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Reincarnation Proof [BANNED] True Story

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  • Here is another, about a Scottish Boy:
  • I read a study about the Scottish boy. The family did eventually go to the island, and according to the report, there was no house where the child said there would be one. They found another house some ways away, but the people living there didn't remember anything, there wasn't a fit with the boy's memories. If anyone can find more info about this, please post it.

    The first story was very impressive, though.
  • I read a study about the Scottish boy. The family did eventually go to the island, and according to the report, there was no house where the child said there would be one. They found another house some ways away, but the people living there didn't remember anything, there wasn't a fit with the boy's memories. If anyone can find more info about this, please post it.

    The first story was very impressive, though.
    I will look into it. Thank you for watching and commenting!
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Somewhere in the UK, Central-Southern.... Moderator
    Yes, I saw the documentary. I was unimpressed, frankly.....
  • OK, I have to throw some water on the fires of belief here. This story is always brought up whenever people want to bring examples of "scientific proof" of reincarnation to the debate.

    Real scientists have actually looked at this case. A lot is made of the fact that the boy had never been to this island, but that's nothing. The boy was certainly exposed to the name of the island over and over, since it isn't far from his home. He claims to remember a white house on a beach and a black and white dog, and a father named Shane Robertson who died when he was hit by a car.

    Now, anyone familiar with that Scottish coast knows you can't throw a rock without hitting a white house near the beaches, and the most common dog is a black and white border collie. So they go to the island, which is tiny and everyone there knows everybody for generations. They find one Robertson family that used to live in a white house near a beach, and had a border collie. Amazing!

    Except there was never a Shane Robertson, a name the boy insisted was correct, and there was never any Robertson hit by a car. Like all vague psychic claims, this one falls apart as soon as you try to match the details. If this is the best evidence for reincarnation, then it's no evidence at all, unfortunately.

    It's called confirmation bias. Fortune tellers and psychics make their living knowing how to manipulate people through this. People assign huge significance to any random match and ignore or completely disregard any failures when it comes to detail.

    I am NOT saying reincarnation doesn't exist. I am only saying, if you are counting on Ian Stevenson and the stories he printed in his book to convince a skeptic, you are going to fail. We're aware of the stories, most of us have looked into the ones that keep being trotted out, and know it's not very convincing.

  • Yes, I saw the documentary. I was unimpressed, frankly.....
    Why? What makes you feel that way?
  • OK, I have to throw some water on the fires of belief here. This story is always brought up whenever people want to bring examples of "scientific proof" of reincarnation to the debate.

    Real scientists have actually looked at this case. A lot is made of the fact that the boy had never been to this island, but that's nothing. The boy was certainly exposed to the name of the island over and over, since it isn't far from his home. He claims to remember a white house on a beach and a black and white dog, and a father named Shane Robertson who died when he was hit by a car.

    Now, anyone familiar with that Scottish coast knows you can't throw a rock without hitting a white house near the beaches, and the most common dog is a black and white border collie. So they go to the island, which is tiny and everyone there knows everybody for generations. They find one Robertson family that used to live in a white house near a beach, and had a border collie. Amazing!

    Except there was never a Shane Robertson, a name the boy insisted was correct, and there was never any Robertson hit by a car. Like all vague psychic claims, this one falls apart as soon as you try to match the details. If this is the best evidence for reincarnation, then it's no evidence at all, unfortunately.

    It's called confirmation bias. Fortune tellers and psychics make their living knowing how to manipulate people through this. People assign huge significance to any random match and ignore or completely disregard any failures when it comes to detail.

    I am NOT saying reincarnation doesn't exist. I am only saying, if you are counting on Ian Stevenson and the stories he printed in his book to convince a skeptic, you are going to fail. We're aware of the stories, most of us have looked into the ones that keep being trotted out, and know it's not very convincing.

    Thank you for sharing your views.
  • @Cinorjer Thanks for this input. What did you think of the first story?
  • @Cinorjer Thanks for this input. What did you think of the first story?
    First I heard of it, so I had to take a look at the story and also the several websites dedicated to more closely examining such claims.

    What becomes immediately apparent is the parents either have a very selective memory or they are intentionally leaving out important facts that cast doubt of the evidence.

