"I've read your book — in fact I read it twice — and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm greatly impressed with your work and depth of insight regarding this complex topic. You've make a profound contribution to our understanding of reincarnation and the nature of the "soul" — an extremely impressive contribution to the existing body of knowledge."
“The topic of reincarnation is not fashionable in Western science, even though this belief -- in one form or another -- is held by the majority of the world's population. Paul Von Ward's provocative book is an attempt to bring this topic into scientific discourse by proposing a mechanism that embodies a person's experiences in a manner that transcends space and time, and suggests experiments that could put it to the test.
Some readers will be infuriated by Von Ward's hypothesis, others will find the case histories intriguing, and still others will find that this book resolves long-standing puzzles about their own lives. The Soul Genome will be applauded and it will be reviled, but -- in the meantime -- it will never be found boring.”
“For decades, case studies of the reincarnation type have appeared both in the scientific and the popular literature. Now, finally, Paul Von Ward asks the important question: What are the theoretical implications for science if we take these cases seriously?
The tentative answers that he provides are supported by an impressive array of detail. This book makes an important contribution toward furthering the embryonic field of reincarnation research.”
“Paul Von Ward offers us a profound hypothesis to understand reincarnation, based on a new definition of ‘soul’. As in all his works, he combines scientific method with brilliant intuition to open our minds to our own potential as the holders of the code of life-ever-evolving. This book is a vital contribution to this great quest to understand conscious evolution.”
“I am humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to read your book. It has more depth of theory and research than other books on reincarnation, and offers an integral, holistic approach. It is a great addition to the methodology for scientific exploration of the phenomenon.”
“The Soul's Genome is by far the most coherent, scientifically grounded yet mind-expanding book on our possible past lives to date. Paul Von Ward skillfully broadens the seminal work of the late Prof. Ian Stevenson in providing the best scientific evidence for reincarnation. He uses numerous case studies in which an alleged former life could be verified from historical data, while also considering alternative hypotheses that he convincingly argues do not satisfy the data nearly as well.
This highly readable and engaging book then explores the implications of the existence of a soul that survives many embodiments. Von Ward offers methods of tapping into our own possible former lives and what we could learn from them. Just as importantly, he is significantly expanding the data base of credible cases by creating an interactive website for his readers.
I stongly recommend this wonderful synthesis of science, philosophy, and common sense. This extraordinary book provides each of us hope that we can transcend the mundane and profane belief of our seeming mortality and that our essences really do survive physical death. The moral lessons we can learn from the likelihood of the law of karma, or cause and effect, carried over from prior lives, are profound. They suggest that living a life of integrity and fairness to others will create more joy and freedom in our own futures.”
“An enjoyable, fascinating and very impressive book. Inspires the reader with new revelations and an ability to pull together all aspects of this compelling subject and raises awareness of the reality that life is eternal and that we as spiritual beings are truly immortal.”
The empirical evidence for reincarnation comes from two main sources: children who remember previous lives and hypnotic regression. The former source has been more thoroughly tested, and is reinforced by a corresponding evidence from birthmarks, although there is also some persuasive evidence from hypnosis. In either event, profound questions arise about the nature of human personality which challenge orthodox assumptions about the nature of life and death. This book ... introduces a novel concept that we may have what Paul von Ward calls a 'soul genome' corresponding to our physical inheritance.
... Alfred Russel Wallace ... hypothesises that human beings consist of an organised spiritual form evolving coincidently with and permeating the physical body. Death separates this duality, but has no effect on the spirit, either morally or intellectually -- this is exactly the conclusion reached by Swedenborg on the basis of his own observations. The larger picture is one of progressive evolution of the intellectual and moral nature. What Wallace calls the 'organised spiritual form' corresponds to Andrade's 'biological organising model', which in turn Stevenson called the 'psychophore' and for which Paul von Ward coins the term psychoplasm.
All these terms build on the Aristotelian understanding of the soul as the form of the body, which Rupert Sheldrake would call the morphogenetic field. Paul defines the soul or psychoplasm as 'a genome-like, energetic and information bio-field that embodies a single being's knowledge, feelings and behaviour patterns that transcend space-time.' He argues that this concept has the potential to reconcile the physical and psychical dimensions of life. He begins by looking at a range of phenomena that do not seem to be fully explicable in terms of current theories such as prodigies, anomalous knowledge, precognitive dreams, past-life healings and lives that seem to mimic each other. He then draws on his graduate psychology courses on personality theory to construct rating scales for five aspects of personality which he thinks may form holographic psychophysical patterns transferable from one lifetime to another. These he calls the physical phenotype, the cognitive cerebrotype, the emotional egotype, the social personatype and the creative performatype. He uses a number of documented cases to frame his hypothesis. Among these are Paul Gauguin and Peter Teekamp, General John Gordon and Jeffrey Keene, Marilyn Monroe and Sherrie Laird, and Pitirim Sorokin and Lorin Kee.
