Continuing on the same theme as yesterday, regarding other reincarnation researchers' and filmmakers' efforts compared with my own, it seems to me that the best efforts entail subjecting one's own evidence to a skeptical "acid bath." I think if a comparison were to be made, my study is one of the best in this regard. I have subjected every piece of evidence, and every speculation, to the test of normal explanations. The caveat is that this has to be done honestly, with a view toward the truth--not dishonestly, with a view to debunking at all costs.
In one corner, we have the wild-eyed theorists, who attempt to jam the square peg of the evidence into the round hole of their theories. The "Ancient Alien" series on History Channel is replete with this sort of thing. That's why I give it a second name: the "Could It Be And If So" show. But there are elements of this in some reincarnation presentations, as well. Then, in the other corner, you have skeptics, i.e., cynics, who "bat away" every piece of evidence by hook or crook.
Neither extreme is helpful, if you want to get at the truth of the matter.
There is also something nefarious...people who convince themselves they are being rigorous, in putting evidence through the acid-bath--but actually, they are cynics, using all the methods of sophistry peculiar to cynics. I had it out, via e-mail, with such a person not too long ago. He still is in denial about what he's doing.
All of this presupposes you want the truth--and you want it bad.
I have to admit that I put all my evidence through the acid bath of attempting every normal explanation I could think of, for two motivations. The first is to get at the truth; the second is to avoid being caught out later on. If my evidence isn't going to hold up, I want to be the one to expose it, not somebody else. It's sort of like building a bridge, and then going out and jumping up and down on it, to make sure it won't fail when people start walking on it. I'd rather fall in and get wet myself, and have to build it all over again, than to have other people fall in. (And that, partly to avoid embarrassment.)
Now, that doesn't mean that every piece of evidence in my book passed the acid bath with an "A+." It means that I honestly assessed it after it was tested. If there could be normal explanations, I say so, and I suggest them. But if I go so far as to say that something is proved beyond a reasonable doubt, you can bet that I tested it first from every conceivable angle.
That means when I dare stick my neck out to say that I have shown, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Charles Dickens could not possibly have been the real and original author of "A Christmas Carol," I am not going off half-cocked with that; and when I say that there is a great deal of evidence, which strongly suggests the original authors were Mathew Franklin Whittier (myself in the 19th century) and his first wife, Abby Poyen Whittier, I can back that up, as well.
Likewise with other more obscure attributions, and a great deal more regarding Mathew's life. Likewise, also, with the strength of this past-life match.
Well, it's frustrating, because I would have to guess that people lump my claims and conclusions in with so many other cases, which are not nearly as meticulously and honestly researched as mine is. But there is an interesting principle I ran across, in my Guru's teachings. He said, in effect, that false teachers draw false seekers. I had never thought about the idea of a false seeker before. But this principle probably holds at many different levels of inquiry. It holds as regards gurus; but it also holds as regards reincarnation researchers, and those who accept their work as convincing.
People who aren't serious about it, become drawn to researchers who aren't serious about it, i.e., not serious enough about it to put their evidence through the same honest acid bath that I put my evidence through. Similarly, people who aren't serious about their skepticism, are drawn to cynics who aren't honest about their skepticism.
A real skeptic, who is serious about his or her skepticism, would finally end up being drawn to my work--because I apply real skepticism to it. A serious seeker of the truth about reincarnation, would also be drawn, eventually, to my work, because I am quite serious about the truth of it.
I think I am just waiting for people who are serious.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Awaken," by Eric Johnson, from the album, "Up Close"