    The boy's father took him at an early age to a War Museum, of all things, where the boy became fascinated with the aircraft and displays of battles (and the museum had a prominent display of the exact plane the boy later claimed to have flown) and soon after that trip the boy started drawing fighter aircraft and having nightmares. The father also encouraged this interest by bringing home books on WWII and old fighter planes. Funny, the video gives the impression this interest and knowledge from the boy came out of nowhere.

    And when the boy had nightmares (which is a normal stage most children go through) the grandmother suggested they bring in Carol Bowman, a councilor who specializes in bringing out past life memories. It is from her prompting and with the active cooperation of the parents that the boy began actively participating in making a case for his being reincarnated. From this point on, there is simply no way to tell if anything being told by the parents is true or not. We do know when the father tries to say they didn't believe in reincarnation, it's a sure bet the grandmother and the councilor did and since they aren't telling the whole story at all, we must approach this with a high degree of skepticism.

    http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/07/reincarnation_a.html

    I am actually uncomfortable debunking these, because I don't want to upset people. However, if you believe in reincarnation because "there are examples that can't be explained any other way), then you've been lied to.
  • edited December 2011
    You make exactly the point I was wondering about. Could the parents in the second case have unwittingly rewarded the boy for his story-telling by paying attention, writing everything down from the age of 2, and encouraging more storytelling? The same applies in the first case, it's clear now that you bring up these additional details.

    But just because these cases can be explained doesn't mean all cases that have been compiled by various researchers can be debunked. That's my opinion. But I'm always open to information, and to testing these cases. Thank you, never fear posting the truth as you see it. :)
  • Science is the ultimate tool for explaining how the universe works, but science cannot tell anyone what the purpose is to it all, or if the universe or an individual life has a purpose beyond simple survival. That's what religion is for.
  • Science is the ultimate tool for explaining how the universe works, but science cannot tell anyone what the purpose is to it all, or if the universe or an individual life has a purpose beyond simple survival. That's what religion is for.
    I couldn't agree with this statement more!
  • personperson Veteran
    edited December 2011
    I stated this on another post but I don't view these kinds of stories as 'proof', to me they are evidence. There are sometimes alternate explanations, often they are just possible explanations and nothing definitive.

    I trust the teachings of those who say they have a direct realization of past lives through meditative experience based on the truth of the number of other truths they have explained that I have found to also be true from my own experience.

    Also, logically the notion of rebirth and karma moving from one life to the next holds up as a belief system.

    I don't think it can be said with 100 percent certainty that literal rebirth occurs until you can subjectively prove it to yourself with direct experience. But based on these reasons I have a high enough confidence in its possibility that I'm willing to accept it as a belief.
  • I think the question regardless of rebirth is how to live our lives. Should we get caught up in material 'stuff' and stop practicing? Just because rebirth is not true? Perhaps, but I think we can find in our own experience if the dharma brings a better life. In this life. Some extreme examples are abusive behaviours or self destructive behaviours. We can see the dharma is helpful if only to see what we are doing and have compassion on ourselves... I don't know why I say 'only' to that?
  • A lot of young kids have rebirth issues.
    Rebirth issues typically involve major trauma, typically memory of one's own traumatic death with unresolved issues.

    The duty of a parent is to help the child work through, heal, and release those unresolved issues, not to put the kid on international television with all cameras focused on his "reaction shot."
    Yes, it is proof all right...
    proof that the adults are total idiots.
  • A lot of young kids have rebirth issues.
    Rebirth issues typically involve major trauma, typically memory of one's own traumatic death with unresolved issues.

    The duty of a parent is to help the child work through, heal, and release those unresolved issues, not to put the kid on international television with all cameras focused on his "reaction shot."
    Yes, it is proof all right...
    proof that the adults are total idiots.
    :)
  • CinorjerCinorjer Veteran
    edited December 2011
    See, the problem with such claims from a scientific or skeptical standpoint is that you're jumping from observation to conclusion and ignoring other possibilities.

    Observation: a boy's parents claim their child is acting and saying things that are unexpected and showing knowledge that he shouldn't have. To them, he's recounting memories of someone who flew a plane during the war and died in a crash.

