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Carol Bowman

- About the Book

by Carol Bowman
Published by Bantam Books

Fascinating, controversial, revolutionary, this groundbreaking book reveals the surprisingly widespread occurrence of past life memories in children. It tells parents how to use these experiences as a powerful new tool for understanding and helping their children.

In "Children's Past Lives," Carol Bowman recounts the startling discovery of the past life source of her own children's phobias. Her investigation began when her young son, Chase, suddenly developed an inexplicable terror of loud noises. At the suggestion of a friend, she tried hypnosis to help Chase resolve his fear. To everyone's amazement, Chase remembered an experience he'd had as a Civil War soldier that was so graphic and accurate, it impressed an expert historian as authentic. Even more astonishing, after Chase revealed the details of his harrowing ordeal on the battlefield, his phobia completely disappeared.

Inspired by how easy and profound the healing had been, Bowman began to investigate past life memories in other children. She found that her son's experience was far more common than she had expected. Through her research and through firsthand interviews with parents, she collected dozens of children's past life memories too complex and detailed to be fantasies, and of events impossible for young children to know about or even understand.

Carol Bowman's exhaustive study is the basis of her carefully documented book, "Children's Past Lives." Dramatic true-life cases -- some involving children as young as two -- illustrate the physical and emotional effects of past lives and the seemingly miraculous relief that remembering can bring. Bowman discovered that many children speak spontaneously -- without hypnosis -- of their past lives, and here she offers parents practical advice on how to recognize children's past life memories, how to respond, and how to elicit the full healing benefits of these experiences.

Bowman writes, "When a child speaks so innocently and knowingly about living before, and so calmly describes what happens after death and on the journey to rebirth, it is firsthand testimony to the truth that our souls never die. These memories present perhaps the best documented evidence yet for reincarnation." Moving and powerfully convincing, "Children's Past Lives" will stand alongside the classics of Brian Weiss, Betty J. Eadie, Raymond Moody, and Melvin Morse in its power to comfort, uplift, and transform our thinking about life and death.

©Copyright 1997 by Carol Bowman and Bantam Books. Please request permission from the publisher before copying or redistributing this file. Thank You!


- Excerpt



by Carol Bowman

From Chapter Ten

When I talk to people about children's past life memories, invariably the first question they ask is: "How can you distinguish past life stories from fantasies?"

At first I could answer by saying only, "Well, the parent just knows." Not a very satisfactory answer, I admit. But as I studied the cases that came in, I began to see and hear th same comments over and over, almost word for word. These comments were becoming very familiar. I found I could rely on them as a test of past life memories. When parents described their experience to me for the first time, I found myself going down a mental checklist to help me decide if the memories they were describing were real or fantasy. This checklist evolved into the Four Signs.

(When I say "parents," I don't mean to exclude other adults. These signs can be just as useful to grandparents, aunts and uncles, day care providers, teachers -- anyone who spends a lot of time with children.)

The more I spoke to parents and compared cases, the more I understood why these signs work. Past life memories sound, look, act, and feel distinctly different from fantasies because they issue from a different source. Fantasies are the mind at play. Past life memories, on the other hand, are full-bodied images of real events. The difference can be discerned by any sensitive observer who understands the signs.

I discovered more than a dozen signs of past life memory, especially if I tallied all the nuances that parents notice as they struggle to judge for themselves if their child is really remembering a past life. But to keep it simple -- to make it easier to remember how to recognize a past life memory -- I've bundled and organized all these secondary signs and nuances into four primary signs.

The four signs of children's past life memory are:

1. Matter-of-fact tone
2. Consistency over time
3. Knowledge beyond experience
4. Corresponding behavior and traits

Not all past life memories show all four signs. The memories come in an infinite variety, and they emerge in different ways and to different degrees for different children. But as far as I've seen, the signs always appear in combination: some cases have as few as two, some have all four. I have yet
to see a case with only one sign. Whatever the combination, no matter how rich or sparse the case, the sign always outline a coherent past life story. The best way to understand how they work together is to practice looking for them in the cases in this book. Even in cases where I highlight only one sign, others are usually visible in the story as well.

