Robert McLuhan at Paranormalia writes on some reincarnation research of children's accounts of their past lives:
Paranormalia: Some Reflections on Children’s Memories: I’ve spent the past few weeks working on Ian Stevenson’s case studies of children who remember a past life. Specifically his four collections of ten or twelve cases each from India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma, and Lebanon and Turkey. These case reports are much more detailed, but also less well known than those in Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. Since they’re in the SPR library here in London I thought I’d get them out and write short summaries of as many as I can. ~ McLuhanVery interesting. His article (very much worth reading) inspired me to comment on my own childhood experience. Regarding reincarnation -- as a literal event, or how most of us Westerners tend to perceive the concept -- has always seemed a little shaky to me. This is not to say I don't accept that reincarnation is real; I do believe that many souls reincarnate. I'm just not sure on all the particulars; how it works, how much of what we remember and experience as real is literally solid and how much is … something else. Regardless of those nuances, I do not dismiss reincarnation as being actual, I simply think I have a lot to learn, which would include the deep study of esoteric systems that I doubt I'll ever have the time to fully explore.
When I was ten or eleven, I had the following experience. (I don't know if the fact that I did a lot of sleep walking as a child, and had many UFO and "alien" experiences as well as generally odd Fortean and paranormal experiences has anything to do with the following experience. I think there's a connection in there somewhere.)
I'm standing in the our kitchen, making peanut butter sandwiches for our lunches. Just standing there, by myself, spreading the peanut butter on the bread. I remember the kitchen is a little dim; it's quiet for once around here.
Suddenly, I am literally plucked from the kitchen by what feels like a giant, invisible hand, and plopped down on a floor covered with straw. I am terrified -- what the hell just happened? I am suddenly two people -- me, the eleven year old from 1965, and someone else. Still me, but someone else. I "know" just know, that I am 15 years old, and this is where I work. I also just know that I work here, and live not far from here, and that it's in the 1600s. I can feel the heavy weight of the clothes I'm wearing, how hot they are! And itchy. A cream colored tight top and heavy brown skirt. I can smell everything! Feel the fire in the huge fireplace, smell the beer and straw and people . . . I am carrying a heavy wood tray full of plates and drinks. These plates and cups are heavy and crudely made. I'm hot and a little scared and everything is so heavy!
This is all real, this is really happening. It's like the present day me from 1965 Los Angeles is inside of the 1600s 15 year old in England. Then, just as abruptly as before, I am "thrown back" into my kitchen in California, making sandwiches.
I was terrified! I remember thinking I had gone insane, or …I don't know, it was so damn strange and real! I left the kitchen, shaking, and just feeling so disoriented.
True memory of a past life? All these decades later I remember this experience and it is still a very weird, vivid memory. I have no idea if it was a true glimpse into a past life. It's possible, yes. I don't doubt it. But I can't say for sure. I don't know. (I do have a heavy dose of Celtic ancestry on both sides of my family: Scottish, English, Irish.)