    The first thing skeptics ask is: Can we say with certainty the things that the boy is supposed to have said are indeed accurately recounted, and can we eliminate "contamination" by what the boy has been exposed to. This includes random encounters, all the media he has access to, and even coaxing by adults who unknowingly plant details. That last is the most troubling. Remember the infamous day care center witch hunt in the US? The adults managed to get children to "remember" wild stories of Satanic abuse that put people in prison by planting details in a child's mind. The adult councilors to this day claim it wasn't their fault and they were not responsible.

    In other words, can we eliminate other explanations so we know these details of a past life are not a product of this life? Not so far. And this is the important first step that Dr. Ian Stevenson kept skipping in his research. He would ask a few cursory questions and then skip directly to the next stage, which is trying to match the memories with some dead person's history.

    If we cannot say for certain that the memories were original to the boy, that doesn't mean we can jump to the conclusion that reincarnation is disproved in that case, either. All we can say logically is that the story doesn't prove anything one way or another.
  • poptartpoptart Veteran
    edited December 2011
    Here's another story. Part 2 is also on Youtube.

    http://youtu.be/dt6Ye8bQA5M
  • A lot of young kids have rebirth issues.
    Rebirth issues typically involve major trauma, typically memory of one's own traumatic death with unresolved issues.

    I have never met a child like this, either during my own childhood or during my years as a parent of young children. I have never heard another parent talk about their own child or one they knew about having this type of issue. Nor did it ever come up during my years in individual and group psychotherapy. From my own experience I would say that a lot of young kids do not have rebirth issues.
  • If my whole life involved sewing buttons onto shirts and I died in the act and then smoewhere in the world a boy grew up to do nothing but sew buttons on shirts using the same stitching I once used... perhaps I am reincarnated... but what is the 'I' that is reincarnated - is it me or the essence of what it means to be me? If its the latter then where does that information reside and is it exclusive to me as a mortal individual and can I claim ownership of it such that reincarnation of it is me again? The concept of reincarnation only becomes problematic when it is relied on to dodge death...
  • @Cinorjer

    Correct, but it is quite some more fun and easy to believe in the supernatural claims. Weee!
  • @Cinorjer

    Correct, but it is quite some more fun and easy to believe in the supernatural claims. Weee!
    LOL ! (That's the ticket)
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited December 2011
    I think it's like any other so-called paranormal phenom. Like with clairvoyants--there are a lot of fakes out there, but there are some who are the real deal.
  • I think it's like any other so-called paranormal phenom. Like with clairvoyants--there are a lot of fakes out there, but there are some who are the real deal.
    Def! The real ones don't go on camera though. Which is good!
  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran
    edited December 2011
    I went to school with an autistic boy who would stutter intensly. Then he would start speaking Spanish, with less stutter. One day he told me he got around 100% on a Spanish speaking test. This was when he was around 11 years old.

    I had to ask him why he knows Spanish and he would just say I don't know. Years later I asked him about it and he said that his family doesn't know any spanish or anything like that. I told him I've heard of cases where people remember languages from past lives and he told me that he has been to a past life regressionist.

    Or maybe he just learned it all in his spare time.

    Strange rhough.
  • Great story, Shanyin! Gopi Krishna, who had a spontaneous Kundalini awakening that disrupted his whole life for many years ("Living With Kundalini" was his first book), suddenly found himself writing poetry in German. I think other languages came to him, I don't remember the whole story. We have no idea the extent of human potential, that's what these cases say to me. And how science ties in. For example, if it's true what they say that mind is a field permeating the universe, maybe we have the capacity to tune in to infinite knowledge, like your school friend and Gopi Krishna did, on a more limited basis. Maybe information is just hanging around the mind field, waiting to be tapped.
  • I have never met a child like this, either during my own childhood or during my years as a parent of young children. I have never heard another parent talk about their own child or one they knew about having this type of issue. Nor did it ever come up during my years in individual and group psychotherapy. From my own experience I would say that a lot of young kids do not have rebirth issues.
    The vast majority of young kids do not have rebirth issues. The vast majority of people do not die an extremely traumatic death with unresolved issues sufficient to cause any rebirth issues whatsoever.
    From my own experience, I was born with rebirth issues, and I've seen a lot of kids with rebirth issues... but then I've also dealt with a great many kids.


