1. His research has no theoretical basis.
2. His research methodology is flawed.
3 He misleads with his sources.
4. He misrepresents the facts to support his belief in reincarnation
5. He uses language in a misleading manner
6. His dismissal of spirit intrusion is unwarranted
1. Immortality and reincarnation are logically incompatible.
2. The doctrine of karma is incoherent.
3. The case of Jasbir proves that Prof. Stevenson is wrong.
3. Obsession or possession by discarnate entities
4. Overshadowing by discarnate entities
5. Hypnotic suggestibility
7. Astral projection
8. Out of Body Experience (OBE)
9. Mind before Brain (déjà vu)
10. Genetic memory
11. Being psychic or mediumistic and possibly being unaware of it
12. The taking of drugs and other medicaments
‘….. it must be said that this belief rests on metaphysics alone. It has no scientific foundation whatever. Some venture to adduce facts to support it, but these will not bear the slightest examination as evidence. For instance, some will tell us that they can remember a previous existence. But they do not reckon with illusions of memory. We sometimes recall something which we locate in a certain time and place, but find later that this location was wrong. When the total experience is recalled we find that we are dealing with two events connected only by similarity. We confused them because of the imperfection of the recall. This imperfect recall will explain most of the alleged instances of recollection of a prenatal past.’ (Hyslop - p.378)
I regard the existence of discarnate spirits as scientifically proved and I no longer refer to the skeptic as having any right to speak on the subject. Any man who does not accept the existence of discarnate spirits and the proof of it is either ignorant or a moral coward. I give him short shrift, and do not propose any longer to argue with him on the supposition that he knows anything about the subject.’ (Hyslop - p.306)
From the existence of discarnate spirits and the phenomenon of mind to mind interaction - a fact long established in the field of psychical research - it is a short step to realising that discarnate spirits can influence the incarnate just as much as they can influence the discarnate - the physical body being no obstacle. This influence is often experienced as possession or obsession, conditions that are paranormal in origin but identical in appearance to what psychiatrists have traditionally termed ‘split consciousness’ - ‘secondary personalities’ - ‘multiple personalities’ and ‘dissociative identity disorders’, though such epithets merely serve to cloak the underlying phenomena. According to Hyslop: ‘Secondary personality is the doctor’s Irish stew. He does not know what it is. In antiquity it was ‘demoniac obsession’. At a later period it was ‘witchcraft’. Today we call it such things as ‘split consciousness’ and think we have solved the problem, when in fact, we have only thrown dust in people’s eyes. We have become so accustomed to paradoxes in human knowledge that almost any impossible combination of terms will receive respectful attention, the more impossible the better. What is split consciousness? We can split wood, iron, pumpkins, political parties; but split consciousness , however convenient a term for describing an apparent situation, is a term for our ignorance - a most happy term, to confound a group of people who refer every anomalous thing in the universe to spirits, and to make it unnecessary to inquire minutely into the anomalies of personality.’ (Hyslop - pp289-290)
…… To me came Reincarnation. It appealed to me for a time. I could not see the truth clearly. I felt that it was very unjust some should be rich and have such good times and that others should be poor and have so much trouble. Others did not get enough earth experience - at least so I felt.
I studied Reincarnation, and I thought there was truth and justice in the theory that we come back and learn and have more experiences. I taught it and wanted to bring it out to the world and its peoples. I felt that I remembered far back in my past. I felt I knew all about my past, but I was mistaken. Memories of ‘past lives’ are caused by spirits that bring such thoughts and represent the lives they lived. A spirit impresses you with the experiences of its life and these are implanted in your mind as your own. You then think you remember your past. When you study, especially when you study Theosophy, you develop your mind and live in an atmosphere of mind. You remove yourself as much as possible from the physical. Naturally you become sensitive, and naturally you feel the spirits around you. They speak to you by impressions and their past will be like a panorama. You feel it, and you live over the past of spirits and you make the mistake of taking this for the memory of former incarnations. I did not know this when I lived (on earth). I took it for granted that these memories were true, but when I came to the spirit side of life I learned differently.
I studied a great deal. Theosophy is the best and highest philosophy of life intrinsically, but let us study the truth, let us live up to the truth of it and forget theories.’
‘Reincarnation is not true - I did not want to believe that. They told me here in the spirit world that I could not reincarnate. I have tried and tried to come back to be somebody else, but I could not. We cannot reincarnate. We progress, we do not come back.
If I impress a sensitive with an idea, in one sense I reincarnate - not in their body, but by impressing them with what I want done.’
