Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Possible Paranormal Case or Mental Illness

Possible Paranormal Case or Mental Illness
Last night. 3/27/2017 10:30pm

"So I just found out something that might be of interest". I could no help but reply to a message like that. I asked what she found out. She then asked if I was the person who ran the page, and I replied with "yes".

The woman then went on " I had a question that maybe you have an answer to. I'm told I'm part of an elite bloodline. And I have to admit your group has always drawn me in. Your extensive knowledge, your want to help, the details in your writings and descriptions. I don’t know why, but I am drawn to your page. I haven't said this to another person yet but I am a witch, and a hybrid. Something has been blocking me from accepting it and I don't know what happened but my eyes are open now.”
“What do you think you are a hybrid of?” I asked.
“Vampire and lycan. Crazy I know, but damn if it doesn't make sense. I have a sister from the same bloodline.”
I reply with “What have you been experiencing?”
“Really it was my whole life, my family and others see me as mental. I thought I was too. But when I used to get mad, my face would slightly change, the color part of my eyes would go blood red and no one could stop me, not a full-grown man, not 2 or 3. I've always been extremely strong. My family thought that when I would get mad I would have a 'psychotic' episode but I've talked to others and they've never heard of the colored part of the eye going red. The moon, I have to say I've always had a connection with it.”
At this point, all I can say is “interesting.”
She then states "I've even had dreams trying to show me, but I didn't think they were anything real or serious. I just, if all of this is true, I want to have someone I could give info to that I trust. I just have no idea what bloodline my sister is talking about. Apparently, it's what makes us lycans.”
I reassure her “I’ll do all that I can to help you. I’m sure there is some explanation for all of this.” She says “That's the problem, all I got from her before she went to sleep was we are the last remaining of our bloodline. There were 5 originally and only 2 left. The 2nd bloodline only has 2 as we'll. Oh and our family starts with a V”
There is a slight pause before she adds “I just have to get off my medication and start focusing on controlling it myself.”
Out of curiosity, I ask her what medications she is on.
She informs me that she is taking lithium and Seroquel. "We have been trying to repress this rage because my family thinks it's a mental disorder.”

Now, I’m getting my BS in psychology. Right now, I am in the middle of an Abnormal Psychology class. I know the only reason one takes lithium and Seroquel is because they are bi-polar. Seroquel is an antipsychotic medication, and lithium helps control manic episodes of bi-polar disorder. If you mix lithium and alcohol, you can have serious side effects. Some people have impaired thinking and judgement. If you mix Seroquel and alcohol, you will also have many negative effect, especially anxiety and agitation.
I do not know for sure what is going on here, so I continue asking her about her issue.
She goes on to tell me that she will message me in the morning after she talks to her sister about all of this. Her sister has notes on this, and can help her understand more. Out of nowhere she adds “Turns out my rage is my vampire and lycan. I think that makes sense.”
I then tell her to message me in the morning after she talks to her sister, and let me know what happens. She goes on to say that I am the only one she is going to reach out to about this. She doesn’t want others to know her identity. She states that she trusts me, and wishes me a good night.
I don’t know what to think. I did do a little research on all this before I went to bed. My conclusion is that she is just in the middle of a bad manic episode. (I am in no way diagnosing her, that is just my opinion)

~It is now 3/28/2017 at 2:40 pm and I have yet to hear from her again. I am going to send a message asking her if she is doing better.
She replied right after I sent her the message. She said he is doing ok, but feels a bit crazy. She had not been able to talk with her sister yet. She has been doing research into the ideas she has, with what little info her sister gave her. She said that her sister has been tracking down information for the past five years, but doesn't have it with her at the moment. She will get back to her soon.
I will report back when I have more information.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Interview with a person who has experienced illness

     There are many diseases and illnesses that can affect anyone at any time. Some illnesses can be seen on the outside, others are psychological and cannot be seen. If it can be seen or not, it is still a great problem for the person suffering. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological disorder. After experiencing a great trauma or stress event, the mind has trouble registering what happened. Post-traumatic stress disorder is something that can happen to anyone. There is great stigma around post-traumatic stress disorder and the person suffering being seen as weak.

