Reincarnation Refuted - Evidence, Logic and Common Sense

REINCARNATION REFUTED is the first definitive proof that reincarnation does not happen. Opposing the grain of New Age thinking, the approach is logical, self-contained and free of religious dogma. Published for the first time is the Impossibility Theorem; the spiritual constitution of the self and the relationship between spirit possession and obsession; mind-body interaction and how it produces the strange phenomena often attributed to reincarnation; an original critique of reincarnationism's best known work, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. Whatever the reader's interests, beliefs or religious persuasion, REINCARNATION REFUTED is a fascinating journey of discovery into belief, logic and the paranormal.

James Webster: Review of Reincarnation Refuted by Stephen Blake

REINCARNATION REFUTED - Evidence, Logic and Common Sense
By Stephen Blake M.Sc. (Lond)

The author Stephen Blake has really put his seal on this blockbuster.

The readers attention is immediately captured by this brilliant mathematician and scientist who presents the refutation of reincarnation in such a manner that the reader gets an easy grasp of the argument from the very beginning. It puts me in mind of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes in the way he unravels the case and evidence with his investigations and ‘modus operandi.’ When the inevitable question arises, there is the famous response resounding in the mind - “Elementary my dear Watson” - as he proceeds with the explanation.

Blake, in his research, is a perfectionist and this is made obvious to the reader in his writing - he dots his “ i’s ” and crosses his “ t’s ”.

I find it so uplifting and inspiring that here we have a scientist who accepts life after death and survival as a fact, without question, and also accepts that we have a mind and a brain which are separate, but at the same time keeps the belief, theory and doctrine of reincarnation out of the equation as being neither helpful nor encouraging nor having any part to play. By using maths and science to refute reincarnation Stephen Blake is removing a huge obstacle which has hindered humanity’s spiritual progression for thousands of years.

It is a large book of nearly 500 pages and some sections are best left to scholars of maths, but there is plenty for everyone to get into - just scan over certain areas where necessary.

Dr Ian Stevenson is no doubt the most often quoted by reincarnationists and looked upon by many as their ‘guru’. Chapter 8 of Stephen Blake’s book is devoted to Dr Stevenson’s research and in particular to his Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation (1974). Blake unravels these cases - in particular the case of Jasbir as a prime example - and presents to the reader the errors and weaknesses of Stevenson’s investigations. Although Dr Stevenson dismissed the phenomenon of obsession by discarnate personalities he, nevertheless, provided abundant evidence for human survival beyond bodily death. The importance of this cannot be over emphasised as it supports the work of the early psychic researchers Prof James Hyslop, Sir William Crookes and others who demonstrated in scientific investigations and experiments that human personality not only survives the death of the physical body but can also influence the incarnate. That Stevenson’s reincarnationist interpretation of the facts is wrong is proven by the case of Jasbir.

Spirit influence was proven by Prof James Hyslop and by Dr Carl Wickland and his wife Anna (a fine medium) in the earlier years of the 20th Century - (refer to ‘Thirty Years Among the Dead’ (Wickland), and it was pleasing to see references to these fine researchers and pioneers in Blake’s book and yet wonder and fail to understand how this most important evidence was ignored by Dr Ian Stevenson.

Within the doctrine of reincarnation is found its partner in crime and bed-mate - the Law of Karma. Saturating the Eastern religions, it is now accepted by Western reincarnationists and incorporated into their thinking. In chapter 4 ‘The problem with karma’, Blake uses logic and mathematics to disentangle this false and misguided concept; and by the end of the chapter the imposing wall of karma lies in ruins at the foot of the ‘Impossibility Theorem.’

Good to see the work of scientist Isaac Newton well presented in chapter 9 ‘ Newton’s Universe.’

I unhesitatingly recommend Stephen Blake’s book ‘Reincarnation Refuted’ whether you are a pro or anti reincarnationist or someone who is just not sure and ‘sitting on the fence.’ For certain it will give the reader plenty to think about.

James Webster (May 31, 2014)

From a customer review on Amazon:


No open-minded person will believe in the doctrine of reincarnation after having read this book. Stephen Blake has achieved what many thought was impossible: he has proven that reincarnation does not happen. How he does this is both novel and intriguing. He doesn't refute the many individual beliefs about reincarnation that are currently circulating the globe - an evidently impossible task - but, instead, establishes "the true nature of human spirituality." Human spirituality is expressed in four postulates: (1) time to eternity is unreal (2) everything belongs to the temporal or the eternal (3) the human self is immortal (4) the human self is uniquely expressive. While the first postulate has its origins in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Parmenides of Elea, Sextus Empiricus, Augustine of Hippo and the twentieth century philosopher John McTaggart, the last two postulates are key tenets of the world's great religions with possibly the exception of Buddhism which teaches that no permanent self exists. Interestingly, Blake uses the first two postulates - what he calls the Temporal Postulates - to prove that the concepts of immortality, individuality and reincarnation cannot form part of a logically coherent system of thought. So much for the claim "you can't prove a negative" - an idea Blake comprehensively rebuts in Chapter 3 following a discussion of inductive reasoning and its relationship to statements that cannot be refuted of which the statement: "The human self reincarnates" is not one of them. Proposition D, Chapter 3 - "To an eternal being all events are simultaneous" - has profound implications because it explains why Darwinism and the law of cause and effect have collapsed as fundamental principles of science and why creationism is in the ascendant.

