There are a number of people who write
accurately about matters they have not studied
nor could experience in their present life. Joan
Grant, for instance, wrote books on ancient
Egypt with amazing accuracy of details (such as
how the body was embalmed), afterwards
verified by scholars.
There was an unusual incident of a boy, David.
He was visiting some caves in Guernsey which
was once used as prisons for French soldiers.
David tapped on the wall stating that there was
another cave there where a young man had
been walled in. The existence of the cave was
denied by authorities. But David persisted and
even gave the name of the prisoner.
Eventually the walls were tapped, and the door
was found: it had been bricked up. Stretched
out on the floor was the skeleton of a man.
When the archives were searched, the name
David had given was correct.
These strange happenings seem to have no
adequate interpretation other than that of
rebirth, which are remembered by some people
of an unusual psychic make-up.
Dr. Alexander Cannon, a psychiatrist, in his book
The Power Within wrote that for years he had
been haunted by the theory of reincarnation
and had tried very hard to disprove it. But as
more and more people with experiences of
rebirth came to see him, he was finally
convinced... "in effect, until now, well over
a thousand cases have been investigated,
and I have now to admit there is such a,
thing as reincarnation."
To the Buddhist, the greatest authority on
rebirth is the Buddha. On the night of his
Enlightenment, he had developed
retrocognitive knowledge which enabled him to
recall his past lives. It was through his personal
knowledge and direct experience that the
Buddha spoke on the truth of rebirth.
The Buddha perceived 'beings dying in one state
of existence and reappearing in another. Beings
were born according to the deeds they
performed. Those who performed wholesome
deeds were reborn beautiful, noble and happy,
while those who performed unwholesome
deeds were born ugly, base and miserable.
Through meditation, it is possible for a person
to attain high mental states of concentration
like the fourth Jhana and gain psychic powers,
one of which is the power to recall past births.
Such a person can read his past lives just as one
might recall an incident which had just
Many of the Buddha's disciples who had
developed psychic powers through high mental
absorptions confirmed that people could recall
their past lives when their minds were
sufficiently developed. While the disciples'
abilities were limited, the Buddha's ability was