Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2022

Abstract

Autobiographic memories prior to birth remain controversial in psychology because such memories are traditionally believed to begin much later when some sense of self is formed. Prenatal sentience, including fetal learning, occurs in species from arthropods to humans, and evidence for autobiographic memories from pre- and neo-natal humans has typically come from clinical case histories of altered-state regression techniques eliciting records from adults or clinical case histories of children in normal states. This thematic analysis examined 68 “earliest memory” narratives submitted to an independent website to explore the question: what do people who claim to remember how they came into the world say about their experience prior to and including birth? The findings produced two distinct data sets. This article, Part 1, analyzes the majority of the data, narratives that described prenatal existence in an otherworldly realm. The results are consistent with and elaborate findings in established but controversial fields, notably reincarnation research, especially the intermission research, some of it veridical, and near-death experience research. Part 2, a separate article, analyzes a second subset of records that were narratives of fetal experiences, birth, and apparently veridical paranormal perinatal impressions, consistent with the clinical literature on pre- and peri-natal psychology and some of the intermission experience literature.

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