To those who insist that time is real, Stephen Blake responds with his most original contribution: the Impossibility Theorem. Starting from the premise that time is real, he launches into a theoretical investigation of karma, showing how karma can be quantified and analysed with the tools of mathematics. Blake's master stroke is to dispense with the notion of an entity reborn - the source of much confusion in the reincarnationist world e.g. Buddhists recognize only a 'stream of consciousness' - and consider the notion of 'a series of noncontemporaneous personalities' whose function is the elimination of karma. Only when karma is eliminated can a series of personalities be liberated from the cycle of rebirths. According to Blake, karma cannot be eliminated by the conscious personality - an assertion he justifies by proving that karma is the product of chance and can only be eliminated by chance - and that the proper focus of attention should be on the motion of karma itself. Having developed the mathematics of karma and illustrated how karma changes over time, he uses Cantor's cardinality theorem to show that the probability of any series of personalities eliminating karma and attaining liberation is equal to zero - enough to show that karma is unworkable. However, Blake is not satisfied with this result because he feels that karma - assuming it does exist - may operate within a small margin of error, that is to say, liberation may be attainable if karma is not completely eliminated but almost eliminated. He then proceeds to calculate this probability - the proof is set out in the mathematical appendix - and it turns out that it is equal to the error in the operation of karma. And it is here that the Impossibility Theorem comes in. If reincarnation is a fact, every series of personalities should, at some point along the timeline, however far into the future, eliminate karma and achieve liberation from the cycle of rebirths. Using an estimate of the maximum number of people capable of populating the planet - Blake puts this figure at around 10 billion - the probability of every series of personalities eliminating karma is so small - infinitesimally smaller than, say, Planck's constant - it can be equated to zero. To quote Blake: "Unless every series of personalities can eliminate karma and escape the cycle of rebirths, at least one series will be infinite. Since this is impossible, reincarnation cannot be a fact of nature."

Having established the logic and mathematics of the refutation, Blake proceeds to demolish reincarnationism's best known work, Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation by Dr. Ian Stevenson. But, he prepares the ground in advance. In Chapter 6 - Spirit Influence, he discusses the nature of spirit possession and obsession, and how both phenomena are often mistakenly adduced as evidence for reincarnation. The case of Lurancy Vennum - first brought to the world's attention by Dr. E. Winchester Stevens in 1928 - is reviewed at length in a long and memorable chapter. Lurancy Vennum, who was possessed (and then obsessed) by the spirit of Mary Roff, had many characteristics in common with supposed cases of reincarnation such as the possession of past life memories, detailed knowledge relating to a previous life, a change in personality, the 'adoption' of the parents of the previous personality, and a strong desire to go to the previous personality's home. But, as Blake points out, reincarnation is impossible in this case because Lurancy Vennum and Mary Roff had been contemporaries of one another in the neighbouring states of Iowa and Illinois in the USA. Chapter 7 - Mind and Body is the coup de grâce for reincarnation research because it shows how mind-body interaction offers a more plausible explanation for the strange phenomena often presented as evidence for reincarnation. While Dr. Ian Stevenson and his supporters have consistently maintained that correlated birthmarks coupled with past life memories are indicative of reincarnation, the cases reviewed by Blake show that minds - one's own and someone else's - can impact the physical body to produce a range of physical and psychical phenomena of which birthmarks and past life memories are the least interesting and most trivial examples.

One of the most novel features of the book is Blake's method of introducing the reader to the many issues surrounding the subject: an imaginary conversation between himself and two believers in reincarnation. By the end of the chapter, the reader is fully prepared for the rest of the book. Chapter 5 - Strange Encounters begins in a similar vein - a conversation with a man who believes he is more than one person! However, Blake has a more serious purpose: he wishes to show that a number of strange phenomena such as bilocation, circumscriptive replication, exteriorisation of sensitivity and motivity, the physical phenomenon of mediumship etc. do not undermine the concept of individuality.
In conclusion, the book is a game changer - a classic in the making. As such, it is essential reading for anyone interested in religion, science, spiritualism and spirituality.

Richard Anthony
Reincarnation refuted
Stephen Blake: Reincarnation Refuted - Evidence, Logic and Common Sense
Pages: 490
Grosvenor House Publishing Limited (March 31, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1781486875
ISBN-13: 978-1781486870
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