  • Great story, Shanyin! Gopi Krishna, who had a spontaneous Kundalini awakening that disrupted his whole life for many years ("Living With Kundalini" was his first book), suddenly found himself writing poetry in German. I think other languages came to him, I don't remember the whole story. We have no idea the extent of human potential, that's what these cases say to me. And how science ties in. For example, if it's true what they say that mind is a field permeating the universe, maybe we have the capacity to tune in to infinite knowledge, like your school friend and Gopi Krishna did, on a more limited basis. Maybe information is just hanging around the mind field, waiting to be tapped.
    I am having this problem.
    I opened my Kundalini to early and now I am in pain>...:0(
  • @aura I'm sorry if I sound skeptical. To me it is as if someone says they have seen many sasquatches. Maybe they have, but until I see one, I am not convinced. I know a number of teachers. There are several in my immediate family. Never has any of them ever suspected that a child has this type of issue. On the coast where I live there are many "new age" types who would, no doubt be all over it if they thought their child was affected by this. Of all the many babies and little children in my family and all the little ones in their respective circles, why has this never come up? How many hundreds or thousands of children does someone have to know before they might meet one of these kids with rebirth issues? Or is it simply that almost no one is qualified to recognize them?
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited December 2011
    It's ok to be skeptical, robot. I totally understand. I rejected rebirth for many years.

    A friend of mine who's a psychotherapist ran into a client of hers once, just going around town, doing errands. The client had his 3-year old daughter with him. Dad must've been telling her to behave, or something, because at the moment my friend walked up to them, the girl looked at her dad with exasperation, and said, "When I was the daddy and you were little, you had to do everything I said!"

    Go figure.

    P.S. It may never have come up because the West doesn't take these incidents seriously, usually. Parents may explain them away as kids' imagination. Native Americans tend to believe that family members get reborn into a later generation of the same family. Maybe someone should interview Native American families. The researchers don't seem to have thought of that.

    @Leon You? Kundalini?? How did that happen?
  • It's ok to be skeptical, robot. I totally understand. I rejected rebirth for many years.

    A friend of mine who's a psychotherapist ran into a client of hers once, just going around town, doing errands. The client had his 3-year old daughter with him. Dad must've been telling her to behave, or something, because at the moment my friend walked up to them, the girl looked at her dad with exasperation, and said, "When I was the daddy and you were little, you had to do everything I said!"

    Go figure.

    P.S. It may never have come up because the West doesn't take these incidents seriously, usually. Parents may explain them away as kids' imagination. Native Americans tend to believe that family members get reborn into a later generation of the same family. Maybe someone should interview Native American families. The researchers don't seem to have thought of that.

    @Leon You? Kundalini?? How did that happen?
    Meditation and Dreams.

  • It's ok to be skeptical, robot. I totally understand. I rejected rebirth for many years.

    A friend of mine who's a psychotherapist ran into a client of hers once, just going around town, doing errands. The client had his 3-year old daughter with him. Dad must've been telling her to behave, or something, because at the moment my friend walked up to them, the girl looked at her dad with exasperation, and said, "When I was the daddy and you were little, you had to do everything I said!"

    Go figure.

    P.S. It may never have come up because the West doesn't take these incidents seriously, usually. Parents may explain them away as kids' imagination. Native Americans tend to believe that family members get reborn into a later generation of the same family. Maybe someone should interview Native American families. The researchers don't seem to have thought of that.

    @Leon You? Kundalini?? How did that happen?


    Meditation and Dreams.

