A 2-year-old boy said that he was a fighter pilot in a war in his previous life. Is this just a boy with a special imagination or a real proof of reincarnation-life, death and resurrection? Here is an interesting interview around this story on the US national public radio news site NPR.
The person interviewed in the article is an expert who has studied hundreds of reincarnation cases, psychologist Jim Tucker from the University of Virginia in the US.
NPR: When did you first become interested in the subject-when was the idea of reincarnation mature enough to be the subject of scientific discovery?
Psychologist Jim Tucker: I got interested in it in the late ’90s. But actually, this work was done at the University of Virginia 50 years ago. Over the decades, we have now (in 2014) studied over 2,500 cases of children reporting memories of past lives.
And what we’re trying to do is determine exactly what the kids said, what happened, and whether it matches the life of someone who’s lived and died before. When I joined, I started focusing on the US cases.
And I have explained several cases in a published book. And there are actually some pretty convincing cases of reincarnation in the US.
NPR: Let’s talk about some of those. He was referring to his recent book Return to life . He recounted chronologically the stories of many children, including one that caught the attention of the entire United States.
It is the story of James Leininger – a boy who remembers being a fighter pilot in the second world war. Could you go over this case for us?
Tuker: James Leininger (born 1998) is the son of a Christian couple in Louisiana. As a child, he liked toy airplanes. But as his second birthday approached, James started having nightmares four to five times a week about a plane crashing.
After that, James talked about this plane crash all day long, saying that he was a pilot, he took off from a ship. When asked by his father the name of the ship, James said it was Natoma. James said he was shot down by the Japanese, died at Iwo Jima, had a friend named Jack Larsen on board.
It turned out that there was a transport plane named USS Natoma Bay parked in the Pacific Ocean during World War 2. It is indeed related to Iwo Jima. A pilot died there – a young man named James Huston.
James Huston’s plane crashed exactly the way James Leininger described it: the engine was shot, explodes in fire, falls into the water, and quickly sinks. When the incident happened, the pilot of the next plane was named Jack Larsen.
NPR: How old was James when you made these claims?
Tucker: Just turned two.
NPR: It’s amazing.
Tucker: As in most cases, the memory will fade over time when the boy is 5, 6 or 7 years old, which is normal. But surely the memory was there, pretty strong for a while.
NPR: How do you know these kids didn’t exaggerate what they heard from their parents or make up stories with their own imaginations when it comes to dreams they might have?
Tucker: As far as imagination is concerned, of course, if we’ve never been able to verify if what the child says matches someone who’s dead, we can just take it as delusions. But for cases like James, the previous life as James Huston is too vague.
I mean, he’s a pilot who was murdered 50 years earlier, and he’s from Pennsylvania, and James’s in Louisiana, it seems absolutely impossible that the boy gathered this information through all sorts of normal means as a 2 year old child.
In fact, it took the boy’s father many years – three or four years to be exact – to track it all down and see that, yes, everything James said fits the case of the pilot dying in battle.
NPR: Please do some scientific analysis for me, because many people will hear this thinking it can’t happen.
Tucker:I think it is very difficult to simply arrange these cases on a materialistic map of understanding of reality. I mean, if matter is important, if the physical world is everything then I don’t know how you can accept and believe these circumstances.
But in my opinion, there are good reasons to believe that consciousness can be seen as a separate entity from physical reality. In fact, some leading scientists in the past, such as the father of quantum theory Max Planck, have said that he considers consciousness the basis from which matter arises.
Thus, in this case, consciousness does not necessarily depend on a physical brain for survival, and can continue to live after the physical brain and body have died. In these cases, it seems – at least,
NPR: This might be a silly question, but I’ll ask anyway. Does that mean that consciousness needs to reside in a body?
Tucker: Of course we don’t know. But in the case of James Leininger, I mean the 50-year gap between two lives.
Now, who said he didn’t populate another body in the meantime? But my guess is no. It is possible that a physical body for us to express ourselves in this world is needed now,
but it is also possible that our brains are the conduit for consciousness, and it is true that consciousness has already been created. somewhere else.
NPR: So, what are you trying to reveal or prove? In your opinion, what constitutes important scientific development in this field?
Tucker: I don’t know of course I have to try to prove something, but I’m trying to figure out for myself what seems to be going on here. And I think these cases contribute a lot of evidence that, consciousness, at least in some cases, can persist after the death of the body, that life after death is more than just a illusion or something is viewed on the basis of faith, but we can also approach the problem analytically and evaluate this view on its merits.
NPR: Obviously you’ve been interested in this subject for a long time, and that’s what drives your work. But I wonder, after years of examining countless cases, how has your understanding of the afterlife and what happens after death increase? After all, for you, does that change anything?
Tucker: I am certainly convinced that there is more to it than purely physical reality. I think it’s possible that if we survive there’s not just one experience that all of us have, and the afterlife could be just as varied as life in this world.
Dr. Jim B. Tucker is currently a professor in the Department of Neurobehavioral Sciences and Psychiatry and director of the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) at the University of Virginia in the US.
DOPS brings together researchers from near-death phenomena, ghosts, pre-death scenes, and other topics related to human consciousness.
At DOPS, Dr. Jim’s work is continuing the work of his predecessor Ian Stevenson, studying children who have been recorded with memories of previous lives.
Dr. Jim is the author of many books that have been translated into more than 20 languages around the world: Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children who Remember Past Lives . before), Life before life , Before: Children’s Memories of Previous Lives is a combined version of the two books above.
James Leininger’s incredible story was captured in the 2009 book Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a World War II Fighter Pilot . This book is written by the parents of James Leininger-Bruce Leininger and Andrea Leininger and professional writer Ken Gross.