Soul Survivor (英語) ペーパーバック – 2010/6/11
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The parents of James Leininger were first puzzled and then disturbed when their two-year-old son began screaming out chilling phrases during recurrent nightmares, such as, "Plane on fire! Little man can't get out!" The centerpiece of a loving family of three, James was a happy, playful toddler who had only just begun stringing together sentences. Determined to understand what was happening to their son, Bruce and Andrea set off on a journey of discovery that was to rock them to their core. For the more they researched the arcane comments and fragmented details little James revealed, the more they were drawn inescapably to a shocking conclusion: that James was reliving the life of James Huston, a World War II fighter pilot who was killed in the battle for Iwo Jima-- over sixty years ago!
Through painstaking research and conversations with war veterans and surviving members of James Huston's family, Bruce and Andrea were forced to confront their skepticism and reexamine their entire belief system. In the process, they not only managed to solve the mystery of their son's statements. They also uncovered revelations about James Huston's life and wartime experiences that could finally bring peace and healing to his loved ones, decades after his death.
This book features stunning drawings from James Leininger illustrating his unshakable memories, photos that portray the eerie resemblance between young James and the adult James Huston, and a foreword from world-renowned past lives expert Carol Bowman. In SOUL SURVIVOR, readers will come to know and believe in the special child who harbors the soul of a man who died in 1945.
Bruce and Andrea Leininger, James' parents, live in Louisiana with their son James, who is now nine years old.
When it comes to books on reincarnation, near death and the after life, I keep a little bit of skepticism myself. With "Soul Survivor" however, skeptics should have a hard time with it because author Bruce Leininger provides a story which can be fact checked with the names of soldiers from World War II who served with James Huston Jr., who was reincarnated as his own son, James. Those names are in the book. And that's something most books on reincarnation don't do: provide one with names from the past that can be looked up and verified if there are family members still living. And for those who think the story is bunk, why would Bruce subject not only himself, but his wife Andrea and their son James to ridicule? They were the subject of a story about reincarnation on ABC's "Primetime" in 2004, and the program resulted in calls from believers and calls from cranks - skeptics, no doubt with maybe a few of the cranks being Christians who fear the proving of reincarnation invalidates their beliefs. It shouldn't, as Bruce is a Christian and for him, the possibility of his newborn son James having lived in a past life was one that seriously conflicted with his religious beliefs. Reincarnation went against everything he believed in and he remained skeptical until the point when he could no longer remain skeptical that reincarnation was a possibility. But, in acceptance of that idea, his own religious beliefs were strengthened, not weakened. Absolutism has no place in faith because none of us really knows what takes place on the other side until we get there.
After reading the reviews of the book here on Amazon, I was a bit concerned.
This is a fairly well researched case that is both recent and local to us living in the United States.
Most of the criticism seems aimed at the "story line" rather than what James said and did.
Perhaps those readers were looking for something written like Ian Stevenson would present.
I felt that the book was written for the "general audience" rather than the reincarnation
researcher type, and that is OK with me.
There can never be enough "proof" for everyone since "belief" by its very nature is not
"open-minded". I would like to think that the way the book was written might help reach
those who are openly looking for spiritual answers.
The problem is that even if such an experience happens to you personally you may go
through what Bruce has, or more. There just has to be a point where you are satisfied
with what you understand to be true and move on.
Regarding reincarnation, does this story prove it? I would say that the probability that the story is completely explainable under the materialist metaphysics that dominates science and secular culture is extremely small. When contacted, the parents presented an incomplete, not-yet-verified, and overall not very compelling case to the producers of the TV program 20/20 two years before they did all the research leading to the identification of pilot James Huston Jr. The lack of verification of their case at that time eventually caused the producers of 20/20 to decide against airing that episode. It was only after 2-3 years of hard work by the parents, verifying the information given by their son that eventually led to the Primtime interview and this book. This fact abolishes in my mind any accusation that the parents were doing this for media attention. If that were the case, then why not present the whole concocted case to the crew of 20/20, which to them at the time, could very well be their only shot at media attention?
Is this the most compelling proof of reincarnation? I wouldn't go that far. This case is extremely compelling, but it's still not on a level where the probability of a supernatural explanation is undeniably higher than an ordinary one. For a case that is, read up on the case of Ryan (a.k.a "Marty Martyn" in previous life) studied by Dr. Jim Tucker, professor of psychiatry at University of Virginia. That is another recent, American case. The details of that case, verified by Dr. Tucker, are such that even a rationally minded person would have to admit that a supernatural explanation is logically much more probable than an ordinary one.
A great read overall.