The farmer from Born Evidence Of Survival Beyond Death
Photo: Lars Johansson
The man who had gotten an emergency appointment sat deeply depressed in front of me. He breathed shallowly and irregularly. His eyes were deprived of joy and he constantly fiddled his hands, almost as if he tried to wash them of something invisible and inescapable.
Leif had just turned 45 and should have been at the height of his life, yet his eyes were filled with tears. Gawkily and quietly he tried to tell about himself using few words. Everything in his life had turned into chaos. It was his wife who had arranged his appointment.
Leif had walked into a serious existential crisis. He was the father to two healthy children, and had always put his family first. One day everything changed, not instantly as a bolt of lightning, but a seducing gradual irresistible change. Leif had met a new woman at the same time as the relationship with his wife became more and more strained.
Leif did everything he could to hide or protect his family. Slowly the truth dripped out as the water from the gutters on a spring day, until finally he drowned in a massive spring flood of emotions and reactions from those close to him. Ultimately, he could not bear it.
It was a small town and soon everyone knew what Leif could not bear to tell his family. When his wife at last confronted him his ability to handle the relationships burst and everything became emotional chaos. In the end the crisis turned into a deep depression. Leif sat as turned to stone in the middle of the worst storm in his life.
A few months treatment on antidepressants had improved Leif unremarkably. He was quiet and reclusive. Yet our relationship became stronger as I met his wife and obtained the confidence of both parties. One day I asked Leif if he was interested in getting to know himself deeper. Maybe there was a possibility for him to understand how he who had never had anyone else than his wife had ended up with two women at the same time.
Were there a deeper explanation? We decided to use relaxation exercises with the starting-point of an experience he had as an 11 year old when he saw a close friend nearly expire in a motorcycle accident and felt intense mortal dread, in order to obtain a deeper knowledge.
The first session went unexpectedly well and Leif was very emotional after having found himself at his beloved grandparents’ farmhouse. On a calendar on the kitchen wall he saw the year 1966. He walked around in his mind and experienced a subjectively intense reality. For the first Leif started to change more noticeably. Spontaneously he walked into my office when I was dictating and remarked “I really believe in this!”
During the second session he found himself at his school desk in year 1. Without hesitation he described his friends’ seating’s and names. Under the deep hypnosis he was simply sitting in the classroom.
“Yes, Räven is sitting there, and Erling is over there.”
During the third session Leif started to speak spontaneously. He told me about his blue trousers, a dark coat and brown shoes. He was on his way to collect a dog from a friend.
In Leif’s current life he had just had to put his golden retriever to sleep. The pain had been made easier as I had recommended him to do it together with his wife and children. That way they could by way of the sorrow over their dog on a deeper level start to process their grief from other issues within the family. According to Leif it worked much better than he had expected.
During the session Leif told me of how he lived in a cottage on a hill above a lake. He worked with some form of wood and leather. By my instruction he walked about his cabin and described it in detail. He looked upon the calendar on the kitchen wall and saw the year 1887. Leif spoke of his beloved dog and told me that the grief after its death made him pass himself soon thereafter. Upon the question of the meaning of this specific life he answered:
“That I should find peace.”
He then spontaneously said that he did not wish to be born by his parents in 1957.
“Mum knew this. It is dark but calm in here.”
When he later sat up he told me that he had never throughout his life experienced such an inner calm as during the experience in his own mother’s womb.
Later something about the story turned out to be inaccurate. It could be the year, the location or both. What was revealed later showed that parts of this story still had a connection to the farmer in Born. But the farmer in Born did not die 1887. He died 1899.
And even though he died, he has been resurrected. The movie “The Sixth Sense” suddenly appeared meaningful in an age of searching for spirituality. The farmer in Born came to show both Leif and me that it appears we live more than once.
“I am standing by a hay drying rack. The Dane is here with his horse.”
“Do you not own a horse?”
“What kind of wagon does the Dane have?”
“It is a wagon with iron wheels.”
“Go to your home now. Describe what your home looks like.”
“There is a barn to the right. The house lies to the left and in the middle is the earth cellar.”
“You are now inside your cottage. What does it look like?”
“There is one room. The kitchen is yellow. The bed I sleep in is on the first floor” he answered calmly and safely.
“Do you have any books, a calendar, anything you can see?”
“No books, but I have a calendar on the kitchen wall?”
