Dr. Ian Stevenson, a Canadian-born psychiatrist and fellow at the University of Virginia, is the world’s leading authority on reincarnation research. Thanks to his advanced research, Stevenson has traveled to many countries over the past three decades, including India. Dr. K. Rawat, Director of the Reincarnation Research Organization, spoke with a Canadian scientist in Faridabad, India.
Dr Stevenson: My interest stemmed from dissatisfaction with current theories about human personality. Namely, I do not believe that only genetics and genetics, combined with the influence of the environment, can explain all the features and anomalies of the human personality. After all, this is how the vast majority of psychiatrists today argue.
Dr Stevenson: I think yes. As I see it, reincarnation offers us an alternative interpretation. Thus, it does not replace the concept of genetics and environmental influences, but it can provide an explanation for some of the unusual human behavior that appears early in life and often continues throughout life. This is behavior that is unusual for a family in which a person grows up, that is, the possibility of imitating any of the family members is excluded.
Dr Stevenson: Yes, it’s quite possible. Regarding diseases, we do not yet have sufficient information, but this is also allowed.
Dr Stevenson: In particular, transsexualism is when people really believe that they are a member of the opposite sex. They often wear clothes that are uncharacteristic of their gender, behave completely inconsistent with their gender. In the West, such people often require surgery, wanting to completely change anatomically. We have a number of cases in which such patients claimed to have distinct recollections of themselves in a past life as the opposite sex.
Dr Stevenson: The picture varies greatly from country to country. In some countries, there are no cases of physical sex change, for example, in the north-west of North America (in tribes), in Lebanon, Turkey. This is one extreme. The other extreme is Thailand, where 16% of transsexuals undergo gender reassignment. In Burma, the figure reaches 25%. This is just an example of where reincarnation can be involved.
Dr Stevenson: Quite interesting are the cases when children give detailed information about personalities whom they either have not seen or know very little. In India, there are cases when children gave such detailed information, up to the exact names. In the United States, there are also cases of children reproducing information that they did not receive earlier.
Dr Stevenson: About 2500 at the moment.
Dr Stevenson: My conclusion so far is that reincarnation is not the only explanation. However, this is the most plausible interpretation of cases where a child says 20-30 true statements about a distant relative who lives at a remote distance without contact with the child’s family. There is another rather interesting incident that happened in Alaska among the Tlingit tribe. The man predicted to his niece that he would come to her and pointed out to her two scars on his body. They were scars from operations. One was on his nose (he had surgery) and the other on his back. He said to his niece: Soon the man died, and 18 months later the girl gave birth to a son. The boy was born with moles exactly where the man’s scars were. I remember photographing those moles. Then the boy was about 8-10 years old, the mole on his back stood out especially well.
Dr Stevenson: I think there are several reasons for continuing to explore this topic. First, we dare to hope that the causes of some psychological problems can be clarified. In addition, new discoveries in biology and medicine through the study of moles and birth defects are not ruled out. You know that some children are born without a finger, with deformed ears and other defects. Science still has no explanation for such phenomena. Of course, the ultimate goal of studying the issue of reincarnation is life after death. Meaning of life. What am I here for?