From independently researched reincarnation cases, the following
principles are observed:
Physical Resemblance from One Lifetime to Another
Facial architecture, the shape and proportions of the face,
can be consistent from lifetime to lifetime. Physical habits,
such as postures, hand gestures and the type of jewelry worn,
can also be consistent from lifetime to lifetime. Even poses
struck in portraits and photographs are often uncannily similar
from one lifetime to another.
Ian Stevenson, M.D., who died in 2007, was a psychiatrist at
the University of Virginia. In his life Stevenson compiled and
studied approximately 3000 cases involving children who remember
past lives in detail. Dr. Stevenson traveled to the scenes of
the contemporary and past lifetimes and to verify the details
provided in these past-life accounts.
Two key Ian Stevenson cases with image comparisons, which show
that facial features can remain the same from one lifetime to
another, are those of Suzanne Ghanem and Daniel Jurdi. Place
your cursor on the Monsour | Ghanem image to enlarge it and
your arrow keys to scroll up and down on the image.
Consistent facial features across lifetimes are also observed
in many other Ian Stevenson cases, though image comparisons
are not available. The John B. Gordon | Jeff Keene reincarnation
case also dramatically demonstrates how facial features can
remain the same. Images for the Gordon | Keene case are provided
Body types can be consistent from lifetime to lifetime, though
the size of the body can vary. An individual can have a slight
physique in one lifetime and a powerful one in the next. One
can be short in one incarnation and tall in another, though
facial features, postures and gestures, appear to remain the
The Soul's Energy Template or Hologram
How can physical appearance remain the same from one lifetime
to another? The answer to this question is unknown, but I hypothesize
that the soul projects an energy template or hologram into the
developing fetus, which tissue is shape around.
The principle is similar to how orthopedic surgeons use electrical
current to shape bone in severe fractures. This energy structure
not only helps create physical appearance, but it also can be
used to download information and talent into the developing
body and mind, which can explain child prodigies.
Of course genetics does play a part and it is the interaction
of the soul's energy template with one's genetic inheritance
which results in appearance. An individual who incarnates into
a different race will have physical features that are consistent
with that race, though proportions of the face will still be
consistent from one incarnation to another. Family resemblances
also occur due to genetics, though the soul's energy template
can influence facial features.
The existence of an energy or spirit body that reflects our
physical appearance is supported by observations made in the
field of Instrumental Trans-Communication, in which spirit beings
communicate to human beings through electronic devices, such
a televisions, telephones, etc.. When spirit beings have transmitted
images of themselves from the spirit world, they are observed
to have spirit bodies that resemble their physical bodies when
they were alive.
On the subject of beauty, it appears that any particular facial
architecture can be perceived as beautiful or handsome. The
perception of beauty largely depends on factors such as complexion
and physique. For example, a woman in one incarnation may be
tall, thin, have wonderful skin, a perfect smile and a toned
body. Due to these factors and their effect on her appearance,
this woman may become a celebrated fashion model or beauty queen.
In another incarnation, this same woman, with identical facial
architecture, may be born with a coarse complexion, a stout
body and crooked teeth. This woman would now be considered ordinary
appearing, by observers.
The point is that any facial architecture may be perceived as
beautiful or unattractive, based on these variables. I believe
that we can alternate being attractive and ordinary, from lifetime
to lifetime, based on the lessons we are to learn in a particular
Change of Religion, Nationaliy,
Race, Ethnic Affliation and Gender across Incarnations
A very important observation made in reincarnation research
is that individuals can can religion, nationality, ethnic affliliation,
race and gender from one lifetime to another. Most wars are
based in differences in these cultural markers of identity.
One of the most powerful reincarnation cases that demonstrates
change of religion, nationality and ethnic affiliation from
one incarnation to another is the Anne Frank | Barbro Karlen
Anne Frank was persecuted and died in a concentration camp as
a Jew, while Barbro was born into a Christian family in Sweden.
