Why do children forget PLM's? And what can we do about it?

Discussion in 'Reincarnation Questions' started by Jack E, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. Jack E

    Jack E Senior Member

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    Not sure if I'm in the right forum, I'm new here. Feel free to move it if this is better suited on a different one.

    I've been a major follower of Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker's work for several years now, I have read nearly all of their books, and am aspiring to become a researcher in their vein, but also apply more hard scientific methodology to the study of children's past life memories. One subject that has always puzzled me is the fact that these kids, for the most part, seem to have all but forgotten the past life by about the age of 7, and often forget they ever talked about it at all. I've seen little in-depth discussion of this topic here, so I'd like to strike one up. The community here seems to simply deem it an inevitability, from what I've seen, but why? What do we think is the root cause of this "seven-year itch", and can preventative action be taken against it?

    The main idea I've thought of for a cause is simply normal childhood forgetting. For those unfamiliar with the neuropsychological literature on early childhood memory, infantile or childhood amnesia is said to progress in two stages. The first phase, lasting from birth to about 2 years, is effectively total and leaves us with little to no memory of those years, and a second, less profound stage occurs around age 7 (hint, hint) at which many of our remaining earliest memories, those from around 2-3 years of age, tend to fade. Do PLM's simply meet this fate? While it's tempting to attribute childhood PLM loss to this, I think they are different phenomena, for a couple reasons. 1 is that the memory loss tends more to resemble the acute amnesia seen from ages 0-2 than the more-forgiving second phase; almost nothing is retained of the past-life memories in most cases. Second, PLM decay seems to usually begin occurring around age 5 and only finishes at about 7; contrarily, the science on childhood amnesia states that the second phase begins at about 7. I think they're separate, then, but I would love to hear the community's thoughts on this theory, and whether it lines up more than I'm seeing. I also don't have any more ideas as to the actual cause, so I'd love to see some suggestions as to that as well. Fire away.

    That brings me to my other point: how can it be mitigated? It seems inexorable right now, and only the luckiest few are unaffected, but we'd all rather it not be this way. I'd compare it to Alzheimer's disease on one level, and the Notre Dame fire on another; not only is it a tragedy on an individual level to see their memories deteriorate, but these are national treasures, living legends, and infinite wisdom we're losing. Therefore, I see this as an urgency and I'd like to use this discussion to theory-craft possible interventions for promoting PLM retention into adulthood. Reminder strategies have been found to be effective for mitigating other forms of childhood amnesia, so they ought to work here as well; therefore, writing statements down and reminding your kids later, as many members of this community do, seems like an excellent starting method, as is taking them to locations and people connected with the past life. But of course, the problem is that it still doesn't seem to consistently be enough to prevent abject memory loss later on. How can we encourage kids to engage with their memories on a regular basis, in ways that will reinforce them and improve later recall? I'm excited to hear all your thoughts!
     
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  2. Owl

    Owl Super-alt Mitglied

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    I would say that the reason why children forget past life memories at age 7 differs from amnesia from 0-2 years. From 0-2 years is not that children "forget", rather they don't consolidate their memories in the first place because their nervous system is not completely myelinated.
    I personally don't have childhood spontaneous past life recall, so I don't have any memories that I forgot (as far as I know). However, past life "traits" (likes, dislikes, specific interests or fears) remained constant. I would venture everyone's old hypothesis on why children forget at 7, which is socialization and increased experiences in this life. The more we do now, the less attention we pay to the past. Also, at 7 you can already identify what is your current reality, you may dismiss those things that don't fit into your current world.
    How to prevent loss of memories? ask the child, encourage discussion on reincarnation. If those memories are fully brought to consciousness they won't disappear.
     
  3. Jack E

    Jack E Senior Member

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    I never had it either, wish I did, but I'm simply a student of the field. Now that you remind me, I have seen that hypothesis floating around quite a bit as well, and it does make sense. My main hesitaton with it is that this doesn't seem to be a major theory on the causes of any other type of childhood forgetting. Why would PLM loss, and only PLM loss, be impacted by socialization?

