The Boy Who Remembered His Past Life
Suddenly awakened from a nightmare yelling, “Airplane crash! Plane on fire! Little man can’t get out!” young James Leininger, a three-year-old boy was certain he had once been a World War II pilot who had been shot down and killed over Iwo Jima.
James was fixated with airplanes and knew details about WWII aircraft that would seem implausible for a three-year-old to know. For instance, when his mother referred to an object on the bottom of a toy plane as a bomb, James corrected her by saying it was a drop tank. Another time, he and his parents were watching a documentary, and the narrator called a Japanese plane a Zero. James insisted that it was a Tony. There was no way for this toddler to have had knowledge of aircraft carriers or known the names of specific fighter planes. In both cases, he was proven right.
The boy said that his name was also James in his previous life and that he’d flown off a ship named the Natoma. His parents discovered a WWII aircraft carrier called the USS Natoma Bay. In its squadron was a pilot named James Huston, who had been killed in action over the Pacific during WWII.
James talked incessantly about his plane crashing, and he had night terrors several times a week. His desperate parents contacted past-life regression therapist Carol Bowman for help. Bowman told them not to dismiss what their son was saying and to reassure him that whatever happened had occurred in the past in another life and body, and he was safe now. Andrea followed her advice, and James’s dreams diminished. His parents co-authored Soul Survivor, a 2009 book about their family’s story.
Children Who Remember Past Lives
Emotions, memories, and even physical bodily features can be transferred from one life to another. Dr. Ian Stevenson was the world’s foremost scientific authority on the study of reincarnation and founder and director of the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia. Stevenson spent more than 40 years traveling the world, investigating more than 3,000 cases of children who appeared to have memories of previous lives. The results from these case studies revealed undeniable evidence for reincarnation.
“About 35% of children who claim to remember previous lives have birthmarks and… that they attribute to wounds on a person whose life the child remembers.” Ian Stevenson, Ph.D. from the article, Birthmarks and Birth Defects Corresponding to Wounds on Deceased Persons.
What struck Stevenson were the common patterns that emerged from these accounts: the fact that children started sharing these memories between the ages of two to five, yet seemed to have forgotten them by the age of nine; the frequent mentions of having died a violent death, and the clear recollections of the way they died.
What is Reincarnation?
Reincarnation is the understanding that your soul or consciousness survives death and can transfer to a new life in a new body. This concept is based on the scientific foundation that energy never dies. In physics, the first law of thermodynamics or the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant; it is said to be conserved over time. This law means that energy is neither created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed from one form to another. Consciousness is energy. The theory of reincarnation is that your soul is made up of energy and is transferred from body to body.
Evidence of Reincarnation
There is a significant amount of evidence which suggests that reincarnation is real. Physicist Sir Roger Penrose introduced the concept of nonlocal consciousness and provided the first hints that our minds are potentially immaterial. Orchestrated Objective Reduction (OOR) is a groundbreaking quantum theory of consciousness invented by physicist Roger Penrose and anesthesiologist Stuart Hameroff in the early 1990s. It implies that consciousness permeates the cosmos. See more on Quantum Physics and Consciousness.
Penrose and Hammerhoff theorized that your soul is contained in a field of information stored at a quantum level and that it can endure forever. They eventually found evidence through their OOR theory that this information is stored in microtubules within human cells and theoretically leaves the body after a person dies.
How to Remember Your Past Life
Some people get glimpses of past life memories in dreams, during meditation, while daydreaming or even during an illness. This is because your brain is in a relaxed state, allowing you to reach into your subconscious. However, one of the best ways to remember a past life is past-life regression hypnosis with a certified therapist.
What is Past Life Regression?
Past life regression is a technique that uses hypnosis to recover memories of past lives or incarnations. People in a deep trance state are capable of describing what life was like after permanent physical death from a previous life.
One of the most renowned past life regression therapists was Michael Newton, Ph.D., bestselling author of Journey of Souls. He was the founder of the Newton Institute which is an alliance and training organization of over 200 Certified Life-Between-Lives hypnotherapists, located in 39 countries throughout the world, speaking over 25 languages.
“Once subjects were regressed back into their soul state they all displayed a remarkable consistency in responding to questions about the spirit world. People even use the same words and graphic descriptions in colloquial language when discussing their lives as souls.” — Michael Newton, Ph.D., bestselling author of Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives.
History of Past-Life Regression
The first documented case of past-life regression under hypnosis occurred in 1952, referred to as the Bridey Murphy case. The hypnotist reported that a Pueblo, Colorado woman accurately conveyed memories of a past life in 19th-century Ireland named Bridey Murphy.
The story sparked an international sensation and a heated debate on the afterlife. Wanting to remain anonymous this woman shunned virtually every opportunity to cash in on the Bridey Murphy phenomenon. Journalists clamored to Pueblo, Colorado to unveil this woman’s identity. She was eventually found out. She was 29-year-old, Virginia Tighe. A book The Search for Bridey Murphy and a film, I’ve Lived Before, were made about her life.
Since the 1950s past life regression therapy continued to be developed and refined by psychologists, psychiatrists, hypnotists and mediums. Medical intuitive Edgar Cayce also popularized healing from past-life trauma. He is considered the most prolific psychic of the 20th century. He was able to put himself into a trance and diagnose a person’s medical condition knowing only their name and address. His information was based on several thousand life readings or information from people’s past lives.
According to Cayce, everyone holds memories from past lives that they carry into this life stored in their consciousness. These memories carry an energy that persists in affecting us.
Understanding your past lives may help you to heal past traumas and many of the issues you face in your current lifetime, including challenges associated with your health, personal relationships, and the deaths of loved ones.