    The following essay is based on a conversation with a thirty-five-year-old male. This man is in the US Navy and has been for the past fifteen years. This man is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from his time spent overseas. He spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and Iraq. This man has been suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder for the past two years.

    People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder live a different life than most people who do not have the disorder. From the simple day to day things, to acting out even when they are sleeping, is different than people who do not have post-traumatic stress disorder. A day in the life of a person with post-traumatic stress disorder is very interesting, yet often very sad. The way they view the world has changed, and it often seems like there is no coming back for them. Learning about the way a person with post-traumatic stress disorder sees the world can be very insightful.

     There are many psychological and emotional changes post-traumatic stress disorder brings about. Feeling left out of a group of a group of friends or even singled out by family can cause the person with the disorder more depression and anxiety. The person with the disorder is already feeling alone, the last thing they need it to feel that from other people. It is hard feeling like because of a disorder you have no control over, people look at you differently. Just look at the facts that more than 200,000 veterans have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and roughly eighteen of them a day commit suicide. A lot of the people with post-traumatic stress disorder have a hard time dealing with all the psychological changes that come with the disorder. The depression and anxiety seem to be the worst for some people. Having flashbacks often happens as well. Hearing a loud sound may often scare that person more than it would a “normal” person. Nightmares can also occur, and even be debilitating. Not being able to sleep because you are afraid of the nightmares ends up making all the other symptoms worse.

         With post-traumatic stress disorder, there are good days and bad days, sometimes it seems more bad days. Sometime when it is a bad day you end up taking it out on the people around you, even if you don’t mean to. Loved ones seem to get the worse of this disorder. Sometimes the smallest things can make a person with post-traumatic stress disorder lose their cool. One of the hardest parts in the nightmares. Often the person is waking up in a panic in the middle of the night. Sometimes acting out violently in the middle of their sleep. Something just as simple as a car going by the house at night and the lights shining in the window, can have a great effect on a person. Then because they become afraid of the nightmares, they try not to sleep. Then that leads to making all the other things during the day worse.

     Post-traumatic stress disorder greatly affects peoples’ social lives. Outsiders often think that people with post-traumatic stress disorder are ticking time bombs and can explode at any time. Some times that example can be true, but that is part of the problem, it is not always true. People who are aware that their friend has post-traumatic stress disorder will often treat them differently. People will often treat someone they know almost as if they are a child, like they need to be taken care of and everyone needs to watch what they say and do around that person. While there are times that people need to be more sensitive about some subjects being overly careful can give the person suffering with the disorder more anxiety. Going out in public with people is now a new experience. Small things can trigger memories and flashbacks. Driving down the road and seeing a certain type of car can even bring about flash backs. Driving past parked cars will also sometimes induce a type of anxiety, for fear that there is someone in the car about to shoot, or that the car has a bomb in it and will explode and the person passes by it. It is the simple things in day to day life that a person who does not have post-traumatic stress disorder will not understand.

     To help deal with these issues of post-traumatic stress disorder the military does not seem to do all that they can. The military will supply medications to help with depression, anxiety and sleep. The military will also do weekly therapy sessions. Even though the military offers therapy and medication, the military needs more education on post-traumatic stress disorder. There should be more training on post-traumatic stress disorder for the people going off to war and the service members that are staying state side. When the service members are coming home from war and have to go back to regular work, the people they work with need to understand the changed the other person is going through. Everyone in all level of the service need to understand the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in a person. A higher-level person needs to take into consideration the person with the disorders new life style. Doctor visits are a one to two time a week thing, and they need to understand the importance of those visits. A lower level person needs to understand that the person with the disorder might be having a bad day, and in a way, take it out on them.