“What year does it say? Loo k closely, take your time!”
“It says 1887” he replies without hesitation.
“Are you married?”
“No, I have never had a woman. And no relatives.”
“What do you work as?”
“I work in the forest. I sell milk and egg. I have seven cows and a couple of chickens” he told me without having to be asked.
For each minute the farmer in Born became more and more alive. I had so many questions. Who was he? Why was he so alive to Leif? What was his name? Would it maybe be possible to trace him?
Just imagine if only a single patient could be traced. To maybe really find the person and their grave. To maybe receive a letter from an authority confirming the impossible. Initially I repealed the thought, but it successively became stronger. There was no return. I decided to try and reach a conclusion with the farmer in Born. Leif was an excellent subject. Calm and safe. Before we had started the sessions he had told me that he did not believe in life after death. Neither had he read any special literature. He was a grounded and reliable person. No one could accuse him of being wishy-washy or escapist.
“All the better that he does not believe. It is not necessary. It will still work just as well. Here one can be Muslim, Christian or Buddhist. White or black. The result is the only thing that matters” I thought to myself.
“I am happiest when I am working at the farm.”
“You are breathing in and out. All your muscles are completely relaxed. All sounds just reinforce the feeling of relaxation. Nothing threatens you. I am constantly by your side Leif. You are within the light. When I have counted from three to one you will be back to that time you were a child… Three – you are floating in the light completely relaxed. You breathe in and out… Two – you are taken backwards. Unremarkably. Nothing is dangerous. Everything exists. Nothing hurts you. You can observe yourself freely from the outside… One – you are there. You are once again a child in the middle of the 19th century. It is the time before you became a farmer. What are you doing?” I instructed.
“It is an orphanage. There are many children without parents here. They are poor but do not starve. There is a curvy little lady who runs the home. She likes me.”
I suddenly got an idea.
“Ask here what the orphanage is called!”
He seemed to disappear. The eyes moved under the eyelids. He mumbled something.
“She says…. Bo… Born she says.”
“Born certainly sounds strange” I thought. “Is there’re really such a place?”
Later he was back at his farm. You could see that Leif in his regressed condition really took pleasure in his experiences. It was as if he was the main character in a wonderful movie he never wished to stop watching.
“Do you live secludedly?”
“Yes. The Dane with the horse lives nearest. He helps me sometimes.”
“Are there any close towns?”
A long pause.
“Mm, Örebro. I once travelled there for a market” he said spontaneously.
“How did you get there? What did you do?”
“It took a day to get there by horse and carriage. It is a party. People are drinking brännvin1” he continued openheartedly.
“Oh, don’t you make your own?”
“No, I buy mine.”
During a later session Leif spoke more in depth that his trips to Örebro were intensive.
“I make such a trip to Örebro once a year. It covers all needs. You buy brännvin (1) and meet women” he told.
We move forward to the farmer’s death.
“I am lying on the wooden bench in the kitchen. I am unable to keep food down.”
“Do you go to the doctor?”
“No, my neighbour brings me medicine… it is brännvin.”
“What year can you see on the calendar in the kitchen?”
“1899” he replies instantly.
It seemed as if the farmer himself never realized he was actually dying.
“I was sick for about a week… and then I died.”
Leif seemed very pleased and serene. He seemed to be experiencing something special.
“Why are you so happy?”
“Well, I am sitting outside my house looking out at the fields. The work for the summer and autumn is done.”
“What did you learn from the life in Born?”
“To be satisfied with a good life… to be satisfied with peace and quiet.”
I let him rest in the light of his own inner experience. It seemed obvious that Leif longed back to his life as a farmer. In his internal world which I could not question there was a strength I could not help but envy.
“What can you learn from the life in Born in regards to your decisions in your current life?”
“To not say no to good things… To not be afraid of peace” he continued.
“What wonderful perspicacity. Why does he not possess it as distinctly in his everyday life? And why can’t one keep all the knowledge that exists in the active biological memory? There must exist a deeper answer as to why one has to reach their own enlightenment of the self. Why did he end up here?” I considered quietly.
The next session we worked once again with the farmer in Born. I had decided to once and for all try and establish an identity.
Leif calmly laid himself down. We chatted about the current situation. About that he had not yet made a decision and his wife was feeling very bad. I stressed that it was important that he made his own decision without any pressure from me.
