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Observations placeholder

Stevenson, Dr Ian - Birth marks and past life trauma



Type of Spiritual Experience


Dr Ian Stevenson studies children who at a very early age, provide details of a 'memory' they couldn't possibly have acquired  – in reality they appear to be providing details from another 'log', the perceptions of another person.   The cases he has documented occur worldwide – India, the Lebanon, even places like Burma, Thailand and so on.  There are also cases in the USA.  All children, all with apparent access to an alternative perception to their own.  

There are two ways in which this could be interpreted.  Either we view it as a ‘past life’ of the child in which case this is perception recall.  The alternative is that somehow the child has gained access to perceptions that are not its own –  a form of inter composer communication.  In the first instance it provides some small proof of reincarnation if the second applies it does not. 

In many case histories there was no possibility of a bridge being formed, as such, the people who study this tend to be of the view that these cases at least point to reincarnation being a possibility. 

But bridges may be being formed without anyone realising.  For example, if the child was born in the same hospital as a person who died and the hospital was none too bothered about cleanliness, bridges would be formed very easily.  The high level of emotion with which these perceptions were generated also indicate a high level of accessibility.

The perceptions log in all the cases that Dr Stevenson found belonged to a person who had died.  In effect, the children were accessing the thoughts of a soul departed.  Practically all the people whose thoughts were accessible appeared to have died traumatically – violent death of various sorts – car crashes, murder, suicide, shot, and run over by cars – sudden and violent. 

In a number of cases, the children had birth marks in the position of the wounds of the person whose perceptions they had acquired, if the person had died a violent death.

All the concepts I have listed are links to possible explanations, because more than one exists.

A description of the experience

Tom Schröder – Old Souls [documenting the case histories of Dr Ian Stevenson]

Tali was six years old when interviewed in 1971.  Tali especially interested Dr Stevenson because he had birthmarks that roughly corresponded to a wound suffered by the man whose life he claimed to remember, a prosperous small businessman named Said Abul-Hisn who was murdered six weeks before Tali's birth.

On June 22, 1965, Said had been sitting on the patio of his home at 6am drinking coffee when an acquaintance approached from the street and shot him with a pistol.  The bullet entered at the left cheek, traversed the back of his mouth, severing his tongue and exited the right cheek.  He was rushed to the hospital, where he died eleven hours later.  The gunman was caught and committed to a psychiatric hospital; the crime appeared to be the result of delusions brought on by Said's physical resemblance to a man against whom the assailant bore a grudge.

Tali did not speak until he was nearly 3 years old, and then only with difficulty and with an impediment.  As soon as he could make himself understood, his parents said that he told them 'Don't call me Tali, my name is Said Abul-Hisn'.

He soon began speaking of the shooting.  When Stevenson interviewed him at six, he said, 'They put me in a car and took me to the hospital.  My wife was beside me.  One of my teeth fell out of my mouth and my tongue was cut and my clothes were full of blood.

The family said they hadn't noted any birthmarks on Tali, but when Stevenson examined him, he discovered a circle of increased pigmentation a half inch in diameter on the right cheek.  There was a similar, smaller, fainter mark on the left cheek.

The source of the experience

Stevenson, Dr Ian

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Being a child