Boy remembers past life

3 Year-Old Boy Remembers His Past Life And Identifies His Murderer

Some people believe in reincarnation and that they have lived a totally different life in the past. Some people even think they have memories of the life that they led in the past and a boy aged just three believes that he led a past life and in that life, he was murdered.

Boy Told Parents Where His Past Life Body Was And Who Killed Him

Some may say that the child just had an imagination that is overactive; however, the child has managed to recall what happened in a past life very accurately. In fact, the youngster’s recall of a past life went even further as he was able to catch the person who murdered him and even got a confession from that person. Now his story has been included in a book by a German therapist by the name of “Children Who Have Lived Before”.

The youngster was just like any other three-year old until he started to tell stories about what had happened in his past life. Just like with any other child, his parents first thought that he was making up tales and so they did not take him seriously at first. However, they soon started to believe him when things started to take a strange turn.

The youngster started to share things with his parents and more astonishingly he even told them where he had been murdered in a past life. When a three-year-old starts to talk about being murdered parents, tend to take things very seriously. They then checked the spot, and they began to dig, and when they did so, they came across a body.

Youngster Says Red Birthmark On Forehead Is Where Axe Hit Him In Past Life

The youngster did not stop talking about what had happened in a past life and went on to tell his parent’s specific details about his death. He said that he had been murdered by someone with an axe and that was where the red birthmark which is on his forehead was placed.

He then went on to talk about another location, and he said that this was where the weapon had been buried. The people in the village where the boy lived checked it out and the weapon was just where the boy had said it was hidden.

The three-year-old also said that he knew who had killed him in his past life and when they went to the place where the person lived to confront them, they actually gave up and made a confession to the murder. This does seem to be solid evidence that reincarnation is real.

Boy Remembers Previous Life

At the tender age of five, Ryan Hammons told his mother that he remembered being someone else. He recalled traveling the world, marrying five women, dancing on Broadway, and becoming a successful Hollywood agent.

He started opening up to his mother, Cyndi, about his previous life. He even asked his mother to take him home to Hollywood. His stories were so specific, his mother decided that there had to be something to them. Even though she was Christian, she began to consider the possibility of reincarnation.

Cyndi kept Ryan’s stories secret for fear that people would think he was loopy. But she wanted to understand her son’s memories. So she started looking through books about Hollywood. It was in one of these books that Ryan pointed to a man in an image from an old movie. He excitedly said, “That’s me. That’s who I was.”

Shocked, Cyndi went to Dr. Jim Tucker. Tucker is a professor and child psychologist at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He has spent much of his career studying children who have memories of past lives. Tucker, with the help of a film archivist, discovered the name of the extra who Ryan had pointed to. His name was Marty Martyn, and he was a successful Hollywood agent who’d had five wives, traveled, and danced on Broadway. After further research, a list of 55 of Ryan’s memories including the street Marty Martyn lived on were proven accurate.

Ryan is one of many children with past life memories. Tucker’s team has studied over 2,500 such cases.

Researchers have found that traumatic deaths seem to create an emotional imprint in the next life, which makes it more likely that a child will remember. And it can also have a psychological impact. For example, those who drowned in a past life may have an “irrational” fear of water.

Buddhists and Hindus, among others, believe in reincarnation. Although Western culture has typically dismissed it, it is beginning to gain a small foothold. In fact, some therapists have begun practicing past life regression. They believe it helps patients heal by remembering and sometimes resolving traumas from past lives. Even many skeptics say that these sessions provide them with interesting perspectives, which help them to deal with issues in their lives.

While reincarnation might not be the only explanation, there is growing evidence that something strange is happening. As Dr. Tucker reminds us, “These cases demand an explanation. We can’t just write them off or explain them away as just some sort of normal cultural thing.”