‘No, reincarnation is not true. I believed it, I taught it, and I was sure that I should come back and be somebody else. But I will not. I can do far more good now.’
REINCARNATION AND SURVIVAL
by James Webster
There are many who believe - or are led to accept - that proof of survival after physical death automatically requires an acceptance of reincarnation. Some will insist that to accept life after death (survival) as a proven fact, one must also accept reincarnation as a proven fact. This belief or understanding could not be further from the truth, and is entirely erroneous.
Let’s get this straight and understand what we mean by reincarnation and what we mean by survival and what the connection is, if there is one, between them. Survival is the continued conscious life and living of the individualized spirit/soul (the Self) following the release from the physical body in the material world of limitation. The release from a limited world to an unlimited world. ‘The material is a pale reflection of the spiritual’ - stated a profound communicator from the finer etheric realms.
Reincarnation is a theory, belief and doctrine which has never been proved but has an ever increasing following worldwide. It is a product ‘manufactured’ to appeal to the masses through packaging and presentation - but BEWARE! Essentially it is based upon the idea of the continuation of life by being reborn again and again from the mother’s womb in further earthly material bodies - apparently to learn and experience and to self progress.
Just to remind ourselves:
there is not a single case of scientifically proved reincarnation. Every suggested case has a rational explanation.
We will discuss this later.
The usual orthodox dogmatic teaching of reincarnation is based upon a false theory. The individualized spirit does not, and cannot, be reborn in the womb into another new physical vessel. We will discuss later how attempts are made to ‘invade’ and take-over already occupied physical bodies by some discarnate souls/spirits from the etheric/astral realms which cause great suffering and often require ‘rescue work’ to be carried out.
‘Past-life hypnotic-regression’ will be discussed and also the cases of children allegedly ‘remembering’ past lives, and the research of Prof Ian Stevenson. These are major and essential subjects written about by reincarnationist authors and discussed in media interviews on radio and television etc....
East is East and West is West
The 'bed partner' with reincarnation is karma (often referred to as the Law of Karma) which is a corruption of ‘cause and effect’ and has no connection with the scientific description in the West - and so we have the worst scenario and relationship with what can be termed ‘karmic reincarnation’ - with its roots in Eastern religion and belief. Mahatma Ghandi called reincarnation ‘a burden too great to bear.’ Countless millions of Hindus and Buddhists down the ages are trapped in a monstrous tread-wheel of punishment for eternity and their only salvation is via the meditation of yoga (or ‘Zen’ the Buddhist equivalent).
Eastern reincarnation is about individuals dying in the physical body and returning to earth again and again to be born in another physical body and work out their karma depending on how good or bad they have been in previous lives. If you are a woman you have no chance of salvation for that is reserved only for men. A woman’s only hope is to serve her men folk and in so doing earn the reward of being reborn as one of them.
According to one Eastern saying: ‘The most foolish male is more intelligent than the most intelligent female.’
One branch of Hinduism slavishly follows its gurus (god-men or holy-men) who claim to reveal the shortest routes to salvation. These invariably involve a range of meditations to transcend the suffering of a wounded continent. The quick ways of salvation include walking around naked, or blindfolded, or drinking the urine of cows (the animal which symbolises the female divinity of Mother Earth and Mother India). For the really dedicated, sex is banned. This is perhaps just as well for they also plaster their hair with cow dung. Having done all this, the Hindu believes he will still not escape the ever-grinding Wheel of Samsara (reincarnation). However, he hopes that these additional sufferings will increase his capacity to meditate away the hunger pangs, disease and further suffering. Some gurus maintain the meditation can make a hungry person a "happy hungry person.”
Reincarnation paralyses the initiative of millions. Those imprisoned by it rarely strive for social improvements or justice, for that would then deprive people of their karma - a merciless law of consequences. The suffering is the consequence of a previous misspent life. If it is avoided in this life, it will only be piled up on to the suffering of the next life. There is no escape from karma. The only help acceptable are hints on how to improve meditation. Only the guru can provide this!
These gurus have now come to the West, and millions of Europeans and Americans have accepted a revamped version of reincarnation. The very hell that has caused the grotesque sufferings and early deaths of countless millions has become an enduring part of the sophisticated Western man. Some opinion polls reveal that one in four people believe in reincarnation. This grotesque philosophy which ignores the matchstick legs and distended bellies of starving children has now hit the streets of every major European city. Even in small rural towns typical surveys reveal that 20-25% of the population believe in reincarnation.
