Absolutely true, to both questions. As I said, I don't expect you or anyone else to believe me. Strange remarks and behaviour do not make a reincarnated human. But fact is that they exist, and fact is that sometimes a deceased person can be found who fits the remarks and descriptions. There is no doubt about it. Look it up. In a small minority of Stevenson's cases the kids do name the deceased, places they lived in, their relatives etc.Small minority, but more than just anecdotes. These cases have been documented.But is it not also true that a few "strange remarks" hardly qualifies as equivalency of personhood? is it not also true that the two children you heard making these remarks also have their own experiences, memories, bodies, likes, dislikes, and personalities that are unique only to them?
And please don't think I won't accept these kids as their own persons. I see what you are getting at and I do share your worries. These kids are not the fricking living dead, they are actual people, living here and now. And it's probably best to let nature run it's course and let them forget the things they upset their parents with (which happens to almost all of them at the age of 6 to 8 years). In no case did I try to force them to "ponder the mystery", and neither did Stevenson and his people. As I said, no regression hypnosis, no interrogation, no long-term surveillance, the kids said what they wanted to say and when they stopped talking about these things, the case was closed for the researchers.
In both "my cases" and in many of the cases described by Stevenson, the parents (or other relatives) actually did not encourage the kid to speak about this stuff. Quite the opposite, as soon as they make these remarks, more often than not, they are told to hush up and not to let anybody overhear what they say abot having been to heaven or living with another family and so on. In my experience, no-one forces them to talk more about it and confuse their actual existence with some half-baked fantasy / memory.
But does that mean we should just forget about the whole fricking genuine phenomenon and act as if it's not there? Hell, no. I don't think so.Correct me, if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that that's what you are advocating here? I frankly can't understand how any scientific thinking person could just want to ignore a genuine phenomenon.
I'm afraid it's nothing but subjective stuff, behaviours, remarks, nothing that you would count as solid proof, so that would be a waste of time. While these incidents were eventually very convincing to me personally, they wouldn't mean anything to you. And often, these incidents were of a quite personal and, frankly, embarrassing nature, so I can't tell you more than I typed in my first post in the "born again" thread.On your other case, I don't know what made you think some dear person you once knew actually "came back". What evidence do you have of that, and what makes you think that "there seems to have been a decision by the deceased after death ... "? I would think you should need something objective and definitive to base such a belief on. By this I don't mean that you need some sort of material evidence, but is there anything about your experience that you can say would be definitive if it were presumed to be a true event, but considered from an objective point of view?
All I can say is that when that little girl put her hand on my chest and said "I am forever here, here with you", she didn't sound or act as I would expect any child to speak or act. Not playful, trying out words etc. She was whispering very intensely, much as you would expect from a grown-up person who has something very important to say which is not intended for everyone's ears. It was the strangest thing I've ever experienced with any child, or with anybody at all. Both kids are (or were, my cousin is over 20 now) very special in that way, they seem to know about the meaning of life and death, like I've never seen from any other child.
Actually, at the time when my cousin (the first "case") showed this behaviour, I thought that reincarnation was pure crap, which was essentially what I thought about anything that seemed remotely religious. It took me 20 years of evidence, reading Stevenson's books (and dismissing many of the other reincarnation authors, because - believe it or not - I suspected them to be religiously motivated, using questionable techniques like regression hypnosis and / or rushing to conclusions) and finally the second case to come around to regarding reincarnation as a remote possibility. The way you describe it, it seems that I was rushing to a conclusion in no time, induced by my own wishful thinking. That's just a crude misrepresentation. I actually did look for other explanations and actively tried to avoid showing the kids I expected them to behave in a certain way. I had endless sleepless nights thinking it through and trying to come to a "rational" conclusion.However assuming your experience is true, what really seems to have happened is that you associated isolated aspects of your experience with a cultural belief ( reincarnation ) in a way that seemed to match, then assumed from that circumstance, that reincarnation is true.
I 've never been religious, quite the opposite, and I still am not religious at all. But I think that it might be a mistake (which I made myself) to look for the roots of the idea in religious beliefs. As I said in the other thread, I speculate that the idea of reincarnation might be older than the religions which have made it an item in their inventory. It might stem from the observation of the described children's behaviour from our earliest ancestors on. Different theories might have evolved, what this behaviour could mean, leading to a proto-belief in reincarnation, presumably very strong in Asia, especially India (I think the first written mention of reincarnation was in Indian religious texts, some centuries BC), which was eventually "adopted" by Hinduism, Buddhism etc. Other religions, like Christianity, looked at the evidence too, but dismissed it. Just a theory, of course.