Monday, December 7, 2009

Alexandrina II

Alexandrina II is one of Stevenson's earliest cases he examined. It is discussed in David Cockburn's essay Evidence for Reincarnation when Cockburn discusses Dr. Ian Stevenson's case of Alexandrina which occured in 1910. After viewing this case, Cockburn decided that Stevenson's evidence for Alexandrina II's case was so compelling this was a true experience of reincarnation.

This case begins similarly to a few of the previous cases, a family had a daughter named Alexandrina who died of meningitis at age five. A year later, the mother fell pregnant and carried the pregnancy to term, giving birth to a new baby girl. The parents decided to name her Alexandrina II and did not discuss the death of Alexandrina I with the daughter. In fact, Alexandrina II did not know of her deceased sister (Cockburn 199). As the girl grew up, she developed tendencies that were unique, but that her sister had possessed an example of this was "putting on over sized leg stockings and walking around the room in them" (Cockburn 199) Alexandrina II also took on the characteristic of altering people's names as a joke just as her predecessor had done.

The true evidence of reincarnation comes when Alexandrina II's mother decided to take her to a vacation spot they had never been as a family, but Alexandrina II claimed to have already been there and even recalled the church, ornaments of the church, who they had went with and what the priests wore. She recalled this and said "we already went there" (Cockburn 200) and referred to her previous life when she was Alexandrina I. This startled the parents, but they did believe her because of the striking similarities and ultimately the case was reviewed years later by Ian Stevenson and then by Cockburn in his essay.

Now, this case came off less convincing when it discussed the mechanisms of the child bearing similar mechanisms to her deceased elder sister. I slightly discredited this because often siblings to have similar if not identical behavior traits, since they are from the same parents. However, there was no explaining this child's ability to recall an exact moment that Alexandrina I had experienced during her lifetime, especially since she was not told details of her sister's existence (Cockburn 199). I find this incredible and this alone would convince me, but when you consider this and the similar actions the child had to her sister, it does seem even more plausible. I was very impressed with the clarity of the details down to the priest's robes which were not super ornate as well as her ability to state the names of the people who had accompanied the family on the vacation with Alexandrina I.

Cockburn, David. Religous Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991. Print.

No comments:

Post a Comment