After class on Monday, I decided that I really had no opinion on previous lives and the idea of re-incarnation. Honestly, I hadn’t thought of it before. The extent of my thoughts on re-incarnation stopped at the episode of Friends where Phoebe believes that her mother has returned to earth to live out her days as a cat. It’s a funny episode, where she makes a heartwarming speech about missing her mother and finding comfort in re-incarnation, but I never had thought of it seriously.
My family always talked about how people who passed in our family were watching over us as guardian angels. Never had I considered the idea that they could be back on earth walking amongst us just leading a different life. So, I chose to stick to the schedule and read Life Before Life by Jim B. Tucker. From what I have learned so far in this class, people are given a choice when they go up to heaven. A story in the Life Before Life book that represents this choice is with Kenny. Kenny passed away as a child but was escorted back to earth shortly afterwards. He was told that he had to come back to help families who wanted a child. This is a beautiful representation of the recycling of souls for the good of all.
What I found challenging to read were the stories of unhappy children being returned to earth. One child’s original family died in a car accident. One night at dinner, when they had guests over, he cried and screamed about how his real family was dead. From what we’ve learned about spirits, the reason they would come back would be to grow. They had not yet finished their learning experience here on earth, so they have returned. Now, if they are being returned, the benefit of remembering their past life would be to expand upon whatever knowledge they had acquired. However, it seems counter-productive to me for them to want to go back to their original families. This child who screamed and carried on about not belonging to a family is stuck. What would the advantage of that be?
Finally, in Chapter 8 there was a story of Bobby Hodges from North Carolina. Bobby spent a lot of time talking about being in his Aunt Susan’s belly. He remembered wanting to get born, but never being born because the other baby had blocked him. After an altercation between him and one of his cousins over this event, it came out that he knew of a family secret. His aunt had a miscarriage many years’ back involving twins. It was decided that one of the twins managed to block the blood flow by rolling over the umbilical cord, killing one twin, and due to the shared circulation, they both died. This story amazed me, honestly. Children have such an innocent and honest perception of the world that I just feel that they would not be able to make it up. That being said, I struggle with the idea of re-incarnation. I have a hard time understanding the purpose of re-incarnation. With data from children, it certainly makes the argument for re-incarnation more believable for me.