    I have some of my writings on it... on my website... http://www.leonbasin.net

  • @dakini Thank you.
    I believed in rebirth for many years because it seemed like a Buddhist thing to do. And because on first glance it would seem that many Buddhist teachings point to it. Kind of a 'first there is a mountain' phase.
    Then, after a renewed interest in reading and studying, and, laugh if you must, reading DD's endless refuting of belief in rebirth, I had to look more closely at my belief. At that point I could see that my belief was groundless. It was based on my imagination of what might have happened and what might happen. Also, after reading some Madhyamaka material, Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti and such, I felt like blindly believing in an idea like rebirth didn't cut it somehow.
    In fact, it began to look to me like DD was right. Belief in rebirth was not only unnecessary, but it might even be disruptive to my effort to understand or realize D O and emptiness. How can I be reborn if there is no inherent self to begin with. 'There is no mountain'. Better to suspend belief in the absence of evidence. Not disbelief mind you. Just don't know.
    That's where I am at. If I get to 'there is a mountain' I hope I can speak with authority about things like rebirth.
  • @dakini Thank you.
    I believed in rebirth for many years because it seemed like a Buddhist thing to do. And because on first glance it would seem that many Buddhist teachings point to it. Kind of a 'first there is a mountain' phase.
    Then, after a renewed interest in reading and studying, and, laugh if you must, reading DD's endless refuting of belief in rebirth, I had to look more closely at my belief. At that point I could see that my belief was groundless. It was based on my imagination of what might have happened and what might happen. Also, after reading some Madhyamaka material, Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti and such, I felt like blindly believing in an idea like rebirth didn't cut it somehow.
    In fact, it began to look to me like DD was right. Belief in rebirth was not only unnecessary, but it might even be disruptive to my effort to understand or realize D O and emptiness. How can I be reborn if there is no inherent self to begin with. 'There is no mountain'. Better to suspend belief in the absence of evidence. Not disbelief mind you. Just don't know.
    That's where I am at. If I get to 'there is a mountain' I hope I can speak with authority about things like rebirth.
    Thank you for sharing! That was really worthwhile.
    I am stuck on karma/rebirth. However, I know that Compassion is what I truly believe in. As well as mindfulness and simplicity. I go with that. Thank you once again!

  • I’m a skeptic; I might have mentioned that before.
    Anecdotes are not proof. They are just lovely stories. We don’t have a controlled setting. We don’t have unpolluted data. No, we have believers telling stories which support their belief.

    The same type of stories can be found on alien abductions or on the monster of Loch Ness.
    People love telling fantastic stories and make them fit their purpose. They exaggerate and filter.
    We are very capable of fooling others but we are also capable of fooling ourselves.
    We can’t trust our memory very well, not even when we try to give a reliable account of what happened last week.
  • I’m a skeptic; I might have mentioned that before.
    Anecdotes are not proof. They are just lovely stories. We don’t have a controlled setting. We don’t have unpolluted data. No, we have believers telling stories which support their belief.

    The same type of stories can be found on alien abductions or on the monster of Loch Ness.
    People love telling fantastic stories and make them fit their purpose. They exaggerate and filter.
    We are very capable of fooling others but we are also capable of fooling ourselves.
    We can’t trust our memory very well, not even when we try to give a reliable account of what happened last week.
    Definitely agree with you! Especially about Aliens and Loch Ness Monster.
  • What I always try to point out is, from a Buddhist standpoint and certainly from a Zen standpoint, whether or not people are reincarnated is irrelevant, anyway, and shows an incomplete view of the self that needs to be transcended.

    Say you really do inherit a few scattered memories of someone in the past. So what? Does that mean you are that person only wearing a new body? Of course not. Memories are only one of many skandhas that make up who you are. You know for certain that you inherited your "form", your DNA, from your parents. Are you your parents? Of course not.

    A person is more than a few scattered memories. When that person in the past died, the unique bundle of skandhas that made up who they were no longer exists as a functioning person. So what part of you is being reincarnated?

    Examining our belief in reincarnation or any afterlife theory is a good starting point to examining the nature of what we are. In Zen, we sometimes put it "What was your face before you were born?"

  • >> A person is more than a few scattered memories. When that person in the past died, the unique bundle of skandhas that made up who they were no longer exists as a functioning person. So what part of you is being reincarnated?

    Reality being mysterious, it's very likely that we are very ignorant about the true nature of things. IMO it's therefore not wise to rely on our "insight" to deduce whether reincarnation can or cannot exist. So if I read stories about near-death experiences, I can either dismiss them (because they are not compatible with my "insight") or accept that these stories reflect what actually happens when you die. I choose the latter.
  • What I always try to point out is, from a Buddhist standpoint and certainly from a Zen standpoint, whether or not people are reincarnated is irrelevant, anyway, and shows an incomplete view of the self that needs to be transcended.
    Yes. The Tibetans get around this by saying it's not "self", it's the seed consciousness, the "very, very subtle mind". This seed consciousness also carries the imprint of the seeds of one's karma. But I'll admit that the whole reincarnation issue may have some New Age or other influences. In the case of TB, it may be shamanic influences.