The gurus, emigrating to the West, have introduced their philosophies with a calculated sensitivity to European and American cultures. They travel in their planes and limos to bring modern man a modern doctrine of reincarnation. There is, for instance, no distinction between male and female, as in the East. There is no mention of the grinding agony of Samsara, nor that reincarnation is the nearest vision of hell-like punishment man can ever experience this side of the real thing.
The guru's philosophy is clothed with scientific terminology and hailed as the missing link of evolution. New-Agers take on board the idea of ‘conscious evolution’ - one of the main Western names for reincarnation. This, we are told, is the way to reach the next stage in our development. Conscious evolution is the road to Utopia and a higher level of existence. It is that which will ultimately make us one with the ‘divine’ or the ‘Masters’ or the ‘higher beings’ from outer space who have been guiding our planet through the dark eons on earth.
This form of reincarnation is sold in the West as another chance to make good the way to true salvation and to great knowledge and enlightenment.
Reincarnationism has become more and more popular in the West but is no more a truth or fact than it has ever been throughout history - like anything which is shouted loud enough and for long enough is accepted by a majority of unthinking following. Hundreds, or rather, thousands of books have been and still are published making their authors popular and the more wealthy just ploughing the same old field over and over again and getting no nearer to proving reincarnation or so-called past-lives.
Reincarnation, by its very nature, is an egotistical, self-seeking philosophy and at total variance with the nature of the true spiritual goodness (‘god’). It is an ugly frightening doctrine because it is not rooted in love. The fact that it is sophisticated and is backed by a complex esoteric doctrine does not prove it right.
Why Do People Believe in Reincarnation?
There are, of course, many reasons why people believe not only in such doctrines as reincarnation but also religion in general and in cult following. There is also of course, a certain glamour when Shirley MacLaine describes her alleged previous existences much of which author Ian Wilson, incidentally, has shown in his book, to be a confused dialogue (The After Death Experience pp. 49-50). There are also those who, seeking for meaning in life or the alleviation of boredom, find the philosophy compelling and stimulating. There are many who, dissatisfied with their positions in life, seek consolation in the belief that they were someone important in a previous life. It is interesting that the vast majority of people who believe in reincarnation believe also that they were once someone important. The desire to be someone else, coupled with the innate ability of the human psyche to fantasize and believe its own fantasies, has led therefore countless millions of curiosity-hunters into a belief in reincarnation. The number of people who believe that they were once Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, Florence Nightingale, and other men and women of fame, is astonishing especially as dozens often claim to be one and the same person.
But the persistence of the attraction goes beyond Shirley MacLaine, curiosity seekers, those bored or dissatisfied with life, and others like them. Many, who believe in God, and who are trying to understand injustices and difficulties in life, find in reincarnation an easy explanation. As does the joining of certain Societies and the attraction of cults.
The Aetherius Society claims to have received its teachings from the ‘Cosmic Masters’ while their founder, Dr George King, was in a positive Yogic Samadhic trance. "People have lived thousands of lives as people before and they will live endless more lives" - the society leaflet says. "Much as each day follows the other in one's life, so does each life follow the previous life and is determined by one's conduct in previous lives. We are given endless opportunities to learn and evolve." (Some Basic Principles - Aetherius Society leaflet)
The Illusion Explained
All suggested cases of reincarnation are explainable for what they most likely are, rather than what they appear to be and are not. It is vital that we now start to look at the modus operandi - what it is that is mistaken to be a case or experience of reincarnation or a past life. It is so easy to fall into the trap, as so many do, and be held in the hands of the magician by trickery and deception. We will turn firstly to the excellent work of Dr Carl Wickland M.D. and his wife Anna a fine medium. Together they did so much to help humanity.
Carl A. Wickland (1861-1945) was born in Northern Province, Sweden. He arrived in Minnesota, USA in 1881 and married Anna W. Anderson in 1896 then shortly after that they moved to Chicago where Carl Wickland graduated from Durham Medical College in 1900. He studied the general practice of medicine while specializing in research into mental illnesses. This led to Dr Wickland becoming chief psychiatrist at the National Psychopathic Institute, a non-profit corporation where many patients were treated at the sanatorium and brought back to sanity and health. Anna Wickland became a very fine sensitive (medium) and worked with her husband to help a great many people whose mental illness was due to obsession by discarnate spirit entities. It was extremely important to bring to the notice of the medical world the truth of the knowledge that had uncovered, and secure medical recognition and acceptance of it.
I should explain how the Wicklands were able to communicate and work with the discarnate spirit entities who required help, to release them from the disturbance they were causing to those they were obsessing. Mrs. Wickland being a fine medium was able to attract the entity into her aura from the patient and from there Dr Wickland was able to communicate and converse with them. To provide examples would be too lengthy to include in this article but I would highly recommend the reader to obtain the two classic books by Dr Carl Wickland ‘Thirty Years Among The Dead’ and ‘The Gateway Of Understanding’ - essential reading.
