I was watching an episode of an old science fiction show on Youtube the other day. The story was about a timid young man who came to see a psychologist to handle his timidity. For a variety of reasons, the psychologist put him under hypnosis and asked him to go back in time. As it turns out, the lad returned to 1899. He was about to be hanged for killing a man.
Of course, the psychologist’s comm cycle was rough and invalidative. But when the session was over, a verification call was made to where this incident took place. Sure enough, there had been a man there by that name at that time, who had been hanged for murder.
At the end of the episode of this program, you were left with the puzzle of how this young man “remembered” this incident, when he had never been exposed to any history of the location or time in question. Of course the answers proposed had to do with electromagnetic vibrations or cell memory or whatever. Why? Because, as the narrator put it, “We don’t believe in reincarnation”.
This struck me as remarkably funny.
Of course, the obvious answer couldn’t possibly be true, because “we don’t believe in that”. So what you’re saying is that scientific inquiry, supposedly the most pure, objective and unbiased approach to the natural world, is stifled by mere belief. Instead, we have to postulate some impossibly complex, impossible to verify explanation having to do with brain chemistry and electromagnetic waves. It’d have to be something like that, because “we don’t believe in reincarnation”. (And the unspoken idea that Man is just a bunch of chemicals; souls and spirits are just religious mumbo jumbo.)
Pretty silly, isn’t it?
Of course, this explains why Ron succeeded where the thousands before him failed. Ron, too, was doubtful about past lives when he first encountered them in auditing. Of course, the obvious research tack to take would be to test this phenomenon on others. Could they be persuaded to return to incidents in prior “lifetimes” which they couldn’t possibly know anything about consciously? And could the details of the incidents be verified objectively? This is what the psychologist in the original program should have done. But of course, “we don’t believe in reincarnation”. Ron looked past this “belief” stuff and took seriously the central tenets of scientific research, and went ahead and performed such experiments. The result, to the horror of the directors of the original Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation, was that, somehow we did live multiple lives, and that we could remember them. And moreover, when these past life incidents were contacted, people often experienced intense relief from whatever was currently troubling them. This required a whole re-thinking of the relationship between the mind, the body, the physical universe, and whatever might be thought of as a “soul”. But again, with the proper unbiased facts in view, the answer was basically simple.
For those who don’t know the story of how Ron started this whole voyage of discovery, and who are interested in how science factored into it, I’d strongly suggest Dianetics The Evolution of a Science. It’s an entertaining look at Ron’s thought processes and the early track of discovery where they led him. For those who don’t believe in past lives, you needn’t worry. This book doesn’t get into that part of the research; past lives was later on. The book is short and the narrative is lively and amusing in a lot of places. I’ve re-read this book a number of times, just for fun. Definitely recommended.