Everybody reincarnates. Statistically it means that a certain percentage of human beings presently alive must have had a socalled 'famous past life', but according to the studies of Helen Wambauch, Ph.D. (1978) only about 10% of those, who remember past lives, can recall a 'famous' one. As put by Karen: Still, it can't be denied that some 'claims to fame' are real and valid. However, as implied above, 'famous past lives' is a controversial subject within reincarnation, posing difficulties to both those who claim them, and those who don't. Hopefully this thread will shed some light on some of the questions often asked. What are 'famous past lives'? Why do people claim them? Why are people so sceptical about it? And what are you going to do if you have memories of being a famous person? What are 'famous past lives'? Firstly, it's important to remember that a 'famous past life' is just another incarnation in a long row of reincarnations. Fame is not a trait in your character, but an adjective based on the relative number of people who know, or knew you, and generally, history dictates who is famous and who is not. 'Famous past lives' range from royalty to super stars, from criminals to heroes. These people may not have experienced the fame when they were alive, like an artist or philosopher only being recognized post mortem, or they may have experienced every facet of the word, like Marilyn Monroe or Elvis. Some people became famous because of something they did, good or bad, but may generally have played a rather insignificant part in history. What I am attempting to illustrate is that 'fame' is many things, and will be experienced differently by different people. Secondly, in the bigger scheme of things, famous people have no advantage in their spiritual growth just because they were famous. So basically, when researching your past lives, it's not really important whether your past incarnation was famous or not. As with any past life, what is important are the lessons learnt, or not learnt, the reasons for living that specific life, and making the choices you did. The most important thing in that person's life was most likely something within themself, or between them and their surroundings that history didn't record. That being said, recalling a 'famous past life' does offer some advantages, the main one being that they're often much easier to research, and thus validate, than non-famous past lives. Depending on how famous the person was, the internet, libraries and book shops will hold a vast amount of information about them. BUT, be careful! It's very easy to be influenced by movies, books, paintings, lectures, etc. on that particular person and their time. Also keep a critical mind when studying historical sources. Most of history was, and still is, written with a certain political agenda that influences the way people and their achievements are portrayed. Some people are made to look better or worse than they were, fact and fiction are sometimes mixed up with an exclusion of details that would compromise the general picture. Why are people so sceptical? People who claim a famous past life often have to stand more scrutiny than those with non-past lives. The main reason for this was mentioned in the beginning of this thread: the disproportionate incidences of famous past life claims compared to the amount of famous people. If you search the internet you will find many people who claim to be reincarnations of e.g. Anne Boleyn, Marilyn Monroe, or Napoleon, and obviously they can't all be right. Reincarnation is a controversial subject, even to some believers, and credibility is essential when it comes to past life memories. On this messageboard we often see people claiming a famous past life and yes, they often have to stand more scrutiny than others, because there are so many other aspects to claiming a past life than just to be interested in reincarnation, and as mentioned above, it's very easy to be influenced by all of the available information. We have to ask critical questions, because it would hurt the credibility of this forum if we just accepted any claim that was made. Why do some people claim a famous past life if they didn't have one? There are many different reasons why people would like others to believe that they've had a famous past life. The following was written by Karen: Further reading Here are some older threads with good points on famous past lives, and some of the problems that people who claim them may encounter: Famous People Avoiding the Acceptance Trap Does consciousness go to what it is familiar with?