    As a big fan of Christian Haupt, in addition to Stevenson/Tucker, your observation on traits seems spot on. They seem to be far more naturally permanent than explicit past life memories, which is a good thing, but then again, if you completely forget why you have them, then the meaning behind them is lost. Christian, at least, remains fully aware of exactly why he is so obsessed with and preternaturally talented at baseball, so he is in a better position than most! To that point, it seems like the absolute strongest tier of cases, like his, do tend to preserve more into later life than the average ones. Silver linings?

    Your point about early childhood amnesia being due to lack of consolidation is correct, and it just brought to mind another dilemma: how do PLM's so reliably survive the 0-2 ages in the first place? The leading theory at the moment regarding the reason for this inability to consolidate is that the formation of new neurons in the hippocampus (memory-encoding organ in the brain) at this age physically disrupts neural circuits that contain memory traces in the process of consolidation. PLM's, by definition, were already fully consolidated in the previous life, but the mechanism by which they could bypass needing to undergo the same process in the new brain is difficult to ascertain, as is that by which they could re-consolidate without the aforementioned interference. Are we to suppose they have some underlying non-neurological storage basis? My signature already appears more apropos than ever.
     
  4. Pumpkinspice

    Pumpkinspice New Member

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    Hi I’m really not sure why so many children forget their past lives. I still remember mine the same way as I did as a little child whereas my cousin has forgotten all about the past lives she used to talk about when she was a toddler!
     
  5. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    No, that's not my experience with my two children. They do still remember that they made an impact on their mother (a current life memory). They really forgot their PL-memories, slowly and gradually, until they declared them as fantasies and later on they said it had been my fantasy. So now mommy is the crazy lady that imagined that they had PL-memories... :D
     
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  6. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    This is a mother speaking. I don't see merit in such a practice. My children told horrible stories about being burned alive, killed on the battlefield and murdered and shot in the back while trying to escape from the perpetrators. At the age of three!!!!
    I think it is enough for me to remember in their place. I am glad they forgot and started blank again. There is a reason for amnesia and that's ok.
     
  7. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    This question reminds me of my propaedeutic psychology (long ago) in which we discussed the cognitive processes of children. I didn't become a psychologist, so now I am absolutely free in my approach to this enigma of PL-memories in children.
    I think it is because the brain cells are not involved with these memories. The little children are exposed to astral images and understanding and they only describe and translate. Those are not the same 'memories' as the ones that are build up with brain tissue.

    I'll give examples

    When my oldest son was three years old, he told me multiple times about his other mommy and how he got burned alive as a very young child at that time. His language was very basic, just like his understanding. At first, he was in shock, he perceived his present body as if he was back in time and he was profoundly disgusted by his black burned body. Later he said things like: first there was thunder. And even later: it was a machine that made the fire.
    He had no words, not then back in time, not now as a three year old. Maybe he was a three years old boy in that life as well. ( I finally assumed it had been a tank that fired grenades that set the house on fire)

    Not very long after that (maybe weeks), he talked about dying as a soldier. He used far more complicated words and ideas. He was in the mindset of a young adult. Maybe 18 years old?

    This might also explain why the memories told by toddlers can even be more detailed and complicated, when they died at a mature age.

    I know modern science doesn't take into account concepts like astral memories, aspects of the soul and so on. I understand why because it's impossible to quantify and or verify those concepts. But the gaps will not be bridged without broader understanding of how things really work in life. (Not intended to sound arrogant)
     
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  8. GuySittingintheStands

    GuySittingintheStands Active Member

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    Jack E, Are you a student, either in psychology, neuropsychology, or related science fields? Or is this a hobby that you're taking more seriously? Also why do you think the CH story belongs to the "absolute strongest tier of cases"? Why do you think this is a credible case? Just curious. (Note to moderators: I promise to be on my best behavior.)
     
  9. KenJ

    KenJ Assistant Archivist and Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Jack, I'll come at this from another perspective. For as long as we have been physical we have failed to "prove" any of this "scientifically", so I think that it is part of the design that it stays that way. Perhaps I'm too tied to the Theater and Actors analogy, but I feel that we should experience our current lives without interference from our past life experiences. You can read Jim76 or landend's threads to get a feel for what I'm saying. Personally, I've mainly experienced paranormal experiences, knowings, flashbacks, and experiences with my guide(s) - quite a mix for now over seventy-five or so years. I have only about three memories before being six with one being in my first two years of age.

