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Mortality has a way of raising a multitude of questions in us.
What does a dying person see? Do people actually have immaterial souls? Is there life after death? Is reincarnation real? Are ghosts real? What do people see in near-death experiences? Are there really lights and flashes of memory?
These questions have been asked since the dawn of mankind, and have sparked myriads of different scientific studies performed by people who hope to uncover the mysteries that lie beyond the grave.
Believe it or not, science hasn't fully ruled out the concept of a soul. In fact, some studies suggest that souls may recycle, entering new bodies once the old ones perish.
The concept of reincarnation is far from new, but certain scholars have definitely taken a deeper look into it through modern eyes. Psychologists like Dr. Ian Stevenson have even gone so far as to catalog past life memories that have been backed by research.
Most people have heard of past life experiences, but now, groups are getting increasingly curious about the phenomenon known as pre-birth experiences.
What are pre-birth experiences?
Pre-birth experiences are memories that children have of the world they knew before they were born. They have been reported around the world, and often have similar themes to near-death experiences.
In many cases, kids will suddenly start talking about what life was like before they were born. Sometimes, kids will talk about what the hospital they were born in was like. Other times, they will talk about what life was like in the womb—or even earlier than that.
It's actually also common for children to claim to have memories of past lives. The theory to explain this is that since they are earlier in their current life, they're closer to the previous life and can recall those old memories a little easier.
The difference between a past life memory and a pre-birth memory deals with the life.
With a past life experience, you remember being a person who lived ages ago—a person before the person you are today. An example of a past life experience would be waking up with memories of living in America during the Revolutionary War.
Pre-birth memories, on the other hand, don't necessarily involve details of a past life. Rather, they tend to involve details that explain how you came to be in this life. What details are revealed in the experience can vary greatly from person to person.
This can include memories in the womb as an unborn baby, memories of "choosing" the life you lead, as well as memories of seeing your parents before you were born. Some experiences even involve communication with family members before they're born.
You don't have to be a kid to have pre-birth experiences.
Though it's most often children who recall life before birth, many adults still claim to remember what they saw before they were born. There have been multiple documented cases where adults still claim to remember life before birth.
Much like with past lives, a pre-birth memory can arise after falling asleep and having a dream that jogs latent memories. If you don't have pre-birth memories right now, it's always possible that you may be able to glimpse them later.
You might wonder why seemingly mystical experiences are important, but it's a fascinating subject to learn more about.
What's really interesting about pre-birth memories is that they tend to have very similar themes.
Children who discuss pre-birth memories tend to have similar topics they like to talk about. Children who talk about life before birth tend to tell their parents that they remember choosing them and also recall choosing their lives.
In some situations, kids will also start talking about memories that parents had before they even gave birth to kids. When kids recall the events, they often will be events parents never discussed with them or things they couldn't have possibly known.
When asked about minor details of their pre-birth experiences, children will often be able to answer them correctly. Sometimes, they may even mention details that parents themselves forgot until then!
In many pre-birth memories, people recall seeing a guiding spirit that asks them to choose a parent. For example, on the OBERF website, one woman by the name of Mae distinctly remembers seeing her mom before she was born:
"I have a memory of choosing this life. In the memory I am sitting, I guess, though with a different kind of body. All around me is white light, but with dimension and depth so that it is almost tangible, and it carries feelings and thoughts in it. To my left beside me is another spirit.
I can't remember their face, and every time I look over to see, it isn't really a face or a "person," per say, but the presence of a guiding force, yet still a person, or a spirit. I am being shown a life on earth. It isn't on a screen but rather what I would describe as through a tunnel, or, a magnifying glimpse in the atmosphere that is below me and to the right a little. I see my mother and it is because of her that I choose this life." — Mae
One of the most common things people report about pre-birth memories is "zooming in" on Earth or seeing scenes from Earth prior to birth.
There's a very pervasive theme of seeing the world before you're born when discussing these kinds of experiences. Some just have gut feelings that they saw what Earth was like back in the day, while others claim to literally see the world turning around from space.
