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Whitton, Dr Joel - Proof of the existence of past lives



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Life between Life – Dr Joel Whitton and Joe Fisher

There's an intriguing aspect to this case study which, although unrelated to the karmic issues at stake, argues convincingly for the validity of …. past lives. While in deep hypnosis as two of his past-life personalities - Thor the Viking and Xando the Zoroastian priest – [the subject]  began to remember and 'hear' the languages he spoke during these incarnations.

When he was re-experiencing his life as Thor, Dr Whitton instructed him to write down, phonetically, the vocal exchanges that were taking place. He responded by writing twenty-two words and phrases, none of which he understood. Working independently, linguistic authorities who spoke Icelandic and Norwegian subsequently identified and translated ten of these words as being Old Norse, the language of the Vikings and the precursor of modern Icelandic. Several other words seemed to have Russian, Serbian or Slavic derivation and these were also identified.

Most of the words relate to the sea - precisely the type of verbal communication that could be expected from a Viking warrior.

Dr Thor Jakobsson, a research scientist with Canada's Department of the Environment and an expert on the Icelandic language, studied the transcripts produced by [the subject] and concluded that many of the words - including those for 'storm' , 'heart' and 'iceberg'- were 'definitely of Icelandic origin'. That some of the words had their origins in other languages only added to the authenticity of the script, said Dr Jakobsson, because the restless, warlike Vikings roamed to the far corners of Europe.

'It would be appropriate for a Viking to speak a language which contained words and phrases of other tongues of that period,' he pointed out. 'I would say this could fit the language pattern of the roving Viking.'

'Xenoglossy' is the term given to the utterance of a language unknown to the speaker while 'xenography' describes its written expression. At first [the subject]  was somewhat bemused by his xenoglossic ability, but the genuineness of the material was impressed upon him when his urgent 'Roko! Roko!' in trance was identified with the Icelandic rok or 'storm'. .

‘We were out at sea’, he said, recounting the hypnotic session that produced the word in his head, 'and I could see this big storm beginning to form and I was shouting to the rowers in my boat. My mind was telling me that I was yelling "Let's get out of here!" For the experts to come up with the word "storm" made perfect sense, even though the translation was not what I had expected.'

Here are some samples of the words produced by Thor the Viking. The phonetics in bold type are those for which there is agreement in interpretation. The equivalent Icelandic word is in the second column with the English translation in the third:






Part of land between two bays; bay






VOLNY in Russian means waves



JAK LED in Serbian means Strong ice.






Calm weather



Container, ending, at last (NIJE USUSNO in Serbian means It Is not tasteful)



80 Santi in Serbian means 80 ice floes; the 80 was written in numerals)



Once X’s former life as Xando was discovered, Dr Whitton hypnotized his subject as he sat at a desk holding a pencil. First, he carried him back to his birth in Mesopotamia more than 1,300 years earlier. Then he asked him to go forward in time to the age when he was able to write and instructed him to reproduce, in the language of the day, the equivalent of such English words as 'brother', 'house', 'clothing', ‘village' and so on.

Holding the pencil very lightly, [the subject] carefully created a mysterious, Arabic-style script in a spidery, childlike hand.

'When I looked at what I had done,' said [the subject], 'all I could see was a bunch of squiggles. I thought it was pure garbage.'

Dr Whitton felt differently, however. Unsuccessful in matching his patient's supposed calligraphy with ancient scripts in library books, he eventually submitted the pencil markings to Dr Ibrahim Pourhadi, an expert in ancient Persian and Iranian languages at the Near Eastern Section of Washington's Library of Congress. After close examination of the samples, Dr Pourhadi maintained that the 'squiggles' were an authentic representation of the long-extinct language called Sassanid Pahlavi, which was used in Mesopotamia between AD 226 and 651 and bears no relation to modern Iranian.

The source of the experience

Whitton, Dr Joel

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