Vail Symposium to talk reincarnation | VailDaily.com

Vail Symposium to talk reincarnation

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Children can say the darndest things, but what about when they claim to have lived another life?

The Vail Symposium presents Dr. Jim Tucker on Thursday at the Vail Interfaith Chapel to discuss more about this fascinating phenomenon and how quantum mechanics, the mind-bending science of how nature's smallest particles behave, might provide clues to reincarnation's existence.

Researchers at the University of Virginia, beginning with Ian Stevenson, have investigated children's reports of memories of previous lives for the past 50 years, studying more than 2,500 cases from around the world. Tucker took over the project when Stevenson retired in 2002 and for more than 15 years, Tucker has been investigating claims made by children, usually between the ages of 2 and 6, who say they've had past lives. The children are sometimes able to provide enough detail about those lives that their stories can be traced back to an actual person — rarely famous and often entirely unknown to the family — who died years before.

This program will explore the various features of this worldwide phenomenon, with Tucker describing numerous cases along the way. Common features in the cases include a child talking about a past life at a very early age; behaviors that appear connected to that life, such as phobias related to the mode of death, and sometimes, birthmarks or birth defects that correspond to wounds the previous person suffered.

About the speaker

Jim B. Tucker, M.D., is Bonner-Lowry Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is director of the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies, where he is continuing the work of Stevenson with children who report memories of previous lives. A board-certified child psychiatrist, Tucker worked with Stevenson for several years before taking over the research in 2002.

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Tucker was born and raised in North Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA degree in psychology in 1982, followed by a medical degree four years later. He then received training in general psychiatry and child psychiatry at the University of Virginia. After he completed his training, he stayed in Charlottesville and began a successful private practice in psychiatry.

Tucker, who was raised Southern Baptist, had never seriously considered the possibility of past lives before reading one of Stevenson's book. After learning about the work, he became intrigued both by the children's reports of past-life memories and by the prospect of studying them using an objective, scientific approach. He contacted the division and in 1999 began working there half-time. A year later, he gave up his private practice completely to work at the university.

He is the author of two books that together have been translated into 20 languages, "Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives" and "Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives," a New York Times bestseller. He has spoken before both scientific and general audiences and has made a number of television appearances, including "Good Morning America," "Larry King Live" and "CBS Sunday Morning."

For more information about the Vail Symposium presentation or for tickets, visit http://www.vailsymposium.org.

IF YOU GO…

What: Life Before Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives.

When: Thursday, doors open at 5:30 p.m.; program from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Where: Vail Interfaith Chapel in Vail.

Cost: $25 in advance, $35 beginning day-of. More information: http://www.vailsymposium.org.