Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence for Past Lives

Tom Shroder, Author Simon & Schuster $24 (256p) ISBN 978-0-684-85192-1
While it is easy for Western science to dismiss as fantasy or wish fulfillment the recollections of individuals who ""remember"" being Cleopatra or Napoleon, how is one to explain a young boy's insistence that he is really a nondescript auto mechanic who died in a car crash a few years before? American psychiatrist Ian Stevenson has spent more than 30 years studying the cases of some 2000 children who spontaneously remember concrete details about dead strangers whose experiences can be documented. On his two final field trips, to Lebanon and India, he was accompanied by journalist Shroder, Sunday Style editor of the Washington Post. Shroder's account of these expeditions emphasizes physical detail over in-depth analysis but nevertheless makes for engrossing reading. In many cases, the subjects exhibit birthmarks or extreme phobias corresponding to injuries or traumatic events in their ""past lives."" They recognize the deceased's relatives and friends; in one case, a Lebanese boy asked the deceased's mother if she had finished knitting the sweater she was making for him when he died. That the compelling questions raised by such cases are ignored by the scientific establishment causes Stevenson great disappointment. ""For me,"" he claims, ""everything now believed by scientists is open to question, and I am always dismayed to find that many scientists accept current knowledge as forever fixed."" The journalistic objectivity Shroder brings to his material makes this an exceptionally valuable treatment of an often disparaged subject. Agent, Al Hart, Fox Chase Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1999
Release date: 08/01/1999
Genre: Religion
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-7432-1892-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-5414-0084-9
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