Today I just want to address one concept.
Occasionally, one runs across a conceptual disconnect, a sort of logical log-jam which is holding up the works. Something which has been inadvertently accepted as a truism, which, in fact, is false.
I was thinking of my own past-life study, in comparison with the methods used in the British TV series, "Have I Been Here Before." If you haven't seen that show, you can find episodes archived on YouTube. The format is that they hypnotize a celebrity, conduct a past-life regression, and then attempt to verify some of the key details which emerged during the session, in the historical record. In most of the episodes, the results are tantalizing, while in a few of them, it moves into the realm of proof (given that proof admits of degrees).
The conceptual disconnect is the automatic assumption, probably made by most viewers, that the reason these results are unsatisfying, is that there is, in fact, no such thing as reincarnation; or, they may conclude that "reincarnation can't be proven."
The real reasons that the results are unsatisfying, are that 1) the case didn't lend itself to verification, and/or 2) they didn't research it in enough depth.
By "not lending itself to verification," I mean that there isn't enough left in the historical record to verify it conclusively; or, conversely, if the lifetime is a famous one, there may be too much in the readily-available record. Obviously, if there is too much information available, the subject could have run across it by normal means, and forgotten it. This produces the effect of false memory, or "cryptomnesia."
These shows employ a historian who undoubtedly has a working budget for each case that I couldn't even imagine. However, he has only a limited time to pursue the matter.* Suppose, now, that he was able to devote a full eight or nine years to a single case, working at it full-time. Do you think he might unearth more conclusive evidence, supposing, of course, that it's a genuine match?
In fact, he could, if the case lent itself to verification.
Everyone reincarnates. Therefore, every single person on this planet has a genuine reincarnation case. The question is, which ones can be accurately identified, and then, of these, which ones lend themselves to verification?
I have, in fact, put in the time. I've investigated my own case in unprecedented depth, even though I haven't had the funding that the show's researcher has for a single episode. Recently, I have even been able to move to the locale I had lived in before (Maine and Massachusetts), within driving distance of every place he lived. I also have direct access to those historical libraries which would be most likely to contain relevant archived information. So I don't need the budget. I can do the same thing on a financial shoestring.
In eight--or now, almost nine--years of intensive (perhaps even compulsive?) research, I can tell you that this kneejerk assumption that "reincarnation cannot be proven" is a lie. Like everything else, you have to put the time into it. One cannot pick up a violin, pay for the best lessons in the world, practice for one week, and declare the matter hopeless. One has to put eight or nine years into it, and only then can you say, with any authority, that the violin cannot be learnt.
Take any genuine past-life match which has the potential to be substantiated, and given enough time and effort, you can prove it in the deep historical record. This has profound implications. If one can substantiate a reincarnation case, then reincarnation is real. If reincarnation is real, philosophical Materialism is false. If philosophical Materialism is false, then we are all spiritual beings having a physical experience. Furthermore, karma--which (Dr. Stevenson's conclusions notwithstanding) goes hand-in-hand with reincarnation, is also real. And karma means 100% personal accountability. It also means that thoughts are things. If thoughts are things, then thought-pollution is real pollution, which means, for example, that every media executive is responsible for what he or she puts into the public consciousness. It also means that top-down medicine--medicine which begins with the mind (rather than denigrating it as the "placebo effect"), becomes the logical medicine of choice.
I've only scratched the surface. So the next time you hear the meme, "Reincarnation can't be proven," know that you are being fed a lie--a lie which is holding up some very important social changes.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*There is also the matter of whether the producers of that show want to prove a case too solidly. Mainstream television thrives on the "carnival effect," meaning, they thrill audiences with a sort of carnival ride, without actually proving anything solidly enough to permanently scare them. By a process of selection, the media gatekeepers tend to let shows like this into the queue, while shows like my documentary, "In Another Life: Reincarnation in America" are excluded.
Audio opening this page: "Let Us Break Their Bonds Asunder,"
by George Frideric Handel, from "The Messiah"