticism.
Over the past fifty years, however, apparent memories of past lives have been increasingly researched across the globe, many of which have been carefully and thoroughly documented. Memories of a past life, or lives, may surface as a result of spontaneous recall or during hypnotic regression. Some of these memories have been sufficiently detailed for them to be factually verified.
The spontaneous memories of very young children are of particular importance here, as these young ones have had little exposure to other sources of information that could account for their memories. Cases of this nature are limited in number with the late Prof. Ian Stevenson, and currently Prof. Jim Tucker of the University of Virginia, USA, responsible for the majority of this research work. In the words of American astronomer, astrophysicist and planetary scientist, Carl Sagan (1934-1996) the fact that “young children sometimes report details of a previous life, which upon checking turn out to be accurate and which they could not have known about in any other way than reincarnation” suggests that this field deserves serious study.
In addition to these details, a young child’s spontaneous knowledge of, or fluency in, a foreign or ancient language that is unknown to them may also warrant past-life investigation.