The Boy Who Thought He Was Reincarnated

In the early 2000s, a sensational news story took the world by storm: a young boy was proven by experts — so said the reports — to have lived a past life as a World War II fighter pilot who was shot down. James Leininger, born in April 1998, is the subject of books and TV shows and countless articles citing him as proof of reincarnation, bolstered by an assailable mountain of undeniable proof. Today we’re going to look into this amazing story of a young boy who thought he was reincarnated… and, in the process, also look at the people who helped him get there.

Such cases are not uncommon. There are whole books about similar stories, where James Leininger is only a single chapter. We could talk about any one of them, but this case is a good one because it is probably the best known, has received both skeptical and credulous attention, and still has a large following of believers. The basic facts of the case are that James Leininger was born in 1998, and while other children become obsessed with trucks or tractors or horses or plush toys, James’ fixation was airplanes. He loved them. Every birthday or Christmas brought him a shower of new airplane toys. By the age of two, he knew many models by name, especially those most commonly produced as toys and featured in books: fighter planes, like Mustangs, Corsairs, and Spitfires. His parents took him to aviation museums, and he loved the WWII fighter planes. It even got to the point that his parents tried to distract him away from airplanes — unsuccessfully. It’s a familiar experience to many parents.

Another thing James had in common with many toddlers was recurring nightmares. His, not surprisingly given his favorite toys, was that he was in an airplane that was crashing. He’d cry and scream and wake his parents. Sometimes it would happen five times a week. James’ mother Andrea began to suspect that the nightmare was so traumatic because it had an extraordinary cause. Perhaps James had lived it in another life.

By the time James was two and a half, he’d said the man crashing in the plane was named James, and that the plane was a Corsair — a famous WWII fighter plane in the Pacific. His parents reported that he even gave a partial name for the aircraft carrier he’d been on, the USS Natoma Bay, an actual WWII escort carrier.

Eventually, Andrea got ahold of a book on children who had lived past lives and studied it, while his father Bruce obsessively went through WWII records trying to piece together the bits little James had offered into a consistent narrative. Bruce garnered further details from James by going through the book The Battle for Iwo Jima with him. Their conviction that little James had been a Corsair pilot named James from the Natoma Bay who was shot down at Iwo Jima was so strong that they even took him to a reunion of crew from the Natoma Bay.

Eventually the Leiningers wrote a 2009 book promoting their son as an actual case of reincarnation, titled Soul Survivor. Although they clearly believe their son was reincarnated, the weaknesses in the story are apparent to the skeptical mind. All of the evidence is purely anecdotal, and is practically the gold standard of confirmation bias and observational selection. The story as the public knows it was written by the parents themselves after nearly a decade of personally trying to confirm and prove their belief. Reading their book, I marveled that the only proof they gave over and over again is that there is no way a three-year-old could have had knowledge of aircraft carriers or known the names of specific fighter planes. That’s an insult to every three-year-old who ever lived.

We might well be tempted to observe that as poor as the evidence for this story is, it seems bizarre that Andrea and Bruce Leininger — perfectly intelligent, normal adults — would believe in it so wholeheartedly. Indeed, as we mentioned earlier, there are many such stories, all fully endorsed by intelligent people, despite a total lack of evidence or plausibility. It turns out that we do have a potential explanation for how these smart people can believe such a weird thing.

Let’s look at the most famous case of an alleged reincarnation, that of Bridey Murphy. Virginia Tighe was a Colorado woman who became famous as the poster child for “past life regression” in the 1950s when, under hypnosis, she spoke of being the reincarnation of a 19th century Irish woman named Bridey Murphy. Her story was published in a book, The Search for Bridey Murphy, in 1956 and was a sensation, becoming a best seller. A Hollywood movie was made the same year. Suddenly everyone believed in reincarnation and in hypnotic past life regression.

Most investigators seeking to either confirm or disprove the reincarnation claim scoured old Irish records trying to find someone named Bridey Murphy in 19th century Ireland. Nothing was ever found. All of the names and places she had come up with were weak matches at best, and none of the specific names or dates could be verified. One newspaper, however, looked a little closer to home. Reporters for the Chicago American found that when Tighe was a little girl, their neighbor across the street had been an Irish immigrant named Bridie Murphy-Corkell. Case closed. The memories of Bridey Murphy had been memories of a neighbor when she was a little girl. Were book sales impacted? Not in the slightest. In fact a second edition even came out.

