George Knapp welcomed interdisciplinary cosmologist Paul Von Ward, who discussed reincarnation from a scientific mindset and how this process can help you get in touch with your previous lives. "When you're talking about reincarnation from a scientific point of view, you are isolated on both sides," reflected Von Ward. He explained that, on one hand, the scientific community has "nothing but disdain" for the topic, while the metaphysical community is "repulsed by the idea of science looking at these issues." However, Von Ward revealed that, when speaking in private, many members of the scientific community are interested in reincarnation, particularly "the most eminent of the scientists, the most intelligent and broad thinking of them."
In detailing of the strongest cases for the phenomena, he provided an update on the story of artist Peter Teekamp, who many believe to be the reincarnation of painter Paul Gauguin. Von Ward, who labeled it a "B+ or an A- case," recalled how both men share a litany of specific physical features, personality traits, and artistic talents. One "idiosyncratic habit" that both artists had, unbeknownst to Teekamp, was that they each hid small portraits of themselves within their paintings. Von Ward also talked about cases of reincarnation involving Anne Frank, Claus Von Stauffenberg, and Marie Antoinette. Regarding the long-derided concept that only famous people are reincarnated, he observed that this is because those well documented historical figures provide the best information to use as validation when working with contemporary reincarnation cases.
Von Ward expressed optimism that "the potential is there" for reincarnation to ultimately be proven to the scientific and religious communities. Interestingly, he indicated that proving the phenomenon may actually happen by accurately predicting future incarnations rather than trying to verify proverbial 'past lives.' Should reincarnation be proven, Von Ward predicted that "we would have greater, increased respect for everybody else," because people would see each other as "evolving beings" who's present incarnation is merely one chain in a long line of lifetimes. He surmised that acceptance of reincarnation as fact would effect parenting, education, and knowledge of human development. "It would be a very significantly different world," he said, theorizing that this is why "authoritarian institutions" seem so strongly against accepting reincarnation as a reality, since it would threaten our current hierarchical society.
Paranormal Talk with Shirley MacLaine
In the first hour, author and actress Shirley MacLaine shared opinions on such topics as 2012, reincarnation, and fear-based religion. "Religion was the jailer of man's minds for many, many hundreds of years," she mused, "and now you could say that science is." MacLaine revealed that Stephen Hawking confided in her that the renowned scientist believes he is the reincarnation of Sir Isaac Newton. "He doesn't just think it, he believes it. He knows it," she declared. On the propensity for comedians to make light of her well-known esoteric beliefs, MacLaine quipped that "the only thing I've been insistent on, if people make jokes about me, is that the jokes be funny." Over the course of MacLaine's appearance, she also talked about her conversations with President Jimmy Carter and Dennis Kucinich about UFOs as well as her thoughts on a "new species" of humans emerging on the planet.