Sunday, August 31, 2008

... of old souls, dead books, and tmi?

back in February '06, I read a very interesting book: Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence For Past Lives, by Thomas Shroder, a journalist who shadows/accompanies American psychiatrist Ian Stevenson on his final two field trips to Lebanon and India. "Dr Stevenson has spent more than 30 years studying the cases of some 2000 children who spontaneously remember concrete details about dead strangers whose experiences can be documented."

Yes, I'm talking about reincarnation.

One thing that struck me about his research was, many reincarnees (?) would have some sort of birthmark that corresponded with fatal wounds that helped end their previous life. The new vessel of what had been a gunshot-through-the-heart victim, for example, might have a birthmark right over the heart, or even better, a mark on front and back of the chest for the through-and-through.

... where am I going with this? Well, for one reason or another, one of our recent Netflix rentals was The Tibetan Book of the Dead, a disc containing two 40-ish mins documentaries about this mindblowing document and how it is used/observed in the Himalayas.

I knew in general about Buddhism's frowning upon "attachments", but didn't realise just how far-reaching this mindset is, at least in the Tibetan branch. This book is read for 7x7days immediately after a person's death, to help the consciousness recognise itself and its situation, to help calm and guide it to a better incarnation, and a big part of this guidance is encouraging not just the deceased but also the mourners to let go of their attachments to each other, for these attachments will only make the journey through the death and incarnation "bardot" a lot more difficult.

The little that was quoted / narrated was quite the mind-blower - guess what's going onto my to-read queue?? :) [answer: The Tibetan Book of the Dead! and Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife]

... aaaanyways... so where was I? Ah yes, tying together the Old Souls book and the Book of the Dead documentary. One of the two documentaries mentioned briefly a monk who had been shot dead, I think it was during a demonstration? They found his reincarnation, and he had a large bruise that wouldn't go away for a very long time, that supposedly corresponded with the gunshot wound he previous self had suffered. That triggered memories of the Old Souls book from over two years ago :)

And makes me wonder...

... ... does this mean in my prior life I was shot in the butt???

p/s> while randomly Googling for this post, was reminded of this ridiculous edict: "China Bans Reincarnation Without Government Permission" ... heh, some things you *just* can't control, dudes! :)


  1. Yes, I can see China banning public demonstrations in support of belief in reincarnation, but it would be difficult to "ban" reincarnation or even "belief in reincarnation."

  2. When we were young everyone was convinced that my younger sister was our late grandmother incarnated. It was a bit weird.

    Like your new cool look.


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