People who have the "zoom in" experience most commonly have it as they see their first moments on Earth.
Much like near-death experiences, pre-birth memories typically discuss seeing a bright light.
A common cliche you hear when people talk about near-death experiences is seeing a bright white light and other souls. Interestingly enough, people who have pre-birth memories often describe the very same thing.
It seems like people who die spend some time elsewhere, then return to Earth via the same bright white light. A person known only as EP explained that their pre-birth memory started with the feeling of drifting through a vast, white tunnel filled with other souls:
"I am drifting up a tunnel. It is vast, and white. To my right and above, near me, is another being/person, whom I recall as possibly being female, and somehow ‘with’ me. We are drifting up. There are others drifting up too, although further away. " — EP
Similar experiences are recalled by many people who claim to have dreams about the time before they're born. Considering that this phenomenon only recently started to be talked about, it's pretty fascinating to see the parallels between life and death.
Seeing angels and spiritual guides is often mentioned as well.
"To my left beside me is another spirit. I can't remember their face, and every time I look over to see, it isn't really a face or a "person," per say, but the presence of a guiding force, yet still a person, or a spirit." — Mae
In many accounts of pre-birth memories, people claim to see other souls and guides that help them decide when and where they should reincarnate. Almost all of the guides people recall interacting with are loving and gentle, if not a bit stern.
Many descriptions of the guides also note that they tend to pressure people to return to life. Some will tell spirits that they don't "have to return," but that it would make the world a better place if they did.
What's interesting about memories of a pre-birth existence is that they often allude to things that will happen in the future.
It's wild, but it's true. Many of the people who report having memories in this category recall memories that they will live through, often paired with a feeling like they have to do better in this life than they did in the past.
One person by the name of Dani explained a pre-birth memory as oddly prophetic, not to mention revealing about the nature of life itself:
"The crucial fact about the experience (it is difficult for me to recall the exact sequence) is that I ‘remembered’ how I felt before coming to this life and how much I dearly cared for all the people I was to meet in this life...
I also saw some crucial life events that were meant to happen, ‘before’ coming to this world, such as my meeting with and marrying my husband: in the experience it was like a picture of us together was taken to mark this event beyond space and time, but, at the same time, we were surrounded by distorting mirrors, and I saw how these crucial life events can be distorted in physical life. This ties in with the very difficult family situation we are going through at the moment." — Dani
The sentiment that people will have an idea of what they will experience during their life is very prominent in these kinds of experiences.
There's another category of pre-birth experience that's a little bit less explainable.
Some people also consider pre-birth communication to be a form of before-birth experience. In these cases, the people around the unborn baby will feel like they have established a psychic line of communication with the child that stops once the baby is here. These things just happen naturally to anyone, not just people trying to increase their psychic awareness.
Anecdotal evidence from delivery nurses and midwives note that they often get a weird "hunch" or direction from the unborn child to help an easier delivery happen.
Mothers often mention dreaming of their child-to-be before they're born, or even "hearing" their child talking to them before they go into labor. This is a global phenomenon that can't really be explained away with dreams.
Betty B. explained her pre-birth connection to her daughter beautifully:
"The child in my dreams was around 10, heart shaped face and long curly hair. When the baby was born, I was convinced it was her I had conversations with, but in her toddler years her hair was straight, her face a little odd shaped, she looked nothing like the girl in my dreams.
About the age of 5 or 6 she started getting curly hair and by the age of 10 definitely looked just like the girl in my dream. This child is so wise and intelligent and we are so very close. I do have 6 amazing grandchildren, but this one is a special human being. Not only do I see it, but her teachers and most people see it."
So, how does it happen? Moreover, does it actually happen, or is it a simple delusion that occurs at random times?
The phenomenon is fairly underreported, but it definitely makes you wonder.
If what people see in their pre-birth experiences are real, what does that mean for humanity and life itself? Could it be that we really do reincarnate, or that we are here for a higher purpose? Are the skeptics of reincarnation wrong? Moreover, can science ever fully unveil what's going on here?