Quote from Dr Wickland 'Thirty Years Among The Dead' - Chapter XV:
‘That the belief in reincarnation on earth is a fallacious one and prevents progression to higher spiritual realms after transition, has been frequently declared by advanced spirits, while numerous cases of obsession which have come under our care have been due to spirits who, endeavouring to ‘reincarnate’ in children, have found themselves imprisoned in the magnetic aura, causing great suffering to both their victims and themselves.’
It is claimed that Madam Blavatsky spoke through Mrs. Wickland of her regret in teaching reincarnation when on earth. At a meeting dated November 1st 1922 (Thirty Years Among The Dead pp.420-427) the following few brief extracts came through:
Also in America during the same period as Dr Carl Wickland, Professor James H. Hyslop (1854 - 1920) a prominent member of the American Society for Psychical Research and Professor of ethics and logic at Columbia University had no doubt that we all survive bodily death and live on as discarnate spirits in a finer and freer etheric world - more real than this physical world, we are informed. In ‘Life After Death’ (1918) he states:
That discarnate personalities can impress the minds of the incarnate with their memories, thoughts and feelings was a fact well known to the pioneers of modern psychical research. Professor Hyslop maintained that this phenomenon was mistakenly adduced as evidence for reincarnation. In 'Contact with the Other World' (1919) he states that ‘……facts adduced in support of reincarnation can be explained as mediumistic phenomena. That is discarnate personalities may produce in the minds of psychics the feeling of long past time or of previous existence by the transmission, telepathically perhaps, of their own feelings and states of mind. These would naturally enough interpreted as evidence of reincarnation.’ (Hyslop - p.378).
On the doctrine of reincarnation he states that:
Professor Ian Stevenson
There is no doubt that the research by Prof Ian Stevenson, is looked upon as authoritative by reincarnationists. As a researcher myself I have the greatest respect for him even though I do not agree with his findings. I can guarantee that with almost every discussion I have on this subject, the name of Ian Stevenson will crop up somewhere sooner or later - more likely sooner. He is regarded as like a ‘guru’ to the devotees of reincarnation.
One of the best references to Stevenson is a fine recently published book - which will become a classic for sure - titled ‘Reincarnation Refuted ... Evidence, Logic and Common Sense' by Stephen Blake M.Sc.(Lond). In chapter 8 'Suggestive of What?' the author presents his original critique of Dr. Ian Stevenson’s best known work, 'Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation' (1974). Blake comes up with an ace of trumps with ‘The Case of Jasbir’ - The chapter runs into 38 pages and must be read. In a Sherlock Holmes detective style he unravels this and other cases to prove how Stevenson misrepresents the facts in order to support his prior belief in reincarnation. 'This innate bias towards the reincarnation hypothesis means that reincarnationist researchers are not the best people to assess the meaning and significance of their work' - states Stephen Blake.
There are cases recorded by Stevenson where a child has shown the usual signs of being a reincarnation of someone else only to discover that, that person was still living, physically, in another village, which presented the proven evidence of mind to mind communication. I have mentioned this previously in my article in stating that minds communicate with one another whether they are in or out of a physical body. Both can be in physical bodies or one can be in a physical body whilst the other is in an etheric body or both can be in etheric bodies. In each case it disproves anything to do with suggested past-lives of a subject allegedly being the reincarnation of the interfering entity (spirit). What it does indicate is that discarnate minds can and do overshadow and obsess and even possess other minds even whilst occupying a physical body.
Stevenson may be criticised on a number of grounds and Blake cites the following examples as illustrative rather than exhaustive and goes on to explain his reasoning under each sub-heading:
Dr Jim Tucker of the University of Virginia, is attempting to carry on where Stevenson left off, with an impossible task (IMO) of making the previous research any more plausible!
I must mention chapter 4 'The problem with karma' in Stephen Blake's book and his Impossibility Theorem - since the doctrine of karma is incoherent, it cannot describe anything in Nature.
And so for the record it is essential to repeat Blake's basic messages:
‘Soul Survivor’ - The Book and The Case.
‘Soul Survivor’ - The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot, set the pace for what was to become a seemingly perfect example to support the case for reincarnation and to prove ‘past lives’. Those following the doctrine and those desperate to have a case to quote which would prove the theory and be impossible to rebuke, were ecstatic as it became very clear from the International media coverage following the publication of the book.