These four signs are for parents to use with their own children. They point to subtle clues that only a person who knows the child well would be sensitive to. They depend on being able to spot changes of countenance and tone of voice that a stranger would miss; on an awareness of what a young child has or hasn't been exposed to; and on having watched the child over a period of time, detecting small changes, remarkable consistencies, or unusual behaviors for that child.

The four signs have nothing to do with the scientific proof of past life memories or reincarnation. They are tools for private assurance and recognition, not public proof. When the memories emerge, the questions you ask, the clues you listen for, should have nothing to do with proving the case to outsiders who don't know your child -- even to neighbors or skeptical relatives. In fact, worrying about proof can bend your perception and block the flow of the memory in the child. Proof is not the point. Healing and growth and understanding are the point.

Do not confuse the four signs with the methods of researchers like Dr. Ian Stevenson. This is important. His methods are designed to verify the memories of children who are strangers to him. And his cases are not typical: they are rare cases of extreme past life memory. The four signs are appropriate for the more common cases, those where the child has only fragments and traces of memory.

Of course, not all unusual statements or stories that children blurt out are past life memories. Children often say things that make their parents wonder, "Where did he get that?" I caution you not to overreact to every intriguing remark your child makes. You may be witnessing a past life memory. But the odds are you are not. Children's minds are so wonderfully loose and alive, they come out with startling and fresh statements all the time. Fantasy and imagination are the natural occupations of young minds, and most of the time this torrent of wonder has nothing to do with past lives. Children often make believe they are living in the past, imitating storybooks, TV, or movies.

But sometimes the veil does lift, and a child does speak of a genuine past life. If you know the signs, you can catch this magic moment when it happens.

This is totally unfamiliar territory for most people. When a child suddenly starts talking about a past life, most parents are unnerved and confused. They feel their hearts pulling them one way, their minds the other. Past lives just don't fit into their worldview, and their rational mind would rather believe that the strange behavior has some logical explanation, somehow. At the same time their hearts feel the sincerity of the child, their bodies tingle with profound energy, and their intuition signals that something special and timeless is happening. This confusion is normal. I offer these four signs as compass points to orient heart and head both -- to help you find your bearings within the different reality that rushes in and spins you around when your little one solemnly says, "I remember when I died."

The remainder of this chapter goes into great detail concerning each of the four signs. Included are numerous real-life case histories which can assist you in recognizing and dealing with indications that a child has experienced a past life. You can also find more information and case histories at the Children's Past Lives Research Center web site:


©Copyright 1997 by Carol Bowman and Bantam Books. Please request permission from the publisher before copying or redistributing this file. Thank You!

About the Author

Carol Bowman lives with her husband and two children near Philadelphia. Since beginning her research into children's past lives, she has become recognized as a pioneer and leading expert in this new field. She lectures and writes to share the news of children's past life memories with professional therapists as well as parents.

Carol continues to promote research into the phenomenon of children's past life memories and wants to hear from anyone who has a story to share. She can be reached by mail Bantam Books, by e-mail at , or on the web at the Children's Past Lives Research Center: http://www.childpastlives.org. Carol is available for interview and speaking engagements.

Carol Bowman was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show in March, 1994. With her children, Chase and Sarah, she was featured on the ABC network talk show AM Philadelphia a week after being on Oprah. The whole family was featured on a segment of the Fox Network's "Encounters" show in July, 1994. This segment has aired repeatedly in reruns.

The national network program, "Unsolved Mysteries," will be doing a segment on Carol's research. She will be featured along with Colleen Hocken and Tiiu Leuter retelling their children's cases from the book. Tentative air date is May 2.

Carol will also be featured on the Laura Lee syndicated radio show live on April 12 at 9:00 P.M. Pacific Time. This show is broadcast on 70 stations nationwide.

©Copyright 1997 by Carol Bowman and Bantam Books. Please request permission from the publisher before copying or redistributing this file. Thank You!

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