His underlying hypothesis is that we live in a multidimensional and self-learning universe in which consciousness is fundamental and in some sense conserved, so that our collective experience can be built on rather than dissipated. The rest of the book considers in detail the results of comparative analysis of personalities against his rating scales, which are reproduced in the appendix. Some of the results are quite striking, for instance the comparison between drawings by Gauguin and Teekamp, as well as the structural mapping of faces of people who are not genetically related to each other. This is done in a systematic way by using standard techniques from facial geometry which can be statistically measured and analysed. So readers can assess some of this evidence for themselves. The resemblance between Gordon and Keene is particularly arresting.
The most intriguing question relates to the ostensible transfer of these personality structures. Diana Fynn describes the case where her deceased fiancé states that a part of him has gone forward into her grandson; in Jamaica, Elleke van Kraalingen made a similar statement about the relationship between Hermod Sverre (see report on Jamaica meeting) and her daughter.
Perhaps a holographic model can help reconcile these perspectives involving both continuity and discontinuity: the psychoplasm hypothesis certainly helps to explain the data contained in both of these books, but a great deal more research will be required. In a wider sense, as Ramana Maharshi remarked, it is only Brahman that incarnates or reincarnates, and we are all aspects of the one life and mind as we forget and remember our deeper identity. [This book] help[s] us expand our understanding of the human personality.
ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE EVIDENCE
A number of people reviewing the psychoplasm/soul genome approach that is the basis for the Reincarnation Experiment have suggested alternative explanations for various types of evidence. In response, we try to develop evaluation methods that differentiate plausible forms of evidence and/or their explanations from the less credible. One analysis that addresses some of these issues was written by reincarnation researcher Thomas Wolke.
a growing catalog of scholarly research and reports on reincarnation is
a new and different book by Paul Von Ward, author of Our Solarian Legacy and Gods, Genes and Consciousness. Whereas psychiatrists Ian Stevenson (Children Who Remember Previous Lives) and Jim Tucker (Life Before Life)
have focused on investigating, analyzing and reporting reincarnation
phenomena from several thousand cases involving, primarily, young
children, Von Ward has chosen to focus on developing and exploring a
theoretical model, genomic constructs, and new technology (instruments
and methods) for fathoming the phenomena of reincarnation as evidenced
in a select number of adult lives, past and present.
surveys a variety of unexplained phenomena and developments in frontier
science in order to establish the matrix upon which he grows his ideas
and thinking. He probes such phenomena as prodigies, precocity,
anomalous (unsourced) knowledge, and unbidded images in dreams,
visions, déjà vu, ‘doppelgangers’ (look-alikes), and mimiced life
events. He examines emerging theory and research in such fields as
natural philosophy, physics, biology, genetics, psychiatry, psychology,
biocommunications, and consciousness (e.g., Ervin Laszlo, Rupert
Sheldrake, Savely Savva, Cleve Backster, Carl Jung, Dean Radin, Gary
and Stephan Schwartz). These provide the nutrients for his theory,
hypothesis, and constructs of a soul genome.
Then Von Ward
plunges into the realm of theorizing, hypothesizing, measuring, and
testing an explanatory, Integral Model for reincarnation. The Integral
Model consists of an “apparent reincarnation package.” For the package
Von Ward coins the term psychoplasm—the soul-genome—which is similar to
Stevenson’s hypothesized psychophore construct. Specifically, Von
Ward’s psychoplasm is “a genome-like, energetic and information
biofield that embodies a single being’s knowledge, feelings, and
behavior patterns that transcend space-time.”
constitute this soul/psychoplasm which Von Ward labels Physical
Phenotypes, Cognitive Cerebrotypes, Emotional Egotypes, Social
Personatypes, and Creative Performatypes. Each factor is subject to
illustration, illumination, investigation, and assessment by a set of
instruments which Von Ward has developed and applied to profile the
dimensions of and evidence for specific cases of reincarnation. He
examines in some detail the similarities in the lives of pairs of
individuals, offering the evidence found along the factorial dimensions
of the psychoplasm. In some cases the ‘subjects’ are historically
recognized figures; i.e., James and Dolley Madison, Paul Gauguin,
Marilyn Monroe, and John Denver, while the persons with which their
psychoplasms are associated are either not generally known or
anonymous. Photos, biometric data, historical and personal facts and
coincidentals, ratings on the scales developed by Von Ward to quantify
the five factors, and analyses of the findings, are included to
illustrate the evidence and support his hypothesis and Integral Model.
Ward has undertaken an ambitious and challenging project, venturing
into a domain of inquiry fraught with controversial issues and
challenging problems. For this reviewer, he presents with his Integral
Model, methodology, instruments and illustrative cases a profound and
uniquely personal perspective of the soul and reincarnation. By
extending the genome metaphor and applying biological and psychological
constructs within the context of frontier science and thought, he
offers to all of us the opportunity to consider a scientific,
conceptual framework for explicating and appreciating the reported and
experienced phenomena associated with reincarnation and the soul.
Nielsen has been a teacher and educational researcher, developer and
administrator in medical and higher education. He is currently working
on a screenplay, Willow Crowe, concerning reincarnation, and has a
website on cosmos, mind, and soul at www.enfolded.info. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.)