As soon as I heard about the ‘Soul Survivor’ case, in August 2009, and started following the news reports, articles, discussions and videos and then obtaining and reading the book, I knew what this really was and what it certainly was not! My heart sank realising that the hell and torment which the two principal characters, James Leininger the child and son of Bruce and Andrea Leininger, and James Huston the American fighter pilot together with their families, were put through to endure, could have been prevented if only the right knowledgeable and understanding people had been there to advise and take charge of the situation in the beginning when the problem first started. An experienced ‘spirit rescue team’ could have nipped it in the bud and communicated with the pilot James Huston to persuade him to realise and understand what had happened to him and set him free from his earthbound and attached condition. The overshadowing and obsession of the child was giving him the false belief that he had reincarnated into the body of James L. At the same time young James L was encouraged to believe that he was the reincarnation of the pilot James H.
I mentioned earlier the brilliant work and services which Dr. Carl Wickland MD and the fine mediumship of his wife Anna carried out in these such cases (early 20th Century). Ref. his classic books: ‘Thirty Years Among The Dead’ and ‘The Gateway Of Understanding’. It all adds up.
It is tragic that this case was taken over, or allowed to be, by people who had no idea what was involved. They just wanted to show it up as a prime case of reincarnation because it presented all outward appearances of being so and would be popular with a ready made huge customer market - just get the media to get to work with the interviews and cameras etc… Another big mistake was to invite the Foreword to the book to be written by a devout reincarnationist and author herself, of books concerning alleged children’s past lives. I was fortunately able to get in touch with the Leininger family (authors of the book) and in an email letter Bruce Leininger responded to me showing some definite agreement and interest in my book and I quote the following from his letter:
“Reincarnation is a term that does not really describe what we have witnessed. Our book does not ascribe to it nor advocate it. The terminology in the title was used to provide some genre of the story.”
The cult-like following of reincarnation has and does cause a great deal of disturbance and break-ups and can ruin people's lives. On a Forum I was taking part in, two young men with successful careers were at their wits end and even suffering nervous breakdowns after being ‘got at’ and influenced by the doctrine.
On the subject of Forums, I have been participating in an Amazon Forum for some while and for about a year was involved with a poster known as ‘Christine’- a red-hot reincarnationist, past lifer and up to the hilt believer of karma! It was unbelievable what she was saying and was stuck with and trying so desperately to convert me with! It would be possible to write a book on our exchanges of posts - some, particularly from her, were several pages long! Towards the end of this marathon I put a number of questions to Christine in a kind of Louis Therough fashion and a kind of playing the ‘devil’s advocate’:
My question 1:
If you were invited to Gt. Ormond Street Children’s Hospital or any Children’s Hospital, to give a talk on your beliefs, would you be prepared, in front of the doctors and nurses and other staff and parents of the children, to say that the children (patients) were there, suffering with their ailments and health problems, and some dying, because they (the child) had decided this situation to happen before they were born?
Well, James, my answer to that question is "most definitely, YES!!!!".
My extensive, in depth study/research into all the "spirit stuff" leads me to know that it is very obviously the case that we do all plan our lives prior to incarnation, whilst still in the spirit realms; and that we plan, beforehand, all the MAJOR events of our upcoming lives, which very much includes health status, major illnesses/health suffering, and also includes how and when we eventually pass back to spirit. This information has been transmitted from a number of different sources, including communications from the spirit realms [through genuine mediums] by advanced souls, there; communications from spirit, through mediums, from people's loved-ones, after passing; and also via information gleaned by people who've experienced NDE's - Near-Death Experiences, of course - numerous people who've had NDE's learn that we each have a pre-determined, specific time when we pass back to spirit, and that until that pre-planned time arrives, no-one can pass back to the spirit dimensions.
My "yes, most definitely" answer to this question would also include/cover that yes, illnesses we may suffer [whether 'fatal' or not] are definitely pre-planned, and definitely karmic; i.e. that, for WHATEVER karmic reason, people actively pre-plan to suffer certain health issues/illnesses/conditions [including such things as blindness, deafness, etc]. As I've said before, karma does NOT only mean negative - there is positive karma, also. Okay, yes, I realise it doesn't make sense to say that someone would pre-plan to suffer some ill-health condition for a positive karmic reason, but the overwhelming objective data says that many souls [for instance, babies/young children] pre-plan/agree, before physical birth, to suffer some health issue/disease [or, e.g. for a soul to pre-plan to pass back to spirit just a few hours, days or weeks after being born], precisely in order to give their parents the experience of losing a child when young; i.e., in order to enable the souls which the parents are, of experiencing [and, thus, learning - i.e., adding to soul growth, BY that learning experience] loss of that baby/child.
