Our son’s first sentence:
“Dad, I was a monk in Nepal.”
I had yet to begin my research into the flipside, I was aware of Carol Bowman’s book “Children’s Past lives” (and the subsequent books by Dr. Jim Tucker with ample evidence of reincarnation studies) but this was way before that… this was while I was home in Chicago and my son was on the phone saying goodnight.
He was 2. It was his first sentence to me. As if he’d been waiting two years to say it.
I said “Put your mom on the phone.” We went over “why did he say that?” Asked if they were watching a tv show, reading a book - no, no, and more no. She didn’t know. I let it go. Until he was 3.
One day riding around in the car I said “Son, where did you meet me?” I’m looking in the rear view mirror at his little face in the child safety seat. He looked up at me and said “Tibet.” Stunned, I said “Where in Tibet?” He said “On the path.”
Trying not to react, or over react, I thought about all the paths in Tibet I’d traversed when going there with Robert Thurman filming a documentary for Tibet House in NYC. (“Journey into Tibet with Robert Thurman” on youtube) Then I remembered when we were on the sacred mt. Kailash, Professor Thurman had offered “If you make a wish on this spot, Tibetans say it will come true.” I thought of an appropriate wish… “Hmmm. A million dollars… No, wait, a three picture movie deal.” I couldn’t make up my mind so determined I would count down from ten and whatever came out of my mouth would be my wish.”
“I want a son.” I said. I froze. What? Why did I say that? I had no clue. It wasn’t one of the two options. We had a daughter back home in Santa Monica… but it was the last thing from my conscious mind. I thought “Wow, why did I say that? Is that like a genetic thing that happens at altitude?” I let it go.
But now I was in the car with that 3 year old son. “On the path?” He nodded. “Wait, was it on Mt. Kailash?”
He shook his head “no.” I thought… wow, I was on a lot of paths in Tibet…but then remembered a name… “Was it on Kangra?”
He nodded. “Yes, it was Kangra.”
Kangra is the name of the path that goes around Mt. Kailash. It’s technically more precise, as that is where I made the wish. He was correcting me BUT IN TIBETAN.
But I said “Kangra” and he repeated it. And he was 3. So I let it go. A year later, I was working on the film “Salt” in Manhattan, had sublet an apt, when I got a call from my wife while I was on set. “Did you show him this book?” “What book?” I asked. She said our son had gone to the library of the apt’s owner, pulled two books out, threw one in the trash. My wife said “What are you doing?” He said “That book is worthless. This is the important one.” It was Robert Thurman’s book “Circling the Sacred Mountain” (written with Tad Wise) about his trip around Mt. Kailash.
Our son opened the book, pointed to a photograph of the place where I made the wish, and said “That’s where I FOUND DADDY.”
He was 4. He could not read yet. I told my wife “I’ve never said the word Kailash to him other than that one time in the car a year ago.”
But wait… there’s more.
When he was 5, we were in a Tibetan shop in LA and he disappeared. I mean my wife came and said “He’s disappeared! I can’t find him!” I looked around. Not a big shop. I said “He’s got to be here somewhere.” She came back 5 minutes later with a look of shock on her face. She said “I found him in the back room. He was in front of a mirror. DOING FULL PROSTRATIONS. (The way Monks stand up, hands over head, to lips, to heart, then go all the way to the ground.) She watched him for 3 minutes before he caught her in the mirror.
He said “Oh mom. You need to meditate more and this is how you do it.” He pulled her to the ground. He looked at her and said “Can you hear the bells in the music?” (A CD of Tibetan music “Traditional Chants of Tibet” by the Nechung Monks) was on the player. He said “Whenever there’s the ringing of a bell; that means peace comes into the world.”
I listened to her and later asked a Tibetan friend what it meant “during Tibetan music, when you hear a bell - does that represent something, like wisdom?” He shook his head. “It means peace comes into the world.”
Not something I knew or was aware of. And finally, since he no longer remembers these conversations, I’ll end with this last one. (This is cribbed from a chapter in “Flipside: A Tourist’s Guide on How to Navigate the Afterlife” - “My son the monk.”) I got a phone call five years ago that my mom was dying. My friend the nurse called to say she wouldn’t make the weekend.
I sat the kids down and said “Now look, the next time you see grandma, she’s going to be wearing heavy makeup and will be in a casket.” I was trying to prepare them for my own experience of seeing dead relatives when I was a kid. I thought it was weird they had on heavy makeup and were in a box.
Our son laughed. “Dad, it’s okay.” He picked up a half empty bottle of water. He said “Spirit is like water. Watch.” He threw the bottle on the ground then stomped on it. He started jumping up and down on it gleefully. I can remember looking at my wife like “what is he doing?” He stopped, then picked up the crushed, broken bottle - but it still had the cap on. He showed us the bottle of half empty water and said, “See? The water is okay.”
Easily the most profound teaching I’ve heard about the nature of spirit. Our bodies grow old, they get stomped on a squished, fall apart …but the water is always okay. It may transform into mist, turn into clouds, turn into rain.. but our spirit… is always okay.