    But tell me this, Cinorjer. Does Zen believe in rebirth? If so, what is it that gets reborn?

    @maarten There's a third possibility. One can be skeptical, yet open to the possibility that there is rebirth or reincarnation, and that some of these stories may be real. One can be skeptically open-minded, if that makes any sense. I vote with you, btw, but I respect everyone's need (and right) to go through their own process in arriving at whatever conclusion they arrive at.

  • I simply enjoy following these stories and their follow-ups kind of like a detective novel. Will this or that story be proven right, or will someone find facts (as in Cinorjer's addition to the boy-pilot story) that disprove a certain claim? It's like science; quantum physics comes up with some wild theories. It's interesting to follow as an unfolding story. Sometimes tests are devised that end up proving or disproving a given theory. It's an interesting journey, and can be enjoyed for its own sake. And the fact that some of the stories get disproved doesn't mean all of them are false.

  • But tell me this, Cinorjer. Does Zen believe in rebirth? If so, what is it that gets reborn?
    Two answers.

    First answer is that individually, many Zen Buddhists and even some Masters believe in reincarnation in some manner.

    Second, and most important answer is: Zen itself considers this belief, as any belief, only relevant to the extent it hinders or helps our practice. Zen is wrapped around the concept of "no-self" and rebirth is seen as a constant process. No-self doesn't mean you don't exist, but that your self as an independent consciousness or soul that travels through time is an illusion.

    So the question, "What is it that gets reborn?" is the same thing as asking "Where did I come from, before I was born?" and both are only asking, "What am I?" and is the heart of self-discovery that is Zen. I can't give you that answer. I can ask you to picture an empty bowl, and then fill it from a stream of water that stands for all our experiences and sensations and desires in this life. Now pour the water back into the stream. Where did the water go? Back to wherever it came from. Now refill the bowl from the stream. The bowl of water has been reborn. Is it the same bowl of water?

    Instead of standing and staring at the bowl of water, just drink from it. That's Zen, I'm afraid. Not very helpful, I know.
  • How many hundreds or thousands of children does someone have to know before they might meet one of these kids with rebirth issues? Or is it simply that almost no one is qualified to recognize them?
    Rebirth issues are generally traumatic-death-with-unfinished-personal-business issues. How many people have you personally known in this life who died a traumatic death even remotely comparable to the story of that kid who described burning to death, trapped alive in a downed aircraft?
    Traumatic death with unresolved issues is a relatively rare occurrence.

    If one hayou have earned the confidence of a great many children but none have ever revealed any rebirth issues to you, you might well regard children with rebirth issues to be on a par with Sasquatch sightings...
    or conversely, one might wonder why any child with rebirth issues would ever speak about them to any adult inclined to regard rebirth issues on a par with Sasquatch sightings.

    From a Buddhist perspective, of course, the question would be:
    Irregardless of your personal beliefs on the issue of rebirth, would you recognize and respect a child with such issues if you met one?

    I had probably seen about 2,500 kids go through swim classes down at the community pool by the time she walked in. She didn't actually walk in. She was forcibly dragged there by her mother, all the while screaming and crying at the top of her lungs and fighting to get away. The child tried planting her feet on the tarmac, leaning back and crouching down, but her mother pulled her off her feet nonetheless and caught her, dragging her upright to face the swim teacher, shouting over her screams: "Stop that right now, YOU'RE EMBARRASSING ME!.
    I thought the girl perhaps would have been better off in singing lessons; she had one heck of an impressive set of lungs for just being a little kid screaming at the top of her lungs. She couldn't have been more than 5 or 6. The little girl screamed and fought her mother and cried and shook.

  • No coaxing, reasoning, bribing, scolding, nor intimidation could get that girl anywhere near the water. She sat down hard on the tarmac crying her eyes out, shaking, and screaming at them: "I DROWN!"
    while the teacher reassured her:"Honey, nobody's gonna let you drown..."
    and her mother scolded that she was being completely ridiculous and stubborn and embarrassing her, as the child continued screaming and crying piteously
    "I DROWN! I DROWN! I DROWN!"