Are all events pre-destined to happen - both good and bad events, for karmic reasons, and cannot be changed?
My answer to this is also "Yes". The evidence [and it makes sense, at a deep level] is that this is most definitely so. The objective evidence [see part of my answer to question 1] is that all MAJOR events in our lives [covering different aspects of our lives] are definitely pre-planned, predestined to happen. Both good events and bad events.
This also includes such things as the atrocities of 9/11. However "ridiculous" it may seem, to say that, from a spiritually-UNENLIGHTENED viewpoint, the objective evidence/data [which comes from several different sources] is that souls who suffer [in whatever way - whether they pass back to spirit, or are non-fatally injured, or whatever] in such events HAVE planned/agreed, before physical birth, to be affected, in whatever way, by being involved in events such as these. Such things as [as per your examples] as wars, terrorism, natural disasters such as tsunamis, etc etc etc, and even such things that are called [by spiritually-unenlightened people...] "accidents".
As I said in my answer to question 1, many people [the majority of] who have NDEs come up to some sort of 'barrier', in their NDE, and a soul in spirit on the other side of that barrier [be it perceived as a fence, a river, a hedge, whatever] says "You can't come here yet, IT'S NOT YET YOUR TIME to come back here".
Yes, whenever someone passes back to spirit, in whatever way - be it 'naturally', of some acute or chronic illness; by 'dying' as a baby just minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, old; by being a 'victim' of something like 9/11, a war, terrorism, natural disaster, whatever; etc etc, it IS that person's [pre-determined, predestined] time to go.
Should we help and assist the suffering, or is that interfering with their karma and their plans made before reincarnating?
Well, re. this question, James, I think my answer has to be "Yes, we should help people who are suffering". Souls will have planned/decided/chosen, before incarnating, each time, whatever form[s] of suffering they wish to experience; and so, for at least some period of time, each person who is suffering, in whatever way, will have experienced that suffering. Be it physical/health suffering; emotional/mental suffering, due to whatever cause; etc etc etc. So, in each case, the soul has experienced the suffering for whatever period of time; thus learning whatever spiritual lesson the suffering was specifically chosen/planned, to address/learn. So I do not think that helping people who may be suffering, in whatever way, would be interfering with their karma. for whatever people do, to people (i.e., be it good or bad) is meant to take place. I.e., people who help/assist [in whatever way] people who are suffering, are themselves meant to be carrying out that action.
If we reincarnate thousands of times, as you say we do, is it because the best and most effective learning is done on Earth in the material physical plane, rather than in the etheric/spiritual realms?
Firstly, James, I did not categorically say we each live thousands of lives! I recall having said that it seems like we each do live hundreds of lives, and POSSIBLY [in some or all cases] thousands of lives. So, to answer your above question. Well. my answer to that question is most definitely YES!! I've read a very great deal of literature on the "spirit stuff", and it is very logical and obvious to me that yes, souls can ONLY learn all the very many and varied big lessons/experiences in life on a physical plane. To me, that seems very, very obvious indeed.
Do we have to experience everything on Earth, during countless incarnations e.g., a criminal, a murderer, a victim of a murderer, being both sexes, being homosexual, etc etc etc?
My answer to this question is that I feel sure that we each have to experience many, many different things; that we most definitely each have to experience being both sexes; that we each have to experience being people who are good and bad - e.g, we each will have to experience being negative/bad people [criminals - whether in the form of murderers, rapists, whatever], AND, in different lifetimes, being good people - in whatever form.
Karma works in such a way that a soul who has, for example, been a rapist in one lifetime, might, for a future lifetime, plan/choose to come to Earth [or to another physical dimension in "God"'s cosmos] and, in that lifetime, set up/be the head of, or a worker in, a Centre which helps the victims of rape i.e. that example would be an illustration of that soul being, in one lifetime, someone who had done a bad thing, and then, in a future lifetime, was someone who carried out good works, by being involved with the running of a Centre to help the victims of [in my example] rape. Maybe we do each have to experience every possible permutation of being, maybe not; I would think there are many, many possible permutations of the sort of person that we each could be! Maybe too many to consider that we each have to experience literally every possible sort of person. I do definitely think we each have to experience being many different races - that we each choose to be born in many different countries, in the course of repeated reincarnations. Equally, I would think that, yes, we do each have to experience being a "follower" [for want of a better word...] of many different religious/belief systems. I'm sure that each of us has to experience that, including that, in some incarnations, we would be meant to experience being atheistic/materialistic in our thinking.
Do we have free will, or are we under the control of some great super power or being?
