ISBN-13: 978-0981877167 $13.01 Kindle ASIN: B0082ATEGG $10.42
This book is the product of journalist Roy Stemman’s research on the subject of reincarnation. The book opens with an introduction to reincarnation, describing the beliefs of the major religions toward the subject. Stemman then introduces cases of reincarnation, notably that of Joan Grant, whose novel, Winged Pharaoh, published in 1937, was received with critical acclaim and praised for its historical accuracy. Grant claimed that the story was in fact one of her own past lives, and that she had remembered the entire book by a process called “far memory,” which was taught to a select few in ancient Egypt. What is more convincing to me, however, are the documented cases of children who spontaneously remember details of their past lives. Besides the research evidence from these children cases, this book also covers the evidence from past life regression therapy. In addition, Stemman has included such information as the selection process for each new Dalai Lama, who is claimed to be reincarnations of the same soul, and the fascinating physical signs of reincarnation such as facial appearance, birthmarks, xenoglossy, and handwriting. Brief biographies of well-known reincarnation researchers and therapists are also included.
This is not a book describing people’s past lives as uncovered via past life regression therapy. Instead, this book is written like a scientific review that examines the research evidence on reincarnation. If you wanted to read detailed examples of people’s past life stories, you would be better off reading books written by regression therapists such as Brian Weiss or Michael Newton. The Big Book of Reincarnation is for those who want to know whether reincarnation is real and want to see the research evidence. My impression from reading this book is that Stemman is leery of evidence uncovered by regression therapy, and is more supportive towards the memories spontaneously recalled by children. I think the children’s cases are more convincing because the past life memories are accompanied by corroborating physical evidence such as birthmarks and living relatives of the deceased who can validate what the children remember.
One of the most fascinating questions Stemman raises is “where are memories stored?” The evidence for reincarnation suggests that memories may be stored outside the brain. Are they stored in the soul, or in what is known as the Akashic Records?
This book is a well-researched, comprehensive overview of reincarnation. I highly recommend it as a reference and overall guidebook for those interested in finding answers to this fascinating subject.