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Ian Stevenson

 

Ian Stevenson, M.D. died in February 2007. He was Director, Division of Personality Studies and Carlson Professor of Psychiatry, both a part of the Department of Psychiatric Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. He was the pre-eminent researcher in the study of reincarnation as well as being the leading scientist studying children who claim to remember previous lives. He also made important studies of telepathy, near-death experiences, apparitions ("death-bed visions"), the mind-brain problem, and the survival of human personality after death.
www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/personalitystudies/
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Unlearned Language:
New Studies in Xenoglossy

by Ian Stevenson
Can anyone speak a language that he or she has not learned normally, in childhood or later? Claims to have accomplished this are made from time to time, but only rarely do they receive support when carefully examined. In this volume Dr Stevenson presents detailed report of two cases that seem authentic.
The major part of the book is devoted to lengthy reports of the two cases. Transcripts of tape recordings provide evidence that the subjects could speak the foreign language intelligently and were not just repeating a few phrases of a language that they may have learned casually in some other way. The results of extensive inquiries into the possibility that either subject might have learned normally in early life the foreign language he spoke in childhood were negative in each case.
Authentic instances of speaking a language that has not been learned normally (responsive xenoglossy) suggest that another personality (perhaps one of a previous life) had learned the language. Cases of responsive xenoglossy thus add to the evidence concerning the survival of human personality after death.

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Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation
by Ian Stevenson
There is compelling evidence of life after death, either in spirit in some other realm, or reincarnated here on Earth. (I tried to interview but he refused; I wasn't establishment enough!). Stevenson has always been careful to say his work is only "suggestive of reincarnation" but he clearly leans that way. His evidence is compelling that something strange is happening - especially when children remember past lives, call out for relatives (in their past life) by name, have unexplained bruises and recognize their old past-life neighborhoods. Yes, strange and wonderful indeed. But not, by any means, determinative of reincarnation. My feeling is that this can be explained by something simpler, and not as exciting: each life leaves an imprint - emotions and thoughts are like waves in a pond. Some extraordinarily sensitive people can pick up on those emotions and thoughts, like a sensitive radio receiving a signal from far away due to atmospheric skip. Children are open-minded - not dead-to-the-world like most boring adults. When they pick up on these messages, they speak them as their own, and even feel the memory is theirs. But, the "memory" is really a leftover, it is not real. The deceased person is as dead as a doornail, and has not come back to life. He/she can never know his thoughts and emotions were left behind and picked up by a sensitive child in India (a lot of this happens in India). Yes, it's a bummer. You don't live. But your thoughts do. Then again, this theory has a strong ethical component: leave behind good thoughts - you never know who will pick up on them when you are gone!
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Where Reincarnation and Biology Intersect
by Ian Stevenson
Children who claim to remember a previous life have been found in many parts of the world, particularly in the Buddhist and Hindu countries of South Asia, among the Shiite peoples of Lebanon and Turkey, the tribes of West Africa, and the American northwest. Stevenson has collected over 2,600 reported cases of past-life memories of which 65 detailed reports have been published. Specific information from the children's memories has been collected and matched with the data of their former identity, family, residence, and manner of death. Birthmarks or other physiological manifestations have been found to relate to experiences of the remembered past life, particularly violent death. Writing as a specialist in psychiatry and as a world-renowned scientific investigator of reported paranormal events, Stevenson asks us to suspend our Western tendencies to disbelieve in "reincarnation" and consider the reality of the burgeoning record of cases now available. This book summarizes Stevenson's findings which are presented in full in the multi-volume work entitled. Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects, also published by Praeger.

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