What Does it Feel Like to Die
Newton found that many of his clients under hypnosis shared similarities in their past death experiences and their past lives. (The remainder of this blog is based on Newton’s research. We have used the term “heaven” instead of our preferred term “afterlife” in keeping with Newton’s terminology.) They state they feel a pulling sensation away from the place where they died and experience relaxation and curiosity rather than fear. All these people report a euphoric sense of freedom and brightness around them. The tunnel effect most experience when leaving Earth is the portal into the spirit world, and this is the way they also return into a new body.
What Does Heaven Look Like?
Under hypnosis, most people describe the first images they see are fields of wildflowers, waterfalls, castle towers rising in the distance, or rainbows under an open sky. These first ethereal Earth scenes of the spirit world don’t seem to change a great deal over a span of lives for the returning soul, although there is variety between client descriptions.
Who Do You Meet in Heaven?
Most of Newton’s clients report meeting benevolent energy forces that guide them through the gate. Their spiritual guides and a number of souls from their soul group, along with departed friends and relatives, wait for them at the gateway to provide recognition, affection, and the assurance that they are all right.
Actually, some feel their presence on their deathbed or at the moment of death, because much of our initial readjustment depends upon the influence of these kindly entities toward our returning soul.
The True Purpose of Life and Reincarnation
According to Newton’s past-life regression clients, the essential purpose of reincarnation is spiritual growth. The key to growth is the understanding that we are given the ability to make mid-course corrections in our life and have the courage to make necessary changes when what we are doing is not working for us.
Souls who continue to display negative attitudes must overcome these difficulties by continually making an effort to change. Without addressing and overcoming pain and adversity, you can never really connect with who you are and learn from it. The more pain and adversity you experience, the more opportunity to expand your potential.
Whenever you may feel you have been a victim, it can be a beneficial experience when you stand up to failure and duress, which truly marks progress in life. Sometimes one of the most important lessons is to learn to let go of the past. We don’t need to change who we are in relation to life’s experiences, only our negative reactions to these events.
Karmic Lessons are circumstances that we have not managed well in previous lives. We may have failed to meet the challenge it presented in past lifetimes. Each soul must learn all the lessons.
“I have had clients come to me with the assumption that they are probably not with their true soulmate because of so much turmoil and heartbreak in their marriages and relationships. They fail to realize that karmic lessons set difficult standards for each of us, and painful experiences involving the heart are deliberate tests in life. They are often one of the hardest kinds. The lesson we must learn from human relationships is accepting people for who they are without expecting our happiness to be totally dependent upon anyone.” —Dr. Michael Newton
The spirit guides glow with different colors depending on their level of advancement. The awareness level of the departed soul determines to some extent the degree of advancement of the guide assigned to them. Newton’s subjects have shared how much they depend upon and make use of their spiritual guides during life. For some older souls, these learned teachers remain with them for over thousands of earth years to assist in their trials before, during, and after countless lives.
Spirit guides manage soul support groups where souls engage in life reviews. The souls represented in these cluster groups are intimate old friends who have about the same awareness level as the soul undergoing the review. They attend spiritual classrooms together where they study. It was described this way by one of Newton’s clients:
“I see a perfectly square Greek temple with large sculptured columns-very beautiful. I recognize it because this is where I return after each life cycle.” I see my guide, Karla, coming out of the entrance of the temple towards me … as a goddess … tall … wearing long flowing robes … one shoulder is bare … her hair is piled up and fastened with a gold clasp … she reaches out to me. Karla has taken me inside my temple school.
I see a large library. Small gatherings of people are speaking in quiet tones at tables. It is … sedate … warm … a secure feeling which is so familiar to me. We are all dressed the same … we shimmer with light… and we can change. There are about 20 of us. We have known each other for ages.”
Members of the same soul cluster group are closely united for all eternity. These tightly-knit clusters are often composed of like-minded souls with common objectives, which they continually work out with each other. Usually they choose lives together as relatives and close friends during their incarnations on Earth.
In some rare situations, there are souls who absorbed too much negative energy from the world. They caused great harm to others on earth which was not part of their assignment. They are considered damaged and must go into seclusion upon reentering the spirit world. These souls don’t appear to mix with other entities in the conventional manner for quite a while. They may never join a soul group. They may choose to return to earth immediately in order to expunge themselves as soon as possible by a good incarnated performance.
Their negative energy needs to be reworked or remodeled. They would never be destroyed because energy never dies. Remember as mentioned above, the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant; it is said to be conserved over time. This law means that energy is neither created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed from one form to another.
Choosing Another Body to Return to Earth
There comes that time when the soul must once again leave the sanctuary of the spirit world for another trip to Earth. This decision is not an easy one. Souls must prepare to leave a world of total wisdom, where they exist in a blissful state of freedom for the physical and mental demands of a human body.
Souls have misgivings about even temporarily leaving a world of self-understanding, comradeship, and compassion to go to a planetary environment of uncertainty and fear brought about by aggressive, competing humans.
While our spiritual environment is hard to leave, as souls we also remember the physical pleasures of life on Earth with fondness and even nostalgia. When the wounds of a past life are healed and we are again totally at one with ourselves, we feel the pull of having a physical expression for our identity. Souls do have the freedom to choose when, where, and who they want to be in their physical lives.
Training sessions with their counselors and peer groups provide a collaborative spiritual effort to prepare the soul for the next life. Spirit guides often give the soul a gentle nudge to re-enter a new life. Newton’s hypnosis clients call the place of life selection the Ring of Destiny. It is like a movie theater that curves around you allowing souls to see themselves in the future, watching different lines of energy converge into points in time. These are major turning points on life’s pathways involving important decisions … possibilities … events which make it necessary to consider alternate choices in time. These turning points test our ability to find solutions.
To find more resources and learn more about this subject please visit our page on Reincarnation.