Sunday, May 19, 2024

WaPo Article: "Children Who Remember Past Lives?" ...


*PS added with Mark's input.

Sometimes, when there's nothing on TV and we're bored, my husband and I will watch like ... crazy doorbell cam videos, or listen to to spooky "creepy pasta" stories on YouTube.  I don't know, we just like to scare the crap out of ourselves for fun, I guess? 😂

Anyway, after watching one tonight, I saw a "suggested" video about children who remember their past lives.  

I didn't watch it, because I generally don't believe in this sort of thing, but this reminded me of an article I read in the Washington Post a week or so ago.

I couldn't believe this subject was being taken so seriously by the WP!

Now, let me first start by saying that although I love the idea of souls getting recycled in second chances - and I respect that many religions believe in reincarnation - I think that when adults especially talk this way, about past-life regression and remembering their past lives, they're full of caca!  😂

Because no one is ever just like Joe Schmo the vacuum cleaner salesman or Jane Doe the milkmaid, in their past lives, no - they're always some famous historical figure like Cleopatra or Genghis Khan or something! 😂

Of course, I can't say this is BS with 100% certainty, because I can't prove it.  But I think even if that were true, you likely wouldn't remember it -  would you?  

I mean, that would defeat the whole point of being given a clean slate to try again, right? 

Plus, most people that believe this stuff also believe that you actually chose your new parents/new life.

Although I love the idea of children dying in childhood getting a new life, I also think - if that's true, then WTF was I thinking, willfully choosing the family I was born into?  😂

So nope - not a believer - although I can't rule anything out because I don't know and who says I'm right?

However, when it comes to children, I admit, I have seen a couple of those videos in times past, with very young children giving detailed information they shouldn't know at such young ages and they are intriguing  - one was actually featured on the respected news program, 60 Minutes, a few years ago.

Though spooky, I still wasn't convinced - I thought the child probably once said something odd or spooky while using their imagination, as young children often do, and the parents - who were already likely inclined to believe in this sort of thing - filled in the gaps.

However, in the article in the Washington Post,  I learned that the University of Virginia has a whole department to investigate this in children called "DOPS" or "Department of Perceptual Studies -  can you believe it? 

In fact, here is the head of DOPS at UVA, Child Psychiatrist, Dr. Jim Tucker, giving a presentation on "confirmed" cases.

Apparently, children between the ages of 2 and 5 are the most legit, and it mostly fades with time.

Well, children at this age do say some spooky-ass stuff, sometimes - but like I said, I think that mostly the parents try to make it make sense, make it fit, i.e., the child says they see someone you can't and the mom likes to believe it's her dead mother or something, right?

Other times, it's imaginary friends.  Or weird pictures they drew.

Even babies do some weird stuff sometimes.

For example, when my daughter was an infant, just like other babies, she used to look up at nothing on the ceiling and smile and babble to it, as if there was someone or something there.  In fact, most babies tend to do this.

I would say "What you smiling it, Bubby? You see something up there?"

My grandmother would say "She's talking to the angels!"

I'd say "You talking to little baby angels, up there, some baby cherubs?  Hi, baby angels, thank you!"

It's a lovely thought, but I didn't believe it. I just thought I should cover my bases 😂

Now, the little boy in the video who believed he had been a pilot in WWII in a Corsair, flying in the South Pacific was intriguing.  

The details he gave, such as it being a Corsair, were impossible for a child under 5 to know - and they did indeed match up with a real person, after Dr. Tucker investigated it. 

This specific person had not been discussed in any news story or documentary, just generally as far as war events.

Weird, right? 

And here's another one, with British actor-comedian, John Cleese, interviewing Dr. Tucker.  (Yes, that John Cleese, from Monty Python fame.  I'm not sure why he's interviewing Dr. Tucker, but he is nonetheless. )

Apparently, while many cases have been attributed to exactly what I said - parents beliefs influencing the child - there supposedly are cases that are both uncanny with details about a non-famous deceased person that the child believes is themselves in a former life, which are unexplained. 