We do all have free will, but that free will is, mostly, regarding what we each choose/plan/decide, whilst resident in the spiritual dimensions, what we will each experience in our many different lifetimes i.e. it is our freewill as to whether we plan/choose/decide, whilst in spirit, to live in place A or in place B; it is our own freewill, whilst in spirit, as to whether we are born to kind, loving parents, or whether we are born to parents where one of them will abuse us in some way [Jim and I have both experienced this; his now 'late' dad emotionally, mentally and physically abused him from the age of 3 or 4, that being the event which triggered off Jim's horrific insecurity in himself, causing him huge self-esteem/lack of confidence problems, all the way through his life. I've experienced my mum having emotionally/mentally abused me from the age of 5; she and I have quite a good relationship, now; possibly the best it's ever been - she'll be 79 in May.
I've been told by my [named] relatives in spirit that Jim and I are definitely twin-souls. Which explains our very deep love for each other, and also explains such things as our having experienced the exact-same circumstances in life - the above-quoted being one such.
We do also have free will whist on Earth; we can do whatever we choose to do, at the same time as having pre-planned, before coming to Earth, to experience a number of very specific situations/circumstances, etc etc. This includes the pre-planning of important relationships, for egg, that our marriages are pre-planned by us, before coming to the physical plane. I've been told by my family in spirit that it was not by mere chance that Jim and I met: that it was all predestined, before our physical births, and that it was pre-planned for me to relocate, in 2001, from my then home in London, to where I now am, in Lincolnshire. That I was meant to move, specifically in order that Jim and I be able to meet, in the way we'd pre-planned and agreed to, before coming here to Earth.
Are we always in the right place at the right time for the already planned consequences?
My answer to that can be short and sweet: yes, I am absolutely certain that we ARE always in the right place at the right time, for the already-planned consequences. And that that stands, for WHATEVER situation each person is in.
I recall reading, in a book by some medium (I can't recall which one], that a young American male, aged 19 or 20, had been beaten up by some thugs, on the streets, and had passed back to spirit, as a result. The young man's father was devastated at his son's loss, and someone suggested he have a reading with this medium. The man's son communicated with his dad, through the medium, and said "Don't suffer for me, don't be sorry that this happened: for, since arriving back here in spirit, I've learned that that attack on me by those ruffians was pre-planned/agreed upon, before physical birth, between me and them: that my passing was MEANT to occur at exactly that time and in exactly that way".
Have we each already planned when and how we die from this incarnation?
Well, the last section of my answer to the previous question answers this one! So my answer is "Yes, most definitely!". The objective evidence/data [from a number of difference sources] indicates that yes we do most definitely plan/decide/agree, before physical birth, precisely when and how we pass back to spirit, from each physical incarnation.
So that was that - the answers to the questions illustrate what reincarnationists actually believe and accept as the 'truth', and what they have been influenced with - Appalling beyond measure!
Back to reality! I would like to quote from another fine and highly recommended American writer and author and good friend Susan Martinez Ph.D. and her new book Delusions in Science and Spirituality (Spring 2015): Chapter 7: Body Snatching for Karma:
'More than any other theory challenged in this book, reincarnation seems to have been dreamed up by the "good idea fairy". The theory of reincarnation makes karma the kingpin. Suffering can then be explained without bothering with politics and its role in human misery; for karma will explain all. Why does suffering come along? So that we may atone for past life peccadilloes! For instance, the family that produces a 'mongoloid' child is told that the little boy's former sins created the "need to incarnate in a deformed state." The scars of our passions "reach down the centuries" and the resultant suffering is the only path to redemption or enlightenment for our blighted selves. Ignoring any monstrous causes from this very life, the reincarnationist is trained to find the root of our problems by tracing them to past-life disasters. And it is a "law"! - "fixed and unalterable" (Langley 1967 - 38, covers the last 3 quotes). But this pretentious logic breaks down when we consider that we have no knowledge of our previous existence, according to doctrine; how then can we learn from putative sins we cannot even remember?
Karma was the connecting thread in the Life Readings given by Edgar Cayce and all subsequent imitators. Many times, states one of Cayce's biographers "he had to exorcise the dark tenets of Predestination and Original Sin from the hopelessness and confusion in the minds of the people who came to him for help." (Noel Langley, Edgar Cayce on Reincarnation). But let us ask - Is the reincarnationist's "fixed and unalterable" karma any different from the very good gospel of original sin and predestination - which the Cayceites so deplore? The newborn babe, in their philosophy, is shorn of innocence and purity by the daunting law of Karma. He has sinned. His birthright is, in the sinister philosophy, sullied by the taint of alleged crimes and misdemeanours in a past life! instead of fledgling hope and fresh life, the new arrival is branded a repository of some decrepit and vile karma that needs to be purged! Who needs Original Sin if we have Karma to ruin our destiny!'
