Monday, November 24, 2014
"I Don't Know About You, but I Live in a Reincarnational Reality"
"I Don't Know About You, but I Live in a Reincarnational Reality" This was a quote from Ram Dass that I've adopted as my own. Our lifetimes are like going to sleep at night. We dream and then we wake up again to a whole new day. It's just that with reincarnation it's on a slightly bigger scale.
There was some wonderful research done at the University of Virginia in the late 1960's by a man named Ian Stevenson, MD who was a professor of pyschiatry. He gathered 2,500 case studies of children who at around the age of two or three would speak openly about their previous families. They also spoke about their former lives and the way they died. Many of these children had nightmares about their past life experiences because when the volume is turned up loud (as is often the case in someone who has died relatively young by some violent or unexpected means) the memories can come through more easily.
My dad was one of these kids. He wasn't in Ian Stevenson's research group because he was born about 40 years earlier, however my dad did exhibit one of the characteristics that Ian covered in his research, which is known as xenoglossy. Xenoglossy is the ability to speak in a language that you've had no former exposure to, at least not in this lifetime. My dad grew up in relative isolation in the Arizona desert, and as a little tiny boy he spoke a few words of Hindi. He named his cat the Hindu word for cat. He also told my British grandmother and grandfather about his death experience in his most recent past life, where at the age of 11 he and his whole family died suddenly at the dinner table; crushed under the timbers of their home as it collapsed during an large earthquake.
This kind of experience is common for these reincarnational children: a young and sudden death, recalled at a very young age. Some of them have birthmarks or defects that match the wounds that their deceased former self had experienced. Until recently, these accounts have mostly lain somewhat dormant in family recollections or in the desks of researchers like Ian. They were usually passed off as unexplainable anomalies, wondered at briefly and then forgotten about. But now that nearly 3 billion of us are connected via the internet, we have access to lots of information that has formerly been unavailable, like Stevenson's research, along with other new discoveries in the the topic of the ongoing nature of consciousness.
Though reincarnation is not readily accepted in the West, it does have a history of recognition in the Gnostic Christian texts, as well as in the ancient Kabbalistic Jewish teachings. Throughout most of the world reincarnation has widely and wholeheartedly been embraced. Hinduism and Buddhism both acknowledge its reality. And the oral traditions, the numerous nature-based religions of the world, have always accepted the cycles of life and death and rebirth.
Lots of current research like the explorations into near death experiences show us that consciousness continues after the body and brain have died. This helps us to change our understanding about life and death. It frees us to realize that our spiritual growth is a process and that we don't have to accomplish everything in one go. We are reborn together again and again as we progressively embrace our interconnectedness and move closer and closer to love. Voltaire said, "It is not more surprising to be born twice than once." Know that love is never lost and that we all dance together again and again. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
© Josephine Laing, 2014