Again - though still not convinced, it's intriguing. 

However, I will say this, too - all of this reminded me of a dream I had in my early 20s that I hadn't thought about in a very long time - in fact, I'd never told my husband, Mark, about it because it's been so long. .

It was very vivid, very detailed - it seemed so real.

The weirdest part about it is I have never had a dream, before or since, where I was literally someone else entirely (at least not that I remember).  

Also, there was no one and nothing in the dream from my current life or whom I'd ever met.  

You know how usually, there's at least one person or one location in dreams that are familiar?

Not this time - there was literally nothing and no one familiar to me - completely different person, completely different life, in a time period before I was  born..

Now, before I tell the actual dream, I need to state that despite being a movie buff, for some reason, I've avoided Vietnam War movies at all costs.   

I've watched war movies about all other wars (especially since my husband was an Army ranger) - just not Vietnam movies. If he turns anything about Vietnam on, I leave the room.  I never thought there was anything to it other than the sheer lack of necessity for this war.

But there really wasn't any particular reason, at least that went through my head - I just didn't want to.

In fact, to this day, though a film buff and once dabbled with the idea of being a screenwriter - I have never seen Apocalypse Now, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, Hamburger Hill or even Born of the Fourth of July, any other Vietnam-War or post-Vietnam-War themed movies.  

Thus, the only Vietnam-War movies I have ever seen are "Good Morning, Vietnam" because Robin Williams was in it and brought humor, as well as Jacob's Ladder, which isn't so much about the Vietnam War, but the after effects of LSD testing on soldiers, which I didn't really want to see, but my boyfriend at the time did..

So all of those movies had come out in the 80s, and even GMV and JL were in the late 80s, and it was now the early 90s.

All of this to say, the dream wasn't because I had just watched a Vietnam War movie or news story, no one in my house had watched a Vietnam War movie, and no one had been discussing it.

Anyway, in the dream, I was a male journalist/clerk for the U.S. Army in Vietnam.  I may have been a photojournalist, because I had a camera on my desk, too, I'm not sure. That may have just been a hobby.

I even knew my full name, for years after this dream, but I can't remember it now.  

I want to say something like "Jacob" and "Henry"  in some order, but I'm not sure -  because that doesn't sound right, though, I can't really remember.  I used to know it in full, for years after the dream, but it's been years since I even thought about it.

Also, I think I was Jewish?

And I also knew the date. I used to know the exact date and time, but all I remember now is that it was April 1968.

I remember that I was drafted, but I was very anti-war and somewhat pissed that I had to tell certain stories in certain ways to keep morale, rather than the truth of what was really going on there, and not being allowed to talk about that with anyone. 

Anyway, I was in a tent, talking to my CO, just shooting the shit - when wham, a blast went off when he was literally mid-sentence. 

When I regained consciousness, there was nothing left of what had been there before - no tent, no CO, no nothing - and I couldn't hear anything, just loud ringing in my ears and a throbbing headache.


I scanned around the camp, and there was nothing left.  I could see the hills, the trees, the smoke - and bodies and body parts everywhere.  

I recognized that there was blood all over me, but I couldn't feel anything except a throbbing headache, so I couldn't decide if it was mine or someone else's.

As my hearing came back, I could hear a cart coming over the hill and I noticed it was full of dead bodies.  

From the other direction, a group of men were shouting in Vietnamese and I realized that it was Viet Cong.  They were maybe half a mile away, but I could see them bayonetting the bodies, to make sure they were dead. 

So I made the split-second decision to run to the cart full of dead bodies.  I took out the cigarettes I somehow still had in my shirt pocket that somehow survived, pantomiming asking if I could get inside the cart, and he took the cigarettes and nodded.

Then I hopped on the cart and proceeded to bury myself beneath the dead bodies, pretending to be dead myself, to escape notice by the Viet Cong.

I laid in the cart, not making a sound, trying not to think about the dead men covering me.  