    My last experience came when I was suffering with an abundance of calcium in my blood that affected my health and thought process. I was able to recall a past life and became quite sensitive. This has abated since then and I am not having those experiences any more.
     
  10. Jack E

    Jack E Senior Member

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    Yes, college neuroscience major. This may surprise you about the academic establishment, but I've actually found at my high-end university that many professors are, at least outwardly, very receptive to the idea of child PLM's when given an in-depth explanation, and I've done a couple well-received class projects on the topic. I think it may be less difficult than you might expect to break into mainstream science with work testing the validity of PLM's. An expediting factor could be that Haupt will hopefully be in the MLB in about ten years, and given the likelihood that he will be a superstar, America is going to have questions. And they'll turn to scientists for answers. Am I being overly optimistic?

    I agree with a couple other posters that it is really, really difficult to conceive of a viable mechanism for PLM retention without conceding that some form of non-physical memory bank exists somehow. I can't begin to fathom how yet, but the concept is an unavoidable part of my current working hypothesis. I'd surmise that the physical storage process we know is all accurate, but important memories are somehow "death-proofed" by backing them up in some yet-unknown ethereal medium. I'd sort of compare it to backing up data to "the cloud", I guess? I know such a proposition would radically change the interpretation of amnesias such as Alzheimer's as well, as it would turn them into failures of access, rather than the complete loss of data. The possibilities seem endless!
     
  11. KenJ

    KenJ Assistant Archivist and Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Are you using a null-hypothesis? What degree are you seeking, and why you chose this path? You might like to read the thread about Christian Hyatt, his mom may have credibility issues that detract from it. I think that James Leininger's case is much stronger in Soul Survivor. I considered pursuing this area while being a "professional student" back in the 1970's but ruled it out because of it not producing needed income. I lived during a time when Edgar Cayce was alive and was into psychology when Milton Erickson was still practicing, many things I wish I'd been able to have taken advantage of in those periods.
     
  12. GuySittingintheStands

    GuySittingintheStands Active Member

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    So, Jack E. You are about 19 years old give or take a year. And you are excited about reincarnation studies as a scientific endeavor. That's great. But you still haven't told us why you believe the CH story is credible? Remember that Dr. Stevenson always went into a case with the idea that it could be explained by normal means, ie., that it wasn't a CORT (Case of the Reincarnation Type). Only after he had exhausted all other explanations, would he try to match the child's statements with the life/ death of a deceased person. A child's statements or a parent or relative's statements about what the child may or may not have said, remain unproven claims. Birthmarks and birth defects that correlate with the life/ death circumstances of the previous personality are considered evidence, as well as documented statements by credible witnesses that cannot be explained any other way (ie., through normal means). Did you do any research into the CH story?
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  13. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    @Jack E
    What are your own experiences with reincarnation memories? It's one thing to 'work' with people who 'claim' to have been someone in the past and it's another thing to experience how this remembering works for the individual.
     
  14. Jaimie

    Jaimie Senior Member

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    Hi !

    I just wanna say that I like this thread very much. It is very interesting.

    My family was worried about one nightmare that I use to have when I was a small child and it came to an end when I was about 7. I experienced being a woman who was killed in bed by her then boyfriend aka doctor. I was always hoping for the neighbor, a lady, to call the police on him. There was time to save me. ( I later found the identity of the woman ).

    I have also wondered why we only remember up til one age, but mine were stirred up again when I was in my teenage years, moving in the same area that pl me once lived. I found the flashbacks confusing and difficult and it felt as if I lived in 2 worlds at the same time. I did not want these. I did not know what to do with them.

    Maybe the unfinished lives are the one that easier come up to the surface.

    My daughter made comments when she was little about drowning and would have a difficult nightmare about drowning that was stubborn and would repeat itself. In the day time she would say that the water was very dark but suddenly there was a light, and she described what sounded like a tunnel of light. She thought the light-tunnel saved her. That from there on everything was alright, she wasn't drowning anymore. I did not have it my heart to tell her that it sounded as if she had died drowning. She has made other comments as well that describes that she was a man. She thinks I was there too, when she was little and from her description I was a female. Now she is older and I don't think she remembers that she has said those things. I had not told her about reincarnation or asked any questions. Everything she said she said on her own and in the spur of the moment. Then it all went away. I would just say OK because I did not know what else to say, I did not want to do something that could be bad for her. I leave it be because I just want her happy and in her present life. We are still working on her phobia of water and drowning and we're getting there. We've been told that she is bright in other fields but one of two of her group when it comes to swimming. She is otherwise not someone easily frighten. She is tough, you know, sometimes too much so, and fearless when it comes to other things that can seem frightening for some other children. Anyway, it would be nice if she could overcome her fear of water and I am hoping that with age and practice we will get there.

