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Return From Heaven: Beloved Relatives Reincarnated Within Your Family Mass Market Paperback – April 29, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
After the publication of her last book, Children's Past Lives, Bowman was deluged with e-mails from readers wanting to share their stories. Many reported the rebirth of deceased relatives into their own families; Bowman, intrigued, set out to study the phenomenon, and she now presents her findings. Each tale is stranger than the next: a grandfather returned as a grandson, miscarried twins were transferred from their mother to her sister-in-law and were reborn years apart. Bowman admits she is not interested in "fretting about proof" for these unlikely scenarios, but the stories are gripping in and of themselves. It's testimony to their high drama that a book beginning with the truly weird and uncanny premise, "What if the child who [is] just like great-grandpa really is?" can, by the end, make it seem almost a shame not to have a returned uncle or two in the family. Bowman endeavors to present reincarnation as a whole worldview a cycle of living, dying and spiritual growth rather than the wishful thinking of bereaved hearts hoping to rob death of its finality. This book will not change anyone's mind: believers will believe, and skeptics will remain unconvinced. Bowman, a believer, gives too little credit to the virtuosic imagination of children (or for that matter adults). Undoubtedly, many readers will find comfort and meaning in her work, while others will enjoy it as a better ghost story than most. (Apr.)Forecast: Author appearances in L.A., D.C., and Chicago; a national media campaign; and a 50-city radio campaign should help this book find its audience.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Carol Bowman lives near Philadelphia with her husband; their two children are away in college. Through her writings, frequent lectures, and TV appearances on shows such as Oprah, Good Morning America, and Unsolved Mysteries, Bowman has opened the eyes of millions of parents to the fact that some children easily remember their past lives. She is recognized as a leading expert in this new field.
Bowman holds a master's degree in counseling and practices past-life-oriented counseling and therapy. She continues to promote research of children's past lives and same-family reincarnation.
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Top Customer Reviews
In Bowman's defense, she openely admits that she has not set out to scrutinize empirical evidence or discern whether the cases she receives (that flood into her inbox) are legitimate. Instead, she states that her primary goal is helping families in these perceived situations cope and grow from their experiences. I suppose this is where the book's strengh as a counseling tool emerges and its merit as an insightful reincarnation book fails.
I understand that to date, American cases of reincarnation are comparitivley few when compared to cases in other countries, and that as such, there's a need for more American cases to emerge in order for the concept of reincarnation to become mainstreamed to the Western world. (Could it be the reason the book was published--to fill this void?) I also know that for some reason American children experiencing spontaneous recall of past lives tend NOT to recal many verifyable names (which often precludes a case from being proved as legitimate and not a projection of the families wishful thinking).
I know that these issues are beyond Bowman's control. However, I was hoping that the cases she presented went beyond, "My mother loved elephants and was mean and controlling and my daughter loves elephants and is also mean to me. She must be my mother reincarnated." REALLY??? Is that REALLY the best you've got? And I'm not exadgerating to make a point. That was essentially the extent of the evidence of one of her cases. While I agree that a parents belief in reincarnation does not necessarily disclude their evidence from legitimacy, I was truly expecting the cases to be stronger than the likes of this folderal.
Another issue I just can't seem to get past is that I read over and over again phrases like, "I wondered WHY this soul had come back to me/us/our family." Theres a great deal of conjecture on this topic. Am I the only one wondering why no one is asking the alleged reincarnated person this question??? It's not that much of a jump. I mean, the child is already having the memories and experiencing the belief in behavior that they are the former personality...would it really be a stretch to, I don't know, ask the person who just traveled across the GAP OF DEATH to be reborn to you, this very obvious question?
I know personally, that if my 2 year old daughter started claiming to be my granmother and I believed her, after a while I'd say something like, "HOLY COW grandma! This is AWESOME--what a miracle!! I've loved you and missed you for so long and now you're here again! How did it happen? Isn't it crazy that you're little and I'm big now? what a trip! Do you remember anything??? How did you get here and WHY did you chose to come to me and not go be with grandpa?, etc.
Both Bowman and her subjects seem to dance around this seemingly obvious topic and the omission leaves a gap in logic. Why all the wondering and conjecture? Just ask the reincarnated person. Moreover, why pose the question aloud without asking subject himself about the experience he's having in a new body? It leads one to believe something is deliberatly being avoided. Instead, I'm reading quotes from the mother whose now raising her baby granmother as she says things like, I just chuckled and thought, 'haha--that's granny for ya.' HU????? Are we both talking about the very insane possibility that grandma has just returned as your daughter and all you can say when she performs some antic is, 'HAHA that's granny, for ya?' Am I missing something, here?
And listen, I'm not an unreasonable person. I'm not knocking this book becuase I belive its a fraud and the stories are fake. I understand what Bowman is up against and what she's trying to do. I'm knocking it becuase I DO believe in the potential legitimicy of reincarnation and on some level I feel she's done the topic a disservice. However, I do believe she finds her presented cases credible (and in her defense, a couple of them are compelling).
In the end, for someone seeking truths about this controversial topic, it was a let-down to find that of all the American cases that have begun to pour in, she felt these were among the strongest becuase when viewed objectively, they are just not that strong.
And criticize me if you like, but there is that skeptical ethnocentric in me that secretly wants to see American (read: Judeo-Christian country not apt to endorse reincarnation) cases present even HALF as strongly as those in third world countries where reincarnation is a way of life.
What I'm trying to say is this: If you already beleive in reincarnation and are just looking for something to endorse your ideas, this is your book and makes for an interesting read. If you are a hopeful skeptic looking for some solid footing, stick with Ian Stevenson and his sucessor, Jim Tucker's work.
Afterthought: by Rick Sulik / Amazon Author
A comparison between ‘Physical’ Ballistics to ‘Spiritual’ Reincarnation:
Ballistics, is the science of flight dynamics. The trajectory of an un-powered ‘physical’ object in ‘free-flight.’
When a bullet is fired from a gun, it leaves certain physical characteristic striations, which are grooves and scratches, associated only to that particular gun and not to any other gun. The fired bullet, after leaving the barrel of a gun, now has its own - ‘fingerprint.’
In the beginning of time, all ‘spirits’ were created, and baptized at the same time in the ‘spirit’ world by the One. All spirits have their own ‘personality,’ or ‘identity.’ When a spirit uses their ‘free-will’ and incarnates to the ‘physical’ world as a human being to experience a lifetime, or lifetimes, they have their own individual ‘fingerprint,’ what the Chinese call, a ‘chop,’ or mark, which is their signature that identifies their unique spirit from another spirit. That ‘fingerprint’ belongs to them, and only to them, each and every time their spirit decides to incarnate to ‘physical’ earth.
From the very beginning of time, we were all ‘identified’ and keep - only one set of ‘physical’ fingerprints - - - for eternity.
We cannot learn all about life in one lifetime. It takes many lifetimes for our spirits to evolve, and come around full-circle, in order to become completed spirits with the One.
My mom and I use to do a mile walk around a lake near our home.
On our last walk together before she passed away, she looked up at me and said,
"If I had to do it all over again for you and your brothers, I would."
Instinctively, without her saying another word, the look in her beautiful hazel eyes told me, and it all came together, and I knew exactly what my mom had meant...
She had been my mother, in other... Lifetimes.