      A lot of people with post-traumatic stress disorder self-medicate. Even though you may see a therapist and take prescription medications, it might not help. Sometimes even just the side effects of the prescription medications a person takes, makes other parts of their life worse. A lot of people with post-traumatic stress disorder turn to alcohol. People not sill in the military turn to other things, but in the military, it is easier to get away with drinking. It can start with a drink at dinner, then a few after that. Then you can feel like you need a few drinks to sleep. When you wake up in the morning all your problems are still there, and now you have a hangover, so you take another drink. It can become quite the problem. It also does not help that all the medication you take states to not take it with alcohol, but you do anyway. Then the side effect of the medication get worse. The person gets stuck in this cycle of just trying to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder and cannot even get down to the main causes.

     Health and healing can be described as the state a person is in. A person can be in good or bad health. A person can also be in different states of healing. With post-traumatic stress disorder, there are several different levels of healing a person must go through. Sometimes that starts off as physical healing, if they have an injury. Then there are different levels of mental healing. Talking with a professional, and getting on the correct medication is a good start to healing and improving ones mental health.

     Three of the most important facts about illness and healing are simple. Even though you cannot see an illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder, it does not make it any less real than any other illness. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a very serious thing and needs to be dealt with as so. The healing process is different for everyone. Healing from post-traumatic stress disorder will not happen overnight and might not happen at all. It is a day to day struggle and something that some people might have to learn to live with forever. Another thing about healing is the stigma around people with mental disorders needs to change. People with post-traumatic stress disorder have a hard-enough time in their own heads, they do not need people on the outside of it judging them.  “Stigma is when someone views you in a negative way because you have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait that's thought to be, or actually is, a disadvantage (a negative stereotype). Unfortunately, negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common” (Mayo 2014).

     Giving negative qualities to a disease or disorder is an example of stigma. An example of this is a person who has post-traumatic stress disorder is often viewed as a damaged or broken person. That feeling of being damaged leads to more negative feelings and shame that the person now must deal with. Military members have more stigma in regards to their mental health. Military members are viewed as strong, physically and mentally, and are supposed to be invincible. When a military member has a psychological problem, they are going to be less likely to say anything about it. The military member does not want to seem weak to their other service members and their families.

      Social and self-stigma that the military must deal with is a great problem. “The present research examined the stigma associated with psychological problems among service members returning from the United States peacekeeping mission to Bosnia. The results show that admitting a psychological problem in the military is perceived as much more stigmatizing than admitting a medical problem. Service members had more concerns about stigmatization and felt more uncomfortable discussing psychological problems than medical problems, and these feelings were magnified when service members were being screened with their units rather than alone” (Britt T.W. 2000). Any person serving in any branch of the military could be prone to coming down with post-traumatic stress disorder. The stigma connected to post traumatic stress disorder in the military needs to be talked about. More education about the disorder can help with the stigma attached to the disorder.

     In some ways, post-traumatic stress disorder could almost be a cultural disorder. Different cultures look and react to things can be different for others. One culture can be more exposed to things like shootings, explosions, and death. Another culture may not be as exposed to such things or not as often. Some places might have death and disease just be common and not as taboo as others. When a person who is not used to being in a place with the constant fear of death, that can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder for the person. Going from a more peaceful way of life, and thrown into a completely different way of living can have a serious impact on a person’s life.


     Britt, T.W. (2000). The stigma of psychological problems in a work environment: Evidence from the screening of service members returning from Bosnia. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30, 1599-1618.

     Mayo Clinic Staff 2014 Mental health: Overcoming the stigma of mental illness

False beliefs about mental illness can cause significant problems. Learn what you can do about stigma. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/in-depth/mental-health/ART-20046477

Copyright © 2017 Kate Stap
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the email address: k.stap845@gmail.com

Human Observation Report

      Friday night and the local bar is getting crowded. It is a small, dark, smoky hole in the wall place. Locals come every day after work for their regular beers. On a Friday night the crowd grows around ten p.m. The regular locals all seem to leave by 10 pm, to make room for the younger crowd. The place is very dark and filled with cigarette smoke. There is a pool room to the right and an outside patio in the back. There are two security guards watching the front and back doors. The bar fills up quickly.