Leif never had any trouble reaching the deep regressive state where he literally left the room psychically and spiritually. Once when stood up he was completely dizzy and had to support himself on the walls – he seemed completely drained. It was truly a strange process.
“And still they want to go through all this. No mumbling from a psychoanalytic therapist trying to find an unresolved internal conflict. All the established schools and theories paled in comparison to what patients achieved with themselves in the deeply relaxed state. By God, what will the pharmaceutical industry say if people do not need drugs against their psychic problems? If there are alternative but demanding processes that yet can heal relatively quickly, what does that mean? Are we mature enough to enter ourselves in order to survive?” I thought.
On several occasions during the sessions where the farmer in Born manifested himself it also happened that Leif visited other lives. One of these was particularly interesting and painful. Leif had returned to a short life where he lived with his maternal aunt and uncle. For the ease of reading I have collected the extracts of interest from the sessions.
“I am with a fair woman… it is my current wife… I follow her into a large house as she shows me around.”
“Is there a calendar anywhere on the wall?”
“Yes, there is a hand sewn one on the kitchen wall. It reads 1949.”
The scene changes and he finds himself at the side of a road, observing an older motorbike lying in the ditch. A number of people appear to stand further away.
“They do not want me here.”
Leif describes a wounded man lying on the road.
“It is Åke.”
I then instruct Leif to return to his childhood in this life.
“My parents are going away… a large boat… it sank.”
“Try to see if your grandmother and uncle are reading about this in a newspaper” I urge him.
“Yes, I can see the text about the accident. I can see them reading about it in the paper… but I cannot see any names.”
During a later session he could see his grandmother reading about the accident. And later on he found himself at the docks looking up at the ship.
“I am standing very close. I cannot quite see the name on the boat as there is a house in the way. Excel…sius…Exelcius… I am uncertain. The ship collided with something at sea. There was some sort of drawing in the newspaper of the place of the accident. 498 people died.”
“Do you miss your parents?”
“Yes, but I did not know them well… they were young.”
I now took Leif to the moment of his death.
“I am working in the forest… A tree falls on me.”
He does not seem to realise he is going to die. There is no fear in his recollection. After the death I instruct him to see his grandmother and uncle reading his obituary in the local newspaper.
“Yes, I can see the years… Born 1928… Died 1952. It is hard to read because the paper is folded.”
Later he could also the tombstone of the young man.
“I can see a long letter… L… Li… Linus, yes Linus.”
I think to myself that Leif surely must be wrong. That it would now prove that some details are constructs of his or my mind. When he wakes up we discuss this.
“Leif, something is not right. You are born 1956 and this man died 1952 in the forest. Your parents in the last life were already dead, and that means your own parents must have been reincarnated very quickly in order to have you… it does not add up.”
“My current parents are born 1934 and 1937.”
“In the last life you were born 1928… That means your current parents must have died sometime between 1928 and 1934. That in turn means that they were reborn before you died in your last life” I answered. I realised immediately that there was room for the possibility. But could it be?
Leif was once again in Born, his body completely relaxed and his breathing calm.
“You walk around your house. Is there a deed for it anywhere? Something with your name on it?”
“Yes, yes… I received the farm as a gift from the woman from the poorhouse. A third person witnesses as she hands over the deed to me… Yes, I am signing it.”
“What name is on the documents? What name are you writing?” I ask, now more curious than ever.
“Erik… Erik Andersen… Andersson… Andersen… it is a bit difficult to see and read it” he says.
“Amazing. I have finally discovered a name. A single straw, but yet a name” I think to myself.
During one of the final sessions we decide to finish to visits to Erik Andersson in Born. We knew his name, year of death and the place where he lived. That information was enough in order to search the archives. I asked Leif to contact the national archive in Uppsala. They could help him with the impossible task to find Erik if he really had ever existed. Leif promised to make an attempt and call them. He was himself curious.
“I am so glad. The fields are cut and the hay is collected.”
“Oh? What do you have on your feet? What clothes are you wearing today?”
“A pair of wooden clogs, grey trousers… and a white shirt. It is Sunday today.”
He continued like before to describe his home. He seemed incredibly attached to his farm. With great affection he once again described the farm to me.
“Leif, you have now moved forward to Erik’s funeral. You can see the coffin, the people who are at the service. It is nothing dangerous. You are observing everything from the outside in order to understand.”
