Studies have been conducted on pre-birth experience (PBE), the one in which the person has clear memories of awareness before birth. In most cases of the PBEs, details of those memories could be verified through the mother and others who were there at the time of birth. Both hypnotic and non-hypnotic methods have been used. It is interesting to note that this esoteric fact has been alluded to in the epic Mahabharata from ancient India.
It is rather obvious that awareness exists after life ends. This has been demonstrated time and again by near death experiences (NDE) when the consciousness leaves the body and is able to perceive worldly occurrences without the help of the five senses. The question of whether consciousness functions the same way before the birth of a person can be a very absorbing one for those who see meaning in the reincarnation paradigm. Here a brief attempt is made to present the findings from two studies.
Study 1: Psychologist Dr. Helen Wambach wrote a book entitled ‘Life Before Life’ in 1979. It explores the fascinating answers to probing questions asked of 750 subjects under hypnosis about life before birth. Wambach says that 90 % of her subjects flash on images from their past lives. Three of her questions to her subjects under hypnosis and the answers to them are the following:
Question 1: Did you choose to be born?
81 % of her subjects said that they did choose to be born and that it was their choice to make.
Question 2: Why did you choose the 20th Century?
About 59 % gave relevant answers to this question. Their response contained many different reasons for the choice. Some felt that their choosing the specific time period was to have contact with particular people who chose the same period.
Question 3: Why are we here on earth?
Some of the people said that there is so much to learn on this planet, especially in terms of relationship, love and humility, and that there are many experiences, good and bad, to go through. Some indicated the need to be with people to make up for the hurt they had caused in former lives.
Wambach’s book contains a great deal more of fascinating information on pre-birth memories.
Study 2: This work is also related to consciousness prior to birth but is not through regression, hypnosis or drugs. Elizabeth and Neil Carman compiled a book on PBEs through interviewees recalling their pre-birth existence while they were completely sober and awake. The title of the book is ‘Cosmic Cradle, Spiritual Dimensions of Life before Birth’. A report on the book says that it transports us beyond the conventional materialistic idea that heredity and social environment explain human life. In contrast, our life’s drama is planned long before birth.
Where was your soul before you were born? If your soul is immortal, did it have a "life" prior to birth? Did you choose your life and parents? Is reincarnation real? Elizabeth and Neil Carman address these questions through interviews with adults and children.
In Conclusion: For people who are interested in understanding the long journey of life across many incarnate and discarnate periods, the above studies can be invaluable. Those studies expand our perspectives on life and the afterlife. Our day-to-day life guided by such far-reaching insights can have a depth and meaning that the conventional belief systems can never bring about. Related matters are covered in the website http://spirituality.yolasite.com