In 2018, a Pew Research survey found that 33% of Americans believe in reincarnation, but did not ask why the belief existed for those individuals. However, in this age of faith, religion’s teaching about the afterlife is highly influential. Questions of this type have been of pressing concern for centuries, but with modern society, the question of something beyond a bodily existence has been split between science and belief. No longer is the question about God finding people worthy of Heaven, but whether a near death experience constitutes best research practices for understanding.
This belief versus science creates a somewhat false division. There has been credible research on reincarnation, which surprises many. Ian Stevenson did pioneer studies as the chairman of the psychiatry division at the University of Virginia Medical School when he investigated children who recalled a past life. Hundreds of cases were reviewed with the goal of validating if the person being remembered had actually once existed.
Stevenson traveled extensively to closely examine the memories of the children in order to match them to individuals. Many were validated and some children bore the injuries that were sustained when the previous person died. Research continued after Stevenson’s death by another psychiatrist named Jim Tucker who presented his findings in two books. One of Tucker’s articles, that can be found online, stated:
- About 20% of young children claim memories between death and birth
- Of the children that have these memories, 60% are male
- Of the original 20%, roughly 70% remember a violent or unnatural form of death
- The average amount of time that passes between death and life is 16 months
- Most of these memories are from children who are between the ages of 2 and 6 years
The validity of the research has never been seriously questioned because Tucker describes reincarnation through natural phenomena. There is, without a doubt, a need in contemporary physics to account for consciousness in the universe because there has not yet been a satisfactory explanation by anyone. While people willingly accept evolution, no one has described why or how the mind and brain are related. Brain cells are no different than other bodily cells, yet they create a three dimensional world for each of us.
To overcome the gap, we have in a real understanding of reality, two trends have come about. One trend is known as panpsychism which is the idea that the universe has traits of the proto-mind in that it contains energy and matter. The second trend is that information is at the root of the mind. This is known as information theory. Both ideas are in fashion, but neither has validation in that they may be simple ways to keep physics together for other work areas.
One thing is clear, after decades of insisting that physical data explains everything, scientists are starting to accept the validity of human perception. This is where reincarnation begins. Words like balance, orderliness, and harmony describe mathematics and math is the basic language on physics. To apply human and subjective terms to this area is a radical step.
A shift can also be observed in evolution since Darwin’s theory resulted in making evolutionary studies a matter of statistical distributions because there is no way to conduct studies on evolution over the amount of time needed or from the past.
In fact, thanks to a field called epigenetics, it is now clear that a creature’s life experiences can be passed on to future generations through genetic markers. These influence how DNA is regulated and triggered in a given creature. Epigenetics can then further explain the rise of a species over just DNA.
Nature presents us with endless recycling, just as physics shows that matter can be transformed, but not destroyed. Everything is about endless transformation. Nature does this through three processes that are linked: creativity, memory, and imagination. Creativity allows for novelty, memory for keeping the past intact, and imagination for those possibilities that are invisible to take shape. If everything is recycled in this fashion, then the human consciousness is included.
The argument for the probability of reincarnation, added to other research, means reincarnation is possible. This means that reincarnation can be considered more than a belief. It is a probability which is not yet a certainty, but not to be ignored.