“Yes… There are quite a lot of people in the church… I never did anyone harm… Mm, I can hear the priest speaking” he said rapidly.
Leif later said that he had seen his own gravestone with the name Erik Andersson written on it.
The 25th October 2002 Leif came to my clinic with a letter from the archivist G Ehnström from the research service at the national archive in Uppsala. The letter was dated 15th October with the registration number 421/02-5923 contained the following;
“With reference to the telephone conversations on 02-09-23 and 10-14 the national archive reports the following:
In the Nora parish register of deaths for year 1899 there was found only one Erik Andersson in Born, born 1822. It was Per Erik Andersson who died 16 Mars from cardioplegia and was buried on 23rd Mars. Under the age 76 years, 4 months and 1 day, reads 22 Nov 15, which appears to be his date of birth, 15 Nov 1822. In the column for annotations reads: Nr 23 – Nora north kg kv 2 nr 139.
With kind regards
I was completely overwhelmed and speechless. A feeling of effervescence was mixed with the knowledge that the outside world was maybe not yet ready for the reintroduction of the knowledge of reincarnation. The impossible was true. Erik had been found in Born. At the same time the apprehension that the proof would never be enough where prejudice prevailed gnawed at me. There was a discrepancy between the 15 November from the parish records and the 16 November on the gravestone, but it seemed like a simple mistake.
“They will say that you made everything up before you went for help. Someone will try to find a point where you have visited Born, to show you have constructed everything.”
Leif seemed offended. He stood silent and contemplating for a while with the letter in his hand.
“But I have never been there. I did not even know of Born. I did not know the place existed. Surely they must believe me.”
“Belief is reserved for the church. But sure, it is better than nothing.”
During the last session we jointly decided to make an attempt to visit the future. If it was possible. Leif gave his approval, and I emphasised that we would not try to uncover anything that could affect his current life negatively.
“I am standing by a beach. There is a woman on a sailing boat out on the lake.”
Later during the session he told me that the woman was his wife and he had built the boat himself.
“You have now come to your home. Describe what it looks like!”
“It is square. I work in the ground floor with designing sailboats. I have some form of larger computer and a smaller one for when I am travelling. Hmm, I enjoy my work very much… things are going well. We have one TV. The picture is projected onto the wall by a thin beam of light from a smaller lens. Yes, I can see it clearly.”
“Describe how you live. What does the cars look like?”
“There are not a lot of cars. There is some type of trains; they travel soundlessly on rails between the houses. We do not have a car.”
“What country do you live in and what year?” I asked, using the instruction of the globe and digital chronometer.
“It is Sweden, but I do not know the name of the town. It is 2111.”
Thinking about Elisabet’s sessions I decided to take Leif forward to 2113.
“Has something special happened?”
We went forward another few years. He and his wife had then received a son and a daughter. When I asked him to look into the children’s eyes Leif said:
“It is Daniel and Stina… it is my current children!”
Just like all the other sessions Leif returned to the present without drama. He looked up and shook his head when he was told the time. Like most patients he felt like 10-15 minutes had passed. The last session had lasted about an hour.
The autumn colours were intensely defined. In a last brilliant act the October sun sparkled against crimson red maple leaves. The birch leaves mixed mustardy yellows and oranges with small fading strips of pale green. Along the mountain lakes south of Grängesberg the clear blue water glistened fresh and inviting. Only a few cars met us along the winding roads down towards Nora and Born.
Elisabet drove her new Toyota softly and pleasantly. Leif was in the backseat, pleased and at peace. It felt almost unreal.
“Almost spooky. Here is Leif in the back of Elisabet’s car. He had accepted her request of being allowed to come along. Had I acted correctly? Probably. I never broke patient confidentiality. Leif got to decide before Elisabet was able to contact him. But what can they obtain from each other” I thought to myself as we got closer and closer to Born.
And then we were there. Out under the clear blue October sky with its blinding cascade of colour lay a few houses and farms gathered around a couple of creeping roads that met at a crossroads. Born, our goal. We had decided to unite and make a foolish attempt to find Erik’s grave. Before we went to the graveyard in Nora we drove a few times back and forth in order to allow Leif to process his impressions.
“No, it is further into the forest. That is my definite feeling. There was a road down to a village, I am certain of it. I lived rather remotely” he said as laconic as ever.
After an hour of aimless driving we went to the graveyard. The ground was covered by a thin veil of the first snowfall. The day was cold and clear. We went back and forth between the old tombstones.