If the German people at the time of WW II knew that one could
be born Jewish in one lifetime and Christian in another, then
the Holocaust could never have happened.
Similarly, when Jewish Israelis realize they can reincarnate
as Muslim Palestinians and vice versa, Protestants can reincarnate
as Catholics, Islamic terrorists know that they can reincarnate
as Christian Westerners and Shiites know they can return as
Sunnis, then violence based on these different affiliations
will be mitigated.
In addition, reincarnation research shows that in approximately
5-10 percent of cases, a soul changes gender. This percentage
was reported by Ian Stevenson, MD, in his large series of reincarnation
cases in which children had spontaneous past life memories.
This percentage has also observed in a series of approximately
2000 reincarnation cases that I h ave studied.
Even in these cases where gender changes, facial architecture
still can remain the same, as demonstrated in the Louise Vanderbilt
| Wayne Peterson and Charles Parkhurst | Penney Peirce reincarnation
Overall, most people maintain the same gender from one lifetime
to another, and it seems that our soul as an innate masculine
or feminine quality. Those who are innately masculine tend to
reincarnate as males. Those who are innately feminine prefer
to return in a female body. We all switch gender periodically,
to learn what it is like to be a different gender. If a soul
changes gender and is not prepared for change, it is possible
that gender disorders, such as transexualism, may occur.
Personality traits appear to persist from lifetime to lifetime.
One’s way of approaching life and the way that others
perceive you remains consistent. Some of our personality traits
are positive and we carry them with us to our benefit. Other
personality traits can be detrimental and can cause suffering
from one lifetime to another. It appears that part of our evolution
is to smooth out the rough spots in our dispositions.
As an example, consider a person who is an extremely aggressive
by nature. A benefit of being aggressive is that the person
accomplishes his goals. A negative aspect is that other people
may be hurt by an aggressive approach. The goal for an aggressive
person over the period of one lifetime or more would be to take
in consideration the feelings of others.
Though personality traits remain consistent, physical and mental
illnesses do not seem to persist from one lifetime to another.
Ian Stevenson did note that an individual who dies from a traumatic
wound can have a birthmark or scar at the same location in a
Penney Peirce noted that in her prior incarnation as Alice Cary,
Cary had died of tuberculosis. In her current lifetime, Penney
had lung problems as a child, which she speculates may be related
to Cary's illness. Still, Penney did not have TB and specific
illness due not seem to carry on from one incarnation to another.
It may be possible that past life physical and emotional traumas
may have some effect ont he soul's energy template, which seems
to underlie the physical body.
Individuals who are chemically dependent or have a psychiatric
illness in a previous lifetime do not appear to carry these
disorders over to subsequent ones.
Innate Talent and Child Prodigies
Spiritually and intellectually, we seem to pick up where we
have left off. Our hard earned achievements in spiritual, intellectual
and artisti pursuits are retained—they are a part of us.
As such, efforts in advancing ourselves are never wasted and
we build upon our endeavors from lifetime to lifetime. Child
prodigies can be explained by reincarnation, as the soul appears
to be able to download information and talent into the developing
physical body and mind.
An example of how talent and concepts can downloaded from the
soul involves the Paul Gauguin | Peter Teekamp reincarnation
case, as Peter unconsciously replicated sketches done in his
previous incarnation as Gauguin.
Though talents can come through from one lifetime to another,
conversely, if the soul needs to take a different path in a
particular lifetime, talents may at times be blocked.
Though we seem to have a similar level of spiritual maturity
and intellectual advancement across lifetimes, we can trade
off being poor and rich, famous and unknown. We take turns being
placed in and out of the spotlight. Our status in life seems
to be determined by the karma we have created in past lifetimes,
as well as by the lessons our souls have set for ourselves to
learn. Still, there is the pattern that powerful souls come
back as powerful souls, great artists come back as great artists
and those who have made an impact in the past do so again in
Writing, Communication Style and Voice
Just as personality traits remain consistent from lifetime to
lifetime, a person’s manner of expression seems to be
similar from one lifetime to another. In the case of John B.