     There is a regular man in the bar tonight who stayed later than usual. Tonight he has a lady in a black shirt with him. They are talking very close. He has his normal beer and she has a mixed drink. The man stands up, and they walk out of the bar. The couple comes back in and goes back at their spot a few minutes later. The regular man is standing up next to his lady in the black shirt. She touches his face, there is a whisper exchanged. She starts to act more shy now. He gets closer to the lady in the black shirt. The regular man’s friends come in, and he introduced them to his lady friend. They get ready to leave again, this time not coming back. They are an older couple that are not as touchy feely as the couple to their left.

     A few seats to the left there is a younger couple. The woman wears a green shirt, and the man is wearing a black shirt. The man is smoking a cigarette. The couple is talking very closely. A man walks up to the couple. He has one a hat and a white shirt. He walked up to the woman and she stood up. He touched the lower part of her back and sat down in her seat. The woman then went to the bathroom, and left the two men sitting in silence. The woman came back to the group and sat on the man with the hats lap. She still spoke with the man in the black shirt, but had more interaction with the man in the hat. The man in the hat gets up and leaves, seeming to be following another woman away from the group. The woman in the green shirt gets closer again to the man in the black shirt. The man in the black shirt and the woman in the green shirt pay for their own drinks. He was drinking beer and she had a few mixed drinks. The man in the hat comes back. The man in the hat and the woman in the green start to dance very close together. The man in the hat then sits down and the woman in the green again, sits on his lap. They start to kiss now. Forgetting that everyone else is in the bar, even the man in the black shirt, they kiss for a few minutes. A phone rings and the man with the hat gets up and goes outside to talk on his phone. He comes back a few minutes later and gets the woman in the green shirt, they leave together.

     A few seats to the right there is another couple. The man is wearing a sports jersey and the woman is smoking a cigarette. They are talking rather close. There is a slight arm brush and they move closer. They are drinking a pitcher of beer. They get up and move into the pool room. They play a few games of pool. The man sneaks up and kisses her on the cheek. It seems to surprise her, in a good way. They flirt a bit more and finish up their game of pool. The end up on the back patio. It is raining now and they do not seem to care. They are now kissing and very into each other. Maybe it is the alcohol, maybe it was instant connection. They stand and kiss in the rain for almost ten minutes before they leave together out of the back door. 

     Mutual attraction grows when each meets the other’s unmet needs. An example of reward theory of attraction: Those who reward us, or who we associate with rewards, we like. Rewards can be seen as anything from simple conversation to a sexual relationship. This also goes along with the second version of the reward principle. That principle states that we like those we associate with good feelings. For example, after a hard week of work, we relax enjoying food, drinks, and music, we will most likely feel connected to those around us. We are much less likely to take a liking to someone we meet while dealing with a horrible headache or after a bad day at work.

     The idea of matching hypothesis is the idea that most people find friends and lovers that are on the equal level of attractiveness as themselves. “In the field of social psychology, the idea that people are more likely to form successful relationships with and express liking for people whose level of physical attractiveness roughly equals their own. Example: A man of average attractiveness goes on one date with an extremely attractive person, and then another with an average-looking person. He finds he likes the average-looking date more” (Grinnell 2010).

     A lot of relationships come from mutual attraction. There needs to be some kind of mutual attraction for a relationship to start. Sitting next to someone at a bar and your arms touch, or you both cannot look away from each other, can be signs of mutual attraction. Maybe even before the mutual attraction comes the matching hypothesis. You see someone across the room and feel that they are on the same level as you, so you go over and talk to them. After seeing someone, maybe you talk to them and realize there is a mutual reaction. There also seems to be bit of a chemical reaction to others also. You do not quite know why you are attracted to someone but you have strong feelings for them, that could be chemical. It is very interesting all the ways we can be attracted to someone.


    Grinnell R. Matching Hypothesis. PsychCentral.com 2010


Copyright © 2017 Kate Stap
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the email address: k.stap845@gmail.com

Female Genital Mutilation Essay

     Around the world, an estimated one hundred and twenty-five females, who are alive today, have been put in danger due to female genital mutilation. Twenty-nine countries, mostly in the Middle East and Africa still significantly practice female genital mutilation. Thirty million girls are at risk for mutilation within the next ten years. Most of the females subjected to the genital mutilation have it done against their will, this needs to be stopped.