“Our beloved son, born 1824. Died 1873. The shoemaker Nils Andersson, born 1834, died 1888” I read.
Not until Elisabet suggested that we should follow the strict divisions and find division 2 number 139 did we realise we were on the right track. The stones were all older from the 18th and 19th century.
Abruptly I found myself in front of a plain, low granite stone. I could not make anything out clearly as the engraving had since long been worn by wind and weather. But there was a text. I used my feet to rub off the snow on the stone to make it more readable. Slowly P E Andersson became readable, and as I continued the rest of the text appeared. *16/11 1822 † 16/3 1899 Born it read. I looked down astounded. I called Elisabet and Leif who quickly came over. We were all extremely happy, almost excited.
“What we see now is something completely unique, but we should not forget that no matter what evidence we could present from an individual’s previous life there will always be someone to claim it is a lie, fabrication or God knows what. Nothing can change a true conviction” I said.
We photographed the gravestone with each of us, and lastly even with Leif and myself squatting next to this strange memorial. Leif later handed me a floppy disc with the digital photographs.
“How does it feel to exist both above and below earth?” Elisabet asked smiling.
“I have to admit I am slightly bewildered” he said seemingly as collected as usual.
“Of course Leif is the best kind of client one could imagine when it comes to a story like this one. He did not believe in anything like this at all before we started” I thought.
We had reached our goal. We had made one of the strangest discoveries possible by a human. We had rediscovered Erik’s but also Leif’s grave, and that was not all. All the details he had given were correct. And he had absolutely nothing in common with this place in his current life. He had never put his foot in this place, nor visited Nora north graveyard. One of my most thrilling years as a psychiatrist was going towards its end. Our labours had borne fruit. Nothing would ever be able to take away this joy from us. No one.
“Professor Weiss, how grateful I am for everything you have accomplished. What a road you have made. Professor Ian Stevenson, your work has never been in vain with your “Twenty cases suggestive about reincarnation”, no, nothing is in vain. Everything has a meaning, but brave people are required in order to reveal the obvious truths for humanity.
The physical body slows everything down in order to make pain, suffering and longing our teachers in life. The physical form gives us important experience so we can advance spiritually and reach higher dimensions. How grateful I am for my clients who made me chose this path, and that I managed to resist the pressure from the world’s illusions and fleeting rewards. As many times before my mind was a flurry of thoughts. Too many had misunderstood me in life. They thought I was always in a rush, but the answer was deeper and more difficult. Deep in my heart the conviction was crystal clear.
I was very old. I had lived so many times and made infinite errors. Now for once I really wanted to act right, and not work according to the wishes of others but according to my true inner conviction. To find a dead person in a new life. The spiritual world’s energies had always been unfathomably powerful inside me.
When I was young I abused the power with which I influenced people and obtained what I wanted. Now I had put egoism aside and chosen to follow the path that finally had proven right. I did not need to doubt myself. Many had been incensed by my words of truth, and some turned their indignity towards dark thoughts of hurting and stopping this too openhearted and controversial doctor.
Thoughts and images flashed quickly through my mind. No, I shall never again be afraid, everything will be alright. The truth will slowly reveal itself just as gravestones under the melting snow” I thought as we sat in Elisabet’s car and drove back home towards Dalarna.
Leif was satisfied. He remained on antidepressants, but he had slowly improved, perhaps due to both the medicine and the therapy in combination. He had for the first time obtained a deeper knowledge of himself, and he seemed content with that knowledge. He never went around and told others about this. As always he moved slowly and carefully. He remained laconic and deeply attached to nature. Eventually he moved into his own apartment and after I met him one last time together with his wife he signed his divorce.
He did so with pain and ambivalence, as he did not wish to sever the bonds with those that were closest to him. Just like Erik Andersson, Leif never consciously did any person harm. He was fundamentally a warm and affectionate person. When I left Sweden he was going to start working again. He had done what most people dream of but few dare. He had set out on an inner journey to discover himself.
P E Andersson
Born 16 November 1822
Died 16 March 1899
1. Brännvin is a Swedish term for a distilled spirit commonly distilled from potatoes or grain. It can be flavoured or unflavoured. Brännvin is usually consumed as a “snaps”, but snaps do not necessarily have to be brännvin. The translator chose to keep this term for the accuracy of the time period and location.