Gordon | Jeff Keene, a formal linguistic analysis by a university
professor was done which indeed demonstrated that writing structure
can remain the same from one incarnation to another. Some variation
in writing style, of course, will be observed due to differing
customs of various eras. Still, consistencies in modes of expression
and in content are observed. Just as portraits allow us to see
how one’s appearance is the same from lifetime to lifetime,
historical documents, diaries and other available documentation
allow us to study writing style across incarnations.
It will be interesting to see if qualities of voice remain consistent
from one incarnation to another. In the case of Rosetta Pampanini
| Charity Sunshine, opera singing was a vocation in both lifetimes.
Recordings exist which would allow us to compare voice and singing
style from one incarnation to another. If you have expertise
in opera singing and would left to help us analyse recordings
of Pampanini and Charity Sunshine, please contact IISIS.
Xenoglossy: Knowing an Unlearned Language & Perservation
of the Personality Within the Soul
In the preceding paragraphs, it has been stated that elements
of personality, such as character traits, linguistic writing
style and talents can be conveyed from one lifetime to another.
More extreme examples involve xenoglossy cases, where the past
life personality emerges intact in a contemporary incarnation.
Xenoglossy is the ability to understand a foreign language that
has not been learned in the contemporary lifetime. In addition
to the recovery of a language from a past lifetime, in some
xenoglossy cases, the entire past life personality emerges and
essentially takes over the body of the contemporary personality.
These cases demonstrate that the soul can retain past life personalities
intact within it. The xenoglossy case of Sharada | Uttara Huddar
dramatically demonstrates this phenomenon.
One way to image how the personality is preserved is to see
ourselves as a bubble that is a minature version of our soul.
When we incarnate, our bubble is expressed from our soul. Our
bubble contains our soul's energies, qualities and experience.
After our incarnation is completed, the soul resorbs the bubble
that is us and retains our bubble within itself forever. We
are part of our soul, but we retain our individuality developed
during our life on Earth.
In the cases such as Sharada | Uttara Huddar, the Sharada bubble,
which has resided in the soul since its incarnation ended, emerged
from within the soul to express itself through Uttara, a soul
bubble that has incarnated.
Independently researched reincarnation cases, including many
studied by Ian Stevenson, MD at the University of Virginia,
demonstrate that a soul may animate more than one physical body
at a time. I term this phenomenon "split incarnation."
I refer to two people from the same soul, who are incarnated
at the same time, as "splits". A dramatic and compelling
set of cases that illustrate split incarnation involve Penney
Peirce. Other cases may be reviewed at the IISIS section entitled,
How does split incarnation work? Though we don't know for sure,
we can imagine split incarnation as similar to how a mirror
can split a beam of light into two or more beams of light. Similarly,
the soul can project more than one beam of light, or more than
one energy template, into physical incarnation at a time. This
idea is illustrated in the Introduction to Split Incarnation.
We can also imagine two splits as two arms of a human being.
Each arm has its separate existance, yet both arms are controlled
by one brain or mind. In split incarnation, we can see splits
as appendages of the soul.
The bubble analogy used above to explain how the soul can retain
past life personalities within it can also be used to better
comprehend split incarnation. We can imagine split incarnation
as the ability of the soul to express more than one bubble of
itself, at a time, into physcial incarnation.
Relationships Renewed through
Reincarnation, Soul Groups
and Your Destiny or Life Plan
People appear to come into life in groups, based on shared karma
and emotional attachments. Couples often come back together
and entire family units can recur. When an individual reincarnates,
other members of that person’s karmic group will be present.
Identifying members of the person’s karmic group is another
important criterion in establishing a past-life match.
