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No. 13: Winter 1981

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Proof of reincarnation?

"The authors report a case of the reincarnation type with several unusual features. First, the subject began to have apparent memories of a previous life when she was in her thirties, a much older age than that of the usual subjects of cases of this type; second, the memories occurred only during periods of marked change in the subject's personality; and third, the new personality that emerged spoke a language (Bengali) that the subject could not speak or understand in her normal state. (She spoke Marathi and had some knowledge of Hindi, Sanskrit, and English.) A careful investigation of the subject's background and early life disclosed no opportunities for her to have learned to speak Bengali before the case developed. A final interpretation of this case cannot be made on the basis of present information and knowledge. The authors, however, believe that, as of now, the data of the case are best accounted for by supposing that the subject has had memories of the life of a Bengali woman who died about 1830.

(Stevenson, Ian, and Pasricha, Satwant; "A Preliminary Report of an Unusual Case of the Reincarnation Type with Xenoglossy," American Society for Psychical Research, Journal, 74:331, 1980.)

Comment. Most such cases of purported reincarnation quickly collapse under scrutiny, but this one seems a bit more substantial.

From Science Frontiers #13, Winter 1981. � 1981-2000 William R. Corliss