Carol Bowman: Three Stories (E12)

What would you think if your 4-year-old displayed thorough knowledge of WWII aircraft, without having ever been exposed to them? Carol Bowman is a prominent past life researcher who focuses on the past life memories of children. She recounts three extraordinary cases in this conversation, that call into question the conventional brain-dependent understanding of what consciousness is. Because they are so disruptive to basic scientific paradigms, stories like these have long been dismissed as hoaxes, suggestion, confabulation, and so on. Will you also dismiss them out of hand? Or will you entertain the possibility of their authenticity and see where that may lead?

Carol Bowman's website

Dateline Episode featuring the boy who had memories of WWII



  1. Glad to have this conversation opened up. My daughter astounded me when she was four with a vivid recounting of her past life. I have found few grounded conversations or research drawing on the stories of children that are unexplainable especially based on their few years of experience. Thank you Charles and Thank you Carol for discussing this.

  2. I don’t really care for the term past lives or reincarnation. Having had a NDE years ago I have experiential knowledge of simultaneous time. How about we say other lives and invent a word like – con carnation instead of re incarnation, because all the incarnations are NOW?

    • Mike: I’d like to hear more about your perspective on this. Are you saying that there is no such thing as a past life because we are all one and time is an illusion?

      If so, what is the mechanism that allows children at an early age to recall details of one life rather than another or a hundred others?

  3. Rudolf Steiner said that all things in the world find their reflections somewhere else in the world. For example, the Nautilus spiral is found in many formations, from whirlpools to tornadoes, and the ripples of the tide on the sand are reflected in the cirrus or stratus clouds. Furthermore, the as the seasons change, you see Mother nature in her full abundance in the summer, and she retreats into the earth in the winter. Now you see her, and then you don’t. BUT she is ALWAYS there, just in a different realm. He said human lives are like that, also. Now you see them, then you don’t, but they are always there.

    Six months before my farmstead cheese factory caught fire and burned down in 1986, my then 4 year old daughter and I were riding home in the car. Just at the spot where you catch the first glimpse of the farm, said to me in a matter-of-fact tone, “Dad, what are you going to do when the cheese barn burns down?”

  4. That’s a very useful comment, Caleb. The ambiguity I often see is whether it really is a past-life, or whether the person is somehow acutely attuned to something that is “out there”. As adults there can be a lot of layers of working out what is really “ours” from what is coming in from elsewhere. In person-to-person communications that is called transference/counter-transference. But it can be more universal. Some folks seem to be born with very thin psychic skins. If they are blessed with an emotionally supportive infanthood/childhood, then that may become a strength – an extra sense. If that early period of life is not well supported by the adults around them, then it can be something of an achilles heel, because a lot of what is “out there” is not so wholesome. The posts you’re putting up here, Charles, are ultimately about the world healing. For the world to heal we have to be able to place ourselves in its wholesomeness rather than be constantly dragged into the unwholesomeness that has plagued it. Although in the end it may be true that everything is the same and there is no separation … we are allowed to have the capacity to be distinct and separated exactly so that we are not inadvertently pulled into (and therefore add energy to) what is not wholesome.

    • Thanks for this comment Andrew. As someone who is in the process of rediscovering their ‘thin-skinnedness,’ learning to discriminate between what’s mine and what’s been picked up along the way has been incredibly important. Maybe some people need to experience themselves as more merged with others, but goodness gracious that’s not me.

  5. Thanks so for this…I have been going through a big drama and a friend asked me how I was feeling about it and this moment that I know so well from my remembered past life came up right then. Luckily my friend knows this past life that I began to remember as a child at age 2 (in a very traumatic moment, the memory came on). SO, I’m trying to write it out and one thing that was blocking my writing about it, sharing it…is that it’s taken me sooooo long to allow the memory as true, as real…and so how do I convey that to my “reader” that it’s okay to allow it ?

    So, as I have time to today, encouraged within about all this from your chat…I’ll get back to writing…

  6. The anthropocentric speciesism that is so central to our times, troubles and culture feels very present in Carol’s work, and the discussion. The conversation went way out for “intelligent (human) life” in the universe. I only listened once, but I do not believe that all the extraordinary intelligences that make up the non-human communities of this planet were ever mentioned. In addition, her perspective feels fully intrenched in the Sky God mythologies. “Heaven” is up there, out there, off this planet.

    We are only one species among an almost countless number of wildly intelligent, extraordinary beings and entities. We are as much ONE with them as with each other. I know Charles sees this, as do most people who follow his work. And yet, we forget that we must include them in ALL of our thinking and questioning if it is to be complete, true. And, we can access numerous realms by just being open to them, and connecting with them through affection, respect and empathy. I imagine there are numerous indigenous cultures who have past lives stories about being other creatures, their experiences and their suffering…

  7. There are many testimonies of people dying and then coming back to life. Often these people have memory of bright lights, feelings of euphoria, and many remember meeting Jesus in a heavenly experience before coming back to life on Earth. I have found that many of the reincarnation testimonies explain how life was tragically ended in some way. I don’t think that we can figure these phenomena out ourselves to a formula, but we do have the sense that they are happening. What do we know/ don’t know? We don’t know if all people have many past lives. We can’t assume that reincarnation happens every time, until we get wise enough to transcend into the utmost enlightenment. We might want to think that as a good alternative to what we don’t like to think. I think we can gather from these testimonies that there is intelligent design. Two years ago I personally had a divine encounter. The feeling of humility it gave me was something words won’t describe well enough. Later that day I asked Jesus if His Biblical story is for real, and then it felt like I was hit by a tsunami. My life will never be the same. I believe God can do anything. He can raise people from the dead or give them a completely new life in a new time. Yet reincarnation is a tricky concept, because it’s not the same person being born twice or more, it’s a new person, with memory of being a different person. Even if we said, new person same spirit is a stretch for me. There just isn’t a formula. For me personally, the Holy Spirit is my direct connection to our Creator. Jesus died for every person, born and not born. We are all one in that we all influence all. Love isn’t convincing others to believe the same things, it is to love each other despite our differences. That may sound easy but it takes a lot of courage. We are all a work in progress 🙂

  8. There is scientific evidence that isn’t conclusive but still hard to explain, beyond the bounds of the scientific method. This evidence is manifested in phenomenal experiences that are hard to explain. Reincarnation isn’t beyond the realms of possibility if we look at the history of metaphysical experiences across cultures, religions and cultural myths. The way we interpret creation myths and spiritual happenings in the west, doesn’t allow us to see the hidden meanings.

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