An example of what may be called the Mutually Exclusive Multiple Pointers (MEMP) approach to discovering the hidden truths is explored here in connection with the issue of reincarnation. Those on life's quest will find this interesting and useful.

People are usually guided by their belief systems when it comes to understanding subjective issues of life. Thus, they would rather be with their preferred conclusions than discover the truth. When Nicholas Copernicus, the Polish astronomer, discovered the truth about the heliocentric nature of the solar system, there were widespread protests against it in Europe because the religious people thought it went against their beliefs. In general, most people fall a prey to the tendency “One believes what one wants to believe”. This may be phrased as “the preferred conclusions syndrome.” However, those who are serious about finding the truth do not submit themselves to that syndrome. They look at the matter from different directions with an open mind, uninfluenced by any preferred conclusions. This is where the Mutually Exclusive Multiple Pointers (MEMP) approach comes into action. It can be fun for the open-minded explorer.

As the name suggests, the MEMP approach considers several issues (pointers) related to the matter on hand, each one being independent of the other. Because each pointer does not influence the others, there is a certain weight they add towards a conclusion. Each one may support or negate a conclusion. Then, the sum total of all the weights can say something about what the truth is. However, there is also the need to allow the intuition to play a part along with pure logic in the investigation. Further, it is necessary to stay with the pointers for a while (may be for a few years!) before the quiet truth expresses itself from one’s inner being. The proof thus coming from one’s inner source is unassailable.

Here we see an example of the application of the MEMP approach to a recondite issue, namely, reincarnation. We look at the following eight pointers that support reincarnation:
Spontaneous revelation of past life incidents: A number of human beings from all cultures have had spontaneous surges of past life memories, they being thrown into it unexpectedly. General Patton’s experience (Wikipedia) is a typical case in point.
Near Death Experience (NDE): There are two pointers from NDEs, one indirect and the other direct, to establish authenticity of the fact that we live many lives.
Child Prodigies: Gina Cerminara’s (Reference 1) scholarly writing brings forth the value of past-life studies and the fact of gradual development of human beings over a span of several life times in terms of their general growth and capacities. This is especially striking with regard to child prodigies and geniuses.
Hypnotic Regression: Hypnotic Regression implies going back in memory, touching the events of past lives through hypnosis. In this connection, Edith Fiore’s (Reference 2) book has many interesting real-life stories to tell.
Birth Defects: Sometimes people carry bodily marks or defects from past life incidents. Scientist Ian Stevenson, University of Virginia, has documented a number of such cases. Trutz Hardo (Reference 3) has covered many of those cases in his book.
Phenomenal Disparities in Life Situations: It is obvious that people’s lives on this planet show tremendous variation – in terms of their physical and mental well being, circumstances and opportunities. How can we explain such disparities if there is only one life
Indicators from Perspicacious Ancient Writings: Some ancient cultures, such as that of India, Tibet, China, Greece and Native Americans, had given expressions to reincarnation in their writings. For example, the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, famous as an expert on the fate of the soul after death, had mentioned that the soul is immortal and went through a series of reincarnations.
Soul-mate Proclivity: It is known that sometimes we feel tremendously drawn towards a person for no obvious reason. Such soul-mate-like feelings can only be explained by past-life associations. Frederick Lenz (Reference 4) has dealt with this issue in some detail in his book.

There can also be some negative pointers with regard to reincarnation, such as "How can there be population increase if the same people are born again and again?". Those pointers have also to be considered in the MEMP approach. However, this particular question is well handled by Edgar Cayce of USA , known as the Sleeping Prophet.

People interested in the above issues will find more information about them in the website

1: Cerminara, Gina. Many Mansions. New York: New American
Library, 1950.
2. Fiore, Edith. You Have Been Here Before. New York: Prentice Hall,
3. Hardo, Trutz. Reincarnation. New Delhi: Jaico Publications, 2003.
4. Lenz, Frederick. Lifetimes. New York: Fawcett Crest, 1979.

Author's Bio: 

Gopalakrishnan T. Chandrasekaran was born in Madras (now Chennai), India. He received his doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA in 1978; served on the research and teaching faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, the North Carolina State University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait.
Aside from his professional involvements, he was interested in the philosophic issues of life for the last forty years or so. This led him to the messages of Ramana Maharishi, Lao Tzu, J Krishnamurthy, UG Krishnamurthy, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius and similar Masters. His book entitled “In Quest of the Deeper Self” is the outcome of his reflections on those and his wish to share the outcome with others.
Gopalakrishnan is a member of the International Association for Near Death Studies, Durham, NC, USA. He lives in Kodaikanal, a hill town in the southern part of India, with his wife Banumathy who also received her doctoral degree from the North Carolina State University, in Organic Chemistry. Now they are both retired and currently involved in developing a fruit farm at a village 20 km from their residence. They have a daughter and son who are both married and settled.