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'Newborn', by Alex Grey

Return to Life – The Reincarnation Research of Dr Jim Tucker

It’s been almost seven years since the death of Dr. Ian Stevenson, well-known for his extensive and detailed research into apparent cases of reincarnation. Stevenson was very much the ‘public face’ of this research strand, but one of his proteges at the University of Virginia, Dr. Jim Tucker, has also spent many years investigating the same topic, and has recently released a new book on his own research titled Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives. Tucker was recently on NPR discussing his work, for those interested in taking a listen (transcript here):

As might be expected, Tucker’s seven-minute appearance on NPR has engendered a comments thread with more than 230 entries, with no shortage of bickering between people horrified that NPR would cover such an ‘unscientific’ topic and others defending the discussion – reminiscent of last year’s blow-up after the University of Virginia’s own magazine printed a piece on his reincarnation research.

  1. Nothing to see here folks, move along…
    I appreciate honest debate on “alternative” topics, but judging from the (often uninformed) blow-back on topics like this, it’s obvious that many skeptics don’t even want to see certain ideas being discussed–at all. Is it just me, or has that trend become even more pronounced in recent years? (And if so, why?)

    1. Jupiter – my answer to “Why” Sceptics…
      “Why” don’t skeptics want to see certain ideas even discussed? IMO its a symptom of our evolving culture in which narcissism is admired over humbleness, self-importance over compromise, outrageousness over subtleness, and being right over being correct… I feel the decline began in the ’80s – the decade of excess and greed combined with the launching of political correctness that elevated the sensitivities of the few over the customs of the many.

      Suddenly the individual with their appetites and opinions was allowed to forego the traditionally admired traits of restraint and modesty, compromise and grace and was told by movies that greed was good, was told by media that if something was offensive to them large or small that their feelings exceeded those of the masses and they should be outraged and make themselves heard. These were general attitude changes that resulted in some needed good, but as with any change unintended bad came along with it.

      The problem with people is that they are people…even the best of us are very imperfect and it only goes downhill from there. So feed into our appetites, our egos, our fears, and empower us in our minds and worse in the courts, elevate our opinions beyond their value or importance and you have a recipe for disaster. This in my mind has led to many of our current problems, most relevant to the ‘why” of sceptics are the breakdown of civil discourse because that lessens one’s opinion while elevating that of others, breakdown of open-mindedness because it lessens one’s beliefs aka intelligence while elevating that of others, breakdown of restraint because it lessens one’s importance while elevating that of others…

      Other current problems resulting directly or indirectly from this sea change in behavior and attitudes since the 1980’s include: 1. the obesity and related diseases epidemic because excess is king and restraint is counter to entitlement, people innately deserve whatever they want, their feelings rule over reason or logic, 2. the widening polarization of political parties and opinions, and 3. the growing entitlement mentality with its ever-growing consumption and demands for services both hastening the planets rape and pollution while driving nations debt into bankruptcy. Even the housing bubble and crash resulted from this newfound belief system in which home ownership became a right regardless of ability to pay and the combined greed of the bankers, the brokers, the investors and the home buyers broke the world.

      In short people have gone insane! Insane definition “in a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill.” Of course it depends on how normal is defined…the new normal would likely be labeled as insanity by old standards of 30 or 40 years ago, but today is simply “normal.” In fact if you don’t participate on Facebook, don’t conform to rigid scientific opinion, or disagree with your president’s political positions you are considered mentally ill, anti-social or racists, i.e. you are the insane one not participating in the “normal” perception, behavior or social interaction. So much for liberalization aka open-mindedness – seems the more liberal society becomes the more oppressive to ideas it doesn’t support or agree with…

      So that’s my thoughts on the matter in a very large and long nutshell. Sorry, but this is a topic I often think about and couldn’t resist the opportunity… I’m sure there’s something in there to rankle most everyone, but at least here there will be respectful “discussion” unlike most other places 

      1. Yes, I agree with you that
        Yes, I agree with you that humans have gone insane.
        The term “Wetiko” is a handy short-cut for the whole insanity you have outlined.

        Terri in Joburg

  2. Monkey see Monkey do
    Greg, I could’nt agree with you more, IMO the “Monkey” race has
    gone insane! reminds me of a book I read awhile back “nightfall”
    can’t remember the author at this time; It’s 6am and I’ve been at
    work all night (night audit) blech.. anyways if you and others have
    not seen this most excellent Documentary ” The Century of the self” -though I am sure you probably already have- it explains quite a lot. * Lord please make me a stone.

  3. Reincarnation
    A sceptic is someone that thinks that they know the answers to the unexplained, whereas cynics are clever enough (in their own mind) to KNOW the answers.
    Most sceptics (skeptics) are really just cynics in disguise and, as such, are not worthy of serious consideration.
    If people had taken every cynical comment over the centuries as irrefutable then mankind would still be living in caves.
    An open mind allows the light to flood in whereas a closed mind is permanently shrouded in darkness.

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