Actuality: concept of human soul reincarnation is widely accepted in a lot of countries and nations, in particular – in countries of South and South-East Asia; reincarnation is a key element of some large religious systems . At the same time, reincarnation idea is treated with a big skepticism in Western countries and is far-less distributed among population; particularly, this is because of ubiquitous expansion of Christianity that denies authenticity of reincarnation phenomenon. The matter of reincarnation phenomenon authenticity is a fundamental question; life of each person as well as whole world life can dramatically change in the case of positive answer on this question. If the phenomenon would be confirmed, humanity will release from millenary pressure of self-mortality understanding and shift to brand new attitude to life, with due consideration of multiple lives and priority of nonmaterial (spiritual) basis of human essence.
Serious attempts to practical study of reincarnation phenomenon weren’t undertaken until the mid XX century. For more than forty years of scrutinous investigations a professional psychiatrists Ian Stevenson collected more than 2500 reports about cases that are currently classified as “cases of reincarnation type”. Even though analysis of these cases revealed a lot of unexplained data and matched details [4, 6, 8], Stevenson’s work weren’t able to outtalk skeptics that continue to consider reincarnation phenomenon as a typical pseudoscientific concept up to date.
Problem of reincarnation verification is additionally complicated by different factors, such as [1, 7]:
– absence of experimental techniques for induction of reincarnation type cases;
– absence of adequate explanations of the nature of soul that can survive after death of physical body and pass to further incarnations;
– high probability of cryptomnesia upon retrospective investigations;
Recently, a method of regressive hypnosis was judged as a perspective experimental technique of induction of past-lives memories. Unfortunately, long-term investigations revealed that this technique gives little or nothing credible data; in most cases this method only reveals airy dreams or cryptomnestic memories of patients .
A more appropriate approach from this point of view is a usage of prospective methods, of which only hypnotic progression to future life was applied [2, 5]. Unfortunately, such researches haven’t got wide spread occurrence and support, particularly because of ill-conceived methodology and necessity of long wait for results verification.
The most rational solution under concerned circumstances (in our opinion) is a combination of efforts of research groups form different countries in one long-term international project focused on reception of credible evidence for confirmation or disproof of reincarnation phenomenon authenticity. Effectiveness of such approach to parapsychological research was demonstrated through the example of Global Consciousness Project that is successfully carried out for more than 15 years .
In spite of more than semicentennial study, reincarnation is still judged as one of the less proved (but not disproved) parapsychological phenomena. Taking into account the speed-up of information sharing in modern world, publicity of research, and essential significance of reincarnation authenticity verification, it’s our belief that joint application of efforts towards detailed study of this phenomenon is an actual issue of modern age.
General aim of investigations: reception of credible evidence for final confirmation or disproof of human soul reincarnation phenomenon authenticity.
Responsible department: Department of Scientific Parapsychology, Laboratory of Survival Study.
Plan of research and practical activity within this direction:
1. Study of reincarnation-type cases incidence on Ukrainian territory by means of large-scale questionnaire of population. Comparison with data obtained in other countries and nationalities.
2. Search and comprehensive parapsychological analysis of people claiming about past-lives memories.
3. Establishment of collaboration with world-leading research groups that perform investigations in such fields as “reincarnation theory” and “past-lives experiences”, including The Division of Perceptual Studies of University of Virginia (USA) and Institute for the Integration of Science, Intuition and Spirit (USA).
4. Development and practical implementation of few prospective approaches to verification of reincarnation phenomenon. Detailed elaboration of “experimental material anchors method” and “experimental hypnotic anchors method”.
5. Comprehensive analysis of all available data on usage of hypnotic progression technique for study of future lives.
6. Initiation of international research project designed to verification of main hypotheses based on reincarnation theory, as well as examination of the theory. Moreover, project will involve creation of shared supervised electronic database for registration and conservation of all registerd cases of reincarnation type, including future reincarnation cases. Preliminary title of the project– «International Project: Reception of Evidence for Reincarnation» (IPRER).
7. Possible involvement of Eastern cults followers (accepting authenticity of reincarnation phenomenon) in order to verify a number of traditional methods of future incarnations of personality identification.
1. An Introduction to Parapsychology / H.J. Irwin, C.A. Watt // McFarland; 5th edition, 2007. – 320 p.
2. Mass Dreams of the Future / C.B. Snow, H. Wambach // McGraw-Hill; 1989. – 346 p.
3. Official site of Global Consciousness Project: http://noosphere.princeton.edu/
4. Pasricha S.T., Keil J., Tucker J.B., Stevenson I. Some Bodily Malformations Attributed to Previous Lives // Journal of Scientific Exploration. – 2005. – Vol. 19, № 3. – P. 359-383.
5. Rubenstein R., Newman R. The living out of “future” experiences under hypnosis // Science. – 1954. – Vol. 119. – P. 472-473.
6. Stevenson I., Haraldsson E. The similarity of features of reincarnation type cases over many years: A third study // Journal of Scientific Exploration. – 2003. – Vol. 17, № 2. – P. 283-289.
7. Tucker J.B. A Scale to measure the strength of children’s claims of previous lives: Methodology and initial findings // Journal of Scientific Exploration. – 2000. – Vol. 14, № 4. – P. 571-581.
8. Tucker J.B., Keil J.H.H. Experimental Birthmarks: New Cases of an Asian Practice // Journal of Scientific Exploration. – 2013. – Vol. 27, № 2. – P. 269-282.