     There are four types of female genital mutilation. “Type I: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or the prepuce (clitoridectomy). Type II: Partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (excision). Type III: Narrowing of the vaginal orifice with creation of a covering seal by cutting and a-positioning the labia minora and/or the labia majora, with or without excision of the clitoris (infibulation). Type IV: All other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, for example: pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterization” (Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation, 2008). Female genital mutilation is most often carried out on girls between birth and 15 years. There are some cases of adult and even married women being subjected to the procedure. The age at which female genital mutilation is carried out changes with local traditions and different circumstances.

     Victims of female genital mutilation suffer emotionally and physically. Victims of female genital mutilation are at risk for many health complications. In some cases, female genital mutilation can result in death. When these operations take place, they are performed by a village doctor or mid-wife. The procedure is done with objects such as sharp rocks, razors, scissors, and other sharp objects. It is common to have the operation tools only being cleaned in oil or water, if they have been cleaned at all. After effects of female genital mutilation usually consist of shock from pain or loss of blood, hemorrhaging, blood poisoning, chronic pelvic infections, childbirth complications, infection, fever, psychological issues, and lack of orgasm.

     There are some that are in favor of female genital mutilation. “As a supporter of both female and male circumcision, I believe it is time to denounce the flagrant racism and sexism that inspire anti-FGM campaigns, such as Equality Now, and anti-semitism that underlie MGM campaigns as well as the obvious Islamophobia that characterizes both anti-FGM and anti-MGM campaigns. If we are disgusted by the dubious tactics and demonizing language of radical Right to Life advocates, why do we tolerate the use of the same contemptible, psychological weapons against circumcised African women and girls who support their traditions?” (Sia Ahmadu F.) Some will argue that female genital mutilation is a part of some peoples’ culture. They will also say that most of the women and girls have the mutilation done willingly, the key word here is most. There are millions of females that have the mutilation done and do not consent. The females that do not consent are the ones that need to be fought for.

     Female genital mutilations are a violation of a females’ rights to health and well-being. “What is clear from this report is that legislation alone is not enough. The challenge now is to let girls and women, boys and men speak out loudly and clearly and announce they want this harmful practice abandoned” (Pruthi P 2013). “Perhaps one of the most striking revelations is the degree of discrepancy between the low support for FGM/C and the high prevalence of its practice. Even in countries in which most girls and women are cut, a significant proportion of the population opposes the practice” (Pruthi P 2013). Even though female genital mutilations are practiced around the world, it needs to be stopped.


     Female Genital Cutting 2015

     Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation 2008

       Pruthi P. New UNICEF Report on Female Genital Mutilation/cutting: Turning Opposition Into Action 2013 http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_69881.html

     Sia Ahmadu F. Why the Term Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is Ethnocentric, Racist and Sexist- Let’s Get Rid Of It! Hysteria

Copyright © 2017 Kate Stap
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the email address: k.stap845@gmail.com

Pro-Polyamory Argument Essay

     The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America states that freedom of lifestyle choice be not infringed upon by the Federal Government. Polyamory is a choice of lifestyle. People should be free to live how they want. If it is not hurting other people, then why does it matter so much to people not in the relationship?

     To start to understand what polyamory is, an understanding of the word and definition should be noted. The word poly, in Greek, means several. The word amour, in Latin, means love. Therefore, the word polyamory means to love several people at once. “Polyamory can be defined as the practice of having loving, intimate relationships with more than one person at a time, within an ethical, consensual, agreement-based context. Poly” differs from “swinging”.  In swinging the emphasis is on couples engaging in recreational sex with others in a party atmosphere.  Polyamory is primarily a relationship oriented approach to non-monogamy rather than a casual-sex oriented approach.  Polyamory can take a variety of forms, all adaptable to the particular desires, needs and agreements of the individuals involved” (Davidson J. 2002).

