Children’s Past Lives and a Return from Heaven: Two Unique Perspectives about Reincarnation

It only seems appropriate that I was finally able to purchase tickets to a gallery reading by the psychic/medium John Edward on the very same day that I received copies of Carol Bowman’s books, “Children’s Past Lives: How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child” and “Return from Heaven: Beloved Relatives Reincarnated Within Your Family.” While neither of these books is a recent release (1997 and 2001 respectively), both deal with timeless subjects. Perhaps taboo subjects for some, but ones that Bowman, a pioneer and leading expert on children’s past lives and same-family reincarnations, manages to discuss from the unique perspective of a relative affected by such events, as well as that of a thorough researcher who knows how to discuss her findings in an easy to understand and engaging manner.

In late 1986, Bowman, a trained counselor, was faced with a life-threatening respiratory illness for the third winter in a row. After having a “vision” of her self as a young man who died of consumption many years prior and having realized the potential connection of such a past life to her current age and condition, her health slowly improved. The following October, a friend put her in touch with renowned hypnotherapist, Norman Inge. Her life simply hasn’t been the same since that fateful meeting.

During a past life regression session with Inge, she pieced together more details about her life as this highly admired piano-playing man who died so very young. During the same session, she also learned of her past life and death experiences as a victim of the Holocaust gas chambers.

A year and a half later, Inge once again came to Bowman’s aid when he helped her son discover the past life connection to his fear of loud noises and her daughter’s fear of house fires. By now, Bowman had become completely fascinated with the concept of past life regression specifically for young children and its potential to allow a form of “soul healing” so that these children could live even better lives than they would have otherwise. Over the course of the next two years, Bowman trained in hypnotherapy and studied past life regression techniques with both Inge and Jungian therapist Dr. Roger Woolger.

Now considered to be one of the leading authorities on both topics, Bowman presents what she has learned during her many years of research and work, but her books are far from being overloaded with scientific data and jargon, although she does go into great detail within “Children’s Past Lives” about the ground-breaking work done by psychiatrist Dr. Ian Stephenson. Both books are more like eavesdropping on conversations and events that occur between Bowman and her “patients.”

The first half of “Children’s Past Lives” actually reads like Bowman’s personal memoir. In the second half of the book you’ll gain insight into such topics as the four signs to help distinguish a child’s past life memory from a “make believe fantasy,” what triggers such spontaneous memories, what a parent can do (and, I dare say, anyone who encounters such children), and how to identify past life information that reveals itself in dreams. Bowman goes the extra mile by including a final section that acknowledges the difficulties, as well as the benefits, that some people encounter when they’re “confronted” with reincarnation -- how it potentially conflicts with their own religious beliefs, how it can ease the loss of a child (or any friend or relative for that matter), and how we who acknowledge such past life possibilities will likely see children in a different light -- one that truly listens to and recognizes the spiritual beings that they are and the incredible lessons that they can share with us.

While the concept of “family returns” is first presented in “Children’s Past Lives,” if it’s case studies that you’re looking for, “Return from Heaven” will fill the void for you. Here you’ll learn about how it’s possible for you to not only be your mother’s son, but how you might have actually already been her grandfather -- and how you might have the same birthmark, scars, and/or behavioral traits as he once did. Chapters discuss such mind-stimulating topics as how we choose a life, how we have “announcing dreams” as a form of pre-birth communication, how we switch roles in our family dynamics -- oftentimes “mother switching,” why we come back for a second chance, how we weave our soul throughout the lives of our family, and how “u-turns in the womb” might help us better understand miscarriages, stillbirths, and maybe even abortions.

You don’t have to be the parent of a child who has been effected by a past life, nor do you have to be the relative of a “family return” reincarnation to appreciate either of these books. The messages contained in each of them are applicable for anyone who has ever pondered either concept and even for those who haven’t. Like the MasterCard advertising campaign states -- the cost of Carol Bowman’s books, “Children’s Past Lives” and “Return from Heaven” = less than $20; the value of the insight that you’ll potentially gain into the endless “healing” possibilities for your soul as it cycles through multiple lifetimes, sometimes within the same family = simply priceless.

Donna McLaughlin Schwender is the “soul proprietor” of One-Eared Dog, Ink. As a freelance writer living in upstate New York, she can be reached at