by Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.
Dr. Krippner originally presented this topic as the keynote speaker during the banquet at the October, 1993 convention of the Association for Past-Life Research and Therapy in San Francisco. The importance and scope of his address were such that we asked him to share his comments, observations, and research with our readers.
The emergence of past-life report therapy is one of many harbingers of what many philosophers have called the “postmodern age.” “Modernism” or “modernity” holds that the methods of “objective” natural science will reveal “the external world” and lead to unanimity of belief regarding “natural laws” and their implications. However, this glowing vision has never been actualized. The search for “objective” methods has revealed that the observer is an inevitable part of what is being observed, and that each set of researchers constructs what they are looking for in a way that influences what they eventually claim to discover (Gergen, 1991).
There are three divergent points of view taken by postmodern scientists on the nature of “external reality.” One group denies that there is an external reality; one group suspects that there is such a reality but that humankind will never be able to apprehend it; one group thinks that the “world out there” will be knowable but not with “objective” research methods, attitudes, and measures. Modern scientists, to the contrary, are convinced that there is a “world out there” and that modern science is perfectly capable of observing it, explaining it, controlling it, and even predicting its activity.