One last comment - lest anyone think that only former monks have this kind of ability to “remember their past.” When he was four, we were watching TV and on came a sexy ad for Victoria’s Secret. It was a pretty young model wearing giant white wings, wearing a bathing suit and dancing provocatively. He jumped off the couch, pointed at the TV and said “I want that!”
I laughed, not really knowing what part of the image he meant. But then I remembered what he’d said to me on the phone years earlier. I said “Wait a second, I thought you said you were a monk in Nepal.”
“Not anymore!” he said, happily. “Not anymore.”
What I suggest parents of toddlers do is to ask questions they don’t know the answer to. Ask kids this non denominational question; “Did mommy and daddy choose you? Or did you choose us?” And see what the answer is. The trick is not to judge or react to whatever the answer is. But in about half of the accounts I’ve heard,the answers have been nothing short of amazing.
You are a writer and a film producer who makes money on propagating reincarnation. I don’t know how credible you are but reincarnation is a myth and has never been proven. The Bible says man is appointed once to die than the judgement.
I appreciate the opinion Larry. But let’s examine the opinion for a moment, if we may. I am a writer, but I am not a film producer. (Director, yes, proud member of the DGA, Producer, no.) I do not make money propogating anything - especially reincarnation. Propogating for profit - if what’s what I was doing - indeed, I could understand the comment.
But I’m not sure how to impart this except to say I am not theorizing about what people say - it’s not my opinion what people say - nor is it a belief that people say these things. I can’t convince people to say things under deep hypnosis (or as of late without any hypnosis) - I only turn on my camera. The hypnotherapist asks the questions - they supply the answers. From that perspective it’s like yelling at the xerox machine for printing out a page … it’s not my fault that people say these things. I just turn on my camera and film them doing so.
If one has an issue with how the copies come out of the machine - if they’re messy, don’t make sense - that i can address. But I’m not supplying the content. I’m reporting the content. There’s the idea that if someone builds a xerox machine - that by charging money for that copy they have suspect motives - well,there’s nothing I can say about that. I spent way too much of my time writing about these topics, sharing them with people - believe me profit is not, nor has every been a motive or an issue. If it was - I wouldn’t be swimming in the same debt pool everyone swims in.
Like sharing an opinion about my work - that’s fine, that’s an opinion. A person isn’t being paid to share that opinion, but time, other people’s time reading that reply - how does one quantify or monetize that experience? I suggest to everyone who gets anywhere near one of my books to “RETURN IT FOR A REFUND IF THIS BOTHERS YOU IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.”
I’m not reporting these things to make people upset. But I am reporting these things for a simple reason… because I like the planet. I’m assuming everyone reading this likes the planet. (And some appear to not like it). Well - I’ve filmed over 50 people claiming that we choose to come to the planet, that we can return here “if we want” - that is, if there’s oxygen, water and food for us to return to - but we can choose to return here. The people who say these things are christians, muslims, hindus, atheists, doctors,lawyers, film producers, secretaries, wealthy, poor, male, female,people struggling, people with no struggles, happy, sad, scientists, skeptics, believers - or not. I’ve filmed interviews with all of these people - and it doesn’t matter what they believed in PRIOR to the session. They all say relatively the same things. So my comments are for those people - the ones who have written me and say “thank you for changing my perspective.”
I get that one may not want to know this. I’ve learned some sign up for a lifetime where there was only one book that matters. That’s their path and choice and observation. Obviously - it goes without saying - that my reply was not meant for those who may be open to the research. If they aren’t - and read it, saw it, or otherwise had it land on their computer, I apologize.
I have found that the people who do read these reports - who do the research, who’ve read Ian Stevenson’s work at UVA, or Dr. Jim Tucker’s book “Return to Life”or Carol Bowman’s book “Children’s Past Lives” (or visit her website) all have a reason for doing so. Not that they “believe” or “don’t believe” but that they experienced something in their lifetime that compels them to check it out futher. That’s why I post here at Quora. I’m replying based on the research. If the research reports something contrary, I’m happy to report that. (I.e., if anyone under deep hypnosis said that the bible was accurate, or not opinion, I’d report that as well.)
But I’m happy to add, that we no longer live on a planet where people are burnt at the stake, hanged from a rafter because of science, research or alternative viewpoints. We can cite the research,post a link, and people can learn from the research on their own. I’ve visited the statue of Giordan Bruno more than once - a fellow who lived in an era where he reported his “out of body experience” where he saw that the earth went around the sun, where he saw how galaxies exist, other suns, other planets, and had the temerity to tell people about it. He talked about reincarnation as well, because he had “seen it” during one of his out of body experiences.
For that crime his tongue was “tied” and he was tortured and burned at the stake. His statue is in Campo Dei Fiori in Rome. A mute, silent - not not dead - witness to what happened to him for reporting what he saw.
My pal Giordano. Be like Giordano. Report the research, cite the research and let some other generation sort it out.