Ian Stevenson page

Discussion in 'SCIENTIFIC and ANECDOTAL research' started by Deborah, Jan 3, 2004.

  1. xebata

    xebata Registered

    Nov 9, 2011
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    Hello all,

    I've been reading this discussion on Dr. Stevenson and I must say, it's been interesting. I research Past-life Regression Therapy and his work has helped me "keep a straight face" in front of my strictly-scientific psychology professors (if you know what I mean!!).

    I have read some of his papers (they're easy to find on google in .pdf format). If you want to know more about his career in his own words, you can read "Half a Career with the Paranormal" (.pdf file, from the University of Virginia website).

    Regarding the use of hypnosis to "experience" past lives, Dr. Stevenson was quite adamant against it. In an interview for Omni Magazine in 1988, Stevenson said: "In my experience, nearly all so-called previous personalities evoked through hypnotism are entirely imaginary and a result of the patient's eagerness to obey the hypnotist's suggestion. It is no secret that we are all highly suggestible under hypnosis. This kind of investigation can actually be dangerous. Some people have been terribly frightened by their supposed memories, and in other cases the previous personality evoked has refused to go away for a long time."

    He also spoke out against Freud, although I still don't understand why - Freud himself had come to the exact same conclusions. I still have more studying to do
  2. ChrisR

    ChrisR Administrator Staff Member

    Jun 22, 2006
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    England, UK
    Hi xebata, welcome to the forum, and thanks for sharing the links :thumbsup:

    Although It's quite plausible that all past life memories remembered while under regression could be subtly 'suggested' by the therapist, there are other factors to take into consideration, like personal validation, xenoglossy in some cases, and to a certain degree, the level of emotion experienced while remembering past lives (although I agree that the latter, in some cases, could possibly be 'suggested' by a therapist to a certain extent)

    Take my most recent past life as an example. I remember a life which ended violently in a volcanic eruption. I've no doubt that anyone could close their eyes and imagine what it would be like to meet their fate in this kind of scenario, but I don't think they could imagine the intensity of emotion that I experienced with it, unless they could relate to an experience with a similar level of trauma in their present life, and nobody alive today has physically experienced death, which suggests to me that 'experiencing' death while under regression must come from somewhere else other than the imagination.

    I've also remembered obscure place names which actually exist, and I've remembered the odd phrase in a language that I've never spoken in my entire life. I find these things also more difficult to put down to mere suggestion by a therapist.

    It can be very difficult to explain to others who remember no past life memories at all. The most convincing evidence that reincarnation exists for me personally are my own experiences, and they tower head and shoulders above any literature that I've read on the subject. I guess it's the old question of imagination versus memory, how do you tell the difference? I had soup for lunch today, but I can easily imagine that I had a cheese sandwich instead. One is real and the other is make believe, how can I be sure that I had soup and not the sandwich? Well, try this for yourself and then see if you can explain to me how you know.

    Forgive me for rambling on, I hope you enjoy your time here

    Chris :)
  3. Lawyer Daggett

    Lawyer Daggett Registered

    Mar 11, 2010
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    I agree Chris.

    Also things such as a person who may be intensely visual in this life being very conscious of smells.

    I think these are all factors that need to be weighed into the balance in considering if the regression is 'real' or 'imagined'.

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