     Polyamory has its benefits. There can be shared child care duties. Children can also benefit from more love. Love never hurt anyone and is nothing but helpful to the growth of a child. The more love a child has the more that child will love and grow from that. There can also be shared household duties. Everyday cooking and cleaning can be shared among everyone in the relationship. Same as working and making money. The more people are working, the more money coming in. This can be a great benefit to any relationship or family.

     One great issue that come from a polyamorous relations ship is the law. Polyamory can be seen as bigamy. Bigamy is the act of marrying one person while already being married to another. Bigamy is legally prohibited in most countries were monogamy is culturally the only acceptable relationship.

There are some bigamy statutes that are expansive enough to incorporate polyamorous relationships concerning cohabitation, even if none of the parties claim marriage to more than one partner.

     There are things other than the law that may be hard to overcome. The feeling of jealousy is a huge feeling that will most likely be felt in a polyamorous relationship. “Jealousy was something we struggled with at first. We were excited that we all loved each other, but it was easy to feel insecure. If I saw them being super affectionate, I might worry, “Oh, no! They have all these years of marriage together. There’s no way I can ever compete!” If he saw us being affectionate, he might worry, “Oh, no! They have been best friends since forever. They probably won’t even want me around!” If she saw us being affectionate, she might say, “Oh, no! They are going to hit it off and decide they don’t need me!” (Shore J 2012) All relationships have hardships. Being in a polyamorous relationship is no different. Boundaries need to be set. There needs to be communication between the parties involved. Mistakes will be made, but as long as everyone is open and can work together, there is no reason the relationship cannot work just like a “normal” monogamous relationship. “Compersion is the flip side of jealousy, or the glee of seeing one’s lover falling in love with someone else. Polys who experience compersion liken it to being happy that their partner got a part in a local theater production or was chosen employee of the month – it does not affect the person directly, but they are still happy to see their partner happy and having good things happen, regardless of the nature of those good things. If something brings joy to your partner, then it makes you happy. Practiced polys act in compersive ways like vacating the large bedroom for their partner to host a visiting lover, taking care of kids so their partners can go on dates, and treating their paramours kindly” (Sheff E 2013)

     With all the changes of what marriage is these days, if same sex partners believe that they should be allowed to marry because it's a union between people who love each other then why should it stop there? A marriage union does not have to be between two, it can be between multiple people that feel the same way. The United States of America is a nation based on the principle of truth, justice, and the pursuit of happiness. No one has the right to tell a mentally capable and consenting adult who he or she can or cannot marry. We as a nation need to stop sticking our noses where they don't belong and let people be happy and themselves. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19 English Standard Version).


     Davidson J. WORKING WITH POLYAMOROUS CLIENTS IN THE CLINICAL SETTING, Electronic Journal of        Human Sexuality, Volume 5, 2002 http://www.ejhs.org/volume5/polyoutline.html

      Shore J. Sometimes It Takes Three to Tango 2012

       Sheff, E. "Jealousy and Compersion with Multiple Partners – How polys deal with jealousy and feel happy when their lover loves someone else". Psychology Today. 2013 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-polyamorists-next-door/201312/jealousy-and-compersion-multiple-partners-1

Copyright © 2017 Kate Stap
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the email address: k.stap845@gmail.com