I was delighted to become acquainted with, and make another good friendship from across the pond, with August Goforth, a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City who is also a medium. His partner, Timothy Gray, was a writer, editor, and photographer in New York City until he made his transition to his present Risen existence in the early 1990s. 'Risen' is Tim's word for those who have transitioned (physically died). August and Tim co-authored the book 'The Risen' - Dialogues of Love, Grief and Survival Beyond Death. (21st Century Reports from the Afterlife through Contemplative, Intuitive and Physical Mediumship).
Chapter 25 The Pastime of Reincarnation is a gem and I would insist that not only the whole chapter but the whole book should be read and digested. August himself wrote an article taking material from this chapter and I will include the following brief extract I have copied from his article as follows:
“So it appears to me thus far that we are reborn upon our transition, but this rebirth is always into a new world and a unique state of existence, not back into the old one. The old one no longer exists—life is experienced in the continual now. We develop and carry forward the template for our new life. We are the template, and a new world will simultaneously arise from us as we arise from it, as a direct result of how we lived our lives on earth or from wherever we are continuously transitioning, as we transmute ever onward."
'He goes on to clarify':
“It’s sometimes inferred that our spirits will take on new bodies again. Actually, our spirit will be our actual body, and then at some point it becomes the cocoon for the next transition. A higher vibrating form of spiritual being will then evolve from that event, eventually moving on to yet another new geography. The spirit then becomes a newer form of body that is appropriate to the higher vibration. It cannot return to earth to be reborn once again because its new and higher state of vibration would no longer be appropriate there. Upon transition one is no longer spiritually human because of the higher vibration, and so cannot return to being earthly human in the equivalent way."
This brief article barely does justice to the rich extensive material Tim was able to bring forth, going into great and detailed depth regarding the more elusive psycho-spiritual issues. The underlying factor consistently supporting the generally unchallenged belief in reincarnation is that old nemesis, the fear of mortality—and even fear of immortality. The thought that one is immortal and will have to move beyond the earth, never to return, can be extremely threatening, especially if one has not taken the time to become informed of the facts about the process.
To wind up this article let us review some important facts and issues.
Those of us concerned with spreading and promoting the true understanding of ‘Survival’ i.e. the continued conscious life of the spiritual self after death of the physical body, realise full well what the word means, in this context, continuing to live in a finer state of being, and to progress at our own pace in these finer conditions in ‘more real’ worlds. We also are able to reunite with our loved ones and friends who have made the transition before us.
The idea, belief and doctrine of reincarnation on the other hand, is a diversion and complete myth and false theory misguiding masses to believe, and lead them down a path of total error. The illusion is as perfect as that of a clever stage magician who has his audience in his hands, spellbound! There is no relationship between survival and reincarnation. It is only those reincarnationists who promote the error and doctrine who will state that Survival (to them) means returning to the material earth plane to continue being born and living in more physical bodies one after the other for any or all of time. The mortal trapping! To accept and promote survival and reincarnation is attempting to ride two horses and ending up in a circus!
I will repeat that there is not a single case to prove reincarnation or an alleged past life, scientifically or otherwise. Whereas the evidence, including scientific evidence of proof for conscious survival of the soul/spirit after the material physical experience, is massive. That is natural progression whilst the former is regression and cannot and does not happen. All alleged cases of past life recall can have or include any of the following explanations:
The following books and authors are highly recommended as being amongst essential reading to broaden what I have touched upon in this article. They are not listed in any order of priority:
Reincarnation Refuted: Evidence, Logic and Common Sense ……………….. Stephen Blake M.Sc.(Lond)
Delusions in Science and Spirituality …......................................................... Susan Martinez Ph.D.
The Reincarnation Hoax ………………................................................................ Susan Martinez Ph.D.
The Case Against Reincarnation: A rational Approach………...........………… James Webster
Shopping For Spirit - The Search for Truth ……............................................ Steve Gamble
The Risen ………………................................................................................…..... August Goforth and Timothy Gray
Spirits In The Room …………………................................................................... Alan Ross
Mind out of Time ………………………................................................................. Ian Wilson
Thirty Years Among the Dead …...........................................................…..... Dr Carl A. Wickland MD
The Gateway of Understanding …….............................................................. Dr Carl A. Wickland MD
The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts …………….....................................…............ Joe Fisher