Afterlife: Children remember past lives claims psychiatrist

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Scientists do not have any conclusive evidence of the afterlife so many people rely on anecdotes for tales of life after death. One such story has come from a woman named Rebekah who temporarily died when she drowned.

Before she could be saved by a lifeguard, Rebekah believes she crossed over to the afterlife where she saw “shadowy figures”.

The genderless beings gave Rebekah a choice on whether she wanted to stay in the otherworldly realm, according to her statement on the Near Death Experience Research Foundation.

She wrote: “Then suddenly I was somewhere else. I saw the most beautiful colours like a swirling rainbow tunnel.

“It was so bright. I saw shadowy figures like angels. I heard a voice.

“It was all around me. I do not know if it was male or female. It said, ‘you have a choice, you can continue on or go back.’

“I thought for a moment then I thought, ‘I want to grow up and my parents would miss me’.

“The sense of peace and tranquillity was overwhelming but I chose to go back.”

Since her experience, Rebekah said she does “not fear death. I see it as a wonderful next step to a better place”.

It is unlikely an afterlife will ever be fully proven or dismissed, but simply believing in it could be beneficial to an individual, researchers believe.

Scientists state believing provides a sense of optimism and hope which can lead to a happier lifestyle.

Suzanne Newcombe, lecturer in Religious Studies at The Open University, said: “Holding open these ideas the possibility of immortality can have positive effects on health.

“From a biomedical perspective, this hope might help the body fight illnesses, improve the chances of spontaneous remissions or allow the illness to run its course, it’s more equanimity for the person involved.

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“But even if there is no biological change, a focus on the possibility of immortality can help some individuals can disidentify from their bodily pain and develop a more peaceful relationship with their experience as their suffering.

“When this happens, improbable beliefs in an immortal body or soul can be seen as entirely rational and pragmatic even.

“However, when beliefs about immortality exclude attention to the biological physical body, it can have serious negative effects on health, and even cause untimely deaths.

“So, what we believe about death and our ideas of enteral life can really make a difference as to how we live, how we handle pain and suffering and experience being alive here and now.”

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