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Reincarnation Tied To 'Memory Errors'


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#1 Willow

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 03:41 PM

People who believe they have lived past lives as, say, Indian princesses or battlefield commanders are more likely to make certain types of memory errors, according to a new study.

The propensity to make these mistakes could, in part, explain why people cling to implausible reincarnation claims in the first place.

Researchers recruited people who, after undergoing hypnotic therapy, had come to believe that they had past lives.

Subjects were asked to read aloud a list of 40 non-famous names, and then, after a two-hour wait, told that they were going to see a list consisting of three types of names: non-famous names they had already seen (from the earlier list), famous names, and names of non-famous people that they had not previously seen. Their task was to identify which names were famous.

The researchers found that, compared to control subjects who dismissed the idea of reincarnation, past-life believers were almost twice as likely to misidentify names. In particular, their tendency was to wrongly identify as famous the non-famous names they had seen in the first task. This kind of error, called a source-monitoring error, indicates that a person has difficulty recognizing where a memory came from.

Power of suggestion

People who are likely to make these kinds of errors might end up convincing themselves of things that aren’t true, said lead researcher Maarten Peters of Maastricht University in The Netherlands. When people who are prone to making these mistakes undergo hypnosis and are repeatedly asked to talk about a potential idea—like a past life—they might, as they grow more familiar with it, eventually convert the idea into a full-blown false memory.

This is because they can’t distinguish between things that have really happened and things that have been suggested to them, Peters told LiveScience.

Past life memories are not the only type of implausible memories that have been studied in this manner. Richard McNally, a clinical psychologist at Harvard University, has found that self-proclaimed alien abductees are also twice as likely to commit source monitoring errors.


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#2 AbbeyGal

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 07:51 AM

There may be some validity to this. However, they did not take into account cases where the subject knew intimate, verified details of a deceased person's life that they could not possibly have known. How would a 4 year old have any knowledge about the specifics of the life of some obscure young man from another state who was killed in the Civil War? The false memory theory does not even begin to explain cases like that.

#3 MoonChild

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Posted 08 April 2007 - 01:18 PM

when these so called scientists can never even figure out a single brain cell, all these are merely hypothesis. Eventually one day they come up with another story, another theory that disproves everything they have ever believed.

I am not saying everything that are held as beliefs are true, but if we take time to analyze and explain certain things to ourself, we will get the right answer - so long we are wise enough to ask the right questions, that is
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#4 erato

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Posted 09 April 2007 - 02:26 AM

I have read a lot of articles that argue this scientific point that it is the power of persuasion.. but again as Abbygal asks.. what of people who remember details they should in all logic have no knowledge of? An interesting book called 'the case against death' by Richard Lazarus shares many such stories of small children who remember past lives... I agree with Moonchild.. its a matter of asking the right questions and being open to the answers.. because sometimes the answers are there but we are so closed to what we cannot explain or rationalize that we become closed to the truth.
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#5 Redhead

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 07:02 PM

Let's not forget about hypnotherapists who inadvertantly 'plant' false memories in patient's minds. This could easily be an explanation for reincarnation as well as other types of cases. Do you remember back in the late '80s or early '90s when a great many people came forward with repressed memories of being the victims of parental sexual abuse? These people had undergone hypnotherapy and recalled horrific incidents of sexual abuse, as well as ritual abuse in satanic ceremonies, being raped by prominent community leaders, etc. The stories were all taken very seriously by law enforcement agencies until the reported abuse became so enormous that the police began to question it all- if there was that big of a network of satanic pedophiles, the whole nation would be involved. Soon, various claims were found to be unfounded, as many of the people accused had air tight alibies for each and every incident. When the therapists were investigated, some were not fully qualified to do hypnotherapy, others were in the process of writing papers or books. When sitting in on hypnotherpy sessions (with patient permission) investigators filmed the sessions and showed them to forensic therapists. It was found in those cases that the hypnotherapists either accidentally or on purpose planted suggestions to the patients, or asked very leading questions.
Now I am not saying that all cases of using hypnosis to uncover lost lives or alien abductions, etc. are easily dismissed. This all just goes to show us that we should be very careful in our research and not believe everything we hear or read.
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#6 aloha_spirit

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 03:34 PM

I take a middle-ground approach. False memories can account for some (who knows - maybe even most) past-life recollections, alien abductions, etc, but doesn't hold for all cases. It merely means there's one more mundane explanation to rule out before waving the paranormal banner.

It's the same story with demonic possession. Many cases from the past would now be diagnosed as some mental illness, but this doesn't prove there aren't real possessions.

I didn't lose my mind - I have it backed up on a disk ... somewhere


#7 Mystic Hippy

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 04:36 PM

People who believe they have lived past lives as, say, Indian princesses or battlefield commanders are more likely to make certain types of memory errors, according to a new study.


I may have missed this one, but allow me to propose a scenario. Two individuals seperately 'recalling' a past life which is shared. To explain, Person A recalls a past life. Person B recalls a past life. These recollections are seperate and apart from each other. Person A and Person B later discover the recalled lives are lives which are shared.

To give you a real life example, Frither and I both have a shared recalled life which we believe took place approximately 800 years ago in Scotland. This shared life also includes another member of this website.
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#8 Holly

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 08:50 PM

To give you a real life example, Frither and I both have a shared recalled life which we believe took place approximately 800 years ago in Scotland. This shared life also includes another member of this website.


Mystic, your comment really caught my attention when you mentioned finding someone on this website.

I belong to another community (not paranormal) which has literally thousands of active members. It can truly be overwhelming at times...and yet 9 women and myself found each other. Our connection was nearly immediate to all of us. We are a very diverse group of women....ranging in age from 36 to 73. Married, single, Christian, Pagan...and yet we knew...absolutely knew that we all needed to be together.