Reincarnation Essay

     Reincarnation is the idea that a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each biological death. Another term for reincarnation is transmigration, meaning the migration from one life or body to another, this can also be called rebirth. Reincarnation is found in all major Indian religions, namely Buddhism and Hinduism. The idea of reincarnation is found in many ancient cultures, and is found in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Australia, East Asia, Siberia, and South America. Different cultures believe that when a person is reincarnated they are reborn as a newly born human being or animal. People can also be reborn as a plant, or spirit, or as a being in some other non-human realm of existence.
     Trying to trace back when the idea of reincarnation first came about is not an easy task. It is thought that the idea started in India sometime between 1500-500 BC. Early Buddhist and Hindu texts share the idea that a person is reborn based on their karma. Karma is the spiritual principle of cause and effect. The idea of karma is where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual. If you do good, then good things will happen, and if you do bad or wrong, then bad things will happen. Some believe that karma follows you from life to life when you are reborn, and also effects what you are reborn into. It is thought that you are reborn until your karma reaches a certain level, and at that point you reach the level of the Gods and are no longer reincarnated.
     Different traditions within Buddhism have presented different theories on what is means to reincarnate and how the process of reincarnation happens. One theory states that reincarnation occurs through a stream of consciousness upon death, which reincarnates into new life. An example of this is the flame of a dying candle lighting up another (Kalupahana D. 1975). The consciousness in the reborn is not identical and at the same time not completely different from that in the deceased.  The consciousness from the reborn and deceased form a causal stream in this Buddhist theory. Reincarnation is influenced by a being's past karma. A person will be reborn until they reach a full level of awakening and awareness. At the point they reach the full level of awakening, they will not be reborn anymore and will reach the level of nirvana. “The concepts of karma as cosmic justice and nirvana as the quenching of an endless cycle of rebirths are rejected in their traditional form, and recast in a within-world sense. Karma, for instance, has been translated into the interdetermination of choice and character; nirvana has been described as reaching awakening or human flourishing within this life” (Verhaeghen P 2015).
     In the Hindu tradition, the body may die, but the soul does not. The soul is seen as eternal and indestructible. In Hinduism, all living things are connected and are composed of the soul and the body, in whatever form that may be. Current Karma impacts the future circumstances in this life, as well as the future forms and realms of lives (Christopher C. 1986). You can be reborn in a heaven or hell like place, or on earth as a human or an animal. In heaven or hell, when past karma runs out, a soul gets another chance of being reborn on earth. Reincarnation continues until one embarks on a spiritual pursuit, apprehends self-knowledge, and gains mokṣa, the final release out of the reincarnation cycles (Jacobsen, K 2012). This release out of the reincarnation cycle is thought to be a state of utter bliss, much like nirvana in the Buddhist religion. “Whereas Buddhists reject the notion of a transmigrating entity often described as a soul, most Hindus from the Common Era onwards have believed that a trans-empirical substrate of the individual self, known as the li˙nga-´sar¯ıra, survives bodily death. Within this substrate, the accumulating karma of an individual karmic chain determines the characteristics of the next existence. It is sometimes also called the s¯uks .ma-´sar¯ıra or subtle body, and is essentially a mechanism for storing and transferring accumulated karma from one life to the next. The notion of li˙nga-´sar¯ıra makes it possible to allow for a time-lapse to occur between death and rebirth in the soul’s search for an appropriate body to inhabit. (It also allows for offerings to be made that will improve the prospects of the soul before re-embodiment.) “Self” or “spirit” is usually denoted by ¯atman” (Gosling D. 2013).
     There have been many reincarnation researchers and case studies. One of the more well-known researchers is psychiatrist Ian Stevenson, from the University of Virginia. Over a period of forty years, Stevenson conducted more than two thousand and five hundred case studies. He also published fourteen books and three hundred papers that were suggestive of reincarnation. Stevenson investigated many reports of young children who claimed to remember a past life. Most children who claimed they remembered their past lives where between the ages of two and seven years old. Stevenson’s research into reincarnation started in 1960 when he learned of a case in Sri Lanka where a child reported remembering a past life. “He thoroughly questioned the child and the child's parents, including the people whom the child recalled were his parents from his past life. This led to Dr. Stevenson's conviction that reincarnation was possibly a reality. That same year, Dr. Stevenson published two articles in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research about this child who remembered having a past life. The more such cases he discovered, the greater became his ambition to scientifically quantify the possibility of reincarnation - one of the world's greatest mysteries - which had been virtually ignored by science in the past” (Williams K. 2014). In each study that Stevenson conducted he meticulously documented each of the children’s statements. Stevenson would then identify the deceased person that the child identified with and compare the person’s life with the child’s memory. He would also compare birthmarks and birth defects to scars and wounds on the deceased person.
      In 856 cases, 576 of those cases Stevenson considered solved. By solved Stevenson means that he has matched a deceased person with the claims the child is making of a past life. The rest of the cases that were performed are considered to be unsolved, there were 2500 cases of reincarnation that were looked at. Out of 684 cases looked at, 494 cases mention the how the person the child remembers died. Among 536 of the solved cases, 274 cases state the person died a violent death, 262 cases state that the person died a natural cause (Stevenson I. 1990). “In 35% of cases he investigated, children who died an unnatural death developed phobias. For example, if they had drowned in a past life then they frequently developed a phobia about going out of their depth in water. If they had been shot, they were often afraid of guns and sometimes loud bangs in general. If they died in a road accident they would sometimes develop a phobia of traveling in cars, buses or lorries” (Williams K. 2014).  Stevenson had the idea that some children who claim to remember past lives, have phobias from the lives that they remember. Because of Stevenson’s strict methods of research, he believed that he rules out all other explanations for the child’s memories. He did report that a great majority of the reported cases he examined took place in Eastern societies where the dominant religion accepted the idea of reincarnation. “In 1977, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease devoted most of one issue to Dr. Stevenson's work. In a commentary for the issue, psychiatrist Harold Lief described Dr. Stevenson as "a methodical, careful, even cautious, investigator, whose personality is on the obsessive side." He also wrote: "Either he is making a colossal mistake, or he will be known . . . as 'the Galileo of the 20th century' " (Shroder T. 2007).
      Objections to claims of reincarnation consist of the fact that most people do not remember their previous lives. “Dr. Stevenson himself recognized one glaring flaw in his case for reincarnation: the absence of any evidence of a physical process by which a personality could survive death and transfer to another body” (Shroder, T 2007). Stevenson also goes on to explain that in some cases there are reports of children remembering past lives, but some of those cases turn out to be fantasy.
      There are many religions around the world that do not believe that reincarnation could be real, and do not acknowledge the idea of it. Because there is no way to confirm or deny reincarnation one-hundred percent, there is no right or wrong view on the topic. There has been a decent amount of research done on the topic, but more needs to be done. Reincarnation might be impossible to completely prove, but only time will tell the progress that will be made. There are many people and religions around the world that believe in reincarnation, in one way or another.