    /Jaimie
     
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  15. Jack E

    Jack E Senior Member

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    I read the book completely through and every bit of material I could find on the case. and based on his actual lines, which are always my primary object of analysis in evaluating cases, it seems entirely typical to me. None of his statements seem "off-kilter" with what I'm used to reading from PLM kids. I don't think they're enough to prove he was Lou Gehrig specifically, but it's possible that he could've been a less famous player. What is certain is his passion, his talent, and his insistence that those stem from a pro baseball PL. There is one particular video clip of him spinning a bat with absurd manual dexterity at Fenway at 2 1/2 where I'm just like, "no, that can NOT happen". It's hard to view as anything but a PL procedural memory. Is CH not well received here? That would surprise me on an extreme level if not. I agree with the assessment that Byrd is not the most reliable source, especially as she seems to decline into a game of one-upsmanship with Christian in the second half of the book, like "look at me too!". That really put me off. But it didn't do much to alter how gripping the first half was, IMHO. Her influence was barely felt there.

    At the end of your comment, you also reminded me of the "birthmark theory", which I've always struggled mightily to comprehend. As Jim Tucker puts it, it crosses my boggle threshold. I can reckon with possibilities for how memory preservation after death and between lives might work quite easily, this is not even all that foreign a concept. But conceiving of how the scar from the previous death wound would manifest on a new body, as if it simply "healed" and the person never died at all, stretches the limits of my imagination. If psychological factors were known to have an effect on the physical growth of a developing fetus, it would be easy to explain, but this is sadly not the case. I see the consistency of the findings and can't deny them, so there must be some way it works, but somebody please walk me through it and help me understand.
     
  16. Jack E

    Jack E Senior Member

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    The totality of my experience adds up to "desperately wishing I knew what it's really like", but you're absolutely right about that distinction and it hits me hard to know I never can. Well, I definitely plan on coming back (if one can truly know that already at such a young age), so I guess I will know, many years from now. I just have to believe it can be done!
     
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  17. fireflydancing

    fireflydancing just a fly in the sky Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I understand, Jack. And you can't force those things. But maybe, for the sake of your future scientifical research, it would be interesting to book a consult with a licensed therapist to see what happens. To experience the difference between remembering where you left your keys this morning and remembering the things that happened in a past life. The latter are not stored in your brain. But when they emerge they certainly do have to be processed and translated through your brain.

    To be honest, I can't tell you the real place where those memories are stored. What we call amnesia is actually just the lack of connection to this place. Some people refer to the Akashic Records ( a place where all memories and events are collectively stored) but personally, I don't have any experience with such a place.
    Other people talk about the many-layered energetic bodies around us: the astral body, the emotional body, the mental body, just to name a few. Maybe the memories are stored within on of them.
    It's also possible that the memories of your past are only stored within your Soul (which is not the brain) and the only thing you can do is ensure an open connection to your Soul.
    Maybe the real answer is not even close to the suggestions I already mentioned.

    It's also about our brainwaves. That's why we need a deep relaxation, close to a dream state, in order to reach those memories. Sometimes it's a huge trigger in real life that causes flashes of reliving old situations. Mostly because of strong emotions.

    When I was your age, I went to university to study psychology because they also had a department of parapsychology as well. I had high hopes to be able to contribute to this field. In my first two years, I participated in several parapsychological experiments but they amazed me in an unfortunate way. I didn't agree with their set-ups. It was just like they didn't get it, they didn't really understand. For example about telepathy...
    They tried to find statistical evidence and usually, you had to fill in large papers with questions in an empty room somewhere in the building. I always did exactly what they told me to do in the instructions and it was dull and lifeless. One day I said that I thought they were never to get anything interesting out of these experiments. The answer was a laugh and that they were hoping for people that 'broke through', people that would answer in a way that broke the rules. I was amazed by this approach. I was not so verbally strong by that time and still impressed by the 'authority' of the investigators. I blocked, but in fact, I could be highly telepathic if the conditions had been different. I had already experienced this with a group of friends. Put me in a comfortable position (not in an empty office room) and with some sleep deprivation and I could scare my friends with my 100% accuracy. I didn't tell the university people, I just left and didn't come back.
     
