The paranormal often presents us with numerous variations of explanations for the same concepts of what ghosts and spirits maybe; and even why they exist at all. Recent times have even given us ideas that link to the likes of time and quantum physics. In my personal experience and through my own research, I can only say that there is clearly something odd going on, but in regards to its source or potential cause, well that’s still very much open for discussion.
However, what is always common in each of these experiences is us, the human factor. No one sees a ghost without being there to see a ghost; or hears a strange voice in the dark without being in the dark themselves to hear that voice. Even when strange things are caught on camera or an audio recording, we are still indirectly the common-denominator. Which is why I suspect that often paranormal experiences fall into either fraud or an aspect of psychology.
The problem is that everyone denies fraud, because that would not be a true experience; and no one really wants to admit that their paranormal experience may have a psychological explanation either. We want those experiences to be as real as they feel to each of us, as often they give us hope for the possibility of an afterlife, a great adventure beyond this life. Especially for those that have already left us, we desire there to be something else, somewhere we may be able to catch up with them once we pass over too.
It has been these concepts of belief and understanding of various paranormal experiences that have helped to fuel my own passion to learn more about the field and look beyond simple explanations. However, often in doing so I have found some interesting research and ideas that take us beyond the norm, but equally make a lot of sense to me. Tyrrell’s theory of Apparitions for one, but equal to that perhaps some of Ian Stevensons work around reincarnation.
What I always found interesting about the work Stevenson and co done on reincarnation, was not simply the odd interesting case, but the volume of cases he managed to compile on the subject from around the world; and from many different cultures too. When you read about many of these cases and begin to see the amount of information that some of cases presented as evidence for knowledge of a previous life, it is quite remarkable. Especially when presented with the solved cases, where the past life is identified and the information matches up. It is very spooky that such a connection can be made from one life to another that is for sure.
However, one thing that struck me about this research of Stevenson was how it challenged me to re-evaluate my personal time line. We often refer to events in our life and when we believe that we remember them occurring in our lifetime. However, the concept of reincarnation outlined by Stevenson’s (and others now) research seems to present us with a potential personal time line that may in some cases extend way beyond the day we were born. It may in fact extend into may past lives for all we know.
Towards the end of 2020 Netflix released the interesting series ‘Surviving Death,’ which is actually based on the book of the same name by Leslie Kean. I read this book before the series came out and can highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the paranormal. The book covers a number topics relating to the paranormal in great detail, certainly worth a read if you have a serious interest in the paranormal.
The book also looks at Stevenson’s work on reincarnation by connecting with the Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS) at the University of Virginia. Which brings the discussion in the book to the fascinating case of James Leininger. What was particularly interesting about this case was that it was about an American boy remembering a past life, which by all accounts was a rare case in comparison to the many Asian based cases that DOPS had on record. Mainly because belief systems in America were such that the concept of reincarnation was often overlooked. There could be many cases out there, but the belief systems would often write them off to imagination. A little like how we often hear of children having invisible friends when they were younger, some suggest that these could be spirits and not just imagination, which is a scary thought to be fair.
What is more fascinating about the Leininger case is that it is what Stevenson and co would call ‘solved’ and this was because enough information had been presented by young James for his father to locate the individual that his son believed he once was. I won’t delve too deeply into the full case, as it can easily be found online, on TV and within the covers of Kean’s book. However, the fundamental concept here is that young James Leininger’s experience provided a potential link to a possible past life of an American pilot in the second world war. A pilot called James Huston Jr, which is interesting in itself as James Leininger referred to himself as James 3.
Huston died in his plane during the war in 1945, but Leininger didn’t have memories until around 2000, when he began to speak. It was believed that the connection may have been triggered by a visit to a Flight Museum with his father, whilst visiting family in Dallas.
This presents us with around 55 years before Huston’s consciousness, for want of a better term, reappeared within the mind of young Leininger. The inter-life for Huston. The question that then comes to mind for me is what was Huston’s consciousness up to for 55 years? Now it is possible that Huston touched on another life during that 55 years similar to Leininger, but that was obviously never identified. It’s also possible that Huston’s consciousness bounced through several other people in that time. After all the length of someone’s life is not always as long as we would like it to be, some only have a short time in this universe before they leave us.
However, thats based on the assumption that once our consciousness slips into the great reservoir of all consciousness there is a linear time line that brings it back to physical form. Perhaps Huston’s consciousness remained in this inter-life state floating around the universe with all the others waiting to return. Perhaps even haunting a few places and turning up as an apparition here and there.
I read a paper a while back on the concept of a zero dimension, which is void of space and time. That would mean that Huston’s consciousness could enter the zero dimension and remain there, but not have any concept of time passing, but when he’s consciousness emerged and found its way to young Leininger, 55 years had indeed past here.
That is of course following a concept that Huston’s consciousness remains intact beyond physical death and finds its way to Leininger. There is of course the possibility that Leininger built the character of Huston from information obtained telepathically from those that remember Huston. Alternatively, Leininger may have been having precognitive visions built from the research he’s own father would do to find Huston. I know that sounds mad, but think it through, it’s no more of a crazy idea than the information coming from someone that passed away 55 years earlier.
If we extend these concepts further perhaps they help to explain our own paranormal experiences too. Perhaps something is triggering us to connect to pick up information telepathically, which is then interpreted as ghosts in our environment and potential communication, when it’s not quite that. Perhaps we each have knowledge of past lives like young Leininger, but it only comes to the surface in certain situations.
Whatever it is that makes up our paranormal experiences, the truth is that we don’t really know and we should admit that more. Then we should at least take the time to consider other possibilities. Perhaps ghosts and spirits are the consciousness of those that have passed looking for a physical form to tell their story through, like Leininger? Alternatively, our perception of ghosts and spirits may be wrong; they could simply be distributed information obtained telepathcially from those that still have memories of those that have passed away.
The answer will be found in the proper research, one day in the future I am sure. When that future is, who knows?