Recently, I've been watching some videos on YouTube on children's apparent memories of past lives. I like this one, on the work of Jim Tucker, author of Life Before Life (an excellent book), who has carried on the groundbreaking work of Ian Stevenson on children's past life memories at the University of Virginia. Also this one, a 1992 documentary on Stevenson's work. And finally, this one, about an American boy who has memories of being a World War II fighter pilot.
As I watch these, the question that comes up for me is: Why hasn't this phenomenon been known in the West for centuries? It's clear that children in the West have these memories. They aren't that uncommon. One of the videos offers an estimate of one in every 500 children. Indeed, the daughter of a friend of mine had apparent past-life memories. Presumably, these things have been happening forever. So why did it take one man, Ian Stevenson, to bring this phenomenon to light in 1960?