Updated: Jun 21
What happens after we die? Is there life after death? These questions have always mystified humanity, and spiritual traditions everywhere have come up with all sorts of myths, legends, and philosophies surrounding reincarnation.
Children with special gifts may hold the secret to this age-old mystery. Around the world, young ones can recall their past lives. They can remember in such vivid detail, that they have caught the attention of researchers who have documented thousands of such cases.
Could these stories provide real evidence of life after death? Discover the amazing stories of these children and their past life experiences.
What is Reincarnation?
Literally, reincarnation means the return to the physical body. The soul, upon death, never dies. It leaves one body and comes back to life in another physical form.
If you come from a Christian background, you may not be familiar with the concept of reincarnation. But ancient peoples, from completely different corners of the world, all share this belief in reincarnation.
Indigenous traditions, from the Americas all the way to Australia, include reincarnation in their spirituality. It also exists in esoteric streams of Judaism.
The belief plays a central role in Indian religions, like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Tibetan Buddhists believe that his holiness the Dalai Lama is the 14th reincarnation of Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet.
Many believe that the growth and progress of the soul during the previous life determines the circumstances of the next physical carnation. In their book, Reincarnation: A New Horizon in Science, Religion, and Society, Sylvia Cranston and Carey Williams observe the African Zulu take on reincarnation:
“Within the body is a soul; within the soul is a spark of the Itongo, the Universal Spirit. After the death of the body, Idhlozi (the soul) hovers for a while near the body, and then departs… before it rises higher. According to the strength of the animal nature, the soul throws aside its beast-like shape, and moves onward… Then it awakes, and returns to the earth, and is born again as a child. Again and again does the soul travel thus, till… the soul… comes one with the Itongo.”
When you think about it, reincarnation makes a lot of sense. It gives a reason for life’s inequalities and suffering. It justifies our many differences.
Reincarnation even aligns with many principles of science. It supports the First Law of Thermodynamics, that energy cannot be created or destroyed. So too, the soul doesn’t simply disappear but changes into a different form.
Reincarnation also matches with evolution in the natural world. Just as all living creatures adapt from generation to generation, so too does the soul evolve through each lifetime.
Stories of Children’s Past Lives
Reincarnation may sound totally beyond belief for some. But evidence of reincarnation exists all over the world, especially in the cases of children who can recall their past lives, sometimes in vivid detail.
These phenomena caught the attention of Dr. Ian Stevenson, founder of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia. Dr. Stevenson spent over 30 years empirically investigating cases, often described as paranormal, including apparitions, near-death experiences, and claimed memories of past lives. He studied some 2,000 children who could remember concrete details about dead strangers and past lives.
His research led to the case of Kamaljit Kaur, a young girl born to a Sikh family in the northern India region of Punjab. One day, little Kamaljit told her family that she used to live in a neighboring village until she had died suddenly in an accident. Her and her friend were hit by a bus while cycling.
Of course, her family felt shocked to hear their young daughter speak of such a tragedy. Things became even more bizarre when Kamaljit asked to visit a village about 25 miles from their home. When they arrived, the girl immediately recognized the location of the accident. She then pointed to her former home where she had lived with her parents.
The neighbors confirmed the story. A little girl named Rishma had indeed passed away while cycling. Kamaljit Kaur was born 10 months after the death of Rishma. During their visit, Kamaljit recognized her former parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. She could even refer to them by name!
Washington Post editor, Tom Shroder, heard of this story and the many others documented by Dr. Stevenson. Skeptical, he decided to investigate. In his book, Old Souls, Shroder recounts his experience as he accompanied Dr. Stevenson.
Their investigations observed many instances of children who could recall their past lives. Toddlers would feel sad and cry out, asking for their parents from their previous lives. Some of the children even had birthmarks or extreme phobias relating to the injuries or traumas of their past lives.
Shroder quickly became a believer. The children knew information, in detail, from their past lives which they simply could not have known. A Lebanese boy asked his former mother if she had finished knitting a sweater she was making for him before he died. She couldn’t believe it!
The Netflix series, Surviving Death, recounts similar stories of children who remember their past lives in great detail, like the story of James Leininger, who had a strange fascination with airplanes as a young boy.
His parents became concerned when at night, James would have night terrors, shouting in his sleep, “Plane on fire! Airplane crash. Little man can’t get out”. He also spoke in his sleep of 'Jack Larsen', 'Natoma' and 'Corsair'.
James Leininger's father began a quest to understand his son’s troubling behavior. He became astonished to learn that Natoma Bay was a World War II aircraft carrier. He questioned his son further, “Do you remember what kind of plane the little man flew?”
“A Corsair,” the two-year-old boy replied.
Their family went on to discover the fighter pilot, James Huston, a pilot on board the Natoma who died in 1945 after his plane took a direct hit and plunged into the water.
The family came to believe that their son was a reincarnation of the deceased pilot but still carried the trauma of his previous life. They conducted a healing ceremony to help cope with the memories of his death in a plane crash, which ultimately helped their little boy heal and move forward with his current life.
Thousands of children around the world report these experiences. It seems that a child’s soul, who has only recently reincarnated, can sometimes still recall the memory of their past life.
Why Do We Forget Our Past Lives?
The many curious cases of past life memories raise an interesting question: if reincarnation is real, why do most of us forget our past lives?
Perhaps our minds need a clean slate, a reset button, to continue to evolve. Think about it: It’s difficult enough to heal from the painful memories of this lifetime, let alone hundreds of them. You can think of traumas in your life that can paralyze you from moving forward.
In the same way, perhaps we must forget those past-life memories in order to progress. (Can you imagine the difficulty to overcome the painful memory of a plane crash, like James Leininger?)
But do we really forget? Maybe you can’t remember the details of your past lives in your current state of veiled (un) awareness, but the memories of your soul’s journey do not disappear. A record of every moment of each life is kept in the Akashic hall of records and remains within you, woven into your Soul and imprinted in your body and DNA.
Our Soul agrees to "forget" our past lives before we incarnate. The “veil" is pulled closed, as we temporarily step into our newest physical incarnation, forgetting our past lives as well as our true eternal and infinite nature as an energetic light being—a Soul.
You might understandably ask why we would choose not to remember. And the answer (at least part of it) lies in the fact that in order for us to experience the lessons we came here to learn, we must be fully committed to the absolute reality of this dense 3-D world, the circumstances we inhabit and the role we are currently playing in it this time around.
If we believe this is our one and only chance at life, then the emotional and psychological investment is deeper. Our relationships are more cherished, and life itself has greater value. Our veiled reality creates a perfect opportunity to confront a wide range of experiences that will lead toward the ultimate dissolution of the ego and help our soul evolve.
Even when you can’t remember, past life memories still exist within you. These experiences shape and mold you into who you are right now. You can tap into them through things like an Akashic Records reading, guided meditation, hypnotherapy, or past-life regression techniques. As you recognize patterns over lifetimes, you can harness the ability to take control and reshape your current life as well as complete karmic lessons carried over from past incarnations.
Children who recall their past lives lend credible evidence of reincarnation. Their verified memories illuminate the true spiritual nature of our existence and give us faith that there is meaning and purpose to our lives.