    There were probably about 300 people in and around the pool, mostly kids swimming or waiting for their swim lessons along with their devoted "soccer moms" and daycare providers watching and chatting in the stands. That screaming crying child was the center of everyone's attention. None of us had ever seen a child that small scream and cry that loudly before.
    The teacher wisely separated mother and daughter, allowing the child to sit on the tarmac and watch the swim class from a distance.
    I wasn't her teacher. It wasn't my problem. Across the pool, I ignored them while the most experienced swim teachers, along with a few other helpful friends/parents/onlookers tried individually and in groups to talk to both mother and child and solve the problem.

    After the 3rd day of witnessing this same daily agonizing routine, all poolside conversations seemed to turn to various ideas on the theme of "what should be done about that goddamned screaming kid" who supposedly could be heard halfway across the park. Kids and adults commented that either she and her mother should be told to leave, or perhaps someone should physically throw the screaming child in the pool "just to shut her up" because everybody was fed up with having to watch and listen to this ongoing struggle day after day.

    After the 3rd day of ignoring this daily scene because it wasn't my class and it wasn't my problem, I shook the water out of my ears. She seemed louder than ever. Her screaming and crying was bouncing off the concrete wall behind her. Bouncing off the concrete wall it oddly sounded like that little girl wasn't actually screaming and crying "I DROWN!" but was actually screaming and crying "I DROWNED!" She was a piteous sight, sitting there screaming and sobbing and shaking on the tarmac, her mother's threats and her teacher's encouragement to no avail, and everyone had backed away from her sitting on the tarmac, apparently trying to escape her relentless noise.

  • I was a swim aide, and I carried my 2 "hop and dunk" students hopping and dunking as close as we could get to the side of the pool where the little girl was sitting sobbing piteously on the tarmac for the 3rd day in a row:
    "Excuse me... but did you say that you drowned... that you had drowned and that is what happened to you?"
    She looked up at me, apparently startled that someone was asking her a question, and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand nodding and answering: "Uh huh..."
    "You mean to say that you actually... drowned?, and that is what happened to you?"
    She looked at me with a sad thousand mile stare and nodded again: "Uh huh..."
    as a big tear rolled down the right side of her face.
    "Oh my. I'm sorry to hear that. I'm so very sorry. What a terrible thing to have happened. That must have been absolutely awful."
    She silently nodded assent as tears suddenly flooded out both her eyes, overspilling and streaming down both sides of her face.
    "I'm so very sorry, honey, so very sorry that happened."
    The kids in my arms looked at her curiously. I wheeled them around to give her some space and privacy with her thoughts;
    "1, 2...3!" we bounced and dunked and blew bubbles again "good job guys! Time to work on our floating!"
    I turned them sideways away from her, supporting, floating, and watching over them on the water, while slowly matter-of-factly talking to her with the respect that any adult would grant any other adult who recounted any traumatic story:
    "I'm sorry... I'm so very sorry you drowned. That shouldn't have happened to you. That shouldn't have to happen to anybody. Drowning is a terribly sad thing."
    She continued crying, then sniffed. I slowly continued:
    "That is why everybody comes here, you know, to learn how to swim....so they won't fall into the water sometime and drown. We can teach you how to swim, honey, so you won't ever have to go through that again. It doesn't have to happen this time. It doesn't have to happen to you ever again."
    I looked her direction and smiled. She seemed to have inched just a little closer to the pool as I had been talking with her.
    "It doesn't have to happen again?" she asked me, shaking her head incredulously.
    "It doesn't have to happen again. It doesn't have to happen ever again. We can teach you how to swim and be safe in the water, just like these 2 here with me are learning how to swim and be safe in the water. Whenever you think that you want to learn how to swim, just walk over there and tell your teacher that you're ready. She'll understand."
  • I bobbed and floated my own students back to our side of the pool. The little girl had stopped crying. She got up, walked over to her teacher, and sat down at the edge of the pool, joining the rest of her class.
    Her teacher confronted me later:
    "She's absolutely the WORST one we've EVER seen, and yet she came over and wanted to be in the pool with the other kids after you talked to her! Everybody tried and nobody could deal with her at all! So what did you say to her?" They had all wanted to know.
    "I only just told her that I was so sorry she drowned."
    "YOU TOLD HER THAT YOU WERE SORRY SHE DROWNED?!"
    "I told her that I was sorry she drowned, and that it doesn't have to happen again because we can teach her how to swim and be safe in the water."
    "Huh?"
    "Never mind."