I could hear the cart wheels squeak.  I kept completely still, with my eyes shut as if I were dead, just in case - but I did open them a couple of times as we went along, and I could see with one eye, the trees and sky above me.

Finally, the cart stopped, and the Vietnamese man banged on the cart.  I sat up, and he pointed in a certain direction through the trees  and motioned for me to go that way.

I got up - and ran that direction, through the trees, as fast as I could.

After a running for what seemed like hours, I stumbled into a Med Unit camp and collapsed.  

The next thing I remember was that I awoke in a cot in a med tent.  I could hear the whir of a little fan they had in the room.  

And the doctor speaking to me, asking me if I could tell him my name and  the date. 

Then he told me that I had a head injury, that part of my brain was exposed from the blast, but I was really lucky to be alive.  He told me I had a brain infection that they were trying to get under control, but they weren't able to do surgery, they didn't have what they needed, right now.

I asked for a mirror to see my head, I don't know why.  I think because all I knew is that my head had been throbbing, but had no idea the injury was that bad and wanted to see it.  I asked for my glasses, which had been in my jacket pocket with the cigarettes, now on the tray beside me.

They were little round John Lennon glasses.  

Then I saw myself - also early 20s, very thin, with light blue-green eyes and dark hair, just like I have now - but my hair was short and naturally curly.  

I had a big gauze wrap around my head, so I couldn't see the head injury.

After that, I was in and out of consciousness, burning up with fever, then shaking with chills, nurses doing their best to help me.

Then, one morning, with the doctor talking to the nurses around me, everything suddenly went gray, and then black - and then bright white.

At that point, I realized - I died.

And then I woke up from the dream, in a cold sweat.

Now, I figured I must've heard something, somewhere, just before this dream.  Maybe a news story about Vietnam had been on in the other room that I didn't realize my subconscious heard?

Maybe something on the radio?

There had to be something that triggered this dream, right?  

Then again, like I said, I have never before or since, had a dream where I wasn't myself, and had no people or locations from my current life, so it makes you wonder. 

Oh, and by the way?

I was born in December of 1968 - eight months after the events in the dream happened.

Spooky, right? 


PS - My husband's input to this, who was an Army Ranger (not in Vietnam)  ...

So Mark is Catholic and thus doesn't believe in reincarnation, but has a theory - he wonders if when I was a very young child, perhaps I heard the news stories and they were buried in my subconscious?

Ya know, he may be right -  that's a very real possibility. 

He also said the movie Full Metal Jacket - which again, I've never seen - is from the perspective of an Army journalist, so perhaps I heard about it?  However, he said, the story itself is completely different.

HOWEVER -  he said though that may explain it, he does find the level of accurate detail uncanny.

He was also struck that the dream played out like a memory, in order of events, rather than the way dreams often do, where you're dreaming about one thing and then switches to something else.  

It really did play out like a true memory, a full story with a beginning and an end, and nothing dream-weird, it all made sense (as much as you can of war).

And the fact that I was a completely different person - he said he's never in his life had a dream like that, where he was literally someone else.

Regardless, among the details he said were 100% accurate were:

1)  Though not in Vietnam, as an Army Ranger, he was in close proximity to several blasts - and your ears do indeed ring and you are essentially deaf for minutes to hours afterwards.  
2)  Viet Cong did indeed bayonet slain soldiers to make sure they were dead, using the Chinese-made SKS rifles. 
3)  Local villagers were indeed paid to collect the dead in the fields, carting them away, on both sides. 
4) Some soldiers did indeed hide among these body carts to avoid capture. 
5) These carts were often stopped and inspected by Viet Cong to ensure there were no live soldiers hiding. 
6)  Cigarettes were used as currency, both among soldiers and locals. 
7)  Medical staff in Vietnam did indeed chronically run short on medical supplies, even worse than in Korea. 

I swear to you, the only thing I knew of these things was that cigarettes and liquor were used as currency with other soldiers and locals, only because that's common during wartime.

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