But even more surprisingly, even Virginia Tighe herself never believed a word of the reincarnation story. She once said “If I had known what was going to happen I would never have lain down on the couch.” She even refused to give permission for her name to be used in the book, so it used a fake name, Ruth Simmons. So how could her story have exploded so enormously?

It turns out the book was written by the hypnotist himself, Morey Bernstein, a wealthy businessman and amateur hypnotist. Bernstein was completely persuaded that Tighe was reincarnated from Bridey Murphy — or, at least, always said that he was — the book was making a lot of money. From his 1999 obituary in the Washington Post:

Publication of The Search for Bridey Murphy made him a celebrity, and he was convinced that Tighe’s recollections about a previous life in Ireland were authentic, according to his brother, Robert A. Bernstein, of Bethesda. Tighe, he said, was never totally convinced that she really ever had been Bridey Murphy.

Bernstein was a lifelong believer in reincarnation, and it’s not much of a stretch to assume that he probably coaxed her through the story in pursuit of his belief. This is also something we routinely see in other stories of reincarnation: the people who are the subjects are often surrounded by true believers who are really the ones creating and promoting the story.

This is not to say they do it dishonestly; not at all. When we believe something wholeheartedly and want to persuade others that what we believe happened actually did so, we all tend to exaggerate, hoping to make our case sound more persuasive. This is not something we do consciously or deceptively. If I know in my heart of hearts that what I’m telling you is the truth, I might very well add in some extra information — even something I make up completely — if it will help convince you. To our point of view, these little white lies are helpful not harmful, because the outcome is that you will believe what we already know to be true. So we should expect that those who believe these stories of reincarnated children are going to say anything they can — even rearrange the history of who knew what when, what word was pronounced how on what date, what stories a child might have heard — and we must be careful not to misinterpret these anecdotes as infallible factual accounts.

How can the Bridey Murphy story help us understand the James Leininger case? For one thing, it suggests that there’s not much point in going back into the history books and trying to learn about the USS Natoma Bay or whether it carried Corsair fighter planes (it didn’t) or what fighter pilots were named James in the war. None of that matters. Bridey Murphy tells us to look closer to home.

Maybe…just maybe…James Leininger had a Morey Bernstein of his own.

Carol Bowman is the author of several books on reincarnated children and promotes herself as a “past life regression therapist”, as if that’s a thing. Hers is the book that Andrea Leininger turned to. Let’s hear Bowman’s own words from her website about her involvement in our case:

In 2001 I got an email from a mother in Louisiana, Andrea Leininger. She told me that she had just gotten a copy of my first book, Children’s Past Lives, and she believed that her two-year-old son, James, was having nightmares about a past life. He would wake up screaming about 3 or 4 times a week about his plane crashing… I told her to follow the guidelines in my book for helping James work through his nightmares…

So from about the age of 3, James’ parents were following the advice of a past life regression promoter to manage the boy’s interest in WWII airplanes — having first already decided on their own that he was in fact a reincarnated pilot. Part of Bowman’s advice was to repeatedly assure this toddler that he was, in fact, a reincarnated WWII fighter pilot. The Leiningers wrote in their book:

Carol advised Andrea to tell James that what he was experiencing were things that had happened to him before, that it was now over, and that he was now safe.

That is psychologically outrageous. Remember, the notion that James had been reincarnated was never his own; it was his parents’, primarily Andrea’s, own idea. The parents, under the guidance of a strongly motivated self-described “therapist”, put the idea into his head themselves. Bowman describes her book as “a memoir of discoveries after she witnessed past life memories in her own two children, and a guidebook for parents.” No. No parenting guidebook should advise teaching your three-year-old to believe a delusion, certainly not one that takes away his individuality and teaches that he’s someone else. Nevertheless, Bowman continued exploiting little James to promote her agenda, just as Bernstein did before her:

I encouraged Andrea and her husband, Bruce, to write a book about James’s memories. Finally, after three years, they were ready to do it. I introduced them to my wonderful agent, Al Zuckerman, and their book, Soul Survivor, will be released at the end of May.