  18. GuySittingintheStands

    GuySittingintheStands Active Member

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    Jack E., you say that you read the CH book completely through and that you read every bit of material you could find on the case. You concluded that the mother was "not the most reliable source" yet you chose to believe her statements about what her son said and did anyway. That's interesting.

    Did you read the interviews she gave to her local newsblogs, especially the interview she did with Anna Bitong "Preschooler's love of baseball lands him file role", Thousand Oaks Acorn, February 16, 2012. This was the very first interview she gave six months after returning from the Boston / Cape Cod film shoot for the Adam Sandler movie. If you can't find it by google searching I'll provide the link. The Acorn allows 5 free views before they ask you to subscribe so be sure to take screen shots.

    After reading the article did you learn anything about this story that might change your opinion about this being a slam dunk CORT?
     
  19. KenJ

    KenJ Assistant Archivist and Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I wish you luck Jack in getting your sample-size large enough to demonstrate anything statistically. My study had only thirty subjects with one being quite different than the others, I still don't know if I missed his visual-orientation or my assistant was calling-out directions from her own perspective while viewing the videos - but the results were still truly outstanding statistically. Having used a null hypothesis like Stevenson did, Tucker's work seems less "scientific" to me.

    Since my memories have been in bits and pieces over seventy-five years and having only had one "emotional" memory that happened during a recent medical problem could hold clues that could be helpful if you could understand the twists and turns. I have had several mental-muscle-tightening experiences where I experienced a 'Rush' of information and an understanding of something of immediate importance, something that left me in true wonder as to the structure of spirit and guidance which I've tried to follow.

    I doubt that you have the time to read extensively about reincarnation as I have over the past decade. I have quite a library of books at this point that will bore whoever inherits them. Yet after doing all of those studies/stories/memories I still sometimes have doubts and wonder if it is wishful thinking.
     
  20. Jack E

    Jack E Senior Member

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    Firefly, I wouldn't be able to trick myself into believing anything my mind might conjure up during a regression if I tried. I'm not at all suggestible and just far too analytical. Moreover, especially after putting myself through the second arc of the CH book, I can't get behind it as a concept. I can't be persuaded by it when there are so many better explanations. My view of the PLM phenomenon essentially amounts to a "you either have it or you don't" stance; if you weren't born with them, you're almost certainly brand new. Please don't misinterpret me as being dissatisfied with the fact that it's my first time; it's obviously the status of the overwhelming majority of people, and one that can obviously only be changed by dying which I don't want to do yet lol. I'm alright with the prospect of "maybe someday"; although having knowledge and control of the power of life and death is the most awesome thing ever, and that's why it's so important to me to help children preserve their PLM's, I certainly wouldn't want to give myself a false sense of that knowledge.

    Guy, I don't recall seeing an article from way back in 2012. Thanks for offering a link, that'd be very helpful. I just hope I won't be looked down upon here for thinking CH is a good case?

    KenJ, I do see sample size being a concern for rigorous experimentation. PLM cases aren't prohibitively rare, as evidenced by one seeming to make national news almost annually now, but they aren't frequent either. Not a concern that can't be overcome with the right connections though. The extent of my formal research is the majority of Stevenson and Tucker's work, which I loved most of, but I do think both have their lapses. For example, Tucker seems to go full Deepak Chopra (you never go full Chopra) at the end of one of his books raving about universal consciousness, and I've seen Stevenson decline into madness like "what someone believes will happen to them after death becomes what actually happens to them", not to mention he got himself tied up with a lot of dubious material that has proven prime fodder for discrediting him. It's certainly not fair to assess them based on those petty faults, though, and debunks directed at them never go after their true grade-A cases, which shows some definite cowardice in their detractors. Overall I think Tucker fixed a lot of Stevenson's problems by sticking to childhood PLMs and sticking to the Western world, both of which make for the most compelling cases, but he has also reverted away from scientific analysis to more of just a data-compiler.
     

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