How do we connect with our karmic groups? The answer, it appears,
is destiny. In analyzing past-life cases, it is observed that
we all have a predetermined destiny or life itinerary which
brings us to the people we are supposed to spend time with.
To better understand how destiny works, let us use the analogy
of a journey. Think of your life as an extended vacation that
you plan in advance. You decide who you want and need to see,
where you want to go, and what activities you would like to
participate in. You coordinate your itinerary with the people
you are to rendezvous with. You, your karmic friends, and loved
ones all agree to the plan before you are born. Once you come
into life, destiny ensures that you meet up with your karmic
soul group. The settings for karmic affiliations can be our
families, work life, and recreational pursuits. These settings
are stages on which we play out the karmic dramas of our lives.
This casts a new light on Shakespeare’s phrase, “All
of life is but a stage.”
We meet up with different karmic groups at different points
in life. When we get the urge to take a new job, travel to a
new city, or take up a new recreational pursuit, many times
this is a part of our destiny being played out. New venues bring
us to karmic groups we need to be with.
If this is true, one must question whether we have free will.
It appears that though we all have a predetermined itinerary
that we are committed to honor, we have free will in what we
do along the way. Indeed, growth and human evolution could not
occur without free will. Some people may have a more structured
itinerary that limits diversionary treks, while others may have
a less structured game plan. Either way, we have free will along
our destined paths.
Karmic groups provide insights regarding déjà
vu experiences. If we meet up with people we have known in past
lives, it is not surprising that we may have a spark of recognition
when we meet. Since people have consistent patterns of behavior,
we may recognize these traits and idiosyncratic reactions when
situations recur. Finally, déjà vu may occur if
we recognize an event that is part of our itinerary. We may
become aware of a road mark along our predetermined path.
If reincarnation is accepted, abortion can be viewed in a different
way, as reincarnation conveys that the soul exists before conception,
rather than being created at the time of conception.
Abortion does remove an opportunity for a soul to incarnate
into a particular family, though the soul can be reunited with
that particular family through other means, such as through
proximity or destiny reincarnation cases.
An very interesting case that relates to the issue of abortion
is the Ian Stevenson reincarnation case of Pertti Haikio | Samuel
Helander. After he died at the age of five, Pertti was able
to contact his surviving sister, Marja, telepathically from
the spirit world. Marja was pregnant and was contemplating having
an abortion. From the spirit world, Pertti told her not to have
an abortion, as he wanted to reincarnate to her. As a result,
Marja continued the pregnancy and it appears that Pertti indeed
was reborn as her son Samuel.
Spirit Being Involvement and Synchronistic Events
In many independently derived reincarnation cases, including
cases researched by Ian Stevenson, MD, spirit being involvment
is observed in establishing or solving reincarnation cases.
Ian Stevenson reported that "Announcing Dreams" often
occur in reincarnation cases, where a soul announces or predicts
its upcoming incarnation in dreams, conveyed to those who will
be friends or family of the soul in its next incarnation.
Another example of a soul planning its next incarnation involves
the reincarnation case of James Huston, Jr. | James Leininger.
In this case, James Leininger as a small child reported to his
parents that he had been watching them before his birth. Little
James told Bruce and Andrea, his parents, that he has observed
them at the pink hotel in Hawaii and determined tha they would
be good parents. Bruce and Andrea indeed had stayed at the pink
Royal Hawaiian hotel several months before James was conceived.
No one had told little James about his parents stay in Hawaii
before his birth.