Bowman and Bernstein had other things in common; most notably, a total lack of relevant education in psychology or any kind of therapy. Both wrote popular books promoting themselves as experts. And sadly, both managed to convince people of the reality of reincarnation. People who invent their own field and declare themselves its expert are usually dismissed as cranks; but when we fail to apply a skeptical process, we can easily end up conferring unearned respect on those very same cranks and, in the process, regard an innocent toddler — who wants only to play with his airplanes — as proof of the supernatural.

By Brian Dunning
Follow @BrianDunning

A Message For People Who Fear Being Alone

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Some fascinating research has been conducted over the past several years that make the discussion of life after death quite interesting.

  • Reflect On:

    Ancient wisdom and teachings have been ‘proven’ right with regards to quantum physics, neuroscience and health in many different ways. Would the same apply to life after death? Can we ever really know?

With over 100 years of research into the nature of death and survival of consciousness, a more sophisticated way of looking at the evidence seems to be emerging. Based on a number of interviews and wide reading, Lance Butler outlines a new understanding based on science as well as spiritual experience.

Even Life after Death changes; like everything else, ideas about Survival have both a history and, if I can put it this way, a future. Some changes are modestly noticeable if one first looks back to the heyday of Spiritualism and the founding of the SPR in the late nineteenth century and then forward to the late twentieth century. In that time ouija boards, to put it schematically, were replaced by NDE research. But there is also a feeling of sameness, even latterly of stagnation, over the period.

During the last twenty or thirty years, too, things have moved forward slowly, but the feeling one still gets reading the main summarising or investigative texts in the field – say Gary Schwartz’s The Afterlife Experiments of 2003 or David Fontana’s Is There An Afterlife? of 2005 – is that the paradigm has remained unchanged. If we put together, for instance, recent examples of mediumship, the NDE material collected since Raymond Moody’s Life after Life of 1975, the ITC evidence (by definition modern), and Scole we find that although it constitutes more evidence, it is roughly the same kind of evidence as it was thirty-five or, in the case of mediumship, a hundred-and-thirty-five years ago.

Fontana, for instance, is able freely to cite nineteenth-century material, stories from the 1920s and 1940s, research from the 1960s, his own experience of poltergeists from the 1980s and the Scole material from around 2000. It all fits quite well; it all adds up to an interesting case for Survival; and it’s still there. One of the strongest arguments for Survival seems to be the fact that, in spite of modern scepticism and modern analytical and investigative techniques, Life after Death hasn’t simply gone away like Phlogiston theory or Geocentrism or Phrenology or bloodletting. Fontana’s evidence is not of a new nature, but it is increasingly solid.

The Need For A New Paradigm

And the evidence has continued to stack up, but it’s still apparent at the end of the first decade of the 21st century that the paradigm has not changed much. More veridical channelings, identifiable voices of the dead on untuned (sometimes even unplugged) radios, better NDEs, everything that happened at Scole – these are all useful grist to the Survival mill, but they do not seem to do have done much for a widening of scientific acceptance of any sort of afterlife. In particular we do not yet seem to have digested quantum physics properly, nor the recent thinking in consciousness studies.

In these circumstances I set out in 2009 to interview a handful of people, all well-known to the SMN, to find out ‘where they are now’ on the matter of Life after Death; I hoped thus to see if there are currently any developments of our Survival paradigm. The interviewees were Rupert Sheldrake, Bernard Carr, Peter Fenwick, David Lorimer, Iain McGilchrist, Matthew Manning and Pim van Lommel.