We broke away from the huge group (although we all still visit there) and formed our own private group as we work towards understanding our relationship to each other.

We all met for the first time last year and spent a week together. We will do the same this July and every year from now on.

When we first saw each other, it was like 'coming home'.

And so, we continue to search for the ties that bind, and keep records as they make themselves known. It's such a beautiful thing to watch this develop.

Yes, I do believe we shared another lifetime together...We all believe that. We're just working on the specifics now.

And loving every minute of it.

Edited by Holly, 10 May 2007 - 08:52 PM.

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#9 BellaRose

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 02:09 PM

Mystic & Holly,
Great Stories...
Would LOVE to hear more!
~Bellarose

#10 Mystic Hippy

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 11:13 PM

Mystic & Holly,
Great Stories...
Would LOVE to hear more!
~Bellarose


Watch for a post from Frither called 'Destiny's Child'. It talks in more detail about Frither and my shared past life. Perhaps the third party involved will join in the thread.
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#11 BellaRose

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 11:44 PM

I'll be watchin'... :ghost:
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#12 spooksareus

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 10:43 AM

I too have (re) connected with a person on this site with whom I correspond off of this site nearly every day for the past 8 months. Within the first two PM's with each other we both felt very certainly thay we've known each other through out the ages, and it did indeed feel like coming home. We havent compared notes on what those lives were, I guess we don't feel that it's important.

I do have a few friends and relitives that I feel strongly I have known before, for instance I'm certain that I was my fathers older brother and we still have some very interesting relationship traits that are more sibling like than anything else.

I also have a very close friend that I met the first day of high school. We took one look at each other and BAM! instant recognition, we've been best friends ever since (again) and I was even the "best man" at his wedding.

By a funny coincidence we have the same first name, the same birthday, we are the same size (shoes and ring sizes too) my middle name is Ann, his sisters name is Ann, his middle name is Scott, my brothers name is Scott, the day we met we were both wearing t-shirts that said 'Yale University', black leather jackets, 501 blue jeans, and the same make Nike shoes :ghost: .

When we were kids we used to talk about our past lives and compare notes a lot, but that was 30 years ago, guess I'll have to ask him what he still remembers...

"It is perfectly monstrous the way people go about, nowadays, saying things against one behind one's back that are absolutely and entirely true." -Oscar Wilde “The Picture of Dorian Gray”


#13 AbbeyGal

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:47 PM

A Civil War soldier ghost I deal with on an ongoing basis keeps telling me that he knew me during his time period. I believe in reincarnation but the concept of having a past life with a ghost seemed a bit over the top. A psychic friend of mine seemed to think he was telling the truth, though. She had some visions of me with my hair up in ringlets in 1860's dress at the ghost's house. That would have been a very unusual hairstyle back then, so again, I doubted that she was picking up on something real.

Months later, I managed to track down a photo of of my ghost pal at the local historical society. It had a note on the back saying that it was taken from another family's photo album. I tracked down that album, too, and got a shock when I turned to the second page. There was a photograph of a young woman in 1860's dress with her hair in ringlets. Weirder yet, she looked a lot like me at the same age. My eyes are a little more widely set and her face is a little narrower, but I'll be darned if there isn't a strong resemblence.

So, I'm a little more convinced now. :Spaz:

#14 BellaRose

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 12:15 PM

A Civil War soldier ghost I deal with on an ongoing basis keeps telling me that he knew me during his time period. I believe in reincarnation but the concept of having a past life with a ghost seemed a bit over the top. A psychic friend of mine seemed to think he was telling the truth, though. She had some visions of me with my hair up in ringlets in 1860's dress at the ghost's house. That would have been a very unusual hairstyle back then, so again, I doubted that she was picking up on something real.

Months later, I managed to track down a photo of of my ghost pal at the local historical society. It had a note on the back saying that it was taken from another family's photo album. I tracked down that album, too, and got a shock when I turned to the second page. There was a photograph of a young woman in 1860's dress with her hair in ringlets. Weirder yet, she looked a lot like me at the same age. My eyes are a little more widely set and her face is a little narrower, but I'll be darned if there isn't a strong resemblence.

So, I'm a little more convinced now. :)


WOW!!!!! :wow:
That is a FABULOUS story Abbeygal!!!! :whee:
I was wondering, how did you come to know that there was *someone* around you? How old were you? Did you buy some sort of antique or memorabilia that he was "attached" to? Did he tell you what kind of relationship you both had?
Thanks for sharing!!!.... :clap:
~Bellarose

#15 Maeven_Arcane

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 04:12 PM

As far as Abbeygal's tale is concerned: Fascinating! Do provide more details; I am anxious to know. ^^

As for my own story regarding this topic, when I was a freshman in high school I took a trip up to Duluth, Minnesota, in early spring. Iceburgs were still crowding the harbors and a Nordic chill was on the air. Duluth is a town with a very strange aura which is very hard to place, so I will simply say that it seems heavy with history. On this journey, my group and I visited an old mansion on the short of Lake Superior called Glensheen. It is a beautiful place and rich with aging treasures and that musty scent all Victorian houses seem to retain. On my way to the second floor (after having walked over the broad landing in the stairwell upon which a maid of the house had been murdered), I noticed a painted portrait hanging on the wall. It was of a very pale girl my age (at the time) in a white Victorian lawn dress with her dark hair piled on top of her head in a rather average Victorian way. She was cradling a fat black and white cat and peering out at her audience with great dark eyes, her tiny pink lips pursed into a smile. Everyone in my group looked at the painting and immediately sought me out. We looked very much the same. To this day I still cannot find out who the painter was, but a mansion employee says the girl was a friend of the family. My own fat black and white cat has since passed away, but the mystery of this painting has always haunted me.




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