Ever thought you've had another life before this one? Many people not only think that but truly believe in reincarnation. Entire religions are based around that idea. But where's the evidence?
Jenny Cockell grew up in Britain in the 1950s and from a very young age she began to experience extremely vivid dreams. In these dreams she imagined herself as as a lady named Mary dying away from home of a fever, and ended up waking up crying feeling guilty about leaving her six children to fend for themselves. She felt Mary has lived in Ireland some time in the early 20th Century and started writing things down, drawing maps and pictures of what she felt she was experiencing. Her story, even at a young age, remained quite consistent and her reaction to her death as Mary was surprisingly matter of fact.
Wishing to find out whether what she was feeling was true, and reconnect with the life she felt she had lost, Jenny set out as an adult to finally find out what was going on. Her investigations led her to believe she was Mary Sutton of a small town in Ireland and, stranger still, led her find Mary Sutton's children (who were now over 50!). Some of the children have now accepted her as the reincarnation of their mother, and confirm that the memories she has shared with them are true to what happened to their mother including some details no one outside the family could have known.
I find it highly implausible that Jenny was being intentionally dishonest, and I'm sure her and her new family found comfort in her adoption of her life as Mary Sutton. But it's hardly compelling evidence.
In Thailand, my second favourite place in the world after Kent so expect more Thai stories soon..., another similar story appears. Bongkuck Promsin began relating his experiences in a past life from an incredibly young age. He was able to state his previous name, Chamrat, the names of his parents, the details of objects and cattle his family owned, the name of the village he came from and, far more grimly, the details of Chamrat's murder 10 years previous to his birth. The village was not far from his own and it was one to which his father sometimes traveled. Chamrat's family got word of Bongkuck's past life story and went to visit him (when he was just two and half years old!) and found his details were almost exactly correct.
The names Bongkuck gave for his murderers were confirmed by police to be the main suspects in the case when Dr Ian Stevenson began investigation the details. He was a medical doctor whose investigations into reincarnation have been among the most extensive and rigoursly scientific.
Now one interesting thing from the Bongkuck/Chamrat incident is that Chamrat was Laotian and Bongkuck was Thai. Now to any outsider differences between the two cultures might seem minimal but, let me tell you, to a Thai person they are worlds apart! And Bongkuck seemed to display Laotian cultural habits in terms of eating and cleanliness, alien to his Thai families life style. Stranger still he sometimes used Laotian words, which even his own family couldn't understand.
The downside to all this are:
1) Thais and Laotians are Buddhists and are already predisposed to believe in reincarnation
2) He lived in a village next to the one he supposedly lived in previously. It is far more likely than some other past lives cases to be a case of him picking details up subconsciously from his surroundings at some point.
But still it's an interesting case.
For every bit of proof for reincarnation we have, there is something to refute. Derren Brown has shown us that the ability of people to believe in what someone is saying will often fill in the gaps in a story or completely ignore them. Every thing that refutes the power of psychics can be used to refute the stories of reincarnation.
If you wish to see what you'll be reincarnated as in a future life check out the Reincarnation Station. It said I was going to be a cat in my future life, and said 50% of people were going to be reincarnated as higher form of life. Higher than a cat??? Angels perhaps? Domestic cats are the highest form of life known to man: they spend 16 hours a day sleeping, they do not have to work for their food, they can hunt for pleasure, they can use humans as sources of warmth when cold thus saving on energy bills and they are intrinsically better than dogs. SCORE! I look forward to curling up in front of a warm fire after a days hard sleeping.