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Van Lommel’s response to my opening question, which asked directly about the afterlife, was a little startling: ‘I never talk about life after death,’ he said. My heart sank a little. Had I got hold of the wrong Dutch cardiologist? But no, it appeared that what he meant is that ‘life after death’ may only temporarily resemble life as we know it here and now; more importantly the quantum ‘non-locality’ of the other side means that it is without time and can be considered to ‘contain’ past, present, and future simultaneously. It is ‘a space or dimension without place or time.’ The simultaneity of the Life Review during many NDEs is well known and that may give us a hint as to what the ‘infinite consciousness’ that apparently awaits us (while not of course really ‘awaiting’ anything) might be like.

Many people, van Lommel continued, have experienced non-duality, non-locality, greater or ‘cosmic’ consciousness. That is the ‘thing’ that is always there, timelessly; it is the incomprehensible greater ‘place’ with which we interface only at very special times. From the perspective of this quantum zone life and death are irrelevant concepts. ‘Life’ in this present world is a species of illusion that we go through, indeed that we actually create. Life ‘over there’ however is certainly not ‘life as we know it.’

Interestingly, van Lommel is quite happy to accept that NDE survivors cannot find the right language to describe their experiences adequately. Of course not. Our language is a tool for the here-and-now, for space and time. As is the case with quantum physics, we are able to mouth words about cosmic experiences, but the words have difficulty in demonstrating any significant content.

Beyond The Self?

I will return to van Lommel at the end of this but for now come with me to visit Peter Fenwick, who also managed to take the feet from under me when I questioned him; in his case the moment came after a good hour of explanation of his research into End-of-Life Experiences when he said, with the smaller of his two smiles, ‘But we do not have a personal self. We are embedded in the matrix of the universe which is our consciousness.’ Different words for pretty much what van Lommel was saying, then, and incidentally what Neale Donald Walsch says repeatedly in his Conversations with God series (‘There is only one of us’).

Fenwick suggests, following Alain Forget, that we can be ‘awakened’ here in this life (to moments of cosmic consciousness) and says that the ego ‘casts a pall over our consciousnesses.’ We are parts of a whole and need to ‘crystallise the light body’ as we do in dreams in similar states. The ‘limited ego’ is a ‘false self’ but even a glimpse of universal consciousness (‘available right now!’) shows us a bigger self.

In extreme NDE cases, Peter pointed out, people seem to go very far, ‘to the point where the illusion of separateness is about to collapse completely.’ In this life we merely make up our stories of life and death. When we recognise that the real is universal consciousness, questions of Survival become non-questions because there is really no birth and no death, just consciousness. Religions, seeking vainly to sift the saved from the non-saved, have lost their spiritual nature by not recognising this universality.

Bernard Carr filled in some of the detail of this radical and rather Buddhist conception of the afterlife. He suggested a ‘hierarchy of dimensions’ that may lead up to or end in ultimate consciousness (‘anatta’ – the empty centre of the onion) but meanwhile there are astral levels and reincarnation possibilities as we all head for what must, by definition, be the only possible goal. For Carr there are different levels of space to accommodate these dimensions and the mind creates the world both here and hereafter where a species of ‘dream-world’ awaits us.

New Metaphors

For Rupert Sheldrake, we already know what it will be like to be disembodied because we have the experience of possessing a ‘dream-body’ at night when we sleep. And, of course, for a physicist like Carr, everything comes down to energy, that is frequencies. Already for Sheldrake there are, famously, morphic fields in which the unknown energies, perhaps those of the ‘non-local’ quantum ‘world,’ operate. And all this, to go back to van Lommel’s opening remarks, is here as may become apparent after death when we may begin to ‘know the place for the first time.’

Sheldrake also observed, as many now would, that, for a while at least, we may get the Life after Death that we expect. We can move beyond our entrapment in desires and the unreal and come to expect something higher and more real, but then again we may not escape from our present lives all at once. He approves of imagination in the shape of myths, fairytales, and dreams, and points out that these are fields that are not based in material reality. They enact some of the possibilities contained in the infinite quantum field. Like Carr, Sheldrake is ‘not dualistic,’ ‘not a super-naturalist’; there is no separate realm into which we can ‘go.’