Spirit beings appear to be involved in solving reincarnation
cases by guiding individuals to locations where past life information
will be found. This occured in the reincarnation case of Carroll
Beckwith | Robert Snow, pictured in the image to the right,
as Police Captain Snow appears to guided to an art gallery in
New Orleans where he discovered an essential clue to his reincarnation
In some cases, what appears to be accurate past life information
is given directly by spirit beings though mediums. A medium
can be defined as a person who has the ability to perceive spirit
beings and can convey information from these spirit beings to
human beings. Well known mediums include James Van Praagh and
John Edward, who have built careers on their ability to contact
deceased relatives for clients. A new medium who I personally
have had very good experiences with is Felix-Lee Lerma. Van
Praagh, Edward and Lerma remain fully conscious when they work
Trance mediums go into a meditative state and allow spirit beings
to take over their bodies so that spirit beings can speak directly
to a client. Trance mediums usually have no memory of what occurs
during sessions. One of the best known trance mediums is Kevin
Ryerson, who has been featured in four of Shirley MacLaine's
books. Compelling cases solved by a different trance medium
are featured in the reincarnation cases involving Penney Peirce.
Another feature that is observed in past-life research is that
synchronistic events and symbols are observed in contemporary
times which seem to reinforce past life connections. It appears
that spirit beings can communicate with human beings by orchestrating
such symbolic events. Though firm conclusions cannot be based
on such synchronistic events, they do seem to occur in reincarnation
Attraction to Specific Geographic Locations & Geographic
Individuals are often attracted to geographic settings of past
lives. In many cases, people are observed to gravitate to places
where they have lived before. Individuals may reside in these
areas or visit old haunts on vacation. In some cases, it appears
that the soul is simply nostalgic for familiar settings.
In other cases, the soul may direct the individual to a specific
place to trigger a remembrance of the past lifetime or to facilitate
a spiritual awakening. The cases of Robert Snow and Jeffrey
Keene illustrate how guidance to geographic locations can lead
to revelations regarding past lives.
In addition, when people arrive at past live locations, memories
of how to find specific locations, such as past live homes can
be stimulated. For example, in the Anne Frank | Barbro Karlen
case, at ten years of age, Barbro was able to lead her parents
from their hotel to the Anne Frank House without directions,
even though she had never been to Amsterdam before.
Past Life Memories
Memories of past lives can have a profound effect on the individual
who has experienced them. Memories can occur spontaneously or
through past-life regressions. In a past life regression, a
therapist guides a person into a state of deep relaxation. The
subject is coached to go back in time until former lives are
experienced or remembered.
Memories, whether spontaneous or experienced through regression,
are subjective. It must be conceded that past life memories
can be inaccurate, which is why so many people believe that
they were someone famous in a past incarnation. This issue is
discussed in the section Introduction to Independently Derived
On the other hand, past life memories retrived spontaneously
or through regression can be accurate. Spontaneous past life
memories which appear to be accurate were observed in many Ian
Stevenson reincarnation cases in which children remembered past
lives at an early age. Spontaneous memories which were historically
validated were also observed in the reincarnation cases involving
Wayne Peterson, a retired US Diplomat and Director of the Fulbright
Past Life memories retrived through regressions which appear
to be accurate were observed in the Caroll Beckwith | Robert
Snow reincarnation case, as well as the compelling xenoglossy
case of Gretchen Gottlieb | Dolores Jay, which was researched
by Ian Stevenson, MD.
As such, past life memories should be veiwed with some realistic
skepticism, but past life memories can also convey accurate
In sum, from lifetime to lifetime, individuals seem to have
the same facial features, personality traits, talents and even
linguistic writing style. People reincarnate in groups, with
souls we have known before. Reconnecting with souls we are supposed
to share time and experiences with appears to be orchestrated
by destiny. Destined events can be facilitated by our own souls
or by the intervention of spirit beings.
An observation that is very important from a societal point
of view is that religion, nationality, race and ethnic affiliation
can change from one incarnation to another. As most wars are
based on differences in these cultural markers of identity,
evidence of reincarnation can help create a more peaceful world,
as we realize that we are all really universal souls.
When we see ourselves as universal souls, we understand that
we are all brothers and sisters who are evolving together through
lifetimes on Earth.
IISIS: Institute for the Integration of Science, Intuition and
Article by Walter Semkiw,
MD, from Born Again and Return of the Revolutionaries