    The teachings of Buddhism do not advocate denouncing troubled children nor comparing them to Sasquatch sightings.
    The teachings of Buddhism advocate developing awareness, compassion, and respect.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited December 2011
    I think in Tibetan Buddhism that which is reincarnated is not a permanent, unchanging self. So many think that haha. But that's ass backwards. Even now we are not selves but merely streams of conditions, phenomena, or as buddha taught: skandas.

    Thus we are non-self in our life.

    If we are non-self in our life how could we be a self in string of lives? :om: :om: :om:

    Similarly a river has no self existence but is made up of thundershowers, sunshine and irrigation. Then the river goes into the sea and we call it an ocean. Did a 'self' come from the river and re-appear in the ocean?
  • Rebirth, the universe, crazy phenomena, it is all beyond our comprehension at least as unenlightened human beings. I believe in rebirth because it is IMO a focal point to the entire religon and I believe that consciousness is a continuum. Proving it however it something we just cannot do. Although these stories are very intersting, there is no way to claim that they have a 100% vadility.
  • How many hundreds or thousands of children does someone have to know before they might meet one of these kids with rebirth issues? Or is it simply that almost no one is qualified to recognize them?

    Rebirth issues are generally traumatic-death-with-unfinished-personal-business issues. How many people have you personally known in this life who died a traumatic death even remotely comparable to the story of that kid who described burning to death, trapped alive in a downed aircraft?

    You be surprised by how many people a person who spends his life in the fishing business comes to know who die traumatically. I have known many people who have died at sea.
    Some of them screaming their terror over the radio telephone for all to hear as their boat is being smashed to bits in storm force winds.
    Others died unheard in despair after falling overboard while the boat disappears in the dark.
    I have also known several people who have been crushed between two logs in the forest industry.
    I knew a woman since she was a girl until the day she was beaten to death with a hammer down at the dock.
    I have known a number of people who have died in agony and fear from cancer.
    Of course non of it has anything to do with what I was getting at.

    I have listened to children talk about dragons, elves, fairies, ghosts, Santa Claus, you name it. I have never tried to change their view just because I knew better. I have never heard one talk about dying. Bad luck I guess.
    Also, as I said, I have never met another person, swimming instructors included (my daughter is a life guard and my son swims at a master level), who has ever talked about meeting children with these issues.
    I most certainly have never denounced a troubled child.
    And I was not comparing children to sasquatch sightings.
    I was comparing your claims to be equal to sasquatch sightings in my opinion.




  • auraaura Veteran
    edited December 2011
    My claims are as follows:
    1. that I myself was a child who remembered a former life,
    which I found the remains of, still standing on the other side of the world, as an adult.
    2. that I have worked with very many children,
    3. that I have met many children who have such issues as that little girl at the pool, although she was by far the loudest, most dramatic, most publicly piteous display surrounded by the most ignorant idiotic adults I'd ever seen, including her mother.
    4. that "traumatic death with unresolved issues" is not about a violent or sudden manner of dying, but about having serious personal unresolved issues surrounding that (usually sudden/violent) death, resulting in unfinished business the child seeks to resolve.
    5. that the majority of people in the West, who do not accept any concept of rebirth, often treat these children with so much less than the respect and compassion they deserve.
    6. that Buddhism both teaches and demands these children be treated with the respect and compassion they deserve.

    The salient feature of these children is that they do not talk about dragons, elves, fairies, ghosts,or Santa Claus; they talk about their issues. They often regard adults as ignorant overgrown children. They tend to speak about their unresolved issues only with adults who have demonstrated respect and trust to them, and whom they consider worthy of their respect and trust. Any adult both demonstrating and worthy of respect and trust is not generally any adult who is going to go out sharing their story over coffee with all their friends and relatives, nor anyone who would regard their personal traumatic stories about wars and the horror of drowning, helpless to save their children from drowning, as being on a par with having seen elves, fairies, and sasquatches.

    That is my experience and those are my claims.
    You may regard my claims in any way you wish.
  • I enjoyed reading about your experiences @aura , and thank you for taking the time to share... I have no reason to doubt your claims
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