Mathew Manning, speaking from the deepest and widest experience of things psychic, spiritual, or, as I would now say, ‘non-local,’ stressed that knowledge of Life after Death is not ordinary knowledge. In his view we learn what we need to know in this life and then move on to less knowable realms. He is also more interested in energy than in ‘life’ as a metaphor for Survival. His famous psychic recreation of Durer’s drawings, and of many other works of art and texts in languages unknown to him, are not so much, he says, ‘Durer coming through’ (the older version of Life after Death perhaps) as a psychic picking-up of the energy of the original moment of artistic creation; it is less a matter of an individual’s survival and more a matter of energy circulating as the scientists tell us it does.

Personality & Beyond

By this time I felt that some sort of a pattern was building up. The new paradigm is perhaps only subtly different from the old one but it seemed to be emerging with some new and useful emphases. The claims now made about Survival are less personal than they used to be, for one thing, and the respect for the ideas of quantum-physics more solid. David Lorimer, for instance, told me that he sees Life after Death as ‘another state of consciousness’ in which it may be ‘a less distinctive personality that is you.’ He says he is less concerned now with the survival of his own personality as such. We may come to see that each ‘personality’ is ‘an expression of the universal.’ He quotes Betty Kovacs: ‘Birth is a coming into being of form (‘me’) and death a dissolution of form.’ Cosmic consciousness would be the ‘dissolution of all boundaries.’ We are like blocks of ice floating in the Arctic Ocean of universal consciousness; there is development, evolution, both here and hereafter, but we all belong to and return to the same sea in the end. This is not new, of course, it belongs in Hinduism and Buddhism where we become more ‘ourselves’ by becoming less our individual selves; it is also, according to Lorimer, the inevitable direction of consciousness studies as pursued since the founding of the Journal of Consciousness Studies in 1994.

The most ‘materialist’ person I interviewed was Iain McGilchrist. For him, ‘materiality is an important part of any kind of being we might have’; as he pointed out to me, ‘the universe has gone to an awful lot of trouble to produce this material world.’ Surely a useful corrective. If, to put it bluntly, cosmic consciousness is so terrific, why did it have to add us, messy as we are, not to mention the immense quantum charade of the universe, to what it already had? Why bother to Big Bang if you could just go on being perfect? I know that there are good answers to these questions but McGilchrist’s approach reminds us not to fall into the trap of treating spirituality as if our dinners, our doings, and our bodies didn’t matter at all.

But McGilchrist too is singing off the same page of our now-slightly-revised hymn book. As he put it, ‘the notion that one would be forever oneself is an appalling idea.’ For him consciousness ‘pre-exists us and isn’t created by our brains; our brains simply transmit or transduce it.’ But there is and always will be an ‘I’ – it is ‘God,’ we may come to see, who is the ‘Great I’ that is all of us.

New Directions

The publication in 2010 of Pim van Lommel’s Consciousness Beyond Life has been tremendously convenient for this small investigation. His book, subtitled accurately ‘The Science of the Near-Death Experience,’ seems to me to effect the shift in thinking that we have needed. It is not a huge shift but it should now change the quality of the debate.

Encouragingly, the interviews which I conducted before Pim’s book had been translated into English fit very well with its proposals. After undertaking them and reading Pim’s book I begin to discern the outlines of the altered paradigm. Here are some of its main features:

  • We shouldn’t be naïve about any possible life after death. The appearance of deceased relatives at the death-bed or during NDEs or channeling, in particular, may not mean that Granny is continuing her old life more or less as before. Life in another ‘dimension’ may be more a matter of thought, of our wishes and, of precisely, appearance.
  • The hitherto rather weak connection between Quantum Physics and Survival looks as if it has gained a toe-hold in the intellectually-respectable world. ‘Non-locality,’ a term with origins found exclusively in QP, may be an appropriate replacement for the older term ‘spiritual.’ Physics too does not stop and will surely become less and less like its nineteenth-century avatar; in other words it will become weirder, looser, more improbable, more closely associated with consciousness, more ‘non-local,’ less simply ‘materialist.’
  • Life after Death is really not either ‘life’ as we know it nor ‘after’ our deaths, for the ‘non-local’ is always with us and underpins our world and our lives all the time; or perhaps I should use some unthinkable expression such as ‘all the non-time.’
  • NDEs do definitely occur during periods of negative brain activity. Whatever else they may mean they constitute clear evidence that the brain cannot be the whole story when it comes to explaining consciousness. Van Lommel’s research has changed things a little, and it is only the beginning of a long process whose end seems, at the very least, less and less likely to be straightforward materialism as we have known it.
  • In the matter of Survival we should expect both everything and not too much. By ‘everything’ I mean that Survival is connected with the universal or ‘infinite’ consciousness from the perspective of which all other things are apparently in some way illusory. By ‘not too much’ I mean that one of the main things one may see through, as consciousness is liberated from the material, is one’s ‘own’ personality.
  • ‘Energy’ is perhaps the metaphor that best connects the world of the non-local (or transpersonal or spiritual) with the world of physics. We do not yet know how energy can exist in the non-local where the energetic, involving movement by definition, should be absent because in that ‘dimension’ there is no time or space. But that there is some energy there – in Dark Matter or as Dark Energy perhaps – is evident from the fact that we are here at all; it was some sort of energy that brought about the Big Bang and before that there was no locality by definition.
  • Here, and hereafter, we seem to create our own worlds through our personal consciousnesses. The great or universal consciousness may be what creates the universe. We may do the smaller job of creating our own ‘worlds’ and ‘lives.’ Language makes all, but it cannot describe adequately the process by which it does this.
  • Buddhists, Hindus, and mystics of all stripes have the right approach. We need to read Angelus Silesius rather than too much academic philosophy. We, or parts of us, may be temporarily reincarnated. For a while after death we may perhaps need to ‘live’ in a place that we recognise (we won’t find that too hard to create presumably) but there would then be a moving on, into realms literally indescribable.
  • Body is particle and consciousness is wave. Our particles at death undergo what they have always undergone, change into something else. The waves of consciousness persist just as the scientists tell us all energy forms persist, forever. But we do not infinitely persist as the ‘us’ we currently think we are; ‘we’ will persist, if we do, as something endlessly ‘greater’.
  • This is all embarrassingly similar to the propositions of many religions. But it is not, in itself, religion at all.
  • Inverted commas are needed in this area passim. ‘Life’ ‘after’ ‘death?’ We do not, and cannot, really ‘know’ about all this. Not even with the sensible and modest knowledge of science. Especially not with that.


Written by Lance St John Butler, who is a Professor of British Literature in the University of Pau.

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10-Year-Old Boy Says He Remembers Past Life as Hollywood Actor

Boy says he has memories of life as Marty Martyn, a movie extra and Hollywood agent who died in 1964.

Ryan, a 10-year-old boy from Oklahoma, believes he is the reincarnation of Hollywood actor Marty Martyn, a man who died in 1964.

Today reported that Ryan began having nightmares at age 4 and then, at age 5, told his mother, Cyndi, “I used to be somebody else.”

The then-5-year-old would cry to his mother to take him “home to Hollywood” and recounted stories of meeting Rita Hayworth, dancing on Broadway, traveling overseas and working at an agency. When his mother showed him a library book with movie publicity shots, Ryan pointed to a man in the 1932 Mae West film Night After Night.

“She turns to the page in the book, and I say ‘that’s me, that’s who I was,’ ” said Ryan. Cyndi, a Baptist who previously didn’t believe in reincarnation, reached out to child psychologist Dr. Jim Tucker at the University of Virginia. Tucker tracked down the identity of Martyn, who was a movie extra turned Hollywood agent. He had, in fact, danced on Broadway, traveled overseas and worked at an agency. Tucker said almost none of these details were available online.

Tucker recounts Ryan’s story, as well as the stories of other children who say they remember past lives, in his book Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives.