This week on Dreamland I interview Bruce and Andrea Leininger about what I believe to be the most convincing reincarnation story ever told. Their book, Soul Survivor, is about their son, James, who at the age of two began saying peculiar things that they gradually came to realize involved events in a past life.
When he began to mention specifics, they found that they were actually able to look up the names, for example, of a ship he remembered being on in World War II. It was not a famous ship. In fact, it took some doing to find it, and it is impossible that a child could ever have known it.
In his past life as James Huston, their son had died in a fiery plane crash while fighting the Japanese. Not only did he know the name of his ship, he also remembered many other details, and they actually took their son to meet still-living members of the ship's company. Bruce Leininger, who did what eventually became a herculean, obsessive job of research, eventually was able to use information from his son to actually find James Huston's still-living sister. In the description of today's Dreamland, there is a photograph of nine-year old James Leininger with his sister from a former life, truly a remarkable picture.
I might still have my doubts about reincarnation--largely because I am so stubbornly skeptical--but this is not the only superb case in the record. Some years ago, I interviewed Captain Robert Snow of the Indianapolis Police Department about his book, Looking for Carroll Beckwith. Captain Snow had been given a past-life regression at a party, and had experienced a shockingly vivid memory of being an artist in the 19th Century.
It was so vivid, and so startled him, that he carefully wrote down every detail he could remember about the artist, his habits, the paintings that had been in the studio, and everything else he could recall. He did not, however, remember the name.
A search for the paintings turned up nothing until, one day seemingly by chance, he and his wife stepped into an art gallery while on vacation in New Orleans and there--to their absolute amazement--were most of the paintings.
They had been painted by a forgotten artist called Carroll Beckwith and the reason Snow had been previously unable to find them was that they had been privately owned for 40 years and had just been put up for sale by an estate.
In other words, he could not have seen them anywhere because there were no prints, no catalog copies, nothing at all prior to their appearing in the gallery.
It could be argued that paintings would be too vague a subject. One written description might fit many portraits or landscapes. But there was one painting in particular, a portrait of a female dwarf, that Snow had seen in Beckwith's studio that was, because of its subject, completely unmistakable. It was in the art gallery.
Now, if just one of these two books existed, somewhere in the back of my mind there would be a little voice saying, maybe they did the research and worked backward, faking it that way.
But not two, and one of them by a police detective with a reputation to protect and the other about a little boy who is not going to be able to maintain the complicated lies that would be necessary to bring off a subterfuge.
No, the books are true, and, to my mind, they prove that reincarnation, at least sometimes, does happen. Understand, they do not suggest it. They don't actually leave the question open. It is real.
Does it happen to everybody? I have no idea. But it DOES happen. On August 13, I published a journal detailing why I think that the afterlife is real. My reasons were personal, but they were also compelling.
Now, in this journal, I am going to say that not only do I think that the soul is real and can persist after death, I also think that reincarnation takes place, at least at times.
Long ago, the visitors indicated to me that the primary difference between us and other conscious species is that we are soul blind and they are not. They do not think in terms of death, but rather are fully integrated in and out of the time stream, and are on truly extraordinary journeys through life that are just radically different from our own.
In part, they are here as, in a sense, doctors who are attempting to cure us of our soul-blindness. I have understood that this was a big part of my own mission, to not only help others become aware of the reality of our visitors, but also to indicate what is different about us and what their aims are with us.
The book I am publishing in June, the Omega Point, is about the veil between the worlds dropping at the end of time, when there is a winnowing and harvest of souls, with a certain group going on in the physical world, while most of us meet our final ends as physical beings, either ascending or descending, depending on how we have lived.
This week's Dreamland goes to the core mission, then, of my life, of this website and of all my public efforts: to do what I can to help in the great work of removing the veil of denial that conceals our truth--and our dead--from us.
It is time to wake up to what we truly are, and leave the imaginings of the long human childhood behind--among them that we do not have souls, that there is no afterlife, that there is no such thing as reincarnation, and that life has no consequences.
In death, we see ourselves as we truly are, something most of us are running away from in life. Indeed, this is so incredibly hard that we are literally unable to do it. It is why the visitors appear so fearsome, and why Ranier Maria Rilke said in his 2nd elegy about angels, "every angel is terrible."
They appear terrible to us because we see ourselves reflected in their eyes. We are all like this, all of us, but there is a cure for our fear of ourselves. It could not be more simple. We need to do the one thing that is the most obvious, the most natural and the most difficult: we need to find in our own hearts compassion for ourselves. And I don't mean compassion for one small life, but for the whole vastness of our long time.
Mankind may be a child, but we are not an innocent child. Facing the reality of the soul, the afterlife and reincarnation is the beginning of facing one's own truth, the truth about mankind, and finally accepting ourselves as we are, and joining the others in the only journey that really matters, which is toward the holy center, where ecstasy abides.
NOTE: This Journal entry, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.