     Stevenson, I. American children who claim to remember previous lives.  Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 17 1, 742-748. 1983

     Stevenson, I. Phobias in children who claim to remember previous lives.  Journal of Scientific Exploration, 4, 243-254. 1990

     Cadoret, R. Book Review: European Cases of the Reincarnation Type. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 2005

     Verhaeghen, P. Contemporary Buddhism. Vol. 16 Issue 1, p43-54. 12p. DOI: 10.1080/14639947.2015.1006802. (2015)

     Shroder, T. "Ian Stevenson; Sought To Document Memories Of Past Lives in Children". Washingtonpost.com. 2007

     Kalupahana D. Causality: The Central Philosophy of Buddhism. University Press of Hawaii. ISBN 978-0-8248-0298-1. (1975)

     Williams K. Dr. Ian Stevenson's Reincarnation Research. Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife 2014 http://www.near-death.com/reincarnation/research/ian-stevenson.html

     Gosling, D. L.  Journal of Religion & Science. Vol. 48 Issue 4, p908-915. 8p. DOI: 10.1111/zygo.12049. (2013)

     Gosling, D. L. Journal of Religion & Science. Vol. 46 Issue 2, p345-369. 25p. 1 Chart. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2010.01177.x. (2011)

     Christopher C.  Karma and creativity, State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-88706-251-2, pages 60-64 (1986)

     Jacobsen, K. Three Functions Of Hell In The Hindu Traditions." Numen 56.2–3 (2009): 385–400. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials. (2012)

     Lochtefeld J. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Rosen Publishing, NY 2002

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SO, I'm starting a blog. I'm still not sure how this all works, but going to try my hand at it.
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I like to write poems, short stories, and research articles. I like to write about paranormal activity, crime, horror, and even romance. I will be using this blog to share articles I write, and my short stories.

I will also be using this blog to share my paranormal experiences. I run a paranormal investigation group out of Norfolk VA. We are Mystic Investigations.
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I will try to write at least one post a week, sometimes maybe even more. I am going to school full time to get my BS in psychology with a minor in forensics. I may also share some of the papers I have written for that class as well.

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