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Master Orthodox Occultist Oregon Chang, The 17th generation Disciple of Seven Stars Sword Master Hebei China

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Little big man

Another great case from The Survival Top 40 is the James Leininger reincarnation case. This story is sufficiently well known that I don't think I need to summarize it; anyway, Miles Edward Allen's excellent summary is readily available at this link (PDF).

Besides the strongly evidential value of James' statements about the plane he piloted, the ship he flew from, the names of his fallen comrades, etc., there are three aspects of the case that strike me as particularly interesting.

First, little James showed strong emotions when remembering his past life as a pilot. The whole episode began with James' nightmares, in which he struggled and screamed in bed. Whatever he was experiencing was obviously vivid and terrifying. Moreover, he showed flare-ups of righteous indignation that would seem more appropriate for a WWII flier than a two-year-old. As Miles Edward Allen recounts, when James identified his ship as the Natoma, his father replied that the name sounded Japanese. "Little James grew indignant and said no. It was American!" It's certainly credible that a patriotic serviceman would have that reaction; after all, it was the Japanese who shot him down. James, on the other hand, was probably too young to know or care about the Japanese through his own personal experience.

Second, James' description of the downed pilot, given while he was in the throes of his nightmare, was "Airplane crash! Plane on fire! Little man can't get out!" I don't know if this has been commented on by others, but I couldn't help wondering why James would describe the pilot as a "little man." After all, the pilot was a full-grown adult, considerably larger than James, a toddler. It occurred to me that the description would make sense if the pilot were viewed from a distance - that is, from an external vantage point. Looking down (say) on the struggling pilot in the cockpit, one might very well see him as a "little man." Such a perspective is commonly reported in NDEs and OBEs, when a person rises out of his body and looks down on himself from a height. There have also been reports of "dual consciousness" in such situations, where the person is simultaneously looking at his body from an external perspective and still experiencing the pain or anxiety of his physical body. If James was in fact remembering an event from a former life, it is possible that he was reliving the pilot's experience of separating from his dying body while still maintaining some connection to it. Naturally James was much too young to have been exposed to NDE literature or influenced by it.

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