Searching For The Science Behind Reincarnation : NPR

Say a child has memories of being a Hollywood extra in the 1930s. Is it just an active imagination, or actual evidence of reincarnation? Jim Tucker, a psychologist at the University of Virginia studies hundreds of cases like this and joins NPR’s Rachel Martin to share his research on the science behind reincarnation.

+Back in the late 1960s, when my brain was running on pot/hash/LSD, I heard or read about reincarnation. At the time it came across as just another religious trip, like sin, to keep you brain-washed to an authority figure who would take your money. Going to hell for one’s sins was one thing. Having bad karma and reincarnating as a fly or rat was another. Overdosing on drugs as cause of death: just bad karma?

September 2016 I was falling asleep just waiting for the bus. At the ER I was diagnosed as extremely anemic and given two units of blood. Then I was rolled up to the oncology floor where I stayed a little over a week. A 5cm bleeding tumor was found in my stomach. It was removed after radiation stopped the bleeding. I remember a surgeon mentioning the probability of exploratory surgery on my stomach, if the tumor was cancerous.

While in hospital I had medical dictionaries and professional manuals on my IPad that I consulted about anemia and oncology. When I was a child, my dad’s uncle and his father both took their lives because they feared they had cancer. One of the manuals on my IPad gave me sufficient information so that I could make an informed medical decision about my tumor, if it was cancerous. What I read dealt with 1cm and 2cm tumors. My tumor was 5cm and had its own blood supply.

Yes, the tumor was cancerous and No, I refuse further medical treatment of my cancerous condition. I was dying from this disease and palliative care was all I needed in this life. But what about the next life? I found myself intuiting that my next life was going to be lived in Sweden and I would be a palliative care specialist somewhere in Europe. (Intuition means you “feel something in your bones.” Joan of Arc, The Tibhirine Monks, and Martin Luther king come to mind as persons who freely gave their lives for their deeply-held beliefs.) My cremated remains will have their final rest in the Trelleborg, Sweden cemetery. (Yes, I am putting my foot in the door, so to speak.)


Reincarnation. Who should one trust when learning about the process of leaving a dead body and being reborn in a new born’s body? The Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia has been scientifically studying reincarnation, near-death experiences, and related phenomena for over 50 years. +

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